There Is No Longer Any Sea

Everything in the physical creation represents a spiritual reality.  The whole purpose of creation is to teach spiritual truth, so it is quite reasonable that every aspect of creation should be a teaching tool.

For example, the three-tiered arrangement of creation reflected the spiritual structure of the unseen realm.  There was the earth in which mankind would dwell, with the heavens above and the sea in which to descend.  This reflected the reality that above man were God and the angels.  Below man there was nothing, but the entrance of sin into the world altered that.  The depths now became the place to which the dead were consigned.  The Hebrews called it Sheol, the Greeks term was Hades.  The living at least had a fighting chance, if only they did not sin.  But once sin came, and it always did, one eventually had to go below…to the lowest place one could go in creation.

When Jesus Christ returned to earth in the kingdom of God at the close of the New Testament age, He brought in a new heavens and new earth.  The book of Revelation tells us that there was “no longer any sea.”  This is because the dead were all raised to heaven.  Therefore, the earth was now the lowest place in spiritual creation.  Satan was cast out of heaven.  Satan had thus gone from the highest place in creation to the lowest.  We, too, are in this lowest place with him as long as we live, but at death we rise above him!  Even on this earth, our authority is higher than his but our key to exercising that authority is righteousness.  If we do not walk in the spirit free from sin then our relationship with God is compromised and our authority in the earth is impaired.  But if we walk in the light, as Jesus Himself is the light, then Satan is bound. 

All of us on earth shall die, but none of us will descend.  There is no longer any sea.  You could also say that God has made us all to walk on water.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Satan’s Fall

In the original order of creation, Satan and his host were above humanity.  For this reason, he controlled the abode of the dead as well as the abode of the living (he is “the god of this world” – 2 Corinthians 4:4).  In the kingdom of God, however, resurrected humanity is above Satan.  That is why Satan no longer controls the dead – they have a higher authority than he does.

God created this universe to demonstrate His righteousness to the entire angelic realm – both the obedient and disobedient.  Through this creation, God demonstrates the superiority of faith, hope, and love as governing values – especially love.  He demonstrates that through mercy and forgiveness, true righteousness can be achieved.  He demonstrates in the most powerful way imaginable that good overcomes evil.  There are many other things He demonstrates as well, including the idea that trust in God trumps any knowledge that one might have.  This creation is all about teaching the angelic realm about the nature of God.

You and I have important roles in this drama.  What qualifies us?  We are human beings!  We are able to trust God.  We are able to personally demonstrate the power of faith, hope, and love in this world.  We are able to triumph over any obstacle that faces us through trust in God.  And that trust protects us in any area about which we are ignorant of God.

Jesus Christ is the central figure in this drama.  Through Him the order of the universe was rearranged – a new heavens and new earth, you could call it (in fact, that’s exactly what the Scriptures do call it – Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).  Many who were first are last (e.g. Satan), and many who were last are first (e.g. humanity).  All praise to Jesus Christ who has lifted us from the ash heap of earth…to an eternity in heaven. 

Satan began falling the moment God said “Let there be…”  You have no enemies in the human race, no matter what they or you may think.  Your only enemy is in the unseen realm, and it is Satan and his host.  Yet, he has fallen and you have more authority than he does.  Evil may triumph for a day, but mercy endures forever.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Reestablishing Order in Heaven

Jesus famously stated, “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.”  He went on to acknowledge that Satan’s kingdom was not divided against itself.  Yet Satan’s kingdom was divided against God’s.  And for this reason it could not stand. 

Satan had rebelled against God before the creation of our world.  In fact, it was the rebellion of Satan that was cause for creation of the world and of the human race in the first place.  The heavens and earth in which we dwell, whose creation was described in the opening chapters of Genesis, exist for the express purpose of solving the problem of Satan – that is, the problem of evil. 

