Christian Churches of God
(Edition 3.0 19950225-20010127-20071215)
The Soul doctrine is an inherently rebellious proposition that says that man shall not surely die. In general, the religious systems of the world assert that the soul is eternal. The biblical position on the soul was altered by syncretism within the early Church, as we see examined in this paper.
The biblical position on the Soul is a clear and simple doctrine, which has been altered by syncretism within the early Church. The position of the religious systems generally has become one that asserts that the soul is eternal. This is not the true biblical position. The development of the so-called Christian view and its relationship to the biblical view is examined here.
As discussed in Cox, Creation: From Anthropomorphic Theology to Theomorphic Anthropology (No. B5), the concept of the existence of a soul as an entity after death has been a constant theme arising from Babylonian Animism, i.e. from Chaldean theology. The concept is logically polytheist. The Bible states quite categorically that the dead remain so until the resurrection, either the First or Second Resurrection. Nobody has been resurrected other than Christ; the others of the elect are fallen asleep (1Thes. 4:13-18). But the dead will be raised:
1Corinthians 15:16-18 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also that have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
In fact, Christ has been raised from the dead as the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep (1Cor. 15:20). David died and was buried and his tomb is with us to this day (Acts 2:29).
John 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven but he that descended out of heaven, even the son of man who is in heaven.
The necessity of a physical or bodily resurrection follows from this position. The denial of the bodily resurrection, which became fashionable with Trinitarianism, is incorrect as it stems from a misunderstanding of the sequence of the Passover sacrifices and offerings. It is necessary to deal with the resurrection in some detail here to come to grips with the understanding of the relationship of Christ and humanity with God, and the manner in which the Bible says man is to inherit eternal life.
The Soul doctrine seems to be propagated in order to instil in the minds of humans that the individual has existence after death and is not, therefore, totally dependent on God for their resurrection and continued existence. The biblical explanation for the illusions of necromancy or the consulting of the dead is that it is a common deception of the fallen Host. It was to this end that Saul approached the witch at Endor. The witch is held to have had a familiar spirit, an "&! Öwb or obe, from the idea of prattling or mumbling as from a bottle or jar; hence it was used of ventriloquists, or for necromancy as a familiar spirit by illusion. The concept that a spirit could be brought up from the dead is held to be a reality from the illusion that Samuel was raised from the dead by the witch at Endor. It was, however, not Samuel who was raised from the dead. Some attempt to claim that the entity was in fact a demon that the woman saw; however, the woman was frightened by what she saw:
1Samuel 28:13 And the King said unto her, be not afraid: for what seeest thou? and the woman said unto Saul, I see gods coming up out of the earth.
The word she used here for gods is elohim, so that the entity (or entities) she saw and who spoke to Saul was an elohim. It was an elohim that removed Saul's kingship and pronounced his punishment. Communing with spirits is witchcraft because it breaches the First Commandment and thus is rebellion against God (1Sam. 15:23).
Judging from her fear, we can conclude that it was not a power she knew or was competent with. No demons could have removed Saul's kingship, as they did not possess the authority. An assertion that this entity was a fallen spirit or demon can rest only on the premise that where an entity acts contrary to the will of God, that being automatically comes under the authority of the fallen elohim. This stance seems contrary to the concepts stated by Paul, who understood this question by view of his training. An elohim with this authority logically should be one of the loyal Host. The misconception regarding this probably comes from a mistranslation in the NKJV, in the NIV, and so on, because the translators do not understand the concept of the elohim and are locked into the Soul doctrine. The entity is at any rate an elohim, either of the loyal Host or of the fallen Host, and is not the spirit of Samuel.
For the reasons outlined in Creation (No. B5) and above, the eternal human soul is a fiction of Chaldean theology. Redemption and election by infusion of the Spirit is the conceptual mechanism for progression to an eternal spiritual structure of being. Why would God create an ontological structure, which was more complicated than need be, involving a more complicated form of destruction? The complication necessitates a sequence of being, involving both human and spirit, and the more difficult destruction of a spiritual entity. From other biblical texts, it was explained in fact that, from the resurrection, spirit is reduced to human physical flesh in order to be dealt with. Satan is going to become a man, not the other way around. Spirit beings will be reduced to flesh and allowed to die, if they are rebellious. The rebellious will die and be cast into the rubbish pit and burnt as refuse, as will all human beings who refuse to repent. They will cease to exist. The Soul doctrine is something that tries to assert an ongoing existence regardless of God’s goodwill, God’s grace and power. It seems to say to God, “I’m going to exist whether you like it or not and there is nothing you can do to stop me from existing”.
That whole argument has found its way into the Eastern liberation theologies of transmigration. It found its way into the theology of the Celts with transmigration. People believed it even though it was fiction, a lie. They believed it because they are inherently rebellious. The biblical position from Ecclesiastes 12:7 is that the spirit returns to God who gave it, but this is not as a conscious being, for the dead know nothing and they have no memory (Eccl. 9:5). However, the position held throughout the biblical text is that there is a physical resurrection (Job 19:26; Ezek. 37:1ff.).
Revelation shows two resurrections from the dead. The first is at the return of the Messiah at the beginning of the Millennium. It is described in Revelation 20:4 and is concerned solely with the first phase of the elect, whose function is to assist Christ in the Millennium. This assistance performs a secondary function of providing the standard against which the demons will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, which is developed in Revelation 20:5.
The very fact of us performing a function for the thousand years is a comparative yardstick. Satan could not be judged unless Jesus Christ came here to do a job and lay down his life for the people he served. He had to be tempted in the desert. When Christ was tempted and asked to go against God and to worship Satan, he refused. So Satan was judged by what Christ did. In the same way, the rest of the demons will be judged by what we do. At the end of the Millennium, the entire human species will be resurrected and dealt with over an extended period of judgment and training, which appears to be one hundred years, from Isaiah 65:20. The concept of an eternal soul has no place in the biblical structure. The full outline of the way the Bible states God deals with humanity and brings them to judgment is dealt with in the Problem of Evil.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward; but the memory of them is lost.
