KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE REVELATION OF - WHICH CHRIST?
(For complete article see:
From The Candlestick To The Throne, Part 3)
We speak too carelessly of the deep and sacred things of God. One of the greatest truths ever kept hidden from the eyes of men is the truth about the revelation of Jesus Christ. I must hastily add, the revelation is not the revelation of "Jesus" - neither is it the revelation of "Christ." It is the revelation of JESUS CHRIST! Although Jesus and Christ are forever one and inseparable, yet there are distinct revelations and manifestations of each one. Jesus simply means Saviour. "Thou shalt call His name Jesus (Yashua, Yahweh is Salvation), for He shall save His people from their sins" (Mat. 1:21). This was the word of the angel Gabriel to Mary! The name Jesus reveals His Saviourship. Jesus asked His disciples one day, "Whom say ye that I am?" And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!" And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Mat. 16:16-17).
The disciples knew that they had been walking, talking, and eating with Jesus of Nazareth. But it took a revelation of the Spirit for them to see that this same Jesus of Nazareth was also "the Christ, the Son of the living God." When Jesus was born, heavenly angels announced His birth to the startled shepherds, saying, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Lk. 2:11). You see, despite the fact that a large percentage of present day believers frequently use the word Christ to refer to the Lord Jesus, very few people even know what the word means, much less understand the message behind it. Christ is not Jesus' last name! Christ is not an English word - it's a Greek word. Why translators have neglected to translate it for so many years, I don't know. But because they did not translate it, but merely brought it over into the English virtually in its Greek form, generations of Christians have missed out on its great meaning and significance. For hundreds of years western believers have ignorantly used the word Christ merely as a religious title!
The plain truth is the word Christ means Anointed. Although we generally think of the word anointed in a spiritual context, the word in and of itself isn't spiritual. Anointed simply means to pour over, smear on and rub into. When you go to the beach, you anoint yourself with suntan lotion. So there's nothing particularly special about the generic word anoint. But when you begin to talk about Jesus being The Christ, the One who has been sent by God and anointed with God's reconciling, quickening, saving, transforming power, the word becomes very, very special. It takes on great significance, not just because it's some kind of mystical, religious term, but because of the powerful, practical nature of what the anointing of God is, and can do!
Christ is the transliteration of the Greek word "Christos," which simply means one anointed with holy oil. The Hebrew "Mashiach," from which we get our word Messiah, has the same meaning as the Greek word "Christos," which is the anointed. It comes from a root word which simply means to smear or rub with oil. The first time we meet with holy oil in the scriptures is in the narrative of Jacob's experience at Bethel. "And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place! . . . And Jacob took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el." And from that memorable morning, all through the Old Testament, wherever there was a spot of common earth to be separated unto God and consecrated, or a common object to be dedicated to holy use, or a common man to be set apart and sanctified as a priest, or a sovereign to be enthroned and crowned, Jacob's holy oil was always employed for that sacred purpose. Holy oil became one of the most impressive and important, as well as one of the most universal, of all the sacramental signs and seals in the Old Testament economy.
It continued to be so, till all consecration, and all sacrifice, and all priesthood, and all sovereignty came to their consummation in Jesus, the Christ of God - the Anointed of Yahweh! And thus it is that His Old Testament name, The Messiah, and His New Testament name, The Christ, and His English name, The Anointed One, contain and convey to us the whole heavenly history of His election from everlasting, His predestination, His incarnation, His calling, His consecration, and His complete equipment, in every way, for all the position and ministry and glory and dominion He now fills as the Son of God. When our Lord first announced Himself to Israel, He opened the book of Isaiah, and found the place where it was written of Him: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor: He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them that are bruised." This, then, is the true Messiah, the true Christ, the true Anointed - the Christ of God! Even as Peter opened his mouth, and began to preach Christ to Cornelius, and to all his house, in these very words: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him."
And this is how this great name, "The Christ," came to be given to the man, Jesus of Nazareth, above all other men. Almighty God took that chosen man and anointed Him, as man had never been before, with the Holy Ghost. That is to say, God filled the man Jesus of Nazareth as full as human nature could hold of the mind, and the spirit, and the grace, and the glory, and the power of the Divine Nature. And having so anointed Him, God then presented Him to Israel, and through Israel to the whole world, as the Son of God in human flesh.
Some say that Christ is the anointing, but that is not quite the truth. Jesus the Christ is the anointed, the anointed one, and Christ is the one anointed, not the anointing. The oil typifies the anoint-ing, but the one upon whom the oil was poured was the anoint-ed. Others teach that Jesus "had the Christ" or that "the Christ was in Jesus." Those terms are foreign to scripture and make no sense whatsoever. The Christ is not something that came upon Jesus or that dwelt in Jesus - the Christ is who and what Jesus was and is! "Thou art the Christ..." (Mat. 16:16). "God has made this same Jesus both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" (I Jn. 5:1). Jesus was not the oil - He was the prophet, priest, and king upon whom the oil was poured! He is not the anoint-ing - He is the anoint-ed!