Eve’s sin was not the original sin.  Rather the original sin was Satan’s rebellion.  God’s plan from the beginning was to use this creation to reestablish order in the heavens.  When Jesus was raised from the dead, He created a pathway for every human being to be raised to heaven – above the angels!  For this reason Paul said to the Corinthians, “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?”  And for this reason the book of Hebrews emphasizes that resurrected mankind has a place higher than angels.  For this reason also Paul told the Romans that God would soon crush Satan under their feet.  Jesus had already said that resurrected mankind would be like angels in heaven – only higher.  The first part of that idea was stunning enough for His listeners; He left it to His apostles to deliver the “higher” part. 

Our relationship with God is to be closer to Him than the angels.  Blessed be our God who has shown such unimaginable kindness to the human race!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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What’s a Cocoon For?

Of course, a cocoon is the existence which a caterpillar takes on in order to become a butterfly.  The New Testament church was a cocoon.  That is, the structure of church that we see in the New Testament was the form through which God’s administration of the ancient nation of Israel was transformed into the kingdom of God.

God had used Moses to establish the multiplied descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob into the nation of Israel.  Once Israel’s greatest son, Jesus of Nazareth, was raised from the dead, God used the church as a transitional structure to give people time to adjust to the kingdom of God which the resurrected Jesus was bringing to earth when He returned as Almighty God (i.e. “in the glory of His Father”).

God always gives transition times.  It takes time for night to turn into day, and for day to become night.  There’s a transition between each of the four seasons.  God always gives us time to adjust.  Ancient Israel was a nation of sacrifice, ritual, and laws.  It dealt with matters of the flesh.  The kingdom of God was an entirely invisible kingdom of spiritual realities.  It would deal with matters of the heart.   Therefore, the brief church age was inserted between the much longer age of Israel and the eternal age of the kingdom of God.  Consider it a period of adjustment.

Since the kingdom of God arrived at the end of New Testament days, there is no longer any need for the cocoon.  Even so, we have pastors of empty cocoons all over the world today, presumably waiting on a Jesus who has already come into His glory!  They imitate the New Testament church only in its most superficial aspects.  When the butterfly comes, the cocoon should be abandoned.  

Ancient Israel was a caterpillar – it could only crawl.  The kingdom of God is a butterfly – it can fly!  Forget the caterpillar, forget the cocoon, seek the butterfly (Matthew 6:33)

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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What Is This New Teaching?

The wise and intelligent of this world have never gotten over the offense that God might have entered the world without checking with them first.

Paul preached the resurrected Jesus to the intellectual elites at Athens, that great center of learning and culture in the ancient world.  They were at least willing to grant that his teaching had novelty: no one else had ever brought a doctrine calling for service to a resurrected man in heaven!  They readily admitted they’d never heard anything like it.  They asked at the time, “What is this new teaching?” (Acts 17:19).

Even today, almost two thousand years later, there is still nothing like it.  There are all sorts of perceptions of God, all sorts of religions, but only the Scriptures of ancient Israel present the history of God becoming man, living among us, dying at our hand, being raised from the dead, and then returned to heaven.  The elites of the world still don’t get it.  Thus, it is still a new teaching!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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The Last in a Long Line of Prophets

Jesus Christ was a prophet of Israel.  He was the last and the greatest in a long line.  That line had begun with Moses who had said God would raise up after him a prophet from among the people (Deuteronomy 18).  God indeed raised up prophet after prophet – including Elijah and Elisha – until, over a thousand years later, the great prophet Jesus was raised up…from the dead!

Jesus now rules as King of the kingdom of God, and we have no more need of prophets to predict the coming of that kingdom.  The long-awaited kingdom is here.  At the end of the New Testament age, it ceased to be future.  It became present, and it shall always be so for Isaiah (another of Israel’s long line of prophets) told us that “of the increase of His government…there shall be no end.”

Cease waiting on the kingdom of God as a future reality.  Seek it and God’s righteousness today…for it is near you.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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The Last Days

When the apostles wrote of “the last days,” it’s clear that they thought they were living in them.  Given that we are looking back on those days some two thousand years later, it is clear that they did not mean “the last days of the human race.”  What, then, did they mean?

