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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Why Jesus Can Identify With Us

Derek Prince - Why Jesus Can Identify With Us

Derek Prince - Why Jesus Can Identify With Us
TOPICS: Bible Study, Hebrews Bible Study

Turning back now to Hebrews 2:11. Hebrews 2:11: "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified [those who are being sanctified] are all from one". Interestingly enough, there’s no verb are there. I’ve just noticed that for the first time. Again, it’s a Hebrew form in Greek words. "For both the one who sanctifies [or makes holy] and those who are being sanctified [a continuous present tense] are all from one". Let’s pause there and look at three parties. I’ve put it there in my outline. "He who sanctifies" is Jesus. "Those who are being sanctified" is the other sons, the many sons. "The one from whom they all take their source" is God the Father.

So you have three parties. God the Father, from who it all originates. Jesus the Son of God, who sanctifies, the sanctifier. Remember, that’s one of His titles just like Savior or Healer or Baptizer, Sanctifier is a title. And the "many sons": those who are being sanctified. God’s end purpose is the "other sons". Because the Father calls us sons, Jesus calls us brothers. Jesus always leaves the initiative with the Father. Going back to the end of verse 11: for which reason He [Jesus] is not ashamed to call us brothers. Why is He not ashamed? Because the Father is not ashamed to call us "sons". It’s a very beautiful principle. Jesus never took the initiative out of the hands of the Father. He did not call us "brothers" until the Father called us "sons". And once the Father called us "sons," He had no alternative but to call us "brothers". That is true for you and me.

If God calls anybody His child, you have to call that person a brother or a sister. You don’t have any option. You may think God made a strange choice, but you cannot go against His choice. Being sanctified is part of the process of salvation. Hebrews 10:14: For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Notice the offering is once for all, it’s perfect, complete, never has to be repeated or added to. But the process of sanctification is ongoing. So by the one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. That should be all of us. We should all be in the process of being sanctified. I’ll read Hebrews 2:12 and 13 the same way that I have been reading the other passages and then we’ll make some comments on them.

You have to go back really to the end of verse 12, "for which reason He [Jesus] is not ashamed to call them [the believers] brothers, saying," and now we go into the quotations from the Old Testament. The first quotation is from Psalm 22:22. I’ll read it as it’s here in the Greek text, then we’ll go back to the Old Testament. I will declare Your name to My brothers, in the midst of the church I will sing praise to You. We’ll go no further for the moment. Now, back to Psalm 22:22, Psalm 22:22, I’m reading from the New American Standard. I will tell of Thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise Thee. Now we need to find out who the "I" is, who is speaking. Psalm 22 is one of the most widely accepted Messianic psalms.

In other words, it’s a prediction of the Messiah. And though it’s presented in the first person and the words were uttered by David, it’s fulfilled only in the Messiah, in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we look at the previous verses we’ll find a very vivid picture of the crucifixion of Jesus. Perhaps as vivid as any found anywhere in the Old Testament. And several of these verses are actually quoted in the New Testament in connection with the crucifixion. Beginning then in Psalm 22:1: My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Those words were actually uttered by Jesus on the cross. They’re quoted in Aramaic in one of the gospels, "Lama, lama sabachthani". You’ve probably seen those words. "Why, oh why, have You forsaken Me"?

Now we do not have time to read all these verses but verse 8, the people who are watching and wagging their heads say, and I prefer the marginal translation: "He committed himself to the LORD; let Him deliver him". And again, those words are actually put in the mouths of the Pharisees and the priests as they stood and watched the crucifixion. Verse 9: Yet Thou art He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust upon my mother’s breasts. This is one of various passages in which the Messiah prophetically speaks of His birth from a human mother but does not speak of a human father. There are a number of other passages like that.

And then a picture of the actual crucifixion beginning in Psalm 22:11: Be not far from me, for trouble is near;, for there is none to help. Many bulls have surrounded me; [verse 13:] they open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion. Verse 14: I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint. Many people believe that was literally fulfilled in the crucifixion. Verse 15: My strength is dried up like a potsherd,. [and at the end of the verse:] Thou dost lay me in the dust of death. Verse 16: For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet [quoted twice in the New Testament]. [And then verse 18:] they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots [again, quoted in the New Testament in relation to the crucifixion]. I give you all that to point out that the "I" who is speaking here is the one who was crucified and then resurrected, fulfilled in Jesus.

