“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Jehovah I was not known to them.”
In the Old Testament God revealed Himself to the forefathers by the name of the Almighty One who could protect and deliver by His awesome power – El Shaddai. To Israel He is Jehovah. To this nation He is the One who never began and will never end, the self-existing God, who will always be faithful to keep His promises. When God gave Abraham victory over his enemies, the priest Melchizedek reveals God as the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth (Gen. 14:18-24). The name, Most High God, as well as the exercise of Melchizedek’s priesthood, points to and speaks of millennial glory. It will be God literally repossessing the heavens and earth. His government of the earth will be centered with physical Israel (Deut. 32:8-9), and millennial blessings after the defeat of Israel’s enemies. These are the names of God as revealed then, and the extent of the Old Testament revelation of whom and what God is.
Missing from this is the New Testament revelation of the Father. The Son of God was sent for the express purpose of revealing Him.
“All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son but the Father, nor does anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son may be pleased to reveal him.”
In speaking of the Son Jesus is referencing the Son of God, not the Son of Man. No one can know the Son as the Father does, and no one can know the Father as the Son (Luke 10:22, John 1:18). It is just not possible. Only divinity can truly know divinity, and this is the sense of what He is saying. But again, what is revealed and declared by God is the believer’s to know and understand. In the case of the Father being revealed, it is for the believer’s intimate relationship in love — this relationship ultimately as sons of the Father, not just a dry understanding of knowledge. But there is no doubt that without the Son coming into this world, there would have been no revelation of the Father.
Both Titles – Messiah and the Son of Man – are part of the counsels of God
The titles of Messiah and the Son of Man are the subject of this book. By the comparisons and contrasts made, we may gain understandings into the counsels of God, and with this, a sound means of rightly dividing scripture. There is an important understanding to grasp before speaking more of the revelation of the Father. When we speak of Messiah, it is a title and a role that Jesus took up according to promises and prophecy. Messiah was presented to Israel. He was not received, but rejected, and the title and role was set aside by God. This was done by God’s determined counsel, and so, we must acknowledge the sovereignty and purpose of God in this.
Messiah is a title taken up and set aside, only to be taken up at a future time when Israel is recognized again by God. It will be a time of God’s choosing, where God will be found faithful to fulfill His promises to Israel according to the revelation of His name, Jehovah. This understanding of the title and role of Messiah make it an understanding of and in the counsels of God.
A few more thoughts can be brought out concerning the title of Messiah and God’s counsels. This title is specifically related to Israel, the earth, and prophecy. The counsels of God concern the gathering of all things – things in heaven, and things on earth – into Christ (Eph. 1:10). This entire plan, all the work God does in the gatherings, is into Christ as the Son of Man glorified. This is the title He took up before leaving heaven. This is the title in which the foundational work for the carrying out of all God’s counsels was done.
The title of Messiah is only a portion of the overall scope and reach of the authority and headship of the Son of Man. All things gathered on the earth during the millennium is the earthly kingdom of the Son of Man over the entire world. Messiah reigning over Israel is only a portion of this overall earthly reign of the Son of Man. Messiah for Israel, according to prophecy, simply sets Israel at that time as the center of Christ’s earthly glory, and as the most exalted nation on the face of the earth.
The title and role of the Son of Man is the basis of all the counsels of God. As we have shown, this title is associated with the redemptive work for man, taken up by Jesus for the specific reason of suffering death. This work is the foundation of those counsels. This Man, having perfectly finished the work, enters as Man into the glory of God. This title was shown as embraced by Jesus, particularly after the title of Messiah was set aside. But in contrast to the title of Messiah, this title, having been taken up, and the work perfectly completed, will never be laid aside by Him in all eternity. And it is my hope that the reader may see, with me, the grand scope and reach of these thoughts, in contrast and comparison to that of Messiah. The title of Son of Man is understood as taken up by Jesus, and this of the determined counsels of God.
Jesus Christ, the eternally Beloved Son
When we consider Jesus as the Son of God, it is not according to the counsels of God. He is not the Son of God because a distinct work of God is to be accomplished. This is not a title and role taken up. Jesus is the Son of God, known to believers as the second person of the Godhead. This is who He is, who He was in eternity past, and who He always will be. As the Son, in His divinity, and in eternity past, He shared the infinite glory of God (John 17:5). This is Jesus, the Son of God. In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1).
