Is Hell Eternal?
Or Will God's Plan Fail
By Charles Pridgeon
Chapter Sixteen: The Headship of Christ Versus the Headship of Adam
There has been much said in theology of the federal or representative headship of Christ, and by its application many questions have been solved, at least in part. We would not detract from any truth thus ascertained, clarified or established; but a mere federal headship is true only through an existing deeper and more fundamental fact in reference to the headship of our Lord; viz., a real and vital headship.
In 1Cor. 11:3 we read, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ." In Acts 17:24-28, "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands, Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as tho He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, . . . For we are also His offspring." This text is usually taken to mean that all races have sprung from Adam. The word "blood" is not in several of the best manuscripts, but whether it is or not, that fact does not militate against the truth that we have in mind.
There is not the slightest doubt that both the Bible and present-day studies of the races of mankind prove that there were and are races on the earth who have not descended from Adam.* Hence comes the answer to the questions: "Where did Cain get his wife?" "Of whom was Cain afraid when he departed from his own people?" "Where did he get help to build a city?"
*Theodore Roosevelt in The National Geographic Magazine, Feb. 1916; and H. F. Osborn, Men of the Old Stone Age (Charles Scribner's Sons, N.Y.).
In Gen. 4:14 (literal) Cain said, "Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the Adamic domain (not earth); and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me." This implies inhabitants beside the Adamites.
In Gen. 4:16, "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod," literally, the land of the Nomads. Evidently there were wandering tribes at that time.
In Gen. 4:17, "And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch." It certainly implies a large number of people besides Cain and his wife and son to help him build the city and to occupy it.
We have in the Bible the word Adam used for Adam and also for his descendants, and also the word ish which means "man" in general. The word Adam has no feminine form and no plural. The word ish has a feminine form, ishshah, and the words ish and ishshah may signify husband and wife, or man and woman. In several passages of the Scriptures the descendants of Adam and men of other races seem to be contrasted.
Ps. 49:1,2, "Here this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world. Both low and high, rich and poor, together." The words "low and high" if literally rendered, would read "sons of Adam and sons of man (ish)."
Ps. 62:9, "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie." Here also the literal translation is "sons of Adam" and "sons of man."
Isa. 2:9 should read, "The Adamite boweth down, and the man (ish) humbleth himself."
Isa. 5:15 should also read, "And the Adamite shall bow down, and the man (ish) shall humble himself."
One has summed up the usage of these words in Scripture thus:
It is plain that the rules of literal translation require us to regard ish as a general appellation including Adam, and Adam denoting the first man so-called and any and all of his descendants, tho it may generally be rendered 'man' or 'men' because the Old Testament seldom speaks of any other human beings than descendants of Adam, unless it be so incidentally and distinctively."*
*Adam and the Adamite, by Dominick McCausland, Q.C. LL.D. (Richard Bentley & Sons, Fifth Edition, London.) Consult also Preadamites by Alexander Winchell, LL. D. (S. C. Griggs & Sons, Chicago.)
There is no doubt from the Biblical chronology that Adam lived about 6,000 years ago. He was the head of a race. The Bible is a book of redemption. It is principally a history of Adam's race, especially a history of the Hebrew branch of that race through which Christ came. There is no doubt that man, of some kind; has been on this earth a very long time, fifty or a hundred thousand years or more; It is also certain that there are races on the earth today whose genealogy can not be traced to Adam and whose history antedates the time of Adam. The discovery of such facts has led some to reject the Bible as the Word of God, whereas, if the Bible is thoroughly studied and Scripture compared with Scripture, the truthfulness of the Bible narrative is most certainly established.
In fact, the Bible itself only makes Adam the typical head of the race, and not the real head. Rom 5:14, "Adam, who is a type of Him about to come" (literal). The fact is, men and angels and all things were originally created in Christ (Col. 1:16). He is not only the head of mankind (1Cor. 11:3), but also of angels (Col. 2:10). Christ is, therefore, the one out of whom all sprang and even if the word "blood" is retained in Acts 17:26, we do not object to this; for the blood stands for the life, and in creating men and angels God used the life of His Son, the God-Man. The blood of Christ, even to us, must mean more than the natural blood that was outpoured on the cross. The blood that was then outpoured was more than mere human blood, it was the life of the Son of Man and Son of God. His blood that is said to have purified the heavens is essentially spiritual blood, and the blood that cleanses our heart is the spiritual blood.
