Enter subtitle here
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
He is "the Image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15) the effulgent mirror of the glory, and exact likeness of His person" (Heb. 1:3)
Hence, in another place, Paul says, He was "in the form of God" (Phil. 2:6,7,8), and also "made in the likeness of men, and in the form of a man." Being thus the image and likeness of the invisible God, as well as of man, who was created in the image and likeness of the Elohim, He made Himself equal with God in claiming God for his father (John 5:18), though born of "sinful flesh."
Though thus highly related in paternity, image, and character, He was yet "made a little lower than the angels;" for He appeared not in the higher nature of Elohim, but in the inferior nature of the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:16). This was the first stage of His manifestation, as the present is of the saints who are His brethren. But He is the appointed "Heir of all things, on account of whom", "the dispensations were re-arranged by the word of God, to the end that the things seen exist not from things apparent" (Heb. 1:2; 11:3).
But, says the apostle, "we do not yet see all things put under Him: but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that by the grace of God he should taste death for every man" (Heb. 2:8-9).
Having been thus laid low, and for this gracious purpose, He is no longer "lower than the angels." He is equal to them in body; and made so much superior to them in rank, dignity, honour, and glory," as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they" (Heb. 1:4).
Elpis Israel 1.2.
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
"The flesh," said he, "profits nothing." As son of Mary, he pretended to no power, wisdom or superiority. Mary's son was "the Vail of the Covering" to be rent. The Vail in which the Father-power was veiled, the Flesh-medium of Power-manifestation.
Phanerosis - One Deity in Multiplicity
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
It will be seen from this, that survivors of the dead were not consoled in the first age of Christianity for the loss of their friends, as they are now by those who "improve the death" of the influential among them. In "funeral sermons," the "immortal souls" of the deceased are transported "on angels' wings to heaven," and the living are consoled with the assurance, that they are singing the praises of God around the throne, feasting with Abraham, and the prophets, with the saints and martyrs, and with Jesus and His apostles in the kingdom of God; and they are themselves persuaded that the souls of their relations, now become angels, are watching over them, and praying for them; and that when they die their own souls will be re-united with them in the realms of bliss.
Need I say to the man enlightened in the word, that there is no such comfort, or consolation, as this in the law and the testimony of God? Such traditions are purely mythological; and come of the Nicolaitan dogma of saved ghosts; and goblins damn'd, "which has cancerously extirpated the truth as it is in Jesus." No, the apostles did not point men to the day of their death, and its immediate consequents for comfort; nor did they administer the consolations of the gospel to any who had not obeyed it.
They offered comfort only to the disciples; for they only are the heirs with Jesus of the kingdom of God. They taught these to look to the coming of Christ, and to the resurrection, as the time of a re-union with their brethren in the faith. At death, they should "rest from their labours, and their works should follow them;" and "to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without a sin-offering unto salvation" (Heb. 9:28). Such were the practical and intelligible "words," with which the apostles comforted their brethren; but words which have become scaled and cabalistic, both to the unlearned and "the wise."
... God could have created all things upon a spiritual or incorruptible basis at once. The globe could have been filled with men and women, equal to the angels in nature, power, and intellect, on the sixth day; but the world would have been without a history, and its population characterless. This, however, would not have been according to the plan. The animal must precede the spiritual as the acorn goes before the oak. This will explain many difficulties which are created by systems; and which will for ever remain inexplicable upon the hypotheses they invent.
The Bible has to do with things, not imaginations; with bodies, not phantasmata; with "living souls" of every species; with corporeal beings of other worlds; and with incorruptible and undying men: but it is mute as death, and silent as the grave, having nothing at all to say about such "souls" as men pretend to "cure;" except to repudiate them as a part of that "philosophy and vain deceit" (Col. 2:8.) "which some professing have erred concerning the faith" (1 Tim. 6:21).
Elpis Israel 1.2.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
Judgment in the absolute judicial sense is the exclusive prerogative of the Son, but, in [a] wider sense, in the Kingdom it will be shared with the "many sons" Whom he will have brought unto glory (Heb. 2: 5-10; cf. Rev. 5: 10 ; 20: 4 and Dan. 7 : 22, 27).
