ATONEMENT BETWEEN GOD & MAN
MEDIATOR OF THE ATONEMENT
THE UNDEFILED ONE
Seemingly Conflicting Scriptures Reconciled--The Roman Catholic
Doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception Not Sustained--The
Birth of Jesus Separate from Sinners Essential to the Divine
Arrangement-- Otherwise no Ransom Possible--The Latest Deductions
of Science in re the Union of Life and Protoplasm--The Logos
Made Flesh--Born of a Woman yet Undefiled--How the Imperfect
Mother Could and Did Bring Forth the Undefiled One--This Same
Principle Operating in Other Features of the Divine Plan, as
Testified by the Scriptures.
can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." Job
was manifested to take away sins and in him is no sin." "Such
an High Priest was suitable for us--holy, harmless, undefiled,
separate from sinners." 1 John 3:5; Heb. 7:26
are Scripture statements apparently in conflict: the first declaring,
in harmony with our experience, that all of Adam's posterity is
affected by virus of sin from the poisoned fountain: the latter
declaring that our Lord Jesus was as a man different from other
men--unblemished, undefiled, spotless. And since the entire theory
of the Atonement, presented in the Scriptures, demands that of
necessity our Redeemer must be an unblemished man--of our
race and yet separate from it--this becomes a very important
point before the minds of the Lord's thinking people. How did
God accomplish in our Lord Jesus' case what is impossible to man,
according to all human experience and according to Job's testimony?
To give ample proof of how the divine arrangement did accomplish
this desired yet seemingly impossible thing of producing a member
of the race, yet separate from its blemishes, to be its ransom--to
<PAGE 98> a corresponding price for the first
perfect man whose sin and its curse blights the race--this
is the pleasurable task of the present chapter.
that a knowledge of the manner is essential either to the
faith or salvation of the true disciple taught of God; but that
in the light of present-day destructive criticism (reasonable
and unreasonable) it is expedient that this truth, so closely
identified with the Atonement, the very center and foundation
of true Christianity, should be solidly buttressed, to the intent
that the faith of the Lord's people may be able to withstand the
assaults of the Adversary against the doctrine of the ransom--from
pulpit, press and pew. The Scriptural statement of the fact of
our Lord's spotlessness was, thank God, quite sufficient for his
saints for centuries; but now as "meat in due season"
for the household comes the scientific and philosophic attestation
to the possibility of all that is claimed in the divine Word on
this subject --quite in harmony with "the laws of nature."
Roman Catholic Church in its doctrine of "The Immaculate
Conception" of Mary, attempts to establish faith in our Lord's
mother, as immaculate, spotless, perfect; and thus to prove that
Jesus could be born pure and separate from sinners: but this is
not our claim. We admit that our Lord's mother was a member of
Adam's race, in the same sense as all other members of it--that
her life was derived from the Adamic stock, that she inherited
human weaknesses and blemishes and unavoidably was, like all others,
under the sentence of death. We claim that "the man
Christ Jesus" was an exception--the only exception.
it is well for us not to forget that God's providential care for
the children of men is frequently manifested in the exceptions
of nature. For instance, it is the rule of nature that heat causes
expansion, while freezing causes contraction: but how fortunate
it is for humanity that water is an exception to this principle--that
water, contrary to the general rule, expands in freezing. Were
it to follow the customary law of nature and contract with freezing,
it would have the effect of making the ice heavier than the unfrozen
<PAGE 99> and cause it to sink to the river
bottoms, so that as a consequence our rivers would become solid
ice, which even the summer heat would not dissolve. How fortunate,
too, that antimony among the minerals is an exception to this
law of nature also: otherwise it would be impossible for us to
secure clear-cut edges on our printing types, secured by the mixing
of this metal, which contracts, with other metals which expand
under heat. So the one exception to sin-defilement in our race
was its only hope--its ransom, its salvation under divine providence.
With these thoughts we proceed to examine how the Logos
was "made flesh," "born of a woman,"
"of the seed of Abraham," and yet was uncontaminated,
and could therefore be a suitable and acceptable ransom for Adam
and his race.
Scriptures hold out the thought that all existence, living
energy or being, comes from the father and not from the
mother. The mother receives the sperm or seed of life from the
father, furnishes it a cell-nucleus out of which a form or body
is produced, and nourishes the germ of being until it is able
to maintain an independent existence; i.e., until it is able to
appropriate to its maintenance the life-sustaining elements which
the earth and air supply--then it is born.
word father has the significance of life-giver.
