Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – December 23, 2018
Before the dawn of time, before space, before Lucifer, before holy angels, before the Spirit moved upon the face of the deep, before . . . the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7), before He . . . compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end (Job 26:10), before the first cloud passed across the sky, before the wind ever blew across the meadow, before the first sunrise or sunset, before the first day and the first night, before darkness, before light, before Adam and Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph and Moses, before the kings and prophets of Israel, before there were any nations of people placed in their bounds, before philosophy and science and logic and even earthly wisdom, there was God.
God sat alone in his spiritual environment, for he is a spirit (John 4:24); but, there stood with him on an equal plane and a design, both coeval an coequal, the Holy Spirit and our Savior, Jesus, the coming Messiah, who, from before the world ever began, had glory with God. John 17:5 says, And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. The only thing that glorified God in timeless eternity past was his Son, Jesus; and it is his Son, Jesus, through and to which his glory belongs and is given ultimately.
These three alone, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, inhabited eternity with no communion or fellowship with a physical world. Because of his perfection, it is difficult to believe that God could be lonely; but God created a physical world with plants, animals, and people to bring himself praise and honor, and glory, which he richly deserves. Even nature itself brings glory to God says Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. – Psalms 145:10 All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
Then in a moment determined in the mind of God he brought physical things into being. Moses wrote in his book of law, beginning at the beginning, God told him to write in Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Then John, the apostle, stated in different words the same mantra in John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. From his glory in heaven Jesus spoke all things into existence. Genesis said that “In the beginning God created.” John says, “In the beginning . . . all things were made by him.” Without him nothing was made that was made. Jesus was in his glory before the foundation of the world. Then Jesus came “Down From His Glory” to reveal God to the world, to let men know something about their origin, their dependence on a holy God, and their purpose in living.
I. DOWN FROM HIS GLORY PROLEPTICALY
Proleptic means to speak of something in the future as if it were in the present. Jesus came proleptically in shadows and types under the Mosaic Law. The law proclaimed Jesus in a figure through the ceremonial law: the sacrifices given by Moses, the offerings given, the tabernacle in the wilderness, the lamb, the bullock, the Shekinah Glory on the mercy seat, and on and on.
This proleptic coming of Jesus into the physical world was seeing through a glass darkly. People could not see Jesus with their naked eye. They could not touch or handle him. They could not experience his voice as he taught people through his parables and sermons. Under Moses he could be seen only through types and shadows – Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. So Jesus’ coming down in shadows and types could not take away our sins nor make the comers perfect.
Jesus came down from his glory in heaven, showing the people of Israel who God is and witnessed of the coming of a Messiah, portrayed through many of the things that these “comers” saw, touched, and tasted, of the word of God, but only typically and in a shadowy figure.
So Jesus came down from his glory proleptically.
II. DOWN FROM HIS GLORY PROHETICALLY
During this time when Jesus was coming down from his glory typically, prophets were sent to Israel to show forth, not only the chastisement of God for Israel’s sins, not only for God’s blessings to them if they obey his laws, but also to predict the coming of a Messiah, one who would be the anointed One, one who could take away their sins forever. Remember that John said in John 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Isaiah, the prophet, spoke of Jesus’ virgin birth – Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Jeremiah prophesies of the coming of the Branch of Righteousness: Jeremiah 33:14 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness. 17 For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.
Ezekiel saw a vision of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. (Ezekiel 1:28). This is none other than Jesus, which in the New Testament is explained in Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, . . .
Daniel’s prophecy tells of Nebuchadnezzar’s look into the fiery furnace, and what did he see but three men in the fire and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. (Daniel 3:25). Daniel also speaks of the 70 weeks and at the certain point at which the Most Holy will be anointed. This is none other than Jesus Christ.
We cannot leave the prophets unless we see that portion in Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. This can be none other than Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Yet, through a dark glass the hearers saw the Messiah come down from his glory. He had not yet been seen by the naked eye nor touched with humans hands, nor had anyone ever received his touch of healing or comfort or his teachings of the great doctrines of God.
These prophecies have all been proven to be true; and, in that day when Jesus came from heaven to be born of a virgin, the Bible says in John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. What a sad situation, to see the Messiah and not receive him!
III. DOWN FROM HIS GLORY PERSONALLY
The Bible tells us in Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Jesus came in the fulness of time, the exact time that God had determined before the foundation of the world for him to come to earth bodily.
Notice Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
God has shown himself in creation through the writing of Moses. He has shown himself through the Mosaic Law by sacrifices and offerings. He has shown himself to the world through the prophets of old, who prophesied of his coming to the earth as the one and only Messiah, the anointed One, the only mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5).
