By J.C. O’Hair
Most Christians know the Bible teaches that there are two Adams; 1 Corinthians 15:45: “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life‑giving Spirit.” In this same chapter, verse 47, the first Adam is called, “the first man” and the last Adam, “the Second Man, from Heaven.” So in thinking of the two Adams, we have generally thought of Adam and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The study of these two men is a very interesting study. Much is said about these two men and their contributions to the human race. Read I Corinthians 15 and Romans. 5 The contribution of the first Adam is nothing to boast about. It is summed up in these words: “sin,” “unrighteousness,” “condemnation,” “alienation from God,” “physical and spiritual death,” and “eternal conscious perdition.” All of this might be stated by the word “ruin.” By the Second Man, the last Adam, many that receive Him are not condemned, but are justified and reconciled to God by the death of Christ (Jn. 3:18; Rom. 5:10). These believers are declared righteous, made alive, have received God’s free gift: eternal life, with the guarantee of incorruptibility and eternal conscious glory. All of this might be stated by the word “redemption.” So it is “ruin” by Adam, and “redemption” by Christ … “The law of sin and death,” by Adam and “the law of the Spirit of life” by the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Genesis 1:26-28 we learn that God created Adam in His own image and likeness. Adam was not born of a woman. He was not begotten by a father, Adam was created. The Lord Jesus Christ, Who was in the form of God, created Adam (Jn. 1:1-10; Col. 1:15-19).
The Lord Jesus Christ is called “God’s Holy Child Jesus.” He was the express image of God’s person and the effulgence of God’s glory (Heb. 1:1-3). He was born of a woman, begotten of Almighty God, and conceived by the Holy Spirit. No other child was ever born into this world like “the Holy Child Jesus.” God was His Father, the Virgin Mary was His mother. Jesus Christ was the Seed of the woman and, in that sense, He was the Seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:16-17). Therefore, the Second Man (Christ) descended from the First Man (Adam) about forty centuries after the Second Man created the First Man in His own image and likeness (Heb. 2:14). It is interesting to note, in Romans 5:14, that Adam is said to be the figure of the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 2:14; Jn. 1:14).
The Lord Jesus Christ is not one of the two Adams that we are to consider before we take up the study of the two spotless Christs of the Bible.
Christ created Adam. Christ did this before He made Adam’s wife Eve. When we read that God created Adam in His own image and likeness, we know this image and likeness did not refer to Adam’s earthly house or tabernacle, but to that life within that house of clay. Now note in the closing verses of Genesis Chapter 1 that God rested in His perfect work of creation after He made Adam, even before He made Eve. The first creation is recorded in Genesis 1:26-28.
Read carefully how God made Eve and what Adam said about his wife.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made Him a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.”
Adam seemed to know that men were going to marry women and together have children, and that these children were to grow up and marry. When the men married their wives they were to leave their fathers and mothers and be joined, as one flesh, to their wives, and their wives were one flesh with the men. Here Adam must have been speaking of other marriages, rather than his own, for Adam had no mother to leave. Certainly if we have any Scriptural right to call God Adam’s “Father,” Adam did not mean he was to leave God; God had joined Adam and Eve together as one flesh. Eve did cause Adam to sin against God and lose that Divine image and likeness and that put an end to that relationship and fellowship that existed between God and Adam before the serpent beguiled Eve. Adam was not referring to himself and Eve. Whether or not Adam knew it, he was speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church when he spoke the words of Genesis 2:23-24:
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh … For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church” (Eph. 5:31-32).
The Lord Jesus Christ did have a Father and a mother. For the sake of the Church, Christ left His Father and mother to go to Calvary’s Cross.
Note Ephesians 5:25-26: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.”
In Acts 20:28 we read of “the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Remember the cry of the Son of God on that Cross: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” The Four Gospels all record this awful scene, but we can only imagine what took place in Heaven that hour and moment when God’s eternal bosom/companion left His Father to come down to be the Friend of publicans and sinners to become the Man of sorrows and be made sin and a curse on the tree.
Note John 1:14: “And the Word became 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.”
The Lord of glory became sinless flesh and then He became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).
Also remember that seeming rebuke of the Lord Jesus Christ when, at a wedding, He asked His mother, “Woman, what have I to do with thee” (Jn. 2:4)? Surely He left His mother when on the Cross He said to His beloved Apostle John, “Behold thy mother” (Jn. 19:27). For the Church, the Body of Christ, Christ left His Father and mother; Christ and the Church are to be one flesh.
Adam without Eve was a figure of Christ without the Church, but Adam alone was not a figure of Christ and His Church. That’s where Eve and the other Adam comes in. If Adam and Eve were one flesh, there is a sense in which the two were one person. This, too, is in harmony with the Divine Record. “Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created” (Gen. 5:2).