They meant the last days of Israel.  The last days of the church.  And the last days of the human race as it had been known up to that time.  For in the twinkling of an eye, the kingdom of God would come and the New Covenant would be eternally established.  That new covenant would mean a new spirit deep in the heart of every human being (1 Corinthians 15:45).  God’s law would be written on every heart (Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 8:8-12).  Every person would  benefit from God’s law being instinctive to them (Romans 2:14-16).  There would no longer be any distinction between Jew and Gentile (Colossians 3:11).

Those last days are long since over.  We live in that eternal kingdom which prophets, apostles, and the Lord Himself all prophesied.  Let us seek the King in everything we do.  He is worthy!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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The Kingdom of God Is Not for Sinners

Everyone is going to heaven, but there is no place in the kingdom of God for sinners.

How can these things be?  Here’s how:  Everyone is going to heaven because as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).  Sinners get to heaven because whoever does not become free of sin before he dies, becomes free of it when he dies (Romans 6:7).  Thus, everyone gets into the kingdom of God once they die.  God’s goal for us, however, is that we get into it before we die.

As for this life, God has chosen gladly to give us the kingdom but we must become free of sin if we are to enter it.  This is the thrust of all New Testament teaching: embrace the Lord Jesus Christ in faith so that He might bless you by turning you from your wicked ways.  The apostles knew that the unrighteous would not inherit the kingdom.  Therefore, they were zealous to see that everyone “cleansed their hands” and “purified their hearts.”  If we want to escape the wrath of God and enter into the sanctuary of His kingdom, we must take to heart what the prophets and the apostles wrote that we should do:  in a word, repent.

Calling Jesus “Lord” is not enough to gain access to the kingdom.  We must actually do what He says.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Preparing Church for the Day of Judgment

The apostles had a great sense of urgency about their mission.  They were preparing disciples for the coming of the day of the Lord.  This impending event was also called the day of Yahweh, the coming of the kingdom of God, the coming of the kingdom of heaven, the Lord’s coming, and the new heavens and earth.  It has also been called the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The apostles wanted to be sure that the disciples were prepared to live in the new order of creation that was coming.  Time was of the essence and the goal was to prepare each disciple for his or her relationship with God – the only thing that would protect the individual from the wrath to come in God’s judgment. 

Jesus had made clear that the kingdom would not be coming with signs to be observed.  No man would know the day or the hour.  And it would happen in the twinkling of an eye.  In that moment,  the spiritual composition of the universe would be radically changed.  The dead would all rise to heaven and every human being who died thereafter would ascend into heaven instead of descend into Sheol (as had been the case since Abel).

The apostles would soon be all gone and no longer able to give their unique witness to the Lord.  The church would cease to be God’s instrument for salvation because all power would reside in the kingdom.  If the disciples were to survive and thrive in the new order God was bringing, they would have to know how to live by faith in an unseen God. 

If church had any usefulness today it would be teaching people how to enter the kingdom.  Instead, they teach people how to come to church.  This offers no help to people who need deliverance from their sins and the judgments that are in the earth.

Go back and read the New Testament.  Embrace the values it teaches.  Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Seeking church in the age of the kingdom of God is missing the point entirely.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Today’s Churches Are Potemkin Villages

A village is where people live.  A Potemkin Village is where people pretend to live.  Like Potemkin Villages, churches today are mere facades of the one that we see in the New Testament.

Churches today use New Testament vocabulary, but don’t produce the same outcomes.

Churches today try to simulate New Testament outcomes, but don’t have the same power.

Churches today claim to have New Testament power, but pretend more righteousness than they actually produce.

The solution is not for the churches to try to do better.  Rather, the solution is for them to quit trying to do church at all.  They should seek what the New Testament church sought: the kingdom of God.  The difference for us is that the kingdom of God is already here while the New Testament church had to wait on it to come.  (See The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now.)

The New Testament church prepared to enter something that was not yet present.  We prepare to enter something that is everywhere present.

Potemkin Villages are useless, except to try to fool people who don’t know any better.  The New Testament sought the kingdom of God with its very life.  They would be the first to stand up today and say that church is not the object and never was the object.  Let us repent and seek the kingdom of God!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

 

The New Testament Church Was Unique

The church of the New Testament was different from all the churches which have followed it…in several important ways.

