Scripture in the Old and New Testaments prove the co-equal Deity of Jesus Christ with that of the Eternal Father. This Deity shows He is Eternal and was with the Father and that on earth He is still the same Eternal Son having co-equal Deity.
|Spoken of God the Father||Spoken Of Christ|
|Genesis 17:1, I am Almighty God||Revelation1:8, I am…the Almighty|
|Psalm 135:6 he in heaven & earth||John 5:19 doeth Son likewise|
|Job 11:7 Can we by searching find God?||Matt. 11:27 No man knows the Son.|
|John 10:15 Father knows Me||John 10:15 know the Father|
|Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created||John 1:1 In the beginning, the Word|
|Acts 17:28 In Him we live||John 14:19 I live, you also|
|Psalm 145:13 everlasting kingdom.||Daniel 7:14 Dominion everlasting|
|Hosea 14:8 fruit||John 15:4 Abide in Me, Bear fruit|
|Psalm 91:4 cover me with His feathers and under His wings will I trust.||Matthew 23:37 as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.|
|Isaiah 45:22 Turn to Me and be saved all the ends of the earth.||John 1:29 Lamb takes sin of the world.|
|Isaiah 42:8 I am Jehovah – that is My Name.||Romans 10:9 Jesus as Lord -“Lord” is the equivalent of Jehovah.|
|Psalm 90:2 From everlasting||Micah 5:2 from everlasting.|
|Psalm 93:2 Thy throne from ever.||Hebrew 1:8 Thy throne.|
|Isaiah 44:6 I am the first||Revelation 1:17 I am the first.|
|Jeremiah 23:24 I fill heaven and earth.||Ephesians 4:10 He it is who ascended and descended.|
This He is Jesus who acted as God all the time on earth, not just as an anointed man. He is Immanuel, God with us. Ephesians 4:8-10 speaks of His descent from heaven to earth, then as man He went to the Cross. He did not descend into Hell itself to defeat Satan. Paul here quotes Psalm 68 and speaks of the past and the future; He shows Christ did not descend into Hell.
This Psalm relates how God descended in fire in Exodus 3:7-10 to deliver or save His people, “I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians”, Exodus 15:1-6. His descent was to earth, to deliver. It was not into Hell. He ascended in fire on Mount Sinai, Deuteronomy 33:2. “You ascended on high; You have carried captivity captive” or “You ascended the high mount, leading captives in your train”. This was God appearing as Christ, the Angel or Messenger of the Covenant, even in the Old Testament. We particularly note Exodus 3:2,4,6; John 8:58. Psalm 68:17; Acts 1:11. Revelation 5:11 show angels present. It was a type of Christ’s descent in birth to earth and in humiliation to the Cross. Then it typified His ascent from earth into heaven.
Christ in Ephesians 4:10 descended to the Cross and ascended to heaven after His resurrection, in glory, angels being present those two times. In both cases, in Ephesians and Psalm 68:17, the descent brings deliverance, takes captivity captive and defeats Satan, death and the Law against us at the Cross, Colossians 2:13-15.
John’s gospel that shows the Divinity of Jesus Christ reveals the Logos as Light. Christ is also shown as Love. This Logos (the Word) is Life. The Bible shows that God has as His essence, Light, Love and Life. Therefore, when John says the Word who was amongst them is also of that Essence, He is saying again that Jesus is God. He is pointing out that the Jesus they knew, had not laid aside the attributes of His Deity, as the heresy regarding the Kenosis set out further on says. He was in full possession of His Deity while on earth, even while He was on the Cross and His body was in the grave.
When He became incarnate, He gave up, not the possession of divine attributes, nor yet the use of them, but rather the independent exercise of them. The self-emptying of Christ meant that He kept His divine qualities and powers. They were under the restraints and limitations of a human life. He voluntarily suspended the full exercise of divine attributes in His incarnation.
Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am (there am I) in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20. “There I am,” not “there I will be”. He said this while He was a man, on earth. Jesus all the time He was on earth, was God with His attributes. He did not lay them aside to come to earth.
Pentecostals and Charismatics like to emphasise the operation of the Holy Spirit in the Life of Jesus. It is important enough to be emphasised. It is not necessary to override the Deity of Christ still part of His Being while on earth. It is important to understand that the Lord Jesus was always acting upon His infallible knowledge. The source of this while He was on earth either came from within Himself, as God, or from the Father through the operation of the Holy Spirit. John’s Gospel in its opening chapters, shows Jesus, in John 1:48, acting from His Divine knowledge within Himself. He said to Nathaniel, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you”. Another occasion is found in the next chapter at the wedding in Cana where He turned the water into wine. In John 2:11 it says, “Jesus did this, the first of His signs, and revealed His glory”. In verse 24, 25 after He had spoken of “My Father’s house” (He did not need the Holy Spirit to say that) and the raising of the temple of His body, it is said of Him, “He knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone, for he himself knew what was in everyone”. He Himself knew. It was not said, “He knew by the Holy Spirit”.
In John 4:24, Jesus did His second sign. Then in 5:10 He says, “the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing:. He makes clear the co-operation of the Son with the Father. In 10:38 He says, “the Father is in me and I am in the Father”. At the raising of Lazarus, John 11:41-44 He prays to the Father for the sake of the crowd. In Luke 4:18 He read from the scroll of Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”. In verse 14,15 He, “filled with the power of the Spirit began to teach”. In Acts 4:27 Peter prays, “Your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed”.
In John 3:12,13 He says, ” How can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven”. Some translations add “who is in heaven”. It appears He was teaching Nicodemus from His infallible knowledge within, that He brought down from heaven and knew then in heaven..
When Jesus Christ was crucified He was not crucified as a mere man. He was crucified as man and as God, the God-man. That He was crucified as God (as well as a man, Hebrews 2:17) is in 1 Corinthians 2:8 where they “crucified the Lord of glory”.
We should understand the nature of the Man, Christ Jesus. At the time of being conceived, the human nature of Christ was immediately united to the Person of the Eternal Son of God. From that time on, there was never any division in this Person of Jesus Christ. There was a complete union of His human nature with His Eternal Divine nature. There was never any reincarnation.
The Divine nature of Christ was not implanted or put into His human nature. His human nature was not given Divine qualities. His human nature was not a part of His Divine nature. This is why in Matthew 27:46 He could cry, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” At that time, deserted of the Father in His human nature, there could not be any communication between His Divine that also felt the agony of separation, and His human nature. This is the Mystery of “godliness”.
The Son filled His human nature that he assumed with the power of His Divinity that He retained. It was also with the Spirit, which dwelt in that Divinity and that filled Him as a man. The Divine nature was not only there to be beside the human. It penetrated and pervaded His human nature in moral and religious areas where the two natures are alike. It was in the sphere of the Spirit this occurred. He was filled with the Spirit in both natures that are essential to His personality. He subjected Himself to restraint on earth but now in heaven the dominion of the Spirit is absolute.
Now in His glorified state, the Divine element interpenetrates the human and the human the Divine. From Him in His present Divine-human state, proceeds the Holy Spirit Who proceeded from the Father. The Spirit completely fills our Lord. It is “His own Spirit”. This is why it was said in Acts 21:7, “Spirit of Jesus”. The Lord in His human nature as well as Divine, inter-penetrates the Spirit Who has first of all inter-penetrated the human nature of Christ. Thus the Spirit now has a human element and can inter-penetrate our human nature, in a mingling of Him with us. “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me”, Galatians 2:20. Christ’s own Spirit becomes one with our own spirit. His Spirit is also our Spirit.
Jesus Himself showed that his human nature did not hold the attributes of Divinity, such as Omniscience, when He said in Mark 13:32, “Of that day and of that hour no man knows… not the Son, but the Father”. We understand that at those times there was still the union of the Divine and the human natures but it was the human that was to the fore. The Divine nature of Christ, having the power to will to convey understanding to the human nature, chose not to do so.
However, in obedience to the Father’s will, in His Divine nature Christ chose not to act so that his human nature on the Cross could suffer being left by the Father. This was because He bore our sin on His body, being the sin offering for our sin. Nevertheless, as God, He suffered the agony of being forsaken by the Father.
The Father was not Incarnate. The Holy Spirit was not Incarnate. It was the Son who was Incarnate. Therefore it was the Son who took upon Himself, our human nature. That was the act of the Son. He, the Son, became flesh, and assumed our nature, without its sinfulness. He was not “born in sin and shaped in iniquity”, Psalm 51:5, as we were. See John 1:14; Romans 1:3; Galatians 4;4; Philippians 2:6,7; Hebrews 2:14, 16.
Jesus Christ assumed human nature. He took upon Himself and to Himself, human nature. His human nature was sinless, Luke 1:35. Taking on human nature means that the Eternal Son in His Person now has in His personal union of the two natures, a human nature. This is an inseparable union, where the nature taken on continues to exist in the Person of the Son.
Body and soul were united in the Person of the Son of God, who is Eternal. When He died on the Cross there was a temporary breaking up of that Nature of Divinity and humanity. Body and soul were separated, but cared for in death.
In death, the union of His natures was not wiped out. His human spirit (in His death, part soul) was given into the hands of His Father, Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46. This was now in a separate state from His Person (as a human being), but still His and still in life, Psalm 16:11. His holy body was laid in the grave. There it was under the special care of the Holy Spirit, Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:31. The “Holy One” means the “body of Christ” as it is so spoken of at the conception in Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Ghost, Luke 1:35.
His soul was not abandoned to “Sheol”, the “grave”. This means that death would never hold him. It means also that His body would not suffer any change. Death produces an immediate decay, corruption and change in the human body. This was not the case with the body of Jesus. As it lay in the sepulchre, covered completely with burial wrappings, the Holy Ghost preserved it. There was no decay. There was no change.
Only the human nature of Christ died in the sense that it did not live in His human body. His Divine nature could not die. He said to the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with Me in paradise:”. He could declare this because at His death, He, in Spirit, ascended to God with His blood, into the Sanctuary of heaven, Hebrews ;9:12, 23,24 – “He entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption”. This is prefigured on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16:15,18 when the High Priest went “in” behind the curtain, into the Holy of Holies, and then he “came out”. Jesus ascended to heaven, went in and came out, back to earth.
In 1 Peter 3:18, where it speaks about His death and Life, it says, But though his body died, his spirit lived on”, Tay’s translation.
At the resurrection, He Himself arose from the dead as He as God and in spirit, returned to His body. His Divine nature operated to bring about His living again in resurrection. He took His own life again. He Himself conquered death, John 10:17,18. The workings of God always consist of the operation of the Three in One, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God, the Father raised Him from the dead, as in Acts 2:24. Also, the Spirit raised Him from the dead, Romans 8:11, 1 Peter 3:18.
The Father prepared this body, Hebrews 10:5. The Son took this body upon Himself, Hebrews 2:16, 2 Corinthians 8:9. It was the work of the Holy Ghost to form the human body, Matthew 1:18-20,34,35. This act of the Holy Ghost was one of creation. He created a body, out of the substance of Mary. It would appear that He used one of the seeds released at the right time of the month. By taking of the substance of Mary, He took of that part of her body that was a seed. The Holy Spirit “overshadowed” her. This seed did not contain the ability to transmit sin as He sanctified what He created. The Holy Spirit formed the humanity of Jesus but the Son Himself also was Creator, Colossians 1:15-19, “in Him all things in heaven and earth were created”, “All things have been created through Him and for Him”.
The Saviour commenced His human life as a single cell formed in the womb as the rest of mankind was created to be. How amazing! It is beyond comprehension that the Lord of Glory became a single human cell while still retaining His Deity. What condescension to bring us redemption! Thus my God and Saviour came and “Jesus” was His Name. Oh, how I love Him, how I adore Him and how amazed I am as I stand entranced at the glory and unspeakable wonder of the coming to earth of the Son of God. Mary, of course, like the rest of the human race was “born in sin and shaped in iniquity”. According to Romans 3:10 “There is no one who is righteous, not even one (including Mary)”. Nevertheless, there was never any trace or tendency to sin in Jesus, the Man. He was never liable to succumb to sin.
The manner of sanctification of the created humanity of the Lord Jesus would be covered by John 1:3-5 “All things came into being through Him (the Word) . And through Him not one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life …. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it”. The darkness of sin was seated in Mary as in all other members of the human race. The light of the Word with the operation of the Father through the Holy Spirit shone in the substance of Mary used to create the humanity of the Lord Jesus. The darkness in Mary’s flesh and humanity could not overcome the light of Him who came from heaven as the Light of the world. Therefore He was a “holy thing”, KJV, or “the child to be born will be holy; He will be called the Son of God”, NRSV, Luke 1:35.
He did not merely create a special human body for Jesus out of nothing. Had that happened, Jesus would not have been part of our human race. He would not have been a descendant of King David. He would not have been a descendant of Adam or the last Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:45.. He received His humanity from the substance of His mother. This made Him one with us. This Holy Child was of the “seed” of Eve, Genesis 3:15 and of Mary, Matthew 1:23` “The virgin shall conceive”. This fulfilled the promises to Eve, Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4 – to Abraham, Genesis 12:3; Hebrews 2:16 – and to David, 2 Samuel 7:12; Romans 1:3. Mathew 1:16 says “Mary, of whom Jesus was born”. Jesus “was made of a woman”, Galatians 4:4. As the Son, Christ had another existence. He then became something He had never been. He became real humanity, but sinless. There was no taint of sin in Him. There was no possibility of His sinning as He was born outside of the Covenant of Adam, from whom we all derive a sinful nature. He was not born with the Adamic nature as we are.
Jesus had a genealogy, which is human, “being the son of David, the son of Abraham”, Matthew 1:1. The Holy Spirit so overshadowed Mary that He took of her seed and created a holy and special body for the Son of God. In this way “the Word became flesh”, John 1:14. The Word was not reincarnated. He was incarnated He “became flesh” by sharing “the same things”. Hebrews 2:14 reads, “Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, He himself likewise shared the same things”.
To share the same flesh and blood, it was necessary for the Holy Spirit to take of the seed of Mary. This did not make her the “Mother of God”. She was the mother of the Holy Child, Jesus, John 19:26,27. Jesus had brothers, because in a literal way, He shared the same mother, but had no human father. Matthew 12:46,47, “His mother and his brothers”. The James who wrote the epistle, was the natural half-brother of Jesus.
He took our nature, without its sinfulness, as in Hebrews 2:14, so that our sin could be imputed (reckoned) unto Him, Romans 8:3,4; 2 Corinthians 5:21. He was sinless, spotless, pure and holy, 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22; Hebrews 9:14. He was conceived and born without sin because –
- The sinful nature is transmitted through the genes of the father and of the mother. As well as obvious sinful tendencies of the father, we can always trace in every child born, the sinful tendencies of the mother.
- It is not transmitted through the blood of the father, and that is a medical fact, that the child does not get the blood of the father literally. Rather he receives his father’s blood type that comes from his seed, through his genes. David said, “In sin my mother conceived me”, showing that sin also comes through the genes of the mother.
- It cannot be said that Adam being innocent does not transmit sin, but rather Eve does. Eve is not counted as the sinner, as she only “fell into transgression” because she was merely “deceived by Satan”, 1 Timothy 2:14. It is Adam who brought sin into the world and not Eve. See Romans 5:12, “As by one man sin entered the world,” i.e. Adam, as is clearly shown in Romans 5:14,17,18.
