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1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
The Lord's day...
On the first day of the creation-week God said, "Let there be light, and there was light;" so on the first day of the week "THE TRUE LIGHT" came forth from the darkness of the tomb "like dew from the womb of the morning." This event constituted the day after the sabbath, or eighth day, the day of the Lord's resurrection; and therefore styled by His disciples "THE LORD'S DAY." It is a day to be much remembered by them, because it assures them of their justification "in Him," of their own resurrection to life, and of the certainty of His ruling or "judging the world in righteousness" as Yahweh's king, when they also shall reign with Him as kings and priests of God (Rom. 4:25; 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:14-20; Acts 17:31; Rev. 5:9-10).
This day is also notable on account of the special interviews which occurred between Jesus and His disciples after His resurrection (John 20:19-26). He ascended to heaven on this day, even the forty-third from His crucifixion; and seven days after, that is the fiftieth, being that Lord's day styled "the day of Pentecost," the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles, and the gospel of the kingdom preached for the first time in His name.
Power being in the hands of their enemies the Christians of the Hebrew nation still continued to observe the seventh day according to the custom. Hence we find the apostles frequenting the synagogues on the sabbath days and reasoning with the people out of the Scriptures (Acts 27:2, 17; 18:4; 19:8). To have done otherwise would have been to create an unnecessary prejudice, and to let slip one of the best opportunities of introducing the gospel to the attention of the Jewish public. They did not forsake the synagogues until they were expelled.
While they frequented these, however, on the seventh day, they assembled themselves together with the disciples whose assemblies constituted the churches (ecclesias) of the saints and of God. They ordained elders over these societies, and "taught them to observe all things whatsoever Jesus had commanded them" (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42; 14:22-23). In His letter to the Hebrew Christians He exhorts them "not to forsake the assembling of themselves together" (Heb. 10:25). Such an exhortation as this implies a stated time and place of assembly.
On what day, then, did the churches (ecclesias) of the saints meet to exhort one another so as to provoke to love and to good works? Certainly, not on the seventh day, for then the apostles were in the synagogues. What day then more appropriate than the Lord's day, or first day of the week? Now it cannot be affirmed that the saints were commanded to meet on this day, because there is no testimony to that effect in the New Testament. But, it is beyond dispute, that they did assemble themselves together on the first day of the week, and the most reasonable inference is that they did so in obedience to the instruction of the apostles from whose teaching they derived all their faith and practice, which constituted them the disciples of Jesus.
Elpis Israel Ch 2.
He rose on "the morrow after the Sabbath," and doubtless ascended on that day, after he spoke with Mary, when the priest in the temple was waving the First-fruits before Yahweh, to be accepted for the nation. This identifies Jesus as the First-fruits, waved before the Lord on his ascension on that day, according to the words which he spoke, saying, "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, July 1854
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
'...the Son promised to Israel and David's house, as a helpless babe, born in a stable and cradled in a manger; as a fugitive in the earth, escaping from the sword of power; as a mechanic, laboring at the bench for his daily bread; as a preacher of righteousness, denouncing the hypocrisy and blasphemy of the clergy; and calling upon the people to renounce the traditions of their blind guides; and to become enlightened in the wisdom from above; as a man persecuted for righteousness' sake by the pious and the powerful of the Church and State; as a man accused of blasphemy, sorcery, and perversion of the people; as an alleged enemy to God, and a traitor to kings reigning by his grace; as a man, in fine, adjudged "guilty of death," and worthy only of being "numbered with transgressors," and ignominiously executed with thieves.
Such was the revelation of "Messiah the Prince" in Heaven's gift of him "for a Covenant of the People," which has now for many centuries been presented to the nations in New Testament history,
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
A man might believe all the promises and their doctrinal import, but if he did not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the subject of them, he would make a very good believing Jew under the law, but he would not be a Christian under grace. This is the great turning point in the faith of an enlightened Jew, and Christian. Is Jesus of Nazareth the personage described in the law and the prophets; has He right and title to the throne of David and to the dominion of the world?
The Jew says "no; we look for another" but the Christian replies "He unquestionably is the person; we look for no other, but assuredly expect the reappearance of 'this same Jesus' on earth, to restore the throne and kingdom of David, to occupy them as the King of the Jews, and to be the Melchisedec High Priest and Ruler of the nations."
Hence, it is the foundation truth of the gospel of the kingdom, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Anointed King, and Son of the Living God. He is the Rock, or Strength of Israel, whose power will never be restored till He sits upon the throne of their kingdom, and is acknowledged as King by the nation.
