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Author's Brief Testimony
Despised, Rejected, Cursed, Reviled and Unrecognized,
He Remains - The Builder, Framer,
and Chief Corner Stone of the Gospel:
Jesus of Nazareth, The Jesus of the Gospel
It seems that in the course of living a "religious" life, we tend to lose sight of some of the most basic essentials of Christianity, essentials which contain within them foundational truths and indispensable revelation. Among these essentials truths is the fact that the Christian faith is built upon a man, one man who is the only begotten son of God..
Who is this man and what makes him special? Did he come to teach about love? Did he come to model a moral lifestyle? Did he come to found a religion replete with ritualistic protocols? Who do men say that I am?, Jesus asked his disciples. If we do not get the correct answer to that question, you can not avail yourself of the 'gift of God' which he brings.
There is a simple African hymn-tune that states:
Jesus name in Hebrew, Y'Shua , means Jehovah is Salvation. Angels were sent to announce the miraculous birth both to Mary and to Joseph, in the gospel accounts. The angels told them what his name was to be, You shall call His name Jesus (Y'Shua) for he shall save his people - -(Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:31).
Prophecy foretold the Messiah's birth in detail. Prophecy is the testimony or witness of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 19:10.) It began in the earliest verses of the Book of Genesis and continues through the books of the law, the psalms, and the prophetic books of the first covenant, (old testament.) There is an unbroken line of scriptural promises and scriptural fulfillment attesting to the birth of Jesus. In addition Jesus Christ was portrayed metaphorically as a spiritual type throughout all of the Old Testament. In a sense the whole Bible is a composite picture which, when constructed shows the fullness of God in one Man, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Prophetic words spoken and recorded hundred of years in advance, describe the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ in perfect detail. His birth was to be at a certain place, at a certain time, under certain circumstances. At the birth of Jesus, God affirmed that Word of prophecy with precision. precisely and in perfect timing. Jesus's life continued on its prophetic course, as sure as hands on fine clock, from the time of Jesus matured and was presented to the public, to his being received as the messiah (by some) rejected, tried, and crucified. All of these events followed a precise time-line corresponding to the sure words of prophecy.
God's prophets were afforded no misses in their predictions. A prophet who missed only 10% of the time was declared a false prophet and subject to death by stoning.
There are many interesting books and commentaries which biblical scholars have written which detail the specifics of prophetic scriptures and their fulfillment pertinent to the life of Jesus. Though the study of prophecy per se goes beyond the scope of this writing, it is important to note that Messiah was promised by God.
Jesus and Salvation Derives From Jewish Heritage
The Jews were the people that God appointed to bring forth the Messiah. God chose a man, (Abraham) made a covenant with him with the singular purpose of having a people for His own special treasure and pleasure. The same people whose way was foreknown through Moses and the prophets, through trials, through captivity and deliverance, a people to nurture and prepare His man, His seed, His king, His savior.
It was God's Wisdom, to construct this Way, in such a manner as to make the working impossible in man's eyes and in man's reasoning, so that He could prove the excellency of His own power. When God chose and man (Abraham,) he chose one as good as dead, old in years and whose wife (Sarah) was far past the age of child-bearing and nurturing.
When He chose a king, He chose a shepherd boy, (David). When He chose a woman to bear the Messiah He chose a virgin. When Jesus Christ chose his disciples he chose unlearned fishermen or workmen. When He chose how to establish a kingdom he chose a king who would forego an earthly crown and die the death of sinful man upon a cross.
God chose the way of faith.
Faith is essentially a way of being persuaded by believing rather than by observation and reasoning. God chose to make reason and human smartness a pitfall to believing His word and His promises.
Jesus? The Messiah.
The Anointed One, the prophesied Son of David and of the other prophets, is the Messiah, destined to sit upon the throne of an earthly kingdom. He will in a time to come be enthroned but that time is yet future. He will at the end of this age put a total end to all opposition and rebellion against God's purposes. This end time event is described prophetically as The Day of Vengeance (Day of Wrath) or the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is a time promised in scripture, when all unbelief, unrighteous, and rebellion will be addressed and overcome by God himself. It will not be accomplished through negotiation or compromise; it will not be accomplished with reasoning, negotiation, nor with political bargaining, nor with treaty making. Rather, God will exercise supernatural power, all of the forces of heaven and earth against all the nations and peoples who stand in rebellion against the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The Messiah of the Gospels will return in majestic glory revealed in the skies. He will not be that charismatic politician winning over the peoples of the earth. He will rule with the force and authority of the name of God Almighty. And one more very important attribute, lest you should be deceived; He is the one who carries the imprint of the nails in His hands! (Zechariah 13.6.)
