The Revelation of Jesus Christ
by Tibor Lak (May 2019)
It is so good to be here again with you. I have prepared a study that I know will be a blessing to you. I will talk about the Lord Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Bible. This is not a study of the Book of Revelation, written by the Apostle John, which primarily focuses on the history of the Church and future events that are to transpire. In it we see the righteous judgment of God on the Christ rejecting world, the end of the kingdom of men, and the beginning of the kingdom of God and Christ.
The emphasis of this study is to look at who Jesus Christ is. Paul prayed to the church at Ephesus “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Ephesians 1:17, NKJV). I like the amplified Living Bible translation; “to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all He has done for you.
Last year I talked about what Jesus has done for us when I spoke on the topic of the “Manifold Wisdom of God”. In that presentation I was showing that the redemption of men had only one solution. Although God is infinite there was only one solution to redeem men. God could only redeem fallen men, through His son Jesus Christ. We read in Acts 4:12;
“Nor is there salvation in other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, NKJV)
The “no other name under heaven” includes the angelic hosts, principalities, powers in heaven, and men on the Earth. God does not recognize any other name “under heaven” but the name of Jesus His Son. Mary is not recognized by God as a savior of men, even though many pray to her for salvation. The prayer, “Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death” as sincere as it is, it cannot save. I shudder to think that people on their deathbed pray to Mary and not Jesus for forgiveness. What a sad way to depart from this life and enter into eternity. Mary cannot save us, only Jesus can. Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25, NKJV)
Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, are not recognized by God as savior of men. No man, or angel could save men. God is infinitely holy, righteous, and just. Men’s rebellion against God had to be paid for by a perfect and just person who was a mediator between God and men.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5, NKJV)
The only solution to redeem men was for the infinite God, the Son of God, to become finite man, and to suffer and die a substitutionary death in place of men. That is why Jesus is the only one who could fulfill this requirement. He was both God and man.
This morning I would like to talk about the second part of the message I gave on July 30, 2017; who “Jesus Christ is”. It is so important that we have a proper view of who Jesus Christ is. I believe that our relationship, our faith and thrust in Jesus Christ are a direct reflection of who we see Jesus as.
Jesus is the most important person that ever lived in history, more significant than Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, or any of the rulers of Egypt, or Rome, or any of the kings and dictators of history. His appearance divides history before His birth (before Christ) and after His birth (Anno Domino) the year of our Lord. Even the secular world accepts His mark on history.
Jesus asked His disciples the question “who do men say that I am”? I believe Jesus knew what people thought about Him, because the Bible says that “He knew all, and … He knew what was in man” (John 2:24 , 25, NKJV). The question was really a preparation for the disciples because later He asks them “but who do you say that I am?” (Matt 16:15, NKJV). It is interesting that the disciples did not answer that question. Only Peter answered it; “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16, NKJV). Jesus response to Peter’s declaration was, “blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is heaven” (Matthew 16:17, NKJV). The other disciples all saw the miracles that Jesus did, healing the blind, the lame, raising the dead, casting out demons, walking on water, calming the raging storm and waves, feeding thousands with only a handful of fish and bread, with lots of leftover, yet only Peter recognized who Jesus was and that is because of the revelation of the Holy Spirit. It is interesting that we can see miracles, get answers to prayers but it is God who reveals who Jesus is to us.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8, NKJV)
We are saved through faith and even the faith we have is a gift of God.
Ironically, the demons and unclean spirits were the ones who knew who Jesus was. We read that “and the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, ‘You are the Son of God’” (Mark 3:11, NKJV); “and the demons also came out of many, crying and saying, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He rebuking them did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ” (Luke 4:41, NKJV) Of course they knew Jesus because it was He who created them.
Today there are many different views of who Jesus was and is. The Mormons teach that Jesus was the spirit brother of Lucifer who later became Satan. Jesus and Lucifer were equal before Lucifer sinned. The Jehovah Witnesses teach that Jesus is the archangel Michael. They don’t accept Him as the Son of God, as God in the flesh. The Muslims teach that Jesus was a prophet but not the Son of God. The Jews saw Jesus as a teacher sent by God.
Nicodemus, a Pharisee recognized that Jesus was a teacher come from God. We read in John 3:2;
“Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2, NKJV).