We would emphasize here that their name (the two of them) was God’s own wisdom and will, was called “Adam.” Adam and Eve were called “Adam”; they were “one flesh.” So Adam was Adam without Eve, and Adam was Adam with Eve. God called Adam alone “Adam” and God called Adam and Eve “Adam.” All of this had to do with God’s Divine purpose, that which God purposed in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 3:11).
THE FOREORDAINED SPOTLESS CHRIST
Let us see what God really purposed before the foundation of the world concerning the two spotless Christs.
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (I Pet. 1:18-20).
This is in harmony with Acts 4:26-28:
“The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against thy Holy Child Jesus, Whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”
This is also in harmony with Acts 2:23: “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”
So the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ was not accidental. His once-for-all death on the Cross was not premature. The Son of God was more than a religious martyr. He was God’s only begotten Son, His Spotless Lamb, foreordained from before the foundation of the world (Heb. 2:9). The Son of God was God incarnate and came to this world to die as He did and when He did. In this connection it is interesting to read 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 and Acts 13:29-30:
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory; which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory … “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulcher. But God raised Him from the dead.”
If poor, blind religious people are trying to get to Heaven without faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not know that He was foreordained before the foundation of the world to be God’s spotless Lamb, certainly we do not expect them to know God’s truth concerning the other spotless Christ, the Mystery which the glorified Christ revealed to His saints through the Apostle Paul.
THE FOREORDAINED SPOTLESS CHURCH
Now let us note concerning God’s eternal purpose:
“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:4-5).
“In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11).
“Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:9).
“For whom He did foreknow, He did also predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us”? (Rom. 8:29-31)
Whether or not we cry with Paul, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out” (Rom. 11:33), we must know that the Bible tells us very definitely that God had an eternal purpose, which He purposed in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 3:11).
According to that eternal Divine purpose, all of Adam’s ruined descendants, who would, and will, receive the redemption that is in and by the spotless Son of God, were predestinated to be conformed to the image of this sinless Christ, to be called, justified and glorified. They were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. God’s grace and purpose was given them in Christ before the world was. All of these predestinated, justified, glorified believers are not only joined to the Lord Jesus Christ, but they are joined together as members one of another. In Ephesians 3:6 they are called “the Joint Body” (the words “same Body” should be “Joint Body”).
Note concerning this joint membership in Romans 12:4-5:
“For as we have many members in one body and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
“For as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:12-13).
In religious circles we hear much of “joining the church.” Of course, any pastor should rejoice in a ministry that causes many of Adam’s children to pass out of Adam into Christ and as new creatures, become identified with the assembly of which he is the pastor, especially if they are spiritual and fruitful saints. But that pastor and those saints, who are instructed and edified by him, should know that the believing sinner is joined to Christ and to other saints the very moment that sinner trusts and rests in the perfect redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Evangelists and pastors cannot make their fellowmen members of the true Bible Church only as they plant and water but it is God that gives the increase, and no sinner, however religious and sincere, becomes a member of the Body of Christ because he is received by the official board of some church/organization into that organization.
We learn in Romans 10:12-15, 1 Corinthians 3:6-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:13-21, and in other Scriptures, that those who are already members of the Body of Christ have a real responsibility, as well as the wonderful privilege of preaching the saving gospel to sinners. But it is only God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit that can make living saints out of dead sinners. When God creates the living saints He, thereby, makes them members of the Joint Body of Ephesians 3:6, the one Body of Ephesians 4:4, and the one New Man of Ephesians 2:15. Note the last verse: “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the Law of Commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace.”
If there is a new man there must have been an old man. Here again we are made to think of Adam and of Christ. All Christians are familiar with the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Unless the descendants of Adam pass out of Adam into Christ they are lost and without hope. “In Christ” is the place of life and blessing and security.
God, by Christ, created the first man. The new creation of 2 Corinthians 5:17 is by God in Christ Jesus. All of these new creatures are joined together and all are joined to Christ to make the one New Man of Ephesians 2:15.
Now note Ephesians 2:10:
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Note also Ephesians 4:13:
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Saints who make up the Joint Body of Ephesians 3:6 are God’s workmanship. God makes saints out of sinners. They are created in Christ Jesus. This Divine work is to continue until there shall be a Perfect Man. This will be the stature of the fullness of Christ. The Church, Which is Christ’s Body, is the fullness (the filling up) of Christ, one flesh with Christ. Read Ephesians 1:21-23.