His body was prepared in the womb of a young virgin named Mary, who was engaged to a man named Joseph. The body was prepared by the Holy Spirit, who by a miracle of God caused Mary to be with child without an earthly father. When Joseph found that Mary was with child, he decided to put her away, because they were only espoused, or engaged, at the time; but an angel from God revealed to Joseph that Mary had not sinned but was blessed of God to carry this child and birth a boy whose name was to be called Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins. So then Mary and Joseph were married, as the angel instructed them (Matthew 1:20).
So the baby grew in Mary’s womb for nine months and was born on that determined day as the king of the Jews. As the babe lay in a manger, out there in the field shepherds were watching their sheep. They saw the glory of the Lord around them, and an angel came, and in Luke 2:10 we read: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Later others came to visit Jesus and brought him gifts, and he grew in favor with God and man, and God was pleased with his Son on earth.
This body that God had prepared for him had great limitations compared to the glory that he had with his Father before the foundation of the world. Jesus had to come Down From His Glory in order to be like unto men. Paul says in Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: In Romans Paul tells us of the purpose for Jesus’ coming to the earth in a prepared body: Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: He came to condemn sin in the flesh, and that is exactly what he did.
Jesus was not sent against his own will, because his will was also the will of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. There need be no compromise and no contradiction. They were all three in agreement as to what was required for redemption, and all three were willing to do their part in bringing redemption to its full end.
God did not send Jesus to earth out of disrespect for him, for we all know that he humbled himself, or emptied himself, of his eternal glory to come to the earth for our benefit. It was for God’s love for us that Jesus was willing to come. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus shows no reluctance to humiliate himself to become like unto sinful man. He was willing with his own divine will to be made sin for us, says 2 Corinthians 5:21 . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Only a divine mind can comprehend what Jesus suffered as he went into the Garden of Gethsemane to take our sins upon himself and to bear these sins upon the tree (the cross on which he so cruelly was hung and tortured to death). 1 Peter 2:24 says, Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. This is why God prepared him a body, so that in his own body he may take my sins and carry them upon the cross (the tree) so that I could have eternal life through the righteousness of Christ’s own life and death. What a wonderful Savior!
His body, being prepared by God, protected by God, and presented to God is on the tree prepared for death, for it is appointed unto men once to die . . . (Hebrews 9:27). May I remind you that Jesus died only once, for it was this one death that redeemed my soul and made me ready for Heaven by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah of God. After his death, Jesus was laid in a tomb that was borrowed from a rich man, borrowed because Jesus needed it only for a little while, clean, because Jesus’ body did not see corruption.
What does it mean to be risen from the dead? Mark 9:9-10 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. 10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean. This was the question coming from Jesus’ disciples. What does it mean to be risen from the dead? They would not know until that day when they were shocked to know this, as we read from Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Jesus had already told, as stated in Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. Jesus’ body is now back in heaven from where it came. His glory has been given back to him, which was taken away for the brief time that he was here on earth to accomplish God’s will for his prepared body. His glory has been restored, and he sits now on the right hand of the Father as King of kings and Lord of lords.
IV. DOWN FROM HIS GLORY PROSPECTIVELY
What a unique but questionable day when in Acts 1:11 we read, . . . Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Jesus’ salvation brings the prospect of a better time, a better place, and a better being.
The Bible says in Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. In Hebrews 9:28 we read, So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Jesus will come down from his glory to take us to be with him forever: John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. To be with Jesus is what makes Heaven Heaven. Jesus called the thief on the cross to his Paradise when he said in Luke 23:43 . . . Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
In prospect, then, we see Jesus’ returning to take each of us who believe to be with him also. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For 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: 17 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.
So, Jesus came Down From His Glory (1) Proleptically, (2) Prophetically, (3) Personally, and (4) Prospectively. But he did come Down From His Glory. He did it in a body to redeem his people from their sins, and by the grace of God through faith in this Messiah, Jesus, the anointed One, you can have eternal life. All you must do is turn from your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Notice his story in summary: Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Do you see him in the manger? Do you see him in the law? Do you see him through the prophets? Do you see him in prospect, that he will return one day to receive us by being caught up into heaven? Do you see him by grace, through faith? Are you born again? Are you saved? He humiliated himself to take my place on the cross and suffer for my sins. Then God highly exalted him, lifted him up to heaven and placed him on God’s right hand to show that he is the Lord of all.
He can be your Redeemer today. You can have eternal life today, if you will repent and believe on Jesus Christ as Savior. I pray God will work in your heart to bring you to repentance and faith. Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.