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Worthy is the Lamb - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8100
Ever notice how much the world hates the Jesus Christ of the Bible? Mention His name outside the confines of a Bible preaching church, and you will definitely get a reaction. (You might even get sued or arrested!) Truly, He is the most polarizing person to have ever lived here on planet Earth. There simply is no neutral ground in regards to your position of Him. One either accepts that He is God come in the flesh, or He is not.
Now, people don’t mind so much the Jesus they conjure up for themselves, but the One of the Bible they say…is too much. So much of the post-modern, emergent, seeker-friendly, and ecumenical movements within Christendom have been trying their best to repackage the Jesus of the Bible, as to become palatable to a society who is increasing in the decline.
The reason that Christ is so absolutely polarizing, is because He doesn’t leave you the option of not forming an opinion about Him. You are forced to come to some conclusion about Him, and to paraphrase from C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity; Jesus was either a liar, lunatic, or Lord.
In regards to the true biblical Christian understanding of God, the number three should ring significant…primarily, because the Godhead is triune in nature. The Godhead is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who are, three separate divine Person’s, in one divine Being. Although they are one in essence, divinity and purpose, they are separate in personages and roles.
The Father is supreme in authority among the Persons of the Godhead, and he is responsible for devising the grand purposes and plans that take place through all of creation and redemption (see, for example, Eph. 1:3, 9-11). The Son is under the Father’s authority and seeks always to do the Father’s will. Although the Son is fully God, he nonetheless takes his lead from the Father and seeks to glorify the Father in all that he does (see, for example, John 8:28-29, 42). The Spirit is under both the Father and the Son. As the Son sought to glorify the Father in all he did, the Spirit seeks to glorify the Son, to the ultimate praise of the Father (see, for example, John 16:14; 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11). (Quote from Bruce A. Ware)
Interestingly enough, the divinity of each of the members of the Godhead, is what 99% of apostate teachings get confused on. They can’t seem to wrap their minds around the concept of three in one. Since it is the Holy Spirit who opens our understanding, it is no wonder why they go askew in this aspect. Generally, there are two views on this;
At creation, we see that God the Son carried out the direct act of creation. He did so by speaking it ‘ex-nihilo’ or simply put, out of nothing. In John 1:1-4, 14 we see that Christ is the ‘Word’ and was God at creation. Colossians 1:16 states that it was through Christ, that creation came into being. Revelation 3:14 echoes the same sentiment.
The Holy Spirit was also present at creation, and moved upon the ‘face of the waters’ and is the giver of life in Genesis 1:2. It was the Holy Spirit who ‘overshadowed’ Mary which was how God the Son could be born of a virgin. It is the eternal Holy Spirit that was given at Pentecost to usher in the age of the Church. It is the Holy Spirit that regenerates and resurrects the spiritually dead, back into spiritually living beings. He seals and indwells us, and guides us into the truth of God.
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Gal. 4:4-5
And so it is through obedience unto death, the Son glorified the Father. It will be at the end of all things, that the Father honors the Son by bestowing all power and authority unto Him. So even in our brief understanding of how the Godhead works, we know that Christ Himself fulfills three roles as Prophet, Priest, and King, in order to accomplish the will of the Father.
Christ the Prophet
In the Old Testament, Jews had to come from the tribe of Judah in order to be eligible to be King. We also know that in order for one to be a priest, one would have to come through the tribe of Levi. But a prophet could be a king or a priest, (David) but a king could never be a priest, nor a priest, a king simply due to the separation in the tribes. And that is what makes Christ unique, in that He could fulfill all three roles, without violating His own Law.
When Christ came to earth, He initially came preaching ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand’. (Matt. 4:17). He came as a prophet, not only with signs and wonders, but He came declaring the truth of God, and doing so in perfect submission to the Father, so that Israel might turn back to God and be a people, whose hearts were fit for the Kingdom. Christ initially came only for the people of Israel (Matt. 10:5-6; 15:24), but since they as a nation didn’t repent, the offer, would be postponed.
