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The Nature of Christ

Now of course, our understanding of these issues determines how we understand the nature of Christ, or maybe it is the other way around. Our understanding of the nature of Christ determines how we view the other issues. Priebe and Larson say Jesus had a sinful nature and it did not make Him commit sin, so our sinful nature should not be a problem to us.

Brother Priebe believes that Jesus' inheritance was just the same as our inheritance with absolutely, no difference. He says,

Building on the foundation, we move to the nature of Christ. If sin is not nature but choice, then Christ could inherit our fallen nature without thereby becoming a sinner. He remained ever sinless because His conscious choice was always in obedience to God, never allowing His fallen nature to control His choices. His inheritance was just the same as our inheritance, with no need to resort to special intervention by God to prevent Jesus from receiving human falleness from Mary. (p.7)

One of the things that puzzled me when I began to study this issue years ago, was the question, “why did Jesus never sin while all the rest of us sin?” I asked many people that question but nobody gave me a good answer. They said Jesus just never chose to sin. I said, “there must have been something different!” They said, “no he was exactly the same.” I even went so far as to say, “so what are you saying, that I could have been Christ?” and that question kind of made them stop to think a little bit because there was no adequate answer to that.

The truth is that there was something different about Christ. The body was the degenerate body of a descendant of Adam, but the mind was the mind of the Son of God. A. T. Jones said,

Now as to Christ's not having “like passions” with us: In the Scriptures all the way through He is like us and with us according to the flesh. He is the seed of David according to the flesh. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. Don't go too far. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, not in the likeness of sinful mind. Do not drag His mind into it . His flesh was our flesh, but the mind was “the mind of Christ Jesus.” Therefore it is written: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” If He had taken our mind, how, then, could we ever have been exhorted to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus?” It would have been so already. But what kind of mind is ours? O, it is corrupted with sin also....(AT Jones - 1895 General Conference Bulletin)

Now this was the nature of Jesus. He was born with a sin-affected body, but with a pure, divine mind. We are not born like that. Our nature is that we are born with sinful flesh and sinful minds. Both parts are corrupt.

When I became involved with the Truth about God movement, I had to look at these issues closely and I came to understand something. I came to understand that every intelligent being in the universe has two parts to his nature. There is the spiritual nature and there is the physical nature! The argument is not as simple as Priebe, Larson and their supporters have made it. The Bible teaches clearly that man has a body and man has a spirit. If Trinitarians are ignorant of this, those of us in the movement which emphasizes the truth about God should surely not be united with them in this ignorance.

Now if you tell me that Christ came with my fallen physical nature (the body), exactly as I am in its fallen state, I will say, “Amen!” But if you tell me that Christ came with my spiritual nature in its carnal state, at enmity with God, I will call you a heretic!! Because the Bible says that the carnal mind is enmity against God, it is not subject to the law of God and it cannot be (Rom. 8:7)!”

Now don't tell me that Christ came with that mind. If you say that Christ came with that mind, you just have no concept of the kind of Saviour that Christ was. Ellen White, referring to Christ says, a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh (YI Dec. 20, 1900).” Now you hardly ever hear that quotation. You always hear the quotations which say, “ Christ came and took our sinful nature, ” and of course, in these quotations Ellen White was speaking about the body which He took. On the flesh side, who was He? Gal. 4:4 says,

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (Gal 4:4)

Jesus Christ was made of a woman. He got His body from Mary. What was His genetic heritage? Go to Luke 3:23-38 and look at His ancestry on His mother's side, and you will see that He came from a line of sinners. This was His flesh and blood heritage. He was the Son of man, he was a descendant of Abraham according to the flesh, and He took our sinful, fallen heritage, as far as the flesh is concerned. But don't tell me that He took our carnal mind!

