Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P20 (11-17-20)
As you read prophecy fulfilled, think beyond just that it happened and that it was fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Ask the Lord to reveal to you the meaning of the word of God to you, a spiritual meaning, a spiritual lesson that you can grab a hold of.
Oftentimes we read about the Pharisees or Judas Iscariot, and we might think we would never be like them. But, do you get caught up in the present affairs of this world, of unfolding events like you read about in Revelation. Instead of keeping your focus on Christ, you want to take matters into your own hands. Well, what if Jesus was walking here today, and you were so focused on your own agenda, to make America free. You do not like the way events are unfolding. So you let anger creep inside of you, and you decide to take matters into your own hands. You manipulate leaders and people to do your bidding, and get behind a leader to act in a certain way. But that leader has a different agenda. He does not take action like you expect.
Now, you are a Jew, under harsh Roman rule, living during the time of Christ Jesus. You want a leader who will get you out from under that authority. Jesus talks to you about spiritual things, but you are not willing or even want to hear spiritual truth. That is not important to you. All that matters is the here and now, that I want my freedom. You have put yourself as the most important person on earth and the world revolves around you, in what you want and desire. You do not realize that you are already enslaved to something greater, sin and death, that if you do not come to see the true Light from heaven, who is there in front of you, then what life will you have? All at best you will have is a temporary life, that will eventually die, and without coming alive in Christ, you are lost forever in eternity in a place of raging fire that consumes the enemies of God.
When you put yourself on the throne, as being the most important part, then everyone else is subservient to you, and so if they do not act like you want them to, then you betray them, and manipulate them. That is what Judas Iscariot did with Jesus. But Jesus cannot be manipulated. He fulfilled prophecy, using Satan’s plan against Satan, and formed one new body out of many by rising from the dead. He came to live inside any person who is willing to put His faith in Him.
For He conquered death and the grave for us. He took upon our sin so we could live. That is the ultimate humility, being God, the creator of all galaxies, and the intricacies of the human body, with all details of DNA and RNA, and He dwelt in such a body of flesh, born of a virgin, born in a stable, becoming a suffering servant, riding on a donkey, to only have a crown of thorns placed on his head, and then dying on a cross to take the punishment of death for our sin. His ways are higher than our ways. So we need to learn to lean not on our own understanding, but in all ways rely on Him, to trust Him and take Him at His word.
We are part of the body of Christ, and all parts are important but no part is more important than another. If one part is hurting, the whole body is hurting, If one part is rejoicing the rest of the body rejoices with it. That is how the body of Christ is to function, to support and care for one another and build each other up.
Let us not get puffed up in pride, thinking we are somebody when we are nothing but a part of the body of Christ. Apart from Christ we can do nothing. Christ in us, who is our head, directs each member of the body to function in unison with one another, each part doing its work. Let us not shoot our own body because a part of the body is misbehaving or smelling funny or whatever it might be. Every part is indispensable for the proper functioning of the body of Christ.
That is fulfilled in Matthew once again through Jesus.
12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles –
When Christ went ministering in that area, He did so in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, not only that He was the Messiah but here He was going to begin His earthly ministry.
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”[Isaiah 9:1-2]
That light being seen is referring to the Gentile coming into the Light.
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[the ten cities] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
Once again, in the prophecies where he was talking about, where He was going to begin His ministry, in the area of Galilee, speaking to people in darkness, which certainly referred to the Gentile but also to the Jew as well. For we are all in darkness until we turn to Him for light. He is the light of the world. There is no light outside of Him. So there, Jew or Gentile, slave or free, all of us, born into this world regardless of heritage, in spiritual darkness. The only solution to darkness is light. We were all born into the world spiritually dead and the only solution to death is life. Jesus Christ proclaimed Himself as “I am the light” and “I am the life”.
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Prophecy also dealt with miracles He was going to be doing. Looking again at a prophecy of Isaiah.
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The fulfillment of that was recorded by the disciple Luke.
18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”
21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.
