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Both Peter's ladder (2 Peter 1:4-8) and Jacob's ladder (Genesis 28:12-15) have been cited. by Inspiration, as symbols of how fully the connection between earth and heaven had to be in order to save man:
was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as
we are . . Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, the base resting on the
earth. . If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the
earth, we would have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He
took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might
overcome. Made 'in the likeness of sinful flesh,' He lived a sinless
life. " Australian Signs, December 14, 1903.
who connects earth with heaven, is the [Peter's] ladder. The base is
planted firmly on the earth in His humanity; the topmost round reaches
the throne of God in His divinity. The humanity of Christ embraces
fallen humanity." 6 Testimonies, 147.
a great variety of ways, God revealed through Inspired Writings that
Jesus Christ fully became like us in every way, except in indulging in
sin. Here are some additional examples:
took our nature that He might understand how to sympathize with our
frailty." Review. April 19, 1870.
clothed His divinity with humanity that He might have an experience in
all that pertains to human life." Signs, September 30, 1890.
as Jesus was in human flesh, so God means His followers to
be." Signs, April 1, 1897.
humiliated Himself to humanity, and took upon Himself our nature, that.
. He might become a stepping stone to fallen men." Review,
April 25, 1886.
Divine Son of God, who had. . come from heaven and assumed their fallen
nature . . to unite the fallen race with Himself." Signs,
September 23, 1889.
the likeness of sinful flesh, He condemned sin in the
flesh." Review, May 6, 1875.
became sin for the fallen race. "Review, May 6,1875. "Had
He not been fully human, Christ could not have been our substitute." Signs. June 17, 1897.
consented to become fallen man's substitute and
surety," Review, June 15, 1891.
took our nature upon Him. . and knowing all our experiences, He stands
as Mediator and Intercessor before the Father," Signs, November
[Jesus] is the 'Daysman' between a Holy God and our sinful
humanity,—One who can 'lay His hand upon us both,' "Signs,
His human arm Christ encircles the fallen race, and with His divine arm
He grasps the throne of the Infinite," Signs, April 18, 1892.
took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could
He rescue man from the lowest depths of degradation." Signs,
December 3. 1902.
was the only way in which fallen men could be exalted. . It was in the
order of God that Christ should take upon Himself the form and nature of
fallen man." Review. December 31,1872.
order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he
was," l Selected Messages, 268.
kenosis" means "the emptying:' The phrase comes from the Greek
of a word in Philippians, chapter 2. That chapter is a highpoint in
the Apostle Paul's writings.
ANALYSIS OF PHILIPPIANS 2
following analysis of the Greek, of Philippians 2:511. is reprinted
from one of the more than 200 studies in the present writer's book, The
Biblical Sanctuary, which is an in-depth Biblical defense of our
historic Sanctuary teaching:
about Philippians 2: The same Paul who presents us with the two Adams
also penned the second chapter of Philippians. We should have the
attitude of Jesus (Phil. 2:5). Consider Him: Jesus, who had the inner
substance (morphe) of God (2:6), had no need to grasp for divinity,
for He already had it (2:6). And yetthis same Jesus who was the
highest in the universe in nature and power—emptied (kenosis) Himself
and took the inner nature (morphe) of a slave [to sin] and was made in
the characteristics (homoio) of a human being (2:7). And being found
with the manner of life (schema) of a human, He humbled Himself [still
further] and became obedient unto death, even the death by a cross
spite of what theologians may say, Jesus Christ went from the highest to
the lowest for you and for me because there was no other way in
which man could be saved.
because of the 'descent' of Christ to the very bottom, yet without
sinning, the Father hath exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above
every other name (2:9). That at the name of Jesus every knee in heaven
and on earth and under the earth shall [one day soon] bow (2:10), and
every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Master—to the glory of
God the Father (2:11). Jesus who was fully God became fully like us, and
then died for us in order to save us by His death and by His life—and
that is the gospel." Biblical Sanctuary, part of Study 15:
"The Human Nature of Christ," on Hebrews 2:9 [italics in my
below is one of the most solemn and impressive passages in all the
Spirit of Prophecy. Read it slowly, thoughtfully. Read it out aloud.
meaningfully! Here you find the Kenosis! Christ emptied Himself, and
"went lower and lower in His humiliation, until there were no lower
depths that He could reach, in order to lift man out of his moral
Lord and Saviour went from the highest to the lowest, in order to bring
us up to the highest—to live with Him for eternity. "Be
astonished, 0 ye heavens, and be amazed ye inhabitants of the earth:'
passage is taken from the Review, September 4. 1900 (5 BC 11261128
on John 1:13. 14). It is actually an expanded presentation of
apostle would call our attention from ourselves to the Author of our
salvation. He presents before us His two natures, divine and human.
Here is the description of the divine: 'Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God.' He was 'the brightness
of His glory and the express image of His person.'
of the human: He 'was made in the likeness of men: and being found in
fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death.'
He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His
own consent, He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the
while as God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations
of Deity, which had commanded the homage, and called forth the
admiration, of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but He
divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and
fashion of a man.
walked the earth as a man. For our sakes He became poor, that we through
His poverty might be made rich. He laid aside His glory and His majesty.
