Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 16
CHRIST AS KING, SERVANT, MAN AND GOD
Let’s first look at I Timothy Chapter 1, followed by the Gospel of John (we won’t be taking it verse by verse). We will be looking at the eight signs that Jesus gave to the Nation of Israel, which most people have never gotten the full meaning and picture of. In John there are some points I would like to make before we begin. John is the fourth Gospel in order in the Bible and in the order that they are written. Matthew was written first, depicting Christ as the King. Mark depicts Christ as the Servant. Luke depicts Him as the Son of Man. Those three Gospels are normally called the Synoptic Gospels. Even though those roles are played out by the Messiah, the Son of God, it is predominately His humanity that is in force.
But when you get to the Gospel of John, which is set apart from the three, we are dealing with Christ as God. For example, in the three Synoptic Gospels, Christ prays to the Father, but in John’s Gospel the translators have used the phrase, “He prayed to to the Father,” and that’s not the Greek. As God, He didn’t have to pray to God, He simply spoke to Him. What a difference that makes. But in the three Synoptic gospels it is correct to say He prayed to the Father. Another example is that the three Synoptic Gospels all record His temptations, because that was dealing primarily with His humanity as the Son of God. John doesn’t deal with the temptations. Also, John is the only one who doesn’t record Christ’s agony in the garden; how He sweat drops of blood. Why? Because again these three are dealing with His human side, and John is looking from the fact that Christ is God. Remember that. I’m emphatic that Paul’s writing is the most appropriate and revealing for us, but you can’t separate Paul and say he doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of Scripture, because it all fits. Now let me show you for example:
I Timothy 1:17
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
So Paul is talking about Christ as we see back up into verse 16. Christ is the theme of everything that Paul writes. But here He is referred to as The King. Here I would like to make a point. Always be careful that you never refer to Christ as your King. As a member of the Body of Christ He’s not our King, He is the Head of the Body. He is the King, like Paul says, eternal. He is going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but it’s not Scripturally correct to refer to Him as our King. He is our Saviour, He’s our Lord, but not the King of the Church. If He was King of the Church, then we would not be joint heirs with Christ. We would rather be His subjects. And, of course, one day the whole world will be just that. But we’re not subjects, we’re members of the Body. Study that and check me out, Paul never implies that Christ is King of the Church.
Let’s look at the servant aspect by Paul. In Philippians you’ll see that Paul doesn’t refute or contradict anything written, but rather brings it to fruition. As I was riding my tractor yesterday, mowing my hay, I was trying to think of a good illustration that comes forth in Paul’s letters. So I decided on the analogy of a flower; let’s use a tulip because of the simplicity. We put that bulb in the ground, and at the appropriate time, out of that bulb will come that new life in the form of the stem. It doesn’t have a flower yet, just the stem. And then pretty soon the leaves, and then one day you see the bud. Then all of a sudden it opens up into full bloom and all of its glory.
Let me make my analogy. Genesis is the bulb; that is where everything begins. Out of that bulb then came the stem, which represents the Old Testament. Every thing is leafing out and growing, it’s a progressive revelation. Then one day Christ came at His First Advent – the Bud. He was ready to come into full bloom. We covered this when we studied Matthew. When He said, “I come to fulfill.” And what was He fulfilling? All those Old Testament Covenant promises, but before the Bud had a chance to flower, what did Israel do? They cut it off. In fact Daniel speaks of The Messiah being cut off. So, for all practical purposes, Israel clipped the Bud, and all seemingly fell apart. But God, in His Sovereignty, puts the Bud back on and we come on into His post-Resurrection, on into the Book of Acts and still Israel will not let that Bud come into full flower. They keep rejecting It. But rather than clipping it off again, God does something completely different. He raises up this other apostle, and through the revelations given then by the Apostle Paul we now see that full flower. Now it isn’t Paul, but rather the revelation that was given him by the risen Lord. Christ is the beautiful flower, but nowhere else in Scripture can you pick it up. It’s all been building to it. And that is why you must go to Paul’s epistle to get the full picture. You don’t kick the rest of it out; we must have the bulb and the stem and leaves before we can enjoy the flower.