- Christ was a sinless human because by the power of the Holy Ghost, His humanity was created a “holy thing”. This humanity was made to be in sub-union to His Divine Nature. He is the Son of God, made in our likeness but yet Divine. He is now human and Divine. The human body of Jesus Christ was formed of the substance of Mary in the womb. Sin does not dwell in flesh, it is in our fallen human nature or soul. The holy human body of He who was called Jesus, became the tabernacle of God, John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us”. This was God, the Son, on earth and now in heaven in an immortal, resurrection body. He was not made a split personality. In sub-union to His Divine nature there was given Him a human and holy nature, incapable of sin. The Holy Spirit, particularly formed a “holy” human nature and body. Therefore, no sin was transmitted to Him through Mary. We sin because we are “born in sin and shapen in iniquity”. The eternal Son of God took a human body and nature upon Himself in the very second it was formed in the womb by the Holy Spirit. He did not become the Son of God at that time. He was and is the Son of God from eternity. At the instant of His conception, the Word was made flesh, John 1:14.
- In Him there was no uncontrolled desire as in James 1:15, which “when it has conceived brings forth sin”. He was always sinless, even at the time of the Temptation in the Wilderness. He had no sinful lusts whereby Satan could work.
The miraculous creation of the body of Christ made it a fit place for His holy human soul. This meant he was always ready and had the holy tendency to do right. We were born with the natural tendency to sin. Jesus was not born with that tendency. It was impossible for Him to sin because of His being created a “holy thing”, and because the Spirit of God was in and with Him at all times.
He was not in the loins of Adam at the time of the Fall, Adam being the one through whom sin entered. Therefore, sin could not be imputed unto Him as it was unto us, in Adam, Romans 5:17,19. He had no human father. His nature was created free from sin and by the Holy Spirit endowed with grace.
Adam was created in innocence but without being endowed with grace by the Holy Spirit. Probably there was already something in the heart of Adam that made him hope to be like God having dominion and able to act independently in pride, being the “man” mentioned in Isaiah 14:12-16.
Perhaps some explanation of both Isaiah 14 regarding Babylon and Ezekiel 28 about Tyre, would be appropriate. These two chapters in both books are tied together. The early church never taught the general view of those chapters that it refers to Satan. It became a doctrine when Jerome of the Roman Catholic Church, in the fourth century, and Tertullian whose doctrines generally tended to error, in the early third century, introduced the idea.
It was carried on right through the Middle Ages until the Protestant Reformation, when both Luther and Calvin rejected it. It is sad that many of those wrong beliefs from the Catholic Church still exist in Pentecostal and Charismatic and Protestant circles.
Adam was given dominion over the earth, Genesis 1:27-30. Satan was never given dominion over the earth. Adam forfeited it to God in the Person of Jesus Christ, Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 4:11, and through Christ, back to man, as in Romans 4:13 and Hebrews 11:18 with Galatians 3:16,18. Satan is Prince of this World, meaning this world’s system of ideology, rule, culture, philosophy, ways and manner of life.
Isaiah 14:8-11 refers to the King of Babylon, Meriodach-Baladan, who in chapter 39 sent messengers to King Hezekiah. A special place was reserved for him in the world of the dead, because of his great evil, tyranny and idolatry. The fall of that king, in verse 10, stirs all the kings already in Hades, in the place reserved for kings. In verse 11, the love of music by the Babylonians is to be noted.
The whole of Isaiah 14 is about this king, who was also a god-king as was normal in those ancient days. Verses 12 onwards concern a myth of the god, Lucifer, Helios Klymene, son of Eos. Also, El-Elyon was a god and the god-king, Hebel, son of Schachar, and a great hero, who tried to make himself like the god. History says he wanted to make himself higher than the clouds, above all the stars of the god. He would raise himself to the very mountain to the farthest north, where the gods gathered. There he would reign over the universe, including the gods.
In a picture of Adam in his sin, in verse 12, “Day Star, Son of the Morn”, we could refer to 2 Peter 1:19 that says about the people of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ, ” until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts”. This is not Satan. It would appear that all the angelic beings were created on the first day in Genesis 1, according to Job 38:7, when they all “sang together”.
Isaiah 14 refers to the Edenic curse. Regarding Satan in John 8:44, Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning”.
In verse 16, it refers to “the man who made the earth tremble”. Of course, primarily that is the King of Babylon. Satan is not a man. This King also typifies Adam as he who made the earth tremble – with his sin. Note that God punished the serpent in Genesis 3 by telling him he would eat dust. The same punishment was given to Satan, as in verses 14-16. Satan’s fall from heaven, that Jesus saw, probably concerns this event at the fall of man. Satan’s position became one of that of the lowest, totally unlike that of a previous king who trod on jewels. He was given power over man who is made from the dust of the earth. Jesus said, “Satan was a liar from the beginning”. That goes back to Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth”. Even then, when Satan was possibly created, he was a liar. It could not have been Satan who made the earth tremble. No one had been created at that time. God creates darkness as well as light, Isaiah 45:7, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things”.
Ezekiel 28:11 is about the King of Tyre. How can any king be a picture of Satan, who is not a man, who does not die and go into the grave or Pit? It would appear that those verses onwards are also a picture of Adam. He was in Eden, a place never controlled by Satan. He was the “anointed cherub”, or living man (in Christ). He was driven out of the Garden of Eden, when God placed a Cherub to ” guide (or guard) the way to the Tree of Life. This Cherub could represent ” eternal life”, the very life of God, in the believer, that is the only way to future heaven and ” Eden” on the new earth.
Continuing in Ezekiel 28, Verse 4 shows the vanity in the greatness of the man and the King. Verse 14 in speaking of the “anointed cherub” cannot have reference to Satan. It can only refer to “man”, Adam, as in Genesis 3:24, it was not Satan who was placed at the entrance of the Garden to “keep the way to the Tree of Life”. The cherubim can only refer to the “Life of God in man”, as indicated by the cherubim before the throne of God, worshipping the Lamb of God, Revelation 4:6; 5:8,9,11-14. They seemed to represent all the saints in heaven who were worshipping in life, because Christ “our Life” was and is in them. Verse 17 of Ezekiel 28, as well as referring to the King of Tyre, has a reference to Adam. See Proverbs 16:4 for further thought.
There is no thought in either Ezekiel 28 or Isaiah 14 of the being of Satan. It is about men. See Ezekiel 30:10,11; 31:12.
The heart of the “man” has never altered. However, male Christians should be changed by the power of the gospel in salvation. They should be delivered from pride and wishing to dominate.
Regarding Christ, there was total grace within Him at the point of His conception. Isaiah 11:1-3 shows this clearly.
First of all, the Spirit was His in sanctification, Hebrews 7:26. From conception He was filled with grace and wisdom and “increased in wisdom and knowledge”, Luke 2:40. He acted grace and wisdom as a man. In trials and temptations he experimentally learned new exercises of grace, Hebrews 5:8.
Secondly, the Spirit came upon Him for His ministry as king and prophet to Israel. Let us remember that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son. Therefore, in these operations of the Holy Spirit in the human nature of Christ, there was a communication of the Divine Son, Who took upon Himself that human body. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did have communications of His Divine nature to his human nature, but they were by means of the Holy Spirit.
See Acts 2:22; Luke 11:20; Matthew 12:28; Mark 6:5; 9:39; Luke 4:36; 5:17; 6:19; 8:46; 9:1 to know that His works were done by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ was still Divine while on earth. He had not laid aside His attributes. He used them sparingly, as in John 2:11 when “He manifested forth His glory (that was His in eternity, John 17:5),” to His disciples. His glory was also revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration, Mark 9:2-7, where three disciples saw Him transfigured before them. He used His authority as Eternal King to set principles in His church, Matthew 28:17-20; and Mark 16:15-18. He commanded baptism in the “Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. This was not a formula for baptism. “Name” means, according to Vine, “in recognition of the authority of” – of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew wrote to the Jews whose conception of God had not included such authority of Three Persons (Trinity).
In John 20:20-23, we read that Jesus said, “So send I you”. When He said this, He breathed on them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’.” In this incident, Jesus showed Himself acting as Jehovah. He used His divine attributes. He is the store-house of the Holy Spirit for humanity. It reminds us of the creation when the Almighty God breathed into the first man, Adam, so that he became ‘a living soul’,” Genesis 2:7. Because He breathed on His disciples, He placed Himself on a level with God. As Jehovah, breath went out of Christ to reproduce the Divine image in His disciples. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation” and Ephesians 4:24, “to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”.
Thomas was not there but he believed as in John 20:24-29. Something happened to the disciples by His breathing the Holy Spirit on them before Pentecost. The Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) even in the Old Testament acted within the hearts of people, Nehemiah 9:20,30 and also the prophets, 1 Peter 1:11. An Old Testament account of breathing is found in Ezekiel 37:4-14. These words are about the nation of Israel. In John 1:11 “He came to His own, but His own received Him not”. By the time John’s gospel ends, the nation of Israel has rejected Him. God has rejected them.
Christ prophesied to Peter, in Matthew 16:19 and breathes on His disciples. This formed the beginning of the church of Jesus Christ, the new nation of Israel. The nation of Israel has come to life in a new form.. This consists of believing Jew and Gentile. Jesus told Peter that on the rock Christ Jesus, with Peter as the stone, He would build His church, Matthew 16:18. In Acts 2:14, Peter preached to the crowd, and 3,000 were added to the 120 disciples, to form the beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ. This is the re-formed church, the re-formed Israel. It is the church of the New Testament, including saved Jew and Gentile. Just as God in Ezekiel gives prophetic and breathing signs of a nation re-living, so Christ prophesied and breathed in the New Testament, first telling Peter what would happen and then later breathing on the disciples.
As the Divine Word “He became flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us”, John 1:14. The flesh of Jesus, though literally flesh of our flesh, yet being sanctified in the womb of Mary by the power of the Holy Ghost, Luke 1:14, possessed in it “the whole fullness of the Godhead bodily”, Colossians 2:9. “Bodily” in the Greek means “as a bodily receptacle or habitation”. His body held all pre-eminence over other flesh. His flesh was the root of all flesh to be redeemed. This was while He was on earth and now that He is in heaven. His body did not see corruption. It is not possible that the whole fullness of the Godhead came into Him at His resurrection or after His ascension into heaven. In John 2:19 He showed clearly the same body or temple He had on earth would be raised up again – “this body”, He said.
His body held all pre-eminence over other flesh. His flesh was the root of all flesh as redeemed. All the saved stand in Him who is their living Head. Through Him they find fellowship with God. As the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ, He also dwells in the Church of true believers as God’s fullness. Christ as this Divine temple or tabernacle was to replace any temple built on earth by the hand of man.
It should be noted that there is a “Man in the glory” on our behalf. Nevertheless, this Man was “perfected” at His ascension, to become for us now, the “Life-giving Spirit”, 1 Corinthians 15:45.
Regarding the Assemblies of God’s position, that in years’ past anyway they followed the Kenosis Theory, let us note that Pentecostals in the United States split into two large camps in the nineteen twenties. One was “Jesus Only” and the other, “Trinitarian”, as is Assemblies of God. The Trinitarians wanted to counteract the “Jesus Only” beliefs. So they followed the doctrine that the absolute fullness and presence of the Spirit in Christ meant He lived and ministered on earth as a man only. For them Jesus operated only as a man in the power of the Spirit.
The Kenosis doctrine is the belief that Philippians 2:7 means the emptying of His Godhead so that He laid aside His Attributes or Divinity.
It shows a lack of understanding of Scriptures. The Kenotic theory was first of all popular in Germany, and was found among the Lutherans Mid 19th century. It died out. Then in England, H.R. Mackintosh (a Brethren writer) and others took it on.
This belief was originally found amongst Lutherans to denote the self-limitation, not of the Logos, but of the God-man, whereby He, in the interest of His humiliation, laid aside the actual use of His divine attributes. In the teaching of the Kenoticists, it meant that the Logos at the incarnation was left bare of all His Divine Attributes. He then had the mere potentiality to be Divine, and in union with the human nature, be developed again into a divine-human person. It is error, and has been around for some centuries. It is not in the Bible. Had He laid aside His Divinity, or even His attributes, to come to earth, it would have meant He was here only as a man. To worship such a one would be idolatry, yet Jesus, as Son of Man, accepted worship. The very fact of being called “Son of Man”, assures us of His Deity while here on earth. That brings to mind Daniel 7:13,14, which places the Son of Man as a Divine Being on a throne. This Son of Man came to the “Ancient One”. This is One Person coming to another Person. This also disproves the Oneness position, (U.P.C.). It is noteworthy that the man born blind, in John 9:15,16, obviously knew about the coming of the Son of man. When Jesus questioned him, he asked who he was. He must have believed the Daniel Scripture, anticipating the coming of the Son of Man.
Their errors are based on wrong interpretations of Philippians 2:-8; 2 Corinthians 8:9 and John 17:5, dealt with below. It would seem that James 1:17 has been over-looked by such interpretations. It reads, “from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”. This verse alones proves there was no change in Jesus as a Man. There was no variation in His attributes. He did not lay them aside. He veiled His glory. When we think of the Father as God, we must think of the Son as God and the Holy Spirit as God. The Father does not change or have variation and neither does the Son or the Holy Spirit.
“Kenosis” comes from “ekenosen”. In Philippians 2:7, it is rendered in the Authorised Revised Version, “emptied Himself”. That is a wrong translation. The King James correctly translates it, “He humbled Himself”. This word is found elsewhere only in Romans 4:14; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 9:15; 2 Corinthians 9:3 and it means, “to make void”, “of no effect, account, reputation”. All of those verses show meanings like “the promise is void”. In Philippians it can only have the same meaning. It means “that Christ made Himself of no account, reputation, and did not assert His divine prerogative”. He took the form of a servant. This happened while He was still in the form of God.
If the word, “Kenosis”, is taken literally, it still does not support the Kenosis theory. To support the theory, we would have to understand that He laid aside the form of God, form being the essential or specific character of the Godhead. That is not stated in Greek.
The correct translation that one should take, after considering the various ones by quite a few scholars, is – “not regarded as something to be taken advantage of”. This follows the correct Greek translation of the foregoing phrase to be, “divine equality, already possessed”. Jesus Christ, having in eternity, “divine equality (already possessed)”, did not “regard it as something to be taken advantage of”. It does not mean, as followers of the Kenosis doctrine would have, “divinity itself” that was “abandoned”. It means He said, “I will not retain all My glory on earth”.
Common sense says, “If He abandoned His divinity while a man, where did it go? Did it become non-existent or did He as God, (His divinity), exist still in heaven?” We have to say that such is not the case. It raises possibilities that are almost ridiculous. In any case the Scripture says, “He humbled Himself”. He did not discard His Self. Down on earth He was still Himself and all that it means as “Self”.
It does not mean that He laid aside His essential character of Deity.
In the Greek, “Ekenosen” does not refer to form of God but to “einai” “theoi” (dative), i.e. His being on an equality with God. The point is that He humbled Himself to take on the form of a servant, as the King James shows. There was no exchange. He did not exchange His Being as God to have being as a man. While in the form of God He took on the form of a servant.
We object to the Kenosis theory because: –
1. It is pantheistic – We would have to believe that God and man are not very different. We would have to say that the one can be transformed into the other. That would mean “God is everything and everything is God”. That is error.
2. It is New Age – This says, “God wants us to become Himself. We are gods”.
As Rajneesh says – “When you call Jesus really you have called me.”
As says Maharishi Yogi – “Be still and know that you are God.”
3. It Results in Many Errors Among Western Pentecostals. I heard a Pentecostal Preacher say to the church – “Instead of singing ‘Jesus, You are gold, You are so precious’ sing to yourself, ‘I am gold, I am so precious’.”
Jim Jones of George Town suicides, ex Pentecostal, “You (and I) are a god.”
Hagin – “He made us the same class of being as Himself. Man lived on equal terms with God; the believer is called Christ. That’s who we are; we’re Christ.”
Copeland – “Adam was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God even. God reproduced Himself ” “You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” It must be stressed from 2 Corinthians 4:4 that only Christ is the Image of God! Indeed, “Christ is in us”, Colossians 1:27.