The Post-Exilic Concepts of Christ and the Resurrection
Also, attention was drawn in the work Creation to the subordinationist Christology of the early Apologists after the dispersion from Jerusalem ca. 70 CE. It was during this phase that the Church began to encounter concepts directly opposed to their cosmology on a significant scale. Also, attention was drawn to Anders Nygren’s Agape and Eros (tr. by Philip S. Watson, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1969), in which he mentions the sharp distinction made by Justin Martyr between God and the manifestation of the Logos:
The Logos is in a way divine but not in the strictest sense of the word... The Father alone is unbegotten and incorruptible and therefore God. He is the Maker and Father of all things (Dial. lvi. 1.).
He did not come to us; He remains always above the heavens and never reveals Himself to anyone and has dealings with no one. (Dial. v. 4.)
In relation to Him, Christ is of lower rank, a *,bJ,D@H 2,`H [deuteros theos], 'another God than He who created all things.' (Dial. lvi. 1.)
Nygren says of this:
This subordinationist trait in the Christology of the Apologists is undoubtedly to be attributed to the Greek idea of God (p. 280).
As was stated in Creation, Nygren is wrong in this matter, as can be seen from an examination of the Old and New Testament schema outlined above. Justin Martyr is closer than he; however, the distinction and acts of creation are relative to the Logos, and this position is not understood by either. Nygren judges Loofs to be correct when he says of the Apologists:
Their Logos doctrine is not a 'higher' Christology than usual, but is rather on a lower level than the genuinely Christian estimate of Christ. It is not God who reveals Himself in Christ, but the Logos the reduced (depotenzierte) God, a God who as God is subordinate to the highest God. (Loofs: Leitfaden zum Studium der Dogmengeschichte, 4 Aufl. 1906, p. 129, ibid.)
Nygren and Loofs both were wrong in their estimate of what was genuinely Christian. They were trying to reinterpret the Ante-Nicene Christology that more closely follows the biblical within the modern concepts, which are non-scriptural.
The Angel of Redemption was one of a Council of Elohim, subordinate to the central Elohim, who was Eloah (God the Father and Maker). The Angel of Redemption was appointed as the new Morning Star to replace Satan, the old Morning Star. By his actions Christ judged Satan, and he is the only one of the angelic Host to be judged by the Bible (Jn. 16:11). The references in 1Enoch hold that some 20 Satans are condemned (see Ch. 3). However, the Bible indicates that it is only one and, indeed, the logical necessity of sequential judgment would indicate this to be correct.
When dealing with the concept of the old and new Morning Stars and the period of transition or redemption, it may seem to be a contradiction to leave one of the fallen Host and the most powerful (a Covering Cherub) in command, and place another elohim on the planet to isolate a priesthood and select and train it under pressures exerted by the fallen Host, and by those nations under their control through disobedience. However, the redemptive and teaching process is maximised in this manner. The necessity for just and impartial judgment by example is also demonstrated. It is for this reason that Christ, of necessity, must have been able to sin. If he could not have sinned, then God is in respect of persons in judgment and, indeed, Satan was feebleminded for tempting a Being who was in fact a robot.
No amount of theory would reinforce the concepts of absolute degradation and destruction of this planet (now occurring daily) once the process had been set in motion. No amount of discussion with the rebel Host would have demonstrated the illogical and destructive results of their system of polytheist thought or existence external to the will, nature, and agape love of God. Similarly, human systems reach points of no return beyond which they cannot be reached or called to repentance in this age, and hence are committed to destruction so that they may be redeemed under better circumstances during the Second Resurrection. This is why that resurrection must be in the flesh.
The obfuscation of the Plan of Salvation and the resurrection is another blockage to the proper understanding of the process, as it is a blockage to view the fallen Host as an order of grotesque beings. Satan and the fallen Host present themselves as Angels of Light (2Cor. 11:14), and there is, biblically, no difference in their appearance with the possible exception of the intensity of their countenance. They are alleged to adopt human and numerous other forms and appear in visions. The battle waged is seen to be for the minds and attitudes of humans, and in order to prevent their misuse or loss they are retrained in the flesh at the resurrection. They do not have immortal life (see Creation). Nygren understood this point correctly when he said:
The ancient Church differs most of all from Hellenism in its belief in the Resurrection. Christian tradition affirmed the 'Resurrection of the flesh,' which the Apologists opposed to the Hellenistic doctrine of the 'Immortality of the soul.' The antithesis was conscious and intentional, for at no point so much as this was their opposition to the Hellenistic spirit felt by the early Christians. The Platonic, Hellenistic doctrine of the Immortality of the soul seemed to the Apologists a godless and blasphemous doctrine, which above all they must attack and destroy.
(Justin, Dial. lxxx. 3-4) Their motto in this regard might well be Tatian's word: 'Not Immortal, O Greeks, is the soul in itself, but mortal. Yet it is possible for it not to die.' (Tatian, Oratio ad Graecos, xiii. 1). The difference between Christian and non-Christian in this matter was so great that belief in the 'Resurrection of the flesh' could become a shibboleth. One who believes in the 'Immortality of the soul' shows thereby that he is not a Christian. As Justin says: 'If you have fallen in with some who are called Christians... and who say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians' (Dial. lxxx. 4) (ibid., pp. 280-281).
These two matters above clearly mark the demarcation point between Christian and pseudo-Christian philosophy. As stated in Creation:
… the fundamental philosophical difference between Pseudo-Christianity with its doctrine of the 'Immortality of the Soul', and that of ancient Christianity and its doctrine of the 'Resurrection of the Flesh', is that the Soul doctrine is egocentric and the Resurrection of the Flesh doctrine is Theocentric. There must therefore be contradictions between the stated aims of the system and its explanation, and interpretation of the biblical narrative which does not support its contentions and upon which the system is allegedly based (p. 62).
Previously, it was stated that detailed biblical study therefore would expose philosophical as well as substantive conflict. This analysis will examine that conflict. Continuing from Creation, we note that the Soul doctrine is to be found in Plato's Timaeus, where each soul is said to be connected with its own star which it leaves in order to be incarnated on Earth and to which it returns at death (41dff.). David Ulansey refers to these concepts in The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries (Oxford, 1989, pp. 86-87), where he says:
'We find the idea fully developed in the Empedotimus of Plato's pupil Heraclides Ponticus, in which the Milky Way is seen as the path of souls descending to and ascending from incarnation. (On Heraclides Ponticus, see Burkert, Lore and Science, pp. 366ff; and Gottschalk, Heraclides of Pontus, pp. 98ff.)
