1 In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word was with God [Theos], and the Word was God.

In this text, then, there is ONE DEITY, and he is styled THE LOGOS. This word signifies, "the outward form by which the inward thought is expressed and made known; also, the inward thought or reason itself. So that the word comprehends both the ideas of reason and speech."

Hence, by John styling Him the Logos, it was equivalent to affirming that he was a reasoner and a revelator: or, as Daniel declared to Nebuchadnezzar, that "the Elahh in the heavens revealed secrets," even "the deep and secret things."

But was the Deity reason and speech only? In other words, an abstraction independent of substance; or, as some affirm, "without body or parts"? To preserve us from such a supposition, John informs us that "the Logos was with the Theos," Here was companionship and identity - "the Logos was with the Theos, and Theos was the Logos." Never was there a conceivable point of time, or eternity, when the one existed without the other.

"Yahweh possessed me," (Prov. 8:22) saith the Logos, "in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from olahm (the hidden period) from the beginning, or ever the earth was. were no depths I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the open places, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the deep; when he established the clouds above; when he strengthened the fountains of the deep; when he gave to the sea his decree that the water should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him as one brought up with him (the Logos was with the Theos): and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights with the sons of men"


Between Christ and the Bible there is,‭ ‬whether designed or not,‭ ‬a remarkable and instructive similarity.‭ ‬It is to be traced in their origin,‭ ‬nature,‭ ‬name,‭ ‬moral character,‭ ‬claims,‭ ‬mission,‭ ‬teaching,‭ ‬characteristics,‭ ‬works,‭ ‬history,‭ ‬preservation,‭ ‬incorruptibility,‭ ‬and God's will respecting them.‭

The Word of God existed before it was sent forth,‭ ‬either in its written or personal form‭-

‭"‬In the beginning was the word,‭ ‬and the word was with-God,‭ ‬and the word was God.‭"

This word embraces God's purpose concerning the earth and man upon it.‭ ‬He created them not in vain,‭ ‬but to manifest His glory‭ (‬Is.‭ xlv. ‬18‭; ‬Numb.‭ xiv. ‬21‭)‬.‭

‭"‬This word,‭ ‬which by the gospel is preached,‭ ‬endureth for ever.‭"

The Bible is an elaboration of this word in its multifarious bearings,‭ ‬but all converging upon its consummation.‭ ‬History confirms the verity of Deity's utterances,‭ ‬foreshadows heavenly things,‭ ‬and exhibits the working out of the purpose.‭ ‬Christ likewise exhibits these features.

‭ ‬He was the word made flesh‭ (‬John‭ i. ‬14‭) ‬Deity's purpose in embryo-the life made manifest-the seed which will bud and blossom and fill the earth with fruit.‭ ‬God was in both Christ and the Bible-they are one.‭

‭"‬Search the Scriptures‭"-"‬They are they which testify of me,‭" ‬said Christ.‭ ‬In like manner Christ testifieth of the Bible.‭ ‬To believe one involves a belief in the other.‭ "‬Everyone taught of God‭" ‬cometh to the two. ATJ

The Christadelphian, Feb 1887. p66

What Think Ye of Christ the Word is proved to have existed co-eternally with the Father‭; ‬but he evidently fails to perceive - like the rest of those holding his faith - that‭ "‬the‭ ‬Word‭" ‬is not equivalent to‭ "‬Jesus Christ‭"; ‬and that the eternity of‭ "‬the Word‭" ‬does not prove the eternity of Jesus.‭

John distinctly says also,‭ "‬the word was God.‭" ‬We can only understand this,‭ ‬by ascertaining the meaning of‭ "‬word.‭" ‬A word is a sound by which the mind or will is expressed,‭ ‬and in the case of command,‭ ‬the expression of the mind,‭ ‬by word,‭ ‬leads to action.‭ ‬The action is the result of the word‭; ‬and the word may be spoken of as the direct cause.‭

Hence‭ "‬the Word‭" ‬created all things,‭ "‬in the beginning,‭" ‬and was‭ "‬with God,‭" ‬and‭ "‬was God.‭" ‬God's‭ ‬will is the antecedent‭; ‬it is part of Himself,‭ ‬as it were-it is God.‭ ‬The enunciation or giving forth of this word or command,‭ ‬presents the phase expressed by the words‭ "‬with God.‭" ‬The spirit was the vehicle,‭ ‬instrument,‭ ‬or channel.‭

The‭ "‬Word,‭" ‬originating with God,‭ ‬was the first cause.‭ ‬Hence we read‭ "‬By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,‭ ‬and all the host of them‭ ‬by the breath of His mouth.‭" "‬He spake and it was done‭; ‬he commanded,‭ ‬and it stood fast.‭"-(‬Ps.‭ xxxiii. ‬6.‭ ‬9.‭) "‬The worlds were framed by the word of God.‭"-(‬Heb.‭ ‬xi. 3.‭) "‬By the‭ ‬word of God,‭ ‬the heavens were of old,‭ ‬and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.‭"-(‬2‭ ‬Pet.‭ ‬iii. 5.‭) "‬God said Let there be light,‭ ‬and there was light‭;" ‬the light shining as the result of the word spoken.‭ ‬But are we to say the‭ "‬Word‭" ‬in these passages signifies a personal agent distinct from the personality of the Father who commanded‭? ‬By no means.‭

It is merely a personification of the will of the Almighty.‭ ‬After the style of language that personifies wisdom in‭ ‬Prov.‭ viii‬.‭ "‬The Word‭" ‬existed from eternity‭; ‬Jesus,‭ ‬who was its living expression,‭ ‬did not‭;‬ yet,‭ ‬whilst going about his holy mission,‭ ‬he was not less the Word of God than if he had pre-existed.‭ ‬He was the Word made flesh.‭ ‬The spirit rested upon him,‭ ‬without measure,‭ ‬which gave him wisdom and power above mortals,‭ ‬and enabled him to speak with the authority of God.‭

He was the Word,‭ ‬in living revelation.‭ ‬God manifested himself and spoke through him.‭ ‬This is Paul's declaration in‭ ‬Heb.‭ i. ‬2,‭ "‬God,‭ ‬who at sundry times,‭ ‬and in divers manners,‭ ‬spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets,‭ ‬hath,‭ ‬in these last days,‭ ‬spoken unto us by his Son.‭"

It might be argued from this passage,‭ ‬that the prophets,‭ ‬equally with Christ,‭ ‬were constituted the Word,‭ ‬by God's use of them to declare his mind.‭ ‬To a certain extent,‭ ‬this was the case‭; ‬but God only spoke through them in a partial manner,‭ ‬and by means of visions and messages.‭ ‬They were not the complete exemplification of the Word‭; ‬neither did they,‭ ‬like Christ,‭ ‬owe their birth to the power of the Word which spake through them.‭

They were the mere instruments of the specific divine impulses brought to bear on them‭; ‬Jesus was the embodiment and living reflex,‭ ‬as it were,‭ ‬of the Word.‭ ‬He could reveal the whole will of the Father‭; ‬and received the knowledge he possessed,‭ ‬directly from the Father,‭ ‬being as it were,‭ ‬en rapport with him,‭ ‬in the Spirit.