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
Here is the divinity of Jesus as the Word from eternity past. We also see clearly these two distinct beings – the Father and the Son. The revelation progresses by telling us that the Word, the Son, was sent and became flesh, taking on human form, coming in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:6-7).
What is prominent, and even a point of faith in the gospels, is the thought that the Son was sent into this world by the Father. The Father, in the fullness of grace, sends the Son. The Son shows forth the Father perfectly, and glorifies Him (John 17:4). We are to understand, by the Spirit and the Word, that all that the Father had given to Jesus was the gift of the Father to the Son on the earth (John 17:1-8 – this is not Jehovah establishing the Messiah). The Father had sent Him in sovereign grace, and He had come from the Father. The last part of the above passages in John 1 is that the Son was sent for the reason of declaring or revealing the Father (Luke 10:22).
No one knew the Father with perfect knowledge, except the Son who was eternally in the bosom of the Father. The Son of God was sent to reveal God, to reveal the Father.
“Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.”
“As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
“…that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”
The Father seeks true worshipers
It is clear that the Son was sent into the world by the Father to bring a greater revelation on the topic of God – to reveal the Father. And what was revealed? Many things, if we are taught by the Word and the Spirit. For instance, the Father is seeking true worshipers. All else, as far as worship in the flesh, and according to the beggarly elements of the world, He will put aside and bring to an end (John 4:21). Those that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). There would be no compromising on this. The more we think about it, the easier it is to see from this passage in John 4, that worship of the Father and worship in spirit is not associated with this world or earth. Basically Judaism is set aside by God. A further point made concerns the timing of this change by God; He says, “But the hour is coming, and now is…”
The Father’s love displayed for His sons
Another truth the Son revealed is the Father’s love for His Son and sons. The Father has brought the believer into the same position and relationship as the Son. This is the sense of what Jesus is saying after His resurrection (John 20:17). As we have previously discussed, He is the firstborn among many other brethren. In Christ, all believers have been made sons of the Father. An amazing truth of the Father is that He loves us with the same love He has for the Son (John 15:9-10, 14:21-23, and 16:27).
“I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
This is hard to fathom, but it is what the Son reveals about the Father. The invisible God, whose form no one has ever seen at any time, who dwells in unapproachable light, loves us with the same love that He has for His Son, Jesus Christ. It is the same love as for the Son who was eternally in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18). (A connection to note; we are sons of the Father because the title of the Son of Man was taken up by the Son of God, and the work of the Son of Man was finished, creating many brethren through Him and with Him according to the counsels of God.)
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
The testimony of the Revelation of the Father – the Words and Works of the Son
This is how the Father was revealed. The Son of God, the only one who has seen and knows Him, was sent to reveal Him. The Son, being sent, was nevertheless always in the Father and the Father always in Him (John 14:10). Again, this is divinity we are speaking of. The testimony that confirms this truth is the words He spoke. They were the words from God He always spoke, as given to the Son on earth by the Father (John 17:7-8). They were words spoken by One who possessed the Spirit without measure, in contrast to the prophets of old (John 3:33-35, 14:24). The works were those of the Father given to the Son on earth to do (John 10:25, 37-38). All this was from the Father and serves to reveal Him.
“Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
If you are looking at the Son come into this world, you are looking at the Father. If you know the Son, you know the Father. If you love the Son who took on flesh, then you love the Father (John 15:10, 16:27). If the believer struggles with this abstractness in faith, then your belief may be helped by the testimony of His words and works, as the Son being sent by the Father. It is this testimony that Israel rejects. It proved they did not know the Father at all (John 15:21-24), and in fact, having seen the Father, they hated Him (John 15:24).
When it came to the Jews receiving this revelation of the Father, things didn’t go very well. Was it mainly a problem with Jesus being the Son of God, sent to reveal the Father? Or was it their previous revelation they held close, that Jehovah is one God? What about Israel’s state and condition as being in Adam, in the flesh, and part of this unbelieving world? Did their actual position in Adam afford them enough spiritual sight to see God, recognize God, and receive Him? Or were they dull in understanding and blind in spiritual sight? I believe the answer is that all of this is correct, and Israel, highly privileged as they were, simply could not see and understand. But we must examine what the scriptures say on these points and questions.
