THE NATURE OF CHRIST
Since we have the name of the Lord the Spirit of God should be our Lord! When the Spirit becomes our Lord, a big change takes place in our lives! What a relief to know that no pastor, denomination, organization, set of doctrines, nor the law is our Lord! The law no longer rules us for Christ is our righteousness! He takes care of us at all times!
Today we want to look at who Christ is. We rarely differentiate between Jesus and the Christ. The complete name of the man from Nazareth was Jesus Christ, and it means God's Savior, the Christ. His name is His nature.
In the first chapter of John, Jesus is called the true light that lights the whole world. Yet the world did not like the light. Isn't it strange that people still have a problem with receiving revelation of the God who made them! This is because they do not understand the concepts of the truth and the lie, life and death, immortality and mortality. They think they understand, but they only understand from their own perspective. Their ideas remain the same and they believe their understanding to be correct. True light reveals error, but people would rather continue in error than admit error.
1 Timothy 6:16 says that Christ alone has immortality and He dwells in light that no man has ever perceived or can perceive. Christ is the immortal One and there is no immortality outside of Him! Therefore, if we want to have immortality, we have to be united to immortality; we have to be merged with it! We cannot obtain it by ourselves! Neither can we obtain Godhood by ourselves, because God is immortal and God is the life. We can only have the life, which proceeds out of Him, for it is not distorted by human nature nor by
The two kinds of light, natural and spiritual, are illustrated in Genesis one. In verse 3 God commanded the light to shine forth. This was spiritual light and it differed from the natural light of the sun, moon and stars created on the fourth day.
Since Christ lives in unapproachable light, it cannot be any type of natural light. This puts man into a dilemma. How can he be enlightened, for the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God? Natural enlightenment comes from one's own reasoning and intellect and is therefore darkness. Knowledge of the Bible that has only been processed by the human intellect is also darkness. If the light in man is darkness, how great is that darkness! If man does not know that his light is darkness, his light will seem like truth to him, and he will be content with it.
Jesus Christ is the true image of God - that is, He represents God exactly. Now an image is not God. When Christ came into the world as a human being, humanity saw an image of God. But humanity did not recognize the image because it was contrary to its wrong image of God. So it did not think it saw an image of God. Although Israel thought they knew God, they had never seen His shape, they had never heard His voice; they didn't know the Father, they didn't know the Son, and they did not even believe Moses. (John 5) They did not believe the testimony of God that was in Jesus Christ!
God is the source of all things; He is all in all. In the beginning was God - there was no one else; there was no other consciousness and no other mind in the beginning. Since everything has to come from Him, there is no way that He can ever receive something that did not come out of Himself. It's impossible! We cannot give Him
God is so all-encompassing that heaven and earth cannot contain Him! He is omnipresent! So it may puzzle us why He doesn't do something to stop all the evil in this world. This world is being ruled by the darkness of man's natural reasoning, and it lies in the evil one. The truth is that God's kingdom is not of this world. Christ is representing the Father. God is known as the Father because He has the Son! For a man to become a father, he has to have a child. A child needs to know its father in relationship. In Christ's Father-Son relationship, the Son needed to know His Father and the necessity of complete obedience to Him. In this relationship with His father He learned to understand Himself.
The Israelites did not understand this. Their confusion was evident when they argued with Jesus about their genealogy from Abraham. According to the flesh they were descendants of Abraham, but their nature was of their father the devil, and they were doing the works of their father. Their father is a murderer and the father of lies. Everything they represented was based on lies. Lies operate against the truth. Jesus is the truth, and truth is spiritual. You can't put a finger on truth, you can't contain it, you can't own it, you can't see it. Truth has to rule us because it will rule everything. A lie is exposed and dispelled when truth comes. So when Jesus Christ, who is the truth, comes and expresses Himself, the lies are uncovered and our whole idea of being is changed by the truth. Our old image of ourselves was conceived by our father the devil, and therefore our old man must be crucified. That applies to every person! That is why everyone in Israel, and every natural person - whether circumcised or uncircumcised, Jew or Gentile - is an antichrist. In his own thinking he fashions his own god, and it takes the place of Christ. God is only a concept to him.
When Jesus was on earth, God was only a concept to the Israelites, but God was a reality to Christ! So we can readily see the conflict that emerged. The lie is always an adversary to the truth. It wasn't long until these people wanted to kill Jesus Christ because of His testimony. This is the groundwork for understanding what was happening.