‭ "‬The Father loveth the Son,‭ ‬and‭ ‬sheweth him‭ ‬all things that Himself doeth.‭"-(‬Jno.‭ v. ‬20.‭) "‬The Father who‭ ‬sent me,‭ ‬he gave me commandment what I should say and what I should speak.‭"-(‬Jno.‭ xii. ‬49‭; vii. ‬16‭; viii. ‬25-28.‭) ‬Hence,‭ ‬he could say‭ "‬I am come in my Father's name:‭" (v. ‬43.‭) ‬If he had been the Deity himself,‭ ‬he surely would never have used such an expression as this.‭ ‬As we have said,‭ ‬he never once ascribes the works he did to his own power.‭


2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14) as Creator, is necessarily before all things, and is, therefore, the "Theos," and the "Logos" of John 1:3, where it is testified that

"all things were made on account of Him; and without Him was made not one thing which exists." -

Phanerosis - Yahweh manifested in the cherubim.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

He sent light, first of all to dispel the darkness that was upon the face of the deep, in the beginning of the creation of the heavens and earth.

This also in a figure represents that light which is intellectual, moral, and spiritual, emanating from the Word of God: and dispelling the darkness of the natural mind. As saith the

Psalmist, "The entrance of thy words giveth light." And the prophet, "To the law, and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20).

The manifestations of the name of Yahweh recorded in the Scriptures are accompanied by Spirit-light, fire and glory. When the angel communicated the memorial to Moses, it was

out of the midst of a bush, all aglow with Spirit-flame. Spirit-fire and glory were with the angel, shrouded in the Pillar of cloud, which gave light to the children of Israel in their wanderings. The Spirit-light that shone out from the cloudy Pillar, shed light upon the pathway of the children of Israel, when passing through the darkness of night through the wilderness. 

"In the day-time he led them with a cloud and all the night with a light of fire" (Ps. 78:14).

Hidden within the shadows of the Tabernacle service, Spirit-fire and light performed its appointed mission, in relation to the refining, preparatory work of priesthood. Spirit-fire consumed the sacrifices upon the brazen Altar: and the "Urim," (lights) were reflected from the precious stones of Aaron's breastplate. And at times, the light of the glory of Yahweh illumined the cloud from between the Cherubim that overshadowed the mercy-seat.

 In the subdued, quiet light of the Sanctuary, the light and glory pertaining to the day of sufferings were prefigured: which also contained shadows pertaining to the day of future glory: when the name of "Yahweh,Tz'vaoth." "He who shall be of hosts," shall be manifested as the substance in complete fulness of the glory-illuminated pillar of cloud.

When the time came for the giving of the law and commandments to Israel, it is testified that "Yahweh descended upon Mount Sinai in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly" (Exod. 19:18). Moses, alone, was permitted to draw "near unto the thick darkness where God was," called to go up into the mount, that he might receive light. Not the resplendency of outward and visible glory: but the light contained in the law of commandments.

From the light that shone there, the "shadows of good things to come" were cast into the Mosaic constitution. The body or substance, being of Christ, remained hidden and veiled from the outer sight. Another element of the name of Deity appears prefiguredthere: as expressed in the words of the apostle Paul, "Our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:7.9). The Spirit-fire, which was so beneficent a medium of blessing to the faithful children of Israel, also became instrumental in the destruction of the ungodly.

According to the testimony concerning certain transgressors under the law: "there went out a fire from the Lord and devoured them" (Lev. 10:2). The prophet Isaiah, foretelling of the day of judgment yet to come, saith: "The Light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his holy One for a flame; and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briars in one day" (Isa. 10:17).

Yahweh Elohim Ch 1

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

John says: "Life is light" (Jn. 1:4); and "He that loveth abideth in Light" (1 Jn. 2:10). The whole purpose is comprehended in that first fiat of divine omnipotence: "Let there be LIGHT" (Gen. 1:3). Let there be Life. Let there be Love. Let living Beauty and Grace spring forth from the silent, slumbering Darkness.

The Light is not cold and abstract, but warm and personal, because it is Life and Love. Let us keep the personal aspect ever before our minds, for therein lies the power: the glorious 'Power to become the Sons of God.'

We have doubtless all been deeply impressed, as we do our Daily Readings year by year, with the Glory and Beauty of God's Word as extolled in Psa. 119. Its theme is summed up in v. 97-

"O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day."

Not just law as an impersonal thing-ordinances and regulations-but living Law: the Living Word. Let us accent the personal aspect: "O how love I THY law!" It has often been pointed out that every verse of this Psalm contains some synonym for the Word: statute, judgment, precept, commandment, etc. But have we noticed that it is always prefaced by 'Thy': Thy statutes, Thy judgments, etc.?

We love the Law because it is God's Law: because it leads us to Him, reveals Him to us, draws us to Him, binds us to Him-teaches us how to dwell in peace within the circle of His love and holiness. It is in this personal relationship created by the loving acceptance of the Law that all its power lies. The Truth is an intensely personal affair. God is personal, Jesus is personal, the brethren are personal (1 Jn. 3:14)-

"We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren."

See therefore the vital importance of personal fraternal Love!-intense, expanding, radiating Love. It marks the difference between Life and Death: "None of us liveth to himself" (Rom. 14:7). That is, not if we really are Christ's. Love of the brethren must be a major aspect of our lives-second only to the love of God: for on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

And loving the brethren is not just a passive, benevolent frame of mind. It must be an active, living force: seeking their welfare, desiring their company, drawing close to them in oneness of mind and heart and purpose-lovingly seeing in them (though perhaps in present feeble measure, as they too may only see it in us) an earnest spiritual striving toward perfection: the potential glorious Sons of God!

The whole purpose of God is intensely personal: to surround Himself with an intimate family, a holy multitude of children, all knit inseparably together in the closest bonds of spiritual love: bound together by the knowledge that all in love have totally given their lives for each other, after the command and example of the great Elder Brother-

"Hereby perceive we love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 Jn.3:16).

Are we just technically 'in the Truth,' or are we really a part of this strange and glorious enterprise going on in the earth today: the true, select, eternal nobility of all the earth's generations? To lay down our lives for the brethren, as John says we must, does not just mean to be prepared to die for them (though that is necessarily included). But much more it means to wholly live for them, as Jesus did: to yield the whole life to the service of Christ and his Body, as the Bride yields her life to the Bridegroom.

Bro Growcott - Let there be Light.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

He says that because a few Jews rejected Christ, that is sufficient evidence to him that Jesus was not the Messiah. I should like him to define the principle upon which this argument is based. If he could say every Jew rejected Jesus, I could understand the argument. If every Jew contemporary with Jesus rejected him, there would certainly be strong ground for Jews of all subsequent ages to take the same attitude; but all Jews did not reject him. Thousands of Jews accepted him; and the subsequent belief in him by the Gentiles, was owing to the activity of Jewish preachers.

