J.F. Rutherford.

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creatures have faith in him if he changed his mind. While it is true
that this judgment must stand forever, it is equally true that God could
make a consistent provision for having the terms of the judgment met by
another, equal to Adam; and this is exactly what we find the Scriptures
to disclose that he did.

[187]Jehovah desired that man should understand the necessity and
reason for providing redemption, that when man does understand it he
will rejoice in the loving-kindness manifested by God toward him. For
this reason God caused certain pictures or types to be made by his
people.

[188]On the night that Jehovah led the children of Israel out of the
land of Egypt he caused a lamb to be slain and its blood sprinkled upon
the doorposts of the house and the people to eat that lamb, and arranged
that at midnight the death angel would pass through and smite the
firstborn of every house where the blood did not appear upon the
doorposts. The firstborn here pictured the church, about which we shall
see later, and which first must be saved before the blessing can come to
the world in general. The lamb pictured the one who should be the
ransomer or redeemer of mankind. The blood pictured the life poured out
to provide a redemptive price. - Exodus 12:3-17.

[189]When Jesus appeared at the age of thirty years, John the Baptist
pointing to him said: "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin
of the world". (John 1:29) And we read in the Bible concerning Jesus,
that he is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".
(Revelation 13:8) These Scriptures and others show that the sacrifice of
the lamb foreshadowed the sacrifice of the great One who should become
the redeemer of mankind and take away the sin of the world.

[190]A few days after this passover in Egypt, the Israelites were all
delivered when God commanded Moses to smite the waters of the Red Sea
and they passed over on dry land; and when the Egyptians attempted to
follow they were swallowed up in the sea and drowned. The deliverance of
Israel here pictured the deliverance from the great enemy, Satan and
death, of all the human race that will ultimately be obedient to God's
holy will.

[191]After the children of Israel were on the other side of the Red
Sea, they marched on in the desert; and when they came to Mount Sinai
God made with them a covenant, which is known in the Bible as the law
covenant. In connection with this covenant animals were sacrificed. This
covenant was instituted at the hands of Moses as a mediator. Moses here
was a type of Christ Jesus, who in due time will make a covenant on
behalf of all mankind for their deliverance.

[192]In connection with the law given to the Israelites at this time,
God instructed Moses to erect in the wilderness a tabernacle, which was
to be used by the Israelites in connection with their ceremonies of
sacrifice. One day of each year was known as the atonement day, and what
was done on that day particularly foreshadowed the great sin-offering to
be made on behalf of mankind.

[193]The tabernacle was constructed of two parts. It was 45 feet long,
15 feet wide, and 15 feet high, built of boards and then covered over
with a tent of three thicknesses of material. The first division of the
tabernacle was called the Holy. It was 15 feet wide and 30 feet long.
The second or rear apartment was known as the Most Holy, it being 15
feet long, 15 feet wide, and 15 feet high - an exact cube. The tabernacle
was situated inside of a court or yard, which court was 75 feet wide
and 150 feet in length. The fence enclosing this court was made of linen
curtains, suspended from hooks which were fastened on wooden posts, the
posts being set in copper sockets at the base.

[194]On the atonement day the high priest took a bullock, which must be
without spot or blemish. Inside of the court he killed the bullock, took
its blood in a vessel went from the court into the Holy and from there
into the Most Holy, and sprinkled the blood upon the mercy seat which
was in the Most Holy. Then he went back and slew a male goat, which
likewise must be without defect, and did the same thing with its blood.
This was known as the atonement sacrifice. (See Leviticus 16:1-34) It
was an offering for sin, made for the people of Israel, but in fact
foreshadowing the great sin-offering that is to take away the sin of the
world.

[195]St. Paul plainly tells us that the things here done foreshadowed
better things to come. (Hebrews 10:1) God required in the law that the
Jews should keep this day of atonement and offer these sacrifices
through the high priest once each year. We remember that God had
promised to Abraham: "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be
blessed". So St. Paul says that the law "was added because of
transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made;
and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator"; and that the
law was a schoolmaster to bring the people unto Christ. (Galatians
3:19,24) In other words, Jehovah was teaching the children of Israel
concerning the great sin-offering that must be made on behalf of mankind
and he was using them to make living pictures; and the record of the
events concerning them has enabled all students of the Bible since to
see how Jehovah foreshadowed the redemption and deliverance of mankind
from the bondage of sin and death. To foreshadow means to foretell
something coming; and this shows how important the great ransom is to
mankind, that God would take so much time and go into so much detail to
teach the people by these pictures. Hence this should encourage us to
study the subject earnestly that we might see, understand, and
appreciate it.