Accordingly, God was the "Father," or life-giver,
while the earth was the mother, of Adam, and hence of the human
race. (Luke 3:38) Adam's form or organism was of and from
earth (which therefore served as his mother); but his spark
of life which constituted him a man came from God (who thus was
his Father or life-giver): and in the male of the human species
has since resided the power to communicate that spark of life
or living seed to progeny.
harmony with this principle, children are spoken of as being of
or from their fathers, and borne by their mothers. (Gen.
24:47) Thus the children of Jacob, counted through his sons,
were seventy when he came down to Egypt. All of those seventy
souls or beings are expressly said to have come out of the loins
of Jacob. (Gen. 46:26,27; Exod. 1:5) So of Solomon, it
is said that he came out of the loins of David.
<PAGE 100> (1 Kings 8:19; 2 Chron. 6:9)
So also the Apostle Paul and Israelites in general claimed that
they all came out of the loins of Abraham; and of Levi it is written
that "he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedec
met him." Heb. 7:5,10
also the whole race was in and sprang from Adam their father,
by mother Eve but not from her. And thus it is written that "all
in ADAM die," but not all in Eve. Because the race came of
Adam, it was tried in his trial, condemned in his
failure and included under his sentence.
which the Scriptures teach, is the latest deduction of science
on this subject of progeneration, as applied to humanity and to
all mammalia. Scientists find abundant and conclusive proof in
nature that life or being comes always from the male. The
simplest form of illustration is a hen's egg: of itself it originally
contains no life, but is merely a cell-germ with its supply of
nutriment ready to build up an organism as soon as vivified,
fecundated or impregnated with the life-germ or life-seed from
the male bird.
egg contains not only the germ-cell but also the proper elements
of nutrition and in proper proportion, adapted to the minute organism
begotten in it by the sperm or life-seed; and under proper conditions
that organism develops. The germ-cell, or "formative yolk,"
or protoplasm, receives the life-germ or sperm, and this becomes
the embryo chick, which appropriates to its own development the
"food-yolk" and the albumen, until it breaks the shell
and is able to sustain itself by appropriating cruder elements
of nutrition. The principles here involved are the same in human
and other animals.
view of these harmonious testimonies of the Bible and science,
it is a reasonable deduction that if the father were perfect,
the child would be perfect. Under even moderately favorable conditions
a perfect sperm or life-seed in uniting with the female germ-cell
would produce a living embryo so vigorous and healthy as to be
capable of appropriating the proper elements of nutrition, and
voiding, throwing off or neutralizing the unfit. And the perfect
being thus produced
<PAGE 101> would likewise possess the power
of neutralizing or repelling, by its perfect functions and without
injury or inconvenience to itself, all elements not beneficial.
On the contrary, in proportion as the sperm or life-seed be imperfect,
the living embryo will be weak and unable to overcome the unfavorable
conditions of its environment, and will appropriate whatever its
mother furnishes--good or bad--and will be the prey of disease.
Being imperfect, it is unable to reject wholly the poisonous elements
and the consequence is weakness and disease.
old proverb, "One man's meat is another man's poison,"
rests upon the principle here enunciated. A person possessed of
good digestive powers can eat and extract nutriment and strength
from food which would speedily sicken and eventually kill another
of inferior powers. The more rugged extracts the good and avoids
the injurious elements: the weaker is unable to do this and is
really poisoned, frequently to the extent of sickness. Yet let
us remember that no member of our race is nearly perfect-- none
are able to defend their imperfect systems against the myriads
of foes that assail through food and drink and air. Consequently
none are born perfect and none can avoid the encroachments of
disease for long. It preys upon the weakest organs first and soon
this standpoint it follows that had mother Eve alone sinned the
race would not have died; for had Adam remained perfect, his life
unforfeited and unimpaired, his offspring would have been born
without blemish. And even had the death sentence passed upon mother
Eve, bringing imperfections to her, these would not have impaired
her offspring; being perfect, they would have appropriated
good elements, and have neutralized, voided or passed off naturally
and without injury, any unwholesome elements of nutrition supplied
the other hand, suppose that Adam had sinned and Eve had remained
sinless: Adam's condemnation and death would have affected the
entire posterity just the same. However perfect the germ-cells
<PAGE 102> provided by mother Eve, only imperfect
dying beings could be produced from diseased sperm or life-seed
from Adam. Hence the appropriateness of the Scriptural statement
that "All in Adam die," and "By one man's
disobedience... death passed upon all." 1 Cor. 15:22;
wonderful the correspondence here between the first and second
Adams and their brides. As the death of the race depended
not upon Eve but wholly upon Adam, and yet she shared in the bringing
of it, so the restored life of the redeemed race depends
not at all on the bride of Christ, but upon Jesus, the Redeemer,
though by divine favor it is arranged that his bride shall share
in the restitution of "that which was lost."