First of all, the church of the New Testament was a church.  That is, it was a single, undivided entity.  The apostles would have it no other way.  They were quick to condemn any divisions in the church.  The churches since that time are just that – churches.  They are not a single entity.  They are markedly factional., with innumerable denominational and non-denominational churches.

Another point of distinction is that the church of the New Testament focused on the righteous behavior of its participants.  Believers in Jesus were expected to imitate Him.  Today’s churches focus on having the right statement of faith.  Everyone is supposed to believe and say the same things.  Focus on righteous behavior is limited, primarily because it would cut down on attendance.

Yet another major difference is that the leaders of the New Testament church gave their lives for the church – literally.  Today, the churches exists for the support of their leaders.

The New Testament church expected the return of the Lord and the coming of the kingdom of God in their lifetimes.  Today’s churches think the New Testament church was wrong about that.  That is, today’s churches say that the return of the Lord and the coming of the kingdom of God still lies in the future.

If you would trust the church to tell the truth about Jesus, trust the original church – not the pretend-churches that have come after it.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

The New Testament Is About Righteous and Holy Living

The New Testament is about righteous and holy living – not church administration or church growth. 

If you take the time to read the New Testament, you can’t help but be struck with its emphasis on righteousness.  It’s as if its writers believed the whole point of Jesus’ ministry, including the Old Testament scriptures that led up to it, was to inculcate godly living and eradicate sin among human beings. 

Righteousness, holiness, godliness, goodness – these are matters about which the New Testament is incessantly explicit.  Church government, church planting, church growth principles – all these concepts that guide church thinking today are not explicitly taught in the New Testament.

Why should we ignore what the New Testament makes explicit in pursuit of subjects about which it is relatively silent? 

The apostles told people to repent and the Lord added to the church.  Today’s church leaders add to the church and leave it for the Lord to make people repent. 

Church leaders today are more interested in growing their churches and ministries than they are in acting on and teaching what the New Testament teaches. 

If we would please God, let us repent, read the words of Scripture, and act on what they deem important.  Forget church.  Instead, give all the diligence of which you are capable to living righteously in the sight of God.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Possessing the Gate of Your Enemies

In Genesis 22, after the Lord proved Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice the life of his only son, God spoke a promise to Abraham saying, “Your seed shall possess the gate of your enemies.”  In Genesis 24, as Rebekah was preparing to leave home in order to be married to Abraham’s only son, her family blessed her saying, “May your descendants possess the gate of those who hate them.”

In antiquity, possessing the gates of one’s enemies was a sure means to peace and tranquility in life.  In those days, cities were usually fortified, with its gates controlling entry and exit.  Therefore, whoever controlled the gates, controlled the city.  If you controlled the gates of your enemies, then their destiny was in your hands.

Up until the time of Jesus Christ, Satan controlled the gates of death.  All who passed through those gates belonged to him.  Jesus, before His suffering and crucifixion in Jerusalem, promised that these gates would not prevail over the following that He was building (“gates of Hades” was another name for “gates of death”).  Indeed, three days after Jesus died, He rose from the dead, breaking through those gates.  He was the first to have ever done so.  (His friend Lazarus had only been given a temporary reprieve from death.)  Jesus triumphed over death, for He went on to ascend into heaven.  Micah in 2:13 had prophesied that “the Breaker” would go through the gate, and before the rest.  Jesus was “the Breaker.”  Paul confirmed in 1 Corinthians 15 that there was an order to the resurrection, with Christ being first, and the rest to follow later.

In the coming of the kingdom, which occurred according to the biblical timetable around the late 1st Century A.D., the gates of death were, in effect, moved, such that death would no longer lead below to Hades but rather above to heaven.  Indeed, Abraham’s seed possesses the gates of His enemies – in a way far more grand, glorious, and eternal than anyone on earth had ever imagined!  Death is now merely a doorway into a greater life in heaven.

