The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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In it We Can See God’s Nearness to Us!

 
The Humanity of Christ
By Al Stoner
 
 Part 2

 

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” (I Jn. 4:2-3).

 
 
We are not left to conjecture about this matter. Paul, in Hebrews 1:8-12, tells us that, starting at this point, this is the Father speaking to the Son. "But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows (Psalm 45:6-7). And, [here begins the text from Psalm 102, the Father yet speaking to the Son] Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands: They shall perish; but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail."

 
A Momentary Obscurement. This conversation between the Father and the Son, among other things, demonstrates the jeopardy that is involved in simply being flesh and blood and living in this present evil world. At this particular point in time, the Son's grasp of His heavenly and eternal status had been momentarily obscured to Him and the Father was reassuring Him here of these blessed realities. The Lord Jesus Christ was living by faith in the days of His flesh and was made subject to all the jeopardies and liabilities that we presently are subject to.
 
Let us also learn from this that we too are destined to inherit a blessed eternal and exalted status in the world to come, but living in the body of this death sometimes has the effect of eclipsing, or obscuring, the glory that shall soon be revealed in us (cf. Rom. 8:18)!
 
Something else that we learn from these words is this: One of the greatest favors that one can do for fellow saints is to seek divine assistance to effectually put them in remembrance of their eternal status in Christ Jesus by the ministration of the Word of God to them.
 
A Critical Question. And something that all men must ask themselves is this. Is being put in mind of the eternal world a strong enough incentive, of itself, to make you want to go there? It certainly was with the Son of God. The thought of simply going there and being there ought to be an abundantly sufficient incentive for those professing godliness. By way of contrast, however, wherever earthly incentives are being employed by men to supposedly attract other men to the faith, there men are being deceived. They are being sold a false bill of goods. The knowledge of God and the things of God, of themselves, are exceedingly precious and they must be the things that do the attracting!
 
Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth. These were the words of the Father to the Son, spoken to comfort Him in the days of His flesh. The Son had indeed laid the earth’s foundation, but because He had “emptied Himself” and taken upon Himself “the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:7), His awareness of that reality was then only by faith. And when the angel appeared unto the Lord Jesus Christ, “strengthening Him” (Lk. 22:43), it is very possible that he was comforting Him by putting Him in remembrance of eternal realities such as these recorded in the Psalms and Isaiah.
 
This word, regarding the foundation of the earth, has reference, of course, to the occasion when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God (the holy angels) shouted for joy (Job 38:7; see also vv. 1-6) at the prospect of the launching of the great human enterprise, as some have been wont to call it.
 


 


All of them shall wax old like a garment. Things of the creation apparently did not wax old before the entrance of sin into the world. This is part of the curse. And men who are caught up in the course of this world are deceived, for this is a realm that is appointed to destruction by fire (cf. II Pet. 3:7) because of sin. And this is very evident to those who, by faith in the Word of God, have the eternal perspective!
 


 


Thy years shall have no end. This was an accommodation to Christ's time in the flesh. While in the flesh men are shut up to thinking in terms of days, weeks, months, and years and so the Father assured the Son that His years would have no end. But in the ages to come we shall speak of and measure the "passage of time" in eternal units and with the language of eternity.
 
The Isaiah Forty-Nine Text. “And (He, the Father) said unto Me, Thou art My servant, O Israel (speaking here of Christ), in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent My strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely My judgment is with the LORD, and My work with My God. And now, saith the LORD that formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob again to Him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be my strength.  And He said, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isa. 49:3-6).
 
The Father is here again addressing the Son regarding the mission upon which He was sent to redeem lost humanity. He was assuring the Lord Jesus that, in spite of all the rejection that He faced, His labor was not in vain.  Verse 4  is the Son's reply to the Father. These words were recorded by Isaiah the prophet some 800 years before the entrance of Christ into the world, no doubt, to comfort the Son and to enable Him to continue steadfastly through His time of temptation in the flesh unto the death of the Cross.
 
When Christ was here in this world in the days of His flesh, He was subjected to great temptation and discouragement. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (Jn. 1:11). The Savior of men was “despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). Men tried to catch Him in His words (Mk. 12:13). They attempted to stone Him (Jn. 10:31) and to throw Him over the brow of a hill (cf. Lk. 4:29). (But His hour was not yet come.) He was mocked (Mt. 27:29), and scourged (Mk. 15:15), and shamefully treated (Mt. 26:67), and finally crucified (Mt. 27:35). And in the midst of all this rejection and opposition the Son of God was sorely tempted to think that He had labored in vain and spent His strength for nothing.
 
As a sideline, we want to see clearly that Christ, when He came into the world, was not acting arbitrarily and was not being somehow mechanically propelled along through His tenure here with divine power. No, He was sorely tempted! He had to draw on the strength of His Father in the precise same way that we do. Christ Jesus was made to feel the extremities of rejection, sorrow, pain, hunger, thirst, and weakness, more than you and I will ever feel or know. His human strength failed Him, thus causing Him to rely implicitly upon the strength of His Father. And so, in this time of being cast down, as recorded here in Isaiah 49, Christ commits His judgment and His work unto His Father.
 
The Father’s Reply of Comfort. Verses 5 and 6 are the Son's recounting of the Father's reply of comfort and consolation to Him.  Here we see that with the outworking of the Divine purpose, everything is right on schedule. In these words we can see the Divine foreknowledge of the Jew's rejection of Christ, of the calling of the Gentiles, and of the later salvation of all Israel. God was not taken by surprise by the Jew's rejection of Christ, as some theologies teach. [Incidentally, if God could be taken by surprise, He would not be God, for God declares the end from the beginning (cf. Isa. 46:10)].
 
And God was not, at this point, switching from plan A to plan B as some men teach, the calling of the Jews being plan A, and the calling of the Gentiles, plan B. Men who propagate such foolishness as this ought not to be given an audience, no not for an hour!

Conclusion. What we are saying in all these things is that Christ Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He has identified with our plight of fallen humanity much more than is generally thought. He is, and ever shall be, our near Kinsman, by the grace of God, and the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.Let us then seek to glorify God by our faith while we are yet here inthis world, and to earnestly wait for our near Kinsman to return from Heaven.--Editor

 


"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).