On the other hand, a man may believe that Jesus is the Son of Cod, that He was sent of God as a messenger to Israel, that there is remission of sins through the shedding of His blood, that He is the Saviour, and that He rose from the dead -- if he believe these things, but be ignorant, and consequently faithless, of "the things of the kingdom," he cannot obtain glory, honour, incorruptibility, and life, in that kingdom. The condition of salvation is the belief of the whole gospel, and obedience to it.
It is not, "he that believes in Jesus Christ and is immersed shall be saved;" but "he who shall believe THE GOSPEL, and is immersed" (Mark 16:15,16). Simply to believe in Jesus is to believe no more than in "THE MESSENGER;" but He was sent to preach the gospel to the poor, to shew the glad tidings of the kingdom of God; this was His MESSAGE, the message of God to the Jew first and afterwards to the Greek.
Let it be remembered then, that salvation is predicated upon belief in the MESSENGER and in the MESSAGE He brings from God. The unhappy condition of the professing world at the present time is that they have no faith in the message of God, but rather ridicule it and heap insult upon those who contend for it. "I came to preach the kingdom of God," says Jesus. "Oh! we believe that Thou camest from God, because no man could do the miracles Thou doest unless God were with him; but we do not believe a word in a kingdom in Judea under Thy rule.
We have no idea of Thy coming to this cursed earth again to reign in Jerusalem, and to sit as a Priest upon a throne there. This is nothing but the day dream of those who take Thy words, and the sayings of the prophets, as if they were to be understood in the carnal, or literal sense. It would be derogatory to the interests of God to suppose, or to desire such a consummation.
No, no; we believe Thou art at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, now reigning over mankind; that we are Thy ministers and ambassadors on earth, and that in enriching us the world is giving its substance and doing homage to Thee; and that when we die we shall come to Thee, and kingdoms rule beyond the skies.
Our churches are Thy kingdom here, and it is our deep and pious conviction that the more they confide in us, and the less they trouble themselves about the millennium, the better it will be for them, and for the peace of the denominations to which they belong."
This is, in effect, the language of the religious leaders of the world, and of those who surrender their understandings to the traditions with which they make of none effect the "word of the kingdom of God." But these traditions are sheer nonsense, and without the least foundation in the Scriptures. They belong to a dark and foolish generation, and find their origin in the speculations of men of corrupt minds and reprobate concerning the faith.
When the apostles preached on the day of Pentecost, they announced that God had raised up Jesus to sit upon the throne of David (Acts 2:30). In the porch of the temple they told the Jews that God would send Jesus Christ to them at the time of the restitution (Acts 3:21). When Philip preached the word concerning Christ to the Samaritans, he announced "the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12). In the convention of the apostles and elders, James invited their attention to Peter's narrative and the prediction of Amos. He stated the work to be done was to take out of the nations a people for the name of God, as it is written,
"AFTER THIS I will return, and raise up the dwelling place of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it up in the days of old: that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the heathen which are called by My name. And I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord" (Acts 15:14-18; Amos 9:11-15).
In Athens, Paul announced that God intended to rule the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, and that He had raised Him from the dead as an assurance of its verity (Acts 17:31). In the Ephesian synagogue he disputed for three months, persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 19:8; 20:20-27). Paul stood at the bar of Agrippa and was judged "for the hope of the promise made of God unto the fathers; unto which promise the twelve tribes of Israel, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come" (Acts 26:6,7).
Hence, he preached the hope of Israel's twelve tribes, as set forth in Amos and all the prophets, and directed their attention to Jesus as the personage whom God had raised up to accomplish their desire. Indeed, he told the Jews at Rome plainly, that he was a prisoner in chains on account of the hope of Israel, and in illustration of it "be expounded and testified the kingdom of God, both out of the law of Moses and the prophets, . . . preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 28:23,31).
According to the law and the testimony he spoke, diffusing the light of the glorious gospel of the blessed God, for two whole years in Rome, "the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth."
Elpis Israel 2.1.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
No two truths can be antagonistic: hence, that which is certainly true makes everything antagonistic to it certainly false. This principle applied to the commission frees it from all misconstruction.
It is certainly true that "He who believes the gospel of the kingdom, and is baptized, shall be saved;" it is therefore certainly false, that he who sincerely misbelieves, and is baptized; or, he who sincerely misbelieves, and is not baptized; or, he who believes the true gospel, and is not baptized, "shall be saved."
The last three suppositions are antagonistic to the first, which is on all sides admitted to be certainly true. But no truths pertaining to the same thing can be antagonistic; therefore the last three are certainly false.
The Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Nov 1853
By believing "Abrahamically" I mean, first, to believe the things promised to Abraham in their obvious sense; and secondly, in the manner he believed them as defined by Paul in Rom. 4:13, 18, to the end...
A good message implies a Sender of the message or word, and a Bearer of the message, who is therefore the angel or messenger, and styled in Scripture the Messenger of the Covenant, that is, of the Abrahamic and Davidian covenant.
Salvation in Mark 16:15 is predicated on believing the good message and being baptized; and condemnation on not believing that good message. In Acts 10:36, Peter styles this message "the word which God sent to the children of Israel, evangelizing-ευαγγελιζομενους-peace by Jesus Christ." In these few words are indicated the sender, the message, the messenger, and the party to whom the peace-message was sent. Peter then reminds Cornelius and his friends that they know that word, which is the reason why he does not repeat it to them. He reminds them also where that message to Judah began to be evangelized by Jesus Christ; namely, in all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism preached by John.
By turning to Matt. 4:23, this apostle tells us that the message of peace gospellized to Judah by Jesus in Galilee was "the gospel of the kingdom"-the Good Message concerning the Kingdom. He preached peace to Judah through the establishment of the kingdom - a peace to them increasing without end when he should occupy the throne and wear the crown of his father David...being David's son and heir, (the only living heir known,) and ruling then over the same nation, and reigning in the city where David dwelt, the throne he occupies millennially, and the diadem he then wears, are styled David's.
Now before Jesus died, and after he had been for over three years preaching the gospel of the kingdom, he said, "This gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the habitable for a testimony to all the nations." Hence the gospel preached to the nations several years after Pentecost was the same Jesus preached to Judah before he died... For several years... it was preached only to the Jews for the obedience of faith; but when the time came that Gentiles might be permitted to become heirs of the kingdom upon the same conditions as the Jews, the same gospel Jesus preached (and there is only one true gospel in the Bible) was preached to all the nations of the Roman Habitable, or "to every creature," as Jesus had commanded. See Col. 1:23.
The Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, May 1854
To believe in him is to believe that he is the man ordained of God to occupy the throne of his kingdom, when "the kingdom shall come to the Daughter of Jerusalem," which is Zion, the city where David dwelt. To believe this is to believe that he is "the Christ," or Anointed One, called "Yahweh's King," by David, spoken of everywhere in Moses and the Prophets....
....To believe savingly in him is to believe these things, and that His blood shed was the blood of the covenant made with Abraham, called the New Covenant, shed for the remission of the sins of many; that is, of those who believe the promises of that covenant; that he was buried, and rose again according to the prophets, for the justification of believers. He that believes these "things concerning the kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus the Anointed," with a love-working faith, believes the word of the kingdom in its gospel and mystery, "with his heart unto righteousness."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Sept 1853.
I maintain: -
1. -"That all, both Jews and Gentiles, without respect of persons called great and good, are, by the Scriptures, viewed as under sin; that is, are all sinners in the sight of God."
2. -"That being thus constituted sinners, they are therefore all, without exception, under sentence of the Second or Eternal Death."
3. -"That God being pure and holy, before they can be where God shall be, they must be released from sin and delivered from the sentence of death."
4. -"That the only way in which they can be released from sin is by believing and obeying THE GOSPEL."
5. -"That the gospel is a whole. That one item of the gospel is no more the gospel than that a part of anything is the whole of that thing."
6. -"That it is a truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God; that this truth is the foundation corner-stone of the gospel; but that it is not THE GOSPEL any more than that the corner-stone of the foundation of a house is the house itself."
7. -"That the gospel is glad tidings of great joy to all people both Jews and Gentiles, and consists in the offer of a release from sin and of eternal life to all, who, believing in the sin-cleansing-efficacy of the blood of Jesus shall be immersed into the belief of his death and resurrection; and shall keep the faith to the end."
8. -"That all who will not conform to these conditions will be raised at the second resurrection to suffer the punishment of the second death; and that all who cannot, 'will not see life' eternal."
9. -"That Jesus will shortly return to the country from which he ascended; that he will then confer life eternal on the righteous dead and on the righteous living; and that he will then commence his reign as the absolute Monarch of the universal world."
10. -"That the outline of the Christian worship is that recorded in Acts 2:42."
11. -"That the Holy Scriptures are the only authorised standard of good and evil."
12. -"That under this dispensation, not one will be recognised by God as 'great and good' who has not obeyed THE GOSPEL; and whose subsequent conduct is not confirmed to the apostolic model."