This concept of astral immortality became more and more prevalent during the Hellenistic period until, in the judgement of Franz Cumont, by Roman times it had become the predominant picture of life after death.
According to Cumont, 'although memories and survivals of the old belief in the life of the dead in the grave and the shade's descent into the infernal depths may have lingered, the doctrine which predominated henceforward was that of celestial immortality' (Franz Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism New York: Dover, 1956, p. 39). Significantly in magical and Gnostic texts we find that the journey of the soul through the heavenly spheres was believed to be dangerous and that the astral powers needed to be propitiated at each stage' (see e.g. the Mithras Liturgy, in Meyer, Ancient Mysteries, pp. 211-21).
Of particular interest for us is that this conception of astral immortality is explicitly mentioned by the church father Origen (quoting the pagan author Celsus) as having been a Mithraic doctrine. According to Celsus, in the Mithraic Mysteries, there is a symbol of the two orbits in heaven, the one being that of the fixed stars and the other that assigned to the planets, and of the soul's passage through these. The symbol is this. There is a ladder with seven gates and at its top an eighth gate. (Origen, Contra Celsum, p. 334 (6.22)) In addition, the neo‑Platonist Porphyry attributes to Mithraism a complicated conception of the soul's celestial descent and ascent into and out of incarnation.
As stated previously:
… this takes the concept identified in Genesis as the Adamic deception of 'You shall not surely die' through to the Babylonian Mysteries and their re-establishment in the Indo-Aryans and with the Greeks and Orientals.
It is a systematically egoistic philosophy which is increasingly polytheist and increasingly differentiates the adherent from any rational Theocentric involvement. Ultimately the egocentric re‑orientation becomes destructive to the system. The incoherence is increasingly and ultimately divisive and chaotic. Intellectually, the process collapses into Psychological Egoism and Hedonism, which are seriously incoherent.
Any system based on egocentric perceptions and behaviour and which pursues the maximisation of individual utility will in the long run fail to maximise utility. These polytheist thought forms may give rise to illusory theocentricity in that a form of theocentricity can be manifested from egocentric objectives resulting in the 'False Messiah' syndrome, which we have seen manifested repeatedly since the establishment of the doctrines on a large scale. These doctrines are logically opposed to the centrality of God and any Theist is logically compelled to oppose them. Simply put, you cannot believe in the immortality of the soul and logically be a Monotheist (quoted from Creation (No.B5), p. 63).
The concepts involved in the ages and of judgment are dealt with in the Problem of Evil. The passages quoted here demonstrate the nature of the doctrine up until the early Apologists.
The impact of the Soul doctrine was so profound that, by the start of the fifth century, Augustine could say that spiritual bodies are not spirits, but are bodies which:
… not by a loss of its natural substance, but by a change of its quality [will be] living in heaven itself (City of God, xiii.23).
Augustine held (xxii.29):
God then [after the resurrection] will be seen by those eyes in virtue of their possession (in this transformed condition) of something of an intellectual quality, a power to discern things of an immaterial nature. Yet it is difficult, if not impossible, to support this suggestion by any evidence of passage in holy Scripture.
One might well ask how this process of change in the fundamental understanding of the mechanics of life after death came about. The importance of the understanding was also to have a profound effect on the understanding of the mechanics of the most significant event of the New Testament. That sequence of activities is termed the Christ event or the kerygma by theologians. The view of the soul and its relationship to the Godhead affects the understanding of the incarnation, existence, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To fully and correctly understand the mechanics, it is first essential to reconstruct the biblical position on the matter.
The Incarnation: how the Logos became Man
From John 4:24, we see that God is a Spirit. The translation of John 4:24 is rendered God is Spirit by NKJV, NIV, NASB, NEB, JB, TEV, RSV, Moffatt, Zwingli. The text is translated God is a spirit by KJV, RV, Noli, J.F.B. Commentary, Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament. The Amplified Bible renders the text God is a spirit (a spiritual Being). Origen's quotation of John 4:24 is translated as God is a spirit in the Ante-Nicene Fathers for Against Celsus, Bk. 2, Ch. 71 (ANF, Vol. 4, p. 460); Bk. 6, Ch. 70 (ANF, Vol. 4, p. 605); De Principis Bk. 1, Ch. 1 (ANF, Vol. 4, p. 242). The ANF translates it as such also for Tatian Address to the Greeks (ANF, Vol. 2, p. 66) and also for Tertullian in Against Praxeas, Ch. 7 (ANF, Vol. 3, p. 602); and Against Hermogenes Ch. 32 (ANF, Vol. 3, p. 495). Thus Tertullian understood the Greek in that way also. Comparison of the Greek construction of other “God is” texts will confirm this rendering; for example, 1John 4:8, 1John 4:16, 1John 1:5. The desires to make God a generalised Spirit stem from the Platonic structures including the idea of the Demiurge, and the Stoic World-soul. Philo's combination of the Jewish concepts of the Shekinah and the Memra resulted in his idea of the Logos. The biblical system has a number of basic statements, which carry implications of distinction. For example, Christ had an individual structure which he committed to God's hands on his death.
Luke. 23:46 Into your hands I commend my spirit.
This spirit is distinct from the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Truth and proceeds from the Father (Jn. 5:26), but appears to have a conjoint relationship with it and indeed be dependent upon it. The mechanics of this process appear to follow precisely the sequence laid down for humanity and which has been identified above – that all flesh must die. Christ did so die (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 2Cor. 5:14-15; 1Pet. 2:24). Christ held the laying down of his life as an expression of love.
John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Christ's life was given as a ransom for many (Mat. 20:28; Mk. 10:45). 1Peter 3:18 holds that Christ died for sins and the sheep (see Jn. 10:11). Paul held that Christ died and was resurrected and that the assertion of Christ's death and resurrection is fundamental to the Faith, as is the general resurrection of the dead.