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself! Jesus did not reconcile the world to Himself, nor did He reconcile the world to God by Himself. God was asking man to receive the testimony of Jesus and be reconciled to God. Jesus recognized His dependency on the Father, for He said,
At the time Jesus taught in Israel, the people refused to hear Christ. Natural man had not yet had his spirit quickened, so he could not hear Christ. Since Israel was not hearing Christ, they were not hearing God; this showed that they were hearing some other voice. This is very serious! At one time all of us were dead in our trespasses and sins, living according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. (Eph. 2:1-2) Now Christ has destroyed all this, and has put all men together in one Man or in one image of God.
The flesh opposes both God and His Son, so we are to repent and turn to God. (Acts 26:20) Jesus is the power that gathers us after the law has caused us to repent. The enlightenment of Christ replaces the mind of the flesh.
Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He did not take upon Himself the nature of angels, but of the seed of Abraham. (Heb. 2:16) The promise was to the seed of Abraham. So He was made in all points like us - like we were in Adam, but not like we are after we are saved or redeemed. But His identification with us when we were in separation from God was without sin. We know very little of His life while He was under the law. Only one incident when He was twelve years old is recorded. When Jesus walked under the law, He was circumcised; He sacrificed and observed the holy days. But when the fullness of time came, He was baptized into the baptism of John - a baptism of repentance. The government of law in His life was exchanged for the government of the Holy Spirit!
John represented repentance, and repentance is the fruit of the law. It causes us to turn from the government of the law and self.
Jesus submitted to baptism; the Holy Spirit came down upon Him, and He heard a voice from heaven saying,
Man was taken captive by
Even though people crucified Jesus, the Son of God was not killed. If the life in the Son of God could be killed, then our life in God could also be killed, and we wouldn't have any guarantee of eternal life. God did not kill His own Son and people couldn't. God knew that nobody could kill His life in the Son - nobody could kill His Son, nobody could kill His testimony, nobody could kill anything of God. It's ridiculous to think that anything of God can be killed. But people didn't know He was God! They were ignorant, and in their carnal, pride-filled idea they thought they could get rid of God's Anointed. But they couldn't! God was in Christ RECONCILING the world - NOT APPEASING their sins. Jesus Christ did not die as our substitute; we were crucified with Him!
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ demonstrated human nature's rejection of God. Jesus Christ, the exact invisible image of God the Father in human form was rejected! He came to redeem us from the law, which had caused us to have a sin-consciousness. We were to understand our inability to do the will of God and to keep His covenant. Without the law we could never have understood this. So the law is a wonderful stage in the process of redemption!
The law and the prophets operated under the old covenant. In Hebrews it says the old covenant is passing away. It's gone. God has no obligation to fulfill the old covenant because that covenant has become obsolete. Man always broke it because he could not perform its demands, no matter how much he tried. So God said, "I'll give you a new covenant, which does not depend upon you. I promise that I will fulfill this new covenant." That does not leave anything for you or me to do; so we rest in the work of God! He not only gives us a promise, but He also fulfills the promise.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter got up and said that this Jesus of Nazareth had been exalted by God and was now on the throne of David.
Peter preached the first message to the church - the first testimony of the fulfillment of the kingdom of God. When the people "heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles,
Receiving the forgiveness of sins does not change people. They keep on sinning and praying for forgiveness, over and over again. This is because they are still identifying with the old government in their lives; it tells them they are sinners - some day they may be sons of God if they can just hang in there. They continue to have a sin-consciousness. Where does the sin-consciousness come from? Whom are they hearing? God is not imputing sin. To the woman caught in adultery Jesus said, "I don't condemn you."
There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. If we have Christ in us as our life, as our consciousness, as our Lord, as our revelator, we have been joined to God; we have been separated from the old man - not from God! We are no longer joined to the old man, the old consciousness, the old idea of God, and the old mind of death. People have thought (superficially) that if they are forgiven they'll have salvation and go to heaven.
We have passed from Adam to Christ. Our sins and trespasses have been forgiven, we've been raised from the dead, we've been made new creatures in Christ, and we are the sons of God! So instead of minding the law and the flesh, we now have the mind of the Spirit to m2nd those spiritual things that come through the Holy Spirit. Although we would like to be finished with the old mind, it constantly infringes on our times of trying to hear the Spirit. So what happens? Many give up. Others continue to meditate, but when they don't hear anything from God, they get into wishful thinking and dream up all kinds of weird things. The fact is that we cannot control our Lord. He will answer us at the right time; sometimes the answer is delayed because we are not ready to receive it. To demand immediate answers or anything else, is putting ourselves up as His lord. HE is our Lord! We are not an entity that makes demands - we're in a rest, in a trust and in complete submission to His timing and will!