Cerullo – “You’re not looking at Cerullo; you’re looking at God, Jesus.”
They wrongly use John 10:34-36; Psalm 82:6 and Numbers 11:16-25. God said to the Elders of Israel, “You are Elohim”, meaning representatives of God as Magistrates. He did not place them on the same level as Himself. When Jesus Christ referred to the Old Testament verses He was telling the people that the Magistrates or Elders being spoken of as Elohim, were merely representatives. He Himself was separated to something higher. He did the works of His Father. If the works of the Father were in evidence in Jesus Christ then He had to be the Son of that Father. It could not be blasphemy.
Hinn – “I am a ‘little Messiah’ walking on earth.” The Jews wanted to stone Jesus for blasphemy, because He admitted He was the Messiah.
These teachers go further than metaphysics (theoretical philosophy of being and knowing, as Christian Science) or pantheism (a doctrine, as in India, that God is everything and everything God; worship of all gods). Copeland claims Jesus was mere man. Jesus is thus demoted – to mere man.
Even John the Baptist recognized that Jesus did not come merely as a man. When he pointed Jesus out as the Lamb of God, John 1:30,31, He said, “This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me'”. The same person who now came as a man, was the same “He” who “was before” John. Then He was Divine but now John recognized Jesus as being man while still being Divine.
Would you not say that these preachers have a false god and false Jesus – as Moslems have “Allah”? Their views go contrary to all the Gospels that reveal Jesus is eternally Divine and that He was also Divine throughout His time on earth. Their beliefs immediately do away with any distinction with Christ’s state of exaltation in heaven and His state of humiliation on earth. According to them, He, not being God here, would not as God experience any humiliation!
Jesus referred to Himself 82 times as the “Son of Man” of Daniel 7:13,14
Jesus by using this title, “Son of Man” claimed to be God with Divine attributes, on earth. These teachers say, “Jesus’ Divinity returned when He was reborn in hell”. They say, as Hagin, “Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth”. The dictionary meaning of “incarnation” is – “embodiment in flesh (as did Christ)” or “impersonation”. We are neither. We are men whose nature is sinful and able to be redeemed.
These heresies follow on from Kenyon’s teachings that I have read in every one of his books. He got a lot from Christian Science metaphysics (All is God). Pantheism (All is part of God). Those beliefs are heresy. The American Faith Movement is the result of the Kenosis doctrine and Kenyon’s Metaphysics.
If as they say, He ceased from the essential or specific character of the Godhead, it would mean: –
1. There was a break-up in the Trinity, leaving only two left, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
2. If the Son of God on becoming man, laid aside His Deity, which is Eternal, where was it? In heaven? If that were so, there would be two beings, One in heaven and the man on earth, which is not feasible.
3. To lay aside His Divinity would mean He loses being eternal. They say that He ceased to act as God, and acted only as a man, thus not being in man! Therefore it would mean that He is not God. He could then have been a created angel as in heretical Jehovah Witness doctrine!
Jesus Christ was, always was, is and still is – God. In Revelation 1:17 and 18, He Himself said, “I am the First and the Last, I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” He declares that He is the “First and the Last, the Living One”. He is the first and last, in life, in death, in creation and in redemption. He is the fountain of all life, natural, spiritual and eternal.
Christ took the form of a servant and it does not mean He laid aside the form of God. There was no exchange of the one for the other.
“Though He pre-existed in the form of God, Christ did not count the being on an equality with God as a prize which He must not let slip, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.”
What is involved in becoming a servant? It is a state of being subject to another in which state he is called upon to give obedience. The opposite of this was the state of sovereignty where one commands.
He became a “bondservant”, first and foremost, to God, Psalm 40:7,8, “Then I said, ‘Here I am. I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart'”, and Hebrews 10:5-7.
He also condescended to be the servant of men, Matthew 20:27,28; Mark 10:44,45; John 13:1-20.
Jesus Christ here on earth, was true and real God, in the “form of God”. He was also a real servant being in the “form of a servant”, Philippians 2:7. He took it upon Himself to be a servant. It was His own choice of will.
The Lord Jesus did not throw aside His Divine nature, that being impossible. He laid aside the glories and rights of Deity. He did not cast aside for the time being, His Divine Attributes, as is said. Attributes cannot be separated from Nature. On earth, as Jesus Christ, He had the attributes and nature of God.
More than that, it was that the one who was Himself God, never during the whole period of His life, death and resurrection, stopped being God. This great act of condescension in becoming a servant, a man and a curse on the Cross, was a self-revelation of God. Incarnation and crucifixion, are to be regarded as appropriate actions of the self-revelation of God. Self-denial expresses the nature of God.
Being on an equality with God does not mean a mode of being, but a state.
It was in this state of equality that Christ continued when in a new mode of Being, He became man. His humanity was not included as part of His state of being equal with God in His Divine Person..
Objections to the Kenosis Doctrine
1. It is based on the pantheistic idea that God and man are not so different but that the one can be transformed into the other. Hegel’s philosophy of becoming is applied to God and the absolute line of distinguishing God from man is removed.
a. The Eastern Orthodox Churches believe in the Deification of Humanity.
b. Irenaeus & Origen, 185-254 AD believed “God became men so that men might become god”-an Athanasian belief. They used 2 Peter 1:4.
c. Eastern Orthodox Churches repudiate pantheism. However, “To become god” for them does not mean to lose the essence of human nature. It is a relative transformation. There is a real union of believer with God, but not a literal blending.
They say humans do not participate in the essence or nature of God. The truth is, we remain human by nature but participate in God by divine grace. We are participants in the Divine nature, (2 Peter 1:4), but still have humanity as before.
i. They say God and man are examples of each other. God was incarnated, man was made divine.
ii. They say godlikeness is the movement from the divine image to the divine likeness. They say we have the divine image by nature, Genesis 1:26,27, and that some acquire the divine likeness through watchfulness.
iii. We become an earthly god, they believe, when by grace and imitation we go from the divine image to the divine likeness. Salvation is not possible but by the deification of the saved!
All of this is Error.
2. The Kenosis is against the doctrine that God cannot change. Malachi 3:6; James 1:17, shows that God does not change. He is Absolute and can never change.
3. The Trinity Would Cease to Exist. Were the Son acting and living only as a man, self-emptied of His divine attributes as the Kenosis teaches, He would no longer exist as a Divine Person in the Trinity.
4. No Divine Essence. If He laid aside His divine attributes where is the Divine Essence?
5. He would be Neither True Man Nor True God. If He laid aside His divine attributes it would mean a human Logos existing with a human soul. He would neither be true man nor true God. We note that He called God His Father making Himself equal with God, John 5:18;10:33.
Unitarian views and some present Pentecostal and Charismatic, do not limit the kenosis to a mere laying aside of His divine attributes. They hold that the divine Logos was reduced to a mere finite human being. This is humanistic. It is an impossibility.
The pantheistic tendency goes on to the belief of a continuous incarnation of God in the human race. As shown at the beginning of this section in (1), the Kenosis belief has pantheistic tendencies.
Paul did teach there was a “kenosis”, meaning self-emptying.
Philippians 2:7 shows it concerned the laying aside of His glory that He had in heaven, as He showed in John 17:5. This means:-
1. The Logos of eternity gave up the glory He had before the foundation of the world, to take upon Himself the form of a servant.
2. During His earthly life He placed Himself in obedience to the will of the Father in all things.
3. His ministry was under the immediate control of the Holy Spirit, Who prepared for Him a body, Who instructed Him during the period of development, Who anointed Him for His ministry and Who enabled Him to offer Himself without spot to God.
“Morphe” (“form”) denotes “the special or characteristic form or feature of a person or thing”. It is used in the New Testament only of Christ, in Philippians 2:6,7 – “Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God”. “Morphe” (“form”) is the nature or essence. This nature continues to be in the individual. He keeps this nature as long as he exists. Thus the “morphe Theou” (“form of God”) is the “Divine nature actually being part of the person of Christ. It is never separated from Him”.
Being in The Form of God
1. This includes the whole nature and essence of Deity. Philippians 2:6, “He existed in the form of God”. In Greek, the term is Perfect, being an expression of its perfect nature. This “form of God” is never separated from the “nature and essential being”. Therefore, the Nature and Essence of Jesus Christ as God is forever in Him Who is in the “form of God” while on earth.
Verse 6 says, “being in the form of God”, or as N.R.S.V. reads, “though he was in the form of God”. “Being” or “though” is from the Greek word, “hupako”. This all means “indefinite continuance of being”. The same word is found in Luke 23:50; Acts 2:30 Romans 4:19 and 2 Corinthians 8:17. In all those cases, the “being” meant it was continuous. Joseph continued to be a “counsellor” while obtaining the body of Jesus. The term “being a prophet” means he was that at the same time he looked to the future; Abraham, “being not weak in faith, even though he thought of his own body” shows the “being” was a continual thing. While Titus was continually “being more zealous”, he went. All these cases prove in the case of Jesus, He continued in the form of God even while He became a man, incarnate. In His state before He became incarnate in the womb of Mary, He was in the form of God. In His incarnate state as human on earth He was in the form of God.
“Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped”. This shows categorically that here are two Persons. The Son had “equality with”. “Oneness” God could not have equality with Himself. There had to be two Persons, so that one could be equal with the other.
2. It is impossible that in the past (in eternity), there were manifestations or conditions attached to the form (of the Son of God) and that they abruptly ceased. It cannot be true that at another time (when the Son of God was born of Mary) that those manifestations were separated from the form He had in heaven. They are an eternal part of the nature and quality of Deity. The Son was still in possession of this eternal nature and quality while on earth, as part of His eternal Self.
When Jesus Christ “emptied Himself”, He “laid aside” the use of His glory. He deprived Himself of His manner of existence before becoming a man. He left behind the shining of Divine Glory from His Being that He had in heaven. He became a man, still as God, and lived on earth. He the God-Man lived as a man while still being God. He became “Immanuel”, “God with us”. As man, He was still in the “form of God”.
Christ’s self-emptying was the true expression of divine equality. God Himself is self-emptying. It is His Divine attribute. He is not self-glorifying. In His state in heaven, the Son was a person, an individual. He existed equal to God. In His incarnation he was still equal with God, as God, Philippians 2:6; 2 Corinthians 8:9. When Christ emptied Himself, He expressed His Divine equality and the Divine attribute of self-abasement. This He did while He emptied Himself. He expressed the Divine equality while He was humbling Himself in that way of self-denial. This One who became Jesus, was divine from all eternity.
3. “Morphe” meaning, “form” was first used in Philippians 2:6 of God. The same word “morphe” meaning, “form” is used of Christ on earth it its real meaning. This is in the phrase “form of a servant”, Philippians 2:7. It is used in the two opposite senses, first of God and then of a servant. However, “form” must have the same meaning in both cases. The word “being” means “He already was”. Thus, He was in the “form” of God while He was made into the “form” of a servant.
While He was existing in the form of God He was made into the form of a servant (man). It was impossible for Him to divest Himself of His divine nature. If Christ had laid aside His Deity, the baby born would not have been this Eternal Being. But this baby was even called, “Immanuel”, meaning “God with us”.
While Christ was in the form of God in heaven, these things are spoken about Him. For example, “‘The Lord swore, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” Psalm 110: l, 4. He appointed him to be “heir of all things,” Hebrews 1:2; having “ordained him to be Judge of quick and dead,” Acts 10:42; for unto this he was “ordained before the foundation of the world”, 1 Peter 1:20; and “determined to be the Son of God with power”, Romans.1:4; so “that he might be the first-born among many brethren” (from the dead), Romans 8:29. All these verses refer to the same Person when He came to earth
Romans 8:29. This act of condescension is eternally established in the mind and will of God. We understand God’s eternal purposes and the things He spoke from the beginning of the world when we see them happen. They are accomplished and then we understand what He meant when He spoke.
The mind of Christ in Philippians 2:4 then on to verses 6,7 shown in the “kenosis”, does not refer to Christ’s emptying Himself of His Deity. The following reasons based on these verses prove this:-
1. This mind of Christ is to be in all Christians. His mind was a self-emptying. We have no Deity with which to be emptied. To have this mind of Christ does not refer to the fact that He may have emptied Himself of such Deity. This proves the error of the doctrine of the Kenosis as often taught.
2. We have the mind of Christ when we dethrone the self in our own hearts by accepting the living gift of eternal life and love. It refers to the self-emptying of Christ’s humanity in death for sinners. We are to deny the self, and thus we show the mind of Christ in a sense having a self-emptying.
This Modern Belief Reduces Christ to Being Mere Man on Earth
Modern Kenosis theology is more dangerous than the early Kenosis beliefs. The Christ is reduced to being no more than the “man for others”. According to it, Christ lived and acted, as well as died, only as a man.
Jesus Christ in His State in heaven had glory and majesty with God. He humbled Himself from this state. This happened at the moment of the Incarnation, when He was in the womb of Mary. Then His glory and majesty in His equality with God was laid aside. He showed it was laid aside when He took the form of a servant. He humbled Himself by taking the form of a servant when He was made man. That was how He took the form of a servant. He then humbled Himself still further. All this was while He was still being in the form of God.
He had a continuous self-consciousness all the time He was on earth that He was the Son of God. It was the self-consciousness of the Son of God developing Himself humanly. He humbled Himself still further to the death of the Cross. What humility!
Jesus Represented Himself as the Son of God. We find this in Matthew 11:27; 17:24-27; 21:37,38; 22:41-46; 24:36; Mark 12:6; 35:37; 13:32; Luke 10:22; 20:13; 20:41-44. He speaks of God as “my Father” in Matthew 7:21; 10:32,33; 11:27; 12:50; 15:13; 16:17; 18:10,14,19,35; 20:23; 25:34; 26:29,39,42,53 and in Luke 2:49; 22:29; 24:49, John 8.
Matthew was written primarily for the Jews. It is significant that in that Gospel alone, we find all those references to God being His Father. The Jews always understood it to mean He was claiming to be God. In Mark 14:61,62, when the high priest asked Him if He was the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One, Jesus said, “I am”. The high priest called it blasphemy.
Jesus Knew Himself to be the Son of God. Let us examine Matthew 11:27 “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son”. This is a unique relationship. He is speaking of “knowing” which is Present Tense. God the Father and God the Son “know” each other. This refers to the time of speaking. This “knowing” existed in eternity, and it still existed while Jesus was on earth. (Note: the very fact of being able to say, “while Jesus was on earth” indicates that this Jesus, was the same One who had been in heaven).
The verb used, “knows”, refers first about the Father knowing and then about the Son knowing. This verb is Present Tense. “The Father knows the Son, now”, said Jesus. `The Son knows the Father, now,” is what Jesus is saying. It refers to something that is existing all the time. It existed in heaven, and it existed on earth. They both know each other. It is not a knowledge that was acquired at some point in time.
God could not “find out” knowledge of Jesus. Therefore, in the same sense, the Son could not “find out” knowledge of the Father. If God’s knowledge is different from human knowledge, so also is the Son’s. Both “know” in the same way. Jesus at this time is speaking as Deity and it was here on earth.
Both the Father and the Son at the time of Speaking, are said to “Reveal”.
God the Father, as Sovereign Lord, had power to reveal. Jesus Christ also held this right as Sovereign Lord when He spoke those words. While Jesus was speaking on earth, as Man, he revealed Himself through those words to people as being Sovereign Lord, He who is Divine.