1Corinthians 15:12-14 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
The logic of this statement of Paul is that the mechanics of the death and resurrection of Christ are the same as that for the elect, for whom he died (1Jn. 3:16). The resurrection, from Revelation 20:4 et seq., then proceeds to humanity generally. Christ had life in himself by grant of the Father (Jn. 5:26). He was held to be the last Adam. Paul answers the query on the process of the resurrection thus:
1Corinthians 15:35-49 But some will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come? You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being' the last Adam became a life giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.(RSV)
Paul states that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable (v. 50). The mechanics are understood to proceed from a human structure to a rebirth by baptism after repentance, as a conscious and repentant adult being called by God. Thus, baptism can only be after repentance as an adult. While the text in Mark 16 from verses 9-20 is generally agreed to be either an addition to the original or a restoration of the text (and which would had to have been removed at a very early date), the text at verse 16 demonstrates that the concept of repentance through faith was essential to salvation. But he who does not believe will be condemned shows that repentance and faith were the essential prerequisites to baptism. Thus an infant is precluded from receiving the right as it cannot exhibit repentance. Infant baptism is thus contrary to the mechanics of the structure and was so understood in the first few centuries.
Human spirituality and the structure of born again and the understanding of gennao was dealt with in the work Creation. The structure of being born again by baptism on repentance and receipt of the Holy Spirit is essential to the capacity to enter the Kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3-5). From Romans 8:23, the first-fruits of the Spirit are given at baptism, but the adoption as Sons occurs with the redemption of the body. The capacity to be born again occurs at baptism by the symbolic death and resurrection that the total immersion in water conveys. This total immersion in water was held to be an ongoing requirement not only of the Church but also of the symbolism of the baptism of John as practised at the Jordan. Christ went through this process and the Holy Spirit was conferred on him by the Father in the form of a dove (Mat. 3:16; Mk. 1:10; Lk. 3:22; Jn. 1:32). Every Gospel confirms this process. Indeed, the logic appears to be made manifest so that the process itself is confirmed as essential in Christ as the primary example or first-fruit. That other entities in the Old Testament had the Holy Spirit without the formal laying on of hands is certain. David prayed that the Holy Spirit was not taken from him (Ps. 51:11). David had been anointed by Samuel. However, others were not so clearly anointed.
The Bible itself tells us that the resurrection of the dead and the understanding of the spiritual structure were in dispute among the sects of the Jews. The Sadducees taught that there was no resurrection of the dead, nor were there angels or spirit (Acts 23:8). The Pharisees confessed both (Acts 23:8), and Christ held that it was the Pharisees who sat in Moses’ seat and had to be obeyed (Mat. 23:2).
The Sadducees appear to have taken in a form of materialist structure which sought to avoid any immaterial system. Paul developed the structure to incorporate the return of Christ. It is obvious to any Bible student that the span of two thousand years has seen many of the elect die. This process, because of the concept of the receipt of the Holy Spirit on baptism, was known as falling asleep. The old structure died at baptism, with the individual being reborn or born again in the spirit. Paul says:
1Corinthians 15:51-53 Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality (RSV).
The process being spoken of is the First Resurrection of the dead referred to in Revelation 20:4. The Second Resurrection is that occurring after the thousand years of the earthly reign of Christ. This is the general resurrection of the dead referred to in Revelation 20:11-15. At 1Thessalonians 4:15, Paul says that we shall not ‘prevent’ or precede those who have fallen asleep. Christ will descend and the dead in Christ – those who are baptised and have died – will be raised first and then, together with those who are alive, will be transformed or translated into pure spirit. The mechanics of the process is examined in more detail in the Problem of Evil. These spirit beings will then be gathered to Christ at Jerusalem from where the world will be governed under Christ for the Millennium or thousand years. Zechariah 14 deals with this period. The process of its establishment is noted in Zechariah 14:1-15. The requirements of the attendance at Jerusalem and the keeping of the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles for rain in due season are noted. There is, from these Scriptures, the existence of two classes of entities on the planet for one thousand years after the return of Christ. These are the spiritual elect under Christ, and the human survivors of the wars of the Last Days who will be given the guidance to re-establish the planet. The elect will be the guides of the remaining human structure (Isa. 30:21).
As a group, Seventh-Day Adventists have a serious inability to comprehend the millennial structure (see Appendix). Based on the writings of Ellen G. White, they spiritualise the Millennium and hence cannot adequately account for the prophets. Other Rapturists, including non-millennialists, generally have the same problem.
The process the Bible uses in dealing with those left at the return of Christ is that of translation. The dead are resurrected and translated with those who are still alive. Similarly, those at the end of the millennial reign of Christ who do not rebel, and those of the Second Resurrection who are resurrected, are brought into judgment for what appears to be one hundred years (from Isa. 65:20). At the end of one hundred years, the repentant saved are translated. The unrepentant sinners are allowed to die and are cast into Gehenna fire; in other words, their bodies are burnt. The reason why it is necessary to explain this process here is that the sequence and the sequence of the harvest fruits are necessary to an understanding of the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ.
Christ was the first-fruits of mankind. He was an example of what was to happen to the elect, and then to mankind generally. Christ was the only-born God and Son (monogenes theos and uion; Jn. 1:18; 3:16; 1Jn. 4:9; see also Lk. 7:12, 8:42, 9:38; Heb. 11:17 for comparison). He was the first-begotten (prototokos) of all creation (Col. 1:15), hence, the beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14, not as per the NIV; see above). The biblical position is that Christ was the Son of God and was distinct from God, who is referred to as God the Father. When Christ died he existed only as a dead body for three days, but he was not allowed to see corruption (Ps. 16:10). However, his spirit was returned to his God, who was the Father. And the Father raised him from the dead by His authority or command, which He had given to Christ before his death (Jn. 10:18), and which had been determined from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). The necessity for his sacrifice and, hence, also his resurrection had been determined from the laying down or the founding (kataboles) of the world (kosmou).
