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The Unpardonable sin


A T Jones

taken from study No 23 in the General Conference Bulletin

of March 4, 1895

Some of the long paragraphs have been split for easier understanding and emphasis.

Now we will study a little further along that line, in our study of the principle. The power of might as against right, we found in the previous lesson, had taken possession of this world by deceiving and bringing under his power the one into whose possession this world and the dominion of it had been put. Now the Lord, the God of heaven, did not propose to use any of the power of might, any kind of force, to take that dominion out of Satan's hands, even though it be true that he unjustly held it. There would have been no injustice in so taking it back. But that is not God's way of working; that is what we are studying.

I will say this here, and can think upon it to all eternity:

The universe of God rests upon the principle of self-sacrifice. The support, the stay of the very universe itself, is the principle of sacrificing self to win; that is, to win by non-resistance,—to win by the sheer principle of the power of right in itself.

That is what holds the universe up. In that it consists. That is simply the gospel. It would be plain enough to say the gospel is that that holds up the universe; but the principle of the gospel is the principle of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and of God denying himself, and giving himself in him.

So the Lord, in recovering this lost dominion, would not use any might that is not right in itself. Therefore, when he wanted to recover this whole dominion and all of mankind, he went at it in such a way that Satan himself and all of his partisans can never say that it was not fairly done.

Now it was lost by man, and it is regained by Man. That is what we had in the second of Hebrews when we began this study:—

For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus.

We see Jesus in the place of the man and as the man. God has not put in subjection to the angels the world to come whereof we speak; but he has put it in subjection to man, and Jesus Christ is that Man. There is the second Adam. So that I say, by man it was lost, and by Man it is regained. By Adam it was lost; and by Adam it is regained.

The Adam who regains it does so, not from the place at which the first Adam stood when he lost it, but from the place which the first Adam's descendants had reached in degeneracy under the influence and power of sin at the time when He entered upon the field to contest the right of Satan.

I mean, when he entered upon the field in the open, bodily contest.

Practically, he entered upon the field before the universe was made; and since man's sin, he entered upon it also; but he had not taken flesh, and entered upon the actual contest, until he came into the world in human flesh. The Lord Jesus entered upon the open field in contest with Satan, in human flesh, at the point which human flesh had reached in degeneracy at the moment when he was born into the world. There, in the weakness of human nature as it was in the world when he came into the flesh, he fought the battle.

Human nature will never be any weaker, the world will never be any worse in itself; human nature will never reach any lower condition in itself, than it had reached when Jesus Christ came into the world.

The only means by which human nature will be any worse is that the same stage of iniquity will be professing Christianity.

Now a man may be just nothing but wickedness, as the world was when Christ was born into the world; yet if he makes no profession of Christianity, if he does not make any profession of the principles of the gospel, God can reach that man in his lost condition by the gospel, and save him through it.

But let that man profess the gospel in his wickedness, and use the profession of the gospel only as a form, as a cloak, to cover his wickedness, then he takes out of the hand of God the only means the Lord has of saving man, and perverts it to the support of his own iniquity.

And that makes him worse in this respect, in that he has cut himself off from salvation by taking God's means of salvation, and making it a cloak for his iniquities and the support of his wickedness. In himself, in the flesh, his own practical fleshly wickedness is not any greater: only now he is a hypocrite as well as wicked.

The world in the last days will not be any worse in itself than it was when Christ was born into the world.

The only way in which it will be worse is that in having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, it uses the profession of Christianity to cover its ungodliness, and so perverts God's only means of salvation as to destroy itself against all remedy.

Jesus Christ came into the world in that weakest stage of human flesh, and in that flesh, as a man he fought the battle with Satan.

Thus Satan himself can never find any fault with the way of salvation as being in any sense unfair.

Satan deceived and overcame man, as the man stood in the glory and image of God, with all the blessing and the power and the goodness of God on his side. Now when this second Adam comes into human flesh right at the point to which Satan had brought the whole race by sin, and there in all this weakness enters upon the contest, Satan can never say that that is not fair. He can never say: "You have taken an unfair advantage. You have come here with too strong a panoply about you, with too many safe-guards, for it to be a fair contest." He cannot do it; for there stood Christ in the very weakness of the flesh to which Satan himself had brought man.

Christ came in the very weakness which Satan had brought upon the race; and in that weakness says, "Here we are for the conflict." And our Brother won it! He won it! Thank the Lord! and glory to his name!



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