Joseph Herrin (10-30-2011)
I appreciate the patience of those who are giving attention to this book. I realize that there are many questions in the minds of the saints, and many Scriptures they would like to have explained that appear to contradict those truths being shared. I have chosen to present the message of the reconciliation of the creation back to the Father in a particular manner. I would first show forth through a wealth of Biblical sources the intent of Yahweh to restore “all things” to Himself. After this truth has been well established, then the sincere seeker of truth will be better enabled to consider the right interpretation and understanding of the many Scriptures that have been employed by others to declare a contrary doctrine.
For some, what has already been shared is sufficient to convince them that “Christ must reign until” He has “reconciled all things, whether in heaven or on earth, to the Father.” Once one sees this truth in Scripture, they are able to conclude that those difficult Scriptures that give an appearance of teaching something contrary cannot in fact be denying what is taught plainly in so many Bible passages. The child of God may rightly conclude that there must exist a full and mature understanding of the Scriptures that removes all contradiction and brings forth a harmony among what has formerly appeared discordant.
The difficulties found in some Scriptures are resolved as Yahweh shines more light into what were previously darkened areas of our understanding. These difficulties will be addressed before the book is concluded. At this time I believe it is beneficial to continue to lay a foundation for understanding that full reconciliation of the creation as we look at some of the types and shadows Yahweh has given to us in His word to show forth this mystery. As it is revealed how thoroughly the reconciliation of all things through Christ is presented in both plain speech and through the shadows contained in Scripture, the saint will hopefully have any lingering doubts dispelled. When one has been steeped for a long period of time in false doctrines espousing eternal enmity between God and His creation, and unending torments in the lake of fire, the process of being cleansed and delivered from that which has held our minds captive must necessarily be very thorough and patient.
When the Father first revealed to me the truth of the universality of Christ’s redemptive work I entreated Him to show me in His word some verifying testimony that I had not heard proclaimed by another man. I wanted to be “taught by God.” I asked Him for that wisdom that James enjoins the Christian to request from our Father.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
My heavenly Father was pleased to answer my petition, and at once led me to consider what is shown forth in type through an experience of our first forefather. After Adam fell into sin, and his nakedness was made manifest, it became evident that a covering was needed to hide mankind’s shame.
Genesis 3:7-11, 21
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. Then Yahweh God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked?…” Also for Adam and his wife Yahweh God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
To comprehend what is revealed through the act of Yahweh clothing Adam and his wife it is necessary to understand the “seed principle.” At the time of Adam’s transgression he did not yet have any offspring. The entire human race was “in Adam” in the form of his seed. In Yahweh’s eyes there is no distinction between a man and his seed. They are viewed as one. The actions of Adam are truly the actions of all those who descended from him. What transpired in Adam’s life has borne consequences in the lives of all men as surely as if the actions were their own.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
These words of the apostle Paul reveal the great importance of the seed principle. Some may balk at the justice of God in attributing the sin of Adam to those who were yet unborn. Yet, who would say God is unjust, or unmerciful, by imputing the righteousness of Christ to mankind? The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us by the same principle as the sin of Adam. Those born of Christ are His seed.
I Peter 1:23
For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring Word of God.
By virtue of our being “in Christ” as His seed, everything Christ did is applied to our account. By virtue of being “in Christ” His righteousness becomes our righteousness, His death becomes our death, His resurrection, our resurrection.
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin… Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him…
How have we become united with Christ? By faith we believe what God has testified, that we were “in Christ” when He fulfilled the righteousness of God, when He died and rose again.
II Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature…
I Corinthians 1:30
But by His doing you are in Christ Yahshua, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption…
This principle of God attributing to the seed, the actions of the forefathers, is observed very plainly in a passage from Paul’s letter to the Hebrews.
And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
Abraham paid tithes to Mechizedek when he returned from rescuing Lot from the three kings who had invaded Sodom and taken Lot captive. Paul states that Levi also paid tithes to Melchizedek, although Levi had not yet been born. Levi was three generations removed from Abraham, being the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. What Abraham did was imputed to Levi, for Levi was “in the loins of his father.”
In the same way, all mankind was “in Adam” when Adam sinned. We were all “in Adam” when sin brought forth death.
I Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.
Although we were only a seed, we were surely as much a part of Adam as an acorn is a part of the oak tree from which it falls. We cannot argue that if we had been presented with the same temptation in the Garden that we would have chosen differently. We were in the Garden. We were “in Adam.” As his seed we were in perfect agreement with this first man, this root from which we all have descended. When Adam chose to disobey Yahweh, we were there with him also choosing disobedience. When Adam submitted to the beast for obedience, we were present with him.
A marvelous thing is revealed when we consider that we were also “in Adam” when Yahweh covered him with a garment made from skins. Not only were all Christians “in Adam,” but all of mankind was “in Adam.”