We have established beyond doubt that Christ was an obedient servant. From the above, his death and resurrection are mandatory to the Faith. The sequence mirrors that which is understood to apply to the elect, and later to humanity generally. Modern Christianity rests upon a number of false premises, which are examined below. Briefly, it attempts to assert:
1: That God and Messiah (and the Spirit) are incapable of separation in fact or in thought, and are not properly describable as Beings. Also, that this elohim is confined to two entities and the Spirit, ignoring the distinction between Eloah and the Council. From the analysis above, this is false.
2: That the pre-incarnate existence of Christ was not as the Angel of YHVH.
3: That Christ was the only Son of God before the creation of the world (see Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). This premise is false. There must be a specific process in the incarnation dealing with Christ as a Being separate to, and distinct from, God. Modern Christianity does not explain this problem.
Christ and Satan were not the only two Morning Stars (see Job 38:7; Isa. 14:12; Rev. 2:28; 22:16). The assertion of multiple Morning Stars and a Council of Elohim portrays extended and extensive authority over many systems. Each of these entities has a relationship and identity with the Father that cannot be prejudiced by that of Christ's relationship. The fact that Christ is a partner to these entities means that he cannot be their God. Hence, his relationship to the Father is subordinate. His incarnation, therefore, cannot be incomplete on the claimed grounds of an equality in the Godhead. Thus, the next claim:
4: That Christ is God in the same way that God is God is false.
He is a subordinate God (Heb. 1:9), sent by the Lord of Hosts (Zech. 2:10-11). Hence he cannot be held as an object of worship and prayer, contrary to Exodus 34:14, Matthew 4:10 etc.
The next absurdity that develops from the claims of an existence for Christ separate to, and other than in, his incarnation is that he could have prayed to himself as God. Such a proposition effectively denies the distinction between Father and Son and the totality of the resurrection. It is of Antichrist (1Jn. 2:22; 4:3; 2Jn. 7). This argument extends then to the proposition that Christ and God were of the same will and that Christ was not possessed of a separate will which he subordinated to God through willing obedience. This is negated in Chapter 2. The proposition is then advanced:
5: That Divine nature admits of no gains and no losses in Christ (the concept is negated from above).
The proposition drawn from this is:
6: That the Holy Spirit is given by fixed measure (contrary to Jn. 3:34, RSV; Rom. 12:6); hence
7: Christ could not have sinned (from the false premise of divine nature admitting of no gains and no losses rather than from the omniscience of God, who knew that Christ would not sin); see above.
The argument progresses to the assertion:
8: That Christ was consubstantial with God in such a way that he was co-equal and co-eternal with God contrary to Philippians 2:6 and 1Timothy 6:16, which show that only God is immortal. Christ's eternal or aioonion life (1Jn. 1:2), and that of all Beings, derives from that entity who is the True God (1Jn. 5:20).
Both Christ and the elect are of the same origin (Heb. 2:11, RSV) deriving their life and immortality from conditional obedience to the Father (Jn. 5:19-30), who created us all (Mal. 2:10-15). As the Father has life in Himself, so He gave the Son to have life in himself (Jn. 5:26), and we are co-heirs, being ordained to have life in ourselves by authority of God. It becomes necessary for modern Christianity to falsely assert:
9: That the elect are not Sons of God in the same way that Christ is a Son of God and hence not co-heirs, contrary to Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:29; Titus 3:7; Hebrews 1:14; 6:17; 11:9; James 2:5; 1Peter 3:7.
In support of this point, use has been made of the error:
10: That the Supreme God came down in the flesh and dwelt among men (stemming from the fraudulent insertions in 1Timothy 3:16 in Codex A, retained in the KJV and manipulated into the preamble in the NIV) contrary to John 1:18 (and Jn. 1:14 where it was the logos, or memra, who became flesh) and the numerous texts distancing Christ from the One True God (Eloah or Theon, who is God the Father), the God of Jesus Christ (Jn. 17:3, 20:17; 1Cor. 8:6; 2Cor. 1:3), who stands in His Name (Mic. 5:5).
The above misstatements of modern Christianity affect the understanding of the mechanics of the incarnation. This stems from the fact that the concepts of how God is One are misunderstood by Trinitarians. The Shema (Deut. 6:4) is examined later. The entity at Deuteronomy 6:5 is identifiable as God Most High, the God who anointed Christ as Elohi of Israel, in Psalm 45:6-7. The unity of God, necessary to Monotheism, is of an extended order dwelling in unity under a central will in agreement and spiritual interaction through the Spirit and Power of God (1Cor. 2:4-14) which, through Christ, is towards God (2Cor. 3:3-4). The Trinity denies the unification necessary to Monotheism and is logically polytheist. It allegedly occurs because the rulers do not understand, being unspiritual (1Cor. 2:8,14). Christ achieved his capacity to be God, and achieved the fullness of the Godhead bodily from the operation of the Holy Spirit.
The mechanics of the incarnation then remain to be unravelled. However, there is no doubt that we are not dealing with a partial activity by a Being who somehow suspended his essence in Heaven such that he could have had two contemporary planes of existence. Such a proposition has no biblical validity whatsoever. Having established the biblical position at the time of Christ, we are able to see how this position was present during the first and second centuries. From the texts available to us of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, we know that the understanding extended into the early Church. Justin Martyr states that God taught the same thing by the prophets as by Moses and this is borne out above (see Dial. with Trypho, Ch. XXVII, ANF, Vol. I, pp. 207f.). Justin taught that God begat, as the beginning, a certain rational power from Himself that is called by the Holy Spirit: now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God (theos), and then Lord and Logos. Justin identifies him as the Captain of the Army of the Lord who appeared to Joshua (ibid., LXI). This section was drawn in exposition of Proverbs 8:21ff. where Wisdom was identified as Messiah, who was made by God. God's will was then executed by Messiah. Justin (ibid., LXII) holds that, in the creation, God conversed with entities numerically distinct from himself. Thus, Moses was held to declare that the creation involved at least two beings numerically distinct from one another. Ditheists attempt to isolate this to two beings, and Trinitarians merge it into three indistinct hypostases. Given the variation in Trinitarianism itself, the argument between Binitarianism and Trinitarianism is perhaps semantic. The elohim were in fact more numerous, from the other texts referred to above, especially Psalm 45:6-7, which ascribes partners to Christ.