The Effects on the Atonement
The Atonement would be neither just nor powerful unless He Who hung upon the Cross were truly God, right up to the very moment of His death. This was He who is God from eternity to eternity. He emptied Himself of the manifestation and exercise of His Deity as it was His on the throne. He did exercise His Deity on earth in John 2:11 when He revealed His glory. In Revelation 1:8 and 17, Jesus said, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty”, and “I am the first and the last”. The “I am” appeared as the “Son of Man”, verse 13. In John 8:58, while on earth, Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am”. He was God at His birth. He was God during His ministry and He was God on the Cross.
As man Christ redeemed us on the Cross. As Deity, He defeated Satan for us on the Cross. There is no doubt that it was as God, the Son of God, that He defeated Satan, 1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14; Matthew 16:16,18, Colossians 2:14,15, Galatians 2:20. All those verses reveal Him as the Son of God who is being spoken about or speaking. As God, He could not take on the nature of Satan. It is blasphemy to even hint at it.
The Name of Jesus
What is the Name of Jesus, the Name He Possesses? Philippians 2:10,11 “That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow”. This Name is the Hebrew One given to the God of Israel, “Lord”. This exaltation after His crucifixion belongs to His human nature only. As God He always had this. Now as Man, He receives it. It is the Name of Jehovah.
He was Equivalent to Jehovah (Lord) at Birth. In Matthew 1:21, He was given the Name “Jesus”. This means “Jehovah is salvation”. That name alone would not indicate this baby would act as Jehovah, except that there is then added, “For it is He that shall save His people from their sins”. Also, He is called “Immanuel”, “God with us”. The Name of Jehovah (Yhwh) in the Old Testament was not to be mentioned. Now when Immanuel was born, the Name of Jehovah is made into a form, “Jesus”, that is to be mentioned. The name of Jesus is linked to the authority, power and wisdom represented by the name of God in the Old Testament.
At His birth as a man, “Jesus”, “Jehovah is salvation”, and as Immanuel, “God with us”, the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace”, in Luke 2:15. Here is the marvel and revelation of the mystery of the One God. In heaven, in His Divine perfections and glory, dwelling in invisible light, was God the Father. Now on earth, He the Light, John 9:3, is the One God but in the Person of the eternal Son of God. This One is definitely a Person and yet God the Father is still in heaven. The fact of the Trinity is undeniable, while we can see that as a Babe born in a manger, here was God. Moreover, it was a this Babe that He still remained “God in the highest”. It was to this Babe, as God in the highest and as peace on earth towards men, who was the centre of the song of the angels.
The first chapters of John’s Gospel show clearly that there are two Persons mentioned there. The Son left the Father, yet “I and my Father are one”, said Jesus.
In Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah saw in a vision, Adonai sitting on a high and lofty throne. This is one of the Names of God. Isaiah says, “the hem of his robe filled the temple”. He saw the One who was to become Incarnate as Jesus, in the temple of His body, the One called Christ in 1 Corinthians 10:4. In John 12:41, John stated that “Isaiah saw His (the Son of Man’s) glory”, after he quotes Isaiah 6:9,10.
In relation to His Deity, it is amazing to read John 3:13, NRSV “No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven, the Son of Man”.
This ascension has nothing to do with after the Resurrection. One translation gives it clearly as being an on-going descension and ascension. Young’s translation that clearly shows Tenses of Greek verbs reads, “and no one hath gone up to the heaven, except he who out of the heaven came down—the Son of Man who is in the heaven.” As God, Jesus, even the Babe, was Omnipresent. This is beyond human comprehension but nevertheless the Scriptures reveal these truths.
Luke 1:32,35, Mary is told this child shall be called “the Son of the Most High” and “the Son of God”. The angel does not say that because he was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not a man that He shall be the Son of God, but that He shall be called the Son of God”. He was the Son of God when He was born. He, on earth, is the Eternal Son of God. He is to be called the Son of God as the child of Mary.
What Name? The “Name” of Jesus, Is “Lord” or “Jehovah”. “The Son of God, not as the Son of David only, has been exalted since His death to be our Lord. Regarding redemption and salvation He has a real title. The Name given to the Child, was “Jesus”. The Name given to Jesus when exalted is “Lord” or “Jehovah”, Acts 2:36 “This same Jesus, God has made both Lord and Messiah”. “Lord” was in accordance with verse 34, great David’s greater son, seated on the throne of heaven and having the sceptre of Omnipotence.
Christ has not been exalted because it was appropriate due to His crucifixion. Rather, it confirms His own being, as equal with God the Father. His self-abasement was the outworking of the Divine love that required no reward of exaltation. Love gives and it gives without wanting to receive back in return.
“Therefore” is used in the text with “also, “Therefore God ‘also’ highly exalted Him and gave Him a Name”. The self-abasement as an attribute continued at the same time as His exaltation in relation to His work of redemption as shown by the “also”. His self-abasement and glorification bear a connection.
As man, it was only for “a little while” that He was made lower than the angels. Hebrews 2:9 is “Jesus, who for a little while was made lower then the angels” as man and was exalted after His resurrection when He ascended on high. This Man the Father exalted and placed on Him the Name “Jehovah” (Lord). He is exalted as God and as the resurrected and glorified Man.
Because He is also exalted as Man, we can be co-heirs with Him, we who will be changed so that mortality is exchanged for immortality. At the resurrection, we are raised in glory as spiritual beings, 1 Corinthians 15:43,44. In verse 49, we see that “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust (Adam), we will also bear the image of the man of heaven (the last Adam)”. As this exalted Man He leads us into glory that He as Deity had from the beginning of the world. This does not make us Deity. We will be “like Him for we shall see Him as He is”, 1 John 3:2. We, as the children of God, are His brethren.
Even here on earth, 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another”. This is our present glorious inheritance through the Word of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. The Word in us and the operation of the Spirit within, including prayer in the Spirit as in Jude 20, being prayer in other tongues of 1 Corinthians 14:2,4.15, would play a significant part in this change. These latter verses are – “For those who speak (pray) in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God – they are mysteries in the Spirit”; “Those who speak in a tongue build up themselves”; “I will pray with the spirit but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit but I will sing praise with the mind also”.
Note that Jesus was made (or exalted to men’s view as) Lord or Deity. His resurrection and exaltation verified this. Jesus was declared Christ at the time of His baptism, when the Spirit of God descended upon Him. He was “anointed” for His work as Man, being the “Christ”, Son of God, from eternity. Christ comes from “Christos”, meaning “the anointed”. He was anointed for the offices of Prophet, Priest and King.. This “Christ” is also described further on. Lord means He is God.
This anointing made no difference to His being already, God. The anointing, not of oil but of the Spirit, placed Him in the office of Prophet, Priest and King. In the Old Testament, prophets were not anointed with oil. Only priests and kings were. However, the true prophets of the Old Testament spoke fully under the anointing of the Spirit who came upon them. Jesus came under the Old Testament and Law order. As such, He had to be anointed so as to be placed in those three offices to Israel.
He was the “servant” as prophesied by Isaiah 42:1, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations”. Also in Isaiah 52:13,14, “See, my servant will act wisely he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted, Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness –“ continued in Isaiah 53 the chapter regarding the Lord Jesus Christ in His atoning death.
The anointing of the Spirit on Jesus did not mean that He did all His teaching, actions and going to the Cross, only as a man who had to be anointed of the Spirit. Jesus also taught from Himself as God. He said, “Whatever the Father does, the Son does”, John 5:19, and “Anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life”, John 5:24, “I am from above”, John 8:23 and “There is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence”, John 8:37,38. This obviously is not teaching under the anointing. Jesus is teaching and speaking as Son of God.
The “Messiah, or the Christ”, as verse 31 indicates, has risen, and is living to fulfill His office as Priest and King. We cannot say we are little “Christs”! There is only one Christ, the Living High and Anointed Priest who is over His House or Body, called Christ, He being the Head; 1 Corinthians 12:12 “The Body is one with many members, so is Christ”. Christ comes from the Greek “Christos” meaning “The Anointed”. “Charisma” is “the anointing”. Christ, the Person, is the “heir of all things”, Hebrews 1:2.
Man lost the title to dominion on earth. Now the right and title of all things on earth is given to Christ, the second Adam. The first Adam is not restored.
Now there is the second Adam who is Someone quite new, although of the first Adam’s race without the sin. Believers are united in spirit with Him who is Christ. The Kingdom of God is not flesh and blood. Adam never had the union of believers with Christ. He was never in the Kingdom of God. He was not in the physical Garden of Eden as flesh and blood, with spirit and soul. The redemption from Christ is not given to us on our own but it is given to us “in Christ”. The right of believers is not the same right as that of Christ. The right of Christ is the right of the Lord of the house. The right of the saints is the right of the servants of the house. What God has promised for His saints is only through Christ, John 8:35,36.
As Son of God, the Holy Spirit proceeds from Him. God the Father anointed Him on earth, but the Holy Spirit was already in Him. He was anointed at His baptism also to reveal to men that He had the Father’s approval and that the Father publicly announced that this was His Son. The Trinity was involved in this anointing. The Father spoke, the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove and this was all to do with the Son.
In relation to the term “Trinity” that is not found in the Bible. However, that there are Three Persons is distinctly taught throughout Scripture. The early Church fathers acted and spoke as if there were Three Persons in the Godhead (One God). It was not until problems arose because of wrong teaching about the Person of Christ that steps were taken to formulate answers to such heresies. By around 250 A.D. earlier terminology regarding the “Trinity” had developed into a sounder clarification of the “Trinity”.
The Eastern and Western Churches were coming together in their formulation of the actual “Trinity”. The Nicene Creed of 381 A.D. has been the clearest and most Scriptural formulation of the Doctrine of God. It shows that God is One with three co-equal Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We can only concur with this Creed as being very scriptural. There are indeed Three Persons, as the Word shows.
The Trinity was at work in the incarnation of Jesus, the Son of the Most High, as He was conceived in the womb of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, Luke 1:30–35. It says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you”, showing clearly this was not “God is Spirit” (Greek), John 4:24, but the Person of the Godhead who is the Holy Spirit. That God is “spirit” shows an attribute, such as is done when the Scriptures say, “God is holy” or “God is love”. This is further confirmed by the rest of the verse “and the power of the Most High will overshadow you”. This is God the Father, whose power operates so that as the angel said, “the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God”. This disproves the Oneness positions that says that “the Father is the Spirit”. Rather, God is the Father, God is the Son and God is the Holy Spirit, all Three are One. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each is God.
At His baptism Jesus the Son received approval from the Father in the presence of the Holy Spirit Luke 3:21–22, fulfilling two Old Testament prophetic passages Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 42:1. The Trinity was also present in the temptation, as Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, was led by the Spirit for 40 days in the wilderness. The devil recognized Jesus as the Son of God (Luke 4:3), but he tried to destroy the faithful relationship of the divine family.
In His preaching in the synagogue at Nazareth Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 61:1–2, claiming that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me”, Luke 4:18 and indicating that the triune family was at work in Him as the servant Son. At the transfiguration, the voice of the Father spoke again in approval of Jesus the Son to the innermost circle of disciples, Luke 9:35.
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and in the Father who had delivered all things to the Son, Luke 10:21–22. He claimed to be acting in the place of God and through the Holy Spirit’s power, which is the “finger” of God, Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20. Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple was a claim of identification with the house of God His Father (Luke 19:45–46) that was similar to His concern for being in His Father’s house at a much younger age, Luke 2:41–51.
Jesus witnessed further to His authority as He sent forth the disciples, following His resurrection, with the words, “Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you”, Luke 24:49. He also told them to wait until they were empowered by the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:5, 8. Jesus claimed His Sonship not only from David but also from David’s Lord, Matthew 22:42–45, indicating His deity.
Following His resurrection, Jesus sent the disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, Matthew 28:19. The fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy as spokesman for the Father and the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4–8) occurred at Pentecost. This continued throughout the Book of Acts when the Holy Spirit inspired Peter and the apostles to preach a trinitarian gospel of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Acts 2:32–33; 5:29–32; 10:38).
Paul wrote from a sense of the triune family in Galatians, speaking often of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Galatians 3:13–14; 4:6; 5:5–6, 22–24. In Romans he used a threefold, trinitarian pattern to describe the plan of salvation, Romans 1:18–3:20; 3:21–8:1; 8:2–30. All the remaining New Testament books contain Trinity teaching except James and 3 John. It is just not called Trinity teaching.
The triune family is God’s revelation of Himself as the ultimate truth about reality. This family is the original pattern from which God creates all the families of earth with their unity and diversity. The family of mankind, after losing its intimate relationship with the divine family at the Fall, is restored to fellowship by God’s action. This happens when its members acknowledge the generosity originating in the Father, expressed by the Son, and energised by the Holy Spirit.
“The Name” had a significance for all Hebrews, of which Paul was one. “The Name, which is above every name,” could mean nothing less than the sacred Name, Jehovah or Yhwh. This name “Yhwh” is translated in the Old Testament in our bibles as “LORD”. It should be Yhwh, or Jehovah.
The Jews thought it so sacred at the time of the translating of the Old Testament from Hebrew into the Greek Septuagint that they refrained even from writing it, let alone saying it. Hence the Greek word “Lord” was used.
The Name of “Jesus” is the manifested Mystery of the Name “Jehovah”. It is the Highest of Names – the Name “Jesus”. It does not signify Him only as a man. It signifies that He is Immanuel, Matthew 1:23. The Name itself, as shown in Matthew 1:21, is given because “He shall save His people from their sins”. It is “Jehovah is Salvation”.
In the Old Testament, according to a converted Hebrew, there are quite a few scriptures where in the original Hebrew, the actual Name “Yesha” (or “Yeshua”) or “Jesus” is used and translated “Salvation”. Some are Genesis 49:17,18; Isaiah 12:2,3; 62:11; Habakkuk 3:13. The latter reads, “You came forth with Yesha (Jesus) to your people, with your anointed One. You crushed the head of the wicked house (Satan)”. Isaiah 12:3 says “Jehovah… has become my Yeshua (salvation)”, Isaiah 62:11 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Lo your Yeshua (salvation) comes'”.
Read all these verses in your Bible and read “Jesus or Yesha” where it says “salvation”. See Luke 2:30, where Simeon cries out to God, “My eyes have seen your Salvation”, meaning the baby Jesus.
In Genesis 49:17,18, the “blessing” on Dan, who is spoken of being a “horned snake in the path that bites” (Satan, as also in Habakkuk 3:13), is wonderful. It says, “I wait for your Salvation, O Lord (Jehovah)”.
He gave to Jesus, the Son of Man, the Name which He gave to no other. Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord (Jehovah) that is My Name.” Isaiah 55:23 “By Myself I have sworn… that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear”. This is quoted in Philippians 2:10 as, “that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow”. Isaiah 5:8 “I AM the Lord (Yhwh, Jehovah) and there is none else.” Jesus Christ is identified as Jehovah to whom every knee shall bow.
- He is divine.
- He is the only Son.
iii. Present tense of “lives”.
- Is in closest intimacy with the Father.
- Past tense, has made Him known – this Present tense Being who lives (Present tense) has performed something already that is past. This is while He still is existing (Present tense) in close intimacy with the Father. This verse alone proves that on earth, this Being, Jesus, is Divine and has Deity on earth.