Now let us compare Genesis 5:2 with 1 Corinthians 12:12:
“Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” “For as the body is one, and hath many members and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”
God called the two (Adam and Eve), “Adam.” God calls the two, “Christ.” The two are Christ and His Body. These two shall be one flesh, one New Man, the Perfect Man, the filling up of Christ, called “Christ.” When God completes this Perfect Man He shall have accomplished that part of His eternal purpose that is mentioned in Ephesians 3:6 to 11.
God’s eternal purpose, during this Age of Grace, is different from His Kingdom program which will be carried out to perfection in an age after this Grace age. Yes, Christ will return to build again the tabernacle of David and bring about the restitution of all things (Amos 9:11-15; Acts 15:13-15; Acts 3:19-21).
When the Lord Jesus Christ was here on earth, as Jesus of Nazareth, He declared that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand (Mt. 4:17), that the prophesied Kingdom of God was at hand (Mk. 1:14-15). But Jesus of Nazareth did not say that while I am here, as Israel’s King and Messiah, believing Jews and Gentiles will be baptized into one Body (1 Cor. 12:13), the Joint Body of Ephesians 3:6.
On earth Jesus of Nazareth was a Man approved of God in the midst of Israel by miracles and signs (Acts 2:22). By these miracles and signs the Son of God proved that He was the eternal I AM, Israel’s promised King. In no uncertain language He claimed that He came down from Heaven. He proved by fulfilled prophecy and by His sayings and deeds that He was Israel’s Messiah/Christ. His challenge was, “Which one of you convinceth Me of sin?” He was without sin, the foreordained spotless Son of God: born lower than the angels, to be led as a lamb to the slaughter, and to bear away the sins of the world.
In His incarnation the Lord Jesus Christ was indeed the Perfect Man, for He was both God and Man. But the stature of the fullness of Christ, the Perfect Man of Ephesians 4:13, is a different Perfect Man. In this different eternal purpose of God, the Lord Jesus Christ is far above all heavens, and is not to be known after the flesh (Eph. 4:9-11; 2 Cor. 5:16). It was not in His incarnation and humiliation that Christ gave gifts unto men for the perfecting of the saints and for the building up of His Body but in His glorious exaltation, when He had ascended on high (Eph. 4:9-13).
The ministers of Christs are told to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 4:1-4). They are instructed to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15). Faithful stewards, who rightly divide the Word of Truth, will teach the difference between the new proposition concerning the prophesied Kingdom of Heaven. This was God presented to Israel, by Peter and the Eleven on the day of Pentecost, and the new unprophesied Dispensation of Grace which God presented to the Gentiles by the Apostle Paul. The Kingdom of Heaven (prophesied) with Christ as King, is quite different from the unprophesied Body of Christ, God’s Mystery, revealed to the Apostle Paul (Eph. 3:1-11).
Let us read carefully Ephesians 4:12-13:
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying [build-up] the Body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
“The building up of the Body of Christ.” This is to continue till all the members of that Body come to the unity of the faith. In the midst of the present disunity of a confused and ignorant Church, it requires much faith to believe that all the members of that Body will ever reach such a state of unity. Perhaps the explanation is in Philippians 1:6 and Ephesians 5:26-27:
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will, perform it until the day of Christ … That He might sanctify and cleanse it … That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
The Christ Who began is going to finish. He is going to present the Church unto Himself.
A glorious Church;
A Church without spot or wrinkle; and
A Church, holy and without blemish.
As we behold the rivalry and controversy, divisions and sub‑divisions, carnality and worldliness, among the members of Christ’s Body all about us, it does not seem possible, does it? But remember Ephesians 1:11-12: “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
Yes, it is according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things according to the counsel of His own will.
And again note Ephesians 1:4-5:
“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
Yes, God predestinated that the Lord Jesus Christ would offer Himself on the Cross, without spot, and that the precious shed blood would cleanse us from all sin and redeem us from all iniquity (Titus 2:14). God, before the world was, predestinated that the members of His Church, according to the good pleasure of His will, should be made His children, joint heirs with His only begotten Son, and should be holy and without blame before Him in love.
All of this is called “God’s eternal purpose” and “all things work together for good to them that are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
What a glorious consummation, to be presented by Christ as a glorious spotless Church! And after that: “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus.”
Do you see then what is meant by two spotless Christs? The spotless Perfect Man, by His death on the Cross, provided a perfect redemption for the imperfect. This is by faith in His precious shed blood, the blood of the Cross. All of this was predestinated (Pet. 1:18-20).
Then the Perfect Man, the Christ of 1 Corinthians 12:12, the spotless Church which Christ will present to Himself. All of this was predestinated (Eph. 1:4-5, 11; 3:9-11).
So truly there are two Perfect Men and two foreordained or predestinated spotless Christs.