A Divine Human Being

In heaven, there was a being whose name was Michael. There was a day when a miracle took place and I don't know how it happened, but this Michael lost His glorious form, lost His powers, lost His memories, and this Michael was transplanted into a flesh and blood body inside of a woman's belly. The flesh and blood was not Michael. It was the body which had been prepared for Him. What part was the part which had been in heaven as Michael? It was whatever was implanted in that body (we call it spirit or mind). It was the Son of God. And the Bible says of Him, when He came here,

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

What kind of glory was it? It was the glory “as of the only begotten of the Father!” There was a glory seen in this person which no angel could have displayed. No mere son of Adam could have displayed this glory. Ellen White says,

.... we cannot explain how divinity was clothed with humanity. An angel would not have known how to sympathize with fallen man.... {RH, October 1, 1889 par. 9}

To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world's dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Mal. 4:2. {DA 22.1}

This glory manifested in Christ, was something which could be seen only in, “the only begotten of the Father.” That is who He was, and He took this glorious “Son of God” identity and united it with the fallen seed of Adam. And so He elevated humanity to a place, higher than that of the angels, while He brought divinity down into humanity. That is the wonder of the incarnation.

So when we argue, “did He take the sinful, or the sinless nature?” We have not even yet begun to touch the question. Now these men have not considered this at all, it never enters into their discussion. I don't know if brothers Larson and Priebe have discussed this anywhere else, but in those two articles which I received, they never touch this question. They don't seem to recognize that man is a two-part being and so their argument is on a superficial level.

They have ignored, or not understood the fact that there is a spiritual nature to be considered. They say Christ lived without sin so you can live without sin by the same method, Christ overcame by discipline. Christ overcame by always making the right choices and so you can in the same way, always make the right choices and be just like him by making the right choices as he made the right choices.

A Shocking statement

Larson says something that shocked me. He says,

“in Christ means to follow and imitate Christ, in Adam means to follow and imitate Adam. .... we are in Christ because we have deliberately chosen to follow him and make him our life leader, model and guide.”

Now that's bad but not as bad as what he says next. He continues by saying,

“this is the only thing that ‘in Christ' can mean.” (That is, that He is our Leader, model and guide!)

Who is a leader? Somebody that you follow. Who is a model? Somebody that you imitate. Who is a guide? Somebody who instructs you.

What about the truth that Christ is my life? What about the fact that I get life from Christ? That, is the heart of Christianity! But elder Larson is telling me that the only thing that “in Christ,” means is that He's my Leader, He's my Model, He's my Guide. He stays outside of me and He pulls me and He pushes me and He instructs me but basically I'm on my own.

I find Larson's statements incredible. Yet, he is consistent because he believes that we are born capable of making the right choices and choosing good works. He believes that our only problem is that we choose to make wrong choices.

Therefore, he never speaks of the new birth, he never emphasizes the need of the holy spirit. In truth, if I accept his gospel, why do I really need any of these things? I am already capable from the moment I am born! Larson regards this as the gospel, but it is not the gospel of the apostles or of Christ. This is the gospel of man's goodness and ability. The true gospel is all about what God has done for humanity in His Son. The true gospel makes me know that I cannot live for one moment without Christ. This false gospel makes me think that all I need is a Leader, Model and Guide. Those who desire victory over sin should beware of any teaching which builds on the principles outlined by these two men.

These brothers are building something that they call the gospel and it is based upon the concept of imitation. But imitation cannot make a wolf into a sheep, there's something fundamentally different between a wolf and a sheep and it's not the kind of hair that grows on their bodies. There is something about the nature that is drastically different and no matter how a wolf imitates a sheep, he will not become a sheep. No matter how a sinner imitates Christ, it will not make him into a Christian.

Christianity is the result of a miracle that God alone can perform, the Bible calls it the new birth. It is an act of God, it is the work of God, it is not the work of man. This is the main reason why Christ had to die and be resurrected. It was in order to put man's carnal nature to death and to provide a life for him in which sin had been abolished. Man's only input is to accept the gift, to yield himself and to accept the gift.

Restoration Ministries

Restoration Ministries is dedicated to the promotion of the truths contained in the word of God. In particular to the restoration of those truths which have been cast down to the ground and trampled underfoot by the papacy, and adopted by her daughters.

Our purpose is to motivate men and women to commit themselves wholly to the task of personal preparation for the coming of the Lord, and to the taking of the final warning message to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Website: www.restorationministry.com

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