See also Everyone Is Going to Heaven.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

Peter’s Keys to the Kingdom

In Matthew 16, Jesus famously told Peter, “Upon this rock, I will build My church.”  Yet people act as if Jesus had said, “You will build My church.”  Why do people take it upon themselves to build something that God says He will build?  I don’t know, but it’s been a recurring challenge for God. 

Unlike the aforementioned people, Peter did not misunderstand Jesus’ words and did not take it upon himself to become a church administrator.  Instead, he preached the gospel and let Jesus do the building. 

Another great source of misunderstanding has been the very next verse where Jesus says to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”  Note that Jesus did not say He would give to Peter the keys to the church, but rather to the kingdom.  The church lived in anticipation of the kingdom.  It, of course, was not the kingdom.  It was God’s means of preparing people for the kingdom. 

Peter was not going to be able to use those keys himself because John 21 prophesied that he would not live until the coming of the kingdom and he affirmed this in 2 Peter 1.  This was all the more reason, however, for him to make sure that he handed off those keys properly lest they be lost.  The handoff had nothing to do with church administration.  It had to do with the practice of moral excellence.  He explained that this meant that individuals needed to grow in knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.  Practicing these things, Peter assured his readers, would guarantee entrance into the kingdom.  Therefore, in Peter’s mind, the keys of the kingdom were qualities we associate with the nature of Jesus.  Becoming like the Savior opened access to the kingdom.

The keys remain for us to use today because the kingdom came not too long after Peter’s death.  It’s been here ever since.  If we want to be inside the kingdom instead of outside it, we must practice those qualities that Peter counseled.

Let the church administrators argue among themselves about what these verses mean for governing the churches that they manage.  (In other words, let the dead bury the dead.)  You can see clearly that these verses show a path to the kingdom.  Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness.  Seek, and ye shall find.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Our Nehemiah

Nehemiah is a type of Christ.  The Scriptures are full of types of Christ.  This is because the primary purpose of the Scriptures is to testify of Christ, to describe His work, and to lead every reader to Him.

Nehemiah was a Jew who lived in the comfort of the king’s palace in Persia.  He became greatly distressed when he heard of the hardship that had fallen upon his homeland and the city of Jerusalem.  He sought permission to go to Jerusalem with supplies to rebuild the city and its walls.  He was granted favor, and greatly helped the people of God restore the city of God.  Afterward, he returned to the king’s palace.

Jesus, too, enjoyed the splendor of life in the King’s palace of heaven.  However, His distress over the condition of His people caused him to forsake His comforts and prepare for a trip to earth.  He arranged all the resources necessary to rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David.  He brought together the people of God through His work and, afterward, returned to heaven from whence He had come.

On the day of the great feast in Nehemiah’s rebuilt Jerusalem, the people wept when they heard the words of the Law of Moses which they knew they had disobeyed.  Nehemiah comforted them, saying, “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Similarly, Jesus, when He was crucified for our sins, comforted His followers with many words of encouragement for He knew that His death was the means to a great victory for the people of God.  Indeed, the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Our Nehemiah – Jesus Christ our Lord – has saved us!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Jesus Is Our Ezra

Ezra is a type of Christ.  According to Ezra 7:10, the priest Ezra set his heart to study the Law of Moses, to practice it, and to teach God’s statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Jesus grew up studying the Law of the Lord.  From this lifelong study He knew that the whole of the Law hung on the words, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and your neighbor as yourself.”  He also practiced it – all the way through to the pain of unwarranted conviction and undeserved crucifixion.  Lastly, He set His heart to teach the God’s statutes and ordinances in Israel.  This teaching effort was cut short by the crucifixion.

Though the crucifixion cut short Jesus’ teaching ministry, yet it was resumed upon His resurrection and ascension into heaven.  From there He teaches all who will listen.  And though He was not a priest when He was on earth, He took up the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek once He resumed His place in heaven.

Thanks be to God that our Ezra reigns in heaven forever!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

Our Mordecai

Mordecai was a type of Christ.