Who is Jesus? The Son of God.
Jesus was conceived by the Spirit of God. This makes him the only begotten son of God. He is the seed of the woman who is mentioned in Genesis 3:15. It is important to understand that the father's blood line of Jesusí parental inheritance is that of God himself who was and is sinless and undefiled. Yet within the human seed is the nature of humanity, weaknesses, want and human emotion.
The life that Jesus lived was a life lived within the limits of the human condition. Yet scripture states that He knew no sin, and though he was tempted in all areas just as we are. He remained undefiled and separate from the sin nature which is particular to all of the natural born human race. (Hebrews 4:15, 7:26)
He was a man, but certainly unlike humanity in a special way. The human race according to the bible, has an Adamic hereditary line or genealogy, descended from the line of Adam. Since Adam the human race is under a curse. The fall and the curse is portrayed in the first chapters of Genesis. At the moment, you may not believe in Adam or in any kind of curse, but for the time being, set that argument aside. God can work that issue out with you at a later time. It is necessary to believe that the Bible is not a fable or fiction. To argue against the Bible is to lose the blessing of believing in it, both in small questions and in larger questions.
Jesus submitted his will to God the Father
The Jesus of the Gospels demonstrated meekness, submission and servant-hood. He did not present himself as a worldly leader, nor a member of the religious establishment.
Jesus did not demonstrate God-like powers at will from his infancy onward, though some apocryphal tradition stated this. Scripture indicates he did no miracles until his baptism in the Jordan river by the prophet who announced and made the way for Jesus' ministry, John the Baptist. After his baptism at the age of 30 the Spirit of God came upon him and filled him with the necessary endowment of miracle-working power. Even with supernatural spiritual endowments there were times when Jesus himself was not able to heal or do mighty works, this was owing to the belief or unbelief of those he ministered to.
While Jesus did not flaunt God-hood it would be an error to say that he did not know of his DIVINE nature or of his divine calling. He spoke of being about his Father's business even as a child. Jesus was filled with grace and wisdom, both of which are spiritual enablements given by God. Jesus was the Logos (the Word, the whole counsel of God) made flesh.
A movie which came out a few years ago, The Last Temptation of Christ, portrayed Jesus as mostly human and flawed with the worst of human weaknesses, dark passions, indecision and unbelief. It is a depiction of a Jesus with no divine or supernatural inheritance, whose only vision was of some kind of vague personal sacrifice. Though this is interesting fiction it does not dignify the person of Jesus Christ as having transcendent divinity or as having any potential for impacting humanity with eternal consequences.
Jesus Christ, The Word Made Flesh
The Son of God, the Word was made Flesh. He was born into human form but he also had pre-existence with God. This can not, however, be said of the rest of the human race. Jesus spoke of His own glory which he had with the Father before the world was in his prayer recorded in John chapter seventeen. From this it can be stated with certainty that Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God was also God. This becomes one awesome mysteries of the nature and person of God. I find it beyond my ability to comprehend but I expect that it will be revealed to my understanding at another time.
Because Christ was pre-existent some may conclude that we all pre-existed. The question is appealing in some ways, curious and interesting at least. It is argued as a reality by those who have received spurious, demonically inspired revelation. But let it be said by a person who once thoroughly believed in reincarnation, that I have set that belief aside in favor of the bibleís teaching. It is appointed unto man to die once, and after that the judgment.(Hebrews 9:27).
Reincarnation or Resurrection?
The doctrine of resurrection which is taught in the Bible excludes the possibility of reincarnation. One life is promised, one body and eternal judgment for that one life at some time in eternity. The resurrection of Jesus own physical body from the dead, will be replicated for every living human soul, both the good and the bad, righteous and unrighteous. Jesus was called, the first fruits of they that sleep 1Corinthians 15:20.)
The doctrine of the resurrection is given so much attention in the New Testament especially in the epistles that I could quote texts by the dozens, but at this reading it would be beyond the scope of this writing. Yes, it is unreasonable to the rational mind, to assert that a body which is dead or has even returned to dust can be brought forth alive out of the dust. But that is in fact the teaching of scripture from the prophet Daniel to Jesus, and restated by the apostle Paul in particular.
