Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: What is the meaning of the latter part of 1 Peter 4:1; "For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin?"

Answer: We would explain it by comparing it with the teaching of Paul in Romans 6:6; "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him." As Christ’s suffering for us in the flesh refers to his death on the cross, so the expression, "he that suffered in the flesh" (once for all, aorist tense) points to the believers union with Christ in death, the result of which is that "he has ceased from sin," or, as we read in Romans 6:7, "he that hath died is justified from sin." For the believer sin’s dominion has passed, it’s sting is gone and his relationship to it as the old Adam has ceased. To those that are in this position of infinite grace the precept is, "Forasmuch then as Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourself with the same mind." Let it be practically realized in daily life, and by the power of the Holy Ghost let the walk be in "newness of life." Peter’s precept corresponds with that of Paul in Romans 6:11; "Reckon ye also to be dead to sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus." The word "in" involves union with Christ in death and in resurrection .

Question: Is it Scriptural to state that the Lord Jesus veiled His Deity with His Humanity?

Answer: The statement is true of the Lord Jesus and is certainly Scriptural. The Ark is the greatest type of Christ. In transit its golden glory was covered by the veil. Also as the Ark was brought into the tabernacle we read that Moses "set up the veil of the covering, and covered the Ark" (Exodus 40:41). The writer to the Hebrews links the veil as a type of the Humanity of the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 10:20). The Deity of the Lord Jesus was not apparent when He was here in the days of his flesh, save to those whose eyes were opened to behold His glory. To add to the greatness of His Person it can be said that while his glory was covered, yet his grace was revealed.

The manger of Bethlehem hid the glory of His greatness, but revealed the glory of His grace. The thirty years at Nazareth hid the glory of His majesty, but revealed the glory of His subjection. His hunger in the wilderness hid the glory of His creatorship, but revealed the glory of His trust. In the fishing boat asleep, His weariness hid the glory of His Deity, but revealed the glory of His perfect Humanity. Tears at the graveside covered the glory of His supremacy over death, but revealed the glory of his tenderness. His agony in the garden hid the glory of his might, but revealed the perfection of His obedience. Calvary covered the glory of His Sonship, but revealed the glory of His Eternal Love.

As we consider the person of Christ we rejoice in the testimony of John, "The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us." Those who know Him can see beneath the outward and behold the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth.

Question: An explanation would be appreciated of the words of Psalm 84:3, "The sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she might lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God." Did these birds build their nests around the altars?

Answer: It seems evident that a sparrow or swallow could not build a nest in the altars, or their vicinity. The two altars, the copper altar of the burnt offering and the golden altar of incense, were things most holy unto the Lord. The reading of the text in A.V. and R.V. would infer the possibility, but the law of the altar prohibits such an action of birds building nests in or around the altars.

The passage should be read: "My soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the Lord, My heart and flesh crieth out for the Living God" (v. 2). A parenthesis follows (yea the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she might lay her young) Even thine altars, 0 Lord of hosts." The last clause of verse 3 is a continuation of verse 2. It would mean as the sparrow and swallow have found a house and a resting place, so the pilgrim has found a rest at the end of his journey, even in the house of God and at the altars

We might add that we too should desire His dwelling place today, and the joy of rest in contemplation of the wondrous Cross, as prefigured in the first altar, and the unchanging priesthood of the Lord Jesus as seen in the second.