Irenaeus (ca. 125-203 CE) wrote on the question of the extension of the term elohim (or theoi in the Greek) to mankind. Irenaeus is important because he was taught by Polycarp, the disciple of John (see Butler, Lives of the Saints, Burns & Oates, U.K., 1991, p. 56). Thus we can be fairly certain that Irenaeus' understanding (short of forgery) approximated that of the early Church. He certainly supported the Quartodecimans and mediated in the Passover controversy (Butler, ibid., p. 197), although he was isolated from Asia Minor, being in Lyon. In his work Against Heresies he taught the concept that the elect would exist as elohim. Irenaeus held that the angels and the creator of the world were not ignorant of the supreme God seeing that they were His property and His creatures and were contained by Him (Bk. II, Ch. VI, ANF, p. 365). Irenaeus did not refer to the creator of the world, who was Messiah, as God the Most High or the Almighty (Ch. VI, ibid.). From this work it is shown that the Greek concepts of the Demiurge and the Pleroma had invaded the concepts of that which is termed Aeons, and had sought to infuse the biblical concepts with Greek metaphysics, thus destroying them. The Gnostics were forced underground, becoming part of the Mysteries. The final development into the Trinity is examined later.
Irenaeus (and Justin) taught that the resurrection was physical, and then God would render the bodies incorruptible and immortal (ANF, Vol. I, p. 403). God is held to be the Creator (ibid., p. 404), as opposed to Christ, who created the world under this God (p. 405). Irenaeus held that the Holy Spirit had designated both the Father and the Son (from Ps. 45:6-7) as Elohim or Theoi; the Father appointing the Son. Irenaeus held that Psalm 82:1 referred to the Father, the Son and the elect (those of the adoption as the Church) when it said:
God stood in the Congregation of the gods (theoi), he judges among the gods (Adv. Her., Bk. III, Ch. VI, ANF, Vol. I, p. 419).
He appears to have not fully understood the extent of the brotherhood of the elect, which extended to all of the Host as brethren in the Kingdom. Revelation was given to John in exile on Patmos after he had trained Polycarp. Revelation 12:10 holds the angels to be the brethren of the elect. Revelation 4 and 5 show that the elect have been ransomed to the Council of the Elders to become kings and priests among the Host. Christ states that the elect are to become equal to the angels (isaggelos: from isos and aggelos, which has the concept of being part of them as an order).
Irenaeus held that the Church was the synagogue of God, which the Son had gathered to himself. God of gods in Psalm 50:1 is held to refer to God. Our Messiah was the theos or God who shall come openly and shall not keep silence (Ps. 50:3), and who appeared openly to those who sought him not (Isa. 65:1). The name gods of Psalm 50:1 refers to the elect of whom Christ is held to have referred when he said: “Ye are gods and all sons of the Most High” (Jn. 10:34-35 cf. Ps. 82:6). It is thus quite erroneous for the Church to state from the distance of two millennia that Christ was using a text that referred solely to the magistrates in Jerusalem, when a disciple of Polycarp held that he was referring to the elect as elohim. Those who believed in Christ were held by Iranaeus to be Sons of God as co-heirs with Christ, and thus elohim. Iranaeus also held that Christ was the Son of I Am That I Am (YHVH) (from Ex. 3:14). Thus, his carriage of the title was by delegation. Irenaeus quotes Isaiah thus:
Isaiah 43:10 I too am witness (he declares) saith the Lord God, and the Son whom I have chosen, that ye may know, and believe, and understand that I AM (ibid.).
The Soncino renders the text:
Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, And My Servant whom I have chosen; That ye may know and believe me and understand That I am He; Before Me there was no God (El) formed, Neither shall any be after Me.
The quote from Irenaeus and the Soncino variant, which more or less confirms Irenaeus, shows that ‘I AM’ refers to God, who is the Father. The reference to servant in the Soncino is seen from Irenaeus to refer to Messiah.
The Soncino attempts to equate My Servant with the earlier witnesses as Israel, although no rabbinical authority is cited. What is certain is that this text was seen as indicating that only God, and not Messiah, was pre-existent. Further, Messiah is distinguished from God. Irenaeus showed that his understanding of Isaiah 44:9 and Jeremiah 10:11 on the question of the idols, was that the idols were idols of demons (Adv. Her., Bk. III, Ch. VI, ANF, p. 419). These demons were removed from the theoi or elohim. In referring to Jeremiah 10:11, Irenaeus quotes:
The gods that have not made the heavens and earth, let them perish from the earth which is under the heaven. For from the fact of his having subjoined their destruction he shows them to be no gods (elohim or theoi) at all.
Thus the idols themselves were shown to be understood not as being simple idols, but rather as being the embodiment of the demon whom they represented (see also Bk. III, Ch. XII:6, ibid., p. 432). This was the standard understanding throughout the ancient world. Thus, the removal of the demons and their restraint and later judgment removed them from the category of elohim.
Irenaeus shows by reference to Exodus 7:1 that Moses was indeed made an elohim to Pharaoh, but he is not properly termed Lord or God by the prophets. Rather, Moses is spoken of by the Spirit as Moses, the faithful minister and servant of God (Heb. 3:5; Num. 12:7), which is also how Messiah is termed in the texts. Thus, each of the elohim is a subordinate servant of Eloah, the Elyon.
Irenaeus (p. 421) states that Christ confessed ‘Caesar as Caesar’ and ‘God as God’, from Matthew 22:21 and also from Matthew 6:24, in serving God and not mammon. Thus Christ distanced himself from the claim of being The God (see also p. 422). Quoting Philippians 2:8, Irenaeus shows that the relationship Christ had as God and Judge was derived from the God of All because he became obedient unto death (Ch. XII:8, p. 433). Irenaeus quotes the Septuagint (LXX) of Isaiah 9:6 stating that Messiah was Emmanuel the messenger [or Angel] of Great Counsel of the Father (Ch. XVI:3, ibid., p. 441). He showed thereby that the Angel of Great Counsel of the Old Testament (LXX) was understood to be Christ. Irenaeus denies the concept that the suffering of Jesus can be separated from the Messiah by alleging that Christ remained impassible. In other words, he denies the attempt to assert that the divine aspect of Messiah could be separated from the human Jesus on Earth. This became a teaching of the Gnostic sects by twisting Mark's Gospel and ignoring others.