Mordecai was a quiet man who served the king without seeking glory for it.  He aroused great jealousy in Haman, one of the king’s favored regents.  Haman sought to destroy Mordecai.  He created a place of destruction for Mordecai and a place of honor for himself.  In a turn of events from God, Mordecai was given that place of honor and Haman was sent to that place of destruction.

Jesus was a quiet man who served His Father without seeking any glory for Himself.  He aroused great jealousy in Satan, one of God’s leading angels.  Satan sought to destroy the Son of God.  He created a place of destruction for Jesus and a place of honor for himself.  In a turn of events from God, Satan was cast down from heaven and consigned to the lower places of the earth while Jesus was raised from the dead to sit above all angels.

Blessed be Jesus our Mordecai!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Our Esther

Esther was a type of Christ.

Esther was a replacement monarch.  Her predecessor as queen had failed.  A wide search was made to find the best candidate to take the crown.  Esther was groomed especially for the task.  She was humble and chaste, and followed the instructions of her relative Mordecai.  She won the king’s favor as the best of all the candidates and became queen.  She then risked everything to save her people from destruction.  In doing so, she saved herself and her people.

Adam had been made to rule the earth.  However, Adam failed and Jesus was chosen to be his replacement.  God searched through all humanity and saw that all had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Jesus was the only sinless one.  He was groomed for His role.  He was humble and chaste.  He followed the instructions of the earthly family to whom He had been entrusted as well as to the heavenly Father who had watched over Him.  Jesus won the favor of God, as this utterance was made from heaven:  “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”  He then risked everything to save His people from destruction by sin.  In doing so, He saved all of humanity for Himself.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Our Job

Job was a type of Christ.  He therefore gives us a means of seeing Christ more clearly.

Job was righteous man, blessed by God.  He was struck down with calamity for no apparent reason.  In fact, there was no earthly reason for Job to have suffered his difficult fate.  The reason for his trial was decided in heaven.  In the end, Job remained faithful and passed the test.  He was rewarded by God who restored to him all that had been lost…and more.

Jesus was a righteous man, blessed by God.  He was crucified for no sin of His own.  In fact, there was no reason on earth for Jesus to have suffered this terrible fate.  The reason for the crucifixion, of course, was decided in heaven – to save us from our sins.  Jesus remained faithful to the end and thus passed the test.  He was raised from the dead, never to die again.  His reward was the human race:  the pearl of great price He had been after all along.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

 

 

Our Zerubbabel

Zerubbabel is a type of Christ.  We can thus learn about Christ in him.

Zerubbabel was of the tribe of Judah.  So was Jesus.

Zerubbabel was in the line of David and thus entitled to kingly rule.  So was Jesus.

Because of Israel’s state of decline, Zerubbabel did not reign with David’s earthly glory.  Neither did Jesus.

Nonetheless, Zerubbabel became governor of the people of God.  As did Jesus.

Zerubbabel had to deal with serious contention from God’s enemies.  Jesus encountered even greater opposition.

Zerubbabel laid the foundation of a new temple.  Jesus laid the foundation of a temple in the spirit that would last for all eternity.

Zerubbabel lived to celebrate the completion of his work.  Jesus lives forever to celebrate the completion of His eternal work.

It was a matter for rejoicing when the plumb line was in the hand of Zerubbabel.  It is a matter of unspeakable glory that the measuring stick for all humanity is in the hand of Jesus.

If the day of small things was not to be despised when Zerubbabel began his work, how much more so when Jesus laid the foundation for an entire new universe by planting Himself in the ground as a single seed.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Our Solomon

Solomon is a type of Christ.  Therefore, Jesus is our Solomon.

Solomon was the son of David.  Jesus was the Son of David.

Solomon built the temple of Israel.  Jesus built the temple of the people of God.

Solomon built a great legacy out of the inheritance his father left him.  Jesus established an eternal legacy out of His Father’s inheritance.

The Queen of Sheba came to Solomon based on the reports she’d heard of his wisdom.  Magi came from the east to Jesus merely on the reports of His birth.

Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived.  Jesus was wiser.

Solomon was the richest man who ever lived.  Jesus’ spiritual riches will feed all the universe beyond eternity.

