Last time we ended by looking briefly at the covenants. In this presentation I want to talk about Jesus Christ and his responsibility of upholding both sides of the Covenant (being human and divine) in order to protect God’s providential design. This is the fourth task of the teacher which involves sharing information about Jesus Christ’s humanity, his deity, and how he uses his authority as a prophet, priest and king.
The Humanity of Jesus Christ
By faith, we believe that Jesus Christ was a real person. However, in the English speaking world, there are two basic sides to this issue of his humanity. Helping people become familiar with both sides of His humanity is a part of the Fourth Task of the Teacher.
The first thing that comes up when we want to talk about Jesus Christ’s humanity is the historical accuracy of the Four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There are some people who will claim that the details regarding Jesus’ life in the New Testament are wrong. The reason skeptics will say this is because we live in a culture that assumes nothing supernatural ever happens.
There are no divine interventions of any kind available to help; us with our problems today, and everyone who believed otherwise in the past was misinformed and should be ignored by anyone who wants to know the truth about anything.
This way of thinking is something we need to correct in the lives of people who are gathering around the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is another side to this issue that needs to be included as a part of the Fourth Task of the Teacher.
If I am going to call the historical accuracy I recommended earlier as being needed in response to Western Science, then the other side of the issue is something I want to call Eastern Mysticism.
When I speak of Eastern Mysticism, I am referring to cultures that assume the supernatural is real, and as a result have been very slow to embrace the skepticism of the scientific community towards anything supernatural.
There are some forms of Eastern Mysticism which assume that anything good and pure on a spiritual level cannot be a part of the natural world. Just for the record, when I say that, I am specifically thinking of Hinduism, Buddhism and Gnosticism.
Each of these religions have some deep reservations toward thinking that spiritual beings like God can become human and interact with the world the way Jesus did in the New Testament. We need to anticipate that when we are going to introduce Jesus Christ as the Mediator of the Covenant(s) while we are guiding people through the Fourth Task of the Teacher.
The Deity of Jesus Christ
Let’s take a look at the other aspect of Jesus Christ’s existence.
The Christian Church proclaims that Jesus is the God we can read about in the Old Testament narratives. How exactly do the New Testament writings introduce this idea?
I hope the teachers God has placed in your area will begin planning strategies on how to answer this question when it comes up, in order to help anyone willing to do that, I want to outline briefly what the evidence for Jesus’ claim looks like, and then I will explain what to expect from people who are being drawn towards Jesus Christ.
In the New Testament, the authors used two words to prove that Jesus was God. The first word was God, For example, after the Resurrection we see Thomas respond to Jesus’ appearance by saying that Jesus is “My Lord and My God!” in John 20:28 ESV)
When Jesus was traveling around from one synagogue to another, he would at times refer to Himself as the God who appeared to Abraham in John 8:57-58 and also to Moses at Mount Sinai in John 5:46-47.
We need the teachers in your area to help people become familiar with these moments that were recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for the rest of us who were not eye witnesses.
Responding to Jesus’ Deity
I think another thing that we need the teachers in your area to be aware of is how long it took for people who had access to Jesus to understand the truth about who Jesus Christ is. Jesus Christ chose a group of 12 men to preach his Gospel after the Resurrection, and after three years that group of people did not understand Jesus at all.
When Jesus recruited them, they thought he was a rabbi. After watching him for a while they discovered he was an exorcist and a miracle worker. Eventually they even admitted he was there Messiah. As soon as Jesus was arrested and taken away to be executed, they all ran away from him. Peter even went as far as to deny having met Jesus 3 times.
I guess what I am saying is that it was after the Resurrection that Peter and the others realized the significance of everything that Jesus had taught them. They remembered every word and every moment, but had misunderstood and misinterpreted everything they could remember accurately.
Peter and the others knew what Jesus said without understanding what God’s agenda was, and this is still a problem we are having in the Church today. Discipleship is Jesus answer to this problem, and it requires us to invest our time into building personal relationships (possibly in our homes) instead of having the kind of public meetings that are popular in the English speaking world right now.
What is Jesus doing now?
In chapter 28 of Matthew’s Gospel, the Bible tells us that the last thing Jesus said to his disciples was that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (ESV). Then we are told that Jesus left so that he could begin using that authority to build His Church.
The Fourth Task of the Teacher involves helping people who are gathering around the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ to become familiar with what Jesus does with His authority. The Bible tells us that Jesus uses His authority as a Prophet, Priest and King to build His Church.
In the Old Testament, the Prophets had the responsibility of revealing God’s thoughts and goals to the people. Most of these revelations were given to the Kings who had authority to make decisions on important matters. (See Daniel 2:37-38 for an example of this).
Today Jesus is standing in Heaven as a prophet who is using the Bible to communicate God’s thoughts and goals to the Church. This use of His authority also directly impacts those who serve as Presidents and Kings. God has reserved the right to speak to them directly concerning the decisions they have the authority to make, even if the person is not a member of the Church.
Jesus’ role as a prophet also involves providing warnings and encouragement to us that can help us avoid having our lives ruined by the influence and activity of God’s enemies.
We need the teachers in your area to help people learn how to pray for those who God is communicating with in our Government(s) as well as learning how to boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence when God warns us of danger in order to encourage us to be prepared for an attack by his enemies. I am writing this because I have hope in the Lord that the people who want to be recognized as Christians in your area will be introduced to how God operates in this area.
The main job of the Priest is to bring the flaws in our relationship with God out into the open so that we can be reconciled with God. Jesus has all the authority he needs to accomplish this goal, but how exactly does he use it to build His Church?
The role of the priest in the Old Testament was meant to provide insight into what Jesus Christ is willing to do on our behalf. Those who are gathering around the Death, Burial, Resurrection of Jesus Christ are allowed to do the same kind of work as subordinate priests in God’s service.
This is something that we need the teachers in your area to help people explore carefully and correctly, so that we can understand how to participate in it as “priests to His God and Father” (see Revelation 1:6 ESV) when an opportunity appears.
Conclusion – The King
In Matthew 28, Jesus said “All authority on heaven and earth is given to me.” The goal Jesus has is for His Church to proclaim the Gospel to every ethnic group in the world, rescuing them from the false religious system(s) built and maintained by evil spirits who manipulate and use people as pawns in the service of God’s enemies. One day, every ethnic group around the world will have had a chance to embrace the Gospel, and then the end of human history will begin.