TEEN TREE          OF LIFE

THE DOCTRINE OF KENOSIS

August 6, 2017

Part 1

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

 

The word kenosis comes from the Greek word “kenoo” which means to empty oneself or to deprive oneself of a proper function. We read about Jesus Christ emptying himself in PHI 2:7: …but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. We will now look at what kenosis means.

 

Now, the time period when Our Lord lived on earth is called the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union. During this time, Jesus Christ voluntarily restricted the independent use of His Divine Attributes. Making use of His Divine Attributes is a proper function of His but He restricted using them to comply with The Father’s Plan. So Jesus Christ never used the Attributes of His Divine Nature to benefit Himself, to provide for Himself, to glorify Himself, or to act independently of the Plan of God. One compromise and there would not be any spiritual life available in the Church-Age, which is the dispensation in which we live.

 

The objectives of the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union were related to the human nature of Jesus Christ. His objective was to resist temptation. Because of this, His Human Nature was not allowed to call on His Divine Nature for help. He was required to use the four mechanics of the spiritual life to maintain His Human Perfection and to be qualified to go to The Cross and be judged for the sins of the world. The four Spiritual mechanic are: The Filling of The Holy Spirit; metabolized Bible doctrine circulating in the soul; the Ten Problem-Solving Devices (tools); and the execution of the Pre-Designed Plan of God.

 

During the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, Our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily restricted the independent use of His Divine Attributes. This was in compatibility with His Own Objectives and Purpose in living among men with their limitations. By so doing, He established, in His humanity, a Spiritual Life which is the example for the Church-Age. In other words, we are to try to live as He Lived.

 

Jesus Christ voluntarily restricted the independent use of His Divine Attributes, but certain functions of His Deity continued to function, such as holding the universe together. He gave up the use His Divine Attributes only during the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.

 

During the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, Our Lord veiled His Deity by giving up the outward appearance of God and voluntarily taking on the form of man. This means that The Glory of Christ was veiled, but never surrendered. In fact, this Glory was temporarily revealed: Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (MAT 17:1-5) There was a flash of this glory also in JOH 18:6: So when He said to them, I am He, they drew back and fell to the ground.

 

The Humanity of Christ in the Hypostatic Union was Perfect and Impeccable. The Deity of Christ was united with unglorified humanity. During the Hypostatic Union, Jesus Christ did not surrender the Attributes of His Deity. He just stopped using them unless commanded by The Father.

 

The Glorification of His humanity was not completed until He was Resurrected, Ascended and was Seated at The Right Hand of The Father. The Essence of Our Lord’s Deity is composed of the sum total of His Divine Attributes, so that a change of attribute would involve a change of essence and this is impossible because Our Lord is Immutable (Unchangeable). Therefore, during the Hypostatic Union, no Attribute of Our Lord’s Divine Nature was changed. There was no suppression of Divine Essence. In the Hypostatic Union, the Divine and Human Natures were united without transfer or co-mingling of attributes. Christ’s Divine Nature was not changed by The Incarnation or by being voluntarily restricted. No Divine Attributes were transferred to His Humanity and no attributes of humanity were transferred to His Deity.

 

The Doctrine of Kenosis recognizes that during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, Our Lord voluntarily restricted the independent use of His Divine Attributes for the execution of God the Father’s Plan, Will, and Purpose for the Incarnation. God Designed the Plan and Jesus Christ Carried It Out with the stipulation that He only use His Divine Attributes when God gave Permission. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also did this to comply with the Father’s Plan for the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict. The Plan for the Incarnation not only called for the judgment of our sins and the provision of eternal salvation for all members of the human race, but also for the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict.

As we have studied, the Angelic Conflict is the result of some of the angels in Heaven being in opposition to God, which began with the fall of Satan and continued until all angelic creatures had made a decision for or against God.

 

Under the true Doctrine of Kenosis, Our Lord became True Humanity in order to fulfill The Father’s Plan for the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union. The Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily became true humanity in order to redeem mankind from sin. He did this in order to propitiate God the Father and to reconcile mankind to God. Propitiation means satisfaction; God the Father is satisfied with the Sacrificial Ministry of Our Lord on The Cross.

 

Now we are going to look at the manifestation of Kenosis in Our Lord’s Evidence Testing. The true Doctrine of Kenosis is illustrated by the Humanity of Christ in facing evidence testing. Evidence testing is Satan’s cross-examination of every witness presented by God in the Angelic Conflict. Only mature believers have the capacity to be presented as witnesses. In human history, man’s thoughts, motives, decisions, and actions are entered as evidence, exhibits, precedents and arguments in Satan’s appeal trial. We are in that trial right now! Every believer who attains spiritual maturity is an argument or witness for the Prosecution against Satan. Our Lord was tested three times.

 

One of our Lord’s Tests is found in MAT 4:1-10: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’

 

In all three instances of evidence testing, Jesus Christ utilized the Power of the Word provided by the Omnipotence of The Father and The Power of The Spirit provided in the Pre-Designed Plan of God for His Life. The first test, as we saw in MAT 4:1-10, illustrates this principle. In the first test Jesus had gone forty days without food and was extremely hungry. The Humanity of Christ was tempted in relationship to the Delegated Power of Omnipotence of The Holy Spirit. Our Lord used doctrine learned in the Pre-Designed Plan of God to solve the problem. He did not use His Omnipotence to turn the stones into bread.

{to be continued}

 

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