While we rejoice in the wonderful fact that Jesus is the Christ, the deeper truth is that as Jesus is the Anointed, or the Christ, even so are we! Contrary to popular teaching Christ is not only the one man, Jesus - not merely one person, but many. "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ!" (I Cor. 12:12). In union with Jesus Christ, the anointing which made Jesus the Christ now makes you and me the Christ. It is because "the Anointed" is in us, and we are in Him! We have received of HIS ANOINTING. "But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you...and ye shall abide in Him" (I Jn. 2:27). According to this passage the anointing which we have received from Him has now become our anointing because we abide or dwell in Him. Jesus Christ is THE ANOINTED ONE and we are members of His body - therefore we are IN THE ANOINTED ONE and share HIS ANOINTING. It is not Christ as the anointing that makes us the anointed, it is our participation in the very substance of Christ - the Anointed One - that makes us anointed! He is not our anointing - the anointing which He received from the Father is now also our anointing!
The spirit of sonship from God is the holy oil and Jesus Christ is the Head that was first anointed with that oil. Many do not understand this simple truth! Therefore they try to separate "Christ" from "Jesus Christ." Jesus the Christ is the Head of this body, and the very life and reality of this body which we are. The same anointing that is poured upon the Head-Christ flows all the way down to the feet of the Christ-Body, so that every member of the body is anointed with the same anointing as the Head. The Head is not the anointing! The Head is the Anointed, and as members of His body we have received from Him the same anointing! It is impossible to separate Jesus from the Christ, or Christ from Jesus Christ, just as it is impossible to separate ourselves from the Christ of God. When we are truly apprehended of the Father as sons of God, in the same family and order as Jesus, we receive the same spirit of sonship from the Father, which is the anointing that makes us THE ANOINTED SON! Flesh and blood cannot reveal this truth to our hearts! The Father, from whom issues the spirit of sonship, must reveal it within ourselves by the Spirit! It is the Spirit that searches out the mysteries of the kingdom of God and all the deep things of God, and that same spirit must reveal these truths to His apprehended ones! As I write these lines and make a feeble attempt to set forth to the Lord's precious elect what I see in the Spirit, I sense the presence and power of the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead!
There is no point in over emphasizing this fact, but we want to clearly establish the truth that "Christ" is not something Jesus possessed, but it is who and what HE IS. It is not "Christ" as something or someone separate from Jesus that we have received, and in whom we live, but it is JESUS CHRIST who is our very own reality. Let us note but a few of the many passages that make this truth plain. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His death?" (Rom. 6:3). "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1). "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 13:14). "Unto...them which are sanctified in Christ Jesus" (I Cor. 1:2). "But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (I Cor. 1:30). "Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (II Cor. 13:5). "For ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). "And hath...made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works..." (Eph. 2:10).
Christ means THE ANOINTED! It will be very helpful if in every place in the New Testament where the word Christ appears we would read it with the understanding that it means the Anointed or the anointed One. Anointed with the spirit of sonship we shall overcome in every area, triumphing gloriously in every situation, and will come forth in His victory over all things! Our lives have been foreordained by the Father to walk this path unto sonship. It is a path that was predestined for us in Christ Jesus before the world began. This path was established in Christ for all who are apprehended of the Father to the glory of manifest sonship. It is not "Christ" as something other than Jesus that energizes us, but it is the risen, ascended, glorified, spiritualized, and universalized Jesus Christ who is the genetics of our very own sonship! Therefore we are assured that we shall be able to attain to the same fullness of sonship as it is fulfilled in our Lord Jesus the Christ! What a word! What a hope! Hallelujah!
With this exhortation fresh upon our minds, let us think a little further about the book of Revelation as THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. Again I say, it is not simply the revelation of "Jesus," nor is it merely the revelation of "Christ." It is the revelation of J-E-S-U-S C-H-R-I-S-T! Nothing more, and nothing less. There is "another Jesus" and "another Christ" that is proclaimed today by the New Age movement, and the concept of some who call themselves kingdom people and sons of God is not far removed from this other Jesus and this other Christ.
The New Age terminology can be mistakenly taken for Kingdom Truth. They speak much of the kingdom of God within man, of Christ within man, of love, mercy, goodness, and spiritual perfection and oneness with God. The ancient serpent is wise, shrewd, crafty and subtle, and he knows that the most effectual way to instill error into the minds of the unwary is to use old and precious words and put a new meaning into them. So when his messengers, masquerading as "ministers of righteousness," seek to lead, if possible, the very elect astray, they use the old precious words, but put an entirely different and false meaning. When they talk about God and our heavenly Father they don't mean the God of the Bible, the personal God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. They mean the impersonal energy that is resident in all things animate and inanimate. They talk of atonement, but they do not mean at all the redemptive death of Jesus Christ on our behalf by which we are reconciled to God by His blood. They mean the at-one-ment in which we recognize our oneness with all things, a cosmic unity, not with the Creator, but within ourselves and with the creation. Jesus has nothing to do with it at all, except as a great Teacher, a Way-shower, revealing to us the divine potential inherent in every man. They believe there are many ways to God - Jesus is merely a way given to Christians - one of many ways to God.
