Psalms 2 and 8

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
This bond of union and formation of a body was unknown in Old Testament days. Suppose we were to meet Abraham in his day, or a saint in any period up to the day of Pentecost, and were to ask such an one, "Are you united by the Holy Ghost to a Man at God's right hand?" he would not understand what we meant. If we asked the same man, "Are you saved?" he would at once tell us he was; and bless God for it. But there was no glorified Man in heaven for believers to be united to; (Jesus, as the Eternal Son), was there Himself, God, and with God, from all eternity. And "The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." (See John 7:3939(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:39).) Salvation was the same in all ages-all were saved, from Abel downwards, by faith in the coming sacrifice of Christ? but the Head was not yet in heaven, nor was the Holy Ghost yet given to unite the members to the Head. All things good that ever were done in the world were done by the power of the Spirit of God. He moved upon the face of the waters in creation, quickened souls, spake by the prophets, instructed the saints, &c.; but He did not then unite believers into a body. Hence the "Body of Christ" was the mystery unknown in Old Testament days: " In other ages it was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostle and prophets by the Spirit." The mystery of Christ and the Church which was given to us through the apostle Paul. Union with Christ now is by the Holy Ghost, who dwells in the believer's body: "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you." Again, He that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit." (1 Cor. 6:17-1917But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:17‑19).) There is no union with Christ in Scripture but this. And again, "For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body." (1 Cor. 12:1313For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)-read from verse 12 to 26).
The formation of this Body began at Pentecost, at the descent of the Holy Ghost. When, therefore, will the formation of the Body end? If we are raised up together with Christ, and seated in the heavenlies in Him, by faith; for what do we wait? Simply that He may come and take us there in fact. Hence the second coming of Christ ends the dispensation of the calling out and gathering together of the Body of Christ. As soon as it is completed, Christ takes the Church to Himself. Raising the dead saints, changing the living, and taking all up to be forever with Himself. "The dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thess. 4:16, 1716For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16‑17).)
The third place where we find the 8th Psalm quoted in the New Testament is important to our present subject: it is in 1 Cor. 15:2727For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (1 Corinthians 15:27). A Scripture which speaks of Christ as the Second Man-the Last Adam-raised up from among the dead, first-fruits thus of them that sleep: by man came death-by man came resurrection; Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ's (and they only) at His coming. The chapter treats of the resurrection of the redeemed. The language is plain: sown in corruption, raised in incorruption-sown in dishonor-raised in glory-sown in weakness, raised in power-sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body: these terms only applying to those of the first resurrection. The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living shall be changed.
Let us sum up the places where the 8th Psalm is quoted:-
Heb. 2-The Son of Man exalted; waiting for the headship of all things in the millennial age to come.
Eph. 1:2222And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (Ephesians 1:22).-While He thus waits, He is given as Head over all things to the Church, which is His body; and which is being formed out of Jew and Gentile, and united to Him.
1 Cor. 15:2727For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (1 Corinthians 15:27).-This headship taken at the first resurrection, when the joint-heirs, who have put off their bodies by death are raised; and those who have not slept ("we who are alive and remain") are changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; and all are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, according to 1 Thess. 4, and many other Scriptures.
" Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written" (1 Cor. 15:5454So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:54); Isa. 25:88He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 25:8)), "Death is swallowed up in victory." If we examine chapters 24, 28, of this prophet, we find that when this takes place, it will be at a corresponding time, with the universal judgment and subversion of all powers; the judgment of the Quick, which takes place preparatory to the setting up of God's Kingdom in Zion. Restoring the Jews-taking the vail of idolatry from the face of all nations-gathering the dispersed outcasts of Israel-and setting up the long-looked-for glorious Kingdom in the world-heretofore, as we have seen, proposed in grace-now brought in by judgment-the millennial age. While the saints who have been taken up, have their places in the heavenly glory; when the dispensation of the fullness of times will have come, and all things in Heaven and Earth will be gathered together, in and under Christ, in whom we have obtained an inheritance." (See Eph. 1:10, 1110That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:10‑11).)
The body of Christ, therefore, is the complement of saints, united to Christ glorified, by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven at Pentecost. Waiting till He comes, and then taken up to be forever with the Lord.
There was no such body found in Old Testament days; nor will there be in the days of the Millennial Kingdom. It is peculiar to the dispensation in which we live; and all believers are members of His body, and members one of another.