Friday Morning Manna
November 29, 2019
Thank God for Blending Divine Nature with Human Nature Forever!
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels [both evil and good], preached among the Gentiles [and the chosen people] believed on in the world, received up in glory [as a Victor over Satan, temptation, death, and the grave].”1 Tim. 3: 16.
This Thanksgiving 2019 we should thank and praise God “with all our heart, soul, strength and mind” (Luke 10: 27) for patiently, gradually and progressively unfolding to the astonished eyes of earnest truth-seekers the great mystery of godliness that is revealed in the Creator’s incarnation! Ever after that priceless, precious, precise moment in time that no finite mind exactly knows when and how, humanity quietly and effortlessly blended with divinity for eternity!
The incarnation is what made the crucifixion a reality and assured it efficacy, once and for all, eternally. Only by the death and the corresponding shedding of the blood of God can there be any remission of the sins of man. The crucifixion and the shedding of the blood of anyone and anything else, outside of and beside that of God in the flesh, regardless of the sincerest of motives and intentions is in vain. It is deception of and to the one offering this sacrifice, the sacrifice himself, and everyone else believing in this sacrifice. It is the counterfeit that leads to death, not life; hence, an abomination.
God alone is the Fountainhead of mysterious life and its power, its Giver and Sustainer, both temporal and eternal. He alone is infinite, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, without beginning or end, Him being “the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the Beginning and the End,” not subject to time, immortal. Because of immortality He is not subject to death.
Who are those only who have hold of eternal life?
Jesus declared, “He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son has not life.” 1 John 5: 12.
Who alone possesses inherent immortality?
Apostle Paul wrote:“God who gives life to all things, . . . who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen, nor can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” 1 Tim. 6: 13, 15, 16, N.K.J.V.
The word for “immortality here, as applied to God, is not aphtharsia, meaning “incorruptibility,” which is used twice, in Rom. 2: 7 and 2 Tim. 1: 10, but athanasia, “deathlessness”—which is used also in 1 Cor. 15: 53, 54. God alone possesses life original, unborrowed and underived—verily immortality in Himself. Everyone and everything else must receive it from God. See John 5: 26; 6: 27; 10: 10, 27, 28; Rom. 6: 23; 1 John 5: 11.
“Jesus said, ‘Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I may take it again.’ John 10: 17. That is, ‘My Father has so loved you, that He even loves Me more for giving My life to redeem you. In becoming your Substitute and Surety, by surrendering [but not losing] My life, by taking your liabilities, your transgressions, I am endeared to My Father; for by My sacrifice, God can be just, and yet the Justifier of him who believes in Jesus.’ – Steps to Christ, pp. 14, 72.
Because of the incarnation, fallen man on fallen earth, has been privileged to see, hear, handle and know the once-invisible Father through the visible dual nature of Christ—the only-begotten Son of God and the Son of man, Immanuel, God in the flesh Himself—without dying. In fact, because of the incarnation, this has become the exact opposite, that is, when properly understood. To be able to spiritually discern God in Christ and to love, obey and follow Him in our yet fallen, sinful, mortal nature of corruptible flesh is already eternal life, as a promised inheritance to all who “endure to the end.”
On the other hand, even if he asserts it a hundred times in the most impressive manner, in the highest places of worship and religion, among the “great men and kings of the earth,” or even has the appearance, in a séance, or in the final “grand, overmastering delusion” to do so, no other man, not even Satan himself, can ever “lay down his life and take it again.”
Why? because man was not created immortal, not even with the alleged “conditional immortality.” True, the first Adam was created “in the image and likeness of God” and in that sinless, unfallen state his human flesh and blood nature was yet aphtharsia, “incorruptible.” When Adam, the first and head of the human family and progenitor of human nature, sinned and fell, all human flesh, blood and bones became subject to death, decay and decomposition; it became and remains corruptible. It is only at the “resurrection of the just” at Christ’s second advent that “this corruption shall take on incorruption” “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet.”
The inherent and exclusive immortality of the divine nature of God Creator, the Fountainhead of life, is athanasia, “deathlessness.” Let us remember this distinction in the use of the word “immortality.” It separates God from man, Creator from creature, the Savior from the saved,
The Father loved His only-begotten Son from timeless eternity and so did the Son to the Father. They are one. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1: 1, 2, K.V.V. But in the mystery of the incarnation, “He who changeth not” and is “the same yesterday, today and forever” did experience a “change.” And what was this change that happened once and for all? Two things:
(a) Human nature was added to the divine nature in the person of the Creator through the incarnation of the Son of God, and by this act the one-of-a-kind, perfect, sinless, flesh-blood-and bones humanity of Christ became a part of the Godhead forever, in and through Christ, He who is “the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person,” “the heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds,” “upholding all things by the word of His power [and the power of His word].” Heb. 1: 3, 2. The Godhead of three divine Persons remains unchanged, for, like Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, all Three are likewise changeless, “the same yesterday, today and forever.”.
