The Second Adam’s Sufferings: Afflicted, Never Self-Inflicted nor Conflicted

Friday Morning Manna                                                 August 16, 2019

Nathaniel Fajardo                                            

The Second Adam’s Sufferings: Afflicted, Never Self-Inflicted nor Conflicted

     Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted . . .He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not His mouth.” 

Isa. 53: 4, 7, N.K.J.V. 

At that momentous point of Christ’s superhuman agony and travail beginning at Gethsemane and on to Calvary, “the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1: 17), revealed His unchanging  wrath towards sin by not even sparing His only-begotten Son, “for God so loved the world,” to become the fallen first Adam and fallen mankind’s substitute and surety in order that they might be eternally saved, restored once and forever in the relationship they had before the fall. And that through this Sacrifice of the plan of redemption, man might understand that His law of love and life, is immutable, is as eternal, perfect and unchanging as His character is, the very foundation of His eternal throne.

     “As man, He must suffer the consequences of man’s sin. As man, He must endure the wrath of God against transgression. . .  As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what [divine] justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself. . .  The conflict was terrible. Its measure was the guilt of His nation, of His accusers and betrayer, the guilt of the whole world lying in wickedness.” Desire of Ages, pp. 686, 687.

Also, the experiences of the second Adam in the wilderness of Temptation, Gethsemane and Calvary revealed to “the world, men and angels” that: a) man can no longer plead any excuse or justification for sin and sinning even while in the mortal, fallen, sinful fallen nature with all its sinful propensities. How? and Why?  A “a way escape” (1 Cor. 10: 13) has been provided for him through the power and grace of the living example of the second Adam “who was tempted in all points as man is tempted yet without sin” in His eternally-adopted human nature made “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” so that fallen man, by constantly “looking to the Author and finisher” of their faith, may completely overcome “the world, the flesh, and the devil, “even as He overcame” (Rev. 3: 20). b) Man is not predestined to suffer the crippling and haunting experience of a guilty conscience caused by knowinglycommitting sin; for: “To him who knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4: 17. KJV. This kind of suffering is self-inflicted. And as Paul says, “without the law there is no knowledge of sin.” The law reveals what sin is. The gospel provides the divine remedy. It is “the way of escape.”

Afflicted, not inflicted, never conflicted

Affliction and infliction are not the same. The first Adam experienced or saw affliction, endured self-inflicted sufferings from the guilt of his sin, and all its multitudinous and multiplying evil consequences thereafter. Paul says: “Just as through one man sin entered into the world, and thus death spread [passed into] all men, because all have sinned—for until the law sin was in world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death [not sin] reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who is to come [Jesus Christ, the second Adam]. . . For by one man’s [the first Adam] disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man [the second Adam] many will be made righteous.” Rom. 5: 12-14, 19, N.K.J.V.  

The first Adam was, doubtless, at times, conflicted as during almost a millennium of lifetime he no choice or unlimited power to check the rapid and progressive moral decline and uptick of wickedness of his children and children’s children, etc., beginning, of all things with his own first son, Cain, murdering his younger brother Abel over the issue or worship! Can you imagine how conflicted he and Eve must have been having come from the perfection of the garden of Eden home in a perfect, sinless world! Inspiration says he grieved to see the first leaf to ever fall to the ground and wither away.  We don’t for we got so used to it.

None of us, this side of the resurrection will ever experience what the Adam and Eve did, that is, in that order. But the eternally redeemed will experience this, in the exact reverse; they were born in sin and suffered the pain and sorrow of the curse of sin upon the earth together with “all the creation that groaneth and travaileth even now” (   ). As pilgrims on earth they longed for eternal deliverance. When finally “the new heavens and new earth” eternally replace “the first heaven and first earth,” with all its tears, death, sorrow, crying and all pain” of the former things” (Rev. 21: 1, 4), they will rejoice forevermore, having seen and experiences the before and after. That self-explains why “sin shall arise no more” in the earth made new!     

The second Adam, by the very nature of His thirty-three and a half-year mission on sin-cursed earth, according to the plan of redemption, experienced the suffering of affliction, i.e., for righteousness sake, and was in constant conflict but was never conflicted. Why? because His Omniscient foreknowledge shared with the Godhead who, “in the mystery of godliness,” devised the plan of redemption even “before the foundation of the world,” He knew exactly what His mission on earth was way before His incarnation.

All the prophecies regarding Christ from the Old to the testimony of the gospels, epistles and the Apocalypse include the revelation that the second Adam was to engage in the conflict of the ages with Satan and his evil confederacy of demons and wicked men, till they are completely defeated and then finally destroyed as if they never existed. 

Conflict is synonymous with “fight,” “strive for the mastery,” “contest,” “contend,” “battle,” ”meet in collision;” “clash;” “incompatibility;” “at variance,” “ a dashing together,” “mental or moral struggle.” Conflicted, according to various English dictionaries means “having or showing confused and mutually inconsistent feelings;” “confused or worried because one cannot choose between very different ideas, feelings, or beliefs, and do not know what to believe.”

The first Adam experienced the first self-inflicted suffering of guilt on account of his own sin. He also either experienced or witnessed all the other types of human sufferings—mental, emotional and physical—that inevitably followed in its train until he died 930 years later. Gen.___.