Letters to Corinth Ch 4
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
In Isa xlv. 23, we find the Eternal One who-formed the heavens and the earth, after proclaiming His creative power, His righteousness and justice, and Himself the only true God and Saviour, inviting 'all the ends of the earth' to 'look to Him and be saved,' adding, 'I have sworn by Myself,' . . 'that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.'
Paul, in Phil. ii. 10, informs us that this honour of the world's submission and confession is conferred by the Deity upon His obedient Son, and would 'be the glory of God the Father.' In Rom. xiv. 10, 12, Paul again refers to this interesting passage in Isaiah as proof that 'We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give account to God' (Rom. xiv. 11, 12), making the judgment seat of Christ a part of the universal homage and confession; hence not alone for the purpose of examination and reward but contributing a share of that glory of God which shall be manifested before all nations by magnifying His eternal attributes and prerogatives.
"By acknowledgment of His supremacy and the confession of human weakness and sins, God is justified in His dealings with men. 'Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar,' that thou mightest be justified in thy words, and mightest prevail when thou comest into judgment' (R. V.). And should His righteousness be questioned because He visits with wrath? Nay, 'for how then shall God judge the world?' Conceding God's right, and that it is to His glory to judge the world without limit and to punish the disobedient, it may be asked, why not bring all of the past generations of men to judgment?
Has God abandoned His right in relation to some? Our answer will be found in the Apostle's statement at Lystra (Acts xiv. 14, 16), and at Athens (Acts xvii. 7, 29). These explain that while God had not abandoned His right to hold men accountable to Him because of the state of ignorance they had fallen into, He had 'in times past suffered them to walk in their own ways.' But by the Gospel brought to them He now commanded them to repent.
"There is yet another purpose to serve in the matter of judgment and punishment, namely, for example or lesson to others.
"When God brought punishment upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, one object was to publish His name 'in all the earth' (Rom. ix. 17.) From Ex. x. 4 we learn that Israel's sons and generations were to be instructed in those great wonders wrought upon the Egyptians 'that they might know Yahweh.' And upon the Philistines, Moabites and Canaanites fell trembling and terror and dread (Ex. xv. 14) when they heard the report of God's judgments upon Egypt.
To the Corinthian brethren (1 Cor. x. 11) Paul recalled the judgments upon Israel as an example of what they might expect if disobedient, saying 'they happened for examples,' and were written for our admonition. Hence we may conclude that in like manner the judgments on individuals and nations preliminary to Christ's reign of peace will become a historic record for the example and admonition of the nations, kindreds and people of the succeeding millennial ages for the purpose of restraining disobedience and inducing righteousness.
"Having now considered some of the evident objects of the judgment to come, let us make a more personal application of the subject, and inquire what is the object of instructing the household of faith concerning judgment to come? From the frequency with which it is mentioned in the recorded teachings of Christ and in the writings of the Apostles, we are not in doubt as to its importance. And from the subjects it is associated with, whenever introduced, we need be in no less doubt as to its object. Paul's allusion to the judgment, in his letter to Timothy, reveals at once his object; and language would seem to fail him to have made it more emphatic, or more solemnly impressive.
Foreseeing that 'evil men and seducers should wax worse and worse,' that 'the time would come when men would not endure sound doctrine,' but should 'be turned to fables;' and knowing his own demise was near, he was very solicitous that the truth be kept in its purity as long as possible.
Hence his frequent charges. 'Charge some that they teach no other doctrine,' 'Hold the faith and a good conscience,' 'Refuse profane and old wives' fables,' 'Fight the good fight of faith,' 'Keep this commandment without spot,' 'Keep that which is committed to thy trust,' 'Hold fast the form of sound words,' 'Foolish and unlearned questions avoid,' 'Thou hast fully known my doctrine,' 'Continue in the things which thou hast learned,' &c.
And, finally, as in the presence of God and the Righteous Judge-the Lord Jesus at his appearing and the living dead in the act of giving account of their stewardship. 'Timothy! I charge thee to preach the Word.' 'Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, exhort,' &c.
