Sin - The devil - destroyed at christ's resurection

The Bible devil is referred to in Hebrews 2, as being part of the flesh and blood nature which Jesus had to share in order to overcome it:

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15).

Christ’s sacrifice being accepted, he gained the victory over the devil and the power of death, at his resurrection to immortality. Christ now has the power to share his victory with his friends in the day of their resurrection, therefore they are no longer “subject to” the “bondage” of the “fear of death” (v15) sure in the hope that they will be delivered from out of death in that day. So in principle the power of the devil has been annulled, though for the present it still brings people to the grave.

It is a first principle that the Bible devil, or diabolos is that mortal aspect of the flesh of men, which has the power of death, and gives rise to committed sin. This physical principle is called “sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3). It is said of Jesus, that by passing “through [Grk.dia] death, he might destroy him that had the power of death that is the Devil”(Heb.2:14). By acceptable atonement and, (by God’s Grace), his subsequent resurrection to immortality, Christ destroyed the devil in himself. This broke the power of death for himself and, in prospect for all those in Christ. For when Christ returns he is the one “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”(Phil3:21) 

So in the faithful, sin in the flesh will be abolished because of what took place in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ. This will be in the day of their resurrection.  Being a physical law of our being, it can only be removed by a physical change.  As Bro. Robert Roberts wrote: “Immortalisation is the physical cleansing” (cited below).  And as the Apostle expresses it:

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54).

This is so that: “mortality might be swallowed up of life” (2 Cor. 5:4). The death and resurrection of Messiah are both vital elements in the condemnation of sin in the flesh. Without the sacrificial death, sin in the flesh would remain uncondemned, and without the resurrection, there would be be no victory. Until he was made immortal, Jesus was under the “dominion” of death, but being raised, death hath no longer any dominion over him—as it is written: “Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him” (Rom. 6:9).  The power of death had the dominion over him until his resurrection.  If Christ were not raised, then we of all men would be most miserable (1 Cor. 15:19), for there would be no hope of release from the bondage of death. But with his resurrection, there is a hope of victory over the devil, that sin will be removed from our flesh, when it is “swallowed up of life” – and being made after the physical nature of the risen Christ (Phil. 3:21).

What follows are a series of quotations from our earlier brethren, demonstrating this point, that the victory of Christ over sin was accomplished at his resurrection, following his sacrificial death:

“The New man so developed in us is “made perfect through suffering” as Christ was, but the old man is not actually destroyed till he is “swallowed up” in the transforming operation of the Spirit at the judgment seat.  The new man is only a moral creation at Baptism; a legal creation at the judgment seat; and an actual physical creation when “this corruptible” is changed to the incorruptible …”

 (R Roberts, The Christadelphian, 1885, p 24).

“the word “cleanse” was used in the sense of being delivered from the defiling sentence in the way God’s honour required, viz, by being carried out.  It was not used in the sense of the removal of physical blemish in the living person: in that sense, death would be a strange mode of cleansing: cure a mortal man of his mortality by killing him!  Immortalization is the physical cleansing …”

 (R Roberts, The Christadelphian, Jan 1876)

 “Understanding by the devil, the hereditary death-power that has reigned among men by Adam through sin, we may understand how Christ, who took part in the death inheriting nature, destroyed the power of death by dying and rising.”

(Robert Roberts in “Law of Moses—Consecration of Aaron and his sons”)

“…the great and simple fact that Christ was “made in all points like” ourselves, as to flesh nature, that through death and resurrection he might do that which no other man could do, destroy him (or that) having the power of death, that is, the devil”—(Heb. 2:14). This truth had been extricated from the obscuration of many ages, and delivered from the intellectual embarrassments which had beset the question of atonement for generations. And the brethren had done rightly in resisting those who, with whatever motive, would drag us back to the old difficulties and the old obscurations.

The Christadelphian, 1896 33 pg 219

(Voyage to Australia speaking against “Clean Flesh Heresy of Cornish)

“ In Christ, the innocent and sinless possessor of a death-cursed nature, the power of death was extinguished by death and resurrection,”

Robert Roberts  1877 pg.369

“… Sin was first destroyed in the person of Christ (who is the first-fruits) by his submission to death, in the nature condemned to death, ….when he rose, sin was destroyed in him…. Sin was destroyed “through death.Had he not risen, the case would have stood the other way: he would have been destroyed through death. It was his resurrection that was the triumph so to speak; without this, his death would have been a failure. …”

R Roberts Christadelphian 1873 pg, 331.

