The Gifts of Grace
By Nick Bibile
Eph 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
†10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
The same Lord that ascended first descended, to the lower parts of the earth. We all saw the word ascended mean to rise from the dead and his ascension to the heavens, before that he descended from heaven to earth. The word descending from heaven to earth has to do his humiliation on earth, his incarnation. Then it says that he descended to the lower parts of the earth. This has to do with his death and burial.
The Old Testament is a shadow and the fulfillment is found in the New Testament. We see in the Old Testament types of death and resurrections, there are three examples in the Old Testament.
First we see in the case of Isaac when God commanded Abraham to offer his only son as a sacrifice.† Isaac was going to be a dead man but he was released from death.
Ge 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Here we see Isaac as a dead man.
Ge 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
Here we see that Isaac was going to live, Abraham probably agonized thinking of this for three days but on the third day he knew that his son will live. Because verse five Abraham told his young men, we will worship and we will come back.
Ge 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
We see of Hezekiah.
2Ki 20:1 †In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
Here we see Hezekiah good as dead as he was accounted as a dead man. His bed was as to him was like the grave. But on the third day there was a miracle a resurrection.
2Ki 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
Then we see Jonah. Jonah was cast out into the sea and swallowed by a fish. He was good as dead. And on the third day the Lord spoke to the fish and Jonah was vomited to dry land. Jesus said of the following.
Mt 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Some false teachers say that Christ descended to hell and suffered under Satan. The crucifixion is not a sign of defeat from Satan but the sign of victory over Satan and again going† to hell and suffering under Satan is a false teaching.
Also some Say that the lower parts of the earth has to do with purgatory of hell.† The word purgatory is according to Roman Catholics, after death the souls go to a particular place where they† are in a place of temporary suffering.
Let me show you a contrast here. On verse 8 shows that he ascended on high and verse 9 we see the lower parts of the earth. We see very clearly Christís lowest humiliation on this earth and the highest exaltation above any other person. The humiliation of Christ, The very God of heaven became a man and poured out his soul unto death.
Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Jesus spoke of his death and his resurrection to his beloved disciples but they did not understand. He showed that his death will bring deep sorrow to them for just a while but the world will rejoice but after a few days the sorrow of the disciples will turn into joy.
Joh †little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
†17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
†18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
†19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
†20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
When he descended to the lower parts of hell we see the love of Christ. Not only taking the punishment for our sins but going to the lowest part of the earth is to show that Christ can save the worst cruel, ugliest and the most wicked sinner.
Heb Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
There was deep humiliation of Christ first then came the exaltation.
Pr † The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.
His humiliation and exaltation benefited us all.
Heb 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
†7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
†8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
†9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
†10 †For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Verse 10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
He was exalted above the earth, above the clouds, above all the stars, above the heavens. The glorious majesty King Jesus sitting down at the right hand of God. This is the mystery of our salvation. The work of God how he came down† from heaven for our salvation. The angels in heaven were amazed .
There is a prefigure type of his ascension in the following scripture.
Eze 44:2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.
†3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.
Here we see the gate of holy of holies was shut against every man. No one could enter by their own good works or their own righteousness. But only our prince and great high priest the Lord Jesus Christ has open it for us as he entered in our place.
Heb Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
†20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Christ descended in humility and ascended in honor and glory. He ascended up far above all heavens. It means to say the highest of heavens. King Solomon said the following when he built a temple for the Lord.
1Ki But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
Verse 10 says that he might fill all things.
Apostle Peter gives a good summary on the following.
Ac And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
†16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
†17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
†19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
†20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
†21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
All of predicted of Christ will be fulfilled. Not only his incarnation, life, teachings, miracles, his obedience, suffering, death, resurrection ascension to the right hand of the Father but also he fulfilled to be our high priest, his priestly office. †His intercession for his people, his kingly office as all power and authority is given to him.†
We donít have a human high priest who entered the holy of holies only once a year, we have the Great High Priest Jesus who intercedes for us daily without any more sacrifices.
He might fulfill all things.
Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Now we have the comforter the Holy Spirit that came to guide us into all truth. The Holy Spirit is the teacher. That we can present the gospel to all nations.
Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
†20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus, will give exaltation to the Lord Jesus.† The Spirit will teach us more on the† Lord Jesus.
Joh But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.