WHO IS THE SON OF MAN?
Jesus called Himself the Son of Man. The expression,
Since Jesus continually referred to Himself as the Son of Man, there must be a great significance in this! Let's look at some of the things Jesus said, and then see our identification with the Son of Man in the earth. Jesus said that the Son of Man dispatches messengers or angels, sows the good seed, has authority on earth to forgive sin, and that the angels ascend and descend on Him. Furthermore, when Jesus sent out the twelve disciples He said, "You will not cover the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes."
We can learn to know who the Son of Man is by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us. So here we go.
Jesus said many things about the Son of Man. Here are some of the things He said,
Notice that the Son of Man is a different man than the men into whose hands He would be delivered! So there are two different men, two different images of God, two different witnesses of God. Jesus said that the Son of Man would be killed and be raised on the third day. Jesus IS the resurrection; He IS the Son of God! He didn't need to be raised from the dead; He didn't need to repent. He didn't need to be baptized by John, He didn't need to get the anointing. He did all these
He who is of the earth, testifies of earthy things. To have a heavenly testimony we need to be of heavenly descent. So when Jesus ascended, He took us with Him and gave us a heavenly testimony. Now we can bring a new or heavenly testimony into the world. In our identification with the Son of Man, we know that our new nature came down from heaven, and it remains in heaven even while we are testifying here on earth. Jesus said,
In His tabernacle of flesh, Jesus gave us a wonderful testimony of who God really is! Yet this testimony became a judgment upon humanity, because it doesn't believe who God really is. However, God's purpose for us is to know Him!
People want to know the identity of great men of God. John the Baptist was asked whether he was the Christ, Elijah or the Prophet. To each of these questions he said, "No!" People also had a lot of questions about Jesus. The question, "Who is the Son of Man?" has often been asked. Jesus Himself asked His disciples,
Jesus did not did not give direct answers to questions about Himself. He knew the people would not understand, because no one knows the Son except the Father. Only those can know Him to whom it has been revealed by the Father! Jesus was not in the habit of revealing Himself to man. Only the Father can reveal the Son to us! And only the Son can reveal the Father! This knowledge has to come to us spiritually. The Father's revelation of the Son comes to our spirit. The Son's
He said to them,
Only through the Holy Spirit's teaching can we come into the reality of the tremendous salvation God has accomplished! To understand it, we have to recognize our identification with the Son of Man. Just as the Son of Man was the only true witness of God when He was on earth, so we are now called to be true witnesses of God! This can only occur as we recognize that His corporate body on the earth, namely, the body of Christ, is the Son of Man. It is interesting to note that Jesus told Peter that his name, Petros, meant stone. After Peter had been converted and had received the Holy Spirit, he taught that we are living stones, built up into a spiritual house. It's wonderful to see that, isn't it?
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."
Hell is a place of the unseen, in both the Old and New Testaments. Hades or hell is a place of darkness; it is an unseen realm. An old common expression, "to hell the potatoes" meant to cover the potatoes with dirt so they would be in an unseen realm. In symbolism, being in Hades or hell, means living in a place where people do not understand or see spiritually, because they are locked up in the prison of their own mind. From God's point of view, they are in the grave and cannot perceive the Spirit. So bad things happen to them. Since they do not have the realization that comes in the Holy Spirit, they need to be raised from the dead. After their eyes
Peter also opened the kingdom to the Gentiles after he had received a vision from God. In this vision God showed him that God had cleansed the Gentiles, and that he shouldn't call any man unclean! So he accepted the invitation to go to Cornelius's house. There he used the keys of the kingdom to open the kingdom to the Gentiles. However he did not always act according to this knowledge. Years later, Peter visited the Galatian Christians, mingled with them and ate with them, but after James sent some men from Jerusalem to check up on them, Peter withdrew from the Gentiles. This caused Paul to call Peter a hypocrite.
So often we are satisfied with the reasonings and assumptions of our human mind because we let our mind function as God in us. Many Bible students think they know God because they have read about Him in the Bible. They are satisfied with forgiveness. But God has more for us! Peter's experiences show us that we also have to experience more than forgiveness if we are to understand our place in the purposes of God. The progressive revelation of Christ is in effect today! It's just wonderful!
We are members of His body; we are one with Him and one with the Father! Since we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, we have to think of ourselves as being completely new! Paul said that external things, like circumcision or uncircumcision, have no bearing on who we are in Christ. The only thing that really matters is being a new creature! Our identification is not with sinners, but with Christ! We have been translated into God's kingdom; we are the Lord's Christ; we have been
If we understand our identification with Christ, we can understand that God is continuing the mission of Christ on the earth through His body! We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. God gave it to Christ, and we are in the Christ. We have been baptized into the body of Christ, and have been given the ministry of reconciling people to God! Our ministry does not consist of getting people to live moral lives. Our hope does not consist of going to heaven and getting a new body. Our ministry is reconciliation, so that people can have an identity with Christ in the Father. They can be one with Him because they are a new creation. All things have become new! So we no longer portray the image of the Adamic man, but a new image in Christ! Only the Spirit can reveal to us what man really is.