13. -"That there is but one road to eternal life; and that is by obedience to the one only true and genuine gospel preached by the apostles of Christ; and that there are but two ways by which men can enter upon this life, which is by a resurrection or a transformation."
14. -"That Protestantism is not the religion of Jesus, but a horn of anti-Christ; and that it is, therefore, in its spirit and constitution subversive of, and inimical to pure and undefiled religion."
"These are the prominent features of the cause I maintain by pen and speech. If I see eye to eye with others in these things, I rejoice; not because they agree with me, but because they acknowledge what I firmly believe to be the truth. I present them in the form in which they appear for the sake of order and perspicuity; and especially that I may be clearly and definitely understood."
Dr Thomas Life and Works Ch 13.
Do not be misled. Though the Bible is in the main addressed "to God's ancient people" and "Christ's brethren," there are statements in it going beyond both, even affecting "aliens from the covenants of promise." The statement, "He that believeth not shall be condemned," is one. It is not Christ's brethren who "believe not," but "aliens from the covenant of promise," yet they are to come forth to the resurrection of condemnation when they have had sufficient evidence of the Divinity of the gospel (Mark xvi. 16; Jno. v. 30; xv. 24).
And these are not "entirely among God's ancient people," but include many among the "all nations" to whom Christ commanded the apostles to go-Gentiles as well as Jews (Matt. xxviii. 19; Rom. ii. 8-9). To assume that such statements have no reference to "aliens from the covenants of promise," is not only to beg the question, but to do so in violent conflict with the facts.
The Christadelphian, Oct 1896. p381
The word "damned" in Mark, xvi. 16, is equivalent to "condemned," and nothing more. In the Greek, it is Katakrino which is only twice translated "damned" and perhaps fifteen times "condemned." But condemned to what? That is the question.
For this you must look outside the mere word "condemn." A man might be condemned to pay a fine or to be imprisoned or to be hung. In each case, the dictionary word would be the same and yet have a different practical meaning for the person condemned. It is not the dictionary word that would settle it, but the surroundings. Common sense has to come to the aid of mere grammar.
In the case of Mark xvi. 16, the nature of the condemnation is settled by the words of Christ in Jno. v. 29, "shall come forth to the resurrection of condemnation." There are many other settlers besides that. It is far from being the case that the doctrine of resurrectional responsibility stands or falls with the meaning of Katakrino. You will see why.
The Christadelphian, Dec 1896
'Our position, which our friend admits "is very near" the bible one, is impregnable. We do not seek to justify ignorance and unbelief on the ground of pious infidels being sincere, or on any other plea. We leave this to those who have a fellow feeling, which is said to make men wondrous kind. We have no fellow feeling for infidelity, nor for that weakness which our friend calls ignorance, when men perversely shut their eyes against the light.
The Spirit threatens such with a just punishment, an Aion-destruction from his presence, for not obeying the gospel.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, June 1858
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Two things must strike the reflective reader ...The first is, that fishermen, "ignorant and unlearned men" should have been chosen for it; and the second is, that such men should have succeeded. Both facts powerfully yield the one conclusion which is the all important one in the case, namely, that the work was in no sense of human contrivance, but was purely divine and true. A human enterprise would have laid hold of men of position, education and influence -- men that were "somebody" and likely to throw some weight into the scale.
A new principle of choice was at work in the selection of the humblest class in the community.The reasons leading to such a choice have been looked at. Such reasons could only operate where God was at work. It never occurs to man -- it could not in the nature of things occur to man -- to make use of instruments likely to be uninfluential with men. The apostles were such. And that such men should have succeeded both in obtaining a hearing, and in producing conviction among thousands everywhere, not only in the absence of favourable conditions, but in the very face of every form of opposition which authority could offer, and influence could bring to bear, argues the possession by them of some weapon of argument altogether out of the category of error or imposture.
We examine the case, and find the all-sufficient weapon in the earnest testimony of personal knowledge, supported by miraculous co-operation. The men knew the truth of Christ's works, and afterwards the reality of His resurrection, and "the Lord worked with them and confirmed their word with signs following."
These two things account for all. These two elements of their operation explain the character of their work and all the results that came from the efforts of ignorant and unlearned fishermen. In the absence of either of these elements, it is impossible to understand their work. Either of them denied involves the whole subject in a fog, and presents an impossible historical problem. Both admitted, invest the whole work and word of Christ and His apostles with transparent light, and a magnitude of urgent personal importance that nothing can equal.
Nazareth Revisited - 'After His Discourse to the Twelve''