RANSOM PROMISED

[196]Adam was sentenced to death, and when he actually went into death
after 930 years, justice was satisfied. The law demanded the life of a
perfect human being. It had received it when Adam died. Between the time
of Adam's sentence and the time of his death he begat many children that
were born into the earth. These being born imperfect had no right to
life; hence the living of the children was only by permission of
Jehovah, and every one who died, died because of imperfection resulting
from the sin of father Adam.

[197]The Scriptures clearly show that God planned long in advance for
the redemption and deliverance of the human race. Hence his wisdom led
him to embrace in the effects of this death sentence all of the human
family, all of the offspring of Adam, so that in due time he might
redeem them all through the sacrifice of one. (Galatians 3:22) The
sentence against Adam and the resulting effects upon all of his
offspring must stand. An earthly court may reverse its judgment because
imperfect, but God cannot reverse his, because it is perfect; and he
cannot deny himself. He could make provision, however, for another man
exactly equivalent to Adam to go into death voluntarily; and by thus
dying his life could be given as a corresponding price for Adam and his
offspring, that Adam and his offspring might be released from death and
given a trial for life. The Scriptures definitely show that it was
God's purpose and intention from the beginning to make just such a
provision. He made a specific promise to this effect when he said: "I
will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from
death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy
destruction". (Hosea 13:14) This promise of Jehovah to ransom the human
race must be carried out, because God is unchangeable. Having made the
promise, he will perform it. - Malachi 3:6; James 1:17.

[198]It is very important, then, that we understand the meaning of
ransom; hence we here define it. _Ransom_ means something to loosen
with; that is, a redemptive price. It is the means or price or value
which can be used in loosening or releasing something that is in bondage
or in restraint or imprisoned. Necessarily the ransom price must be
exactly equivalent to, or corresponding with, that which justice
requires of the thing or being that is in bondage or imprisonment. Hence
we say that ransom means an exact corresponding price. A perfect man
sinned and was sentenced to death; hence an exact corresponding price
would be the death of another perfect man and the value of that life
presented in place of the one who first sinned and was held in bondage.

[199]_Sin-offering_ means the presentation and use of the ransom-price.
On the atonement day performed by the Jews in type, the blood of the
bullock represented the poured-out life; and therefore it stood for the
ransom-price or value of the life. The carrying of the blood into the
Most Holy and sprinkling it there pictured the sin-offering, that is, a
presentation in the Most Holy (which represented heaven itself) of the
value or merit of the perfect life. We will see, therefore, as we
examine this question that the ransom-price was provided on earth by the
death of Jesus; that preparation for the sin-offering was begun on earth,
but must be finished in heaven, where the value of the ransom-price is
presented.

[200]Other Scriptures show that it was intended by Jehovah that the
great Redeemer should pour out his life in death and that this should
constitute the ransom-price, which should be made an offering for sin.
God foretold this - which is equivalent to a promise - through his prophet
when he wrote concerning the great coming Redeemer the following:

[201]"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord
revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a
root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we
shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is
despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with
grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we
esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our
sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his
stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the
iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he
opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a
sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was
taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his
generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the
transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with
the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no
violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord
to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul
an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of
the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall
my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall
divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul
unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the
sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." - Isaiah 53.

[202]Because of this death sentence standing against Adam, he was and
is held in restraint or imprisonment of death. He and his offspring who
have died are in the great prison-house of death, and the grave is thus
spoken of by the Prophet - Isaiah 42:6,7; 49:9


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED

[203]The dead could never again live, nor could those who are living
ever hope to have eternal happiness unless the disability resting upon
mankind because of sin be first removed; and the Scripture is quite
clear, as above noticed, that this can be removed only by means of the
great ransom sacrifice. Since ransom means an exact corresponding price,
the ransomer must be exactly like the perfect Adam in Eden.

[204]A perfect man had sinned and lost everything; therefore none but a
perfect man could provide a price sufficient to buy and release Adam and
his race from this sentence of death and its effects. Divine justice
demanded the life of a perfect human being and this was received when
Adam went into death. It followed that divine justice would accept
nothing more or less, as a price for releasing Adam and his offspring,
than a perfect human life. In order to meet these divine requirements,
the ransomer must be a perfect human being.