Will Mr. Stern deny this? He cannot. The Gentiles accepted Jesus because Jews came out from Jerusalem and declared he was the Messiah. Therefore when talking of the Jews who rejected Jesus, let him not forget the multitudes of Jews who accepted him. Let him try to explain to himself why the believers believed. If he takes the scepticism of a part of the Jewish nation as proof that the Messiah has not come, how does he ask me to deal with the belief of those who believed in him?

Let him remember that belief is of more weight than unbelief, for belief is the result of positive reasons: whereas unbelief may be the mere result of ignorance of evidence that exists. Those who were farthest from the evidence were those who rejected him; the Scribes and Pharisees, who stood apart in an attitude of hostility, stung to the quick by Christ's denunciation; for he told them to their faces that they merely appeared righteous, but they were like the beautiful graves that inwardly contained rottenness and dead men's bones.

It is no wonder that the Scribes and Pharisees rejected him and that the nation under their leadership rejected him. Their rejection is no evidence against him at all. A large section of the common people heard him gladly, and at one time they wanted to take him by force, and make him a king, but the time had not come, and he took occasion to withdraw from them. --

Bro Roberts - Was Jesus of Nazareth The Messiah?

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

You think water had nothing to do with the birth here referred to, but a moment's reflection will show that this conclusion is a short-sighted and a groundless one. The phrase "born of God," determines nothing. Of itself, it reveals nothing of the process by which the result is accomplished. This we have to learn from other testimony, and it may be learned. The inception of a man's divine sonship is caused by the truth presented to his mind. This is evident from the fact that the method adopted for the creation of sons is the preaching of the gospel which, Paul says, is the power employed of God in the salvation of man.-(Rom i, 16.)

When the truth of the gospel is received, the believer is begotten. His divine relationship has commenced; but it is evident that unless this begettal advance to the stage of birth, the result is abortive. Now, Jesus connects water with the birth, (John iii, 4), and baptism with the belief of the gospel. (Mark xvi, 16.) Hence, it is a divine arrangement for a believer to be immersed in water for the purpose of being fully born into the divine family. A man may scorn the idea of water having to do with such a result, but he cannot deny it, if he believe the New Testament.-(Acts x, 47; viii, 36; Hèb x, 22; 1 Peter iii, 20, 21.) This birth of water, however, may very naturally, as a matter of speech, be ascribed to the "word" leading to it, because water immersion would do nothing for an ignorant person. Baptism is "a washing of water by the word."-(Eph v, 26.)

The word is the inceptive and creative power; immersion but the external act, by which it has legal efficacy. Hence Peter speaks as follows of those who had believed and had been immersed:-"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever * * * * and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."-(1 Peter i, 23.)

Now, if believers can be said to be born by the word of God, surely with more appropriateness still, they can be said to be "born of God," for this covers the whole ground. But it would be quite a wresting of the word to our own destruction to say that because certain are said to be born of God, they were not baptised. Is one part of the word of God against another? Surely not. All must agree. To be "born of God," which is but a general form of speech requiring the light of specific information before it can be understood, is to believe the truth, and be immersed into Christ.

Those mentioned by John in the passage in question had been the subjects of this double process, for all that received Christ were baptised. Christ himself set the example by being baptised of John. All Christ's are born of God in this way. This is a birth, "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man." Human appointment has nothing to do with it. It is entirely divine. From a natural point of view, it is foolishness. It is a part of the system of "base things and things which are not," which God has chosen to accomplish his ends in relation to the human family "that no flesh should glory in his sight.-(1 Cor i, 28, 29.) - ...

continued v13

'Power to become the Sons of God'! That is the power we seek. What a marvelous thought that there is such a power available to the weak mortal sons of men: power to become Sons of God; power to be 'filled with His Glory'; power, like Jesus, to be 'full of Grace and Truth'-FULL: no room for anything else. No room for worldliness, or self-pleasing, or bitterness, or unkindness, or any kind of pettiness: just Grace and Truth.

Just conceive of the divine beauty of a society of individuals who are all full of Grace and Truth-wholly united in single-hearted mutual love of God and of one another. How dull and empty do the things of the world seem when placed beside the glory of this power to become the eternal, grace-filled Sons of God! Let this be clear: no one can be a Son or Daughter of God who just lives and spends his time in his own interests and concerns and pleasures, like the rest of the world.

Bro Growcott - Let there be Light

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

...'who was not begotten of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,' Griesbach - Diaglott footnote - ie birth referring to Messiah's physical birth (not by Man's goatish/ pushfull will).

But it remains to be said that it is doubtful if John i, 13, refers to the class mentioned in the verse immediately preceding. On this point, we quote the following from the Diaglott:

"Griesbach notes a different reading of this verse. Instead of hoi egenetheesan, he has hos egenthee; the singular pronoun and verb for the plural, which would make the passage read 'who was not begotten of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,' thus referring it directly to the physical generation of the Messiah by the spirit of God, rather than to the moral regeneration of believers." This would get rid of your difficulty very summarily. There is no difficulty either way, but there would be less appearance of difficulty if the improved reading be adopted, and it certainly harmonises better with the context than the usual reading.

The Christadelphian

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

J.W.—We are sorry to hear of the division. Jesus had but one physical nature in the days of his flesh—the seed of Abraham; but that nature was generated by "the Word," and became an instrument in the hands of the Father.

W.A.H.—The correspondence represents two extremes, which are equally to be regretted. We stand between them. Jesus was the Word made flesh, which flesh was the medium of the Father's further manifestation after the anointing of it by the Spirit.

The Christadelphian, April 1873

Thus, "the Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us," says John, "and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth;" for "the law was given through Moses; the grace and the truth came through Jesus Anointed" (John 1:14, 17). Now, "Theos was the Logos," says John; that is, Deity was the Word; and this Word became flesh in the manner testified. Was the product, therefore, not Deity? Did the unions of spirit with flesh annihilate that spirit, and leave only flesh? Was the holy thing born a mere son of Adam? or "the fellow" and "equal" of the Deity? (Zech. 13:7; John 5:18 Phil. 2:6). The latter unquestionably.

After this manner, then, THE ETERNAL POWER, or Yahweh, became flesh; and commenced the initiation of His promise, that He would be to Israel for Elohim. The chief Eloah was now born; and, as the STAR OF JACOB cradled in a manger, received the homage of the wise, and the acclamation of the heavenly host. This babe was the "body made in secret" through which "THE ETERNAL SPIRIT," when it should attain to "the fulness of the times," designed to manifest himself. That time had arrived when "Jesus began to be about thirty years of age."

He was now to be "sent forth;" "being made under the law, that them under law he might purchase from it, that we might obtain THE SONSHIP" (Gal. 4:5). His sending forth was subsequently to his immersion, and preceded by his anointing with holy spirit. Though born of "YAHWEH's Handmaid" six months after John the Immerser, John said of him, "after me cometh a man who hath been preferred to me; for he was before me." Isaiah styles him YAHWEH and Elohim, in his prophecy concerning John as "The Voice" that was to herald his manifestation; saying, "Prepare ye the way of YAHWEH, make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim" (40:3).