Irenaeus also shows what became the basis of the errors of the sects. The Ebionites allegedly used Matthew's Gospel only. Thus, they drew erroneous conclusions regarding the position of Christ. The Athanasians or Trinitarians used the term Ebionite later as an attempt to confine the doctrines of subordinationism and subordinationists of any persuasion to an heretical lineage from the Ebionites to the parties involved in the disputes at Nicaea that were labelled as Arians. Such claims are false from an examination of the early Church writers who, prior to Nicaea, were subordinationist
Irenaeus was emphatic that there was only one God or Father, namely God the Father. Messiah was His Son. He says Marcion also mutilated Luke's Gospel to establish his teaching. The Valentinians used John to the detriment of the others and also by including pseudo-gospels. The fact is that then, as now, the Scriptures must be used together, diligently and not selectively. Irenaeus shows an advanced understanding of the fourfold nature of the Gospels and their significance in relation to the Cherubs (ibid., Bk. III, Ch. XI:8, pp. 428-429). Irenaeus denied the concept that Jesus could have suffered and risen again, and that he who flew off on high was another, remaining impassible. Irenaeus held that “the Christ whom God promised to send, He sent in Jesus, whom they crucified and God raised up” (ibid., Ch. XII:2,4,5; pp. 430, 431).
There is no confusion between God and Christ in the mind of this theologian and he states here, clearly, that the Apostles did not change God, but Christ was sent by God. Irenaeus says:
Hereby know ye the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ came in the flesh is of God; and every spirit which separates Jesus Christ is not of God but is of antichrist (Ch. XVI:8 quoting 1 John 4:1,2. Note: The Vulgate and Origen agree with Irenaeus, Tertullian seems to recognise both readings). Socrates says (VII:32, p. 381) that the passage had been corrupted by those who wished to separate the humanity of Christ from his divinity. Polycarp (Ep., c, vii) seems to agree with Irenaeus and so does Ignatius (Ep. Smyr., c,v) (see fn. to ANF, ibid., p. 443, quoting also Burton, Ante-Nicene Testimonies to the Divinity of Christ).
Thus, any doctrine that seeks to separate Christ by conjoint relocation to both earthly and heavenly realms was understood by the early Church as the Doctrine of Antichrist. The alteration of the text appears to have been in the East. The Bible texts are still uncorrected to this day.
Irenaeus says that the Spirit of God descended upon Christ as a dove that it might fulfil Isaiah 11:2: And the spirit of God shall rest upon him; and also Isaiah 61:1: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me. Thus it was not ye that speak but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you (Mat. 10:20) (Ch. XVII:1, ibid., p. 444). Therefore, the Holy Spirit was understood to be of God and not from Christ, but rather through Christ as explained above. This was so that:
… the Son of God, made the Son of man, becoming accustomed in fellowship with Him to dwell in the human race, to rest with human beings and to dwell in the workmanship of God, working the will of the Father in them, and renewing them from their old habits into the newness of Christ (ibid.).
Irenaeus taught that the elect would put on immortality so that they might receive the adoption as Sons (Ch. XIX:1). The Spirit joined the elect to God, bringing distant tribes to unity and offering to the Father the first-fruits of all nations (ibid., XIX:2). Christ was the instrument of this action, but he was not the object of worship nor the architect of its operation. Nevertheless, he was the Wonderful Counsellor and Mighty God spoken of through Isaiah 9:6, and the Judge of Daniel 7:13 (ibid.). However, Christ acknowledged the Father as his God, as did David, (quoting Ps. 22:1) where David said:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Christ again stated this on the cross, as recorded in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34. Both texts are referring to Eloah, the Supreme God and the God and Father of Christ. The words used by Christ are Aramaic, when he allegedly said:
Eli, Eli, la'ma sabach-th'a'ni.
This is an English transliteration of a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic 'eli, 'eli lamah 'azabthani. The word for God is the Aramaic El here, as God expressing His will and to His Son. God did not forsake Christ as Psalm 22:24 says:
For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and He has not hid His face from him, but has heard when he cried to Him.
Thus, God and Christ were distinct here. Christ was not just speaking messianically as an hypostasis of God, as there are distinct requirements of this Scripture that require divine action to the subordinate and which cannot be broken, as Scripture cannot be broken. Nonetheless, Christ and the elect were called God (elohim) by extension. Irenaeus says:
There is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son and those who possess the adoption (Adv. Her., Bk. IV, Pref. 4, ANF, p. 463): [and also]
[Ch] 1. Since, therefore, this is sure and stedfast (sic), that no other God or Lord was announced by the Spirit, except Him who, as God, rules over all, together with His Word, and those who receive the spirit of adoption [see iii. 6,1], that is, those who believe in the one and true God, and in Jesus Christ the Son of God; and likewise the apostles did of themselves term no one else as God, or name [no other] as Lord; and, what is much more important, [since it is true (sic)] that our Lord [acted likewise], who did also command us to confess no one as Father, except Him who is in the heavens, who is the one God and the one Father;...(ibid., p. 463).
It is thus absurd to suggest that the understanding that the elect will become elohim was not understood as the original position of the first two centuries of the Church, given that Irenaeus was the closest link that we have with its doctrines, and he so clearly held this position. Further, it is shown beyond doubt, that that position is the coherent plan of the Scriptures, not only of the Scriptures proper – which by biblical definition was the Old Testament (Dan. 10:21; Mat. 21:42; 22:29; 26:54; Mk. 12:10,24; 14:49; 15:28; Lk. 4:21; 24:27,32,45; Jn. 2:22; 5:39; 7:38; etc.) – but also of the Gospels and into the writings of the New Testament. In the very passage that deals with the elect as elohim, namely John 10:35, Christ introduces the concept that Scripture cannot be broken. From above, the concepts of the early Church are clearly seen as subordinationist, involving a concept of eternal life that relied on the Holy Spiri enabling the resurrection of the elect as theoi or elohim in the First Resurrection at the return of the Messiah.