[205]When God gave the law to Israel at Mount Sinai he indicated by the
promise of that law that the only means by which the human race could be
redeemed or ransomed would be by the giving of a perfect human life in
the place of Adam's perfect human life, which he had forfeited by his
disobedience. We remember that St. Paul said that this law was a shadow
of better things to come. That law required an eye for an eye, a tooth
for a tooth, a foot for a foot, a life for a life; that is to say, a
price exactly corresponding to that which had been lost. As an
illustration: Under the law if one man knocked out another's tooth, he
must lose one of his own teeth. If he struck out a man's eye, he must
give up his own eye. If he took the life of his fellow creature, he must
give up his own life. Thus the law pictured that the great ransomer
would correspond exactly with the perfect man Adam when Adam was in
Eden. - Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:17-21; Deuteronomy 19:21.


MAN'S EXTREMITY

[206]But who in all the world was able to bear this burden or meet the
requirements of the divine law? Adam could not redeem himself. All of
his offspring were imperfect and God could not accept an imperfect human
being as a ransom. Was there nobody, then, on earth who could redeem the
human race from death according to God's promise? The Prophet of the
Lord answers: "None of them [no creature on earth] can by any means
redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him". (Psalm 49:7) For
this reason, then, it seemed hopeless for man ever to expect to be
released from the condition of death.

[207]Furthermore, this judgment and sentence against Adam was entered
in the divine court of heaven and it follows that the ransom-price,
namely, the value of a perfect human life, must not only be provided by
the death of a perfect human being, but the value of that life must be
presented to divine justice in heaven itself; and no human being has
access to heaven.

[208]Hence there were two reasons why it was utterly impossible for any
of Adam's stock or offspring to redeem mankind: (1) Because all were
imperfect and could not provide the price; and (2) if the price were
provided, it could not be presented in heaven by any such.

[209]Thus is presented to the human race a condition of absolute
helplessness. Thus we see that mankind was wholly without power to
release itself from the condition of death, and that there never could
be any hope of any one of the human family enjoying life everlasting in
a state of happiness unless God, in the exercise of his loving-kindness,
should make some provision. He had promised to make such provision. His
great plan provided for such. It is first necessary, however, for us to
see man's absolute extremity in order that we might appreciate God's
opportunity for blessing mankind, and the great debt which the human
race owes to Jehovah and his beloved Son for the provision made.

[210]If a man found himself and his family in a dungeon and a million
dollars were required to release him, and he had not one penny, but a
friend of his appeared and provided the money and released him and his
family, that man would owe a great debt of gratitude to his deliverer.
He would feel much gratitude in his heart. He would surely love his
deliverer and would be anxious to do anything he could for him. Adam and
all of his family are either in the prison-house of death or under the
effects of death; and if we find that the great Jehovah God has made
provision for the release and deliverance of all such from the tomb,
the prison-house of death, with a view to granting them everlasting
life, liberty, and happiness, then such fact should bring joy to the
heart of every one who learns of it.


THE GREAT RANSOMER

[211]The apostle Paul, having in mind these things, wrote: "We were
children in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the
fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made
under the law". (Galatians 4:3,4) How did God send his Son? Since a
perfect man had sinned and the life of a perfect man must be given as a
sin-offering, it is now important to see if the Son of God whom he sent
was qualified to meet the requirements of the law and be the ransomer or
redeemer.

[212]It is easy to be seen that Jesus when on earth could not have been
merely an incarnated spirit being, because that would constitute a
fraud, and God would not sanction anything wrong. He must be a man,
perfect in every respect, equal and corresponding to the perfect Adam
while in Eden. It is also easy to be seen that Jesus could not be part
God and part man, because that would be more than the law required;
hence divine justice could not accept such as a ransom. The divine law
definitely shows that the ransomer must be exactly corresponding to
Adam, a perfect human being. How, then, did God send his Son? And when
he sent him, was he part man and part God?

[213]The Scriptures answer, as we have heretofore seen, that prior to
his coming to earth he was the Logos, a spirit being; that his life was
transferred to the human plane and he was born a human being. He was rich
and for our sakes became poor (2 Corinthians 8:9); that is to say, he was
rich in heavenly glory and power possessed by him as the great active
agent of Jehovah in the creation of all things, and he became poor by
becoming a man. It was absolutely necessary for him to be a perfect man;
hence he must be born holy, harmless, separate from sinners and without
sin; and he met this requirement. (Hebrews 7:26) Furthermore, he met the
requirements because he was made flesh and dwelt amongst men. (John 1:14)
He partook of flesh and blood, became a human being for the very purpose
of destroying him that has the power of death, that is the devil; and to
deliver mankind. (Hebrews 2:14,15) He took upon himself the form of a
servant or bondsman and was made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:7)
He was the only perfect man that has ever lived on earth, except Adam. He
was not part human and part spirit being, because "he was made a little
lower than the angels for the suffering of death". Angels are spirit
beings, and thus creatures that are lower than angels are human beings.
He was human. Had he been part God and part man he would have been higher
than the angels instead of lower, for the reason that angels are the
lowest order of spirit beings.