What do the New Age people look to for salvation? A complete or perfect union with this "inexorable principle" or "divine energy" permeating all things, which is their god! It is the same thing as Nirvana of the Buddhist, Brahma of the Hindu - an imaginary god-consciousness, into which all will finally be absorbed. And this is attained by discovering and developing your "inner self" - which "inner self" is the corrupted soul rather than the regenerated spirit! And when they talk about Christ, they do not mean at all our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the actual historic Jesus who lived and died for us, who rose from the dead, ascended up to the right hand of God, and came back again in mighty spirit-power. Oh, no! They mean an "ideal Christ, or a "Christ principle" that is in every man! They mean the "inner self" of the soul! They see God as the life principle of every man and Christ is the name that is given to man once he has awakened to his godhood. Now, it is true that the seed of God is in every man! But no man is "Christ," that is, an anointed one, until the seed of God in him is quickened, germinated, and empowered by the infusion of God's Holy Spirit! Jesus, in the New Age view, was no more the Son of God than the drunk in the gutter. He was simply a good man, a highly developed man, a "Master-Spirit" who developed the Christ principle within him and showed men how to awaken to their true inner self. According to their teaching Jesus was a man who went through many incarnations. These incarnations of Jesus took the form of Confucius, Buddha, Moses, David, and many others. These lives were his days at school, and he arrived at a state of consciousness, while manifesting as Jesus of Nazareth, where he remembered his past lives. They see no need for Jesus as the Lamb slain, for redemption, justification, regeneration, new birth, sanctification, baptism in the Holy Spirit, or any other New Testament experience. Men don't need to be saved, reconciled to God, or cleansed by the washing of regeneration - just awakened to the god within! What the New Age movement has done in America and other western nations is to combine Christian terminology with the tenets of various eastern religions, wrap them all up in a new package, and put a label on the package which guarantees everyone salvation without a Saviour! And what some in this Kingdom walk have done is create their own hybrid strain of sonship, speaking Kingdom truth deadly laced with pagan New Age concepts!
The New Age movement is a modern form of eastern pagan religion - mingled with the darkness of the occult. While they do espouse some principles that contain truth, these are at best but half-truths, which are more deadly than the outright lie! All true reality of the living Jesus Christ is missing - they know not the Lord Jesus as Saviour, nor the cleansing power of His blood, nor the quickening, regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, nor the authority of His name, nor the baptism in His Spirit, nor the fellowship of His body, nor the truth of the Holy Scriptures - in short they are at best bastard sons, subtle counterfeits, and there is no light in them for the light they do have is darkness, merely their own supposed inherent godhood, unquickened and unregenerated, which is the godhood of the self, old Adam - not the true and living God! This "inner self" of all men is the "Cosmic Christ" of the New Age!
No truer words have been penned than those by Bob Torango wherein he writes, "I don't care how much it grieves some to think about having a Lord over themselves, no matter how much it makes their flesh to rebel, there is only one Lord over all heaven and earth, and that is Jesus Christ. It is not your perceived higher self, your I Amness, your shifted consciousness, your universal oneness, your metaphysical self, neither is it your egotistical, sinless, Adamless, fleshless self. Let me go down on record and say that there is only One worthy of honor and glory and adoration, only One to be worshipped and exalted, and it is not YOU. It is Him. If you cannot see Him beyond YOU, then you have a problem, and we need to talk. We don't have to exalt ourselves to feel better about our status in the kingdom. If we would only exalt Him, then He would lift us above our woeful self and bring us into His glory and crown us with everlasting joy. Isn't that enough? Do you really need to lower Jesus in rank and file in order to set yourselves up as kings? Must you continue to try to find another door, another way into God? He is the door, and it is wide open for all. Walk through Him, sit down with Him and drink the new wine and eat the bread of the kingdom. It is enough."
The book of Revelation is not the revelation of this Cosmic Christ, nor of a Christ principle, nor of the old inner self of unregenerated men - it is the revelation of the crucified, risen, ascended, glorified, spiritualized, universalized JESUS CHRIST who is Saviour of all men and Lord of all! It is the revelation of Jesus Christ as Head and body in the earth by the power of the spirit of His sonship! Remember, dear ones, that there is no truth beyond Jesus Christ! He has been given the name which is above every name in the heavens and in the earth! To Him has been given all power and all authority in heaven and in earth! Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved! He is the Head of all principality and power! He is the prince of the kings of the earth! He is the firstborn among many brethren! He is King of kings and Lord of lords! He is the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father! In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily! We are the body in which His fullness is revealed! Those who seek an ultimate truth beyond Jesus Christ, an ultimate reality beyond Him, will discover to their dreadful dismay that they have taken a fearful detour into the realms of outer darkness!
J. PRESTON EBY
If you would like to receive these studies write to:
J. Preston Eby
P.O. Box 371240
El Paso TX 79937-1240
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