The Great Transition From One Humanity To Another # 16
The Seeing of Jesus Our Lord, continued -
This is where we begin; firstly the seeing of Jesus our Lord or God revealing His Son in us, illuminating, unveiling, the place and destiny of man in the Divine Economy. I must say here (though it might get me onto controversial ground) I am a firm believer that the Apostle Paul had a very real hand in the writing of the Letter to the Hebrews. Whether he actually wrote it or dictated it, I am certain that Paul had a very definite and direct influence, to say the least, upon the writing of the Letter to the Hebrews; and you will recognize it in what I am going to say. It is there; it comes out of that.
Paul, from the beginning in his First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen, takes up man from his inception. He says, "The first man, Adam." It starts with man; it goes right back to the beginning of humanity, mankind, and he follows right through mankind on the battle ground of the two humanities until he reaches the point of man glorified. How marvelous that chapter is. I have stood back from that chapter many times, and said, "How did any mortal man know that?" It could only be because he had seen Jesus Christ. That is the only answer: -
A New Man In Christ
"There are bodies terrestrial, and there are bodies celestial. There are bodies earthy and there are bodies heavenly; and as we have born the image of the earthy, so we shall bear the image of the heavenly." Here Paul describes something of the nature of this Heavenly Body, this Heavenly physical Body, this glorified Manhood. This is an amazing unveiling of the destiny of man in the economy of God.
So Paul takes up mankind first in Adam, and then by the Cross he smites that race in Adam, discredits it, rejects it, and puts it aside, and starts with the New Man. "The last Adam": "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation," - the old humanity past, all is New. We have the whole history of man in this letter, right from his inception in the heart of God, his inception in the creation of the first Adam and his rejection in this letter; and then we have man created in the New Man, Christ.
Oh, what a Man this is in glory. In this we groan! But what is the groaning about? Oh, for that for which I was created; which God meant for me. In this we groan waiting, "waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body," the putting on of our New Nam. "When this corruptible will have put on incorruption." My, do you not groan for that? Incorruption, this mortal dying "will have put on immortality," eternally living. Now how did Paul get all that? "Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?" "It pleased God to reveal His Son in me."
Paul said: "God has repeated His Divine fiat in me. Over all the world in chaos and darkness God said, "Let light be - and there was light," a fiat of God, and He has done that in me. God has repeated and said, In this darkened humanity, 'Let light he'; and when He said that, I - in that light - saw His Son and in His Son I saw all that God intended and intends for mankind" - man's destiny in the economy of God.
All that is in chapter fifteen, and Paul tells us out of this seeing that the world to come is going to be entirely subjected to this Man and this Humanity. As I was saying, this is Hebrews two: "For Thou madest Him in order to have dominion over the works of Thy hand. Thou has put all things in Thine economy and intention under His feet," but we do not see that true of the old humanity. It is discredited, it is lost, it has lost that kingdom.
But we see Jesus, we see Jesus the Representative Man of this New Humanity, the Inclusive Man, the Last Adam of this Humanity, we see Him crowned with glory and honor. That is the destiny of man in the intention of God. That is what Paul is saying here by the Spirit.
He Must: He Must Have: He Will Have!
Paul shows us in these letters to the Corinthians and by his influence, at least, in the Letter to the Hebrews, he shows us God's intense interest in man and God's infinite patience and perseverance and pains with man through history. God never, never wiped out any mankind until it had finally gone beyond the point of no return where mankind said, "We will not, we will not," finally "We will not" - that was Noah's day. Noah - a preacher of righteousness, and the effect in them was: "We will not." So God said, "The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." God never did anything like that until the cup of iniquity was full to overflowing, and there was no hope because of man's settled determination not to have the revealed will of God.
Apart from that, look at the infinite pains and patience and perseverance of God. Oh, how marvelous is God in His sovereignty. I think God chose the Jewish race because it was going to extend Him to the fullness of His patience; and it did. God is marvelous in His Sovereignty, sometimes I think that He chose for no other purpose than just to show what mercy He has. Well, that would take us into another part of First Corinthians: "God hath chosen the foolish things... the weak things...the ignoble things...that are not." We see what patience, what long-suffering, what pains, what perseverance is shown by the apostle on the part of God with mankind because God has set such store by this kind of creation; and if God should never have a humanity like that at the end, then God is defeated utterly and He is not God, the God of the Bible. He must - He must, and He will have a humanity that His heart is set upon.
Moreover, the apostle shows here by the Spirit, that all God's dealings with His Own children (and the terms are family terms: His Own children, His Own family) he shows that all God's dealings with His Own children and family had this end in view - the transition unto the glory, bringing many sons to glory, getting many sons to glory. But we must link with that; "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked or reproved of Him. Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth. He scougeth every son that He places by Him." That wonderful chapter in Hebrews 12 about God's dealings with His children, His family, showing that "no chastening (child-training) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous" - for the present, grievous.
(continued with # 17)