Right click and save the pdf: Description of the Messiah part 14d
Right click and save the mp3: Synopsis 014d
Description of the Messiah part 4
Last week, we looked at the fact that sometimes there seems to be a
conflict between verse 18 and other passages of Scripture.
It says, “No man has seen God at any time”.
We read where Isaiah says, “Woe is me, for I have seen the Lord.”
Here, where it says, “No man has seen God at any time”, it is talking
about the complete God-head, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy
Spirit in all His glory. Moses had
a desire to see the glory of the Lord, he desired to see the face of the Lord,
but that was not granted to him.
But, the Lord Jesus Christ is
the one who came to reveal the Father. “The
only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.”
He reveals him; he shows him forth.
Think to John 14: Jesus says
to Philip, “He who hath seen me hath seen the father”.
There’s continuity and an order to the revelation.
The Lord came to reveal the Father; he never drew attention to himself.
We read in John 1:14, that the Word became flesh.
The glory of the Lord was enclosed in a body of flesh, and we beheld the
glory of the only begotten of the father. That
reminds us of [Hebrews 1:1-2]. The
revelation of God to man is as the Son. If
you want to know God the father, then study the son.
That was the message that John
had when the Jews sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who art thou?”
In verse 23, he told them, “I am the voice of one crying in the
wilderness”. He said, “I’m
not important; I’m just a voice; listen to my message!
Listen to what I have to say!”
When someone becomes more interested in how he says
something than in what he’s saying, he’s finished. If you’re more interested in your appearance or if you’re
more interested in the messenger than the message, you’re done.
If someone were to come in right now and yell, “Fire!”
we wouldn’t care what his words or gestures are; we would listen to the
message. “I’m just a voice.”
This group that was sent by the Pharisees went out to see
him, and they asked him, “If you’re not the Christ, and you’re not Elijah,
and you’re not that prophet like unto Moses, then why are you baptizing all
these people? Only we have the
right to baptize.” You will run
into that today. People teach that
unless you are baptized by a person who was baptized by a person who was
baptized by John, then you have no authority to baptize.
It’s a little trick that men worked up to try to get things under their
dominion and out of the hands of the Lord.
Should we be baptizing today?
[Matthew 28:19] “Go
ye therefore and teach all the nations.” Make disciples of all the nations. Not just the Jews scattered among the Gentiles, but the
Gentiles themselves in every land. And not by making Jews of them.
Jesus has promised that he’s coming back, but he has never named the
date. We are to simply be ready for
his coming at any time and to look for it joyfully.
(Do you?) But we are to
leave that to the Father and push on the campaign for world conquest.
This includes making disciples such as they were.
That means evangelism in the fullest sense and not merely “revival”
“Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy
Ghost Spirit:” Literally, it says “baptizing
them into the name”.
Baptizing into the name has a twofold meaning.
First of all, it denotes object or purpose, such as in
Matthew 3:11 in which he baptizes unto repentance, or in Acts 2:38 in which they
were baptized on the name of Jesus Christ for [into] the remission of sins.
Secondly, it denotes communion with, such as in Romans 6:3
which says, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus
Christ were baptized into his death?” In
other words, we’re brought by baptism into fellowship with his death.
Baptizing into the name of the Holy Trinity implies a spiritual union
with him. This word “into” is
commonly used with “baptize”.
However, in Acts 2:38, Peter says, “Be baptized upon the
name of Jesus Christ”, and in Acts 10:48, he commanded Cornelius and his
friends to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
To be baptized upon the name is to be baptized on the
confession of that which the name implies.
It’s on the foundation of the name.
The name “Jesus”, as the contents of the faith and confession, is the
foundation upon which baptism rests.
“In the name” has reference to the sphere within which
true baptism is to be accomplished. It’s
not merely a designation or a symbol. If it were, then it would simply have the force of a charm.
