TRULY MAN AND TRULY GOD
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
The Lord Jesus Christ is truly Man and truly God. His Bride, His Body, His brothers, must be truly man and born from the same Father. Thus we genuinely are like Him. In addition, by virtue of marriage to Him, we receive the same inheritance.
TRULY MAN AND TRULY GOD
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. (Hebrews 2:11)
We know the Lord Jesus Christ is truly Man and God. He is not half-man and half-God. If that were the case His humanity would be limited by His Divinity and His Divinity would be limited by His humanity.
As Man, Christ is thoroughly, completely Man. As God, Christ is thoroughly, completely God.
I think most of us agree to this although it is difficult to comprehend.
What may not be as clear to us is that the members of the Bride of the Lamb, the members of the Body of Christ, the sons of God, the brothers of Christ, must be fashioned from the same humanity and Divinity. Although Jesus Christ is the great elder Brother, having been from eternity with the Father, and in all matters is Lord and Christ, it is a fact nevertheless that the members of His Church must be genuinely human and genuinely born of God.
When we say genuinely human we are not referring to a flesh and blood adamic humanity but to a transcendent humanity that we will attain as all of the adamic in our personality is crucified and is replaced by the new creation.
When we say genuinely born of God we do not mean we become God the Father. We mean having been born of God in a true sense we are possessors of the Divine Nature.
As in the case of our Lord Himself, we do not count the fact that we have a Divine nature as an integral part of our personality a thing to be grasped. Rather, we place ourselves on a lowly plane, ready to serve God and man in any manner Christ indicates.
We deny ourselves. We do not live for ourselves but for Christ who has died for us and has been raised from the dead by the Glory of the Father.
It may have sufficed in time past for us to have exalted the Godhead to such an extent that an uncrossable gulf exists between Christ and man. The day for this attitude has past. It is not scriptural and will not admit to the present invitation of the Holy Spirit. After all, we have been made in the image of God and are His children.
The Lord Jesus Christ is totally and completely Human (in the transcendent sense of which we spoke, in that He has been crucified and raised from the dead).
The Lord Jesus Christ is totally and completely Divine, having proceeded from the Father in the beginning, all things and creatures having been made by Him and for His pleasure.
- But we are to be His wife, His counterpart.
- But we are to be sons of His Father.
- But we are to be members of His very Body.
- But we are to be His brothers.
The wife, body, and brothers, of whom? Of Him who is truly Human and truly God.
In order for us to be His wife, His counterpart, a helper suitable for Him, we must be like Him in every respect, except, as I said, for the fact that He comes from eternity and has been made our Lord and Head. In addition, by virtue of marriage to Him (which is the closest of all relationships except that of the body to the head) we partake of His majesty and His inheritance.
The son of a king is a prince, a member of royalty. When the prince marries, his bride becomes a member of the royal family with the attendant rights and privileges of royalty.
We are the Wife of the Lamb!
In order for us to be members of His Body we must be like Him in every respect. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body of Christ. One cannot place a head on a body unless that body is of the same nature as the head. We would not wish to have the Divine Son of God placed as the head of an adamic body, or even as the head of a transcendently human body. The Head is of the Divine Nature. The Body also must be of the Divine Nature. There can be no question about this.
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (II Peter 1:4)
We are authorized to be children of God by receiving Christ. We are authorized to be sons of God when we learn to be led by the Spirit of God, and finally when our body is redeemed.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12,13)
Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14)
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
If we indeed are brothers of Jesus Christ, then we are not half-brothers. We are full brothers, having the same Father.
But do we indeed have the same Father?
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17)
We need to think carefully about the above statement.
“Go to My brothers.”
“I am returning to My Father.”
“I am returning to Your Father”.
“I am returning to My God.”
“I am returning to your God.”
My brothers; My Father; your Father; My God; your God.
Have you thought about this?
Am I in any manner pulling the Lord Jesus down to our level? Absolutely not.
Am I pulling us up to His level? No, in the sense that God the Father has made Jesus both Lord and Christ. Yes, in the sense that God’s Word tells us we are to become one with Christ as He is with the Father. We do not intend to get ahead of the Word of God nor do we intend to stagger at the promises of God through unbelief.
What we have to say in connection with our becoming an integral part of the Son of God has a practical application for our Christian life or I would not discuss it. It has a practical application in that we now are moving past the Pentecostal experience to the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles. In order to enter the Tabernacles experience we have to accept the fact that the Father and the Son intend to make us Their eternal dwelling place with all this involves.