Nicodemus was speaking for the other Pharisees as well when he said, “we know that you are a teacher come from God”. Nicodemus didn’t say, we think you are a teacher come from God, but we know, are sure that You came from God. I find the choice of words here very interesting. No one in the Bible ever said that they came from God. The prophets could only say that they were sent by God. Jesus in the Bible is the only one that came from God. For Jesus to come from God means He came from heaven, and not earth.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,” (John 13:3, NKJV)
Although the Pharisees recognized that Jesus came from God, yet they persecuted Him, and rejected Him. They rejected Him because they could not reconcile the humanity and the deity of Jesus. They studied the Scriptures but missed the main point. Jesus said to the Jews
“you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:38, 39, NKJV)
Even today the religious Jews will only refer to Jesus as “that man”. They won’t even pronounce His name. In a sense the theology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Muslims, and the Jews are very similar on Jesus. They accept Jesus as a good teacher, prophet, but do not accept Him as divine, the Son of God.
Even in Christian churches the humanity of Jesus is emphasized more than His deity. Jesus is often portrayed as a small helpless child, sitting on the arm of Mary.
Yes, Mary was a beautiful righteous woman who was chosen by God to bring Jesus into this world, but by no means is she superior to Jesus. The title “queen of heaven” or the “Mother of God” is not in the Bible. If someone who is not familiar with the gospel sees this image of Mary and baby Jesus what would they think? Who is superior, Mary or Jesus? Who deserves to be worshipped? We read in Luke 1:46 & 47 where Mary is worshipping Jesus, when she visits her cousin Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Mary said;
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” (Luke 1:46,47, NLT)
The title Lord here refers to Jesus, not to God the Father. Jesus is her Savior, not God the Father. Also, Mary recognizes that her Savior is God.
Biblical Revelation of Jesus Christ
This morning I would like to focus on the deity of Jesus as declared in the Bible. The Bible is clear about the deity of Jesus the Messiah. In Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah predicts the birth of Jesus and who He is:
“… Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14, KJV)
The angel that appears to Joseph tells him that the child that Mary is carrying is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. In Matthew 1:23 we read;
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”. (Matthew 1:23, KJV)
The angel quotes Isaiah 7:14 word for word, and also adds the meaning of the name Emmanuel. It means “God with us”. The name Emmanuel does not mean that God is for us or is on our side, but literally God is with us, God is in the child that is to be borne by Mary. This is so huge! The infinite God is present in finite man, even a child. In Hebrews 10:5 we read
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You (God the Father) did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me’”. (Hebrews 10:5)
The Father prepared a body for the Son of God to dwell with men so that men could fellowship with the infinite God. Sinful men could not fellowship with the infinite Holy God because they could not stand to in His presence.
Isaiah further clarifies that the child that is to be borne is the Son of God. We read in Isaiah 9:6;
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, NKJV)
Isaiah gives His attributes; Wonderful, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. I wonder if Isaiah fully comprehended what he prophesize, that the Son of God will come down and be borne in a human body. By the way “Son”, referring to the Son of God, is also mentioned in Psalm 2:12 where we are instructed to respect and submit to the Son and to put our trust in the Son:
“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.” (Psalm 2:12, NKJV)
The prophecy of Micah about the birth of the Messiah is also very clear. It not only gives the place of His birth but also that He existed from eternity, “from everlasting”.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
When the wise men came from the East to search for the King of the Jews they go to Herod who was a king over Israel.
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1,2)
Herod asks “all the chief priests and scribes” to tell him where the King of the Jews is to be born. They answer unanimously that the “Ruler of Judah” is to be born in Bethlehem by quoting the prophecy of Micah:
“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.” (Matthew 2:6)
They chief priests and scribes agree unanimously that Micah is prophesizing the birth of the coming Messiah. They quote Micah 5:2 but leave out the part “whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting”. This again shows that they could not reconcile the birth of the Messiah with the eternal God. The wise men came from the East to worship Jesus, but the religious rulers refused to worship Him. Bethlehem and Jerusalem was only ~ 6 miles apart. They could have walked to Bethlehem in a couple hours to see if the Messiah they were waiting for was here. But, they didn’t bother.