John 1:50 “Do you believe because I told you I saw you… You shall see greater things than these” proves His Deity on that occasion, as it ties in with Psalm 71:19 “Your righteousness, O God, reaches unto the heavens. You have done great things, O God, who is like you?” Nathaniel recognised that because Jesus had seen and known him under the tree, there was something special about Him. He could say, “You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel”. The King of Israel, is the Divine One. Nathaniel did not fully know it, as he naturally was looking for a natural king of Israel. By the Spirit he said here is God! Jesus showed His Divinity in John 1:36 through to 2:11. This follows on from the testimony of John about Him, verses 1-35. Also, what John says in verse 30 “He was before me” proves he recognized that this person, Jesus, was indeed God, come out of eternity on to earth. John 1:51 Jesus says, “Verily, verily (truly) I say to you”. This was Jesus speaking as the Divine One. It showed Divine Omniscience. In the Old Testament the prophets did not dare speak from themselves. They said only what God said. Jesus said, “Amen, Amen”. He is the only One in the whole of Scriptures who could say this. He is the “Amen and the Faithful and True Witness”, Revelation 3:14. Then Jesus revealed Himself as the Son of Man, that would take the minds of the discerning to Daniel 7:13,14. This Son of Man on earth, is the Divine One. The angels ascend from the Son of Man and then descend on Him, John 1:51. Jacob dreamt a similar thing, Genesis 28:17. He was at the gate of heaven. See Matthew 3:16; Acts 7:55;10:11. As in Ezekiel 1:1 the heavens opened to us at the coming of the Son of Man. He is the ladder between heaven and earth.
- Verse 1. “In the beginning was the Word”. He is the Word. – See also John 1:14; 1 John 1:1; 5:7; Revelation 19:13
- He is the One in whom all the promises are yes and Amen. 2 Corinthians 1:19,20. He is the Word – the substance and truth of all the aw – with its types and shadows. He is the end of the law and kernel of the gospel.
- A word is a way of showing a man’s mind to others so Christ revealed the Father in His own person, on earth also, Hebrews 1:3.
- He is the Wisdom of the Father, Proverbs 8:12.
- He knows the Father’s secrets, and as the Word of the Father, declares Him, His mind and will to the church of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, Matthew 11:27; John 1:18; 1 Peter 1:11.
- He is eternal, and was before all things were created, before time, in eternity. He is inseparable from the Father in His essence and nature and exists co-eternally with Him – “for the Word was God”. The Father is never without him, John 17:5;14:10,11. The Son’s nature and quality are communicated to him from the Father. The Father and the Son then communicate this to the Holy Spirit, so that their name, nature, properties, glory and working are one. Matthew 28:19 “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”. In these words there is a summing up of all He taught, about the Father and the Spirit and His own relationship to both.
Now He points us to a life of fellowship, consecration and in divine fullness and in His strength. The believer passes into the possession of the Triune God.
- In John 1:1,2, John’s grammatical use of the word “was”, the way he did, (it being a verb of rest in Greek), means “His permanent state”, i.e. the permanent state of His nature and being. Therefore when He became flesh, verse 11, He still maintained His permanent state or quality of Deity.
- Verse 1, “the Word was with the God”. That this Being is called “Logos with God” does not make Him God, even though God is inseparable from His Logos. In John 1:18, “Son” is substituted for Word, and Father for God – pointing out the relationship of the Persons, and their communion. Also, it does not say “God was the Word”.. It says what the Logos or Word is. It shows the Logos is the Son, in the bosom of the Father – the Word with God.
“The Word was God”. Then he states that “The Word was God”. This shows this Logos or Word partakes of Deity. He is different from men and angels. There exists a Being (the Son), Who is eternal, personal and God – like Him who is “the God”. This Being (the Word/the Son) John recognised in that JESUS whom he knew as the Christ. This Being became the subject of the passage beginning at verse 14. 2. John 1. Verse 2. He was in the beginning with God. Revelation 3:14, when there was no created thing, He was the beginning. This means that the beginning of creation was grounded in Him, the Living Beginning. He is eternal and from all eternity, He was God with the Father, one in Nature, but a distinct Person.
- Verse 3. The Word reveals Himself in creation. Note: If Christ on earth is not by nature God, if He does not remain God and Creator of all things, we can have no salvation. How could we be helped by the sufferings and death of Christ were He mere man? The “Faith” Copeland teachers are in grave error. He himself is reported as saying that “Any man could have died that death. “ He also just speaks of Jesus as “The Anointed” that omits Jesus Christ as Son of God on earth and on the cross.
Our Saviour on the Cross has to be very God, and Lord over sin and Lord already over death, and Lord already over Satan. Mere man could not conquer any, even Jesus acting only as man. John 5:17,18 “‘My Father is working until now and I Myself am working, Even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” The Jews understood that to say God was His Father meant He was also declaring Deity, that He amongst them, was God.
- Because it is now stated, “all things were made by Him”, the Spirit through John began in verse 3 by revealing God in creation. See Romans 1:20. This creation revealed God as existing and as having power.
In Acts 17:24 they denied the creation, holding matter to be eternal, as do many Hindus, – being pantheistic as is the Advaita philosophy of India. Paul says the true God is an almighty Person, the Creator, and Lord. He does not live in temples full of images, idols, shrines etc.
- It is not the Divine creation that is considered here, but the involvement of the Logos, in the creation.
- John 1 verse 4
- “In Him was Life”. His power was evident in the creation of man in the image of God. There is a natural life and reason given to man in creation. There was also spiritual life.
From John’s gospel which is full of statements regarding Light the Son gives and that there is Life in Him, we know that He offers eternal life and is the Light of the world. His life is the light of men. Verses 4, 5 mention “the darkness” (of sin). Our life of light to escape the darkness is from Him as the fountain and preserver, because He is Life and He is the Light.
- He is the Life. There is life in Him according to John 20:31; 14:6; 10:10. We are reminded of Genesis 2:7, and “breath”. God spoke the word of life which is identified as Jesus Christ, by His breath (“ruach”). “Ruach” is the same word for Spirit. As God spoke the Spirit of life went into the dust. Such is Christ’s role in the creation of man.
It goes further. There is spiritual life, Ephesians 2:1-6, John 3:1-18. Man, dead in sin, needs a new life (breath) from God, spiritually. The moment we believe in Jesus Christ, we receive new life. It is eternal life. 1 John 5:13, says that “Those who believe on the name of the Son of God, may know that they have eternal life.” That is all that is required, this believing – no works, no prayers, no tears of repentance, no prostrations, no getting “slain”, no speaking in tongues, no baptism and no legalistic endeavours. Man was made for the Father’s glory. It was lost. Now it is found again, in Christ. As man made alive again, he has become God’s temple. That is the climax of our salvation. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Revelation11:19; Revelation 21:3; Ezekiel 43:1-5; 40:46; 44:2; 44:15-18; Revelation 19:7,8. Ephesians 2:19-22;1:23.
- Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”, John 10:10. Going on to verse 11, He is the Good Shepherd of Psalm 23. We need lack nothing, our cups run over. “Abundantly” in Greek speaks of a surplus. Matthew 14:20 shows the abundance of God even in Jesus’ own miracle of supplying food.
- That Life was the Light of men. This does not only refer to the “light of reason, free will and human ability”, John 11:10. Indeed, because all things came into being through Him, The “Life” is spiritual as Genesis 2:17 shows death in the spirit of man. Hidden behind this is natural death. In Matthew, Mark and Luke life means spiritual eternal life. John 3:15, 36;5:24-26;39,40; John 6:33,47,48,53;1John 1:1.
He is “The Light of men”, verses 8,9. He is the “Logos”, meaning “the Word”. This is synonymous with salvation, Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 49:6;42:6;60:1-3,19,20. John 1:9 shows He became the Light of men when He came into the world. Logos was from the beginning the life and light of men, and until He appeared in the flesh, men were excluded from it. See Revelation 12:11, “they overcame Satan by the power dwelling in the atoning death.” Hebrews 9:12; Romans 5:11, “by whom we have now received the atonement”.
- John 1 Verse 14. This is “God with us”, Immanuel, Matthew 1:23. It speaks of His humanity, His incarnation and manifestation in the flesh. “He came to His own,” v.11, and this shows the Deity of Christ also. The Jews were God’s own, as Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6 (a holy people unto Yhwh); Psalm 135:4; Exodus 4:22,23; 2 Samuel 7:24.
John says “His (Christ’s) own people”, verse 11, an action by Jesus Christ on earth as God-Man. This is the Jehovah of the Old Testament.
- Flesh means a whole man, Acts 27:47; Psalm 145:21; Matthew 6:38; 26:39. He had a body, a soul. He was a true man with a real body to be like us and with common infirmities (e.g. hunger, weariness, joy, learn, pray, love). But He had no sin or any tendency for sin, Hebrews 7:26. Isaiah 40:28, this flesh, indicating weakness and mortality.
What condescension, bringing us redemption! “In our pauper flesh and blood the eternal God clothes Himself”. He had a human spirit, John 11:33; 13:21. He “gave it up” (to the Father, not to Satan) – his spirit was not dead in Hell, as Copeland teaches!
- He was not made another person in Christ, distinct from the person of the Son of God. At conception His humanity was taken into a personal union with His Godhead. This was without any change on the godhead’s part, and without mixture of natures and properties. “The Word was made flesh” i.e. being God from all eternity, and remaining so still, he became also man.
As man He did not divest Himself of His deity, else He would as man, have been less than Deity! He was Deity. This was in respect of the unity of His person. Thus He is a fit Mediator between God and man, and His sufferings are of great worth, being the sufferings of One who is God, Acts 20:28, “feed the church of God, which He has purchased with His own blood” (King James Version). This is confirmed by 2 Corinthians 5:19, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself”. This verse, John 1:14, shows the pith of John’s Gospel. The Word of God entered history as a man so that men could see God. In Him men could behold God’s glory. As a man He was confined to the human state, even while His Godhead at the same time, filled heaven and earth.
- “Became” (flesh) in Greek implies a deep transformation in the manner of being. It does not change his identity. He is still God. It shows He has changed his condition, which had been a condition of glory. John is saying that the Logos, though becoming flesh, remained in possession not only of His consciousness, but also of His attributes as the Logos, who is God.
He came in the flesh not into flesh, or as flesh, but in flesh.
- i. “And dwelt among us” (John 1:14 Continued) is really “tabernacled among us” or “dwelt in a tent”. It alludes to the Shekinah (the dwelling-place) which was the visible form by which Jehovah manifested His presence in the midst of His people in the Old Testament. The word is here and four times in Revelation 7:15; 12:12; 13:6; 21:3. The Old Testament scriptures that are connected to this are Exodus 25:8; 29:45,46; Psalm 74:2. The fullness of it is only in Christ.
Jesus Christ is the anti-type of the Old Testament types of Tabernacle and Temples. From John 2:21, we see that the substance is His Body, the Old Testament Temple being the foreshadowing and measure, Ezekiel’s l 43:5, where the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. He came to earth and became the temple, so that we could see His glory, the glory as of the Father, full of grace and truth, John 1:14. It also prefigures Revelation 21:3, where God dwells with His people in the eternal heaven in a renewed heaven and earth. In $Ezekiel 43:5,7 there is a future temple filled with the glory of the Lord, in the midst of His people forever. After His ascension, His people are now the temple of the Lord, in accordance with Mark 14:58; 15:29; Acts 7:48; 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 2 Corinthians 6:16. We are partakers of His glory, 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6,7; Colossians 1:27. The final fulfilment of Ezekiel’s Temple will be in heaven, as stated above, disclosed in Revelation 21:1,2,22,23 where there is no need for sun, moon, or temple, for the Lord will be the glory and light thereof, and He will dwell in the midst of His people for ever.
- The tabernacle in Israel was the centre of the camp, Numbers 2:17. He is the centre for us, John 12:32 at the Cross, and in our meetings, Matthew 18:20. We should always remember that Israel was a Temple State.
- It was where the Law of Moses was preserved, Exodus 21 – c/f. John 8:29, Psalm 40:8.
- It was the dwelling place of God, where the Ark of the Covenant was, see Exodus 40:3,34,35; Leviticus 16:2.
- i. The Tabernacle was the place of revelation, because God dwelt among His people. It was called the “tent of meeting”. Jesus Christ, the second Tabernacle, is the place where God meets with men.
- Exodus 33:20, Moses could not see His face. God is revealed in Jesus, in whom we see the Father, John 14:8,9. Hebrews 1:3 “He is the express image of His person/the very image of his substance/flawless expression of the nature of God/is the copy of His Being”. This is in His incarnation, because Hebrews 1:2 says God has spoken to us in the present age, in His Son – through a Son. What God essentially is was made manifest in Christ. (See iii & iv) To see Christ is to see what the Father is like. The disciples saw Jesus, and in seeing Him saw the Father.
iii. “Who being the brightness of (His) glory” (“He is the effulgence of God’s glory”), Hebrews 1:3. This latter refers to the “glory which He had with the Father” in full manifestation, and which He had on earth to a smaller degree in manifestation. This reminded the Jews that God had promised to dwell among them by His glorious presence; Jerusalem is called, “The LORD is there”. Zechariah 2:8 God promises to send the Angel of Jehovah, and this great Angel announces that Yhwh has sent him “after glory”. This is to get honour over the heathen by the display of judgment and then of mercy. Now this Angel is amongst us in these latter days, in the Incarnation, as Jesus. He was amongst the Children of Israel from the beginning, Genesis 48:16; Exodus 3:2;32:34; Isaiah 63:9, where He represented the Presence of the Father, the God Who saved them.
- In Zechariah 2:10 “the daughter of Zion” is to rejoice and be glad, because Yhwh Himself would come and dwell in her midst. This refers to the coming of Christ in the flesh. The nations are to enter into the very same relations with God as the Hebrews. Zechariah 2:11, “There will be formed one people”. This is by the admission of the Gentiles into the Covenant of God.
Zechariah 2:12 is the enlargement of spiritual Jerusalem, brining in all the saved of earth, Revelation 21:23; Hebrews 12:22. The blessings confined to “Israel after the flesh” are not just for them but for “the Israel of God”, Galatians 6:16. Zechariah 2:13, “Be silent, living things, in the Lord’s presence; yonder in His holy dwelling, all is astir”. This holy dwelling, is first Christ and then extended to His Body, who together with Him is called Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:12. We are that spiritual Jerusalem. Deuteronomy 32:9, was spoken first of all for natural Israel but is now for us who are in spiritual Israel.
- “Express image” (Hebrews 1:1,2) means “As is the Father, so is the Son”. Also, what the Father does, the Son does (even in the days of His flesh), John 5:19. This speaks clearly of the Deity of the Son on earth. The “express character” or whole nature of God is in Him, and by Him God is declared and expressed to us. We appreciate the work of the Holy Spirit, but all grace is from the Father and comes to us only by and through the Person of the Son. This is in creation, in redemption, in the revelation of His will and in the giving of His Spirit. It is “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God”, 2 Corinthians 4:4, King James Version.
2 Corinthians 4:6 says “to give outshining of that glory, but that Christ Himself is a Divine centre of the out- raying of God’s glory co-existent with the Father, of the same substance as the Father, very God of very God, possessing in Himself life and light.” “The Lord Jesus is not merely the outshining of God’s glory. He is the outshinning of that glory which in itself becomes a centre from which the glory of God out-rays itself.” So says Wuest, a Jewish Greek scholar. Bruce says, “The substances of God is really in Christ, who is its impress, its exact representation and embodiment.” As is the Father, so is the Son. What the Father is, does, has, so also the Son is, does and has. “The express image” means the “express character”. The whole nature of God is in Him, and by Him, God is declared and expressed to the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”. Jesus Christ is the image and glory of God. He is the exact impression. He is the radiance, the out-raying of the glory of God. This is in order that: –
- all the glorious perfections of the nature of God belong to and are in the Person of the Son; and
- the whole manifestation of the nature of God TO US are by and through the Person of His Son.
