God's Name Christ
1. 1 Pet. 4:14, "If ye be reproached for the name of
Christ, happy are
The word, Christ, means "anointed," and describes God to us as the "Anointed One." There were two old testament offices that required those who served in them to first be anointed. These offices were the office of king and the office of high priest. As we will see, Christ is both king and high priest of his people and his coming was according to old testament prophecy concerning both offices. In Daniel 9:25, 26 there is a prophecy of the coming of "Messiah the Prince." The word, Messiah, is the old testament equivalent to Christ and means "anointed." Thus in "Christ" there is a fulfillment of a three fold promise of a coming King, a coming High Priest, and a coming Prince.
In this essay we will consider Christ as a fulfillment of an old testament prophecy of a coming King. In future essays we will consider Christ as the High Priest and as the Prince.
II Sam. 7:12 16 records for us the prophecy that God gave to David thru his prophet Nathan of a future King: "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men. But my mercy will not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever." Thus God promised a King of the seed of David to sit upon an everlasting throne in an everlasting kingdom, after David was dead and buried. Since Solomon was anointed and made king of Israel while David was yet alive, Solomon could not have been the promised king. On the day of Pentecost Peter declared the fulfillment of the old testament prophecy was Christ when he said in Acts 2:29, 30, "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." That Christ is already on the throne of David in an everlasting kingdom is plainly declared to us in Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." The Jewish nation had been looking for the coming King. When the wise men came they asked, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?" Herod's response was to ask the chief priests and scribes "where Christ should be born?" Some of the Jews believed Christ would set up a natural kingdom, and sit upon a natural throne, calling him "thou Son of David." Great multitudes expected him to immediately establish himself as a natural king when he ascended to Jerusalem as they cried, "Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
Hosanna in the highest." Jesus declared his kingdom to be a spiritual and not a natural kingdom when he said to Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from thence." Furthermore, Christ said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Moreover, Jesus declared his kingdom a spiritual, not natural, kingdom when he said in John 3:3, 5 that a man must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God and must be born of water and Spirit before he can enter the kingdom of God.
As the king of this spiritual kingdom Christ is the law giver (Gal. 6:2) of that kingdom. He has established the government (Is. 9:6) of that kingdom. He established the kingdom with judgment and with justice (Is. 9:7). He has established the offices in that kingdom (Eph. 4:11, I Tim.3:1 13). He has given us everything that is necessary and needful in this kingdom as we read in 2 Tim. 3:16, 17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
May we all say as Paul said in 1 Tim. 1:17, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." O Lord let us not be as those who said, "We will not have this man to reign over us."
God's Name Creator
1. Eccl. 12:1 "Remember now thy Creator in the days
of thy youth..."
In Col. 1:14 17 we glean that Christ is the Creator and that he has created all things "that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible." Create can be defined as making something from nothing. Only God can create anything. Sometimes we ascribe to individuals that they are creative. However, what we are intending to convey is the idea that they have artistic ability or that they have inventive ability. To make something from nothing only God can do that.
Rev. 4:11 reads, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Not only does this verse teach us that God has created all things, but it also tells us His purpose in creating all things, i.e., "for his pleasure." God was under no obligation to create anything, but it pleased him to do so. In addition, this verse teaches us of a completed creation (were created) and an ongoing creation (are created). We read in the first two chapters of Genesis where God created the heavens and the earth in six days and that he rested on the seventh day. The visible, natural universe in which we exist was completed at that time. That creation was completed.
However, there is an ongoing spiritual creation as set forth in Eph. 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Gal. 6:15 and II Cor. 5:17 refers to this spiritual inner man as being "a new creature" in Christ Jesus. Just as Christ spoke the natural universe into existence, "Let there be light and there was light," etc. he also speaks spiritual life into those who were before dead in trespasses and sins: John 5:25, "...the hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live."
According to Ps. 19:1 "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork..." Sometimes we are blessed to look at the starry region above and meditate upon the greatness of God's power to be able to create such a vast and huge universe in which we exist. We are told that there are literally billions of stars and at such distances that our minds are incapable of comprehending. Under the law of cause and effect the cause must be greater than the effect, thus God must be greater in power and might than this vast universe in which we live. Furthermore, we see such complexity and design in the universe God has created.
Man can make an automobile or an airplane, yet the complexity of those structures pales into utter insignificance in comparison to a single cell in a human body where countless millions of chemical reactions are taking place at any one time and in perfect harmony. Man builds machinery and in a few years it wears out, man places satellites in orbit about the earth and in a few years the orbits decay and those satellites return to earth. God set one satellite (moon) orbiting the earth and it stays just where God set it. A good juggler can juggle four or five balls for a few minutes. God takes multiplied billions of objects in the universe, has them traveling in various orbits and revolutions and they continue continuously in the paths that God assigned them. Yes the heavens declare the greatness of God's power, the greatness of his wisdom, the greatness of his design, the greatness of his knowledge. They also declare to us that our Creator is a God of purpose, that this universe didn't happen by chance or happenstance, but rather was created by the purposeful design of God.
