"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

THE CHRIST OF GOD - PART TWO Of This TWO PART Article By Sonny Islas 5.1.2022

Watch the SHINE BRIGHT Facebook video of this teaching here or on the YouTube page here.

INTRODUCTION: Today, we are going to take a magnifying-glass-look at Peter’s great confession regarding Jesus’ identity, where Jesus asked, “who do you say that I am?” And Peter replied, “You are the Christ of God (In Luke’s Gospel).”

We’re going to discover how this majestic title, “Christ,” connects to the Old Testament scriptures and Old Testament prophecy. This will help us to better understand what Peter was thinking when he replied in this awesome way.

To start, Christ is not Jesus’ last name – Christ is a Messianic title.

By the way, If you missed last Sunday’s teaching titled: “Who Do You Say I Am?” I would encourage you to go back and listen to that on our S.B.C. YouTube Channel, because this teaching rides on the coattail of “Who do you say I am?”

MARK 8:27-33
27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?" 28 So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets." 29 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ." 30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him. 31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men
."

Again, Peter’s great confession is “You are the Christ”

First things first: What does the word “Christ” mean?

Christ or Cristos is the Greek word for and translation of the Hebrew word Mashiach from which we get the word, Messiah – and both titles/words mean the same thing: Anointed or The Anointed One. Thus, Jesus the Christ in Hebrew is Y’shua ha Mashiach.

JOHN 1:37-51 tells us that Andrew, Peter’s brother, believed Jesus to be the foretold Messiah from the start, and that the word Messiah and Christ are one and the same. Vs. 41 says, “He (Andrew) first found his own brother Simon (Peter), and said to him, “We have found the Messiah (which is translated, the Christ).”

So then, when Peter declared Jesus as The Christ, He declared Jesus to be The Messiah - the Anointed One of God. The Chosen One of God. Again, this declaration is connected to the Old Testament scriptures and prophecies. Peter then, agreed with Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah - with the help of God the Father of course - as He illuminated Peter’s understanding.

Before we read prophetic passages that point to Jesus being The (definite article) Messiah, let’s take a look at how the word messiah was used in the Old Testament in connection to ordinary men, chosen by God for special purposes and offices.

The word anointed or messiah/christ was used in regard to Old Testament kings i.e. King David referred to King Saul as, “the LORD’s anointed (or Mashiyach)” several times. Why? Because in 1 SAMUEL 10, according to God’s choice and command, the prophet Samuel anoints Saul with oil and pronounces him as King over Israel – and as the anointed king, Saul’s main job was to rule over God’s people well and protect them from their enemies. Which he utterly failed to do.

In ISAIAH 45:1 The LORD calls the Persian king, Cyrus “His anointed (or His messiah/christ).”

The word anointed or messiah/christ was also used in regard to Old Testament priests:

EXODUS 30:30 says,
“And you shall anoint Aaron (that is as High Priest) and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests.”

LEVITICUS 8:12 says,
“And he (Moses) poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.

And as the anointed High Priest, Aaron was to serve as the middleman between God and men – as a kind of mediator or connector. The word anointed or messiah/Christ was also used in regard to Old Testament prophets:

PSALM 105:15 says,
“Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.”

As anointed prophets, they were to be God’s mouthpieces to Israel (kind of like today’s preachers in a sense). They heard from God and spoke for God in the hearing of kings and common people.

We see here that the noun form of Messiah (or Mashiyach/title) was used for Kings and the verb form for Messiah (or mashach “to pour oil on”) was used for Priests and Prophets.

These Old Testament ‘mini messiahs’ (if you will) and their duties served as foreshadows of the great Messiah, the long-awaited Messiah – “The Christ of God.”

And since Jesus is “The Christ”/The Messiah or Anointed One - He is the ultimate King of kings, the heaven-sent High Priest, and the Divine Prophet. And where the Old Testament anointed ones or messiah like kings, priests and prophets failed – Jesus would not fail. Jesus fulfills (and is fulfilling) all those offices perfectly.

Another interesting fact is that prophets were called to confirm kings, priests and in some cases other prophets by anointing them with oil and at Jesus’ baptism we find the prophet John the Baptist, not anointing Jesus with oil, but baptizing Him in water.

It was God the Father, Who from heaven anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit, coming in the form of a dove and descended upon Jesus – thus confirming Jesus to be the Anointed One of God, “the Christ of God,” the Messiah, The King, The High Priest and The Prophet!
[Note to TTUF readers: there are some who conjecture that the full revelation that GOD gave to Jesus Christ (REV 1:1) occurred at this time, which is in my (James Fire) mind, quite credible].

