Friday Morning Manna
November 1, 2019
The Enlightenment that a Study of the Incarnation and the Godhead Brings
“No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He is in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whosoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God [not the mere “son of Mary”], God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”1 John 4: 12-16
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you all things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”John 16: 13-15.
And “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (or “let not men separate).”Matt. 19: 6. After the last merciful warnings proclaimed in the three angel’s messages of Revelation 14 comes the last warning of the whole Bible: “For I testify to everyone who hears the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the holy city [the New Jerusalem from above], and from the things which are written in this book.” Rev. 22: 18, 19. This is actually not a New Testament warning but a repetition from the Old:
Partaking of the Imparted Divine Nature Does Not Make Us Deity
The divine nature is imparted, not imputed. Justification, which is God in Christ’s forgiveness or pardon full and complete, and is instantaneous is Christ’s perfect righteousness imputed to the humble and repentant sinner seeking forgiveness. He does not and cannot work for this justification. It is only in and by God’s love and kindness that He, in mercy, temporarily covers the repenting sinner with robe of Christ’s righteousness, shielding the sinner from God’s justice that destroys sin.
Justification are two different things that are never interchangeable and are never to be separated from the other. One without the other is useless and vain, and in fact is dangerous as false doctrines based on this separation abound and are misleading souls to eternal ruin. Justification is our “title to heaven” but sanctification is our “fitness for heaven.” We are fitted for heaven by partaking of the imparted divine nature, here and now, in our sinful fallen flesh and is the process by which the carnal heart and fleshly mind is changed into heart and mind of God Incarnate. Therefore, it cannot and never can be instantaneous as justification is, because it is a continuous process taking place over time with a specific goal to attain
In 2 Peter 1: 1-12 the apostle triumphantly reveals to true believers that “present truth” includes the truth that through Christ’s divine power “has been given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us by glory and virtue, by which we have been given exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these we may be partakers of divine nature.” However, lest we start down a super slippery slope by inattention or even subtle suggestion—after the cunning way of spiritualism, we must remember this:
Receiving the imparted divine nature does not transform anyone, not even angels who have never fallen such as angel Gabriel, a Deity.
The Almighty living God, the great “I AM that I AM,” meaning, not subject to time, the eternal God who has no beginning or end and thus, “changeth not,” is alone divine. He alone is divinity. He alone is Deity. “There is none like Him.”
Angels, who were created before man was, were created or by God for the sole purpose of being “ministering spirits,” thus not of flesh, blood, and bones such human nature is, –will remain in their angelic nature, which is spirit yet have various visible forms—for eternity.
Man, the crowning act and glory of God’s creative power and wisdom, exclusively created “in the image and likeness” of God, made of flesh, blood and bones, will remain human in their glorified human nature, whose corruptible flesh, blood and bones have been rendered incorruptible simultaneous to his mortal nature being replaced with immortality, as the gift of eternal life.
He never becomes a divine, a deity though God-like and Christ-like in character.
He never becomes an angel, though the eternally saved human beings will fill up the vacancy created among the angels when one third of their original number joined Lucifer’s rebellion and war and were cast out of heaven and turned to devils or demons. For angels who fell, no plan of salvation was made for them, for they were not created in the image and likeness of God but as ministering spirits. When an angel falls, he automatically and irreversibly becomes a fiend or demon or evil spirit.
But when the first Adam men fell in Eden by a simple test of obedience, thus a test of faith and loyalty to His Maker in his yet-unfallen state, he failed his first test of probation. But the plan of salvation, “gospel” for short, prepared before the foundations of the earth were laid, immediately kicked in right there in Eden where Adam fell in disgrace. By its very intent and design, fallen man who became sinful at that instant, was given a second and last probation, and the kingdom of grace was ushered in. Sinful, fallen man instantly became the subject of God’s marvelous, empowering, amazing grace—the “power of God unto salvation.” Hence, “for by grace are ye saved.”
The first Adam, and all his natural sons and daughters thereafter, needed this grace in order to be saved from his sin, saved from the power of propensity to sin he had now acquired by experience, the power to resist the incessant temptations of Satan, and the power to regain his lost relationship and standing with his Creator who he had knowingly offended.
God’s grace enfolded in the gospel in its seed form, was what Adam and Eve availed of by faith, when they obeyed and offered the first sacrificial lamb in Eden that pointed them forward by the “shadowy” type yet appropriate symbol of the antitype and substance in the coming of the “promised seed of the woman,” the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” Genesis 3: 15 contains the mother of all promises and prophecies thereafter of the Bible.
