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BIBLE STUDY TWO

In Order to Be Our High Priest, Christ
Must Take Our Fallen, Sinful Nature

A. INTRODUCTION

Both Jones and Waggoner related righteousness by faith to the unique Seventh-day Adventist view of Christís Most Holy Apartment ministry as High priest in this cosmic Day of Atonement. Their "discoveryí of this relationship constituted the genius of their 1888-era message. Thus they established that God has entrusted to Seventh-day Adventists a special understanding of "the everlasting gospel" of Revelation 14 which Roman Catholics and Sunday-keeping Protestants (including the seventh-day keeping churches which reject the 1844 cleansing of the sanctuary) cannot understand.


B. THE BIBLE EVIDENCE

Hebrews 1 Details and confirms His uniqueness, the full eternal, sinless deity of Christ.

Hebrews 2 Details and confirms His Full humanity, "made like unto" ours.

Hebrews 2:9 What do we "see"? One who "tasted death" for us would be an alien if He were not intimately involved, "lower than the angels, in our sinful, mortal humanity. One with a sinless nature could not be subject to death. 1

Hebrews 2:10, 11 Merely enduring our physical experiences and pain (hunger, thirst, weariness) could not "make" any oneís character "perfect;" otherwise vast billions of suffering people would be automatically "sanctified" thereby. 2

Hebrews 2:11-13 Again, the "oneness" with His blood "brethren" is emphasized.

Hebrews 2:14, 15 (1) The "careful, exceedingly careful" verb to use is "take," or "partake of." (2) Whatever "flesh and blood" Adamís children "partake of," Christ Himself likewise must "partake of." (3) The Romans 8:3 homoioma concept is paralleled in the Creek in "likewise." (4) "The same" further rivets the idea of identity. (5) Christís "death" is intimately related to the death we "fear" from the cradle to the grave, again demonstrating total identity. None of these truths denies uniqueness.

Hebrews 2:16 A repetition of Romans 1:3, except that now itís Abrahamís, not Davidís DNA that Christ "took" (verb used twice, not "had").

Hebrews 2:17 Perfect identity required for saving us From sin; He cannot function as effective High Priest if He takes the sinless nature of Adam before the fall.

Hebrews 2:18 Only "wherein" Christ has suffered our identical temptations can His High Priestly ministry function to "succor" (help, relieve) us in our temptations. If we are assailed by any temptation Christ did not have to meet, in that respect we have no Saviour from that sin. He cannot wink at continued transgression. Our dikaiomata in the flesh is essential. 3

Hebrews 4:9, 14-16 What do we "see"? A High Priest who (1) has taken our fallen sinful nature and condemned sin therein; (2) One "touched" again means identity with us in every temptation; (3) "like as we are" again links homoioma to our identity; (4) in this light ("therefore") we can effectively "obtain" from Him grace to "succor" us in time of need. This is practical godliness or dikaomata;

Hebrews 5:7, 8 Christís prayers were a necessity for Him; He felt the terror of eternal death and damnation. Having taken our fallen nature, His relationship to His Father had to be totally by faith. Like us, He was tempted to despair.

John 4:1-3 (1) Obvious meaning of "flesh" is fallen, sinful nature. (2) The teaching that Christ took this "flesh" is a litmus test for divine credentials. (3) Denial that He came with such a fallen nature equals "antichrist," says John. 4

Revelation 5:6, etc. Twenty-five times the Son of God is pictured as "the Lamb," showing His close relationship with "every kindred, tongue, people, and nation" of fallen humanity. ĎThe tabernacle of God is with men" (21:3).

Revelation 19:7-9 How could "the Lamb" "marry" a "Bride" of a different humanity than Himself? How otherwise could they have the intimacy that marriage implies? Both Bridegroom and Bride must share a common experience of "overcoming" self and bearing a cross together.


C. SUMMARY

The whole of Scripture is Ďwritten for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Corinthians 10:11). Hebrews has therefore been preserved for us as we "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth," including following Him into the Most Holy Apartment. There He completes His ministry of justification by faith for His people in the setting of preparation for His second coming.


D. CONCLUSION

The more closely Scripture is examined, the more it is seen to confirm the message that Ellen white endorsed as "most precious, ... the gospel of His grace ... in clear and distinct lines, ... the efficacy of the blood of Christ ... presented ... with freshness and power, ... just what the people needed." And just what we need! This issue is not an exercise in semantic theology. It is concerned with recovering the message that Ellen White said must "lighten the earth with glory." The presentation of Christ as "nigh at hand and not afar off" is a part of that message.

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Notes

  1. The reason: He would be like the resurrected Christ, who can never die. [return to study]
  2. The common General Conference-sponsored view is that Christ took our fallen sinful flesh or nature only in that He endured weariness, hunger, thirst, physical weakness, as we do. [return to study]
  3. The expressed written position of a former editor of Ministry Magazine was that Christ could not have been tempted to break the seventh commandment due to His taking our sinless nature. This was the underlying view that the editors of Ministry have promoted during all the years since 1956. This false view is at the root of the serious plague of immorality that to too great an extent afflicts ministers, members, and youth. Such sin in the ministry creates serious loss of laity and youth confidence. The awful worldwide plague of AIDS (often in supposedly Christian cultures) is generally recognized as a consequence of sexual immorality: this in turn is related to the widespread influence of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the nature of Christ. [return to study]
  4. Jones and Waggoner both agreed that the teaching that Christ took the sinless, unfallen nature of Adam is the essence of Johnís warning against the teaching of Antichrist (Waggoner, GCB, 1901, pp. 403-408; Jones, The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Blessed Mary, 1894, pp. 12, 13). [return to study]

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