This is the Person by whom God spoke to us, in Hebrews 1:1,2. This is the Person who was on this earth. Jesus was the very image of God while on earth. He did not lay aside His Deity. This is the One, who in verse 3, “made purification of our sins”, on earth, on the Cross. This is the Jesus the disciples saw and touched, the “express image” of the Father. This Jesus, this “image and glory of God” is He by Whom God spoke to us, on earth, while the Eternal Son was in His human body. This shows clearly how He is “the Image of God”, different from us who are “made into His Image”. Everything that Christ is and has is innate, it is part of Him. After His resurrection, He was glorified in His essence. Then God exalted Him. He had abased Himself to the very depths. Now He is exalted. As Man, He is raised to that exaltation possessed only by Deity. At no time did Jesus Christ become totally like us. He retained His Deity, laying aside the expression of the glory of that Deity, for a time. Now He has been glorified with the eternal glory that He had. Now His incarnate Deity is exalted. He was our sin-bearer, and never did our sin penetrate into the very fibre of His Being. He is Lord , the great I AM, even on the Cross and in the grave. John 1:14 (Continued), “Beheld His Glory”, the visible manifestation of God in Christ. This invisible God, whom no man can see, Who dwells in unapproachable Light (1 Timothy 6:16) gives expression in His fullness in the Person of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:19, “It was in Him that the full nature of God chose to live”, Phillips and “In Him the complete being of God, by God’s own choice, came to dwell”, New English Bible. Anybody coming a different way, even if they are now in Charismatic circles, “falls short of the glory of God”, Romans 3:23. We can only come by Christ.
1. Jesus the Man Claimed to be Jehovah. Jesus claimed to be eternal. As the Angel of the Lord called Jehovah He appeared with two angels to Abraham who cried “Lord”, Genesis 18, referred to in John 8:39,40,25, “unless you believe I am who I am” and, meaning Abraham believed He was God. Only God is eternal. Jesus said, “Amen, Amen, before Abraham was, I am”, John 8:58. The Jews picked up stones to stone Him, as they knew He meant He was God. Also, in John 10:32, the Jews said, “We are going to stone you for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God”. This all shows the Deity of Christ on earth. The question in John’s Gospel is, “Who is Jesus Christ”? The purpose is to show forth His Divinity. John 20:31, “the promised Saviour, God’s Son”. John 11:27; 10:31-33.
2. He claimed (on earth) to be the “I AM”. This is the right of God alone. Exodus 3:14 reads “Jehovah, He that is what He is”, “I am that I am”. Jesus, by saying, “I Am”, expressed His personal pre-existence in heaven by using the “I Am” of Exodus 6:2; and Psalm 90:2. That Christ said He is the “I Am” shows Him as the absolute Being, Who is not subject to any change. That belongs only to the Godhead. On earth, He was God. Abraham, as mentioned in John 8:58, existed as “becoming”, while Christ has “being” which is higher than becoming. He had continuous being as God, in heaven and on earth.
3. The prophets did not invent the names of God. They are of divine origin. Those names come to us in human language from human and earthly relations is borrowed and used. This is the condescension of God. The name Jehovah stands for the whole manifestation of God in His relation to His people. It covers all His redemptive acts. It shows Him a covenant-keeping God, Who is love, righteousness, holiness, justice and mercy. Jesus was afflicted, and it was Jehovah who was afflicted, Isaiah 53:4; 63:9. Jesus wept for Jerusalem, Matthew 23:37, saying, “they would not”. This was said of Jehovah in Isaiah 65:2. Jesus suffers, “Jehovah” suffers. Jesus is the Jehovah of the New Testament.
Other names are also El, Elohim, Elyon – the strong and mighty One, the One who keeps covenant, Who works His will, the Most High God, Genesis 6:31. Psalm 89:8,28, Adonai – the mighty Ruler. Shaddai, El Shaddai – possessing all power in heaven and in earth, the God of creation and nature, a source of blessing and comfort, Exodus 6:2. El Olam, the everlasting God. Jehovah Sabaoth, “The Lord of hosts”, Numbers 1:52;2:4,6. Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord will provide”, Genesis 2:8. Note it concerns the Substitute offering for sin. Jehovah Rophe, “The Lord heals”, Exodus 15:26, 23-26 (1 Corinthians 10:4). Jehovah Nissi, “The Lord our Banner”, Exodus 17:15. Jehovah M’Kaddesh, “The Lord Who sanctifies”, Leviticus 20:7,8. Jehovah Shalom, “The Lord is peace”, Judges 6:24. Jehovah Rapha (Rohi), “The Lord our Shepherd”, Psalm 23. Jehovah Tsidkenu, “The Lord our Righteousness”, Jeremiah 23:5,6. Jehovah Shammah, “The Lord is there”, Ezekiel 48:35.
Different “I AM’s” of Christ
1. These are I Am the Bread of Life, John 6:35. I Am the light of the world, John 8:12; I Am the Good Shepherd, John 10:1; I Am the door, John 10:7; I Am the resurrection and the life, John 11:26; I Am the way, the truth and the life, John.14:6; I Am the vine, John 15:5.
Note that all these “I AM’s” are found only in John’s gospel, the book that shows forth the Deity of Christ. In John 7:37 Jesus shows Himself as the Giver of the Water or Life, John 4:14/7-26. Note: there is a connection between drinking of the water of life for salvation, and subsequently the water of the Spirit for prayer and worship. The salvation experience and prayer with worship are interwoven.
2. a. The Bread of Life. Sinners are in need of life. This heavenly Bread produces that life (spiritual) and sustains it (we must eat it daily) and puts quickening in the dead. The whole world lies in death starting in Genesis 2:17. Christ alone can satisfy the hunger of the soul. Why should we be seeking religious (spiritual) experiences when He who satisfies us is Jesus? We are to believe and receive this Bread for salvation. John 5:40 shows we have to “come to” Him for life. Isaiah 26:5; 49:6; 55:1 shows the richness of the table spread for us in salvation. Isaiah 55:3 shows that to eat. This eating is from His Word. We must “Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live”. Bread and eating, is connected with the living Word of God, Hebrews 4:12. Amos 8:11-12 is a terrible situation, when no one will preach true doctrine, when people will not be able to find it, and when He will send a famine for the True Bread. Are we living in that time, here and now? We in Western nations are in that time.
b. The light of the World. John 8:12, When Jesus said this, it was still the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. This chapter continues on from John 7 where Jesus attended that Feast on the last day. This Feast was to recall to the Children of Israel the blessings of God while they were in the Wilderness. Thus for this feast they lived in tents of leafy branches. The two great blessings for the Children of Israel as they journeyed in the wilderness, (Book of Numbers) were the water from the rock, and the pillar of fire. In John 7, Jesus said they were to come to Him for the water of the Spirit. Now in John 8, He says He is the light. This is in fulfilment of Isaiah 42:6, “He, the covenant of the people, is the light of nations.”
i. Darkness. “The whole world lies in the darkness of SIN”., In Isaiah 42:7, it was the darkness of Heathendom. Christ is given as a covenant for people, i.e. the heathen people, and as a light for them. Isaiah 45:7 shows the darkness of the evil of punishment – this verse refers to the dualism in the Persian religion, Light and darkness: God is sovereign over them. See Psalm 107:10; Matthew 4:16; Romans 13:12-14, where is sin and evil thoughts and inclinations are spoken of. (2 Corinthians .6:14; Colossians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:4). This age is evil, Luke 16:8; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:20; 2:6-8; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 1:4; 2 Timothy 4:10. See Ephesians 5:8,11; 6:12; Colossians 1:13.
ii. Considering the fact that the Bible emphasises the work of sin, the flesh, carnality, carnal mind, the old man and evil in the lives of men, why are believers and ministers, when dealing with people, looking for demons? Hebrews 4:12 speaks of the Living Word and He does not ferret out evil spirits! That which is sinful as in James 1, 2 and 3, is said to be earthly, of the unspiritual nature and from evil spirits (devilish), Knox says “demon inspired”, James 3:15″, not saying “demon possessed”. The literal meaning is, you claim to be enlightened Christians, but enlightenment joined with bitterness and self-seeking comes not from God, but from the devil. This is even called a “wisdom” but it does not descend from above! It is due to sin in the heart.
It is possible to be right and have good in one area, and to have demonic influence in other areas. The devilish actions in the book of James, see James 3:14-17, were devilish only because they were sinful acts. As all unbelievers and heathen have an “unspiritual nature” as shown above, they do not have knowledge or understanding of the Holy Spirit.
iii. This could apply, not only to those particular sins in the three chapters, but also to so-called “moves of God”. There can be enlightenment of the spirit by the Holy Spirit, and a certain experience, but then it is joined to self-seeking in whatever form – pandering to the desire for “wonderful experiences”, “inner healing”, “physical manifestations”, something which is not Scripture based, a good time in church, promotion of the self, hedonism (happiness for self), a desire for “new revelations” and “new experiences” and a satisfying of oneself in ministry. “Enlightenment joined with… self-seeking comes not from God, but from the devil”, as James declares.
iv. Sin is the real problem, not Satan or demons. They operate through sin. “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil”. God told Cain, in Genesis 4:7, “if you do not do well, sin is crouching (lurking) at the door; its desire is for you but you must master it”. Cain was angry, and made room for evil within. This can lead to outward evil-doing, as it did for him who murdered. Sin is thought of as a beast of prey, crouching. Even though it was after the fall of man, there was still the possibility in the naturally evil heart, to exercise restraint and not yield to the sin. God placed the blame where it lay, on man himself and on man’s sin.
The whole of the Bible contains God’s actions or battle against sin. It is not God and Satan having a controversy as some theologians have said. God sent Jesus to redeem us from sin. Satan rules mankind outside of Christ through man’s sin.
James 1:13-15. These are the steps of sin – i. Temptation; ii. Allured by his own evil desire and enticed by a bait (note the enticement by a bait is his own enjoyment of the sin if followed) Williams; iii. Passion, desire, conceives; iv. It gives birth to sin; v. Sin runs its course; vi. Sin gives birth to death. We need the Light of Christ.
3. I Am The Good Shepherd. John 10:3. Jesus had said the Pharisees were blind guides, John 9:39-41. In chapter 10 He shows Himself as being the true Shepherd.
a. Ezekiel 34 is a picture of the Messiah. It is unfolded under the form and shadow of Old Testament relations. This was the only way the prophets knew to prophesy about the future. They foretold pleasing views of Canaan, Jerusalem, Zion, Hills of holiness, sacrifices of righteousness, a seed of blessing, a king and a commonwealth.
In all this they were prophesying of the heavenly kingdom and its King, the Greater David. All is fulfilled in Christ, just as the sacrifices are all types of the Saviour, the Lamb of God. The shadow gives way to the substance, Hebrews 10:1-9. Isaiah 40:10,11, “bosom” refers to the pocket in the shepherd’s robe where he carries the lambs.
b. Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” because He has given His life for His sheep. It was a voluntary death, v.11, repeated in vv. 15,17 and 18. It was God’s plan, but Jesus said, “I will”. Ephesians 1:3,8-10; Hebrews 10:9. He gave His life “for the sheep”. See Romans 5:6-8. Jesus died for us who are sinners that deserve physical and spiritual death. He willingly took our punishment so that we can be set free from sin and its penalty, to serve God. It was Divine love. Jesus’ death was a victory over sin but it was a substitution – the Incarnate God willingly placed Himself in the sinner’s place to die for him.
c. In Romans 5:6-8 the emphasis is on the fact that God had such love that Christ died for us while we were still in an ungodly condition. It was “in stead of, on behalf of, for”, as in John 10:11. Here in this 10th chapter of John and in verses 15, 27 and 28, He gives His life for the sheep and no one shall snatch them out of His hand.
i. This has no connection with any doctrine of “Once saved always saved”, neither does John 10:27,28 confirm such a belief, v.27 says “they follow me” which is practical faithfulness. Following is involved in maintaining a state of salvation. See the “ifs” of Revelation 3:5; Colossians 1:23 and note 2 Peter 2:22; 2 Timothy 4:10. Those who follow that belief have not used exegesis of the whole portion. If one hears, and follows they will receive eternal life. Vv.27,28 show the relationship between Shepherd and sheep, the life in that position and the indestructible nature of first two, not one, positions. The sheep are the property of Jesus.
ii. John 10:29-31 has as the subject, the power of the Father and has no connection with “Once saved always saved”. The Father is greater than all, and no once can snatch them, shows the comparison of power between God Himself and the enemies. The Father’s hand has power. His power guards the property the Son possesses. This cannot insure believers against their own unfaithfulness, to the point of “Once saved always saved”. That meaning is not in these verses.
iii. Verse 30 speaks of the relation of love between Father and Son, their combined efforts of will and action and their Oneness of nature and essence. “ONE” pronounces He is conscious of the union of God the Father and God the Son. The “We are” shows there are Two. It would be blasphemy in the mouth of a creature, to say “WE”. Here again, is proof of the Deity (Divinity) of Jesus the Man, on earth. Jesus came to earth and as a Man but He was still part of the one Godhead. In Zechariah God 13:7 describes the Messiah as “My Fellow”, a union of nature. Zechariah 12:10, the Lord, the Creator of heaven was pierced in the Messiah’s person. Zechariah 11:13 is concerning the price given as being put upon Him. That price is put upon the Old Testament Shepherd (Jehovah), who comes into His own inheritance as the Son.
NOTE: – “The entire Christian religion is built on this immovable foundation. He who has undertaken to save us and to lead us back to God is God the Son equal with the Father. As a Person He is truly distinguished from the Father. We are to have a sound faith in this. We are to thank Jesus Christ, that He, who was one with the Father from all eternity, has condescended to come down and be one with us – that is, to be man with us forever. The Unity of the Father and the Son, John 10:30, is established not only by ‘I and the Father’ but also by the plural form of the verb. Jesus on earth came as God not only as man.
d. John 8 speaks of the Pharisees who said He had a demon. Thus they placed themselves against God on the side of Satan, John 8:44. They were not shepherds for the sheep of Israel. Chapter 9 shows the reactions of the Pharisees, verses 15-34. In Chapter 10 Jesus points out the Pharisees are as false prophets, Jeremiah 23:21,32. The Pharisees did not enter in by the door of the sheep but went in as robbers, like the false prophets of old times. They set themselves up as spiritual leaders without appointment from God (as happens today).
4. I Am The Door. John 10:7.
a. Jesus could say He was the door as true Shepherd, because He entered in through the door of the calling of God. He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; Psalm 135:4; Matthew 10:6; Luke 15:6. The porter is God who acts, v.3. He opens to the true Shepherd, Jesus, John 6:44,45. In the Old Testament Israel is owned by Jehovah. Now Jehovah has appeared in the flesh in Christ, so that the true Israelites (believers in Christ) are owned by God, verse 14. Exodus 33:12,17; Isaiah 43:1. They are the elect of God, John 10:27-31. It is mid-day in the sheepfold. The gate is constantly open. The sheep stay inside or go out to pasture. They have freedom. Their rest and salvation is assured.
b. John 10 Verses 8-10.
i. Jesus shows the difference between the way of the Pharisees, one of tyranny and religious rule, to His way of simplicity and ease. All who went before, the Pharisees, left heavy burdens, Luke 11:46; Matthew 23:4; Matthew 11:30; Acts 15:28; Revelation 2:24. Those churches today that have tyrannical and religious rule by a Pastor, Minister, Bishop or Denomination, are like the Pharisees. Jesus does not lay burdens upon us. “His yoke is easy and His burden is light”. We do give honour where honour is due.
ii. Entering in by Jesus, is speaking of going into the state of reconciliation and of the Messiah’s salvation. The sheep under the True Shepherd have rest, security and nourishment in the pasture.
iii. Then follows the idea of superabundance and superfluity. This means that the spiritual pasture will contain still more nourishment than that which the sheep can take to itself. What is this nourishment? It is food, not experiences or manifestations. Food is: – Jesus the Bread of Life, John 6:54-56; the Spirit of Life, Romans 8:2 – the wine of the Kingdom (the Spirit of God Himself not His manifestations), Matthew 9:17; Genesis .27:37; 2 Kings 18:32; Nehemiah 13:5; and the Word of God that is pure spiritual milk, 1 Peter 2:2, and meat of the Word, 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12,13.