In similar fashion to the above, our salvation from sin, our new birth (spiritual creation), and our resurrection to the glory world are not brought about by chance or happenstance, but are the purposeful design and power of our Creator. God purposed before the world began to bring these things about and they are brought about by his power, wisdom, knowledge, and design. According to Rom. 8:29, 30, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Surely, we too can say, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for they pleasure they are and were created."
God's Name Emmanuel
We know that Jesus came down in the form of a man and dwelled with men for 33 ½ years as "God manifest in the flesh." He was/is the God man for he was/is verily God and verily man. However, the name Emmanuel carries more significance than just the 33 ½ years of Jesus' life on earth as a man. Truly, God has been with his people ever since He created man on earth. God was with Adam and Eve in the garden before the transgression. God was with Abel as he offered a sacrifice that God respected. God was with Enoch as he walked with God for 300 years and God took him for he had this testimony that he pleased God. During the days of Noah when all flesh corrupted his way upon the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, we find that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and God instructed Noah to build an ark according to the pattern God gave him. After the ark was completed and Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives entered the ark, God manifested his presence with them when he commanded the animals to come into the ark unto Noah.
After the flood, God made his presence known to Abram as he appeared to him and commanded him to get up out of his country and from his fathers house and his kindred and go to a land that God would show him. God manifested his presence unto Abraham in the matter of the birth of Isaac and with the offering up of Isaac, as well as with the slaughter of the kings, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Likewise, we read where God manifested his presence with Isaac in the bringing of a wife to Isaac (Rebecca) and with the granting of Isaac's entreaties on behalf of he and Rebecca to have children (Jacob and Esau). Likewise God's presence was manifested when the Philistine king would have taken Rebecca to be one of his wives. Similarly, God manifested his presence to Jacob as he fled from the wrath of his brother Esau and as he returned to Canaan and met Esau with 400 men. Likewise when Uncle Laban would have done harm to Jacob, God prevented him.
Of particular note was Jacob's son Joseph. When his
brothers sold him
into Egyptian bondage and he was put into prison
based on a false
accusation, God manifested his presence to Joseph,
raised him up out of
the prison, granted him favor to Pharaoh so that he
was second only to
Pharaoh in the Egyptian government, and used him to
save much people
alive during the great famine including Israel and
all his children.
Later when there arose a king that knew not Joseph in Egypt and the children of Israel were made to serve with rigor, God heard their cries and according to his promise to Abraham, God sent forth Moses to Pharaoh to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage. God manifested his presence with them as he sent forth 10 judgments upon Egypt at which at last Pharaoh agreed to let Israel go. God went before the children of Israel in a pillar of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to lead them in the way and to give them light. He parted the waters of the Red Sea that Israel crossed over on dry ground and when the Egyptian army marched after, he caused the waters to return and to destroy Pharaoh and his host. God was with Israel in the wilderness as he gave them daily manna to eat.
When they thirsted he had Moses to smite the rock and it brought forth water. Even on the second occasion when Israel murmured against God and against Moses, God told Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses smote the rock twice and spoke unadvisedly with his lips, yet God still was merciful to Israel and gave them water from the rock. God manifested his presence with Joshua and Israel when they went in to possess the land of Canaan. He drove their enemies out before them. He was with Israel's army and they prospered greatly in the war. Likewise, God was with Israel in the days of the judges and the days of the kings. He manifest his presence with them when they were in Babylonian and Medo Persian captivity.
When Jesus walked on earth he manifested his presence thru many signs and wonders as he healed the sick, caused the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. He raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, made whole the shriveled limbs and caused the lame to walk. He cast out devils and unclean spirits. He taught and fed the multitudes. He was especially with the disciples and taught them the things concerning the kingdom of God. He answered their questions, gave them their directions and blessed their labors. Toward the end of his ministry on earth he promised to send another Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Finally, Jesus was with all the elect as he redeemed them from their sins at the cross.
After his resurrection and before his ascension, Jesus instructed the apostles to tarry at Jerusalem until they were endued with power on high. On the day of Pentecost the Comforter (God the Holy Spirit) came down and there was a miraculous outpouring of signs and wonders for forty years.
God, the Holy Spirit, is with us today to direct the ministry, appoint their fields of labor, empower them to preach in power and demonstration of Spirit. He pricks the hearts of his people and leads them to repentance. He teaches them and opens the eyes of their understanding. He is with us in our trials and tribulations; he comforts us amidst our sorrows; he gives us direction for our lives; he strengthens our faith. Furthermore, according to the promise of Christ, where two or three are gathered together in his name, he is with us in our midst. God is not a spectator on the sidelines of life, but is with us in the midst of our lives.
He is Emmanuel: God with us.