So, Jesus again, quoting what was stated in Isaiah. That was a prophecy that was fulfilled. Now folks, it might be interesting to pause here just for a moment in regard to this person of John the Baptist. It is interesting what Jesus said about John the Baptist.
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
There was no man ever born that was like John the Baptist. There was no one like him. Yet it is also interesting that there is no recorded miracle that John the Baptist ever performed. The only thing John the Baptist came to do was to be a voice in the wilderness to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ. He never performed a miracle. He never had a pulpit. He never had a church. He never had good clothes. And his diet I would not be envious of either. But he was there to proclaim Jesus Christ, to be a mouthpiece. Jesus identified him as one that no one has ever come close to.
While John the Baptist heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus a question.
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see
He said in scripture concerning John that he was not like a reed to be bent back and forth.
23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces.
John the Baptist was strong as horseradish. That question confuses us. Why did he ask if he was the one or if we should expect someone else? The interesting thing about that is a student in the Old Testament scripture of prophecy will soon come to the realization that there are two events regarding the Messiah. One event is He the suffering Messiah and the other is that He is the reigning Messiah.
If the majority of the time, you are trying to get Israel restored, to bring back national prominence in your country, so which Messiah would they be looking for? The reigning one. “That suffering one, we can do without him. What about the reigning one? I want the political stuff.” People are not proclaiming Christ for spiritual reasons. We do so in order to save America. It is the same type of mindset. It is the same mindset that caused Judas to betray Jesus. He had a different agenda than Jesus. Jesus came down for spiritual things. Judas came for physical things. He had a different agenda. He was there for business, not for spirituality. We have to understand that, that people will follow Jesus for different reasons but God knows those reasons. The people were looking for the reigning Messiah and forgetting the suffering Messiah. Jesus came as a suffering Messiah. He had not come to reign yet.
It is like looking at two mountain peaks. When you look from a distance, they look like they are side by side. When you get up close, they look like they might be 100 miles from each other. So, looking for and identifying Jesus as the suffering Messiah, what he was saying is, this one coming to reign, is that someone different? Are there two of you, or is there just one of you? That is the question he was asking here. It was no doubt He is God or the Messiah, but is there another that is going to be reigning?
A part of prophecy was to identify the Messiah, and again, the fulfillment of all those prophecies all in one man. As I said earlier, the mathematical probability is almost beyond computers to comprehend. The fact is that Jesus fulfilled every one of these prophecies.
And, so we see that a part of the prophetic ministry, of course, is that the Messiah was going to perform miracles, heal the blind, make the lame to walk, and again, in each one of those cases it was not just to perform some kind of physical miracle, because in the final analysis, all those people are going to die any way. I may be born blind and receive sight but I am going to die some day. I may have been born lame and be healed in order to walk, but I am going to die some day. You might have leprosy and be cured of that disease but you will die eventually of something else. So why these healings? It was there to verify and solidify the fact that this is the Messiah. So, knowing man, God knows man’s heart. He knows, many times, just like doubting Thomas, you have to see a miracle, of putting your finger in His hands and your fist in His side, then you will believe. Or to see some physical miracle that then enables you to believe in spiritual truth. The problem with that is that we get so excited about the physical miracle and forget the spiritual truth and we never get around to it. Then we want another miracle and then another. To that Jesus said to the Jews.
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
“You are an adulterous generation, always wanting signs and miracles. You want a miracle. Look at my burial and resurrection.” It is so easy for us to get hung up on things and get out of focus on things. The reason for the physical was to substantiate the spiritual and that is always the case.
Well, with John the Baptist, he was looking for two different Messiahs or one Messiah, but he did not know whether they were two people or whether there is going to be another one who is going to reign. What he spotted there was the suffering Messiah, the humble Messiah. That was also prophesied by the prophet Zecharaih around 500 B.C.
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
So, you say, “Oh, boy, a king.” You can envision Him coming on gold carries, with a crown on His head. But the prophet did not say that.