fountain, Adam, having become contaminated by sin and death, none
of his posterity can be free from contamination; for, "Who
can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." The
reference here must be understood as applying to the man, and
not to the woman: none coming from or out of the contaminated
fountain can be clean. Hence, "There is none righteous, no,
not one"; none can redeem his own life, much less give to
God a ransom for his brother. Rom. 3:10; Psa. 49:7
is a well-recognized fact that the mind of a mother, during the
period of gestation, has an important bearing upon the character
and disposition of her children, for good or evil. There are many
instances of mental as well as of physical "birthmarks."
Whether at all or how much a perfect embryo, begotten of
a perfect life-germ, might be injured by an evil mind in
the mother, it would be impossible for humanity under present
conditions to determine; for we have no opportunity for proofs
along this line. Nor is it necessary to our argument to determine
this proposition, for it was not under such conditions that the
"man Christ Jesus" was born. The Scriptures explicitly
point out: (1) That the Lord chose for the mother of Jesus a holy
woman "blessed among women," who had "found favor
with God" (Luke 1:28,30,42); (2) Mary was full of faith
and the joy of the Lord, to be an instrument in his plan: and
(3) not regarding fear of
<PAGE 103> reproach from Joseph or the world,
she lived rejoicing in God, saying--"My soul doth magnify
Jehovah; my spirit rejoiceth in God my Savior." (Luke 1:45-47)
Thus we perceive that the mind of Jesus' mother, instead of being
antagonistic to his perfect development, cooperated to that result.
follows, then, that the only obstacle to the generation of a perfect
man of an imperfect, blemished, but well-willed mother is the
lack of a perfect father to supply perfect spermatozoa.
And hence the consistency of the teaching of Scripture, that in
the case of Jesus a perfect life (not of or from the Adamic
fountain) was transferred by divine power from a pre-existent
condition to the embryo human condition, was born "holy"
(pure and perfect), though of an imperfect mother. (Luke 1:35)
That Jesus was thus uncontaminated with the imperfections, mental,
moral or physical--which his mother in common with the entire
human race shared, is entirely reasonable and, as we have just
seen, in perfect accord not only with Scripture but also with
the latest scientific findings and deductions.
fact which scientists are demonstrating to themselves, which seems
to concur with the Scripture testimony, is, that though life or
being comes from the father, form and nature come
from the mother. The scientific proofs of this are more abstruse
and less easily grasped by the ordinary mind; and this, because
in wisdom God has not only separated the various kinds
or natures, but in great measure has limited them, so that
they cannot mix or blend beyond certain limits without losing
the powers of fecundation. A common illustration of this is the
mule, a hybrid which cannot propagate.
old idea that form and nature came from the male is abandoned
by modern students of nature, who now agree that the female furnishes
organism as well as sustenance--in fact furnishes
all except the life-seed or sperm which comes from the father
or life-giver. Take as a Scriptural illustration of the foregoing
claims the improper union between "the daughters of men"
and those angels which kept not
<PAGE 104> their proper estate or condition.