What we understand of Canaan, that it is a type of our heavenly inheritance, into which we have already entered, is that it flowed with milk and honey. It had much corn. Deuteronomy 33:28; Isaiah 36:17; 65:8 (new wine); Joel 2:19 (corn, wine and oil); Numbers 13:27; Luke 14:23 (compel); Matthew 22:3; Revelation 3:20; John 21:12 (Come and dine), He wants to eat. Mark 2:18-22 shows that Jesus rejected fasting for the Messianic Feast. We are under the Messianic Feast, no fasting!
iv. Adam was refused access to the Tree of Life, Genesis 3. Christ is the anti-type of the tree of life. We eat of Him and live forever. That also is food. In the night, the dew of heaven falls. Genesis 27:28. It is refreshing, Proverbs 19:12; Psalm 19:14; 40:8; 51:18; 145:16. It is “favour”. It is the Spirit of grace, Psalm 133:3. The oil (of the Spirit) is poured in (spiritually) to the wounds of the sheep, Psalm 23:5.
5. I am the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:26. Hosea 6:2, resurrection and life are connected together.
a. Martha had just spoken of the resurrection as a future event. Jesus denies this by saying that not the event, rather His person, is the resurrection. Victory over death is not a physical fact, but a moral act. John 5:28; 6:39-44. He can accomplish it when He wills. He had that power of Deity on earth. He was God on earth.
b. He also says He is the Life. He is not speaking of His future outward resurrection, but a spiritual actuality. The spiritual life He gives to those who may die is the promise of a bodily resurrection. Lazarus and other dead believers, because of the new life received, continue living, as we can see in Luke 16:22, where another man named Lazarus, lives consciously in life after death. Jesus then refers to the living, including the two sisters. They remain sheltered from death. For to die in Jesus is to continue to live in Him. “In Me the dead lives, and the living does not die”. This life is a permanent and spiritual principle. It resides in the Divine One alone.
c. In this miracle He performs, the resurrection of Lazarus is for Martha, an outgoing of the life of Jesus Himself, a ray of His Glory, possessed by Him on earth. He could not say this, if He were mere Man with His Deity cast aside. Only the Eternal Deity of the Son of God could pronounce these words to Martha. Martha in verse 27 acknowledged Jesus as the Anointed One who is the herald of salvation. She acknowledged His Divinity. We must say, “Jesus was God then”.
6. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. John 14:6. This is the true Jesus, not another Jesus of another gospel, Galatians 1:6. Matthew 24:23-26 refers to false revelations of Christ. They are claimed to be recently and newly received from Christ. This happens when alone, in “the desert” or “inner rooms”, or places normally used as places for “new revelations”. They are not of God. Verse 12 says “the love of the majority will grow cold”, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 3:15,16. Some will stand, vv.13,14. Mark 13:5-8 -“Such things as wars etc. must happen but that is not yet the end”, “deceive many”. It is “I am he” (not Christ) in the original. It shows the pride of the false Christ.
Even if these impostors do not take the title, they can hold out a false hope about Christ. They claim powers which belong to the true Christ. This would include any preacher, even in Pentecostal churches, who gives followers any kind of a false Gospel. He can show miracles with power that does not come from Christ! Such exist! We must follow the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is one way, one Truth and one Life.
7. I am the True Vine. John 15:1.
a. This is another indication that we cannot take everything in the bible literally. He borrows this symbol from nature. It is figurative, as are many things in the Bible, including the book of Revelation. He is the “true Light”, John 1:9, the “true Bread”, John 6:32 and the “true tabernacle”, Hebrews 8:2.
b. Israel in the Old Testament is portrayed as the vine, Isaiah 5:1,2,7; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 15,19:10; Hosea 10:1. Natural Israel failed.
c. Now has come “Israel” in the Person of Jesus Christ, to form a house of Israel, Galatians 6:16. See Isaiah 44:1; Isaiah 52:13 then Isaiah 42:1; Hosea 11:1,8,11; Matthew 2:15 (Egypt, My Son). Jacob (Israel) is the Servant, who is identified in Matthew 12:18. As a baby, Jesus was down in Egypt (typifying the land of oppression and sin) and is brought up out again to bring in the New Exodus of the people of God, Whose house they are Hebrews 3:6. Jesus is now Israel, Abraham’s true seed and God’s true Son. We are the people of God.
Just as the nation of Israel faced temptation in three forms and lost, so Jesus Christ as Israel faced three temptations and won. Israel itself was tempted to sin in relation to bread or food, Psalm 106:14; Numbers 11:4-8. The nation was tempted to put God to the test, Psalm 95:8,9; Numbers 14:22 and also in relation to the worship of God. It chose rather not to have faith in Him but to believe the words of Satan in the desire for idolatry, Psalm 78:56-64; Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 4:25; Ezekiel 20:27,28; Hosea 7:16. Jesus Christ faced three similar temptations, Matthew 4:3-10, and resisted.
The Promises and Covenant of God are fulfilled in Jesus Christ and His salvation for His people to bring them to the heavenly land as a possession. The scene has switched from natural Israel now, to spiritual Israel as a people, descendants of Jesus Christ, Isaiah 53:10 (His offspring); Hebrews 2:10 (many sons); Revelation 21:7.
The Human Nature of Jesus Christ
1. The Work of the Son.
a. The Son Himself took on human nature. This was the Son’s own act, John 1:14; Romans 1:3; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:6,7; Hebrews 2:14,16. He did not change into human nature. He Himself, in continued being, took on human nature with Himself.
b. He Himself united with human nature. This human nature existed and was taken on in the Person of the Eternal Son. When Christ died, His soul was separated from His body in death, but there was maintained that inseparable existence. His union of soul and body in the humanity He took on did not make Him a person. He was a Person by the uniting of both body and soul unto the Son of God.
c. There was not put into the human nature, any Divinity. The human nature did not have omniscience, and could feel deserted, Matthew 27:46; Mark 13:32. He was confined before His resurrection by limitations and sinless infirmities, e.g. He hungered. Each nature in Him, remained distinct, yet He was One Person. At His Ascension He was perfected. He became essentially “Spirit”, 1 Corinthians 15:44,45.
2. The Work of the Holy Spirit.
a. God works by His Spirit. All operations by the Father and the Son are through the Holy Spirit. He is also the Spirit of the Son, Galatians 4:6. The Spirit is the One who operates all divine acts of the Son, even on the Son’s own human nature. On earth, the Son worked in that human nature, but by the Spirit. The Spirit is also the Spirit of the Father. The acts of God are never the action of one Person of the Godhead but of all Three.
b. In the Womb of Mary. We know the Father undertook this, Hebrews 10:5. The actual forming of the body was –
i. Done by the Son Himself, Hebrews 2:14, 16.
ii. The work of the Holy Ghost, Matthew 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35. The Holy Ghost created a body for Jesus, from the seed of Mary, her substance, to fulfil Genesis 3:15; Romans 1:3; Galatians 4:4. Thus two genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Nevertheless, the whole Christ was a divine person because He Himself took on the human nature unto His Nature as Son of God. He, the Son, took the nature prepared for Him by the Holy Ghost. In Luke 1:35 “overshadow” is the same word used for “hovering” over the waters as a hen over eggs Genesis 1:2.
c. The Holy Spirit Ministered Grace.
i. The body of Christ housed His holy soul, Luke 1:35 “that holy thing”. There was no tendency to sin. We find no trace in the Gospels that He sinned even before the Temptations, so it is evident He had no sin and would not and could not sin. He would have faced the common happenings of life all those years. The second His human nature was formed, He was sanctified, and filled with grace. There was no corruption or trace of sin from Adam, as He was not born by natural means. The Holy Spirit gave Him all grace, Isaiah 11:1-3; Hebrews 7:26; John 3:34; John 1:14-17. He was “full of grace and truth”.
His human nature in His temptations in the wilderness was confirmed as sinless by the Spirit and totally victorious over sin and Satan. At all times, as in this forty days of temptation, or testing, His Divine nature as the Son, still used His Divine perfections. He as the Son of God at that time was tempted, because He was the Mediator for mankind in His work of redemption. At the same time, He, in both His divine and human natures combined, was both Priest in both natures and Sacrifice on the Cross in both natures. He was crucified as a man, 1 Peter 4:1;2:21, “Since Christ suffered in the flesh” and “Christ (the anointed) also suffered for you” and He was crucified as God, 1 Corinthians 2:8, “They crucified the Lord of glory”.
Nevertheless, all things done by one nature must be said to be done by the whole Person of the Son of God.
Also, for this reason Satan tempted Him, that He had also come to attack Satan’s kingdom. The first battle was at the point where Adam had lost to Satan. The last Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:45, as man, had a battle with Satan and won. It was at the beginning of His ministry. It laid the necessary foundation of all that followed.
The point of the Temptation was to bind Satan, Mark 3:27. The first results of this binding were seen when Christ began to spoil Satan’s house in Galilee, Mark 4 on. This spoiling is still happening today wherever Christ works through His church.
The Divine nature in the Son always, as now, acted upon the human nature, but as always, through the Holy Spirit. This is in accord with the eternal operation of the Godhead, it is that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son and originally from the Father. Jesus Christ’s human nature also being created holy, it was impossible for Him to sin. Had it been possible, He would not have been holy or spotless enough to be the sacrifice for sin. He offered Himself “without spot” to God, Hebrews 9:14 and 1 Peter 1:19.
He was born with our nature, but without its tendency to sin. If He had that tendency, nothing could have stopped a defeat by Satan. However, as His human nature was joined to His divine nature, it is most dishonouring to His Person to even think that there was in that Wonderful Person, any possibility of sinning under temptation. He could not sin for two reasons – a. That His whole Person was Divine and human, and b. That His human person was created a “Holy thing” out of the substance of Mary’s body, but not out of the material of her soul. Mary must say as did David, her forefather, “In sin my mother conceived me”, Psalm 51:5. This can never be said of Jesus.
Jesus was truly human, as well as Divine. He went through a process of natural growth and development, Luke 2:52. He learned the truths of the Old Testament, probably at the school all Jewish boys attended. He grew to become a real man, living with His parents in Nazareth. He followed in the carpenter’s trade of his adoptive father, Joseph. He knew what it was to become weary, to hunger, to thirst, to toil and labour and to live in a home with mother and father and other brothers and sisters. They were the children of Mary that she had to Joseph after the unique birth of Jesus. As a human, He experienced suffering and death.
“Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus has come in the flesh is from God”, 1 John 4:2,3; 2 John 7. As a human, He trusted in God, depended on Him and had faith in Him. When tempted by Satan, as a human must, He repudiated him by using the Word of God. He did not rely on any “mystical” powers as many believers try to do today. Jesus was truly a unique man, human as well as divine. He was such a complex human being, that we are unable to fully understand His Person. We believe what the Bible shows about Him.
The Second Man, the last Adam, (Jesus Christ), must not only be sinless and incapable of sinning, but He must also have come face to face with sin. This He did at the time of the Temptation. He has been tempted in all points in a way similar to us. Therefore, as Hebrews 4:15 states, He is able to sympathize with us and give us help. Christ resisted the temptations, by the strength of the Holy Spirit and not only by the power of a sinless human will.
The kingdom of God came to man, Matthew 12:28. By the Spirit of God, Christ brought in the kingdom. He worked miracles, cast out Satan from human hearts, had authority over demons and began to rule in this kingdom. He finally defeated Satan on the Cross. He brought the kingdom into people’s lives through their being born again.
The atonement was made effective when He ascended to heaven. The Holy Spirit who had been in Christ’s Person without measure, reproduced in people the life-principle of Christ’s own Person. The kingdom is within us.
ii. As a man, He acted but with grace, Luke 2:40,52. Hebrews 5:8 He learned by experiment, the new exercise of grace. He was habitually holy. There was no sinful infirmity in Him as in us.
In Hebrews 2:18, His temptation was the cause of suffering to Him. He was never drawn to sin. For this reason, believers have Christ’s sympathy as High Priest in the suffering. “Tempt”, means, “to try, attempt, or to test, try, prove, in a good sense”. His Temptation came from the Devil. In James 1:13-15, temptation for believers comes from within them, from their uncontrolled appetites and evil passions.
3. Anointed for Ministry
a. The Holy Spirit came upon Him. Matthew 3:16,17. He entered on His public ministry, Matt.4:18-25, Luke 4:1. He could say of Himself, Isaiah 61:11,2, Luke 4:18,19; Isaiah 11:1-4; Isaiah 48:16; Luke 11:20 (finger means divine power of God); Matthew 12:28. The mighty works were called “powers”, because of the power of the Spirit to perform these miracles, Mark 6:5;9:39; Luke 4:36;5:17; Luke 6:19;8:46;9:1. By the Spirit He was directed, strengthened, comforted in all temptations, troubles and sufferings, Isaiah 42:4;50:7,8. By the Spirit, His doctrine was pure and anointed, Luke 4:21,22.
The Anointer was the Father, the Anointed was the Son and the unction or Anointing Oil, Psalm 45:7, was the Holy Spirit. This anointing happened at the river Jordan at the introduction of His Ministry. The Spirit was given to Him in this office, without measure, John 3:34. The Spirit as a dove rested upon Him, Isaiah 11:2;Acts 10:38.
b. The Spirit’s Work. The unction on Him as the Christ, is shown in the sinless nature and in the graces that fitted Him, Isaiah 42:1-4; 61:1,2. He could give of His powers to His believers, John 1:33; Matthew 16:20. Also, as in Hebrews 9:14, Jesus offered Himself up to God by the eternal Spirit. The sacrifice of the Cross was climaxed by the act of His own human spirit. His human spirit was so penetrated and elevated by the Spirit of God that it lived in the eternal and invisible. Thus He was able to “endure the cross, despising the shame”.
When Jesus read Isaiah 61:1,2 in the Synagogue, Luke 4:21, He indicated that the Anointing upon Him in His role of Messiah was for all of His illuminating, remedial, liberating work between His baptism and death. Then followed the resurrection, His life on earth for forty days and the ascension. These all followed on from the anointing of the Lord’s humanity in the river Jordan with the Holy Spirit without measure. At His baptism He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power for all of His unique wok.
The Holy Spirit worked upon His human nature that had existed through the Spirit from conception. This was the source of His being fit to accomplish His great work. He was equipped by the Spirit as Mediator, to be Prophet, Priest and King. His human nature, although united to the Divine nature of the Eternal Son, did not hold any Divine qualities or powers. Both natures were different and distinct.
c. The Son Himself. He sanctified Himself, John 17:19, not to be Priest (God did that, Hebrews 5:5) but to be a sacrifice. Hebrews 10:10. He went of His own will into the garden, Hebrews 5:7. He offered Himself to God without spot, Hebrews 9:14. This was through the Spirit’s work in Him.
d. The Spirit was With Him.
i. He offered Himself on the Cross to God, and “gave up the ghost”. He did this in and by the grace of the Holy Spirit. In His human nature, He pleased God, and by the Holy Spirit in Him He acted in grace. In this way, He offered Himself to God through the eternal Spirit. He offered Himself as a sweet-smelling, pleasing sacrifice, Ephesians 5:2; Genesis 8:20,21; Romans 5:17-21, where God is more pleased with the obedience of Christ than He was displeased by the sin of Adam. In this act of willing, holy and obedient sacrifice of Himself to God was reconciled unto us, Acts 2:23.
e. In death, Jesus gave His spirit to the Father, Luke 23:46; Psalm 31:5; Psalm 16:11. He did not descend into Hell. The union of His Person, His soul in its separate state was specially cared for by the power of the Father. His holy body in the grave was under the care of the Holy Spirit, Psalm 10; Acts 2:31 (the Holy One not see corruption). His dead body had no change and perhaps angels were there all the time, John.20:12.