Of course, He already knew they wouldn’t, but the offer still had to be presented to them, in order that scripture might be fulfilled. Nonetheless, in Deut. 18:15-18, Moses was pointing toward the time when the Christ (Messiah) would one day come to Israel to do so. King David pointed to His coming (Psalm 2, 22), as did Isaiah (Isaiah 11, 53), and Daniel pointed to Him (Dan. 9) amongst other passages found all throughout the Old Testament. Aside from the brief glimpse at the Mt. of Transfiguration, it is in the final book of the Bible, Revelation, we see the first unveiling of the glorified Christ in the New Testament.
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; Revelation 1:12-15
Christ the High Priest
We know that Christ is also a Priest after the Order of Melchizedek, which preceded the Aaronic and Levitical Priesthood by several hundred years. (Hebrews 7:20-25) We know that upon walking toward John the Baptist to be baptized, John called His cousin ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world’. (John 1:29-30) The typology represented both then, and later, is the spotless, unblemished, innocent lamb that would be sacrificed to God on our behalf.
A Christophany is what biblical scholars have come to term, an OT appearing of the Pre-Incarnate Christ. Christ appears in the OT on numerous occasions as the Angel of the LORD (to Abraham, to Jacob, to Moses, to Joshua, etc.) and these appearances foreshadow the events that would be played out in the life of Christ (Appearing to Abraham before Sodom’s destruction; the sacrifice of Isaac, etc.) But it was not until He came through the Virgin birth, that He would take the form He would presumably take on, forever. And it is in Revelation chapter 5, we see Him revealed again…
And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Revelation 5:6-7
The symbolism of the horns and eyes means He has all authority is all-knowing and all seeing. He is the Almighty (Pantokrator) and is the only means by which fallen man, can be redeemed to a holy and righteous God. (John 14:6) Not only mankind, but all of creation. (Romans 8:19-21) Only Jesus is worthy, because only He is both man and God, and is the only one who can serve as man’s ‘Kinsman Redeemer’. Instead of the priest offering up an innocent lamb to temporarily set aside the sins of the people, Christ as Priest, offered Himself once, to take away our sins forever. (Hebrews 10:10-14)
It is Christ who daily goes before the Father on our behalf, and not only defends us from the accusations of Satan (Rev. 12:10), but as a Priest, is our Mediator when we fall and stumble. It is Christ’s righteousness that is applied to our lives when we become born again (2 Cor. 5:17-21). It is He who not only makes our salvation possible, but also our sanctification by which we grow in Him till we come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:11-16).
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time 1 Tim. 2:5-6
Christ the King
It was no mistake that Jesus came from the Tribe of Judah and from the lineage of King David. Since Christ came thru the tribe of Judah, and because Judah was according to God’s plan, to be the head of all Israel, and Israel was destined to be head of all nations, this would mean that Christ then, will be head of all nations. As much as many would like to spiritualize this Kingly reign, the fact is, that Christ’s reign on David’s throne will be a literal reign, on a literal throne, and in a literal Jerusalem as the Bible repeatedly declares. (Psalm 2, Isaiah 2, 11, Daniel 2:44-45, Luke 1:31-33) Since history has yet bear this out, Christ then did not take on His Kingly role during His First Advent.
Looking back, we should be able to see the prophetic correlation in what has happened in the past, and what will happen in the not too distant future. Just as King Saul preceded David, and was initially selected by the people to rule over them against God’s plan’s, (1 Samuel 10:17-19), so too will one come in his own name, in whom the Jewish people will accept to rule over them. (John 5:43) And since David was a ‘type’ of Christ in the OT, then Saul represents ‘another’ Christ (or antichrist), who will come and try and rule over the Jewish people before Christ returns at His Second Advent. (Daniel 9:26-27, Matt. 24:15, Rev. 19:11-21)
One day soon, the Father is going to tell the Son that it is time, and then Christ will return to redeem His bride (the Church) to Himself. Then He will begin to reclaim the world unto Himself by opening a series of judgments which will break, shake, and devastate the planet through the Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl judgments. The Sealed judgments that the Father holds in His hand, is a like a will, or title deed to the earth. The culmination of God’s wrath will come at Christ’s Second Coming, upon which all of Creation will witness His return in power and glory as He strikes down all the armies of the earth, and cast the beast, the false prophet alive into the Lake of Fire.
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev. 1:7-8
Christ is worthy, in fact He is the only One who is worthy, and…
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11