It’s sad to say, but many theologians, preachers and teachers are clipping off that beautiful bloom of Paul’s revelation. They say we don’t need Paul’s teaching. They spend all their time in the Four Gospels, and they have clipped off the very part that shows the beauty of God’s overall program for mankind’s Salvation. So if you want to see God’s plan in its fruition, aside, of course, in Revelation end-time events, you must study Paul’s writing for Salvation, and the power of Salvation and so many of our other doctrines. Now Philippians Chapter 2, and this is how Paul agrees with Mark, that Christ was indeed the Servant of man.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant (that fits so beautifully with Mark’s Gospel accounts. How He became flesh, and became a Servant), and was made in the likeness of men:” Now the last part of that verse fits so nicely with Luke, as he pictures Christ as the Son of Man. His humanity. But I’m not going to stop with this verse – I want to look at I Corinthians 15.
I Corinthians 15:45-47
“And so it is written, `The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual (always remember in Scripture you have first the natural, and then the spiritual).'” The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” Now there is His humanity. John of course speaks of His Deity. Let’s go to Colossians Chapter 2.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Because Christ was God, you can claim verse 13.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened (made alive) together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” Only God can forgive sin; no one else. So Paul confirms His Deity by telling us He has forgiven us. Now, Chapter 3:
“IF then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead (to that old life), and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
We are hidden in Christ, and where is Christ? In God. You can’t get it any tighter than that, and that’s our position. Come back to Hebrews Chapter 2. Fortunately for the translators, the Spirit simplified things. Here we have all three of these Greek words. All three are translated throughout our New Testament most of the times as miracles which is unfortunate, because this word Semeion is always translated “a sign.” The next Greek word is Dunamis from which we get “dynamo” and it is in regard to supernatural power. The third Greek word is Terasand it meant “wonders.”
“God also bearing them witness, both with signs (Semeion) and wonders (Teras), and with divers miracles (Dunamis), and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
So they are all three in one verse, and all three separate Greek words. But the translators have mingled all of these now and called most of the wonders and signs simply “miracles” and that is unfortunate. For example, in John’s Gospel Chapter 2, we pick up the first of His miracles, and it’s not a miracle per se but rather a sign. I’ll explain that in just a moment, but before we do let’s look in Chapter 4 and then we will come back to Chapter 2. I want you to see where the translators have not been too accurate in some cases.
“This is again the second miracle (“Semeion” in Greek, so it should be a sign) that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.”
I won’t bog you down with a lot of Greek, but you must have a little to clarify. Look at verse 48 of this same chapter.
“Then said Jesus unto him, `Except ye see signs and wonders (Teras), ye will not believe.”
Remember not all miracles are signs, but all signs are miracles. Did that confuse you? What’s the difference? A sign was that which God used for the Nation of Israel – remember I Corinthians 1:22, “For the Jews required a sign…” So when God was really coming down on the Nation of Israel and was trying to show them things, He would use signs. It was a manifestation of His power; it was a miracle; but it was more than just a miracle, it was a sign. It had an intrinsic lesson for Israel. I’m afraid as most of us have heard the Gospel of John preached and taught, they have totally missed this. These eight signs in the Gospel of John – seven of them take place before His Crucifixion and Resurrection, and seven is indicative of completion (God’s number). But the eighth one takes place after the Resurrection, and the number eight in Scripture denotes “New Beginnings.” For example, how many people were on Noah’s Ark? Eight! What did that depict? New beginnings. So there are eight signs in the Gospel of John. Seven before the Crucifixion, to complete what He was trying to get across to the Nation; and the eighth one is going to signify that which is still in Israel’s future.
Now let’s look at the marriage at Canaan in Chapter 2, which will be the first sign. It’s a miracle, absolutely it is. You know the account of how Jesus changed the water into wine. But I would like to point out is that when it was time for the sign to be performed what was the situation at the wedding feast? No wine. And wine in Scripture speaks of joy or joyfulness. So the wedding feast had run out of joy. Everything was sort of falling apart. Jesus now comes in and performs a sign and here it is in verse 7.
“Jesus saith unto them, `Fill the waterpots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim.'”
Now the sign was given to the Nation of Israel that they had no hope; they had lost their national joy; their religion had done nothing but just bogged them down and they were miserable and destitute of joy. So The Lord shows them that He, as their Messiah, is the only One that can bring true joy to the nation. And when He brings joy it’s not going to be half-hearted or just 75%, but “brim- full.” Even today this is still in Israel’s future. They never did obtain this joy, or that fullness of all His promises, they kept rejecting it. But the sign to the nation was that Jesus of Nazareth was the only One who could fill their pots with joy. Now verse 11.
“This beginning of miracles (Signs) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” Remember, He came to prove Who He was to the Nation of Israel. And second, He comes to prove that Israel needs Him.