The Divine-Human Family
by E.H. “Jack” Sequeira
The one object in all our Bible study should be, not to establish theories, but to feed upon the living word. And it seems especially desirable to call attention to this principle when a large number of us who are accustomed to teaching the word come together to make a special study of it. Hence the principle should not be to learn some theory which we can tell to others, but to obtain a life which may be lived before others. This will be the purpose in our study of the word — simply to feed upon the word which is Spirit and which is life. And this will be the case, no matter what special phase of truth we may study. Our whole purpose will be to break the bread of life so that we may together feed upon it.
The subject which we will consider together, for a time at least, during this study may perhaps be designated as the Divine-Human Family. In Ephesians 3:14-15 we read:
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
The whole family in heaven and earth. It will be our purpose to consider this idea of the family, but from this special stand-point — the Divine-Human Family — and our topic for this study will be to consider the Head of the family.
I would like to call attention, first, to the fact that the human family, considered as a human family, has one common Father. Acts 17:24-26:
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
“From one man he made all the nations.” Adam was the father of the human family as a human family and, when God created Adam, he created the whole human family or race. He created all nations that are upon the earth when he created Adam. That is, in creating Adam and conferring upon him the power to beget in his own image, he saw, as it were, a fountain of life in him. When he created Adam, he saw in Adam every human being that has been or will be upon the face of the earth, and he created every human being upon the face of the earth in Adam.
You will see how this thought is suggested in the 25th chapter of Genesis, where the birth of Jacob and Esau is recorded. Verses 19 to 23 give the record:
This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
But I call special attention to the 23rd verse. When Rebecca inquired of the Lord, he answered her:
“Two nations are in your womb....”
Two nations — Jacob and Esau. In Jacob, God saw all the descendants of Jacob; in Esau, God saw all the descendants of Esau; and so, as he viewed it, there were two nations struggling together.
The same thought is further emphasized in Hebrews 7:9-10:
One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
These scriptures are sufficient to bring out the principle that in Adam were all the descendants of Adam, as he was the common father of the human family. But Adam the first failed in his work, and so there came Adam the second. 1 Corinthians 15:45-47:
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.
And this second man, the Lord from heaven, sustains the same relation to his family that Adam sustained to his family. That is, he became the second father of the family.
In Colossians 3:9-10:
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Dr. Young’s translation of this same text gives a little different wording, which is important. Instead of reading, “created to be like God in true righteousness,” he translates more literally, “Which according to God was created in righteousness.”
Now with these scriptures before us, we can see readily the teaching. Adam was the first man and, by yielding to sin, he received sin into human flesh, and his flesh became sinful flesh. Christ was the second man, the second father of the human family. He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. After humanity in Adam had admitted sin into the flesh, that became the old man, and the old man is humanity with sin working in it. That is to say, the old man is humanity under the control of the devil, and those who are in that condition are spoken of by the Saviour in John 8 as being of their father the devil. John 8:42-44a:
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires....”
The old man is humanity with sin working in it; the old man is humanity under the control and direction of the devil. The new man is humanity with divinity in it, and above all and first of all, the new man is Christ Jesus, who was “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” So we are instructed to put on the new man. Romans 13:14:
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ [the new man], and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
How did Jesus Christ become the second father of the human family? And what does it mean to us that he did become the second father of the human family? This is told in Hebrews 2:14-15:
Since the children [he is the father] have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Notice carefully: it is because the children have flesh and blood that he himself likewise took part of the same flesh and blood. Why? In order that he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.
This thought is suggested in 1 John 3:5:
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.
Notice what it says: “You know that he appeared....”
He APPEARED (or CAME or was MANIFESTED) to take away our sins. How did he appear? He appeared/came in the flesh; by taking part of the same flesh and blood he appeared. 1 John 1:2:
The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
And he came to take away our sins; and he came by taking part in flesh and blood, that he might be seen, capable of being looked upon. But he came to take away our sins. For it was necessary, in order to take away our sins, that divinity should suffer.
But how could divinity suffer simply and solely as divinity for the sins of humanity? So divinity was clothed with humanity, came as a human, that there might be a human side to divinity for the suffering; that it might be possible for divinity to present a human side for the suffering; that there might be, as it were, a vulnerable side to divinity, that divinity might receive the wound; because prophecy said that his heel should be bruised, and that must be in humanity. Genesis 3:14-15:
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
There must be a human side to divinity in order that divinity might suffer in humanity. But divinity must suffer to take away our sins, so divinity was manifested — put into humanity, clothed with a body, clothed with flesh, with our flesh — in order that divinity might present a side capable of receiving the wound.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
He partook of the same flesh and blood in order that, through death, he might destroy him that had the power of death, the devil. And death comes only through sin.
How did he take upon him that nature, that flesh and blood? He did it by birth, by being born of a woman, and the agency through which he was born of a woman was the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35:
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
But he was also the Son of Man, and the head, the second head of the human family was a man, the new man, the divine-human man, the man Christ Jesus.