The Father was one Eloah, and Jesus was another; so that in this unity were developed two, who, in the Hebrew plural, are termed Elohim.

Here, then, was a practical illustration of the phrase, so often occurring in the scriptures of the prophets, "YAHWEH Elohim," most incorrectly rendered in the English Version, "LORD God." Based upon this combination of holy spirit and flesh, Jesus said to Nicodemus,

"I say unto thee, WE speak what WE do know, and testify what WE have seen; and ye receive not OUR Witness".

Here was plural manifestation IN UNITY. This is abundantly evinced in all the New Testament. Hence, on another occasion, Jesus said to the Jews, "I and the Father are one" one what? We are, in the words of Moses, "ONE YAHWEH."

Eureka 3.2.7.

... this union was effected between the Eternal Spirit and the nature of Abraham

Of his future body before its diversification (Psa 139: 15), the Spirit of Wisdom saith,

"There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; nor rest in my bones because of my sins. For mine iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink, and are corrupt because of my sin. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease, and there is no soundness in my flesh."

"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."

"Deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name."

The reason why the Spirit speaks thus of its body, is, because it was to be a Sin-Body before it should be diversified, or made different. Being fashioned out of Abraham's nature, it could be no other; for that nature being human nature, "in iniquity," "sin," "without soundness," "corrupt because of sin," "loins filled with a loathsome disease," are expressions which define its quality.

Hence, in the New Testament, it is styled, "sinful flesh," or flesh full of sin; and sometimes simply "sin." If it be asked, why the body was to be of this quality first? The answer is, Because sin was to be condemned in the flesh of a sinless character; which would have been impossible, if there had been, in the physical sense, no sin there.

Thus, by preparing a sin-body, or a body made of sinful flesh, for the Spirit of Wisdom, He laid upon that Spirit "the iniquity of us all;" and when the time came to make it "an offering for sin," it was "offered through the Eternal Spirit;" and thus, in the Spirit's own body our sins were borne upon the tree.

But of all bodies woman-born, which was the body fashioned for the Spirit? This question could be answered only by Him "who engraved the graving thereof" in secret. All who profess to believe the New Testament confess that the body born of Mary was the Sin Covering, or Vail, for the Spirit, to be rent in due time.

"And the Word," says John, "became flesh;" not, however, in utero, but some thirty years afterwards, when the Spirit of Wisdom descended from the Father in the form of a Dove, and filled the son of Mary with understanding, counsel, and might, knowledge and the fear of Yahweh: and then, when the Eternal Spirit united himself to the body prepared of the Father, a voice from the excellent glory said,

"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased!"

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, May 1855.

That is the ideal combination. Grace and Truth. It is easy to stress one to the exclusion of the other, and some tend to err one way and some the other, but neither Grace nor Truth is complete alone. Christendom at large makes much of Grace, but cares little for Truth. But Grace alone, though pleasant, has no eternal value. It must cling to the sturdy stock of Truth to give it vitality and purpose.

Likewise Truth without Grace is like light without warmth. It is frigid and unmoving. It is easy to be convinced without being aroused, and if we convinced someone without arousing them, we only add to their condemnation without showing them the power to rise out of it.

The multiplication table is truth, but it is without grace. It is possible, out of a desire to avoid the errors of Christendom, to present the Gospel of God in the same sterile fashion as a mathematical equation—to declare its truth with the implied attitude that: "There it is, take it or leave it." This error must be carefully avoided, too.

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.36

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

‭"‬Is preferred before me,‭" ‬means that Jesus was higher and greater than John.‭ "‬For he was before me,‭" ‬points to the fact that this greater rank always pertained to Jesus.‭ ‬The two‭ "‬befores‭" ‬mean the same thing.‭ ‬No Trinitarian,‭ ‬therefore,‭ ‬can deny that the statement affirms the pre-eminence of Christ.‭ ‬Christ was fore-ordained from the foundation of the world‭-(‬1‭ ‬Peter‭ ‬i. 20,‭ ) ‬as the Christ,‭ ‬the anointed of God,‭ ‬and as such anointed one,‭ ‬he was always‭ (‬even before his existence‭)‬,‭ ‬in the mind or purpose of God,‭ ‬the highest of created beings.‭

‭Ambassador of the Coming Age, Aug 1868.

18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

The statement that Christ was in the bosom of the Father,‭ ‬is no proof whatever of pre-existence of any sort.‭ ‬It is a metaphor taken from the custom current among the Jews,‭ ‬of favoured persons reclining whilst at meat,‭ ‬in the bosoms of their superiors‭; ‬and is merely an intimation of the position of favour that the Saviour occupied,‭ ‬and now occupies,‭ ‬in relation to the Deity.

‭ ‬So far from proving the godhead of Jesus,‭ ‬it proves the reverse‭; ‬for it shows that Christ's nature and position were derived from and dependent upon the Father.‭ ‬It is one of the legion of texts which demonstrate the subordination of Jesus to the Father.

‭Ambassador of the Coming Age, Aug 1868.

Interview with an Israelite

Israel believed in one God, not in three Gods as taught by christians. We replied he was mistaken in supposing that Jesus or the New Testament inculcated any such thing. We admitted that the Gentiles taught three Gods in one, and one in three, the same in substance, duration, equality, and power; multitudes of them also worshipped angels, the ghosts of dead men, and the virgin Mary as queen of heaven. But this was all Gentilism, and not christianity, and ought not to be confounded with it.

The Jews made a great mistake in judging of the character, claims, and doctrine of Jesus from the caricatures of them in the Gentile theologies and pulpit declamations. Jesus was to be tried by the Jews as Moses was by intelligent Gentiles—by testimony and reason, and not by common report and prejudice.

The candid and intelligent of Israel admitted that Jesus once lived, and that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote what may be fairly regarded as his history or biography. In fact there is no room to doubt in this matter; for Jesus left his mark so indelibly upon his generation that to question the apostolic account of him would be to manifest symptoms of incipient insanity.

Now justice and impartiality require that Jesus should be considered according to the testimony of his personal acquaintances and biographers in relation to what he said and what he did; and not according to the interpretations of men living hundreds of years remote.

He did not teach that he was the Father, nor that he was the Holy Spirit. He expressly declares that no man had seen the Father, though a multitude had seen him. It is true indeed, that he says, in another place,

"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father also."

But then he explains in what sense the Father was seen; in seeing him the Father was reflected from him to the beholder as the image of man is reflected from a mirror. Jesus was

"the image of the invisible God;"

for he was "in the Father," living, moving, and existing in him; and the Father was in him, dwelling in him by his spirit, suggesting the words of his discourses, and doing the miracles he performed. The doctrine of the apostles harmonizes with this, for John says,

"No man hath seen God at any time"

—he is not visible, but is declared to all his creatures, angels as well as men. Again Paul says,

"God only hath deathlessness, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto to; whom no man hath seen, nor can see."

It is true that Jesus "thought it not robbery to be equal with God" in the sense of claiming to be his Son; but he never set himself forth as the deathless self-existent First Cause of all things, but his obedient Son and servant to do his will, and to establish it, and to cause it to be respected in all the earth as it is in heaven.