Animals, created before man was, for him to rule over in tenderness and superior benevolence in the beginning, will be restored in the earth made new (Isa. 65: 17; Rev. 21: 1, 4). Lest we forget: like the angels that fell and became the demons and evil spirits of earth with their master, Lucifer-turned-Satan, there is no plan of salvation for animals on fallen earth, neither a “pet heaven” where their “departed souls” ascend to and where they “cavort and play.” I know this truth hurts for those who believed otherwise because of the false teachings on the nature of death. But the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is what sets us free from mental and spiritual enslavement to ignorance, error, and false doctrines that promote and justify indulgent self-deception, and sin itself, the transgression of God’s law. We are what we eat, biologically, intellectually and spiritually following the principle “what we sow we shall reap.”
The new-creation animals will remain animals in their animal nature for eternity, beautifying the earth made new, serving the needs and enhancing the happiness and joy of the eternally redeemed human beings, as they were originally created for but now in an even more sublime sense. There, the animals will treat and relate to one another that will make men today, in his boasted advanced state of evolutionary development, ashamed of themselves for considering what animals are for, and far worse, as a logical extension and natural consequence, how they treat their own fellow human beings!
The gospel-prophet was shown in vision that future state in the earth made new that starkly exposes, by comparison and contrast needing no exaggeration in order to reveal, in fact and reality, how far mankind has fallen from his original condition at creation—by reminding us how dreadful and gross slaughterhouses truly are, how distorted have become mankind’s concepts of what animals are for—thus benumbing our senses, degrading our value of life and perverting our taste buds.
Here is what God’s future looks like for His animals and for human beings who are today preparing to be familiar and feel comfortable and at home in that home of the blessed:
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says the Lord.” Isa. 65: 25.
Rather, the genuinely-born again sinner moving forward, who daily hungers and thirsts after righteousness, as he does for physical food and water and searches God’s word for truth as “hidden treasure,” striving and “pressing towards the mark set before him of the high calling in Christ Jesus,” will doubtless receive, as promised, the divine attributes of the character of the Father as manifested in Christ and imparted through the Holy Spirit.
This does not, we repeat for own sake, make man a divine or a Deity in any conceivable way. The first commandment plainly states this exclusive, eternal domain of God: there are no other gods but God alone “who inhabiteth eternity,” Who is the three divine Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. “And these three are one.” That is, One God, One Lord.
Man was, is, and will remain to be a human being, possessing glorified flesh-and-blood human nature in the eternally-redeemed state, having been earlier transformed by the renewing of his mind after the mind of Christ” and became “conformed into the same image and likeness” that the first Adam possessed at his creation, yea, even more! Why? How? he now has been eternally and transformed and conformed into the same image and likeness of the second and last Adam, the Creator Himself in His exclusive glorified flesh-blood-and bone Humanity!
The striving with of such a pilgrim on earth is focused with “an eye single to the glory of God,” and thus empowered by Jesus Christ who is “the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” And as the faithful believer seeks and receives Christ as his daily manna, he receives the power of the fulness of the Godhead bodily as well! In harmony with Paul and the rest of the apostles and saints who are despised by the ungodly and “hated by men who love darkness not the light,” as Christ the Master was, he believes and says:
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal [the mark, KJV) for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3: 12-14, N.K.J.V.
Such a believer is joined to and is actively working harmoniously, without noise and fanfare, with the faithful remnant “till all come into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Eph. 3: 13 (see verses 11-16). Unknown to himself, yet known to God and angels, he silently, gradually yet progressively becomes one with God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, fulfilling and revealing in verity “the mystery that was withheld from angels and generations but now has been revealed to the men,” described as “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1: 26, 27.
Salvation in and through God Incarnate
Salvation is from sin—”the transgression of God’s law,” also called iniquity and unrighteousness—so that human beings, originally condemned by the righteousness and justice of the immutable law, because of sin and on account of being a sinner, may not suffer the “wages of sin,” which is death,” that is “the second death” or eternal death.
God Incarnate, as the Savior of the sinner and the Deliverer of those in bondage to sin, took the place of the sinner and became his Substitute and surety. He “was made to be sin for us who knew no sin.” He became our Sin bearer so that we no longer have to continue committing sin, the greater separator between Creator and creature, which displeases God, and bear the terrible burden of its guilt and suffer its non-negotiable consequences and final wages.
God Incarnate was tempted and tried in all points as all mankind are tempted with, yet without sin because He chose to fully submit His incarnated human nature with its incarnated Human will to the Father’s will. It was thus that He did not yield to temptation, not even in thought or imagination. Such was the mind of Christ, God Incarnate, the last Adam. And such will be the mind of all who desire to be saved, not in their own sinful, lost way but in God’s chosen perfect way, which He Himself opened up for fallen man and which He still offers to all sinners!
(Continued next week)