(Gen. 6:2,4; Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4) The angels, when
they assumed human form, being perfect in vitality, begat children
far superior to the then greatly fallen race of Adam in mental
acumen as well as in physical powers, so that the record is--"the
same were men of renown." These wonderful men, let us remember,
were born of imperfect, dying mothers, but begotten by vigorous,
dying race of Adam would have had hard masters in those superior
Nephilim (Hebrew, fallen ones) which were never
recognized by God, either by a trial for life, or by a condemnation
to death. It was a mercy indeed which, not having authorized their
existence, blotted them from existence in the flood, and sparing
as a new beginning for the race Noah and his family, with the
comment--"Now Noah was perfect in his generation,"
which implies that the majority of Adam's posterity had become
greatly contaminated and more or less a new race by association
with the angels in human form. We say a new race because
of their new life and vigor coming from new fathers.
great was the renown of these "Nephilim," that
the dread of them is to be found with more or less distinctness
in heathen mythologies to this day; and hundreds of years after
their destruction in the flood, the false report that some
of these were yet alive caused a panic among the Israelites while
flushed with the victory of recent battles. (See Num. 13:33;
14:36,37.) No doubt there were some large men in Canaan, as
other scriptures show, but never except in this "evil
report" are they called Nephilim.
illustration of this principle that life (vitality) comes from
the father, and organism (nature) from the mother, is found in
the fact that Jehovah, himself of the divine nature has begotten
sons of various natures. He is the father or life-giver
to those sons of angelic nature (Job 2:1; 38:7; Heb. 2:9),
as well as to sons of human nature (Luke 3:38), as well to
the "new creatures" who, in the first resurrection,
shall be made partakers of his own divine nature. (2 Pet.
1:4) The spirit or energy of Jehovah operating upon
<PAGE 105> spirit-substances produced and
developed angels; the same energy or spirit operating upon earthly
substances produced man and the lower animals. (Gen. 2:7;
1 Cor. 15:47) And when God would give us a clear conception
of the generation of the new creatures to the divine nature, he
represents them as begotten of his word of promise in the
womb of the Covenant which he made with Abraham,
which Covenant was symbolized by a woman, Sarah, telling us that
as Isaac was the heir of Abraham and child of promise (by
Sarah), so we, as or like Isaac, are children of God, being
children of the promise, or Sarah Covenant. See Gal. 4:23-31;
1 Pet. 1:3,23; 2 Pet. 1:4.
same principle is illustrated in the fact that in the typical
Jewish dispensation, prior to the Christian age, a child inherited
blessings and privileges of its father, according to the favor
and standing of its mother, thus again declaring that the mother's
nature, rights, privileges and liberties attached to the child,
though not of necessity the father's. See Gen. 21:10; Ex.
21:4; Gal. 4:30.
foregoing arguments are clinched by the fact that our Lord Jesus
was born of a woman. The "holy thing" born of a woman
partook of the woman's nature, i.e., human nature--"of the
earth, earthy." Though retaining all the purity and perfection
of the pre-existent (spirit) state, the transferred germ of being
(in harmony with this law we are examining) partook of the nature
of the mother and was "made flesh" by being "born
of a woman." Yet the "clean thing" came not out
of the unclean race, but "proceeded forth and came from God"
and was merely developed and nourished in Mary. John 8:42;
is yet further in harmony with this same principle that though
our Lord Jesus has since been highly exalted to the divine
nature, and is no longer human, yet it is declared of him
that he shall be the life-giver or "father" of
the whole human race, while it is also shown that his work for
the race is to restore the perfection of human nature,
which was lost for all through Adam's sin. Thus, while their "father"
or life-giver will be on the divine plane, his children will be
<PAGE 106> human plane, born out of a Covenant
of restitution, illustrated by Keturah, Abraham's third wife.
our subject then, we perceive that the "miraculous"
birth of our Lord Jesus, perfect, unblemished, of an imperfect
mother, was not contrary to the usual procedure of the Creator's
arrangements, but in full harmony with them: we see that similarly
father Adam was born into being perfect because he was born of
God, though his mother (the earth) was still imperfect except
the specially prepared Garden of Eden. The Scriptural assurance
then that our Lord had a prehuman existence, the life-principle
of which was transferred to Mary's womb and born of her "holy,"
is abundant assurance that he was as the same Scriptures declare
"holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners."
Just such an one "became us" or was suitable to the
necessities of our case--such an one as could be accepted by Justice
as our ransom-price; and then being made humanity's High
Priest in things pertaining to God, would be able to compassionate
the weak and burdened--having been touched with a feeling of human
infirmities when he himself compassionately took our sicknesses.
Matt. 8:16,17; Heb. 7:26
pass on now to the consideration of how he could be thus without
sin and yet be "made like unto his brethren."
ATONEMENT BETWEEN GOD & MAN