Jesus Christ Come in the Flesh

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The ark and the, camp were, in some sense, necessary to each other during the journey through the wilderness. The ark, seated in the tabernacle on which the cloud rested, had to guide the camp; and the camp, in its order, had to accompany and guard the ark and all connected with it.
This was the business of the camp. There was to be subjection to the will of Him who dwelt in the cloud; dependence on Him who led them daily; conscious liberty because of having left Egypt behind them, and hope because of having Canaan before them. Such a mind as this was to be in the camp; but its business was to conduct the mystic house of God onward to its rest, "the possession of the Gentiles." (Acts 7:4545Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; (Acts 7:45))
Their journeying through that desert would not have constituted divine pilgrimage. Many a one had traveled that road without being a stranger and pilgrim with God. In order to be such, the ark must be in their company.
The mind of the camp, of which I have spoken, might betray its weakness, or forget itself, and this might lead, as we know it did, to chastening again and again. But if its business, of which 1, have also spoken, were given up, there would be loss of everything. And this did come to pass. The tabernacle of Moloch was taken up, instead of the ark of Jehovah, and the camp, therefore, had its road diverted to Damascus or Babylon, far away from the promised Canaan. (Amos 5:2525Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? (Amos 5:25), Acts 7:4343Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon. (Acts 7:43))
And thus it is with ourselves. We are to maintain those truths or mysteries which the tabernacle and its furniture represented: and the apostle commits our entrance into Canaan to that. "If ye continue in the faith; " and again, "if ye keep in memory what I have written unto you." Our safety, our rest in the heavenly Canaan, depends on our keeping the truth.
This, however, is to be added-that not merely for our own safety's sake, but for Christ's honor, is the truth to be kept.
This is to be much considered. Supposing for a moment, that our own safety were not concerned in it, Christ's honor is, and that is enough. Such a thing is contemplated in 2 John 1010If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (2 John 10): the elect lady was inside the house -she was in personal safety, but she has a duty to perform to "the doctrine of Christ;" so that if one come to her door, and bring not that doctrine, she must keep him outside, and refuse to have him where she is.
Title to entrance is confession to that doctrine, a confession of "Jesus Christ come in the flesh," a confession that involves or secures the glory of His person. A full confession to His work only will not do. The one outside may profess a sound faith as to the atonement, sovereignty of grace, and like truths; but all this is not a warrant for letting him in. There must be confession as to His person also. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed ('and give him no greeting.' R. V.):. for he that biddeth him God speed ('that giveth him greeting.' R. V.) is partaker of his evil deeds." 2 John 99Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9), 10, 11.
Surely this is clear and decided. I believe this is much to he considered. The truth touching Christ's person is to be maintained by us, even though our soul's safety were not involved in it. I grant that our salvation is involved. But that is not all. He who owns not that truth is to be kept outside. It imparts tenderness as well as strength to see that the name of JESUS (The One of whom the ark was a type) is thus entrusted to the guardianship of the saints. This is what we owe Him if not ourselves. The wall of partition is to be raised by the saints between them and Christ's dishonor.
Mere journeying from Egypt to Canaan will not do. Let the journey be attended with all the trial of such an arid, unsheltered, and trackless road, still it is not divine pilgrimage. A mere toilsome, self-denying life, even though endured with that moral courage which becomes pilgrims, will, not do. There must be the carriage of the ark of God, confession to the truth, and maintenance of the name of JESUS.
Now, in John's Epistles, the name "Jesus Christ" expresses or intimates, I believe, the deity of the Son. The Holy Ghost or the Unction, so filled the mind of that apostle with the truth, that "the Word" which had been "made flesh" was God, that though he speaks, of Him by a name which formally expresses the Son in manhood or in office, with John that is no matter. The name is nothing-at least, nothing that can interfere with the full power of prevailing assurance, that He is "that which was from the beginning," the Son in the glory of the Godhead. This is seen and felt at the very opening of the First Epistle, and so, I believe, throughout. (See chap. 1:3,7; 2:1; 3:23; 4:2; 5:20; 2 John 3-73Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 4I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 7For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 3‑7).)
In the thoughts of this Epistle, "Jesus Christ " is always this divine One, so to speak, the eternal Life manifested. With John, "Jesus Christ" is "the true God." Jesus is the “He" and the "Him" in the argument of his First Epistle; and this " He" and " Him" ever keeps before us One who is God, though in assumed relations and covenant dealings.
The confession, therefore, which is demanded by them is this-that it was God who was manifested, or who came in the flesh. (See 1 John 4:22Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (1 John 4:2); 2 John 77For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 7).) For in these epistles, as we have now seen, "Jesus Christ” is God. His name as God is Jesus Christ: And it is assumed or concluded that "the true God" is not known, if He who was in the flesh, Jesus Christ, be not understood as such; and all this simply because He is God. Any other received as such is an idol. (1 John 5:20,2120And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:20‑21).) The soul that abides not in this doctrine "has not God," but he who abides in it "has both the Father and the Son." (2 John 99Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9))
This, I judge, is the mind and import of the required confession that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." I here speak of God under the name of Jesus Christ, and it is, therefore, the demand of a confession to the great mystery of "God manifested in the flesh."
The very adjunct (as another has written to me), "come in the flesh," throws strongly forward the deity of Christ; because if He were a man, or anything short of what He is, it would be no such wonder that he should come in the flesh. And verses 2 and 3 of chapter 1., guide us to John's thoughts in the use of the name "Jesus Christ." That which was from the beginning, the eternal Life which was with the Father, was the Person he declared to them. The words "with the Father" are important, making it evident that the Son was the eternal One, the name of this eternal Son being Jesus Christ. And it is interesting to compare the close with the commencement of this Epistle-"This is the true God and the eternal life."
I desire to bless the Lord for giving my soul fresh assurance, on such simple ground of Scripture, that this duty lies on us of maintaining the honor of the name of JESUS.
In the course of our Lord's journey on earth, we see Him in the following ways:
1. As the born One—holy, meeting God's mind in the nature or human material.
2. As the circumcised One—perfect under the law, meeting God's mind in it.
3. As the baptized One—meeting God's mind in dispensational order and righteousness.
4. As the anointed One—meeting God's mind as His image or representative.
5. As the obedient One—doing always those things that pleased the Father.
7. As the risen One—sealed with God's approval in victory for sinners.
Thus does He meet all the mind of God while providing for us. All was magnified in Him and by Him, all made honorable. God's proposed delight in man, or glory by him, has been richly answered in the blessed JESUS. While in His person He was "God manifest in the flesh," in the succession of His stages through the earth He was accomplishing all the divine purpose, delight and glory, in man. Nothing unworthy of God was in the man Christ Jesus, His person, experiences or ways.
A perfectly humble man would be one who was always thinking of the Lord Jesus, and never of himself