Yes, Solomon was a type of Christ.  But as with all types of Christ, Christ was greater, as Jesus made explicit in Matthew 12:42.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Our David

David is one of the more well-known types of Christ.  Thus Jesus is our greater David.

David was a man after God’s heart.  Jesus was God’s heart.

David was anointed by Samuel.  Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit.

David was king of Israel.  Jesus is King of the Universe.

David’s throne was in Mount Zion, in Jerusalem.  Jesus’ throne is in Mount Zion, in the heavenly Jerusalem.

David was zealous for God.  Jesus’ zeal for God consumed Him.

David sought to build God a house.  Jesus built God a house.

There were challenges to David’s rule.  Such challenges always failed.  There are challenges to Jesus’ rule.  Such challenges will always fail.

David took his lineage from Abraham seriously.  Jesus took His lineage from David seriously.  And from Abraham as well.

Messiah was descended from David but also would be David’s lord – a riddle which Jesus loved to pose to His rabbinical antagonists.

David was not just a type of Christ, he was a physical ancestor of Christ.  Everyone expected Israel’s Messiah to be reminiscent of David.  The crucifixion was thus a stumbling block, but the resurrection surpassed all expectations – and solved the riddle.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

Our Joshua

Joshua was a type of Christ.  They even share the same name, as Jesus is simply the Hellenized form of Hebrew name Joshua.

Joshua was the leader appointed by God who followed Moses immediately.  Jesus was the leader appointed by God who followed Moses eventually and eternally.

Joshua led Israel into battle against its enemies.  Jesus leads the people of God into battle against spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.

Joshua brought Israel into the promised land.  Jesus brings God’s people into the kingdom of God.

God could have chosen any personal name to give the Messiah.  Of all the names He could have given, He chose Joshua.  We should study Joshua to learn more of Jesus.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Our Moses

Moses is one of the most obvious types of Jesus in the Old Testament.  Moses himself even says in Deuteronomy 18, “God will raise up for you a prophet like me.”

Moses lived a quiet life before God called him to public ministry.  So did Jesus.

The Scripture says Moses was remarkably humble.  It also says Jesus was humble.

Moses led his people out of slavery in Egypt.  Jesus leads His people out of slavery to sin.

Moses was a mediator between God and Israel.  Jesus is the mediator between God and the whole human race.

As mediator, Moses went up to Mount Sinai to meet God on behalf of the people.  Jesus went up to heaven to the right hand of God on behalf of the people.

The Law was given through Moses.  Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Our Joseph

Joseph was a type of Christ.  Therefore we can think of Jesus as “our Joseph.”

Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him.  They could see that their father favored him.  As a result, they ostracized Joseph.  Their pique did not subside, however, and they eventually cast him down into a pit…and left him for dead.

Jesus likewise encountered jealousy from his fellow human beings.  They could see that God favored Jesus, doing things for Him that He didn’t do for anyone else.  Religious leaders ostracized Jesus, but it did not do any good for He was not disheartened by this nor did it discourage Him from continuing His ministry of kindness to people.  Finally, Jesus’ jealous contemporaries had him cruelly murdered.

Though left for dead, Joseph survived the pit and, after more trials and some considerable time, ended up second in command of all of Egypt.  When Joseph’s brothers came to him seeking food (for famine had struck their land), Joseph forgave them and gave them food.  They had thought Joseph was dead and didn’t recognize him at first.  Eventually, Joseph brought his entire family to Egypt for their well-being and safety.  He never retaliated against his brothers for their meanness toward him.  In fact, it’s hard to see how he could have treated them any better had they been kind to him in his early years.

Jesus, of course, demonstrates this same generosity of spirit to all of us.  He does not hold grudges about His crucifixion.  Rather, He sees it as the way He could bring His blessings on humanity.  We meant it for evil, but He meant it for good.  Though “left for dead,” He rose from the dead – never to die again.

Thanks be to God that Joseph helps us understand Jesus.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

Not the Hearers, But the Doers

Romans 2:13 makes clear that it is the doers of God’s word, not its hearers, who are just in God’s sight.  James 1:23-25 makes a similar point. 