"The Apostle's evident object in thus bringing judgment to come before the mind of Timothy in so impressive a manner was to arouse to faithfulness in the discharge of his duties, warning him of the consequences of neglect. In 2 Cor. v. 9, 10, the Apostle says: 'We labour . . . that we may be accepted of him.' 'For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ.' Showing that the judgment, kept in view, is a proper stimulus to labour for acceptance, even for an Apostle. In Rom. xiv. 10; James iv. 11 and v. 9; Ps. cxix. 30-175, and many other places, the object is unmistakably the same. Judgment is alluded to for an incentive to urge men toward duty - to admonish them to faithfulness, and strengthen them against sin.
"Are these warnings intended to excite 'slavish fear,' as threatening 'the hangman's lash?' Certainly not. Nevertheless, fear is an element; and no doubt acceptable to the Deity, or He would not have appealed to it as one among the many motives He has used to 'persuade men' (2 Cor. v. 11), to righteousness. We may therefore disregard the teaching of those who treat it lightly, and tell us that fear is not a commendable motive, that it is liable to work harm, and so on. As to all that, we may let God be judge.
The 'terrible sight' on Mount Sinai before all Israel, was to evoke fear 'that the fear of God might be before their faces, that they sin not' (Ex. xx. 20), and the Lord tells his disciples (Luke xii. 4, 5). 'Be not afraid of men, but be afraid - same word - of him who hath power to cast into Gehenna, yea I say unto you, fear Him.' Paul, in 1 Cor. 10, recalling the judgments upon Israel for their disobedience says, verse 11, 12, 'they were written for our admonition - wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall,' and in Ps. cxix. 120, 'My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments.'
In all these, judgment to come is presented as a thing to be feared, and is used in this manner by the faithful watchmen of Bible times, who 'shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God,' 'Kept back nothing that was profitable,' 'warning day and night,' and in so doing were 'pure from the blood of all men.' It is true, as John tells us, that, 'Fear hath torment,' and 'He that feareth is not made perfect in love.' But this, which Paul wrote to loving disciples, does not interfere with the application, the application of fear as a deterrent to disobedience.
"The preaching of judgment to come to erring mortals is, doubtless a merciful condescension on the part of God, to accept service partly impelled by fear; like other Divine leanings toward us in commiseration for our infirmities, 'For He knoweth our frame.'
"Lastly, there is one more feature in considering the judgment that we ought not to pass by. Has future judgment no bearing now on those out of Christ? Some, in preaching the Gospel, would not preach judgment to come, believing that none but the baptized are in any way related to it, and that since it suggests fear, it would not be a commendable motive for rendering service to God. I have shown, however, that fear is a Godly motive for the righteous man, and will here cite you to one more proof (Ezek. iii. 20).
Now since fear of judgment to come is a Godly warning to a righteous man, whether a prophet or of the people, why should it not count for one among many motives to induce a sinner to become righteous? But more than this, Jesus, Peter, and Paul preached of judgment to come to sinners to those out of Christ. Why should not you and I preach it? Why each this class, in effect, that they could be subjected to no future accountability if not convenated to God in baptism?
"In John v. 19-30, Jesus preached of judgment to come to the Jews - not to disciples. Judgment was the subject of discourse rather than resurrection, and condemnation was predicated - not justification, but on hearing and refusing the word as implied by verse 24. John the Baptist, chap. iii. 36, says of those who believe not the Son, 'The wrath of God abideth on them.' Peter (Acts x. 42), preaching the Gospel to unbaptised Gentiles - and there were a number present (verse 24)-testified, according to commandment, of judgment to come, saying that Jesus had 'charged them to preach this to the people' (R. V.)
"Paul, at Athens (Acts xvii. 30), to unbaptised Gentiles preached judgment to come, commanding men to repent, 'because God had appointed a day, in the which he would judge the world in righteousness.' The 'times of ignorance' passed with men as soon as they came in touch with the Gospel and became to them times of knowledge. Again, Act xxiv. 25, Paul reasoned with Festus 'of righteousness, self-control and judgment to come.'