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
“Wait a minute. Kings do not come on donkeys. They come on white horses.” This is a prophecy of the Messiah. First, He will be born in Bethlehem, an insignificant place, born of a virgin, in a manger, and will spend time in exile in Egypt, and now he is going to be a king mounted on a donkey. Can you imagine the scribes scratching their head on that. Was that fulfilled? Yes, with Jesus. Matthew records that.
2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[Zechariah 9:9]
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.
Again, the prophecies fulfilled. Now, how in the world did Zechariah know, 500 years before an event, that the Messiah was going to come and ride on a donkey? Well, the answer to that is that it has to be from God, who knows the beginning from the end, who is the Alpha and the Omega. That is who the prophets were, those who were given prophetic utterance, not just spoken but written down and substantiated in the fulfillment of the person of Jesus Christ.
9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
Well, it also talks about that he was going to be betrayed by a friend. That was written by King David, some thousand years before Christ. In Psalms 41:9, talking about the Messiah, we read about this.
9 Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned against me.
The fulfillment of that is, of course, as recorded in John 13.
18 “I am not referring to all of you [the disciples]; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has lifted his heel against me.’[Psalm 41:9]
19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.
All of this was to show that I am the Messiah. It was prophesied that a close friend, someone he trusted, who ate his bread, is going to lift his heel against him, and that indeed took place.
sup>20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
That to me, my friends, is a picture, again, of Judas Iscariot.
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.
What you see there, my friends, is this. That Jesus was here for a spiritual mission. What would cause a person like Judas Iscariot to want to turn upon Jesus, the most loving man who ever walked on the face of the earth. Never did a harmful thing to anyone and yet was accused of being a winebibber and a glutton. He was accused of being demon-possessed. He was accused of being a violator of the law.
19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
He was accused of all kinds of things because He did not go with the establishment. The interpreters of the word of God, the ones that thought they knew what the word of God said, He did not agree with them. So here were the custodians of the interpretation of the word of God, of the written word, and all of a sudden confronted with the living Word. The living Word did not agree with the custodians of the interpretation of the written word. So what did they do? They set out a plot to kill the written word.
18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Any of those kinds of plots always fail because God’s word is never going to stop. They thought it was going to stop. Satan thought it was going to stop. “If I can nail the Word to the cross then the Word is going to stop.” But what he did not realize was that the killing of that physical body on the cross is what enabled Him to put the spiritual body that is on the earth today. Over 2000 years ago there was a physical man named Jesus of Nazareth. Now that physical body died on a cross.
<sup<9< sup=””> But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. </sup<9<>
“It is good that I am going way because when I do I will send you My Spirit and you will be My body.” Now, instead of just one person over in Israel, the living body is all over the world. There is no way to kill the work of Christ but people are deceived enough to think they can and have enough desire to do so if the leader’;s agenda is different than theirs.
It is so vitally important for us to see in the body of Christ as we are studying prophecy. It is far more to learn than just this prophecy happened and this prophecy was fulfilled. There are lessons to learn in this. A vital lesson to learn out of this, is for you and me, and all of the people who are in Christ, to get a hold of a concept that is foreign to our own prideful self. That is, that there is something more important than me. When I see myself and perceive myself as the center of the universe and everything ought to revolve around me and my little plan, then I am going to be at odds with, of course, anything that does not agree with me, and that was the state of the Pharisee.
The attitude of the Pharisee is, “There is no one any more important than us. We are the custodians of the interpretation of the word of God. There is no one more important than us.” And, of course, if there is no one any more important than us, then that means there is no one more important than me. So, in essence, we are back to the garden of Eden, standing there and saying, “I am God. I am like God. I am going to be God. I want the universe to revolve around me and my plans.”
That is what happened to Judas. He had a different agenda than Jesus. He thought his agenda was best. So because he perceived himself as the center of the universe, more important than the whole. In other words, the part was more important than the whole. So he proceeded to substitute the part and became the whole. So he became in rebellion to authority.