Thus we see the doctrine of the New Testament harmonises with the principle of Israel's faith that "the Lord is one."

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Apr 1851

Why baptizest thou

He did it because he was sent to do it, and commanded to do it.

He was commanded to do it because the word of God came to him, conveying the command as distinctly and directly as that same word came to Moses and all the prophets,

"not by the will of man," as Peter informs us, but "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

The very date of the coming of this word is exactly supplied: In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar ... the Word of God came unto John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness" (Luke iii. 1).

His baptism, his burning words, and commanding manner are all explained by this. He was the Lord's messenger, specially raised up and equipped,

"filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb,"

and sent forth at the ripe moment,

"in the spirit and power of Elias,"

to do the work of

"preparing the way of the Lord."

Nazareth Revisited Ch 4

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

The Kingdom of Heaven

"Kingdom of heaven" is a phrase of very frequent occurrence in the New Testament. It is one of those particular names or phrases which distinguish the things pertaining to the economy of which Yahweh is the builder and maker.

...God's reign over Israel commenced when he made a covenant with them at Sinai, saying,

"If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. And all the people answered together, and said. All that the Lord hath spoken we will do."

From this time God reigned over them, and after some hundreds of years had elapsed,

"gave unto them Saul the son of Kish; and when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king;"

of whose seed he raised unto Israel, Jesus:

"when John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel."

And although in John's day they were without a king of the house of David, God reigned over them through the institutions of the covenant he bestowed upon them and which they accepted at Sinai. He reigned over Israel then in the land both spiritually and politically—spiritually, because "all the people were baptized," "that heard John," except "the Pharisees and Lawyers, who rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of John." This being the state of affairs, repentance could not be proclaimed on the ground of "the reign of God approaching," seeing that it already existed.

But in the above passage from Acts, Paul teaches that the advent of the King of Israel was preceded by John's proclamation; or in other words, that the manifestation of Jesus and his acknowledgment by the Father as Son of God was his coming, and not his birth of Mary: for he says, "John first preached before his coming," or, "pro prosopou tes eisodou autou, before the manifestation of his approach." John was six months older than Jesus, yet he said, "he that cometh after me is mightier than I," though he was then standing in their midst unknown to John and the people as King of Israel, or Messiah.

It was well understood by the Jews that the promised king and saviour of the nation was to be the Son of God. For in the prophets which were read in their synagogues every sabbath day, they were taught that

"a child should be born, and a son given to them;"

that he should be at once Son of David and Son of God; that he should sit on David's throne as the throne of his kingdom; and that Yahweh would establish him upon it for ever. So that Son of God and King of Israel were inseparable ideas, which appears from the case of Nathanael, who exclaimed with admiration,

"Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel."

John the Baptizer, Jesus, and the apostles, then, in their proclamation before the crucifixion, announced neither the reign nor the kingdom in regard to time or place, when they preached that

"the basileia of God or of heaven was at hand."

Their proclamation had regard to the person or king of heaven. His actual presence among them, and approaching manifestation, were made the ground of repentance. While John preached, the manifestation was approaching; but when Jesus began his announcement, the manifestation had become a fact, and he declared himself to be the King and Heir of David's throne.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Oct 1851

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

There are seven words translated "lamb" in the Old Testament, and two in the New. The principal one in the Old Testament means "leader, ruler, subduer." The same root is used in Gen. 1:28 concerning Adam and Eve -"Subdue the earth."

This meaning may seem strange in view of the significance of "lamb," as meek and gentle, but it envisions the young male lamb as the potential leader or ruler of the flock. This is providentially prophetic of the Lamb of God, who overcame the world by his perfection, submission and sacrifice.

Bro Growcott - 144 000 on Mount Zion

The Man Christ Jesus

Christ being perfect in both kind and degree, surpassed all other, both in the character and extent of his excellence ; and not less so in the immeasurable fulness of the Spirit which he possessed, and the divine Fatherhood to which he stood related.

As tilting into these altogether unique conditions, he had a mission and a work placed in his hands, to which none other might compare; for said his forerunner,

"behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world."

Such an exceptional work required equally exceptional circumstances, as the channel of its accomplishment. These were all divinely created and supervised, with the most delicately adjusted bearing upon the result proposed that it is possible to conceive of.

The impress of the Father's mind and image, upon the mentality of the Son of his love, laid the foundation of a child, the like of which had never yet appeared in the annals of human history, and never would again, as the sequel has shown.

Nature left to itself never produces such, as the history of all nations and all ages as abundantly testify. Circumstances that might be bearable to a clodhopper, or a mentally inebriate Protestant martyr, were filled in his case, with a thousand causes of anguish that never entered into the heart of the martyrs of the inquisition to conceive of.

His was sorrow in its acutest form; and dishonour and poverty of surroundings in senses that can only be appreciated by those who are intelligently in sympathy with the object for which he appeared. The only man that ever had the world on his shoulders in any real sense, was the man who is destined in the full evolution of the divine purpose to have it at last under his feet.

The Christadelphian, 1888 PAGE 171

In Defence of the Faith

As children of Adam, we inherit his condemnation, but we did not forfeit our lives in him. We have forfeited our lives since by transgression. In addition to inheriting Adam's condemnation, we are personally transgressors, and therefore cannot of ourselves escape from the law that appoints death as the penalty of transgression.

But Jesus was not personally a transgressor. Hence, though he inherited the condemned nature of Adam, God could "justly" deliver him from death after he had died. His death met the requirements of the Adamic and Mosaic curses which were both on him: his personal sinlessness ensured his resurrection.

And thus is apparent the answer to the question: "Has the fact (that God was the Father of Jesus) no value?" Great value indeed. We could not have been saved but for this. God thus saves us. God is the Saviour by Christ. If Jesus had not been the Son of God, Jesus would have been a sinner, as shewn by the fact that all men born of the flesh are sinners without exception.

The value of Christ's divine extraction lies in its result—the sinlessness of the Lamb of God. Was any other man ever sinless? How came this man to be without sin? "By sheer determination," says the new theory; but (supposing the gracelessness of such an answer is passed over,) how came he to be possessed of a "sheer determination" that no other man ever possessed? Christ supplies the answer:

"Ye (the Jews) are from beneath: I am from above. Ye are of this world; I am not of this world. . . . I do nothing of myself, but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things, and He that sent me is with me . . . I speak that which I have seen with my Father, and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. . . . If God were your Father ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but He sent me."—(John 8:23, 28, 42.)

"The Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do; for whatsoever things He doeth, these things also doeth the Son likewise."—(John 5:19.)

The secret of Christ's power lay in his connection with the Father, both by begettal and subsequent indwelling of the Spirit, which established unity between them. This it is that makes Christ's work the Father's work—God in him and by him, "through the eternal Spirit" (Heb. 9:14), accomplishing the work of reconciliation.

And here it is that the glory is to God manifest in the flesh and not to man. God produced a sinless man. Granted the sinlessness was due to the volition of the man Jesus, but this volition was the result of what God did in the womb of Mary and afterwards on Jordan's banks. And this sinless man so produced was in condemned human nature, as even the new theory now concedes.

