March 20, 2019

Jesus came from heaven and is above all.

Jesus came from heaven and is above all.

After Jesus told the religious leaders that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him, He told them that He and His Father were “one.” What was the response of the religious leaders to Jesus’ bold statement? They took up stones to stone Him. Jesus then said to them – “’Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?’” (John 10: 32) The Jewish leaders replied – “’For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.’” (John 10: 33) Jesus answered – “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, You are gods’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? ‘If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.’” (John 10: 34-38) Jesus had referred to Psalm 82: 6, which addressed the judges of Israel. The Hebrew word for god is ‘elohim,’ or ‘mighty ones.’ Jesus made the point that God used the word ‘gods’ to describe the men to whom the word of God came. These ‘gods’ referenced in Psalm 82: 6 were unjust judges of Israel. If God could refer to them as ‘gods,’ then Jesus, being Himself God, could refer to Himself as Son of God without breaking the law of blasphemy. (MacDonald 1528-1529)

After He claimed equality with God; the religious leaders sought to seize Jesus, but He “escaped” out of their hand and went away. “And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. Then many came to Him and said, ‘John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.’ And many believed in Him there.” (John 10: 40-42) What was John the Baptist’ testimony of Jesus? When some of John’s disciples had come to John and told him that Jesus was baptizing people and they were coming to Him; John the Baptist had said to his disciples – “He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.’” (John 3: 31-36)

John the Baptist had humbly confessed to the priests and Levites from Jerusalem that He was not the Christ, but said of himself – “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: make straight the way of the Lord.” (John 1: 23) God had told John – “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” (John 1: 33) When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, he saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove and remain on Jesus. John knew that Jesus was the Son of God as this happened just as God said it would. John the Baptist, as a prophet of God sought for people to realize and recognize who Jesus was. He realized that Jesus alone could baptize someone with the Holy Spirit.

Not long before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples – “’And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.’” (John 14: 16-17) Jesus was at that time dwelling with them; but after the Father sent the Spirit, Jesus’ Spirit would be within them. This would be a brand new thing – God through His Holy Spirit would take up residence within the heart of a person, making his or her body a temple of God’s Spirit.

Jesus went on to tell His disciples – “’Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.’” (John 16: 7-11)

Jesus went away. He was crucified and rose alive after three days. After His resurrection, He was seen at least thirteen different times by many of His disciples. He sent His Spirit as He said He would on the Day of Pentecost. On that day God began building His church through the witness of the disciples of the gospel or good news. Jesus had come; just as had been prophesied of throughout the Old Testament. He had been rejected by almost all of His people, the Jews. The truth of His birth, life, death, and resurrection would now be proclaimed throughout the world. His Spirit would go forth, and one heart and one life at a time, would either reject or accept His message of salvation.

There is no other name under heaven by which we may be saved from the wrath and judgment of God; except Jesus Christ. No other name; be it Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Buddha, Pope Francis, can rescue us from the wrath of God. If you are trusting in your own good works – they will fall short. Nothing except the precious blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from our sins. Everyone will one day bow to only one name – Jesus Christ. Many people may have raised their hands to Hitler. Many in North Korea today may be forced to worship Kim Yung Un as deity. Oprah and other New Age teachers may delude millions into worshiping their fallen and dying selves as they claim they are awakening the god within. Many false teachers will make millions of dollars selling false feel good gospels. But be assured that in the end, Jesus Himself will return to this earth as Judge. Today His grace is still being offered. Won’t you turn to Him as Savior? Won’t you accept the truth about who He is and who you are? Not one of us is promised another day. How critically important to realize that all of us are hopeless sinners; but how overwhelming and awe inspiring to embrace the liberating truth that He is a Savior like no other!

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