« PreviousContinue »
that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:8-11. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor," Heb. 2:9. In all these texts, it will be seen by examination, that the man Christ Jesus was exalted and honored. Divinity is incapable of absolute exaltation. The Son of God, who, for a time, divested himself of the form of God, might be said to be comparatively exalted, when he was restored to that glory, which he had with the Father, before the world was. But the foregoing texts evidently relate to the humanity of Christ.
After Jesus was risen from the dead, he said to his disciples, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth," Matt. 28:18. Before his crucifixion, when he was speaking of his power and authority, he said, "The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man," John 5:25,26,27. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered all nations," &c. Matt. 25:31,32. The apostle Paul, speaking of the resurrection and day of judgment, says, "He hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained," Acts 17:31. From these and several other texts, it is evident that the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment, are attributed sometimes to the Son of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ; and sometimes to the Son of man. When the subject of discourse is the man Christ Jesus, then these great works are ascribed to him as man, or Son of man.
When Christ would exhibit himself on an equality with the Father, in respect to the greatness of his works and the honor to be given him, he calls himself the Son of God. Speaking of the resurrection, he says, "the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." The cause he assigns, for which he is vested with authority to judge the world, is, that he is the Son of man. When the Son of God is called the Son of man, the expression is parallel with this text, "The Word was made flesh." By this phraseology, it is not to be understood that the Word, or Son of God, changed his nature and became only a man. But it is to be understood that he came into a peculiarly intimate union with a man. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same,' Heb. 2:14. His taking flesh and blood implies that he, who took, and that, which was taken, were not identically the same.
Since the resurrection and ascension of the body of Jesus, the Son of man, in union with the Son of God, is seated on the throne, at the right hand of the Father. In this situation the martyr Stephen saw him just before his execution, when he was filled with the Holy Ghost and looked up to heaven. In this state of exaltation, the Son of man participates with the Son of God, the government of the mediatorial kingdom. At the last day, the man Christ Jesus in union and in joint operation with the divine Son, will raise the dead and judge the world. At this time, and in this union and joint operation with the Son of God, he will put down, or subdue, all rule and all authority and power, which were opposed to his mediatorial government. He will put all enemies under his feet. He will destroy death and him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. Then will the first Gospel prediction be fulfilled, "The Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." This work will he perform, and this exaltation will he receive as a reward of his sufferings.
This is a great work, and a great honor. Of this work and of this honor, the man Christ Jesus participates with the Son of God.
Now cometh the end of this economy. The mediatorial kingdom is completed. Christ delivers it up to God, even the Father. The mediatorial office and work terminate. A new dispensation commences. The Son himself, i. e. the Son of man, the man Christ Jesus, no longer exercises authority in that department, which has now ceased; but becomes subjected to him, who gave him this authority; and God, (Aleim) without the distinctions of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and without different departments of administration, which were manifested during the work of redemption, will be all in all. He will hold the reins of government, without any medium, as he did before the work of redemption commenced.
That the subjection of the Son, at the close of the mediatorial economy, signifies the subjection of the Son of man, or the man Christ Jesus, appears evident from the design and connexion of the apostle's discourse. He had been speaking of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. From his resurrection he argued the resurrection of the dead. "For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead," 1 Cor. 15:21. Without the least intimation of change of the subject, he speaks of the subjection of the Son. It is a fair inference then, that this Son is the Son of man.
"BEHOLD I send an Angel before thee," Exodus 23:20. Many extraordinary appearances of an angel, or of the Angel of the Lord, are recorded in the Old Testament. It is important to know who this Angel was. Satisfactory information, on this subject, may be found in the names, which were given him, in what he said of himself; in what he did; and in the respect which was paid to him. The name angel, signifies messenger, or one sent. It designates not the nature, but the office, of the agent.
The Angel of the Lord appeared unto Hagar, after she had fled from her mistress; and commanded her to return and be subject to her authority. He promised her saying: "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me," Gen. 16:10, 13. In this account of the Angel's appearance, it is noticable that he promised to do a work, which divine power alone could do; and he promised it in a style peculiar to God. "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly." He spoke, to appearance, upon his own authority; and it appears that Hagar understood him so; for "she called the name of the Lord, (1) that spake unto her, Thou God seest me."
After Hagar and her son were cast out from the house of Abraham; and she apprehended that her son would die for want of sustenance, "she lifted up
her voice and wept; and God heard the voice of the lad; and the Angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, what aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation; and God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water," Gen. 21:16-19. In this history of the bond woman and her son, God, and the Angel of God, are represented, having the same knowledge, the same care, and the same authority over them. God heard the voice of the child. The Angel of God called to Hagar. God opened her eyes. The Angel of God promised to make the lad a great nation. There appears to be a certain distinction here made, between God, and the Angel of God; but in this history the latter does not appear inferior in the qualities of his nature to the former.
God tried Abraham; and commanded him to take his son Isaac and offer him for a burnt offering. Abraham obeyed. He took his son; went to the place, which God had told him of; built an altar; laid on the wood; bound his son; laid him upon the wood, and took the knife to slay him. "And the Angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham! and he said, here am 1. And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do any thing unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh," i. e. the Lord will see or provide. "And the Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, by myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee; and in multiplying, I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven," Gen. 21:11, 12, 14-17.