The Christadelphian, Sept 1873

The process of generating the new race began by God manifesting Himself in the nature of the old, for the condemnation of sin in a way admitting of its deliverance conformably with His ways; and surely it needs no great argument to prove that in the days of his flesh, in the days of his weakness, Jesus was not a specimen of the glorious, powerful, incorruptible and immortal race that will yet inhabit this globe under his visible leadership.

As has been said, "a mere babe in the word must know why Jesus came from Mary." The substitution theory cannot explain it. It would be satisfied with an uncondemned new man made fresh from the ground. But the truth requires the sin-nature of condemned Adam to suffer the death to which it is subject, in a Holy One whom the Father could raise, being well pleased with Him.

Jesus opened the way to life by perfect obedience. In plain words, though under condemnation, by the power of God, who he was in manifestation, he earned resurrection; for "by man came also the resurrection of the dead." By this blessed arrangement he could die under the condemnation, and yet look to the opened way of resurrection. "God raised him from the dead." The whole arrangement is the Father's own devising, of his abundant mercy, for our salvation, that the praise be to him.

Jesus was human stock divinely fashioned and used; the clay worked by the hands of the potter for the great work of honour and mercy purposed towards men. He was the antitypical altar of unhewn stone (Ex. 20:25), upon which the children of Israel were not to lift a tool.

The stones were the same as those they used in building, but were to be in the form received from God's hand. The application of a tool to the stones of the altar defiled it; this was the type: the antitype is that if a man had been the father of Jesus, Jesus must have been a transgressor, and, therefore, not an acceptable altar of Sacrifice. Through Mary, he was the Son of David, son of Abraham (Matt. 1:1), and son of Adam (Luke 3:23–38).

He was, therefore, the flesh of sin, specially manipulated for the great work of putting sin away in its condemnation therein, and bringing resurrection by the personal righteousness of the sin-bearer.

"Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!"

Ineffectual ultimately must be everything that can be said against the sublime doctrine of God (in love) manifest in the flesh for the nullification of sin therein, that we may be saved in harmony with all His ways towards us; and vain all attempts to establish a theory which degrades the scheme of redemption to a man-glorifying and God-dishonouring commercial compromise. But apostasy once succeeded, and may again.

The words, "in him (Adam) all sinned" (Rom. 5:12), only amount to an "as I may so say," as in the case of Levi said to have paid tithes, (or more properly, "to have been tithed") in the loins of his father Abraham (Heb. 7:10). He says (verse 9), "As I may so say, Levi did so and so." That is, in an indirect sense, not to be practically pressed.

Our sinning in Adam can be made to mean nothing more than that from him we were destined to be generated, and that his act affected our state when we should appear. But this is not the meaning of "sin," when we come to discuss "sin" as affecting individual destiny. Using the term in its correct sense, Paul expressly isolates Adam's descendants from Adam's sin. He says:

"Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them who had not sinned after the similitude of adam's transgression."—(Romans 5:14).

The point of his argument is that "through the offence of one many are dead, " who sinned not after the similitude of that offence, being no "parties to the transaction," and not being "in at the job"—to use phrases whose allusion will be understood; but that the glory of God's grace is to release penitent and reforming offenders from many offences through the righteousness of one.

The new argument destroys this beautiful fact by huddling the millions of Adam's race all into one Edenic offender, and making them all "parties to the transaction" and "in at the job." Adam's descendants have not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression; but are his companions only in the sense of being heirs of the consequences of his act; among whom was Jesus, who, however, being the begotten of God in the channel of those consequences, could annul them, in the bearing of them into a grave that God could open because of his holiness.

The Christadelphian, Sept 1873

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

Baptism is a recognition of uncleanness and a seeking for cleanness. John's baptism was another link between the Old and the New.

The Law had its washings and purifications. The principle of symbolic cleansing by water was already established. The wisdom of God carried it a step further in John's ministry, and made it a public act and testimony of repentance from sin, and allegiance to righteousness.

The way was thus gradually prepared for the full significance of baptism as a death to the Old and a resurrection to the New -- an entering into, and becoming part of, Christ and his sacrificial death and life bringing resurrection.

To further establish the smooth continuity, Jesus -- as he began his ministry -- associated disciples with himself by baptism, and gradually came to baptize more disciples than John (Jn. 4:1). Thus was the transition gently made --

"He must increase, but I must decrease" (Jn. 3:30)

Bro Growcott.

John knew Jesus enough to know that he was a righteous person: but he did not know him enough to know that he was

"the one standing in their midst whose shoe-latchet he was not worthy to stoop down and unloose."

Our difficulty in understanding John's deficient knowledge of him in this latter capacity arises mainly from the completeness of our own knowledge of what came after. We are liable, unconsciously, to take all this knowledge back with us to the privacy of John's secluded life, and to wonder at a want of apprehension which was natural to his circumstances.

It was probably a divinely-contrived thing that John should be ignorant of the Messiah-ship of Jesus. Had he known it, he would have been certain to have proclaimed his knowledge; and thus the testimony to Christ would not have rested on that wholly divine foundation that was essential. It would have appeared to rest on a human foundation. John, as a relative, might have been suspected of the partiality of kinship; and thus, confidence in the testimony to Christ would have been imperfect at the start, where it was necessary there should be no flaw.

When we realise how unspeakably important it was that the claims of Jesus, as the long-promised Messiah, should not rest on either his own testimony or on that of any man, we get a glimpse of the purpose served by John's ignorance of him. John was as helpless as any in the crowd on the subject of who and where the Expected One was.

... indentification of Jesus was disconnected from all human bias or human sanction.

Nazareth Revisited Ch 5

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

Why was Christ Baptised?

On this subject, brother Harvey, of London, says: "The reason given by John the Baptist is all-sufficient. His words are,

'That he might be made manifest to Israel, therefore I am come baptising with water.'

If Christ had come out of obscurity and simply have proclaimed himself the Son of God and the Messiah of Israel, no one would have believed in him. It was necessary, if his mission was not to be a failure, that he be publicly owned of God his Father, and accredited to the nation of Israel, as he was, and through Israel to the whole world of mankind.

With this agrees what Dr. Thomas has written on the subject in Eureka (Vol. I., page 404): 'Jesus admitted that if he bore witness of himself, his witness was not true.' This was incontrovertible.

The Mosaic law, under which Jesus lived, required two or three witnesses for the establishment of truth, so that if Jesus could have adduced no other evidence than his own, the people of Judah would have been guiltless in rejecting his claim to the Messiahship, and in repudiating the Gospel of the Kingdom to be manifested through him.

No man can demonstrate his own parentage. Jesus claimed to be the Son of the Deity, a claim which could only be established, in view of the natural untruthfulness of humanity, and the frailty of woman, by the Deity Himself.

This was publicly and notably done before the multitude on Jordan's banks, when the Spirit of the Deity descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and the voice from the excellent glory in the heaven, saying:

'This is my son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased.'

