“I Am From Above”

And he said unto
them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of
this world
” (John 8:23). 

Have you ever thought about what this means? Why does Jesus
say that He is “from above?” What could He mean by that? Is He simply saying
that He is from Heaven or is He suggesting something more here? I submit that
Jesus is referring to His relationship with God.
On several different occasions, Jesus made mention of the
fact that His disciples were not of the world either.

If the world hate
you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  (19) 
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye
are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the
world hateth you
” (John 15:18-19).

I have given them thy
word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as
I am not of the world
” (John 17:14).

John also spoke of the faithful children of God being not of
the world. [1]

 “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in
wickedness.  (20)  And we know that the Son of God is come, and
hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are
in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal
life
” (I John 5:19-20).

Jesus taught that He was from above. He also taught that we
are not of this world. His disciples, having an understanding of this, echoed
those thoughts throughout the inspired writings. But what does all of this mean?
First, what is the difference between the one who is above
and those are of the world? In order to get the answer, let’s return to our original
text.

And he said unto
them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of
this world.  (24)  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die
in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins

(John 8:23-24). [2]

Faith in God separates those that are of the world and those
that are from above. Faith is the key. If you read back through the passages
that I gave, you will notice that difference. It all comes down to where your
heart is (Matthew 6:19-21). The apostles were considered “from above” because
they had faith in God and in Christ and were willing to accept Him for who He
truly is: I AM. If you do the same, you too will be considered “from above.”
In order that we can be called those “from above” Jesus had
to give something up for us.

Forasmuch then as the
children are partakers of flesh and
blood
, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death
he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  (15) 
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime
subject to bondage
” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

But as many as
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them
that believe on his name:  (13)  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God.  (14)  And the
Word was made flesh
, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the
glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth
” (John
1:12-14).

Jesus took on flesh and blood in order that He might die for
us on the cross, so that we too could become the children of God. 

In Jesus’ resurrection, the Bible says that He, “… hath once
suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God
[God is from above – DR], being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by
the Spirit
[“in the spirit” (YLT) – DR]” (I Peter 3:18).

Regarding Jesus’ resurrection, Paul says, “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their
children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the
second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day
have I begotten thee
.  (34)  And as concerning that he raised him up from
the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David

(Acts 13:33-34). [3]

On which day was Jesus begotten? At the time of His
resurrection. What does the Bible mean by this? It’s not saying that Jesus was
not the Son of God up until that point – He was (Matthew 16:16-17). What Paul
is telling the Jews in Antioch is that Jesus, in His resurrection, became the
beginning of the new creation and that, because of His resurrection, the “sure
mercies” of David would be offered to the people.

Incline your ear, and
come unto me: hear, and your soul shall
live
; and I will make an everlasting
covenant
with you, even the sure
mercies of David
” (Isaiah 55:3).

And unto the angel of
the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful
and true witness, the beginning of the
creation of God
” (Revelation 3:14; II Corinthians 5:17).

So, Jesus took on flesh in order to die to the flesh so that
He could be made alive in the spirit. In other words, Jesus died to the world
and was risen in the spirit – in newness of life. We can be considered “from
above” if we obey the gospel through conforming to His death, burial, and resurrection
in baptism (Romans 6:3-4).
Footnotes
[1] See also I John 2:15-16 and I John 4:5-6
[2] Notice the contrast between being from above (I John
5:19-20) and being from beneath (John 8:24). The difference is life and death. See this episode of The Narrow Way.

[3] In a previous article we discussed the “restoration of
Israel” [read here]. Read Acts 13:16-41 for some good information on that;
especially Acts 13:24-26.

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