The “name”, as in “Hallowed be thy name”, is the expression of
the God. It’s not his designation
as God, but it’s the way that all his attributes and characteristics are
summed up. It’s his complete
When you are baptized into the name of God, you are
professing to acknowledge God in all that he is and all that he does for man.
You recognize and depend upon God the Father as your creator and
preserver, you are receiving Jesus as your mediator and redeemer and the pattern
for your life, and you are confessing the Holy Spirit as your sanctifier and
comforter. Being baptized entails
much more than simply getting dunked!
Notice that it says “name” and not “names”.
The use of “name” here is a common way to use it in the Septuagint
and the papyri for power or authority. “Into”
denotes object or purpose, and communion. “Name”
has to do with power and authority. Baptize
them in communion and the authority of God!
That’s what we’re commanded about baptism.
But, back in John 1, they ask him, “Why are you
baptizing?” What does he answer?
[John 1:26] “I baptize;
there standeth.” With these two
phrases, John once again illustrates the sharp contrast between himself and the
one of whom he’s the forerunner. “I’m
just the voice.”
John is telling them, “You’re all worked up about me
baptizing people with water, when there’s standing in your midst, the Messiah;
Jehovah; the Christ; Jesus!” [John
1:26b] They were so wrapped up in
their rituals and schemes that they didn’t know and didn’t see the Lord.
John told them, using Scripture that he was the forerunner of the
Messiah, and he told them who the Messiah was.
Did they listen?
“But there standeth one among you.”
This verb “standeth” has the added sense of firm or persistent
standing. It means to stand fast.
It emphasizes the firm, dignified attitude of Jesus.
The same word is used in 1 Corinthians 16:13, which says, “Watch ye,
stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
Galatians 5:1: “Stand fast
therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not
entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Philippians 1:27 says, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh
the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may
hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving
together for the faith of the gospel.”
“But there is one in your midst who stands fast, whom
ye know not.” You
don’t know him! The real tragedy
here is that this declaration didn’t elicit any further questions from this
group. “Oh, well.”
Who was this one whom they knew not and didn’t care that
they didn’t know him? He was the
Messiah. What does that mean?
What was he there for?
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that he came to
save. What does this mean?
There are several words translated as “saved”.
In Luke 1:71, it is salvation from our enemies.
In Matthew 8:25 and 14:30, it is physical salvation.
In Acts 16:30-31; it is salvation of the spirit.
In Luke 9:24, it’s the salvation of the soul.
Did he come to just save us partially?
No. He came to save us
completely: Body, soul, and spirit.
Never forget that man is a trichotomous or three-part being, according to
1 Thessalonians 5:23. [And the very
God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God
your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ.] It’s the
teaching of evolution that man has two parts:
A body and a soul or spirit. Jesus
came so that we might be completely saved and completely preserved.
A salvation from sin is three-fold, in one sense of the
word. We’re saved from the
penalty of sin. The first penalty
for sin was announced to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden: “In the day you sin, you shall surely die.”
The primary meaning of death is separation from God.
In the day you sin, you shall be separated from God.
The creature will be separated from the creator.
Jesus, in his death, died to bring us to God. So, with the entrance of sin came the penalty of sin.
The first aspect of salvation is that Jesus died to do away with the
penalty for sin.
The second aspect of a salvation from sin is that he will
save me from the power of sin, if I let him, in what some call the present tense
of salvation. If I let him.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such
as is common to man: but God is faithful,
who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the
temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
He will not allow us to be tempted beyond that which we can endure, but
he will, with that temptation, provide us with a way of escape.
“My grace is sufficient unto thee.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9) His
strength is available unto us and he will give us victory over the power of sin
and deliverance from that power if we so desire it.
Not only that, but one day, this
savior will deliver us from the presence of sin. The unlimited wealth, time, and energy that man expends in
trying to do away with the presence and effects of sin is almost
incomprehensible. There are
conferences, councils, meetings held around the world, all trying to figure a
way to deal with the problem of sin. Think
about the groups that are trying to deal with the drug situation, the alcohol
situation, pornography, etc., and that doesn’t count the ones that are trying
to call sin “normal” and “alternative”. But, one day the Lord is coming back, and he’s going to
take us out of the presence of sin. He
will take us out of it!