Rejection of the Son is rejection of the One who sent Him
“For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”
In this entire chapter Jesus, the Son of God, was speaking of the Father, revealing Him to the Jewish people. By the testimony of the Spirit through John we see two reasons why the Jews persecuted Jesus and wanted to kill Him. One reason was for breaking the law. The other reason was for claiming that God was His Father – making Himself God, that is, the Son of God. They could not acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. By rejecting Him as the Son they were rejecting the Father. If the One the Father had sent was rejected, then the Father was rejected. If the One that the Father had sent was hated, then the Father was hated as well.
The Lord is One; and Israel’s difficulty
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.”
1 John 2:23
“Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
You have to reason that Israel’s revelation and truth that God is One may have been a great hindrance to them receiving the Son of God coming to them, speaking of the Father. This previous truth was meant to guard the nation against turning to Gentile idolatry, keeping the Jews separated and undefiled as a people. The first commandment, which the following statement prefaced, shows to Israel that Jehovah was the one true living God, that everything else is just stone or wood. But would the Jews be able to understand the only begotten Son eternally in the bosom of the Father, now sent to them to progress the revelation of God?
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!”
It is often true that previous revelations, though certainly having their proper place, may hinder the individual or group from receiving and understanding more. In the New Testament, and certainly with the sending of the Son from the Father, we are given the fullness of the revelation of God – the Trinity. I believe Israel has difficulty with this because Jehovah is One God. When Jesus admits to the elders of Israel at His trial that He is the Son of God as they say, it is immediately judged blasphemous and worthy of death (Mark 14:61-64, Luke 22:66-71).
Israel – in Adam, in the Flesh, and part of the World
As for Israel’s position in Adam, as in the flesh and part and parcel of this world, this is well documented in the scriptures. I often use M&Ms sitting on a table-top as an illustration of Israel and their relationship to the rest of the world. If I separate all the green M&Ms over to one side (for the green ones truly have my favor) and place a little toy fence around them, leaving all the other M&Ms where they are – this is what God did in choosing and separating the Jews. They are all still M&Ms, and they all remain on the table-top. The green ones are simply chosen and separated with a toy fence around them! Israel received privilege as favored by God. Their law, their religion, is the little toy wall separating them from the other M&Ms – the Gentiles. But what is obvious is that the wall never had the ability to change the green M&Ms into anything different. Now the green M&Ms are chosen and separated, this is true; but they remain M&Ms on the table-top, no different than the Gentiles.
This simple illustration can easily be verified from the testimony of Scripture;
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
The Jews are those under the law. If the Jew is condemned, and they are God’s privileged and separated people, the cream of the crop of humanity, then the conclusions are easily arrived at – every mouth is stopped and the entire world is guilty before God. All are guilty, all face judgment. Every mouth does not exclude anyone.
The entire world is judged by God
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”
Has the entire world been judged by God? It certainly has, and this, in the time of Christ. The ruler of the world deceived and blinded the Jews into hating and despising the Son that the Father sent to them. They plotted and planned His murder and death. The Gentile part of the world had their involvement with Pilate and the Roman soldiers, for this was not a Jewish stoning, but a Roman crucifixion. But God has judged and condemned the whole world. How was this? Simply, all mankind, in their position in Adam and in the flesh, has failed in responsibility. Man in his works, in his responsibility, is man in his sins. This is not fruit before God, and it is universal to all mankind.
God’s last test of Mankind
In the end God sent His Son, saying, “They will respect my Son.” But the world said, “Come, let us kill Him and seize His inheritance,” (Matt. 21:37-38). This was the last test! God was finished testing, the whole world proven lost and ruined. It was the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4) and the end of the ages (Heb. 9:26) when God sent the Son. Why? The sending of the Son was the final testing, and with His rejection God had seen enough, and the whole world was set in judgment.
“But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:
“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”
Israel’s eyes were blinded, their hearts were hardened. They could not see with their eyes, they could not understand with their hearts. Simply put, they could not believe. It was impossible for them to believe. We cannot accuse the Holy Spirit of playing loosely with words. Here is how the Spirit shows this through Paul:
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
The Question: Are we better than they?