"It has been suggested that Paul had reference here to the calamity soon to overtake the Jewish nation. Can anyone see the bearing such a judgment to come would have on the passionate and wilful Festus? Paul prophesied concerning the fate of the truth, but was not in the habit of prophesying of national calamity as an incentive to personal righteousness.
"What should be our conclusion in view of all these facts? If the preaching of judgment to come to the righteous was for the evident purpose of warning to faithfulness, and against unrighteousness for the reason that they should appear at that tribunal to give account; the preaching of judgment to come, as an element of the gospel to sinners could be for no other reason than to urge them to repentance and obedience, for the same reason that they would be held accountable to that judgment if disobedient to the demands the gospel was now making on them.
There is no object in preaching judgment to come merely as a matter of faith, not to have a practical effect; and to preach it to unbaptised Gentiles - as the Apostles were charged to do - who are not to be responsible to it, is to preach in vain. To me it seems that no other conclusion can reasonably be drawn." - No name (authorship lost trace of).
The Christadelphian, Oct 1894. p386-388.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Without God We Are Nothing
Perhaps the most important thing to pray for is the constant remembrance and awareness that of ourselves we can do nothing: that without God's constantly sought help, nothing we do is of any importance or value.
We so easily and almost inescapably keep slipping back into the presumptuous illusion that WE are actually doing something, accomplishing something -- that we are of our own ability and wisdom supplying some necessary part of the divine purpose.
This is the thinking of the flesh.
The spirit -- the informed, intelligent spirit-mind -- recognises that it must CONSTANTLY, uninterruptedly, seek guidance every step of the way. But we can never assume we ARE guided. We can never be dogmatic and self-assured. We can only humbly hope and pray that we are.
We must always recognise the power and probability of self-deception, and pray to be delivered from it. God can give guidance, and He can give "strong delusion." He is not capricious. His reaction is strictly according to how He is approached -- and of recognition of the natural ignorance of the flesh.
31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
Now Jesus was one and the Father was another. "I can of mine own self," said he, "do nothing.": "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me": and it is written in the Law of Moses that the testimony of two men is credible. "I am one that bear witness of myself; and the Father who sent me, (the other witness) He beareth witness of me" (John 5:30; 7:16; 8:17,18).
Here, then, are two personages. The Father by Himself, being Ail, or POWER, but when associated with the Son of Man, who, when so associated, was powerful "anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power" -- He was Ail Eloahh, the Power mediately manifested; the power being one, and the medium of manifestation another Eloahh.
Phanerosis - Hebrew Titles of the Deity
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
Jesus had no hope of a man, in a scriptural sense, believing his doctrine, who did not believe Moses, and if he and Moses were not credited, the ignorance of the unbeliever alienated him from the life and blessedness of God; for, he says, "this is Aion-life, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
Phanerosis - Yahweh Manifested in a Son
The character of a man's faith is altered by the quantity and quality of his knowledge...
Our election turns not upon our choice, but upon his. We may choose him upon our own principles, while he rejects us upon his. He chooses us through a belief of the truth, the unadulterated truth; men choose him by believing what suits them, and rejecting the rest...
...It is a mistake to say that "Christianity is an affair more of the heart than of the head." Paul was sent to the Gentiles "to open their blind eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God."
This was an affair of the head, without which the heart could not be touched. God has ordered his servants to be sealed in the forehead, which is the seat of intellect. They who are not sealed there do not belong to him. A pious heart, without due intelligence, is an unrenewed heart, and always ready to apologise for disobedience and ignorance, which Paul says, "alienates from the life of God." The heart of ignorance, however pious in feeling, is never right with God; because it is not "turned from darkness to light," and consequently not to him in whom is no darkness at all. When the forehead is sealed, the heart responds, and the man's faith works by love to the fulfilling of the truth.
...No, when the Herald's subscription list is reduced to such a few that its existence can only be perpetuated by heralding forth a system in accordance with "the thinking of the flesh," its editor will lay down his pen, and write no more. Better far break granite on the roadside for a crust of bread, than to garble God's truth to please one's friends, or propitiate the foe.
Herald of the kingdom and Age to Come, April 1853.