The Father’s Acts On Behalf of the Incarnated Son
1. The actual inauguration or solemn admission of Christ into his office is explained by “committing all judgment unto the Son,” John 5:22; “making him to be both Lord and Christ,” Acts 2:36; “appointing him over his whole house,” Hebrews 3:1-6; which is that “anointing of the most Holy,” Daniel 9:24; God “anointing him with the oil of gladness above his fellows,” Psalm 2:7. The actual setting apart of Christ to his office is said to be by anointing, because all those Holy things which were types of Him, as the ark, the altar, etc., were set apart and consecrated by anointing, Exodus 30:25-28, etc.
To this also belongs a public testifying by innumerable angels from heaven. This happened at His birth. One angel said to the shepherds. “Behold, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord,” Luke 2:10,11. Angels attended this message. Then angels sang, “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men. Then on another occasion, the Father’s voice came from the excellent glory, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, Matthew 17:5; 2 Peter 1:17
a. God the Father made the glorious announcement, when He “prepared him a body,” Hebrews 10:5; bringing his First begotten into the world and saying “Let all the angels of God worship him,” Hebrews 1:6. He sent them to proclaim the message as above.
b. The Father sent the Spirit visibly, in the form of a dove, to light upon him at the time of his baptism, Matthew 3:16. Then he was endued with a fullness thereof, for the accomplishment of the work and discharge of the office of Messiah or the Christ. The Father spoke and owned him from heaven as his only beloved.
c. He was crowned with glory and honour, in his resurrection, ascension, and sat down “on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Hebrews 1:3. It pleased God to appoint all kinds of witnesses to His resurrection “angels from heaven”, Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10; “people out of the graves”, Matthew 27:.52; “the apostles” and “the living”, Acts 2:32; “with those more than five hundred brethren, to whom he appealed at once”, 1 Corinthians 15:6.
He was set “as his king upon his holy hill of Zion,” Psalm 2:6. Then “all power was given unto him in heaven and in earth,” Matthew 28:18, “all things being put under his feet,” Hebrews 2:7,8. He was highly exalted, and “a name given him above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” Philippians 2:9-11. A “Oneness” doctrine of God has not taken into account, verses 6 or 9. There must be two Persons for one to be equal – always with another. Also, in verse 9, “God has highly exalted him”. This again shows two Persons. God did not exalt Himself. He exalted the eternal Son because of His self-emptying and obedience unto death.
It is with all praise, glory and honour that we give to Him on whom we believe. He is “over all, God blessed for ever”. He partook of our flesh and b1ood, and is now seated far above all principality and power.
In His exaltation Philippians 2:11 declares “God highly exalted him and gave unto him the Name which is above every name”. It was not “a” name but “the” name. Giving this title, showing office rank, dignity, was given the Lord Jesus as the Son of Man. The God-Man who condescended to stoop to the lowest depths during His incarnation, is raised, not as God but as Man, to that possessed only by Deity, John 17:5. His glorified humanity is now in a place of equality with Deity.
At “the” Name given Him, every knee shall bow. The Name is not “Jesus” which was the name given Him at His humiliation. “The” Name is the Name of “Lord Jehovah”. This is the greatest Name in which God has shown Himself in His majesty and dominion. This Name belongs to Jesus. “In” that Name, every knee will bow and every tongue confess. This Name is the holy sphere in which all prayer is to be offered. This Name is given the Person, Jesus, by the Person of God the Father.
Yet he is not ashamed to call us brethren, Hebrews 2:11.
2. Between these two acts there is a twofold promise of God:-
a. Of giving a Saviour to his people, a Mediator, according to his former purpose, as Genesis 3;15, ‘The seed of the woman shall break the serpent’s head,” and, ‘The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, till Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be,” Genesis 49:10. God showed this would happen through many Old Testament sacrifices and other types. Also, there were many prophetical predictions.
These were according to – “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us as they minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into”, 1 Peter 1:10-12.
b. The other is a promise of applying the benefits purchased by the Saviour to all who would believe on him. These were to be given in the fullness of time. God told Abraham that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed”. Abraham believed and was justified by that faith, Genesis 12:3;15:6.
3. The second act of the Father’s sending the Son was with a fullness of all gifts and graces that He might need for the office He Was to have. These were needed for the work he had to do and the charge he had over the house of God.
“There was, indeed, in Christ a twofold fullness and perfection of all spiritual excellencies: –
a. The natural all-sufficient perfection of his Deity was His. He was one with his Father in respect to His divine nature. His glory was “the glory of the only-begotten of the father”, John 1:14. He was “in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” Philippians 2:6, being the “fellow (Associate) of the Lord of hosts,” Zechariah 13:7.
This is the reason for that glorious appearance, Isaiah 6:3,4, when “the seraphims cried one to another, and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory’. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke”. And the prophet cried, “Mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts”, verse 5. Even concerning this vision the apostle, John said, “Isaiah saw him (Jesus) and spake of his glory”, John 12:41.
“He emptied Himself of this glory for a season. This happened when he was ‘found in the form’ or condition of a servant, humbling himself unto death,’ Philippians 2:7,8. He lay aside the glory that He had as God. He outwardly appeared to have “neither form, nor beauty, nor comeliness, that he should be desired”, Isaiah 53:2. This fullness not given to him, but was an essential part his person. He is eternally begotten of the person of his Father.
b. “The second fullness that was in Christ was imparted to Him. It was in Him because His Father bestowed it upon Him to fit Him for his work and office. This was because He was and is the “Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”, 1 Timothy 2:5. It was not bestowed upon Him as being the ‘Lord of hosts’, which He is and was. It was bestowed as He is “‘Emmanuel with us”, Matthew 1:23. He was a “son given to us, called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, upon whose shoulder the government was to be”, Isaiah 9:6.
It is a fullness of grace that is not of the nature of the deity. It is habitual and essential grace placed into His humanity. This was into the humanity that was personally united to His Divinity. Every grace is in Christ. Such graces are in Him to the highest degree. He is the “candlestick from whence the golden pipes do empty the golden oil out of themselves”, Zechariah 4:12. From that candlestick that He is, the golden oil goes into all those who are his, for He is “the beginning, the first-born from the dead”.
Jesus Under Judgment
John 18:28, “They led Jesus into the hall of Judgment”. Isaiah 53:8, “He was taken from prison and from judgment.” Like a criminal, the Servant of the Lord has been brought before a judge and condemned to death – for us. It was in an oppressive, unrighteous, judicial proceeding, as in John 19:4-16, where Pilate sits in his judgment chair, Rome, the Jews, the world, and God say “I condemn Jesus Christ”. In the condemnation He bore instead of us, there is acquittal for us.
This was the purpose of God so that through judgment by men He could be taken to the Cross. This was the place of judgment before man and God. He did this in our place. The wrath of God fell on Him instead of on us. Isaiah 52:14; 53:5,10 reads “Jehovah has delighted to bruise Him, when He makes Himself an offering for sin”.
God’s judgment fell on Jesus and He was forsaken, Mark.15:34. That was on the Cross. For three hours there was darkness. During that time Jesus suffered the tortures of Hell. He felt their nature and reality. This weight and pressure was on Him on the Cross. It did not conclude in Hell and He did not experience such death and hell’s eternal pains. Isaiah 53:11 “After the suffering of His soul”. Such could never have been in hell. “Suffering” touched not only His body but His whole inner being. Hell is not so much a place as a condition – separation from God. The final Hell is a place of fire, Revelation 20:15. Jesus did not go there. He experienced Hell on the Cross.
Jesus was judged instead of us. The final judgment on sin is the place and eternal condition of separation from God, in the fire of hell. Jesus suffered as it were, the fire of hell. Jesus said, in Mark 9:48, that “their worm never dies and the fire is never quenched”. The worm is inward, and means the gnawing sins that are forever with them in Hell. The fire is the fire of Hell that comes from outside. It is outward. Jesus could not experience any worm eating within Him. He had no sin of His own. Therefore He did not suffer the worm of sin in that time on the Cross. The worm did not touch Him inwardly. That was why the actual worm did not begin to eat His body. The fire of Hell came at Him from the outside.
The weight of our sin and guilt was upon Him. Therefore He suffered, as it were, the fires of Hell when darkness came upon Him for three hours. Then He said, “Eli, Eli, Why have you forsaken Me?” He was forsaken of God. That is Hell. Hell is not annihilation. Death is not annihilation. It is separation. Jesus suffered Hell, for us. That was separation from God, as punishment for us. Note that His heart was free from sin. He had not become sin itself, else He would never have had even a desire to pray to His Father. He prayed twice while on the cross.
He was silent, while suffering on the Cross, and we speak not of the physical suffering. He had taken our curse upon Himself. An accursed person has no right, so He is silent in this judgment. To Him, it represented eternity in Hell, of separation from God.
To mankind, sin and death (the worm) come first and then judgment (the fire). Within Jesus, there was no sin and no death. The fire (our judgment) was present in Him, which was objective death, not subjective. His Being did not die. His body eventually died. Death came at Him from the outside. During those three hours of torment, suffering the judgment and wrath of God, Psalm 22, death was swallowed up. Death died. Life was everlastingly present within Him.
We read Isaiah 53:11 “After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life”. His soul suffered there on the cross. In verse 9, His innocence is declared. In verse 10, God afflicts Him with heavy sufferings. Why? It was Jehovah’s will so that He should present a voluntary sin offering to redeem mankind through His sufferings.
He is High Priest, Sin-Offering, and Sacrifice. Isaiah 53:10, “When He has brought a sin-offering, He shall see a posterity”. This is the Messiah. Verse 5 tells that “the punishment was laid on Him” (as Sacrifice), verse 11, “bear their sins”. Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.
During that time, on the Cross, the forces of Hell itself came upon Him. He conquered them, as is stated in Colossians 2:14,15a, and He conquered them on the Cross where He suffered the pangs of Hell. He did not descend into Hell, the place of the eternal abode of Satan, demons and unbelievers. “He cancelled the note that stood against us, with its requirements, He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to the Cross, And the hostile princes and rulers He stripped off from Himself/having drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us/He rid Himself of the Powers of evil” or as another translation says, “He disarmed the Principalities and the Powers that fought against Him”.
Christ conquered those spiritual enemies whose possession of the “note” or “bond” had us in their power. These Principalities and Powers thought they had Him in their grip when He was fastened to the cross. They flung themselves at Him while He hung upon the cross. Jesus prayed for His executioners, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Jesus, even in judgment, maintained His heart to contact God in prayer.
In the spirit realm, not of this material world, He fought with them. He was Master over them. He took their armour and power off them. He held them aloft in His Mighty Hands, He who was suffering the torment of our judgment in Hell, on the Cross. He disabled those Principalities and Powers. The Cross had become a triumph. He “made a public example of them”, on the Cross.
Colossians 2:15b, says “and put them to open shame, celebrating a triumph over them thereby/ or put them to open shame, leading them captive in the triumph of Christ/ or made a public display of them, triumphing over them by the cross/ or he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his final glorious triumphant act!”
Notice that this victory over Satan took place on the Cross, and not “down” in Hell itself. Christ was “in Hell” while on the Cross. This is the Day of the Lord and of His judgment.
Verse 15 is the language for the Romans after a victorious battle. The conquering Roman General and His army, would, on their return to Rome, march in a victory parade. Their conquered enemies would be stripped and tied in chains, then dragged along in the triumphant procession.
Paul uses this symbolic language to show the victory of Jesus Christ on the Cross over these Principalities and Powers. He conquered them in our place, and for us. We now share in that victory.
Countries, cities and communities are held in Satanic bondage by these demon powers. Praise the Lord, Jesus conquered them on the Cross. We share in that victory.
Therefore, in the power of the Holy Ghost, as we preach the gospel and particularly if God confirms His Word with signs following and Gifts of the Holy Ghost, we can go in to those places and take out of Satan’s hands many precious souls who are at present in bondage to him.
Satan is already conquered and we can continue to spoil his house, in the authority of Jesus Christ, Mark 3:26-28; Matthew 28:18,19.
He took our place. He suffered for the guilt of our sin, in receiving the judgment of God instead of us, so that we who believe experience freedom from guilt. He suffered the pains of Hell, the judgment for our sins. “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him”, or “upon Him was the punishment that made us whole”, Isaiah 53:5.
This is why for us who believe there is no judgment, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit”, Romans 8:1. “Amen, Amen I say unto you, he who puts his trust in Him who sent me, has eternal life and does not come under judgment, but has already passed out of death unto life”, John 5:24.
We have passed out of death and judgment, because Jesus suffered judgment and the death of separation from God for us on the Cross. He was resurrected unto life, and we also share in that resurrection.
The Purpose of the Incarnation was that Jesus Christ might become a sacrifice for sin, for which He became Priest. He became the Temple in Whom is the full possession of the Spirit. By that eternal spirit, He offered Himself up to God, blameless, Hebrews 9:14.
Satan did not get the soul of Jesus, the spirit of Jesus or the body of Jesus. “God did not leave Him in Hades (Sheol); neither did His body see corruption”. He gave up the ghost, His spirit and His soul. He left His body, that had been tortured and mangled on the Cross. The moment He surrendered His spirit into the hands of His Father, death came to His body.
He was placed in the sepulchre. God preserved that body from the beginnings of corruption, which always takes place in a body once the person is dead.
Therefore, even in death, Satan had no part in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man. His spirit, soul and body were preserved inviolate.
The Son took part in His own resurrection, John 10:17,18. 1 Peter 3:18 shows the special work of the Spirit, and Romans 8:11; 1 Timothy 3:16. The Holy Spirit glorified the human nature of Christ, 1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:21.
It was the work of Deity in the Death of Christ on the Cross, the work of the Divine Son, the Eternal Father and the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:20, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself”.
The object of this book has been to shed some light on the incarnation of the Son of God while He was on earth. There remains the fact of His ascension into heaven. His incarnation did not cease at that time. When He arose from the dead He received an immortal body and became a “quickening Spirit”. His body while in the grave did not see corruption. Nevertheless, there was a dramatic change in His bodily composition at His resurrection.
The union of His two natures, Deity and humanity, was taken upon Himself for all eternity. As man, He arose from the dead. As man, as well as Deity, He ascended into heaven. In heaven now and forever, He is and will be human as well as Divine. We have a Man in the glory, our great High Priest. He is our Intercessor there. He is our God and Saviour and the reservoir of the Holy Spirit who has become His Spirit. That is another subject and is not being dealt with in this writing.
The purpose of the incarnation was that Jesus would become the Lamb of God, slain for our sins, as He offered Himself up as a perfect sacrifice, unto God. Our salvation depends on who He is and what He did on the Cross. The Cross would have been ineffective for us without the resurrection. God in His wisdom, preordained all this, so that “many sons would be led to glory”, Hebrews 2:10, as they share in His death, resurrection and at His coming, in His bodily ascension.
In closing, I quote from Dr. Strong, a great evangelical theologian: “The humiliation, as the Scriptures seem to show consisted – a. In that act of the pre-existent Logos by which He gave up His divine glory with the Father, in order to take a servant form. In this act, He resigned not the possession, nor yet entirely the use, but rather the independent exercise of the divine attributes, b. In the submission of the Logos to the control of the Holy Spirit and the limitations of His Messianic Mission, in His communication of the divine fulness to the human nature which He had taken into union with Himself, c. In the continuous surrender, on the part of the God-Man, so far as His human nature was concerned, of the exercise of those divine powers with which it was endowed by virtue of its union with the divine, and in the voluntary acceptance, which followed upon this, of temptation, suffering, and death”.