In a previous chapter I was speaking about the rejection of Jesus as Messiah to Israel, and humorously asked some questions concerning the Gentiles. Is the promise of a Messiah now a promise God gives to the Gentiles by default, in view of the outright rejection of Him by His privileged people? In the above passage the Holy Spirit presents a question for the believer to answer. If you answer this question honestly, without simply parroting Paul’s answer, it will show where you stand in your understanding of one of the great principles of God found in His ways and counsels.
If we consider the facts of the results of the gospel being preached from Pentecost through today, what do we see? The circumstances show the overwhelming percentage of those saved are Gentile. In view of the results, does this prove the Gentiles are smarter and better than Israel? This brings out another important thought – why wouldn’t we answer the question based upon the results? It is the scientific method and contemporary thinking – draw your conclusions based on the gathering of data and what the facts of the case present. If what we think and believe is based on what we see as obvious results, then we conclude yes, we are better and smarter than Israel. Why wouldn’t we have such thoughts, and such conclusions? Israel rejected God when He came to them, we did not! The results speak for themselves!
Believers would never voice these thoughts. It would be viewed as rude and arrogant, and we do not want others to have this impression of us. However, our unwillingness to speak doesn’t mean that these thoughts and conclusions do not remain in the back of our minds. To be frank, these are the proper conclusions of any Christian who holds any degree of Arminian thought and doctrine. Arminianism maintains and guards the works, the choices, and the will of man, to one degree or another. It does so to the detriment of the sovereignty, power, and glory of God. In this example, the Arminian doctrine is that unbelieving man actually seeks after God and chooses God in accepting the gospel. Then we must agree, in Arminian thought, this choice by an unbeliever has to involve the gathering of information and data, and some use of the intelligence of the mind in reasoning and proper decision making. At the very least the Arminian must be willing to admit that those who believe made a ‘better’ decision. Are we better than they? How do you explain the nation of Israel rejecting God, when He was among them in the flesh? Was this simply a ‘poor’ decision and an unusual coincidence that the nation as a whole was guilty? Those who have Arminian doctrine can only answer Paul’s question with a ‘yes.’ They have no explanation in their doctrine that allows them to honestly answer ‘no.’ In Arminianism, the responsibility of the will of man and all his choices remains with man.
I can’t tell you how far off scripturally this line of thinking is and how far away it is from God’s thoughts and sound doctrine. Yet we would have to say that over 85% of Christianity today could not draw any different conclusions, and have no other logical explanation for the results that we readily observe. Sadly it is not simply the results observed in the world around us. The evil is the leaven we hold as doctrine and teaching that can only, and logically, end in such conclusions.
The Leaven spreads and saturates throughout
What am I saying? What am I doing? If I am a teacher of the Word of God and I see evil growing and ripening in Christianity today, should I remain silent? Or do I have a responsibility to sound a warning? “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” (Matt. 13:33). These are our Lord’s very own words. Every believer should take them to heart. Man cannot stop the evil leaven from penetrating. At the end there is total saturation of the evil doctrine. It may be hidden and subtle, but certainly it is there in Christianity. The unique thing about this is the leaven itself will blind the church world to its own presence. If believers recognize the evil, the leaven will erroneously have them thinking we can stop it, we can prevent it, and with God’s help we will remedy the entire situation.
But God isn’t helping. He says this is what will be in the Christian world. The evil will grow and ripen. Rest assured, in the end He will fully judge it. But does He help us with a remedy now? He does not. What does He want the believer to do? The scriptural instruction is to fully recognize evil, turn from it, and have no part in it (2 Tim. 3:5, 1 Pet. 3:11, Rom. 12:9).
What is the leaven? What is the evil doctrine? It is the insidious pretense of man exalting himself. When man does this in the world he builds a tower of Babel. When man did this in Israel, he took the law and exalted himself in pride and self-righteousness. In the early church the Judaizers made their additions to the simplicity of Christ, additions to the value of the sacrifice of His life and body. What were these additions? They were the Jewish works of the law. It wasn’t long before all the Christian faith was Judaized. The history of the church on the earth is the testimony to this. God eventually worked in sovereign grace in the Reformation, shining light on the authority of God’s Word and justification. But in Protestantism, man in responsibility nationalizes the church, and the tares are welcomed in. In the history of Christendom man has always been building on the earth. He thinks he builds with gold, silver, and precious stones. He does not. In exalting himself he has built with wood, hay, and straw. It all will be tested by the fire of God and it will not remain (I Cor. 3:9-15). Arminian doctrine represents the last form this leaven takes in subtly exalting man in the presence of God.