Now let’s go to verse 22 again and see what is implied. He says: I will tell of Thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise Thee. Go back now to Hebrews 2:12 and you have the New Testament rendering of that: "I will proclaim Thy name to My brothers, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise". That’s the New American Standard, but the word that’s translated congregation is the Greek word ekklesia, which is the normal Greek word for "the church". So I prefer there to take the translation "in the midst of the church I will sing praise to You". So we see that the brothers there are the believers who come to the Father through Jesus. The church is made up of those brothers and in the midst of those brothers Jesus does two things: He proclaims the name of the Father and He sings His praise to the Father. This is the total church, the church that spans heaven and earth.

We need to understand that Jesus is in the midst of the church. When we praise, He leads us in praises to the Father. But I think in a way even more significant is the statement: "I will proclaim Thy name", that’s the Father’s name "to My brothers". I want to look at just two or three passages in the New Testament in the gospel of John which amplify this statement which I think most of us are not really very clear about. That Jesus is going to proclaim the name of the Father to His brothers in the midst of the church. I want to suggest to you a thought which has come to me many times in the last two years but I have never fully worked out. The name of the Father is the ultimate revelation of the New Testament. That’s where we are headed. I suspect that it’s going to be very powerfully emphasized by the Holy Spirit in the years that lie ahead.

I think that’s the culmination of New Testament revelation, it’s the revelation of God the Father through His name, which is Father. Let’s look at three passages in John’s gospel. John 14:6–9. I will not go into the background, I’m sure they’re familiar to most of us. John 14:6–9: Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me". We often say Jesus is the way, but we frequently overlook the fact that a way is meaningless unless it leads somewhere. Where does this "way" lead? Jesus tells us. "No one comes to the Father, but by Me". So, "I am the way to the Father". "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you do know Him, and have seen Him". Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us". Philip said, "We don’t understand You, and we haven’t seen the Father. We don’t know Him". Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’"?

In other words, the final revelation that comes to us through Jesus is the revelation of the Father. If we have truly seen Jesus we have seen the Father. Elsewhere in the New Testament it tells us that "no one knows the Father but the Son, and no one knows the Son but the Father and he to whom the Father pleases to reveal Him". This is one reason why Jesus is the "last word": because only the Son can bring us the ultimate revelation which is the Father. You’ll recall that right at the beginning of this epistle Jesus was presented to us as the Son. In a certain sense, we have missed the supreme purpose of God in sending Jesus if it does not bring us to the revelation of the Father.

Now turn to John 17:6–9. John 17:6-9. Jesus is now praying to the Father and says: "I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. Now they have come to know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee". That’s what Jesus wanted them to know all along. "I’m not the source, I’m the channel. The Father is the source". for the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them; and they received them, and truly understand that I came forth from Thee, and they believed that Thou didst send Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. The whole emphasis and thrust there is towards the Father as the source and the ultimate. It all came from the Father; it’s all designed to bring us back to the Father. But in verse 6 Jesus says, "I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me".

Now, it’s possible, I suppose, not to see that the way I do. I feel tempted to say like Bob Mumford, "How can I help it if I’m right"! But personally, I have no doubt that the name Jesus manifested is the sacred name "Father". That is the ultimate revelation. Perhaps you could keep your finger in John 17 because we haven’t finished there and also your finger in Hebrews 2 and turn to Ephesians 3. Now you’ve got plenty of fingers, wait until I really exercise them! I’m reading from the New American Standard. Ephesians 3:14–15. Paul says: Ephesians 3:14-15. For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. You need to know that the Greek word for "father" is pater, the Greek word translated "family" there is patria, formed directly from pater.

This translation says, "I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name". In the margin it says "the whole family in heaven and on earth". Another version which is closer to the original says "every fatherhood in heaven and on earth derives its name". Ultimately, a family is a fatherhood because the father is the initiator and the life source of a family. No ERA movement or women’s lib can change that biological fact. The ultimate source of the life of the family is the father. And in New Testament terminology a family is named after a father. But the ultimate Father from whom every family and every fatherhood derives its name is God the Father. You see, there’s an emphasis all the way through of the name "Father". If you were to turn to the New International Version in John 17 you would find, probably to your frustration, that in various places it leaves out the word "name". It just says instead of "Your name," "You".