“Sin … “reigned unto death”; “had the power of death” and is therefore “the devil” (Heb. 2:14). Jesus died that through death he might “destroy him,” “put him away,” “cast him out,” which he did when he rose again from the dead,”

CC Walker 1913 Christadelphian 50 pg 260.

“In his nature, God condemned sin by his death in the shedding of his blood. This was the redemption of the sinful and condemned nature from sin and death and dust. It was all accomplished by the power of God manifested in and through the condemned nature. Afterward, in three days, the nature was brought from death and the grave, and changed to spirit nature. That was redemption and glorification of Adam’s sinful and condemned nature.

LB Welch Christadelphian 1895

“The body prepared” (Ps. 40:6, 7; Heb. 10:5–7) was “made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3) in the manner described in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. And since the same body which was offered in sacrifice was raised and healed and transformed in resurrection and ascension to the divine nature, the Holy One (unlike David), not seeing corruption, there seems to be no difficulty in understanding the language of the Psalm. He was not less the Son of David because the Son of God in the days of his flesh. And he is not less the Son of David because “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). So he himself declares, saying, in Rev. 22:16: “I am the Root and Offspring of David.” We know all the glorious facts of the case from many forms of speech in the Scriptures. It is only a question of rightly co-ordinating these.

CC Walker 1902 pg 358

 The resurrection is everything, without which the condemnation of sin in the flesh would have been nothing. The apostacy destroys this by making the condemnation everything and the resurrection of Christ a thing of which no reasonable account can be given so far as effecting our salvation is concerned. It errs also in making the condemnation bear on the “soul” so called—the immaterial principle of life—instead of on the flesh—that “body of his flesh” in which through death, we are reconciled.— (Col 1:22.) Certain good words and fair speeches have been sounded in our ears which would drag us in the same fatal direction. Let us be on our guard. There is need for the apostolic exhortation that we take heed that we lose not those things which we have wrought.

 R Roberts 1873 pg. 412.

This perishing body is “sin,” and left to perish because of “sin.” Sin, in it application to the body, stands for all its constituents and laws. The power of death is in its very constitution, so that the law of its nature is styled “the law of Sin and Death.” In the combination of the elements of the law, the power of death resides, so that “to destroy that having the power of death,” is to abolish this physical law of sin and death, and instead thereof, to substitute the physical “law of the spirit of life,” by which the same body would be changed in its constitution, and live for ever.

By this time, I apprehend, the intelligent reader will be able to answer scripturally the question, “What is that which has the power of death?” And he will, doubtless, agree, that it is “the exceedingly great sinner Sin,” in the sense of “the Law of Sin and Death” within all the posterity of Adam, without exception. This, then, is Paul’s Diabolos, which he says  “has the power of death;” which “power” he also saith is “sin, the sting of death.”

J Thomas, Eureka Volume 1 Pg 211

If the characters of the candidates for Divine honors be approved, then their “mortal flesh” as Paul terms it in 2 Cor. 4:11, becomes the subject of a spiritual operation, which, “in the twinkling of an eye,” justifies, or perfects it, and thereby causes it to ascend from flesh to Spirit, which is equivalent to ascending from the low origin and level of an earthborn, to the Heavenly Father who is Spirit.

J Thomas, Eureka: Vol 3A pg192

 While Jesus, then, was living, and afterwards in death, he was typified by the Vail, whole and afterwards rent; but when he lived again, and ascended to the Divine Nature, and became Son of Deity with power by “Spirit of holiness,” he was typified by the “curiously wrought” ephod, …. This ephod may be put on after the manner in which Jesus became the ephod—by being born of water and Spirit. When the ephod is thus assumed, the immersed and resurrected believer is not only regarded as in it, but a part of it, and, consequently, as one of the Urim and Thummim….It may be remarked here that the Apocalyptic Urim and Thummim, or 144,000, are presented before us in two states… The two states are divided by the resurrection. As the gold wire has been twined and interwoven with the blue, and the purple, and the scarlet, and fine twined linen of the Vail, as far as the Lord Jesus is concerned, the Ephod is perfected; but, in relation to his brethren, the gold is in their moral texture only as a principle—a tried faith; but when by Spirit of holiness they are quickened, a golden thread of incorruption, as it were, will be interwoven throughout all their material substance, and they will be like Jesus, immortal.