(b) “God is love.” The Father, who possesses the divine, infinite capacity to love, loved His Son even more because of the incarnation. That’s how important the incarnation was and is! The love relationship between Father and Son, we, human beings, as creatures, are inherently incapable of fully comprehending even in the redeemed state—for Gifting Himself through His only-begotten Son in the incarnation, and, by giving His life, without losing it, through the death of His incarnated only-begotten Son who died the ignominious death by crucifixion after the incarnation, as fallen mankind’s one-and-only Substitute and Surety. Indeed, “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15: 13. This “man” who laid down his life for his friends was no less than God in the flesh for He adds in the next verses: “You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you.” verse 14.
“None but the Son of God could accomplish our redemption; for only He who was in the bosom of the Father could declare Him [in word and in person]. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it manifest [to “the world, men, and angels”]. Nothing less than the infinite sacrifice made by Christ in behalf of fallen man could express the Father’s love to humanity.
“When Christ took human nature upon Him, He bound humanity to Himself by a tie of love that cannot be broken by any power [see Rom. 8: 15-39] save the choice of man himself. Satan will constantly present allurements to induce us to break this tie—to choose to separate ourselves from Christ. Here is where we need to watch, to strive, to pray that nothing may entice us to choose another master; for we are always free to do this. But let us keep our eyes fixed upon Christ [God in the flesh, the second Adam], and He will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus [not on any person or any institution, religious or otherwise], we are safe. Nothing can pluck us out of His hand [not even the most powerful and alluring temptation]. In constantly beholding Him, ‘we are changed into the same image from glory to glory [increasing], even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ 2 Cor. 3: 18.”- Steps to Christ, pp. 72, 73.
The Mystery Into Which Angels Desire To Look
7BC 904-5: “(Col. 2: 9; Eph. 3: 9; 1 Pet. 1: 11, 12.) The Mystery Into Which Angels Desire to Look.— In Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead. But the only way He could reach men was to veil His glory by a garb of humanity. The angels beheld the hiding of His glory, that divinity might touch humanity. Christ ever retained the utmost hatred for sin, but He loved the purchase of His blood. He suffered in the place of sinful men, taking them into union with Himself.
“This is the mystery into which angels desire to look. They desire to know how Christ could live and work in a fallen world, how He could mingle with sinful humanity. It was a mystery to them that He who hated sin with intense hatred felt the most tender, compassionate sympathy for the beings that committed sin [which He ever loathed with perfect hatred].” Signs of the Times, Jan. 30, 1898.
An Unexplainable Blending of Two Natures
“Christ could have done nothing in His earthly ministry in saving fallen man if the divine had not been blended with the human. The limited capacity of man cannot define this wonderful mystery—the blending of the two natures, the divine and the human. It can never be explained. Man must wonder and be silent. And yet man is privileged to be a partaker of the divine nature [2 Pet.–], and in this way, can to some degree enter into the mystery.” (Letter 5, 1899).
The Most Marvelous Thing that Happened in Earth or Heaven
“When we want a deep problem to study, let us fix our minds on the most marvelous thing that ever took place in earth or heaven [not the “big bang”]—the Incarnation of the Son of God. God have His Son to die for sinful human beings a death of ignominy and shame. He who was Commander in the heavenly courts [bearing the title Michael the Archangel] laid aside His royal robe and Kingly crown, and clothing His divinity with humanity, came to this world to stand at the head of the human race as the Pattern-man. He humbled Himself to suffer with the human race, to be afflicted in all their afflictions.
“The whole world was His, but so completely did He empty Himself that during His ministry [on earth] He declared, ‘Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.’ [Matt. 8: 20; Luke 9: 58]. ‘Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. . . . Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid (succor] those who are tempted.” Heb. 2: 14, 15, 17, 18, (MS 76, 1903).
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4: 18. Although we thank God for the freedom to worship Him according the dictates of conscience and fight for it as a right (still) guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, even if we abhor slavery but fear death, not sin, we are verily slaves, not yet knowing and enjoying the perfect love of Christ, God in the flesh who died, resurrected and ascended a Victor over temptation, death and the grave! Dear friend. And so: “It is now high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.” Rom. 13: 11-14.
(To be continued next week)