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    May 9, 1895

    “‘The Immaculate Conception’” The Present Truth 11, 19, pp. 291, 292.

    ATJ

    IN our study of this Catholic dogma last week we saw how completely it puts Jesus Christ away from men, by giving Mary a nature infinitely beyond any likeness or relationship to mankind, and teaching that from her Jesus Christ received the same nature, totally unlike mankind. This is absolutely the opposite of truth.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.1

    MADE LOWER THAN ANGELS

    IN the first chapter of Hebrews, Jesus, the Son of God, is presented in his divine nature as equal with God and as God indeed, the Creator and Upholder of all things as “so much better than the angels,” that He has “a more excellent name than they,” and as so much higher than the angels that “all the angels of God worship Him.” In the second chapter of the same book, He is presented in His human nature as “lower than the angels,” even as man himself. Thus it is written:—PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.2

    “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 crownedst 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, who was made a little lower than the angels.”PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.3

    Thus, instead of His human nature being “beyond comparison” higher than angels, cherubim, and seraphim, it was made as much lower than they as man himself was made lower.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.4

    Nor is it only as man was lower than the angels before he sinned. It was not as man was lower than the angels in his sinless nature, that Jesus was made lower than the angels in His human nature; but as man was lower than the angels in his sinful nature, as he is since he by sin became subject to suffering and death. For so it is written: “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.... that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.5

    PARTOOK OF OUR NATURE

    THUS, as man in his sinless human nature was made a little lower than the angels, and then by sin stepped still lower to suffering and death; even so Jesus, that He might bring him back to the glory of God, in His love followed him down even here, partakes of his nature as it is, suffers with him, and even dies with him as well as for him in his sinful human nature. For “He was numbered with the transgressors”—He died as a malefactor between two malefactors. This is love. This is Jesus our Saviour, for he comes to us where we are, that He may reach us and lift us up from ourselves unto God.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.6

    Yet this blessed saving truth is even more plainly stated, thus: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also Himself likewise took part of the same.” He, in His human nature, took the same flesh and blood that we have. All the words that could be used to make this plain and positive are here put together in a single sentence. See: The children are partakers of flesh and blood. Because of this He took part of the same. But that is not all: He also took part of the same flesh and blood as the children have. Nor is this all: He also Himself took part of the same flesh and blood as we. Nor yet is this all: He also Himself likewise took part of the same flesh and blood as man.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.7

    Thus the Spirit of inspiration so much desires that this truth shall be made plain and emphatic that He is not content to use any fewer than all the words that could be used in the telling of it. And therefore it is declared that just as, and just as certainly as, the children of men are partakers of flesh and blood, He also, Himself, likewise, took part of the same flesh and blood as we have in the bondage of sin and the fear of death. For He took this same flesh and blood that we have, in order “that through death He might ... deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.8

    BLOOD-RELATIONSHIP

    THEREFORE, instead of its being true that Jesus in His human nature is so far away from men, as they really are, that he has no real likeness nor relationship to us, it is true that He is in very deed our kin in flesh and blood relation—even our brother in blood-relationship. For it is written: “Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare they name unto My brethren.”PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.9

    This great truth of the blood-relationship between our Redeemer and ourselves is clearly taught also in the Gospel in Leviticus. There was the law of redemption of men and their inheritance. When any one of the children of Israel had lost his inheritance, or himself had been brought into bondage, there was redemption provided. If he were able of himself to redeem himself or his inheritance, he could do it. But if he were not able of himself to redeem, then the right of redemption fell to his nearest of kin in blood-relationship. It fell not merely to one who was near of kin among his brethren, but to the one who was nearest of kin who was able. Leviticus 25:24-28, 47-49; Ruth 2:20; 3:12, 13; 4:1-12.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.10

    Thus there has been taught through these ages the very truth which we have found taught here in the second chapter of Hebrews: the truth that man has lost his inheritance and is himself also in bondage. And as he himself can not redeem himself nor his inheritance, the right of redemption falls to the nearest of kin who is able. And Jesus Christ is the only one in all the universe who is able. He must also be, not only near of kin, but the nearest of kin; and the nearest of kin by blood-relationship. And therefore He took our very flesh and blood, and so became our nearest of kin. And so also, instead of being farther away from us than are the angels and cherubim and seraphim, He is the very nearest to us of all persons in the universe.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 291.11

    He is so near to us that He is actually one with us. For so it is written: “Both He which sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.” And He and we being one, He being one with mankind, it is impossible to have a mediator between Him and men, because He and mankind are one and “a mediator is not a mediator of one.” Galatians 3:20. And as certainly as Jesus Christ is one with mankind and “a mediator is not a mediator of one,” so certainly this truth at once annihilates the “intercessions” of all the Catholic saints in the calendar even though they were all alive and in heaven instead of being all dead.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 292.1

    HE FEELS OUR INFIRMITIES

    BUT the Scripture does not stop even yet with the statement of this all-important truth. It says further: “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. Being made in His human nature, in all things like us we are, He could be, and was, tempted in all points like as we are.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 292.2

    As in His human nature He is one with us, and as “Himself took our infirmities” (Matthew 8:17), so He could be “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” He felt just as we feel and knows all about it, and so can help and save to the uttermost all who will receive Him. As in His flesh, and as in Himself in the flesh, He was as weak as we are, and of Himself could “do nothing” (John 5:31), when He “bore our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4), and was tempted as we are, feeling as we feel, by His divine faith He conquered all by the power of God which that faith brought to Him and which in our flesh He has brought to us.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 292.3

    IMMANUEL: GOD WITH US

    AND thus “what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” did. The law could not bring us to God nor could it find in the flesh the righteousness which it must have, because the flesh had fallen away from God and could not reach him again. But though the sinful flesh could not reach God, yet God in his eternal power and infinite mercy could reach sinful flesh. And so “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us ... full of grace and truth.” “God was manifest in the flesh,” even “sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3, 4.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 292.4

    Oh! His name is called Immanuel, which is “God with us”! Not God with Him only, but God with us. God was with Him in eternity, and could have been with Him even though He had not given Himself for us. But man through sin became without God, and God wanted to be again with us. Therefore Jesus became us, that God with Him might be God with us. And that is His name because that is what He is.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 292.5

    Therefore and finally, as certainly as in His human nature, Jesus Christ is one with us, and as certainly as God with Him is God with us, so certainly the nature of the Virgin Mary was just like that of all the rest of us, and so certainly the dogma of the immaculate conception is an absolute falsehood.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 292.6

    Oh, then, receive Him. No ladder is required to reach Him, for He Himself is the Ladder which reaches from the earth where we are, to the highest heaven. No bridge is needed. There is no abyss between us and Him, for He is of ourselves as we are on the earth. And “with His Divine arm He grasps the throne of God, and with His long human arm He gathers the sinful, suffering human race to His great heart of love,” that we may be one with God.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 292.7

    Confess to Him your sins; He will never take advantage of you. Tell him your griefs; He has felt the same and can relieve you. Pour out to Him your sorrows; “He hath carried our sorrows,” He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;” He will comfort you with the comfort of God.PTUK May 9, 1895, page 292.8

    A. T. JONES.

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