Christ was the Head, and mediated between the absolute God and all creation because He was the God-Man. All the light and life of the whole creation was His Life and Light. There was no spiritual life or light apart from Him. When angels and men fell, the Light and Life of Christ in them was extinguished. The ground of the whole redeeming and atoning work rests in Christ; and it can be easily seen why He was the only One in the whole universe who could restore the fallen, for that which they needed besides forgiveness was His Life and Light renewed or born again in them. This is the reason that God sent His Son,--no one else would or could do what was needed to be done.
God's purpose in sending Adam to the earth seems to have been to bring the knowledge of God to the races dwelling upon it who had forgotten God. The command, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it," in the light of the consideration above instanced, means far more than to cultivate and conquer the material earth. God evidently intended through Adam to unfold His salvation to the fallen races. Adam failed: and in his fall God gave the promise of a coming Redeemer, the Seed of the woman, the Christ, who was not only the head of Adam and his descendants, but was the Head and therefore could be the Redeemer of every man.
Not withstanding the failure of Adam, God's purpose is being carried out in some degree by the Adamites; viz., the Caucasian race. We quote:*
"In the Caucasian alone, of all the inhabitants of the globe, we find a race who have always been in a state of active and progressive improvement of themselves and others. They are the parents and nurses of civilization and have ever been active in advancing the great interest of humanity . . . The depositories and missionaries of the religion that binds the true God whose instruments they have been for the expansion and extension of all that is great and good . . . This is rendered the more conspicuous by association with so many of his (Adam's) own lineage who devote their energies to deface the little that remains of God's image and degrade themselves and their fellow creatures to the moral level of the lowest specimens of humanity."
*Dominick McCausland, in work cited before.
The flood was especially brought about on account of the sins of the Adamites, and it was their whole world, and not necessarily the whole world of other races, that was destroyed by the flood. Gen. 6:7, when literally rendered, refers entirely to the Adamites. This interpretation makes the flood of Noah extend over the world of the Adamites, destroying man and beast except those saved alive in the ark. This would make the flood to be tremendously great, for by the time of Noah the descendants of Adam had probably widely extended. The world of the other nations not Adamites is not included in God's purpose in the judgment of the flood. Gen. 6:7 (literally), "I will destroy the Adamites whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air."
Gen. 6: 7 needs a further remark. The context determines whether the word Adam should be translated Adam or the Adamites. The date of the flood by received chronology is 1656. The death of Adam was 930 (Gen. 5:5). The flood came 726 years after the death of Adam, therefore the word for "Adam," in Gen. 6:7, can only refer to his descendants, for Adam was dead.
The word for "earth" in Gen. 6:7 is not the ordinary word for "earth" but is the word Adamah which refers to only a portion of the earth. It can not be translated "earth" in Gen. 4:14, "Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the Adamah (Adam's domain) . . . and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth (eretz). The text does not mean that God drove Cain out of the earth but out of the domain of Adam and he became a fugitive and vagabond in another part of the earth.
This word Adamah, or "domain of the Adamites," in Gen. 6:7, therefore indicates that the flood destroyed only the portion of the earth inhabited by the descendants of Adam. This evidently was a very large portion, it was their world.
This understanding of the Scripture relieves the difficulty in reference to the size of the ark. It was a refuge for the men and animals of the world of the Adamites.
We are treating the headship of Christ and it matters not how many nations there are in this world, or any world, Christ is their Head. All have sprung from Him. The text, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," becomes larger and grander than is usually imagined. The two clauses are more than an equation, for there are far more in Christ than in Adam. These words are a simile and a comparison. Adam carried death to all who were in him, whereas, Christ carries life to all who were in Him. As Adam and all his descendants were in Christ, life is brought to all of them; and no matter how many other races were in Christ, salvation has been wrought out for them. The redemption, instead of being decreased, is increased to include every creature and the whole creation of God.
Let us remember that not Adam, but Christ, is "the Head of every man" (1Cor. 11:3); and the Head of every angel (Col. 2:10); the Head of the Church (Col. 1:18); the Head of the whole creation (Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:16). In this way alone will we appreciate Him in His greatness and as the vital center of Christianity and its complete redemption.
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