The last church judged in Revelation 3 depicts the ending condition of Protestantism – in reality it is the arm of Protestantism known as Evangelical Christianity. One thing I find remarkable about the character of the Laodiceans is how the evil has brought them to see themselves as diametrically opposite from how the Lord actually sees them and judges them. “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing…” You do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked (Rev. 3:17). The leaven is blinding, corrupt, and deceiving.
What then? Are we better than they? This is the question the Holy Spirit asks. Does your faith and doctrine, even in view of the world and circumstances, allow you to truthfully answer along with the apostle – ‘No, not at all.’ This is the spiritual answer with understanding. But if the leaven is working in you, you will not be able to answer truthfully.
None Seeks after God
The previously quoted portion of Scripture from Romans 3 is the Spirit’s description of the world. It is both Jews and Gentiles, all under sin. How can there be any unbelievers in the world seeking after God, if there is none who seeks after God? How can anyone be judged as basically good when there is none who does good, no, not one. Now let us look further at the words of Jesus contained in John 8. They reveal of how God views the Jews and the world.
“Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”
Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
“Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”
“Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.”
“I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.”
“He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
Israel’s Hopeless State in Adam
His statements are quite emphatic. He says they do not know Him, nor the Father, and you can sense the hopelessness of any possibility of this reality changing. He tells them He is going away and they will die in their sin. Again their condition is hopeless. It is not the Son being hopeless, or feeling hopeless. He is speaking with authority and with words directly addressing their condition. “You will die in your sin,” are words of condemnation, for the Jew first, and then in general, for the entire world in Adam. [It is the same truth the Spirit of God teaches through Paul in the first three chapters of Romans, up to the concluding statement in Rom. 3:23; “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”] He says, “Where I go you cannot come,” once again declaring an impossibility and hopelessness as to their position.
In Adam they are slaves to sin with no freedom or possibility to do anything else. They are obeying their father and doing his work, but their father, unfortunately, is the prince of this world. This is in total agreement, once again, with what the Spirit teaches through Paul in Ephesians.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
When he says, ‘…among whom also we all once conducted ourselves…,’ it is Jews and Gentiles alike, the whole world dead in sins and following after the course of the world and its prince. In John 8 quoted above, Jesus says, “…you are not able to listen to my words.” As slaves of sin, they have no ability to hear God’s words. They are not of God, but of Adam. They possess what he has given them, sin reigning in the flesh to serve and obey. By Adam and positioned in him, the whole world will die in their sin. You were dead in trespasses and sins. This is the ‘judgment of the world.’ And it is sealed up and declared complete with the coming of Christ. Israel, as part of the world and in this position, could not hear or receive the revelation of the Father as given by the Son.
The World Condemned
“Now is the judgment of the world…,” is a solemn statement by Jesus in John 12:31. We need to fully understand it. It is the end of the world. It is judgment and condemnation to all in it. The world was proven by God as defiled and ruined in Adam.
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
What if I were to tell you that Jesus does not pray for the world? That He never prays for the world? Would that be considered blasphemous? Jesus never prays for the world, but prays for those given to Him by the Father out of the world. These are those given by the sovereign choice of God (John 15:16, 19, 6:70, 13:18, 5:21, 17:2-3, 6, II Thess. 2:13, and Rev. 17:14). As we have seen in John 12:31, God has judged and condemned the world already. Jesus will not pray for it.
Another truth is found here. The world, as ruined and judged, having hated Him and ready to put Him to death, is no longer fit for the Lord to stay in. He would soon be the raised and glorified Son of Man. He is not of this world, and it is especially evident when the Son of Man is lifted up from the earth (John 12:32). He would have to leave and go back to the Father, away from this world. As the glorified Son of Man, He could no longer stay here. Have you ever noticed that He never shows Himself to the world after His resurrection? This will wait until His return and physical judgment of the world (Col. 3:4).