Now you might feel indignant about that, I think you have some right to feel indignant. But I want to point out there’s a reason behind it. In Hebrew, as you probably know, the Jewish people for many, many centuries have never pronounced the sacred name which we mistakenly call Jehovah, which was probably something like Yahweh. Normally speaking, a religious Jew will never pronounce that word; it’s too sacred to be pronounced. So, they have two common substitutes. The one is Adonai, which we would translate in English "the Lord," although it’s interesting because it’s plural in form. We won’t go into that. The other is Hashem which is in Hebrew, "the name". That’s probably the most common way that religious Jewish people refer to God, as "the name".

For instance, when the Israeli General Counsul was here some time back, I quoted to him from Psalm 128 "The LORD bless thee out of Zion". But it doesn’t say "the LORD" in the way Hebrew says, Yevarejeja Hashem Mi' Tzion? "May the name bless you out of Zion". In other words, in Hebrew thinking, the name is, in a sense, the Lord. So the revelation of the name is the revelation of the Lord. In other words, there’s much more in a name than we appreciate from a non-Hebrew background. So in talking about "revealing the name" Jesus isn’t just talking about etymology, he’s talking about the innermost nature and identity of God. Now, going on to the end of John 17, verses 25 and 26: John 17: 25-26. "O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me". Notice always His final purpose is that they may recognize the Father as the source. "and I have made Thy name known to them".

Now the next statement is breathtaking if you can see it, "and will make it known". In other words, the revelation is not yet complete. There is more for them to know about the name of the Father. And it’s done for a purpose, "that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them". In other words, until we fully enter into the revelation of the Father, there’s a dimension of love we cannot experience because the Father’s love is the ultimate love behind and above all other love. And in entering into the revelation of His name, we open up to the full experience of His love. This is the purpose of the Lord Jesus for His church. Now, go back to Hebrews 2:12 and consider what’s implied. Bear in mind that the writer of Hebrews is here pointing out that this picture of a father/family relationship is contained in the Old Testament but brought out into the open in the New. We read again the quotation: "I will proclaim Thy name to My brothers; in the midst of the church I will sing praise to Thee".

I wonder if you see it as I see it. It means, in other words, that there is still the full revelation of the name of the Father to be given to the church. At the end of His prayer in John 17 Jesus said, "I have made Thy name known, and I will make it known". I have come to believe this is the ultimate revelation without which we cannot be complete, the church cannot be complete, God’s purposes for this age cannot be complete. Now we’re back in Hebrews 2, we’ve looked at verse 12. We’ll look at verse 13, And again, another quotation from the Old Testament. "I will be having trusted in Him". That’s not good English, but that’s what it says: "I will be in a state of having put My trust in Him". It’s perfect tense. What does that mean? It means I’ve put My trust in Him, there’s no vacillating, there’s no changing my mind, there’s no doubt.

I have finally, once and for all, forever put my trust in Him. There’s a somewhat similar use in Matthew 18:18 where Jesus says, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be having been bound in heaven". Again, it’s future plus the perfect participle, if you want the grammatical term. In other words, when we, meeting the conditions, bind the thing on earth, from that moment it has been bound in heaven. It’s very, very emphatic. It’s utterly settled. Here, it’s an utterly settled decision: "I will be having put My trust in Him". From now on, there is never going to be a situation or a circumstance in which I will not trust the Lord. A good decision to make.

Notice it was made first by Jesus. And we’re still in Hebrews 2:13: And again, "Behold, I, and the children whom God has given Me". We have to go back to the source, which is in Isaiah 8. While you’re turning to Isaiah, let me offer a suggestion to those of you who are really industrious and serious minded, which is that if you feel so disposed, read through the entire epistle and count all the quotations from the Old Testament in it. It takes quite a lot of work and sometimes the quotations are just one or two or three words. I would suspect there must be well over fifty. It would be interesting. If I have time, I’ll do it myself but I’m not sure I’m going to have the time just now. But for those of you that would like to exercise your mind and, in a way, get into the thing a bit deeper, there’s a good way to do it.