Let's just have a short review. The Father sent the Son in the likeness of sinful flesh by giving Him a physical body. The Word was made flesh. In this likeness of sinful flesh He looked like everybody else. He didn't look like a superman - six foot two, flaxen-haired and a perfect complexion; He looked like every other Jew. In Isaiah it says that He did not have any comeliness for which we should love Him. He operated in the limitations of the flesh. He didn't use special power to go from place to place; He walked like everyone else. At thirty years of age, He was baptized in the Jordan. He turned from the old government of His life, and God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit. He became a new creature; He became a new man and brought forth a new image of God. This transformation took place in Jesus when He went through His repentance and received the Holy Spirit. "As we have borne the image of the earthy, so we shall bear the image of the heavenly." It also takes place in us when we receive the government of the Holy Spirit - not when we go to heaven.
"...and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear."
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth in
He has poured out the Spirit on all flesh even though everyone hasn't received the Spirit. In Acts 2:16 Peter said,
The Messiah is here. It's the Christ who comes and He is present in the Spirit. By receiving Him we can become members of the body of Christ.
What about the soul? We have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:18-19) The soul is in the blood, so we have been redeemed by His soul. See also Isaiah 53:11. We are new creatures, spirit, soul and body. (1
Jesus said that it is the Father who does the work. The natural man cannot receive this. People say so many things ignorantly or unthinkingly. For example, they say,
I don't believe that the new creation man (that we are) is living in time anymore. Jesus makes the ages. (Heb. 1:2) It says WORLD in various translations, but the Greek word is EON. All these designations of time which we call days, weeks, seasons, years, and the millennium, are simply measures or stages in the progression of the truth and enlightenment Christ brings us. The
The Adamic man ends in Christ, so Christ is the last Adam. In typology Adam was a figure of Him who was to come. (Rom. 5:14) The figure dies when the reality comes. Christ is the reality! I don't believe that the Adamic
In Heb. 7 we read about the new priesthood of Christ according to the order of Melchizedek. He did not become our high priest as a result of any physical requirement and lineage, but according to the power of an indestructible life! This required a change of law - for the old one ministered sin and death. Christ ministers an endless life! All that the Old Testament priesthood foreshadowed is fulfilled in Christ, because Christ is the mediator of a new covenant. The old one is passing away and is becoming obsolete.
We have to be careful to read the Old Testament in the Spirit of Christ, or we'll think everything will be fulfilled some day IN TIME, instead of seeing that the FULFILLMENT IS IN CHRIST. All the typology of the temple, sacrifices, offerings, holy days and Sabbath days, have their fulfillment in Christ. THEY END IN HIM! Christ is the substance of these things. (Col. 2:17) That is why Paul says we don't have to observe days anymore. Peter writes about the day dawning and the morning star arising in our hearts. (2 Peter 1:19) This is not in time, but in our hearts!
The covenant given to Moses ends in Christ, for Christ is the mediator of a better covenant with God! Therefore if we don't put the old one away, we can't have the new one. Actually the new one ends the old one because Christ is the Alpha (the beginning), and the Omega (the end). Sin-consciousness ends in Christ. He has no sin-consciousness, no condemnation. We know that the natural nation of Israel ends in Christ, because Jesus said to the Jews,
"...that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil."
Time and place end in Christ because He brings us immortality. Condemnation ends in Christ, for in Him there is only the law of the Spirit of life; there is no other law to contend with and no law to condemn us! Our ignorance of God and self ends in Christ. This is because Christ has been made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. He is our wisdom from God! It's Christ! The world system's rule ends in Christ! All the corruption, evil, perversion of sex, murders, hatred and greed in this world is a result of this world's evil rule. It obviously is not of God. Christ's kingdom is not of this world. So we have to be transferred out of this world into Christ's kingdom to receive the truth of God that's in Christ Jesus.
All the promises of God have their yes and Amen in Christ! (2 Cor. 1:20) All error ends in Christ because Christ is truth, and truth does away with error. What happens to error and the lie when truth comes? They disappear because they have no substance. There is nothing to sustain the lie; when truth is accepted, the lie is gone. Jesus Christ said,
Man had already been persuaded by
"And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him...will teach you about all things..."
Christ is often misrepresented. Since He is the exact representation of the Father, a wrong understanding of Him also brings a misrepresentation of God and of who we are in Him. If we don't have the truth that is in Christ Jesus, we won't know God or ourselves correctly. So we'll be lost - we won't know our true identity, or will we have a true consciousness of God. We won't know the process of redemption - that we are being redeemed out of the lie into the truth, out of flesh into spirit, out of mortality into immortality, out of darkness into light! It's the coming of truth, which ushers out the old. Christ "is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." He is the end because the old man ends in Christ. When truth comes against the lie, the lie ends.
I hope you are hearing this testimony, and receiving the truth and the realization that can only come from the Spirit. Consider what I say, and may the LORD give you understanding. God bless you.