He is One who speaks for God – God the Father says of Him on the Mount of Transfiguration “This is My Son, HEAR HIM!” – making Jesus the ultimate prophet, the ultimate mouthpiece for God the Father (JOHN 5:37, 43; 14:7-9; 15:24) – this is why on that mountain, both Moses and Elijah (who served as top prophets [representing all the Law and the Prophets]) disappeared while only the LORD Jesus Christ remained.)

Now let’s look at Old Testament Bible verses that point directly to the foretelling of the coming Messiah – which is Jesus – The Mashiyach. The first half of this text refers to His First Coming:

Firstly, we have ISAIAH 61:1-2
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me
, [Here we have the Trinity] because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [salvation], and the day of vengeance of our God [His Second Coming]; to comfort all who mourn,

After Jesus had finished reading (LUKE 4:20) these verses as recorded in from Isaiah in a synagogue (which was a kind of Jewish local church), He said,
Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” In other words, I’m the Christ, the foretold Messiah, your Deliverer, the Anointed One of God. And instead of celebrating Him and His first arrival, they tried to push Him off a cliff!?

By the way, just as we see the Trinity in ISAIAH 61:1, “The Spirit (Holy Spirit) of the Lord God (The Father) is upon Me, (Jesus) we also see the Trinity at Jesus’ baptism and that’s where Jesus the Christ/Messiah was anointed by His Father and the Holy Spirit, hence “the LORD Has anointed Me.” ISAIAH 61:1 is a prophecy and picture of Jesus’ baptism.

As a footnote: This is why the resurrected Jesus commands the Church (starting with His Twelve Apostles) to baptize believers “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (MATT 28:19) – the Trinity.

We are baptized, immersed, joined, and unified with the Holy Trinity. Our baptism in one sense resembles Jesus’ baptism – where the Triune God is present, acknowledged and honored.

Secondly, we have DANIEL 9:24-27 where Jesus’ First Coming is prophesied - when “Messiah the Prince” (DAN 9:25 says) would come, (again, this is Jesus’ First Coming) and that the “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself” (DAN 9:26 says) - This is speaking of Jesus death on the cross for the sake of sin and the salvation of sinners.

So when Andrew and Peter (as the spokesman for the twelve) called Jesus “the Christ,” they had these Old Testament prophecies in view. They knew that one day the Messiah of God would come and now here He is – their humble yet all-powerful Rabbi.

So, if Peter now realized that Jesus is the foretold Messiah/Christ, why did Peter rebuke Jesus when Jesus told them that He must suffer and die – in MARK 8?

It’s because Peter failed to understand DANIEL 9:26 where is says that the “Messiah shall be cut off” (that is crucified/murdered/executed as a criminal). Peter also missed PSALM 22 (which clearly speaks of the crucifixion of Christ) and ISAIAH 53 which points to the sufferings of the coming Messiah.

[For a two part series that examines PSALM 22 (Part One) and ISAIAH 53 (Part Two), check out the preceding links for the article entitled ALTAR of the ALMIGHTY.]

Peter then viewed Jesus as the Lion of Judah but not the Lamb of God. As King, but not as slave, or as the sacrifice for sin. Peter could not imagine that The Messiah – in connection to DANIEL 7 and PSALM 2 as the conquering King – is also the suffering Servant.

PSALM 2 is fascinating because it points to Jesus as being the Messiah/Christ of God, the King of God and God’s Son – let’s read:

PSALM 2
1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion." 7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel. 10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him
.

So again, Peter saw Jesus as more of a political figure or hero who will overturn Rome and NOT as a dying Savior who will overturn sin, death, and hell. So, Peter’s understanding of Jesus was growing but not without ‘growing pains’.

Peter, along with just about the entire nation of Israel, confused the Messiah’s (Jesus’) First Coming with His Second Coming. Because it’s at His Second Coming He will overthrow all nations and set the world straight (see DAN 2; REV 19 and REV 20). Even today, the nation of Israel is awaiting Jesus’ (The Messiah’s) First Coming but they will get the Antichrist instead because they missed the true Messiah’s first appearance.

[Note from James: In some of the rabbinical thinking, they hold the idea that there are actually two Messiahs: The Mashiach ben Joseph – the suffering Messiah and the Mashiach ben David – the conquering Messiah. Yet we know from our New Testament perspective that there aren’t two Messiahs, but two Advents of the One and only Messiah!]

Well, I hope that a little more light was shed on the identity of Jesus the Messiah in connection to the Old Testament scriptures!

[Final note from James: I was so especially blessed by these two teachings that I wanted to share them with all of our TTUF readers. I’m sure you were all as blessed as I was! GOD bless you saints, way too much!]

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