The All-Governing and Dominating Vision: The Seeing of Jesus Our Lord
He Must: He Must Have: He Will Have
(1) The Summation of all - His Son
Now the apostle shows then that the advent of Jesus Christ into this world was this: first of all, it was the summation of all God's former forms and ways of His Self-revelation. "God Who at sundry times and in divers places spake unto the prophets," spake by the prophets in many sided fragmentary bits. Here a line and there a line; a bit through this one and a bit through that one, all speaking bits and pieces and fragments. He has summed them all up now, gathered them all together, made One Sum of them; and it is the summation of all when His Son comes into this world incarnate. That is what is here! See Jesus and you see the summation of all God's previous methods and ways and times of Self-revelation. It is the full and the final revelation of God in Jesus Christ.
That is what this young man Saul of Tarsus, with his background of the Old Testament in his mind (so that he could quote the whole thing without the Book) with that he saw Jesus Christ, the Risen Glorified Lord; and his Bible became a new book. Paul saw that in the One everything was gathered up, everything was summed up, "Have not I seen Jesus our Lord; and when I saw Him, I saw." There are no more fragments, the thing is complete now; no more bits and pieces, it is just one great glorious whole. No more "then" and "now" and "afterward", it is all eternally present in HIM now: the summation of all God's previous ways of Self-revelation.
(2) His Son - The End of the Old Economy and the Introduction of an Entirely New Economy
Then Paul saw, and this meant so much to a Jew and an educated Jew, so thoroughly educated as was Saul of Tarsus, he saw that Jesus our Lord was not only the summation of all God's previous ways of revealing Himself, but He was the consummation of a whole economy, the whole of the Mosaic economy. That is why I say I am sure that Paul had a hand in this Hebrew letter, because the whole of the Mosaic economy is gone over in that letter. And what is the purpose of that letter? The transition from that Mosaic economy to Christ. HE is the High Priest. HE is the Sacrifice. HE is the Altar. HE is the Temple. HE is everything that that economy represented in type and figure, but HE is the consummation of that. HE is the end of that and the introduction of an entirely New economy. It is a Heavenly One in the heavens, "not made with hands." Oh, the terms are so definite. "Not of this creation." The consummation of a whole economy. Brethren, has Christendom seen what Paul saw? Has Christendom grasped this yet? Is it still clinging onto the old economy in its vestments, its robings, its ritual, its external things? Has it failed to see that this is all finished with, and now our robing is the robing of HIS Righteousness, and no other can appear before God. All our adornments are spiritual.
Peter has seen this, for in 1 Peter 3:3-4 he speaks to the dear sisters "whose adorning is not the plaiting of the hair and the wearing of jewelry." What is the word "adorning"? "Adorning" in the original is "Whose world (cosmos)" - "whose cosmos" is the word "adorning." "Whose cosmos, whose world," whose realm and system of things is not this getting yourself up in making an impression. Oh, I am not holding any agreement with carelessness and slovenliness and that sort of thing, but the question is what "world" do you live in? - how do you appear to others, what impression do you make by these outward things? "No," says Peter, of the saintly women whose world is not that. That is not their world, that is not their cosmos, their system, but their "adorning" is "the ornament of a meek and a quiet spirit." So we see one system of externals is gone, and it is all now a system of the Spirit in the heart, a Heavenly thing for a Heavenly people.
Now some people have seen the principle, and they have tried to put it into effect by putting on a certain kind of raiment and becoming a sect who wear that kind raiment. They have seen the principle all right, but you cannot fulfill a principle in that way. It is the Spirit that comes out and expresses itself. The end of an economy, its consummation and then the transition to an entirely new regime, the regime of the MAN perfected and installed in glory as God's Model for this New Humanity. "According to Christ" is the phrase so often used.
It is "according to Christ' or "not according to Christ." That is the test, the challenge, according to the perfected MAN and Humanity installed in Heaven, God's Pattern, to which He is working.
He is working, and here we come back again to the place of the Holy Spirit in the letters to the Corinthians, especially the First Letter. As we look through the letter, what is the full, ultimate, supreme function of the Holy Spirit? - "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, ... though I give all my goods to the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and ave not love, I have nothing." The supreme work of the Holy Spirit is the Character of Jesus Christ, not love as a thing. You can put on love as a thing. You can put that on, and it can be a pretension, a way of behaving and speaking. Beloved, people can come and put their hand on your shoulder and be treacherous behind your back by pointing out your faults to someone else. It must be "unfeigned love" the apostle says. "Unfeigned, unhypocritical, love of the brethren": it is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
(continued with # 6#