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
When the Father and the Son come and make Their home in us, then we are the chariot of God, the habitation of God.
The Lord Jesus is truly Man and truly God. He also is filled with the fullness of God. Christ is the eternal habitation of God.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, (Colossians 2:9)
We too are thoroughly human, in the transcendent sense we mentioned. The original flesh and blood adamic person is a lower form of humanity and cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of God.
We too have become partakers of the Divine Nature. This is not just a religious saying has no real meaning. We actually do partake of the Divine Nature. We actually have been born of God. There is a part of our personality that is thoroughly Divine
And we too are destined to be filled with the fullness of God.
And to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
The mystery of the combining of the human and Divine is expressed in the following manner:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Now, here is a state of personality that is difficult to explain because of the limitations of our present existence. Yet it is a true state of being.
Was Paul still living? It depends on what we mean by “living.” Paul is asserting that his first personality, his adamic nature, no longer lives.
Then Paul says that Christ is living in him. Paul is living by faith in Christ, having turned away from his own energy and talents.
Yet Paul was living a very human life—just like any other person on the earth.
Well, was Paul living or was Christ living? In the practical, earthly sense, Paul was alive at time and had been arguing with the other apostles.
But was it true that Christ actually was living in him at that time?
Yes, Christ truly was living in Paul.
Here we have a true man and a true Divine Nature. They are combined in the Apostle Paul.
We know whoever has Christ has the Father also. In the same manner, whoever has Paul has Christ—and more so as Christ increasingly is formed in Paul.
This is what God desires of us saints. Man was created in the image of God. The adamic nature is a primitive image of God. It is only as Christ is formed in us that we really grow into the image of God. When Christ has finished with us we will be in the image of God totally and completely just as Christ Himself is in the image of God totally and completely.
Now let us think for a bit about the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles and we will see why it is practical and necessary we understand the relationship of Christ to the Father and our relationship to Christ and the Father.
That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so the world may believe you have sent me. (John 17:21)
The above verse is one of the most astonishing of Scripture. It is astonishing because of the incorrect understanding many of us have had concerning the Godhead. We will return to this thought in a minute.
The entire seventeenth chapter tells us that the expression “all of them” is referring to the Church. John, Chapter Seventeen reveals that God’s elect, His chosen, consists of a specific group of people, named from the foundation of the world, who have been called out from the ranks of mankind to be specially holy.
“Holy” means chosen by the Lord to be close to Him.
Christians have speculated whether God wants to save everyone from wrath or whether salvation is only for a privileged few.
The answer is, Christ died to make an atonement for the sins of the whole world. God is willing that every individual turn from his or her wicked ways and seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us_ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)
There are several verses in the New Testament, such as the following, which suggest some individuals are destined to stumble.
And, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. (I Peter 2:8)
Since the issue of predestination and free will has been discussed at length by scholars we will not add to the speculations at this point. Evidently there is a Divine wisdom concerning God’s sovereignty in salvation that is impenetrable as yet.
However, one thing is certain. Whoever comes to the Lord Jesus will not be rejected, at least, not in this world. So no one need speculate whether or not he or she is called to be saved from wrath. The Bible says that whoever will believe in Christ and be baptized shall be saved. This is a fact regardless of the dynamics of foreknowledge and predestination.
But the seventeenth chapter of John is not speaking of the people of the world but of the members of the royal priesthood. The members of the priesthood were chosen from the foundation of the world. They were not chosen to be saved but to be a part of the Church. There are roles to be filled in the Kingdom of God, and these roles have been prepared for specific individuals.
But to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared. (Mark 10:40)
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love (Ephesians 1:4)
This fact does not prevent any person from seeking God with all His might. Neither does it ensure that a chosen individual will attain his designated destiny. If he does not use the talents he has been given, his talents will be given to another more diligent person while he himself is thrown into the outer darkness.
One can lose his crown!
The things of salvation always are an opportunity.
Let us now continue with our discussion of the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles.
That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so the world may believe you have sent me. (John 17:21)
“All of them,” then, according to the seventeenth chapter, refers to those whom God has given to Jesus that they might no longer be of the world. They are the ruling priesthood, the Church, the Wife of the Lamb—eventually the holy city, the new Jerusalem.