Title of Jesus
The title of Jesus in the Bible is “Lord”. In the Old Testament Hebrew He is called “Adonay”, and in the New Testament Greek He is called “Kyrios”. The name of Jehovah or Yahweh is translated LORD in the English Bible, except it is written in all capital letters to distinguish between “Lord” and Jehovah (LORD), the name of God. A good example of the use of the Name of Jehovah and the title of Jesus as Lord is found in Psalm 110. The Jewish leaders believed that their Messiah was a physical descendent of King David. They saw their Messiah as a powerful man, like David who would restore the Kingdom to Israel. Jesus uses Psalm 110 to point out what David declares.
They couldn’t answer Jesus. Jesus was pointing out to the Jews that although Christ was a descendent of David, He was also His Lord. A patriarch would never address his descendent as Lord.
In the New Testament Jesus is also addressed as Lord. The name Jesus and Lord are synonymous. I suggest that next time you read the Bible, try substituting the name of Jesus in place of Lord. It will bring new meaning to the passage.
The prayer of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist is a good example:
“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people. Who visited “His people”? It is Jesus, the Son of God. So, with Jesus substituted for Lord it reads, “Blessed is Jesus, God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people”. (Luke 1:68, NKJV).
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, or, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of Jesus to prepare His ways,” (Luke 1:76, NKJV). Jesus is referred to as the Highest.
Both of these examples fit very well and amplify the passages.
The Birth of Jesus
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the appearance of the angel and the multitude of heavenly host, announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. We read in Luke 2:9;
“And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger’.
The Angel is declaring the birth of Jesus that it had just occurred, “this day”. Also, that He is a newborn “Babe” wrapped in swaddling clothes.
The title “Lord” mentioned in the announcement of Jesus’ birth refers to none other than Jesus Christ. The title “Lord” does not refer to God the Father. God the Father is mentioned later in this verse when the “heavenly hosts are praising God and saying “Glory to God in the highest”.
The “Lord” that the angel refers to is the Lord Jesus. He later mentions specifically that the Savior, is Christ the Lord. This angel, the angel of the Lord, is the angel of Jesus, the Son of God. It is He who created this angel along with all the other heavenly hosts. The Bible says that Jesus created all things that are in heaven and earth for His own pleasure.
“For by Him (Jesus) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16, NKJV)
“You are worthy, O Lord (Jesus), to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelations 4:11, NKJV)
This angel was an archangel of Jesus, probably Gabriel since he is associated with the birth of Jesus. They came to worship and serve their Lord.
The “angel of the Lord” could be translated as “the angel of Jesus”. Also, the “glory of the Lord” could be translated “the glory of Jesus”.
It was the glory of Jesus, the Son of God that the shepherds saw, not the glory of heaven, the glory of the angel, or the glory of the heavenly hosts. We have been conditioned by Christmas productions to think that the “glory of the Lord”, this radiating light that surrounded the shepherds, was coming from the angels. The angels do not have shining glory that we see here. We see the angels at the tomb of Jesus in white apparel. Matthew’s describes the angel’s clothes as “white as snow”. Mark describes the angel’s clothes as “long white robe”. Luke describes the angels wearing “shining garment”, and John describes the angels wearing “white”. The glory that was around the shepherds was the manifestation of the glory of Jesus.
I believe that the time of the manifestation of the glory of Jesus was not random, but occurred at the moment when Jesus, the Son of God, was born; “there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”. His shining glory burst forth as the infinite God He entered into this world as a newborn baby, Immanuel, God with us.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” (Luke 2:9-14, NKJV)
Try to imagine the scene. It is cold and quiet, dark with the sky full of stars. The sheep are resting and the shepherds are probably sleeping. Then suddenly an angel stands before the shepherds with bright light surrounding them. In addition there is a multitude of heavenly beings praising God. To say they were “greatly afraid” is probably a gross understatement. Imagine being waken out of sleep and having a bright light shine in your eyes, and to see a multitude surrounding you talking out loud. No wonder they couldn’t go back to sleep and went into town to tell the people of the angelic visitation.