 J Thomas,  Eureka: Vol 2 pg269

But, passing through the grave cleanses no one. They who emerge thence, “come forth” with the same nature they carried into it; and therefore their coming forth is Resurrection. If the same kind of body did not come forth that was buried, it would not be Resurrection, but only surrection, as in the case of the first man. Jesus “rose again” (1 Cor. 15:4); his coming forth was therefore resurrection. He rose again the same Jesus that was buried, only that instead of being dead, he was alive again.

J Thomas, Eureka: Vol 3B pg190

(Luke 24:38-43) Here is positive proof that Christ was as real and corporeal after his resurrection as he was before. The body that was laid in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea was the body that afterwards arose and appeared as “the same Jesus”“I myself”

R Roberts, Christendom Astray from the Bible (p. 98).

 Christ has a body; surely no one will deny that. He has the body that he was crucified with. When he came forth from the Tomb, he showed the marks of the nails in his hands, and the mark of the spear in his side, that they might be quite sure that he was the same Jesus.

R Roberts, from a Lecture on “Eternal Life”.

“Sin could not have been condemned in the flesh of angels; and therefore…Deity sent his own Son in the identity of Sin’s flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh…This condemnation accomplished, the body slain was made alive again, and perfected, so that it now lives for the Aion of the Aions, as the Lord the Spirit.”

Dr.Thomas in the Herald 1860 p.12

“Though saints are ‘in Christ’, it is only in a preliminary sense. Christ is glorious nature. No one can be in Christ as he is in Adam till he is of Christ’s nature… ‘in Christ’ cannot have the same import as the phrase ‘ in Adam’ until a future event takes place. ‘in Christ shall all be made alive’ This is yet future. ……. It is clear that at present we can be made alive in Christ only prospectively. …. At present our being in Christ is, and can be only a state or condition of relationship. By baptism into his name we are brought into a relation of reconciliation, or favour, with God, whereby we stand related to a full adoption in Christ by the redemption of our nature and its exaltation to the nature Christ now has.”

 (L.B.Welch CHDFN. p.219)

The crucifixion of Christ as a “declaration of the righteousness of God” and a “condemnation of sin in the flesh,” must exhibit to us the righteous treatment of sin. It was as though it was proclaimed to all the world, when the body was nailed to the cross. “This is how condemned human nature should be treated according to the righteousness of God; it is fit only for destruction.” The shedding of the blood was the ritual symbol of the truth; for the shedding of the blood was the taking away of the life. Such a declaration of the righteousness of God could only be made in the very nature concerned; a body under the dominion of death because of sin. It would not have been a declaration of the righteousness of God to have crucified an angel or a new man made fresh from the ground. There would have been confusion in such an operation. This is why it was necessary that Jesus should be “made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3), that he might partake of the very flesh and blood of man (Heb. 2:14). It was that nature that was to be operated upon and redeemed in him. It was needful that he should at the first “come in the flesh.” This is where the gnostic heresy of the first century condemned by John (1 Jno. 4:3) was so disastrous to the scheme of God’s wisdom in Christ. They denied that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh, which obscured the lesson taught and the object aimed at in the sacrifice of Christ. This also is the effect of the orthodox doctrine of substitution and the kindred doctrine of Renunciationism which has been ventilated in our day and still lingers in uninformed quarters here and there.

The Christadelphian 1894 378–379.

 “The body was to be cloven but not parted asunder—in token that the Lord’s sacrifice was only to be carried as far as the spiritual requirements of the case required: crucifixion, but not bodily destruction: wounds, but not mutilation: blood shedding, but no bonebreaking: death, but no disappearance in a dishonoured grave, as would have been the case had the Lord’s body been cast in the ordinary course into the local Gehenna as that of a condemned criminal.

The whole process of the Lord’s death and burial was so guarded (while giving to mankind every security as to the fact of his death, and every evidence of a complete conformity to the law of sacrifice, as a shedding of blood for the remission of sins), as to fence off all needless humiliation or outrage. A short three days in a new and honourable tomb, and then the body that had been impaled revived in healing life, without having experienced dismemberment or disintegration, or the humiliation of decomposition. Changed by the Spirit, it ascended to the Father, “a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.”

 R Roberts, The Law of Moses  page 217