“That all of them may be one.” Now there is nothing extraordinary about the Lord praying that the members of His Church would be one; that they would love one another; that they would live together in harmony and peace.
But then we find an astonishing dimension of the prayer that we be one.
“That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”
That we members of the Church be one in the same manner the Father and the Son are one—this part of the prayer of Christ defies every understanding we have of the Godhead.
One conventional statement concerning the Divine Godhead is that it comprises three Members, indivisible, coequal, coeternal, coexistent, all from eternity, none greater than the other. This is the Divine Godhead—exalted in glory beyond all imagination and absolutely separate and distinct from mankind.
It does not matter that the Scripture says that even Christ does not know when the end of the age will come, only the Father. It does not matter that Christ said His Father is greater than He. It does not matter that Jesus said He would ascend to His Father and His God. All of this is explained away in the terrible insistence that there are three Persons in the Godhead, indivisible, coequal, coeternal, coexistent, and none greater than the other.
I suppose in one sense it is praiseworthy that we have made Jesus Christ equal to His Father. But it is not wise to defy the clear statements of the Scripture.
More importantly, if we hold to the current understanding of the Trinity we cannot accept the Lord’s saying we of the Church are to be one as Christ and the Father are one. We just cannot accept this, and then speak of one God who is in three Persons, coequal, coexistent, coeternal. Such a Being is quite beyond our reach and Their oneness is nothing we can possibly share in.
You know, God is our Father. His greatest desire is that His offspring be gathered around Him in a loving family, not kept away from Him by the walls of religious structures and theological dogma. In fact, some of our present concepts of the Godhead must come from Satan. Who else would be so determined to keep us separated from our Father?
I know it seems like we are exalting Christ when we lift Him so high above us. But the truth is, it prevents the oneness with Him that He fervently desires.
“That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”
How are we to be one? We are to be one just as the Father and the Son are One. They are so integrated in love that it is impossible to have One without the Other.
Such oneness is to be true of the members of His Body. But how can such oneness be brought about? The oneness comes from the fact that all of us eat the same flesh and drink the same blood. Therefore we become one to a degree far, far greater than the human love of a mother for a child or a husband for his wife.
There are efforts toward ecumenicism today. These will produce Babylon, nothing else. We do not become one with each other by compromising our thoughts. We become one with each other by first becoming one with Jesus Christ. When we are one with Jesus Christ we automatically are one with each other.
“That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us.” It is not that we are one with each other that is so critically important, it is that we are in Christ in God. Human oneness apart from Christ would be the greatest enemy of God in the universe. Human oneness in Christ in God is the new Jerusalem, the greatest gift the saved nations could possibly receive.
“That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so the world may believe you have sent me.”
It appears the primary emphasis of the major denominations is on going out and “saving souls.” While this is of the Lord in some instances, it is not always so. Really, the greatest need today is for the bringing of the members of the churches into union with Christ.
When the elect of God are one as the Father is in Christ and Christ is in the Father, and they are one in the Father and the Son, the world will believe. The world will not believe God has sent Jesus Christ until we are one in the Father and the Son.
In America at this time there is a growing resentment against the members of the Christian religion, particularly Christians. Why is this? It is not because people are not willing to believe God has sent Christ, it is because of the poor testimony given by the churches.
The churches concentrate on making proselytes, adding members to their particular groups. The New Testament emphasis is on godliness of behavior. We tend to stress religion instead of relationship. Our religion ought not to be self-centered, rather it always should be pointing us to Christ so we become one with Him. When we become one with Him we automatically do the good works that cause people to glorify God.
Anything that prevents us from becoming one with Christ as He is One with the Father is an obstacle to be overcome. The Apostle Paul to the end of his life was pressing, pressing, pressing to know Christ, to share His resurrection life, to share His sufferings. Christ is our goal, not escaping Hell, not going to Heaven, not “winning others,” but Christ Himself. As we gain Christ everything else will fall into place. He will make us fishers of men. But Christ is our Objective—to always in every place be found in Him.
When Christ is lifted up in us, other people will be drawn to him.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: (John 14:22)
Today the Body of Christ is split into a thousand competing denominations. But I believe there will be a single, unified, perfected Body of Christ, a Bride without blemish, who will be ready for the Lamb when He appears.
I think two factors will create the oneness. One factor is suffering. Suffering will drive the saints from the babylonish organizations structures and also purify them from worldliness, bodily and soulish lusts, and self-seeking.