This must have been the talk of the town for a long time with the Jewish leadership also hearing about this heavenly visitation. God was giving witness that the Messiah was born in Bethlehem the city of David. Unfortunately it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. This must have been a great disappointment to the heavenly hosts. They were all pumped up “hey the Creator of the Universe is here”, “we bring you good tidings of great joy”, “we came to visit Him and wish Him a happy birthday”. The last time the angel and the heavenly hosts saw their Lord was in heaven He was glorious, surrounded by angelic hosts, radiant, shining as the sun. Now He is here as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger. They knew it was their Lord. He laid aside His glory to become man. In Hebrews 2:14 we read;
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14,15, NKJV)
God did it! The infinite, eternal God, became finite mortal man, confined to the body of a small child. They must have been at awe of this sight. Immanuel, God is present with men.
We again see the glory of Jesus shining as a bright light after His resurrection when Jesus appears to Saul on the road to Damascus
The apostle John mentions that Jesus was glorified after Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit was given. Between the time of the resurrection and when Jesus ascended to Heaven, ~ one week before Pentecost, Jesus appeared as a man. He walked, and ate with the disciples. After Pentecost Jesus appears in His shining glory, and not as a man. The next time Jesus appears after Pentecost is when He appears to Paul.
“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting...” (Acts 9:3-5, NKJV)
This light blinded Paul when he encountered the glory of Jesus. He later describes this light to Timothy
“who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:16, NKJV)
The testimony of the Father from Heaven
Besides the angels declaring the appearance of Jesus to Earth, the Father also testifies from Heaven about His Son. At the start of the ministry of Jesus, when He is baptized, God speaks from heaven to the people declaring that Jesus is His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased:
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16,17, NKJV)
God also speaks to the disciples on the mount of transfiguration.
“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:1-5, NKJV)
Finally, towards the end of the ministry of Jesus, before His crucifixion, God the Father spoke publicly to Jesus again from heaven. We read in John 12:27;
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to Him.’ Jesus answered and said, ‘This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake’”. (John 12: 27-30, NKJV)
The Start of The Ministry of Jesus
from the movie “Dumb and Dumber”.) There is no other place in the visible Universe from where one could see a total solar eclipse. So don’t be surprised if “little aliens” show up to wonder at this spectacular event. LOL
There does not appear to be any logical reason for a total solar eclipse to occur, other than God is demonstrating His infinite control over His creation. Besides giving us a spectacular light show, God also uses solar eclipses as prophetic signs. Did you realize that there was a total solar eclipse over Israel when Jesus was baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit and started His earthly ministry?
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and filled with the Holy Spirit in the year 29 AD. We know this date because Luke mentions that the baptism of Jesus occurred on the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Luke also mentions that Jesus was “about” 30 years old when He began his public ministry.
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,… he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Luke 3:1-3)
”And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him (Jesus), and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, …” (Luke 3:22-23)
According to secular history the reign of Tiberius began on September 18, 14 AD. The 15th year of Tiberius’s reign, when Jesus was baptized and started his ministry, was therefore 29 AD. His ministry lasted about three and a half years when Jesus was crucified. The date of His crucifixion was during the Passover celebration on Friday April 3, 33 AD.
Total solar eclipses are rare. Earth is the only place in our solar system that a total solar eclipse can be seen. Mercury, and Venus do not have a moon; Mars has two small asteroid size moons. Everywhere in our Solar System the planets are either at the wrong distance or the wrong size to have a total solar eclipse of the Sun.
To have a total eclipse where the Sun is completely covered by the moon, the size of the Sun (our Sun is a Yellow Dwarf star representing ~ 1% of the stars), the size of the Moon, the distance from the Moon to the planet, and the distance from the Sun has to be just “right”. The chance of these dimensions coming together through random evolutionary processes has been estimated to be 1034 power. To put this in perspective the number of grains of sand in all the beaches of the world, or the number of stars in the Universe is estimated to be ~ 1023. This number is much less than the probability that the conditions for a total eclipse would just happen by chance. That means that the chance of finding another planet where a total solar eclipse can occur would require billions of Universes like ours. (“Are you saying that there is a chance”?, to quote the famous line from the movie “Dumb and Dumber”.) There is no other place in the visible Universe from where one could see a total solar eclipse.