The Soul doctrine thus entered the elect much later along with the Mystery cults and the Triune God. The original early Church held to an absolute resurrection and denied the Soul doctrine as pagan. The argument concerning the acceptance of a Hellenised Christian Church as being more correct than the early Judaising elements, such as those termed Ebionites, or dismissed as a more stilted Judaic Christian Church which logically gave way to a more dynamic and flexible Christianity under the Gentiles as directed by Paul, is false. Those arguments misapprehend what was spoken of by Paul within both Colossae and Galatia. The same arguments have been used to introduce the error of the Soul doctrine (see the paper The Socratic Doctrine of the Soul (No. B6)).
The Soul doctrine is an inherently rebellious proposition that says that man shall not surely die (Gen. 3:4). It is an attempt at taking the certainty of the punishment for sin away from mankind. The argument that man shall be as elohim from knowledge alone is asserted by Satan from Genesis 3:5. The capacity to become elohim is entirely dependent upon the resurrection from the dead, through the saving grace of Joshua or Jesus Christ as Messiah. The denial of the physical Millennium is part of the deception and attempts to assert the unconditional inheritance of eternal life. Eternal life can only be obtained through the knowledge of the One True God and His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as the ‘immortal soul’. It is a deception of the Babylonian system, which has extended over the entire world. People believe the lie because they cannot obey God. Without the Holy Spirit, their mind is enmity towards God (Rom. 8:7), and cannot obey God or conform to His nature. The elect possess the nature of God as partakers with Jesus Christ (2Pet. 1:4). Only God is immortal (1Tim. 6:16). He dwells in unapproachable light and no man has ever seen Him nor ever can see Him. Only as Spirits can we approach God and that is dependent upon our obedience and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who is our mediator with the One True God (Jn. 17:3; 1Jn. 5:20; Gal. 3:19-20; 1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24).
We are totally dependent upon the resurrection in order to become spirits as sons of God, when we can see God and approach Him personally. We now approach the Throne of grace boldly in the spirit.
The failure of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDAs) to adequately cope with the prophecies in Isaiah and Zechariah is that, based on the writings of Ellen G. White, they have allegorised the millennial structure into a spiritual activity with Satan being confined to the Earth alone. This is completely wrong and has resulted in the inability of their writers to adequately explain the statements of Isaiah and Zechariah, which show that Christ will re-establish the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts found in Leviticus 23 (cf. Isa. 66:23; Zech. 14:16-19). An example of this failure to comprehend the millennial restoration is found in the work of Robert D. Brinsmead, who wrote on the question of Sabbatarianism and the Law (see Sabbatarianism Re-examined, June 1981). Brinsmead attacked the erroneous doctrines of the SDA system and attempted to demolish British dispensationalism, but constructed his views of prophecy based upon the cosmological view that the Scriptures where allegorical and not physical when, for example, Isaiah is explicit that they refer to physical flesh.
The SDAs appear not to have taken on board any concept of actuality of the millennial structure, as a physical rulership of Christ on the planet for a thousand years. Ellen G. White and the SDAs produced a rapture theory, where at the First Resurrection all of the wicked are slain and all of the just are raptured up into Heaven and Satan is left alone on the Earth for one thousand years, waiting until the final judgment. That is what they believe, contrary to the explicit texts of the Old and New Testaments. There is no biblical basis for it, but they believe it.
Consequently, when we get people dealing with these issues they do not read the prophecies of the Old Testament as we would read them. They ascribe no reality to any prophecy of the Old Testament, which speaks about the actual physical restoration of Israel. They read with that a spiritual symbolism, so prophecy to them does not mean what it says. Consequently, where we see Isaiah 66:23 saying that the Sabbaths and the New Moons will be restored, they say there must be a spiritual emphasis to this. They are not going to restore the physical Sabbath, so Brinsmead can do away with the Sabbath based on this text, which clearly says that Christ will restore it. It is a mental juxtaposition which is very seriously questionable. It is not based on a stable mind. There is no reality to them of biblical prophecy in any sense of a future physical restoration. They hear the words, but they have some delusion regarding the matter. They simply believe a lie.
Brinsmead’s application of the text in Isaiah 40:3-4 to John the Baptist alone (see Ch. 7) shows that he does not understand the reality of the messianic Advent in two stages, and that the King Messiah is a physical reality of the Last Days. The Companion Bible notes to Isaiah 40:3 show that this text is yet to be fulfilled. The SDAs’ spiritualisation of the millennial system crippled both themselves and their critics. Ultimately, this false paradigm was to destroy the faith of Brinsmead himself. Brinsmead holds that, “just as a truly catholic faith must transcend places so it must also transcend times. No time is holy in itself any more than any place is holy or any substance is unclean. Strict laws regarding places and times were temporary regulations imposed on the religious cultus until the time of reformation” (Ch. 10, p. 37).
So, we see where he goes from this point. He misapprehends the reality of the scientific basis of the food laws and the reality of the distinctions of the sacred and the profane, believing that Christ eliminated all distinction between sacred and secular. So there is no injunction to come out of her and be ye holy; that ye are the holy of holies and that God’s Temple is within us. We are God’s Temple. That distinction is meaningless. Brinsmead regards it as foolishness, despite the fact that it is the biblical position.
This whole argument presupposes the validity of Christ’s capacity to change times and the Law on an equality with God, and is inherently Trinitarian. Moreover, the error is prophesied in Daniel 7:25, and is an offence against the Most High God. The entire argument, both from Adventism and from Trinitarianism, stems from the Soul doctrine.
The restoration under Christ shows that there are two classes of beings. Those of the first class, termed the elect, are of the First Resurrection and they are made into spirit beings after the return of Christ. The second class are those of the Second Resurrection which is after the millennial reign, and involves the people who lived during the Millennium and those of the dead who were not part of the teaching body of the First Resurrection (Rev. 20:1-6). See also the paper The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).
Satan is loosed after the thousand years and goes out to deceive the nations, which are at the four corners of the Earth (Rev. 20:8-9). Adventism can make no sense of these texts because of the writings of Ellen G. White. She does not comprehend the physical resurrection of the entire planet, and her theology impugns the nature of God.
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