The other factor that will create the perfected Bride of the Lamb is the Glory of God. Jesus stated that the same glory that God has given Him, He has given to us. God has given Christ all the Glory of God. Christ has given that same Glory to us.
We do not see such glory at the present time. Right now we are in the school of the wilderness. But when the hour arrives, the Church will be covered with Divine Glory until the saved nations come from the ends of the earth, bringing their treasures to the Presence of God now appearing on the earth.
This Divine Glory will bring the members of the Wife of the Lamb into the Oneness that exists in the Godhead. If we are to believe and accept this we must redefine the Godhead until It—as exalted as It is—becomes comprehensible and approachable to us.
The Bible says Jesus is God’s Son. We can understand the relationship between a father and a son. Why don’t we hold to the Bible statement instead of creating an abstraction which we cannot comprehend and to which we cannot relate readily?
I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 14:23)
Christ in us. God in Christ. Is this not the wheel within the wheel found in the first chapter of the Book of Ezekiel? Is this not the eternal chariot of God?
Bringing the members of the Body to complete unity will let the world know God sent Christ and loves the elect as God loves Jesus Christ.
We can understand Christ would pray that the world would understand He was sent by the Father.
But why would Christ pray that the world would know God has loved the saints even as He has loved Christ, His only begotten Son?
I think it is because it is the saints who will represent Christ in the ages to come. I imagine when the Lord returns He will be seen in His saints.
We cannot see God the Father. Christ can see Him but we cannot. But we can see Christ and He reveals the Father to us.
Perhaps this will be true in the ages to come. The members of the saved nations will not be able to see Christ directly, only in us. We will be able to see Christ directly but they will see Him only in us.
On the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. (II Thessalonians 1:10)
I hope no one will attempt to use what I have written in order to gain power, to do great works, to “save souls,” to get their prayers answered, or for any other religious or theological purpose.
When I was in Iceland several years ago, the Lord revealed to me that His purpose in bringing people into union with Himself is love, the intense love that exists in the Godhead. Christ impressed me that the Communion drama is a way of Christ showing His love for His saints, a love so fiery that it can be fully expressed only by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The emotional impact of this revelation was somewhat disabling for a while.
Because of religion, I suppose, we approach Christ in a religious, theological manner. We do not always hear the voice of the Bridegroom who is infatuated with His Bride. We describe doctrinally the new covenant of the body and blood of Christ, not understanding the tender agony of the love of the Creator for those whom He has created.
The longer I live the less I am impressed with the Christian religion or any other religion. It is relationships that count, our relationship to Christ, His relationship to the Father, our relationship to one another. The whole law of God has to do with relationships: that we should love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves.
The world of today is being destroyed because of faulty relationships. The faulty relationships spring from Satan. Satan can engender only faulty relationships because he has never learned to deny himself.
Christ commanded us to deny ourselves and to live for Him. Until we do this we always will have trouble with relationships. It is only as we deny ourselves, seeking the good of others, that we begin to grow in the image of God.
One of the four faces of man is that of the ox. It is the ox who labors under the loads imposed by others. God is the greatest of all oxen. Day by day He bears our burdens as we cast them on Him.
God wants us to be oxen. He wants us to deny ourselves so we can fill up that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for the sake of Christ’s Body.
It is characteristic of babies that they always are seeking their own pleasure. There are babies who are seventy years of age. They have never been willing to deny themselves. Those who love them have been obliged to carry the burdens of the babies as well as their own burdens.
It is the man who loves but the ox who denies himself and carries burdens. The ox, the man, the eagle, the lion, are part of one personality. That personality is the mature image of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
But when all is said and done, it is love that is of supreme importance. God is love. His love embraces the Lord Jesus Christ and makes Christ one with God.
Now we are to continue in that love. Our love extends to Christ and finally, through Christ’s work with us, to our Father in Heaven.
But then the love of the Father extends through Christ through us to those whom God has given us. This is the greatest gift, the greatest joy, the greatest life of all—to be a channel through which God’s love through us can touch other people.
It is in this spirit of love that we present such understanding as we have concerning the fact that as Christ is truly man and truly God, so we must become truly man and truly of the Divine Nature. It is not that we are bringing Christ down, it is that God through Christ, our elder Brother, is lifting us to His very Throne where we can enjoy our Father unto the ages of ages.
(“Truly Man and Truly God”, 3912-1)