The man Jesus, will be presented as he was already presented to the disciples in Gospel accounts, alive õ in the flesh, bearing the same nail scars and the same spear wound in the side. As he left in a physical body ascended into glory, he will also return in a physical body. As he departed from the Mount of Olives he will also return in glory to that same spot to begin his reign.
No Resurrection, No Gospel!
The doctrine of the resurrection is the proof and the cornerstone of the Gospel. Jesus had to rise again, having defeated death, alive with the keys to hell and the grave. The gospel which the apostle Paul presented stated this, If Jesus Christ is not risen from the grave, then all of our preaching, is for nothing and our faith is for nothing; furthermore our futures would hold only misery. (1 Corinthians 15:17-19 paraphrased)
We could not have a supernatural Gospel without a supernatural Christ. We could not derive supernatural spiritual benefits from believing in a Gospel presented by a mere man, even if he was a great man! If this were the gospel we followed, the best we could do would be to try to live an honest and moral life with the limited powers of our own willpower, but we could not have received total acceptance by God without Jesus Christ's sacrifice. Because he was the Lamb of God.
A sacrifice is made, The price is paid.
I believe that if Christian religious traditions have shorted us on any one thing, it is the knowledge and understanding of Jesus Christ's sacrifice as the Lamb of God and the legacy of blessing that His sacrifice brings to change the life and circumstances of every soul on earth. The sacrificial death of Jesus, God's only begotten, is the reason that Jesus came. It is the cornerstone of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This same good news is not an option for possible consideration. The Lamb's gospel is established in the very heavens and every person on the earth will be held to account for it. For, the earth is the Lord and everything that is in it. (Exodus 9:29 Psalm 24:1)
The sacrifice of the lamb of God is a better sacrifice than any of the First Covenant, where bulls and goats were killed and the blood of those offerings was applied to the sin of the nation. These offerings could not touch the innate sin nature of the people themselves, but were only a temporary fix, a covering over for the sin of the people. The Book of Hebrews goes into detail about the new covenant and the nature of the sacrifice which Jesus made on our behalf. It compares the First and Second covenant and the provisions of the new which transcend the original.
The lamb of God was pre-figured in the sacrifice which Abraham was prepared to make of his own son,
Isaac, the son of God's promise. Abraham took Isaac to the mountain and as he prepared to put him to the knife, said to his son, God himself will provide the lamb. (Genesis 22:8).
The lamb of God was described prophetically in the Book of Isaiah, chapters 52 and 53. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before the shearer is silent, he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:3-9).
The description of the purification of the priests who prepared to bring offerings into the Holy of Holies is a depiction of Jesus Himself. It was His blood that would purify and sanctify the mercy seat It was blood that was sprinkled seven times upon heaven's altar.
Jesus' Undefiled Blood: Shed for Us
-- Was shed, when He sweat drops blood in the Garden of Gethsemene, gripped with the terror of separation from his Father, who turn from him, abandoning to death; and the prospect of being made a Curse separated from God by the sins of the world.
- -Was shed, when the servant of the high priest smote him upon the face.
- - Was shed, when the Roman soldiers ridiculed him, mocked him, stripped him, buffeted him and torn out His beard.
- - Was shed, When he was flogged with the Roman flagellum, the deadly scourging with the lash, Each of the nine strands were tipped with an object which cut or wounded.
- - Was shed, when the crown of thorns was plaited upon Jesus' head.
- - Was shed, when Jesus hands and feet were penetrated by the spikes which would hold him suspended above the earth upon a Roman cross (the curse of hanging on a tree.)
- - Was shed, when the Roman officer pierced his side with a spear and blood and water flowed out upon the ground.
Blood Purchased the Provisions of the Gospel
Discussing the blood of the lamb may strike you as something primitive, strange or disgusting but it is the fact that it is the living bloodwhich makes a sacrifice spiritually effectual. From the writings of Moses we learn that the Life is in the blood. Blood is the life of the soul and holds potential for both blessing and for defilement. Innocent blood is said to cry out from the earth. The blood of victims of war and of violence cry out with a certain voice from the earth.
Jesus' blood was blood untainted by sin or the curse or death. It is 100 per cent imbued with the power of life. This blood had within it perfect eternal life; it still has, in the present, perfect eternal life. That blood that sprinkled the earth from the Mount of Olives, to Pilate's hall of judgment, to the via Dolorosa, to the hill called Golgotha, is still nurturing the whole earth. As Jesus was dying the death of crucifixion upon a cross, he declared the sentence which his blood would continue to enforce, Father forgive them, they do not know what they do. Jesus blood purchased the price for our sins, sins past, sins present, and sins future.