Thus the Father attested him, and afterwards John, the immerser, who heard and saw the wonder; and all the apostles who were present, and especially Peter, James, and John, who afterwards, in the presence of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, heard the same declaration on the Mount, with the addition of the words, 'Hear ye him.'

The Christadelphian, May 1898

32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

'...the Spirit descending in the form of a Dove was Yahweh, or the Logos; and Jesus, the Eloah of Israel, who, when anointed, became, as the voice of John proclaimed, "our Elohim," or the Logos, the Eloah from heaven, become flesh in Jesus, the other Eloah of the house of David. These two Elohim dwelt among the Jews, as "the Only Begotten of the Father" -- Son of Power and Son of Man -- who hath declared the Invisible Deity to men'.

Eureka 3.2.7.

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

The next point on which we conversed was the paternity of Jesus. We undertook to show him from the prophets that be he whom he might, the Messiah promised to Israel must be both Son of David and Son of God; and that consequently the same circumstances of birth would attach to him as are testified of Jesus.

In the everlasting covenant made with David concerning his family being the royal family or house of God's kingdom of Israel, he promised him he should have a son, the throne of whose kingdom he would establish for ever. Now of this son he said,

"I will be his father, and he shall be my son;"

so that this son of David was to be both son of David and son of God. He was to be son in a sense in which no other descendant of David could be said to be son of God; and this Son, when he sits upon David's throne, is to maintain peace as long as the Moon endureth; consequently he must be immortal. And that he was intended to be David's superior, although David's son, is proved by David's calling him his Lord; saying,

"Yahweh said unto my Lord (Adoni,) Sit thou on my right hand till I make thy foes thy footstool."

Now David did not style Solomon his Lord, nor would he have called any of the kings descended from him his Lord if he had been contemporary with them; but now was a son promised whom he recognized as his Lord as well as Yahweh, which could only be on the principle of his being Yahweh's son as well as his own descendant, and therefore entitled to preeminence over himself in his, David's, kingdom and throne.

Now granting that the Messiah promised to Israel was to be son of David and son of God, it is evident that his generation must be divided between flesh and spirit; in other words, his mother must be a descendant of David, and his father, or begetter, the spirit or power of God.

After a similar type, Luke styles Adam, Son of God. Adam's mother was the ground out of which he was taken; but his Father was the Lord God. The primary difference between Adam and Jesus in formation was their maternity, not in their paternity—Jesus was born of flesh, Adam of the ground; but both of God. Hence they are styled the first and second Adams, and Sons of God.

God therefore having to produce a son from a daughter of Abraham and David which should be his, must have selected a virgin or a married woman. Now in the fitness of things viewed in relation to God, which was the most appropriate? Unquestionably the former.

If a married woman had been chosen there might have been ground for suspecting that the child was her husband's and not the Son of God; but by selecting a virtuous maiden suspicion was precluded.

Now the alternative here supposed was the one predetermined of God in the sign given to the House of David. Hah-almah the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel. Before any dispute arose between Jews and Gentiles about the meaning of almah, the Seventy, upwards of 200 years before Jesus, rendered it into Greek by hee parthenos, one who is chaste, pure, and uncontaminated.

She is styled in the psalms Yahweh's handmaid; and her son, "the son of his handmaid." Psa 86: 16, 116: 16.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Apr 1851

The "Christadelphian" and the Nature of Christ

The following was written by the Editor, in answer to a letter seeming to imply that his attitude on the nature of Christ had changed since the death of Dr. Thomas...

... My 'course' is now, in all respects and particulars, precisely what it was 'while in America, and during the life of Dr. Thomas.' I cannot unite with those who see only flesh in the man Christ Jesus, and who attribute his mind, wisdom, and intelligence to the evolutions of a superior organization of flesh; but neither can I endorse definitions which mean (whether intended to mean so or not) that we are to see no flesh at all in the man Christ Jesus, but a new and mongrel nature, made up of a mixture of flesh and spirit.

I stand out for Jesus being the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:16), the seed of David (2 Tim. 2:8), the flesh and blood of the children (Heb. 2:14), the likeness or form of the flesh of sin.—(Rom. 8:3.)

But I recognise that, in his case, it was the Spirit converted into this nature (like unto his brethren), and that with this nature, so produced, the spirit (afterwards superaded) dwelt not as a physical element of the flesh of sin, but as an abiding or overshadowing presence of wisdom and power resting on or in the "body prepared."

...I object to interpret the miraculous conception by the laws of physiology. A male of one nature and a female of another results in offspring, partaking of the nature of each; but this is the result of organic law, to which male and female are helplessly subject. You cannot put God into this position...

When God does anything, the result is according to His will, and not governed by a physiological or any other sort of necessity. Hence the question concerning the birth of Christ is not what must have been the physiological results of such and such a process: but what did God design?

The answer to this will show us a perfect man, made in all things like his brethren, of the physical nature of Abraham, for the condemnation of sin in its own flesh; and the same answer will justify the use of the word 'instrument' ... This is but another way of saying what Peter said on the day of Pentecost, that 'Jesus of Nazareth (was) a man approved of God among you, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him.' He was an instrument, yet the operator in manifestation.

The Christadelphian, Jan 1874

36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!


A lamb in the Apocalypse does not represent a lamb, but a man whose name comprehends the attributes of innocence and sacrifice for sin.

"A lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth,"

represents that same Man as once dead, but alive again; and henceforth the depository of the unmeasured Spirit of God, by which (in the time of the vision) he is almighty and seeing over all.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Oct 1852

An offering for sin

There was a purpose in it, which is variously stated. These various statements conjointly admit us to what may be called God's objects in the case--apart from which, there can be no understanding of the matter. With those objects in view, it is not only intelligible but admirable. But those objects cannot be discerned or appreciated apart from God Himself. The subject begins there. That is why the subject remains dim, so long after other parts of the truth are understood.

We cannot understand God, yet we can have some idea of the relation between Creator and created. We may know that the rights are all on the side of the Creator, and that the reasonable attitude of the created is that of absolute submission, and that any departure from this attitude is treason, and that death is just in the case of treason.

We may also find it easy to recognize that though He is kind, and ready to forgive, He cannot grant forgiveness apart from such an amende honourable as will preserve intact the mutual relations of Creator and created. This, in simple language, is the explanation of the entrance of death by sin, and the granting of life by forgiveness for Christ's sake, after

"setting him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood" (Rom. 3:25).

We are "justified by his blood" if we believe--(see Rom 5:9; Acts 13:38-39). There is no difference between the shedding of the blood of Christ, and the condemnation of sin in the flesh. For this blood-shedding is what is otherwise expressed as "the pouring out of his soul unto death", And what is death but the condemnation of sin?

Christ did not sin, but he inherited the condemnation of sin in deriving his nature from a daughter of Adam, the condemned: and he was considered as having the sins of his people laid upon him, in so far as the sins of his people were to be forgiven for the sake of what should be done in him.

"He shall bear the sin of many." "God hath laid upon him the iniquities of us all." "He was wounded for our transgressions." "He was made sin for us, who knew no sin." "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world."