After He was raised from the dead, in the glorified body, He no longer had any connection whatsoever with this world. I’ve said elsewhere in this book that the believer’s only remaining connection with this world and this earth is our physical bodies. When this physical change is finalized for the believer, the end of our salvation, it will be by God’s sovereign power we are conformed into the very image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). When our bodies are glorified, then the world will not be fit for us to remain in as well. He will come for us and take us (John 14:1-3), so that where He is, we may be also (John 17:24).
The Father and the Son possess Life
There is one more truth revealed about the Father and the Son that we should look at. All that is revealed about the Father in the New Testament cannot possibly be discussed in this chapter, nor is it my purpose. What I wanted to establish is that the Son of God was sent to reveal the Father, and what connection the Son has with the title of the Son of Man.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,”
The Father has life in and of Himself. The Son of God has life as well. This is eternal life given to those who hear the words of the Son and believe in the Father who sent Him. The entire world is dead in Adam, dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). Jesus tells us that the hour is coming, and now is, when some of those that are dead will hear the voice of the Son speaking to them, and they will live (quickened). This is the way eternal life comes to a man;
“For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.”
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
“…as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Each one of the above three verses speaks about eternal life. Each one has an appeal for understanding of the sovereignty of the divine Son involved in the giving of this life. Once the life is given, they shall never perish, as kept by the divine power of the Son. It is impossible for anyone to snatch them from His hand. The Father is involved in this as well, for eternal life is given by the Son to as many as the Father has given to Him, as well as Himself giving life to the dead (John 17:6, 9-12). Eternal life given by the Father or the Son is now connected to the title and work of the Son of Man in the counsels of God.
The Son of God as the Son of Man gives Eternal Life
“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
“Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Here the title of the Son of Man has association with the Son of God and eternal life. Both were sent by God and came down from heaven. Eternal life that is in the Son, is given to man through the work of the Son of Man – His death. As believers we partake in the death of the Son of Man so that we may have life. We eat His flesh and drink His blood. This directly refers to His death, and our dying with Him. Eternal life as given by the Son is now the resurrected life of the Son of Man. It is only on the other side of death, that we have the life He gives, as the true bread of life.
The Son of God as the Son of Man has been given all Judgment
“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,”
“For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”
The Son, having been given all judgment to execute, does so only having taken up the title of the Son of Man. We can see that the giving of eternal life to certain ones, and then the judgment of all that remains, is through the Son of God as the Son of Man. The association of the Son of Man title with the Beloved Son is clear in God’s counsels – both eternal life and judgment are dependent on His death.
The Counsels of God – the Heavenly and Earthly Glory of Christ
The counsels of God are of great importance for understanding. It is all the work of God that brings glory to His name eternally (Eph. 1:9-10). This work centers in Christ – there is a bringing together of all things in the heavens under His dominion; the heavenly glory of Christ. The Son of Man glorified has already entered into the heavens. Now the Spirit has been sent to the earth to gather His body. He will not take up His power and reign until His body is joined to Him in His heavenly glory. He will take us, all believers in Christ, into the heavens. That is the establishing of the heavenly glory of Christ, to the eternal glory of God.
All things on earth are brought together under the dominion of Christ as well, as the Son of Man and a millennial kingdom over all the nations on the earth (Dan. 7:13-14, 2:34-35, Matt. 25:31). A subset of this is the earthly kingdom of Messiah over a restored Israel. It will be the focus of the government of God on the earth (Deut. 32:8-9), and the center point of the earthly calling of the remnant. The Gentile nations that remain on the earth will be gathered to and blessed by the earthly calling in Israel. The glory of the Son of Man will fill the earth. This is the establishing of the earthly glory of Christ, to the eternal glory of God.
The two titles – Messiah and the Son of Man – are critical to distinguish in God’s counsels. All the work of God is contained and associated with them. The Son of God takes up these two titles, but the Messiah title is set aside for a time. The Son of God as the Son of Man is a glorified Man forever. The scope and reach of the title of the Son of Man in God’s counsels goes far beyond that of Messiah. It reaches into all the heavens and all the earth, all of creation. Finally, it is the Son of God sent, who takes up these titles in the counsels of God, but also the Son, who alone can reveal the Father.[If you want to study more of what Jesus reveals of the Father, read the gospel of John, paying attention to the name Father, and what the Son sent by Him has to say. Then study the first two chapters of Ephesians, and insert the Father’s name every place in every sentence where it refers to Him. These will be eye-opening experiences for the believer.]