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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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The Subject Itself


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"God," said Jesus "is spirit" --pneuma ho Theos. Heathen Greek writers, whether poets or orators, generally meant by Theoi, the plural of Theos, nothing more than supernatural beings of a higher order than men. (In quotations from the Old Testament, Elohim (plural) is rendered by the Greek word Theos (singular). The reason for this we have discussed in the Index to the Name and Titles of Deity. (Publishers).

The word, in itself, had attached to it none of those more metaphysical conceptions which belong to our term Divine as


significant of the uncreated and eternal. The great teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, did not use the word Theos at all, inasmuch as he discoursed not in Greek. The probability is that he used the word Ail; and that John, who wrote in Greek, selected Theos in the singular number, and appropriated it to a Hebrew signification, which the teaching of Jesus would explain. "There shall not be there other Elohim before Me." This was said by Yahweh to Israel. When Jesus, therefore, spoke about God in relation to bowing down, and serving or worshipping Him, he had doubtless referred to Ail-Shaddai, who afterwards named himself Yahweh, commonly pronounced Jehovah. "Theos is Spirit," then, is equivalent to saying AlL or Yahweh is Spirit. But the proposition of Jesus is not limited to individual unity; its scope is multitudinous. Spirit is Theos; that is, whatever is Spirit is Theos -- is of a higher nature than that of mortal men. Hence he declared to Nicodemus, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit." Here are two natures the Man-nature and the God-nature. We all know by experience what flesh is. It is a wind that passeth away. It is vanity and "profiteth nothing." We do not, however, know experimentally what the God-nature is: all we can at present know is what is testified concerning it in the teaching and experience of Jesus and the word. He was flesh, having been born of the flesh, though not by the will of man; and he is now Spirit, having been born of the Spirit from the grave to incorruption. Jesus then is Spirit. Paul styles him "a life-imparting Spirit," and "the Lord the Spirit" Being Spirit, he is therefore Theos or God. He is now no longer flesh and blood; but HOLY SPIRIT NATURE - a flesh and bones embodiment of Spirit; and therefore of the One Yahweh.

Jesus is the type, or pattern, in whom is illustrated the plural manifestation of divine and multitudinous unity -- ONE in many, and yet that many ONE, as symbolised in the Mosaic Sh'ma Yis-raail. This idea was the basis of the doctrine, which Jesus said was not his, but the teaching of Him that sent him -- that is, of the Eternal Spirit or Father. "My doctrine is not mine," says he, "but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the teaching whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:16, 17). His doctrine consisted of "the words" which Moses predicted in Deut. 18: 18, the Eternal Spirit, Yahweh, would put into his mouth; and to which, if anyone will not hearken, "he shall be destroyed from among the people" (Acts 3:23). We hope all who contend for the sufficiency of the faith of the demonized in the divine Sonship of Jesus will defer to this. We repeat, for the illumination of such speculators in Old Man theology:

That justification unto life and glory in the kingdom of God,


is predicated upon three things:--

1. Upon believing the testimony concerning Jesus Christ;

2. Upon receiving the doctrine of the Eternal Spirit he delivered to the world; and

3. Upon one so believing, yielding an assured and affectionate obedience to the precepts he enjoins.


"Thou hast," said Peter to him, "the words of eternal life; and we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6:68). In this Peter connects the words and the personality of Jesus as the subject-matter of faith. This is to "believe on Jesus" -- to accept him according to his claims; and to receive his words as reported by them whom he commissioned to preach them. And "this is the work (ordained) of God, that ye believe into him whom, (eis hon), He hath apostolized,"or sent forth. "As my Father hath taught me," continues Jesus,"I speak these things"; and "If ye continue in my word ye are my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth which I have heard of God, and 'the truth' shall make you free" (John 8:28,31, 32, 40). Hear also what he said. on another occasion, in regard to this matter. "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me"; which is equivalent to saying he believes the doctrine I am sent to teach -- doctrine which originates not from me as Son of Mary; but from the Eternal Spirit who sent me, and, by His effluence, dwells in me, speaking through me, and working by me. Therefore, he said, "If any man hear my words, and believe not (those words), I (the son of Mary) judge him not." Who shall judge him then? God, certainly; and because God's doctrine is not believed; for says Jesus, He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath that which judgeth him; ' word which I speak,'that shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father who sent me. He gave me a commandment what I should make known and what I should treat of" (John 12:48-49). Nothing can be plainer, more intelligible, or emphatic than this. We may confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, as did the demonized of ancient and, still do, of modern times, but this will give us no right to the things comprised in "the great salvation"; we must not only believe this, but we must also intelligently believe the doctrine which that Son was sent to teach the Jews. If we are ignorant or ashamed of this, we shall be condemned, though we may make the loudest professions of faith in, and of love and devotion to, Jesus. What can be more to the point than these sayings of Christ--"If a man love me, he will keep my words: he that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings; and the word ye hear, is not mine, but the Father's who sent me" (John 14:23-24). A man cannot keep the words of another if he be ignorant of those words, neither can he believe them : hence, no one scripturally


loves Jesus who is ignorant or faithless of his teaching. A man ignorant of the truth taught by Jesus, though ever so sincere in his belief of error, is in his sins, and under sentence of death; for it is only that truth believed and obeyed that frees from sin and its consequences. "Sanctify them through thy truth, O Father; thy word is truth" (John 17:17). This is the sanctifying element of Christianity: and that truth is the word of the kingdom hearkened to and understood by the honest and the good of heart (Matt. 12:19, 23; Luke 8:15). But they who, in the face of these plain statements of Jesus persist in averting that a man is justified, and becomes one of the saints of God, and obtains a right to the life, honour, glory, power and riches of the kingdom, by acknowledging the paternity of Jesus, while he is ignorant of the doctrine he received from the Father, and delivered to the apostles, are neither honest nor good of heart in the Scripture sense of the expression. They are the Ecclesiastical Know-Nothings, of whom Paul writes in 1 Tim. 6:3, 4, saying: "if any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, 'the words of our Lord Jesus Christ', and to the teaching which is according to godliness, he is smoky, knowing nothing -- destitute of the truth," and so forth. This is the condition of the clergy, ministers and scribes of universal "Christendom," as it is called; and of the leaders of the people whom they cause to err. The wholesome words of the Lord Jesus are ignored by them all; for if they do not in so many words declare that he lied, they practically convert his teaching into falsehood by their abominable traditions. He declared, that if a man did not believe the gospel of the kingdom he and his apostles preached, that man should be condemned; but they in word or deed say: "No; a man may be saved though totally ignorant of the whole matter." For what else is the language of the religion-gettings and "consolations of religion"ministered by the clergy to their ignorant dupes on every side? They make void the doctrine of Jesus by their traditions and practice, and speak evil of the truth they pretend to preach. And it is but pretension; for of that truth they are obstinately ignorant in all its details, knowing neither the Father, nor Jesus Christ whom He has sent; and treating with contempt or indifference and neglect the words he delivered, if by any chance or accident any of them happen to come before them. But of such the Lord hath said: "Whosoever shall be ashamed of me 'and of my words', of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he shall come in his own glory, and in the Father's, and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:26).