He was God, but the glories of the form of God He for a while
relinquished. Though He walked among men in poverty, scattering His
blessings wherever He went, at His word legions of angels would surround
their Redeemer, and do Him homage. But He walked the earth unrecognized,
unconfessed, with but few exceptions, by His creatures. The atmosphere
was polluted with sin and curses, in place of the anthem of praise. His
lot was poverty and humiliation. As He passed to and fro upon His
mission of mercy to relieve the sick, to lift up the depressed, scarce a
solitary voice called Him blessed, and the very greatest of the nation
passed Him by with disdain.
this with the riches of glory, the wealth of praise pouring forth from
immortal tongues, the millions of rich voices in the universe of God
in anthems of adoration. But He humbled Himself, and took mortality upon
Him. As a member of the human family, He was mortal: but as a God, He
was the fountain of life to the world. He could, in His divine person,
ever have withstood the advances of death, and refused to come under
its dominion; but He voluntarily laid down His life, that in so doing
He might give life and bring immortality to light.
bore the sins of the world, and endured the penalty, which rolled like a
mountain upon His divine soul. He yielded up His life a sacrifice,
that man should not eternally die. He died, not through being compelled
to die, but by His own free will. This was humility. The whole treasure
of heaven was poured out in one gift to save fallen man. He brought into
His human nature all the life-giving energies that human beings will
need and must receive.
combination of man and God! "He might have helped His human nature
to withstand the inroads of disease by pouring from His divine nature
vitality and un decaying vigor to the human. But He humbled Himself to
man's nature. He did this that the Scripture might be fulfilled; and the
plan was entered into by the Son of God, knowing all the steps in His
humiliation, that He must descend to make an expiation for the sins of a
condemned, groaning world. What humility was this! It amazed angels.
The tongue can never describe it; the imagination cannot take it in. The
eternal Word consented to be made flesh! God became man! It was a
He stepped still lower; the man must humble Himself as a man to bear
insult, reproach, shameful accusations, and abuse. There seemed to be
no safe place for Him in His own territory. He had to flee from place to
place for His life. He was betrayed by one of His disciples; He was
denied by one of His most zealous followers. He was mocked. He was
crowned with a crown of thorns. He was scourged. He was forced to bear
the burden of the cross.
was not insensible to this contempt and ignominy. He submitted, but, oh!
He felt the bitterness as no other being could feel it. He was pure,
holy, and undefiled, yet arraigned as a criminal! The adorable Redeemer
stepped down from the highest exaltation. Step by step He humbled
Himself to die—but what a death! It was the most shameful, the most
cruel the death upon the cross as a malefactor. He did not die as a
hero in the eyes of the world, loaded with honors, as men in battle. He
died as a condemned criminal, suspended between the heavens and the
earth died a lingering death of shame, exposed to the tauntings and
revilings of a debased, crime-loaded, profligate multitude! All they
that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the
head" (Ps. 22:7).
was numbered with the transgressors, He expired amid derision, and His
kinsmen according to the flesh disowned Him. His mother beheld His
humiliation, and He was forced to see the sword pierce her heart. He
endured the cross, despised the shame. He made it of small account in
consideration of the results that He was working out in behalf of, not
only the inhabitants of this speck of a world, but the whole universe,
every world which God had created.
was to die as man's substitute. Man was a criminal under the sentence of
death for transgression of the law of God, as a traitor, a rebel; hence
a substitute for man must die as a malefactor, because He stood in the
place of the traitors, with all their treasured sins upon His divine
soul. It was not enough that Jesus should die in order to fully meet the
demands of the broken law, but He died a shameful death. The prophet
gives to the world His words, 'I hid not my face from shame and
consideration of this, can men have one particle of exaltation? As they
trace down the life and sufferings and humiliation of Christ, can they
lift their proud heads as if they were to bear no trials, no shame, no
humiliation? I say to the followers of Christ, Look to Calvary, and
blush for shame at your self important ideas.
this humiliation of the Majesty of heaven was for guilty, condemned man.
He went lower and lower in His humiliation, until there were no lower
depths that He could reach, in order to lift man up from his moral
defilement. All this was for you who are striving for the supremacy—striving
for human praise, for human exaltation; you who are afraid you will not
receive all that deference, that respect from human minds, that you
think is your due. Is this Christlike?
'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.' He died to
make an atonement, and to become a pattern for everyone who would be His
disciple. Shall selfishness come into your hearts? And will those who
set not before them the pattern. Jesus, extol your merits? You have
none except as they come through Jesus Christ. Shall pride be harbored
after you have seen Deity humbling Himself, and then as man debasing
Himself, till there was no lower point to which He could descend? 'Be
astonished, O ye heavens! and be amazed, ye inhabitants of the
earth, that such returns should be made to our Lord! What contempt! what
wickedness! what formality! what pride! what efforts made to lift up
man and glorify self, when the Lord of glory humbled Himself, agonized,
and died the shameful death upon the cross in our behalf!
"Review. September 4. 1900 (5 BC 1126-1128 on John 1: 1-3, 14
[but actually commenting on Philippians 2:5-11]).