Then, when we’re gone, he will deal with this sin-cursed
earth, which has been judged by God and will one day feel the wrath of God.
The elements shall melt with a fervent heat and pass away with a great
noise. Then, he will bring in a new
heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness will dwell.
[Matthew 3] He
not only came to save, but he also came to judge.
[Matthew 3:7-12] Those to
whom John was speaking would have surely been reminded of two OT prophecies.
Let’s look at those two prophecies.
Hold your hand here and turn with me to [Joel 2:28-29]
“I will pour out my spirit”; the Spirit proceeding from the father
and the son, yet one with the father and the son.
Compare this to Isaiah 11:2, which says, “And the spirit of the LORD
shall rest upon him [talking about the rod out of the stem of Jesse], the spirit
of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of
knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” “I
will pour out my spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and
fear of the Lord upon all flesh.”
“Your sons, daughters, old, and young” shall prophecy,
have dreams, and have visions. Not
just a select few, as in the old days. Everyone.
Notice here that dreams are attributed to the old men in
accordance with their age and wisdom, and visions are attributed to the young
men, which are more in accordance with their young and lively minds.
There are three ways that God revealed his will under the
OT. Numbers 12:6 tells us that they
are prophecy, dreams, and visions. Here
in Joel, we are told that this full manifestation of himself will be to all
people. Not merely in the
miraculous gifts to some, but by his indwelling spirit to all his people.
(John 14:21, 23; 15:15)
In Acts 16:9 and 18:9, Paul has visions.
[Acts 16:9: And a vision
appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him,
saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.]
[Acts 18:9: Then spake the
Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not
thy peace.] These are visions, even
though they occurred at night.
As far as I know, the only times that dreams are mentioned
in the NT are those given to Joseph in the very beginning of the NT, and the one
that the wife of Pilate (who was a Gentile) had in Matthew 27:19.
The word “prophesying” in the NT is applied to all
speaking under enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and not simply the foretelling
of events. That’s a different
word [puthon] that is applied only to the damsel in Acts 16:16.
But, in Matthew 3, John is telling them that the one coming
after him will one day baptize them in the Holy Spirit.
When does this happen? (Pentecost
and Acts 2:17 – The last days.)
Well, the one coming after John
will be baptizing in the Holy Spirit; what else? He will be baptizing in fire.
This should have reminded them of another passage.
[Malachi 3:1-5; 4:1]
The baptism in fire in Matthew 3 is a reference to the judging and
cleansing of those who would enter the Kingdom as prophesied in Malachi 3.
This symbolism is carried through by John in [Matthew 3:12].
In this passage, we are given the picture of a farmer at his threshing
floor. This is an area of
well-packed ground on which the sheaves are spread and the grain is trodden out
by animals. His fan (winnowing
shovel) is in his hand, and he takes the fan and throws up the trodden grain, in
which the wheat and chaff are still mingled, and the wind separates the grain
from the chaff. Wheat is then
gathered into the barn, and the chaff is burned up.
John is saying that the Messiah
came to judge. He will separate the
wheat from the chaff. He will
prepare the elect for entrance into the Kingdom by empowering and cleansing
them. Chaff will be burned up.
Our worthless works will be consumed and destroyed.
John is telling them that one day, everyone will be
baptized in the Holy Spirit and in Fire. We will all be purified.
Mark 9:49 tells us that everyone will be salted with fire.
We will all be purified. Not
just some of us.
The Messiah came to save and he came to judge. Don’t be like the Pharisees. “There standeth one among you, whom ye know not.” They were looking for the Messiah, but they didn’t know him. Do you know the Messiah? Are you ready for his return? Are you excited?