Guilt is defined as “the fact of having committed a breach of conduct, especially such as violates law and involves a penalty.” One who is guilty is “conscious of, or suffering from, guilt; also, evincing, indicating or involving guilt.”

The moment the first Adam sinned he became conscious of a strange, entirely new thing; his eyes were opened to see what he had never seen nor known before. He had become naked—the first nakedness of its kind but certainly not the last. It was, as it were the “father of all guilt” and that of Eve’s was the “mother of guilt” as well. Guilt causes painful suffering inside out.

Many have and will continue to unnecessarily commit suicide because they could no longer bear the gnawing pangs of a guilty conscience. As it were, its fangs were just too sharp and like the Word of God that “is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Heb. 4: 12, 13, NKJV.

Either because the light of truth was intentionally withheld from them by those whom they trusted for help, or they themselves were unwilling to surrender their wretched souls to Him who demonstrated at Gethsemane and Calvary in “the body that was made for Him” in “the likeness of sinful flesh” that He alone can bear the world’s sins, its guilt, burdens, sorrow and sufferings, they lost all hope and in desperation, intentionally chose death.

Following this vein of firsts, Jesus said Satan is “the father of lies and the murderer from the beginning.” John___. The foundation of spiritualism, ancient, modern and its grand finale in the “overmastering delusion” of Satan appearing as Christ in the last remnant of earth time after the close of probation , is the first lie preached by Satan in Eden to the first Adam: “Thou shalt not surely die”—that the soul is immortal, that no one really dies—in bold and daring contradiction to what the Creator warned the first Adam: says: “The wages of sin is death.” How mystifyingly strange indeed is the fatal fascination of fallen mankind over this “father and mother” of all lies Do you wonder why mankind has become bolder and daring to sin, resulting in the terrible state of human society?     

Adam (and Eve’s) nakedness was both spiritual and physical. Before they sinned, a fine white light, symbolizing purity and innocence from sin and its guilt covered their physical, sinless bodies. This “garment of purity and innocence immediately disappeared when they sinned, exposing their bodies to the elements and to their gaze. Now ashamed, the first Adam, with his equally guilty wife, fled and attempted to hide behind the majestic trees of Eden from His Creator, vainly trying to cover his nakedness with fig leaves but to no avail.

The second Adam never experienced any self-inflicted suffering because He never yielded to any of the temptations that all men are tempted with, countering each and all of these with the Scripture weapon “that is sharper than any two-edged sword,” “It is written.” Thus, He never sinned in His adopted human nature “made in the likeness of sinful flesh.” Rom. 8: 2.  

All that His enemies—Satan and his legions of fallen angels in confederacy with wicked, proud, hypocritical, self-righteous religious leaders and a people who had grieved away the Holy Spirit by their persistent refusal to accept heaven’s invitation to repent from their sins and pride—attempted, in their warped minds to inflict upon Him, the “Desire of all nations” (Haggai 2: 7), was a part of His prophesied afflictions in the hands of His own people. But these will also  testify against them when they, and we “all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Rom. 14: 10.

Q. If truly possible, as the Bible claims, how and when may mortal man become guilt-free during his short lifetime while still in his fallen nature with all its sinful propensities, both hereditary and acquired, in this sin-cursed earth with all its wickedness, powerful attractions and temptations of “the world, the things of the world, the lust of the eye and flesh”?

Ans. By steadfastly looking “by faith working though love” (Gal. 5: 6), not to the first Adamwho fell, but to the second Adam who was made “in the likeness of our sinful flesh” and “was tempted in all points as man is tempted” yet never fell, as our Pattern man and Example. The apostle says: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth, who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; Who Himself boreour sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to [not in] sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you are healed.” 1 Pet. 2: 21-24, NKJV.  Notice the following:

     “We cannot, of ourselves, perfect a true moral character, but we can accept of Christ’s righteousness. We can be partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust [2 Pet. 1: 3, 4]. Christ has left before us a perfect pattern of what we are to be as sons and daughters of God.” – E. G. White, This Day with God, p. 222.

Early in in the world’s history, Joseph showed us how. The strappingly handsome and healthy young man turned heads, including that of the lusty Mrs. Potiphar. She attempted to seduce him but he firmly and resolutely resisted. Therefore, he did not suffer the guilt had he yielded to the temptress. Yes, he did suffer for his highly-principled, difficult decision. He was   afflictedthusly,“suffering for righteousness sake.” The wicked, vengeful, jilted temptress falsely accused him to her husband. But Potiphar knew in his heart that his trustworthy servant was guiltless.  Instead of summarily executing Joseph, he had him jailed instead just to quell the scandal created in his household. You know the rest of the story. In the end, fidelity to God’s law prevailed and God exalted him before the atheistic Egyptian empire.         
     However,  “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10: 12“There are many who profess Christ, but who never become mature Christians. They admit that man is fallen, that his faculties are weakened, that he is unfitted for moral achievement, but they say Christ has borne all the burden, all the suffering, all the self-denial, and they are willing to let Him bear it. They say that there is nothing for them to do but to believe; but Christ said, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9: 23.” – Ibid, Maranatha, p. 236.     

(To be continued next week)

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