When Yahweh made a covering for Adam and his wife, He did not just do so for Adam (whose name means ‘man’), but He did so for all those who were in Adam’s loins. We do not know the shape of the garment Yahweh fashioned for Adam, but we can conclude that it most certainly covered Adam’s loins. A man is considered naked when his loins are uncovered. It is in the loins that the seed of man resides. Therefore, when Yahweh provided a covering for Adam, He also covered Adam’s seed. This garment of skin serves as a parable of that covering God would later provide for the salvation of all mankind, which is His Son Yahshua.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
We are told that Yahweh made garments for Adam and his wife from the skins of animals. Though we are not told what kind of animal it was, I would not be surprised to learn that the garments were made from sheepskins, or goatskins. This covering that God provided points to the sacrifice that would one day fully cover the sinful flesh of man and remove mankind’s nakedness before God. To make these garments Yahweh had to slay an animal. Blood had to be shed. This points to the sacrifice of His Son.
What is present, but often missed in this account, is that in providing a covering for Adam (man), God provided a covering for all those who would be born of man. No one was left out in this act of mercy. All mankind was covered in Adam, and one day all men will be covered in Christ, for He must reign until He fills all things.
This leads to a second type also found in the Old Testament that relates to this covering Yahweh provided for Adam. This second type observed is the mercy seat that covered the ark of the covenant. The translators of our Bibles have chosen to call the lid atop the Ark of the Covenant a mercy “seat,” possibly because the glory of God rested upon it. The term “seat” is misleading, however, for it was not designed as a throne, or chair. The Hebrew word the translators rendered as “seat” is “kaporet” which is literally translated as “covering.” The Mercy Seat literally acted as a lid, or covering for the ark. Mercy seat is more literally and accurately translated as “mercy covering.”
Every minute detail of the Tabernacle and its furnishings carried great symbolic meaning. The ark of the covenant represents mankind, Yahweh’s chosen dwelling place. In the ark was placed the tablets of the Law. This is a parable of God placing His law in the heart of man. The ark, just like mankind, required a covering. The ark, typifying mankind, was not complete without the mercy covering being placed upon it. This mercy covering is Christ, who gave His blood as a ransom for mankind.
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
Christ could not be our covering apart from shedding His blood, even as Yahweh could not make garments of skins for Adam and Eve apart from slaying an animal.
Yahweh gave instructions for the High Priest of Israel to place blood upon, and in front of, the “Mercy Covering.”
Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat (merciful covering) and in front of the mercy seat (merciful covering).
This sprinkling of blood on the lid of the Ark served as a shadow of Christ sprinkling His own blood in the Most Holy Place in heaven after His crucifixion.
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
The blood of Christ is sprinkled on mankind that man might have the shame of his sin, even his nakedness, covered.
I Peter 1:1-2
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Yahshua Christ and be sprinkled with His blood…
Observe the parallel between these two shadows from the Old Testament. After Adam sinned, God provided a covering for the man. This covering was made of animal skins, requiring the substitutionary death of an animal and the shedding of blood. In the Law, Yahweh instructed the High Priest, once a year on the Day of Atonement, to slay an animal and sprinkle its blood on the covering of the Ark of the Covenant. This blood was placed on the “Mercy” seat, or covering, signifying that an act of mercy was taking place. When God placed the covering upon Adam, He was symbolically covering all mankind, for all men were contained in the loins of Adam as his seed.
Some may argue that such a type and shadow is inconclusive, for shadows are subject to interpretation, and this is true. The matter does not rest upon shadows alone, however, for the apostle John tells us in plain speech that God has provided a “merciful covering” for all men, not merely for those who are Christians in this present age. In the following passage John declares that Christ’s atonement was not merely for the church, but for the whole world.
I John 2:1-2
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Christ Yahshua the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Many people stumble over the word “propitiation” in this verse, for it is not a word that we commonly use today. The word rendered as propitiation is the Greek “hilasmos” and is Strong’s NT 2434. Strong’s Dictionary defines the word as “atonement, an expiator.” An expiator is one who makes atonement for another. An expiator is one who “makes good.” The word for “Mercy Seat” in the New Testament is a form of the Greek word “hilasmos.” This is Strong’s NT 2435, “hilasterion,” meaning “an atoning victim, or (specially) the lid of the Ark” (Strong’s Dictionary). We find this word used in the following verse.
And above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
Christ is declared to be the “hilasmos,” propitiation, or expiator of man’s sins. He is the one who “makes good” that which was not good.
II Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Christ has become the “hilasterion,” atoning victim, or lid of the Ark. He is literally “the Merciful Covering” for mankind. What we see in type through Yahweh clothing Adam, and all who are in Adam, and through the blood sprinkled on the Merciful Covering of the Ark, we find stated in plain speech by John.
He Himself is the propitiation (merciful covering) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
We see then that as far back as the Garden of Eden, immediately after the first transgression, Yahweh symbolically revealed that a merciful covering would one day be provided for all of mankind. We do not yet see all things reconciled to God, or all things subjected to Christ. The sacrifice has been made. The blood of Christ has been shed, yet we will not see all things summed up in Christ until the ages established by Yahweh have run their course and the reign of Christ has accomplished its goal of a complete restitution of all creation to the Father. The word of God remains sure. What Yahweh has sworn by Himself, He will accomplish. All mankind will be saved, but each in his own order.
For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
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