The world today is filled with a lot more hearing of God’s word than it is with the doing of it.

If you read the Bible, be sure that you act on what you understand.  Otherwise, you will be like churches.  They constantly seek to get more people to hear the word, but to do the word is of less interest to them.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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Holier Than Thou Society

Would you join a society of holier-than-thou people?  No one in their right mind would, but people in their wrong mind do it all the time.

A church is a “holier than thou” society.  It’s a group of people who mutually agree to approve of each other in the name of God.  God, however, has not delegated to us His right to approve of people.  He retains that for Himself.  And He is well able to make an individual aware of when He approves of him without intervention from another human.

Read God’s indictment of the holier-than-thou people in Isaiah 65.

My challenge here is not so much to people in the pews as it is to the people in the pulpits.  Many people get involved in church because respected Christian leaders tell them that this is God’s will.  Those of us who speak in the name of Christ should be preaching Christ, not our parochial society of like-minded people that we’ve given His name – even if we call it church.  There is only one Christian leader deserving of respect and His name is Jesus (Matthew 23:10).

If we want holiness, we should be joining God – not some human society or organization.  Chuch is something He builds from those who believe in Him, and this church needs no human leadership. 

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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The Second Coming Is a Matter of Faith, Not Hope

Hope is for the future, faith is for the present. 

There was a time when the Second Coming of Jesus Christ was a matter of hope:  the time when the New Testament was being written.  Those documents virtually throb with the hope of Christ’s imminent return.  Now, however, almost two thousand years later, we no longer hope for the Second Coming.  We accept it as a matter of faith.  It is not something that will be; it is something that happened, just as was promised.  We don’t hope for it – we believe it!

If you are a Christian and encounter a Jew who says he is hoping for the coming of his Messiah, what will you tell him?  You will tell him that his hope has been fulfilled, that indeed his Messiah did come, and that he can now turn to this Messiah in faith – which is the present-tense acknowledgement of reality.  Similarly, if you encounter a Christian who says he is hoping for the coming again of his Messiah, you can tell him that his Messiah came just as he promised – long ago. 

No one hopes that he will be born.  A man will hope for many things, but not that he will be born, for he has already been born.  No one hopes for what he already has.  Similarly, you may hope for Jesus to do some particular thing for you or that He will make some particular thing happen.  But there is no need to hope that His Second Coming will occur.  It already did.  Why didn’t anyone see it?  Because God’s invisible, and that’s who Jesus is – God!

For more, see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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If the Lord Were Their Shepherd, They Would Not Be Scattered

If the Lord were truly the head of today’s churches, they would not be scattered into tens of thousands of denominations.  Jesus made it clear in John 10 that the flock is only scattered when hired hands are in charge.  Those who hear His voice, He said by way of contrast, would be “one flock with one shepherd.”

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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The Great Commandment?

When Jesus was asked, “What is the great commandment?”  He answered, of course, that we should love God with all that we are.  He followed up by saying that the second greatest commandment was like it: that we should love our neighbors as ourselves.  He then further emphasized these two commandments by saying that the entire Law and Prophets hang on them.  It’s hard to imagine how He could have declared them any more important than this.

Though many Christians today might be able to quote this teaching of Jesus, they have a very different view of the great commandment.  To them, the great commandment is, “Go to church.”  I say this because if they find out that you believe in Jesus but do not attend church, they want to talk about nothing else.  “You need the fellowship, brother.”  “How can you say you believe in Jesus if you don’t assemble as part of His body?”  “The church is the bride of Christ: how can you belong to Him if you don’t belong to it?”  They don’t always insist that you attend their church, but they do want you to attend someone’s.  They do not show a similar interest in whether or not you love God or love your neighbor.  In fact, their commandments seems almost to be:  “You need new neighbors!”  (Neighbors, of course, means “near ones.”)

At this point, you have a choice: you can either accept Jesus as your authority and follow His commandments, or you can accept these churchgoers as your authority and follow their commandments.  As for me, I’ll follow Him.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.

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