Father forgive them, Among the last words spoken by Jesus upon the cross is the legacy which any person whose soul is in want can appropriate as his or her own personal blessing and legacy, eternal life.
It is written in the law of Moses that we should make no graven image. Among all of the ten commandments this one may not lend itself readily to application although the first references seem to figure in the question of idolatry. I think, however, it has much more to apply to our present knowledge or lack of knowledge about God. One of the characteristics of human nature is to draw inferences and conclusions based upon things we see with the natural eye.
Throughout the nearly two thousand years of Christian tradition we become the victims of iconography, Icons which in some manner or another depict God or the Son of God. Any of us who have ever been to a major museum have seen depictions of Jesus Christ created during different historical eras. The characteristics of portrayal is to make a presumptuous statement about the personality, the humanity or the divinity of the subject that is being portrayed. Iconography has colored our interpretation of who Jesus is. Some of these images are very static with a very narrow portrayal. A sense of Jesus Christ's humanity was not apparent for centuries. When he was depicted by the first Christian artists there was not a trace of life or humanity. For the period from the 4th century until the 14th, he was no more than an stylized icon, lacking any features which would make him like us. Later, after the fifteenth century, he was portrayed as very human in works by Rembrandt, or Caravaggio, Rubens, and others. The point that I am making is in respect to narrowness and misunderstanding of who Jesus was. Religious traditions sometimes portray Jesus in such a narrow light that we can not associate him in all of his attributes, human and divine.
The human quality of Jesus needs to be preserved. I think the phrase "Jesus was a nice guy," may strike a negative chord among some who are religious and formalize so much of Christian life into liturgy. But I say it for a reason. We need to de-mystify Jesus and make Jesus accessible to people, especially in the now of the Gospel rather than the then of religion. The Lord is not someone who placed himself out of the reach of humanity.
To think of Jesus as a friendly, loving and kindly person does not interfere with his divinity nor his sovereignty.
There are other aspects to Jesus too, as depicted by the the Hebrew names of Jehovah: Nissi, Tsidkenu, Rapha, Shama, Jireh, Sabaoth, and numerous others, as well as: the 'Righteous Judge', the 'Captain of the Army of God', or as the 'Ancient of Days', and many other powerful and illuminating titles. One day, we will all fall before Christ, the Righteous Judge. But for now Jesus is still bringing gentle compassion, forgiveness, restoration and blessing to those of us with a need. He is extending a hand of friendship to those who need a friend.
Jesus' friendly and compassionate personality is described as a friend to sinners, one who went out of his way to meet and have fellowship with those that the religious community had excluded (Matthew 9:10-13.) Jesus was known to have been in the middle of fun and frolic where there was feasting and drinking. He said of himself, that he was accused of being a glutton and a wine bibber, but in spite of this Jesus, declared that wisdom is known by her offspring. (Matthew 11:19 paraphrase).
Stories are numerous where men or women who were considered 'the wrong sort,' received mercy from the Lord's hand of compassion and acceptance:
Zaccheus the publican; (described in Luke 19:2-10)
The Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar; (John 4:5-30).
The woman taken in adultery; (John 8:4-11).
Mary, a former prostitute anointed Jesus feet at the house of Simon the leper; (Luke 7:37-47).
Jesus who came to the grave side of Lazarus and wept; (John 11).
Jesus who consoled the man healed of blindness after the church council expelled him; (John 9).
At a certain future day when Jesus will be the host at a great feast and serve all of those attending. (Luke 12:37).
The friendship factor as it pertains to the person of Jesus is something that must not be lost. There is a proverb that states, There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) This is the love and friendship of Jesus Christ.
There are so many hurting, there are man who are bruised, and there are man needing a friend. The love and power of the Spirit of Christ Jesus can supply this. It is a kind of supernatural miracle that someone who needs and asks believing can receive.
See also: The Mysteries of God Series Mystery 5 - Gospel of Kingdom.htm
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FEATURES of The GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
Jesus' Message was the Gospel of the Kingdom
The foundational Gospel is the message of God's plan for restoring the earth and reconciling its people under His own rulership; to gather them unto himself. (Exodus 19) It is a prophetic plan and timetable for God's rulership. (Matthew 4:23) "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people."