The keys of the kingdom of heaven were given to Peter, and heaven is now open to us. Since Jesus has disappeared from the earth, and the heavens are opened to us, the messengers (angels) of God are now ascending and descending on the new man who is in the earth. In other words, the spiritual messages of God are going back and forth to us through this Christ in the earth, and we become true witnesses. This occurs after we receive the promise of the Father, namely, the Holy Spirit. That is when we become witnesses of Christ. He gives us the messages He hears from the Father. So the Son of Man is operating in the earth today. If you have a problem identifying with Christ, you should pray about it. Heaven is shut to the carnal mind of man, but it is open to those who have the mind of Christ. The messengers of God are ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. To further identify who He is, we must remember that He is a
Jesus came with a spiritual image of the Father and Himself, but the Jews could not handle this. So they opposed Him! Jesus told them that they did not know God; they had not seen Him, they didn't believe Moses, etc. This proved to be true, for they killed Him. They were in a precarious situation, but so are we if we don't identify with Christ and His rejection, for then we will be satisfied with the state we are in. Instead of growing, we'll reject those who represent Christ and even
The kingdom had been taken away from Israel. The spiritual rule of God can never be effective through natural humanity. It cannot be a true witness to spiritual things because natural humanity is locked up in its carnal mind - in its earthy sense of being. It can only produce an earthy image of God. This image has to be superseded by a spiritual image. We can only be put under the dominion of God after we have received His spiritual image by becoming a new creation.
The same thing that happened in Israel, is happening today. We have the world, the religious system, and those who are identified as God's Christ (the Son of Man) in the earth - but only the latter have a true witness. I am talking about the true witness that only comes about by the Holy Spirit, not about religious people, sensational preaching, and intellectual ideas about God.
He said to them,
In Christ's relationship with the Father, He knew His part and the Father's part!
The Spirit works all the ministries into a beautiful whole! The prophetic ministry tells us what has happened in Jesus Christ, what He has accomplished, and what we should get into. If you are not yet in it, it becomes a prophecy to you that you are to get into it. If you are not saved, it is a prophecy to you that you are to get saved. The prophetic ministry does not begin with, "Thus saith the Lord" or "I say unto thee". Jesus never spoke like that. He spoke out of His nature - of who He was in God.
And after He had said these things. He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said,
The disciples saw Jesus being enveloped by a cloud - and the cloud symbolizes a cloud of witnesses! (Heb. 12:1) Since He comes back in the same way, He comes in a cloud of witnesses. These witnesses have physical bodies; they are people who bear true witness of who He is.
This is the fulfillment of the Son of Man! He is one new man, a corporate man, into whom are placed both the circumcision and the uncircumcision, thus making peace! This new man is for a habitation of God in the Spirit! We are being built into a spiritual house! This helps us to see that Christ is a many-membered body. There is one body, but there are many members in the Christ!
This many-membered body is the Son of Man who is God's witness in the earth. He is now functioning in our earthly physical tabernacle that has been redeemed from ignorance, death, a wrong testimony, lust and evil. In being true witnesses, we do nothing on our own initiative, for it is Christ who tells us what to do!
The Son of Man is Christ's corporate expression in the earth. We, who are the Lord's Christ, are the continuing manifestation of Christ in the earth. Some are called upon to perform healings and miracles, while others are given other ministries. We need to understand that we are one body, all functioning for the good of the body. We still have a lot of growing to do.
Jesus was taken into heaven in the form of a man, and He is coming back in the same way. He went into the invisible and He came back into the visible. Jesus is bringing forth a witness that is greater than the one the people had in the Old Testament. Christ spoke through Adam,
Everything that these Old Testament saints represented in God's plan of redemption was fulfilled in Christ! Now it is being fulfilled in us because we are the Lord's Christ in the earth. We have not changed physically, but the body of truth and life that we are born into, has changed our ministry and our witness in the earth. Today we have the opportunity of confessing the same things Christ did. We are the body of Christ, we are His witness in the earth, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation - of reconciling men to God through Christ!
God is adding those who should be added. He is calling out of the Gentiles a people for His name. Our mission is to bear witness of the Christ and to reconcile people to God. If we are misunderstood and rejected, we continue with our mission on earth. In our country we are not crucified physically, but people will try to stop our message from going forth! However, let us remember that the Son of Man is the good seed in the earth.
So again, consider what I say. Get your concordance and look up all these things about the Son of Man, and pray that in your identity with Him, you too might be the continuing mission of the Son of Man in the earth. We witness AS Him - not only about Him. God bless you. Amen.