Scripture Notes.


Leviticus 2:12, 14-16.

<53292E>p399 * * * The firstfruits were to be offered but not burnt, because* leaven was in them; and they could not be in themselves a sweet savour: hence a sin-offering was offered with them. (Lev. 23:17-19) They represent the church, being (as may be seen in Lev. 23) the offering of the day of Pentecost: not the church in the unity of the body, but as formed among Jews on earth on that day.

The first of the firstfruits, the corn out of full ears, is Christ risen, offered on the morrow of the sabbath after the Passover; it represents Christ Himself, and hence (Lev. 23:12-13) there was no sin-offering. If we look at it in Lev. 2:14, it is still Christ. Oil and frankincense are put on it. It is an offering made by fire without leaven. It is Christ looked at as man, tried by divine trial of judgment, but perfect to be offered to God.

The expressions are somewhat remarkable - geres carmel, "corn mature out of full ears;" it may be, "produce of the fruitful field," the latter being the known sense of carmel; the meaning of geres was certain. But the general meaning of the offering is pretty plain: Christ in His manhood, sinless and full proved, presented to God with oil and frankincense of acceptable odour, the firstfruits - fruits of man to God. J. N. Darby.


John 10:18.

The importance of this scripture may be gathered from its exceptional character. In John 5:19 we read, "The Son can do nothing of [from] Himself." In John 14:10, "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of [from] Myself." (See also John 8:23; John 12:49.) But now, when speaking of laying down His life, He says, "No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of [from] Myself." While, however, thus asserting that He has power to lay it down, and power to take it again, He adds, "This commandment have I received of My Father," teaching us that, though He possessed the power, being what He was, He would only exercise it, according to the place of subjection which He had voluntarily taken, in obedience to His Father. An assemblage of Glories is found therefore in this short passage. There is, first, the glory of His person, which shines forth so brightly through the veil of His humiliation; there is the glory of His blessed and perfect obedience, which offered up upon the altar of sacrifice (for death is here in question) ascends to God as a sweet savour, and which furnished the Father's heart with a new motive for the expression of His love to His beloved Son; and there is the glory of the perfect communion between the Father and the Son in object and affection. It is characteristic of this gospel that, while the true Deity of the Son is ever exhibited  - could not indeed be concealed - He is always seen in the blessed place of servantship, finding it His meat to do His Father's will and to finish His work. It is the combination of His essential Deity with His lowly path of obedience, a combination which constitutes the mystery of redemption, and furnishes at the same time a theme for adoration and praise. E. D.


Ephesians 4:13.

The perfect man means simply the state - a full-grown man; but the measure of the stature of a full-grown man in Christ is Christ Himself, all the fulness that is in Him wrought into the soul so that it should be formed by it, and life to and filled with Christ in all its thoughts; its subjective state measured and formed by the objective fulness of Christ, so that there should be no discrepancy and no separation from Him; the saint grown up to him in everything. How wondrous such a thought is I need not say; but this is what is before us. A perfect man as to the expression is simply a full-grown man. So Heb. 5:14. and Heb. 6:1.


1 Thessalonians 4:16.

The expression, "the dead in Christ," can only be applied to Christians. It is abundantly shown in other scriptures that the saints of previous dispensations will participate in the first resurrection (see, for example, 1 Cor. 15:23; Matt. 8:11); but, in writing to the saints at Thessalonica, the apostle has only Christians in view. This will account for the form of the expression, "dead in Christ," a term, we apprehend, impossible to use of any believers who had died, except those who lived after the death and resurrection of Christ. In Hebrews 12:23 departed Old Testament saints are described as "the spirits of just men made perfect." It is important to understand and to insist upon the distinction, connected as it is both with the truth, and with the ways of God in the revelations of His grace. E. D.