Now we are in Isaiah 8, we’ll start at verse 16. Bind up the testimony, seal the law [or the teaching] among my disciples. And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him. Where that translation says, "I will even look eagerly for Him," the writer of Hebrews says, "I will put My trust in Him". First of all, we need to notice in the Hebrew in Isaiah 8:17, it’s past tense. "I have hoped in Him". That’s the primary meaning of that word, "I have hoped in Him". But if you hope in someone, you’ve put your trust in Him. It’s past tense because as it’s brought out in the Greek translation, it’s a settled decision. So it’s very interesting, I’m afraid this is a little difficult to communicate but the Greek says, "I will be having put my trust in Him". Okay? If you want to look at the New International Version of Isaiah 8:17, you’ll find it uses the word trust. Isaiah 8:17: I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will put my trust in Him.

So that’s just an indication that there are various different possible ways of translating the one word and the one phrase. However, the writer of Hebrews singles out the meaning trust. Then we’re going on in Isaiah 8: Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. So the writer of Hebrews quotes both a part of verse 17 from Isaiah 8 and a part of verse 18. Are you with me? I don’t know whether it’s possible to follow this, because it’s involved and I don’t know any way to make it simple. There is no guarantee that everything in the Bible is simple. Did you know that? Alright.

Now, continuing to comment on Isaiah 8:17–18, I say this: It depicts Jesus with the other children whom the Father has given Him as brothers. See that? "I and the children whom Thou hast given Me". So when Jesus prayed in John 17, "The ones You have given Me," probably His mind was in Isaiah 8:18, you see? God the Father gave Him the Father’s children to be His brothers. Okay? So He speaks about "I and the children whom Thou hast given Me," and then He says, "They are for signs and wonders in Israel". Now if you look at the whole passage in Isaiah 8, beginning at verse 11- which we need to just read quickly.

The LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people [that’s Israel], saying, "You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, and you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary; but to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many will stumble over them, then they will fall and be broken; they well even be snared and caught". [Then it goes on:] Bind up the testimony, seal the [teaching] among my disciples.

Now turning back to my outline, I think I’ve said it as clearly as I can there: "The background in Isaiah 8:11–18 shows three successive phases. First of all, Israel as a whole are alienated from the Lord". Isaiah says, "Don’t think the way they think," "Don’t call a conspiracy what they call a conspiracy," "Don’t fear what they fear". In other words, Israel as a whole at this point prophetically are depicted as alienated from the Lord. Then it says, "The Lord will be a sanctuary for those who trust and obey Him but a stumbling block to the disobedient". So it depends on our attitude to the Lord whether we find Him a sanctuary or a stumbling block.

Now, in connection with that, it would be good if you could keep your finger in Isaiah 8, Hebrews 2, and turn to 1 Peter 2 1 Peter 2:6-8 For this is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone", and that’s quoted in Isaiah 28. You don't need to turn there. "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed". [Verse 7:] This precious value, then, is for you who believe, but for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone," [verse 8:] and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. So again, Peter sets forth either the Lord Jesus as precious stone or He’s a stumbling block. And he says, in effect, to the majority of Israelites at this time, He is a stumbling block, they stumble over Him.

Now turn back to Isaiah 8 for a moment, Isaiah 8: 14. "Then He shall become a sanctuary [to those who believe, to the disciples];, but to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem". That’s a very solemn prophetic statement because in 70 AD that was fulfilled. All the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem were snared and trapped. Jerusalem was captured, the Jewish people were killed. Now going back to my outline on Page 2/3, the third aspect of this situation predicted by Isaiah. The Lord’s teaching is revealed only to a small group of disciples who become His children and "signs to Israel".

If you will meditate on that you’ll see how much of that we have seen fulfilled and are seeing fulfilled as contained in those statements. I’ve gone into that rather carefully one reason being that it shows you how you should approach Old Testament prophecy. It’s often very condensed and contains three or four different aspects of the truth. It is something of a test of being able to analyze to draw the truth out. Now we go back to Hebrews 2. Hebrews 2:14-15. You can let your fingers go from everything else! Since therefore the children partake of blood and flesh. All English translations always say flesh and blood, because it’s contrary to English usage to put it the other way around. But the Greek always puts it the other way around, it’s blood and flesh. I think logically blood comes first because that’s the distinctive mark of our body. They contain blood. This is just an opinion, which is shared by many Bible teachers: the resurrection body will contain glorified flesh but no blood. That I believe. It could be wrong, but that’s the distinctive mark of humanity in its present condition, it’s blood and flesh.