Now what does it mean to us that Jesus Christ became the second head of the human family? It means this: Just as, when Adam was created, all the members of the human family were created in him, so also, when the second man was created, “who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption” [1 Corinthians 1:30], all the members of that family were created in him. It means that, as God saw in Adam all the members of the human family, so he saw in Christ, the second father of the family, all the members of the divine-human family; so he saw in him all his sons, all his daughters, all his descendants, all that belong to the family. No matter whether they were born into the family or not. Before Jacob and Esau were born, God saw two nations there. No matter whether born into the divine-human or not, yet God created in Christ Jesus, the new man, all the members of the divine-human family that should afterward be born into that family.
Now the fact that Christ took our flesh, and that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” means a great deal more than that there was a good man who lived then, and set us a good example. He was the second father, he was the representative of humanity; and it was when Jesus Christ took our human nature and was born of a woman that humanity and divinity were joined. It was then that Jesus Christ gave himself, not simply for the human family but to the human family. That is to say, Jesus Christ joined himself to humanity, and identified himself with humanity and became humanity; and he became we, and we were there in him. It means that Jesus Christ in himself joined humanity and divinity to all eternity, and is today our representative in heaven, still bearing our human nature, and there is a divine-human man in heaven today — Jesus Christ.
Read it in Hebrews 10:11-12:
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,....
There is a man sitting on the right hand of God, and we sit there in him. That is what this scripture in the seventh of Hebrews, to which we have referred, has illustrated, how it is that God saw in Adam all the human family, and how, that when he created Adam, he created all the human family. This scripture means a great deal more than that. Read again Hebrews 7:9-10:
One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
When Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, Levi paid tithes in him for he was “in the loins of” his father when Melchisedec met him. All that Abraham did, Levi did in him.
Read further in the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, verses 21 and 22:
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man....
You may stop a moment to think that they both came by a tree; death came by a tree, life came by a tree. Adam ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree, so death came upon the human family. Christ bore all our sins upon a tree, and by that means brought life to the human family.
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Adam is the man through whom death came; Christ is the man through whom comes the resurrection from the dead.
Read also Romans 5:12 and onward. As you read this scripture, bear these principles in mind, and this parallel between the first Adam and the second Adam, and what we gained through the first Adam and what we gained through the second Adam. From the first Adam: sin, transitory life, death; from the second Adam: righteousness, life, eternal life.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned....
Just one act in a point of time wholly past: for that all sinned, for all did sin, because all sinned. Romans 5:12-16:
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned — To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
So the contrast is between condemnation and justification, or righteousness. Death came by sin. Verses 17-19:
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Now we see the contrast between the first Adam and the second Adam, the first father of the family and the second father of the family. From one, judgment to condemnation; the other, justification of life. Through the disobedience of one, many were counted as sinners; through the obedience of one, many were counted righteous in him.
And the idea goes further, that Jesus Christ gave himself to us. Think of that for a moment. It is not that Jesus Christ, as some one apart from us, as it were entirely outside of our connection in any way, just simply came forward and said, “I will die for man.” No, he became man, and divinity was given to the human family in Jesus Christ. But divinity was joined to humanity by birth, and Jesus Christ became flesh and blood relation, near of kin to every one of us.
Read the foreshadowing of that in Leviticus 25:47-49:
If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigner’s clan, they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them: An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves.
Now that is where humanity is. Humanity is sold under sin. If humanity is able, it may redeem itself. Is it able? Is humanity able to redeem itself? No. Well, then, someone who is a relative may redeem it. But who is a relative who is able to redeem it? He who took part of our same flesh and blood. So that, as is expressed in Ephesians 5:30:
...For we are members of his body.
We are members of his body and of his flesh and of his bones. And he is our relative, our kin.
Now read again in Hebrews 2:11-12 and see how this relation is recognized:
Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”
You remember in his last prayer, just at the close of his work, he says, in Psalm 22:22a:
I will declare your name to my people....
And he did it; and one of his last words were, in John 17:26:
I have made you known to them...
They were his relatives, his relations, his kin, his people.
I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
And again, Hebrews 2:12-13:
He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
Second father of the family. Behold “the children God has given me.”
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived.[Now these were those who were actually related to him by the ties of the natural flesh.] Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
That is, whoever is born into this family of God is as closely related to Jesus Christ, and that by flesh and blood, as is a mother to her own son.
Read in Luke 11:27-28, and it is a touching thought:
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
As this woman looked upon Jesus Christ and heard his teachings, there arose in that mother’s heart a feeling of what a wonderfully blessed thing it must be to be so closely united to that man as is a mother to her child. What did he reply? Verse 28:
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Because they are united every one of them to him just as is a mother of her own child. That is, by the very closest ties possible in this world is every son of God united to Jesus Christ, his Brother, his father, his Saviour, his Redeemer.