[214]Being a perfect man, he had the power to produce a perfect race of
people and with these populate the earth; therefore in every respect
exactly corresponding to the perfect man Adam in the condition he was in
while in Eden. He was perfect in every respect, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14) When he stood before Pilate, silent as a sheep is dumb
before its shearers, when the mob incited by the Jewish clergy of that
time were demanding his life blood, Pilate, in order that he might shame
the Jews for such action, cried out unto them: "Behold _the_ man". The
emphasis here is on the word _the_. We might paraphrase Pilate's words
thus: 'The man whom you are asking me to put to death is not only the
greatest man among you, but he is the man above all other men on earth'.
The people there had seen a perfect man. None of us have seen a perfect
man. He was the only One who has ever lived on earth qualified to become
the redeemer of mankind. He was sent to earth by Jehovah for that v
qualify as a priest.

[215]We note that Jesus grew from boyhood's estate to manhood's estate
and when he was thirty years of age he presented himself to John at
Jordan to be baptized. At the age of thirty, then, he was perfect in
body, perfect in mind, perfect under the law, in every respect an
absolutely perfect human being; hence qualified to be the ransomer or
redeemer of Adam, the perfect man, and of all Adam's offspring.

[216]Why did God send his beloved Son, this great Man, to earth? When a
great man of the world comes into prominence he expects others to
minister unto him, and they do minister unto him. But Jesus, the
greatest man who has ever lived on earth, and the only perfect One aside
from Adam, came to earth and became the servant of others, that he might
render the greatest good to mankind. True greatness consists in doing
good unto others. True greatness is magnified in Jesus. He was the
truest friend of the human race. He said: "The Son of man came not to be
ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for
many". (Matthew 20:28) And again he said: "Whosoever will be great among
you shall be your minister [servant]; and whosoever will be the
chiefest, shall be servant of all". - Mark 10:43,44.

[217]The perfect man Jesus became the servant of all. The importance of
Jesus and his work is magnified when we consider that he in heaven and
in earth was the dearest treasure to Jehovah's heart. He was God's
dearly beloved Son. He was the most precious thing possessed by the
great Creator, Jehovah. It was the supreme sacrifice on behalf of
Jehovah to use him to redeem the human race. It was God's great love for
fallen humanity that prompted him to do this; hence we read: "God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God
sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world
through him might be saved." - John 3:16,17.

[218]It was this truly good and truly great Man who for three and a
half years went about in the earth and taught and ministered unto the
people and did good unto every one and evil unto none. All the time he
was thus ministering and doing good, the scribes, Pharisees, doctors of
the law and other dupes engaged in misrepresenting and persecuting the
Lord, sought to kill him. Why did they do this? Because they were
instruments of Satan, the devil. - John 8:44.

[219]Jesus, the devil knew, was and is the great Seed of promise which
God had promised to Abraham should be the redeemer and blesser of
mankind. Jesus Christ is the Seed of the woman foreshadowed in God's
statement made to mother Eve and Satan. (Genesis 3:15) Satan sought,
therefore, in every way to destroy him. Jesus was teaching the Jews the
message of God to lead them in the right way, and to open unto them the
way of life. These scribes and Pharisees were opposing him and therefore
were the enemies of the people. Jesus said of them: "The scribes and the
Pharisees sit in Moses' seat" (Matthew 23:2); meaning that they had
assumed the position of leaders of the people. Because of their blinding
the people he said to them: 'You are hypocrites, blind guides, fools;
you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; you devour widows' houses
and for a pretence make long prayers; you compass sea and land to make
one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child
of _gehenna_ than yourselves. You are guilty of fraud and deceit, and
you are like unto whited sepulchres, which are full of dead men's bones
and all uncleanness; you are serpents, a generation of vipers. You do
not understand my speech because you cannot hear and understand my word.
You are of your father the devil.' - Matthew 23:13-33; John 8:43,44.

[220]Jesus knew that he was to be crucified and he told his disciples
of his coming death. The last night he was on earth with them he spent
teaching them great lessons and truths which were not only a blessing to
them, but have been a great blessing to every one from then until now
who has loved the Lord and sought to know and do his will. While he was
thus doing, the enemy was preparing to take his life. The Sanhedrin was
a high tribunal or court composed of seventy-three men, made up of
priests, elders, and doctors of the law, Pharisaical hypocrites, the
seed of the serpent, blinded to God's purposes. That body was the
highest court of Israel and it was the duty of this court to protect the



Online LibraryJ.F. RutherfordThe Harp of God → online text (page 8 of 26)