Alright. Since therefore the children have partaken of blood and flesh, He also likewise partook of the same. That is, blood and flesh. He took on human nature in other words, a human physical body. In order that through death He might render powerless the one who had [or has] the power of death, that is, the devil; Verse 15: and deliver [or set free] those who by fear of death all through their life were subject to slavery. Okay? Now let’s look at my outline. Speaking on verses 14 and 15. These verses affirm the complete identification of Jesus with humanity. And they also bring out the double outworking of His death. First of all, to strip the devil of his power. Secondly, to deliver humanity from the slavery of the fear of death.

As a confirmatory Scripture for the first, to strip the devil of his power, I would offer you one of my favorite Scriptures, 1 John 3:8. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil. The second purpose, to deliver humanity from the slavery of the fear of death. We need to face this fact and be honest about it in our own lives. As long as we are afraid to die, we are potential slaves. Is that right? Anyone who can threaten us with death can get us to do what he wants us to do. It’s a very solemn thought. The passage I’ve quoted there is Revelation 12:11 and we don’t need to turn there, I’m sure it’s familiar to many of you. They overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.

In other words, staying alive was not priority number one. Priority number one was doing the will of God. Whether that meant living or dying was a secondary issue. Only people with that measure of commitment can overcome the devil. The tools are there in the blood and the testimony. But the quality of person is determined by attitude to living or dying. That’s the ultimate decision. Going back now to Hebrews 2:16: For indeed He does not help angels, but He helps the seed of Abraham. It’s possible to translate that "He does not take the nature of angels". That’s the way it’s translated in the King James and it is a possible translation. But let’s take the phrase "He does not help angels but He helps the seed of Abraham".

In that interpretation this is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 41. Let’s turn there for a moment. This is what you’d call a concealed reference to the Old Testament. Isaiah 41:8–10. The Lord is speaking through the prophet to Israel. Isaiah 41:8-10. "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham My friend", the Hebrew says 'seed' of Abraham my friend, "You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts, and said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you.’"

See, that’s the promise to the seed of Abraham which was fulfilled through Jesus taking on human nature. Going back to Hebrews 2, I want to finish this chapter in this session. Verses 17–18: Wherefore, He was obligated to become like His brothers in all things, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, so as to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He has suffered Himself having been tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. Let me turn, in order to save being too long-winded, to my outline and go from there. That’s on Page 2/3, the comments on chapter 2:17-18.

This is the first occurrence of high priest, one of the great key themes. And then the writer points out three consequences of the identification of Jesus with Abraham’s seed or descendants, three purposes for which it was necessary. First, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest. He had to come down to the level of the people whom He represented as high priest. Secondly, through it He was able to make atonement for their sins. In Hebrews 10 later on we’ll see, if we live long enough, He said, "Lo, I come to do Thy will; a body Thou hast prepared for Me".

And then it says, by the sacrifice of that body we have been sanctified. So it was necessary for Jesus to have a body of flesh and blood that He might offer that body as a sacrifice for the propitiation of the sins of the people. The third purpose was that He should be able to empathize with, and thus help, His brothers. He knows what it’s like to be a human being. We can never say to Him, "Lord, You don’t understand". He says, "I do understand, I’ve been right where you’ve been. I’ve been tempted just the way you are".

Let me just point out the closing statement there. This chapter, chapter 2, from verse 6 to the end, emphasizes the complete identification of Jesus with humanity. That’s the thrust of those verses. Now, in our next session, God willing, we will deal with the appendix to chapter 2 which is the Old Testament picture of the high priest. And I would strongly recommend that in the intervening week you read Exodus 28, preferably in two versions: the New American Standard and the New International Version. The reason why I recommend the second is it’s much easier reading, it comes out much more vividly. But that will be where we’ll start in the next session, with this Old Testament picture of the high priest. Until you have an understanding of the high priest from the Old Testament, you can’t understand what it means that Jesus has become our high priest.
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