For this view of blood-shedding we are indebted to the explanation vouchsafed in the law, as to the requirement of blood in sacrifice. This explanation is as follows:

"The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Lev. 17:11).

The pouring out of the blood was therefore the pouring out of the life--therefore the infliction of death: and therefore an illustration of what was due to sin, and an acknowledgment on the part of the offerer that it was so.

But being the blood of an animal which had nothing to do with sin, it was only a typical illustration or declaration of God's righteousness in the case. It was not a condemnation of sin in its own flesh, but a mere shadow which God was pleased to establish in Israel's midst, in educational preparation for the actual condemnation which was to be carried out in His own Son, in whom,

"sent forth in the likeness of sinful flesh" for (as an offering for) sin, He "condemned sin in the flesh".

Law of Moses Ch 18.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Jesus beheld him and addressed him

This suggests a fastening of Christ's eyes on Peter in a penetrative contemplative manner. Jesus had before him the disciple to whom he was to entrust the keys of the kingdom, and who was to be a foremost figure in the work of planting the name of Christ in the earth, and who was to glorify God in a specially agonising death -- like his master.

Jesus knew all this...

'he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man'.

He knew that this ardent impetuous Simon, faithful but infirm, was first of the twelve foundations upon which the holy city was to be built. That he should fasten his eyes on him, when first introduced to him, was natural, and also that he should address him in words few, but full of meaning, with regard to Peter's future.

'Thou art Simon, the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas' (a stone or rock).

Christ's words were always few, but pregnant. He could deliver a long discourse, but in colloquy, his words were brief and terse. Solomon says,

'A fool is known by the multitude of his words'.

The reverse was illustrated in Christ. He did not apostrophise Peter in long-winded obscurities, after the manner of pretenders in all ages: but fixed his place in one word. This was the third day after his return from the temptation.

Nazareth Revisited Ch 12

43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

Follow me

The words would be said in a way to mean much. By look and tone they would be made to say, I am he to whom John bare testimony, as ye know: I am he whom ye seek: I am he whom God hath sent. I am the Messiah. The Messiah has need of you.

Philip had evidently been in such a prepared state of mind that it needed not another word. Philip was a fellow-townsman of Andrew and Peter, who both belonged to Bethsaida, a fishing town on the north-eastern shore of the Lake of Gennesaret. With them he would be acquainted. With them he had evidently kept company in submission to John's baptism. He would all the more readily respond to the command of Christ, that Peter and Andrew were before him with their allegiance. His obedience was prompt and his conviction ripe.

The first thing he did was to communicate his discovery of Christ to Nathanael of Cana, who was also in the throng of attendants upon John the Baptist. Cana of Galilee was not far from Bethsaida; and the probability is that Philip and Nathanael were acquainted.

That he should go straight to Nathanael would prove this. The communication he made was indicative of the acquaintance they all had with the Scriptures of Moses and the prophets, and of the expectation of the Messiah's appearance, which they entertained in common as the result of their readings of them.

'We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write' [v45]

that is, the promised seed of Abraham, the prophet like unto Moses, the son covenanted to David, the Messiah foreshown by all the prophets.

Nazareth Revisited Ch 12

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph [this was his social status...the reputed eldest son of Joseph]

He knew Nazareth (it was not many miles from Cana), and he knew it was a poor place every way -- secluded among the hills and having very little of that intercourse with the outer world which is necessary to sharpen village people..*

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Whatever might be the case with regard to Nazareth and Nazarenes in general, Philip was quite sure that, in Jesus, the best thing that had ever come out of anywhere for man had come out of Nazareth. 

...Any man who will to the extent of his opportunity, do what Philip told Nathanael to do, must, if he have an open eye and a loving heart, come to the conclusion that Philip announced.*

*Nazareth Revisited Ch 12

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

This power of the Spirit of God to extend natural faculty is illustrated more than once in the history of God's work upon earth. The King of Syria, perplexed by the baffling of his plans against Israel through the oozing out of secret information, was informed by his servants to whom he at least appealed for the discovery of the traitors,

'Elisha the prophet that is in Israel telleth the King of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber' (2 Kings vi. 12).

On Jesus, the Spirit of God, after his baptism, rested without measure. He was therefore able to see as God sees, who says

'Can any hide himself in secret places that I should not see him?' (Jer. xxiii. 24.) *

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

In view of all that had gone before -- the arrival of the time for the Messiah to appear -- of John the Baptist's declaration that the Messiah was in their midst, -- of the divine identification of Jesus in the act of baptism six weeks previously, of which Nathanael would hear if he did not witness it, -- and of Philip's information, this incident was irresistible.

Nathanael could not avoid the conviction which he immediately expressed*

*Nazareth Revisited Ch 12

50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. [2 Kings 6: 17] (Enlarged vision)

51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Ye shall see heaven open

If Nicodemus and his class were incredulous of divine things in their first stage [Flesh and blood on earth], how would they be able to believe in those things testified of in their second stage [the Son of man in heaven] in the day of "heaven open" spoken of to Nathanael?

He anticipates the question how any man on earth could know of things in heaven. He adds, no man had been to heaven to learn. At the same time he foreshadowed his own coming ascent thither. He did so in language a little obscure. It reads in the C. V. thus:

"No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven" (Jno. iii. 13).

The obscurity is increased by the present participle (being) having been turned in translation into the present indicative -- is. "The Son of Man being in the heaven" gives us the point of view of the "coming down." He is not in heaven till he ascends: and he cannot descend till he ascends. The idea is more easy to catch when freely paraphrased thus:

"It will not be affirmable that any man has ascended up to heaven until the Son of Man having ascended thither, and being there for a while, descends to the earth again."

He will then be able to say,

"I have been to heaven, and the only man who has ever been there: for though Enoch and Elijah have been away from the earth, they have not been to the presence of the Father, and cannot testify of the things that are there."

Jesus, when on earth, said to his disciples, "I go to him that sent me." When he returns, he will be able to say, "I have been to him that sent me." We who now live in the interval of his absence, can see the bearing of this. He is

"gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels and principalities and powers being made subject unto him" (I Pet. iii. 22).

At his return, he will be able to tell us unutterable things. The wide universe and its movements are a great mystery to created intelligence: still more, the residence and surroundings of the Personal Father-Deity, the fountain and source of all power and being.

What may we not expect in the way of enlightenment on these stupendous themes from him who not only has power to bestow such capacity of understanding in the change from the mortal to the immortal, but who has been basking for 18 centuries in the inner sunshine of the Father's glory, and who intimately knows the highest things?

Nazareth Revisited Ch 14

Now, the rulers in each district, before whom the people assemble to offer incense, will be thoroughly acquainted with those who offer. They will possess an intimate knowledge of each worshipper. When in due time these people go up to Jerusalem to worship, their rulers may also go up. They will thus be able to take part in the administration of justice in the precincts of the Temple.

If such be the arrangement, there would be a continual going and returning of these rulers, a literal fulfilment of Jacob's dream (Gen. XXVIII. 12-16) and of the promise to Nathanael:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1. 51.)

The Temple of Ezekiel's prophecy 5.6.8.