I find that people who are in rebellion to any kind of authority is because they themselves want to be the authority. Yet, we are all under authority. We are under governmental authority. In ministry, there is a certain degree of being under authority. Rebellion against authority is an indicator that I think I am God and I am more important than the totality of the whole. If we do not come to grips with the fact that when we come to Christ, we are indwelt by His Spirit. And then it says, His Spirit baptizes, or places us into the body of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
So I, as Bob George, am not the body of Christ. I am a part of the body of Christ. I am not the body. I am a part of it. My thumb is not the body. It is a part of the body. My toes are not the body of Bob George. They are a part of the body of Bob George. My eyeball is not Bob George. It is not the body of Bob George. It is a part of the body of Bob George. Now, if I do not see therefore, as a thumb, that there is something more important than me, then I am going to have an absolute perverted viewpoint, am I not, of my role in the body.
1 Corinthians 12:15-27
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
And that happens when I begin to see that I am the most important thing in the world. I mean this body, my thumb, could not function without you. You are somebody. And that nail of yours on there is absolutely fantastic. It is just fantastic. We begin to be preoccupied not with the function of the thumb but falling in love with the thumb. Because you see, in the final analysis, I do not care whether my thumb is ugly or pretty or what it is, what I want it to do is function and to serve the body. If you do not think that is an important thing, what would you rather have, an ugly thumb that functions or a beautiful one that didn’t? I do not think it would take you very long to make a determination on that, the purpose of the thumb.
You try to pick up something without your thumb, and you would have difficulty. You have four fingers and one thumb. If you try to pick something up without your fingers, you will have a difficult time. Try to balance yourself properly without your toes. Try to balance yourself without your big toe, and you will find it a little difficult. But if you think this big toe is the most important thing then you are in trouble. That is pride and ego and that is pride manifested in its worst vindictive form.
That is the very spirit of Judas that betrayed Jesus because Judas’ cause was more important than what Jesus came to do. So instead of seeing himself as a part of something, he saw himself as something. And whenever you get to that point, then you are ready to cut off and betray anybody who is in your way of accomplishing what you think you need to be accomplishing.
24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
It says in the last days, that even the elect are going to be deceived. Just as in the old days, where they killed their prophets thinking they were doing something good for God. So also in the last days, they would be literally killing and demolishing other Christians, thinking they are doing something good for God. That is ego and pride in its most vindictive and stupid form that you could ever put your mind onto.
So here we are as this piece of the body, thinking we are some thumb. If we are going to function as God called us to be, as part of the body of Christ, we are going to have to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith and also see if we are really in the body. If you are in the body and see yourself as part of the body, how can you have the concept that you are the most important. Important? Yes. You would not be there if you were not important. But the most important? No. There is something far more important and that is the totality of the body. When all the parts are functioning, the body is functioning.
Let us say I reached down and I say, “I do not like that toe down there. That toe does not smell real good. Besides that, it stepped in something it shouldn’t. It just hasn’t been behaving properly. I think I am going to influence some of my fingers. The thumb starts out and puts on a campaign to influence the fingers that we need to get rid of the toe. So you have some stupid fingers who also think they are the most important things in the world, so they come up in pride and ego, joining in with the thumb. ‘Let us do an attack on the toe down there.’ They manage to pick up a knife and convince the arm to cooperate and they reach down and whack off the toe. ‘Praise God I got rid of that toe. It was not doing anything at all.’ So you sit back and rejoice that you demolish the toe. Then you think. ‘Hey, I need to go to the store.’ Then you take a step and the body stumbles and the body falls down. ‘What is going on there?’ ‘I am so wonderful. I got rid of that big toe.’ You just destroyed a part of your body.
The idiocy that is taking place today in the body of Christ is beyond comprehension. Where people get the idea that I am going out and destroying people in the body of Christ and it is not going to weaken the body. But if you do not have any concern for the body. If your only concern is to try to make the thumb look good, since you are the center of the universe, thumb, then you have no concern at all as to what effect that has on the rest of the body. You put a new strain on others. You put a new strain on the ankle. You put a new strain on the leg. You put a new strain in the hip because it cannot walk properly. You sit there blinded to the fact as to what that kind of action has just done to the body of Jesus Christ.
Order the Bible Study; “A Closer Look at Faith, Hope and Love” book today!