The Gospel addresses the restoration and redemption of the race of mankind, delivering the people from the control of Lucifer. It was Satan, Lucifer, who once had the dominion of worldly rulership. Jesus regained authority over principalities and powers and made a triumph (a victorious parade) before every spiritual power entity, ( angels and demons) and displayed that He, Jesus, the son of man had received kingship, all ruling authority, in the World. "The Son of God came to destroy the works of the Devil."(1John 3:8)
Kingdoms in Conflict
"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.(Matthew 9:35) "The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. "(Mat 11:5) "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:"(2 Tim 1:10) "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:" ( 2 Tim 2:8)
Bondages and Removing the Curse
The day of the Lord is the prophetic reference to the time of the Judgment of God against those who resist his Gospel and live in rebellion to Him.
the True Gospel
King Who is this King of Glory?
of Our Old Nature
The issue of righteousness outside of the law hangs upon this "New Creation". He who was without sin was made sin for us, so that we could become the righteousness of God. The teaching of the "power of the cross" and the "exchange at the cross" are the hinge upon which the miracle of the new birth and righteousness articulates.
The Hidden Gospel The Extension of Jesus Ministry
long hidden Gospel of the Kingdom
has to the do with the EXTENSION
OF JESUS MINISTRY upon
the earth by Christ acting through
every believer. We become
as Kings and Priests in the earth,
with Jesus in us and working
through us to minister the supernatural
work God. Through the enablement
of the Holy Spirit who was given
to each disciple for the sole
purpose of doing these works.
The gospel of the Kingdom is expressed in relationships more than in knowledge. Jesus chose men and women to grow close to and to share in the witness of His glory. It was they who witnessed all of the miracles and wonders of His word and deed. Yet amazingly, it was not enough for his living disciples to witness His words and His works for 3 years, the Gospel required more than that. They needed a empowerment from God; the same power that was in Jesus had to re-energize each man and woman.
Ministry: Healing, Preaching
I am not ashamed of the gospel
of Christ: for it is the power
of God unto salvation to every
one that believeth; to the Jew
first, and also to the Greek.
is the Gospel called the "good
news"? Through it is found
liberty, peace with God, joy
"And how shall they preach, except
they be sent? as it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of
them that preach the gospel of
peace, and bring glad tidings
of good things!"(Romans10:15)
"And I am sure that, when I come
unto you, I shall come in the
fullness of the blessing of the
gospel of Christ." (Romans 15:29)
Message of the Gospel is Hidden
to Human Minds The natural man
with all of his intellect can
not receive things which are
spiritual, for it takes faith
"But if our gospel be hid, it
is hid to them that are lost:"
Gospels, Other Gospels
Gospel of the Kingdom was communicated
directly to the Apostle Paul
by revelation of the Spirit of
God, and face to face with Jesus
Christ (revealed "to one out
of due time " a time after the
forty days when Jesus made in
the flesh visitation with his
disciples before ascending into
heaven.) Paul was visited personally
by Jesus. The epistles
indicate a time of extraordinary
revelation of His Gospel.
Salvation is not limited strictly to promised heavenly rewards, having been made free of the fierce judgment of God's wrath upon sinners. Salvation encompasses total restoration, (salvation, healing and deliverance.) "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," (Ephesians 1:13)A Prayer of Faith, The Prayer Which Brings Salvation If any person believes the Gospel in their heart and declare this aloud to witnesses, that person shall be saved; changed and made alive in Christ! The testimony of the believer which brings salvation is a prayer of Faith, which is a spoken proclamation declaring a promise from the Word of God. It should include some of the following understandings. "Who is Jesus? What did he do for ME? What will He do in ME because I believe?" These are elements of the Gospel you should know after reading these chapters. Grafted into the Vine of God's Elect The gospel of Jesus Christ extends God's grace and provision outside of circle of the people of God's original covenant. Beyond the fellowship of the Elect of Israel -- outside of the boundary of the Abrahamic line.
"That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:" (Ephesians 3:6) "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;" (Colossians 1:5)
When the Gospel is Preached in its Fullness
Through mighty signs and wonders by the Spirit of God, from Jerusalem and round about, I have preached fully (the gospel in its full measure) the Gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:19)When Fully Preached there are Signs Attesting its Truth.
Yes, God can and will manifest His power to bless in order to demonstrate His power! "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake." (1 Thessalonians 1:5)The Gospel Age is the Season of the Lord's Favor
church age has been called the
age of Grace, the year of the
Lord's favor, or the acceptable
year of the Lord. (Read Isaiah
Chapter 61, the portions the
Jesus quoted in