|CHRISTIAN LIFE AND DOCTRINE||December 2011|
Thou Shalt Call His Name Jesus
“Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
BY THE GREAT POWER OF our Heavenly Father, Jesus’ spiritual life as the Logos was transferred to that of a perfect man. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) He had come to earth to save the people from their sins. “We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”—vs. 14
PRIEST AND KING
Jesus had many titles, each one portraying a particular aspect of his purpose for the sin-sick and dying human family. One of these titles was “Priest” in connection with those who had served the nation of Israel in matters of worship. Thus it was with Jesus. He has already served as priest for the offering of sacrifice, and later, will extend to the world the blessing of everlasting life made available by the sacrifice he offered. In the case of the priests of Israel, they offered animals in typical sacrifice, but Jesus offered himself as the great antitypical sacrifice.
The Master is also appointed by God to be the “King” of earth, thus we are reminded that he will rule over the people and bless them. In his letter to the Hebrew brethren, the Apostle Paul combines the two offices of priest and king, and applies them to Jesus. “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Heb. 6:20) “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace.”—chap. 7:1,2
Another title which the Scriptures assign to Jesus is “Judge.” The psalmist wrote concerning Jesus, “He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.” (Ps. 72:4) The great oppressor of the people throughout the ages has been Satan. He has enslaved the minds of men through deceit, and has thereby prevented them from knowing and serving the true God, whom to know and serve in the proper way will lead to life eternal.
Traditional misconceptions of the future judgment day have hindered many from appreciating Jesus as the great Judge of mankind. Instead of looking forward to the judgment day as a time of blessing, many have dreaded its approach, supposing it to be a time of doom for nearly everyone. However, the future thousand-year kingdom of Christ will be a time of blessing for all people who will obey the laws of God. “He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”—Acts 17:31
When our first parents—Adam and Eve—transgressed the divine law, they brought themselves and their offspring under condemnation to death; but Jesus’ death as man’s Redeemer provided a way of escape from that condemnation. The benefits to be derived from the death of Jesus are available only through belief in him, and obedience to the divine will. Paul raises the question, “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom. 10:14) The Scriptures reveal that the human creation will have this opportunity during the coming judgment day under Christ’s future kingdom.
The judgment day will be a time of enlightenment for mankind. It will be the due time when the great fact that Jesus died for the sins of the world will be made known to all mankind. “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”—I Tim. 2:4-6
A prophecy of the birth of Jesus and the future kingdom of righteousness over which he will preside, is recorded in the prophecy of Isaiah. We read, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”—Isa. 9:6,7
This prophecy assigns several meaningful titles to Jesus’ future rulership over the world. Some Hebrew scholars point out that there should be no comma between the words Wonderful and Counsellor, and, instead, that Jesus is a “Wonderful Counsellor.” The term Wonderful Counsellor means more than one who gives advice. It is suggested in the word attorney, one who represents a client before the bar of justice. Jesus will act in this capacity when he serves as “mediator between God and men.” His work as Counsellor will be akin to his role as Judge. In both respects he will deal with the people to effect their reconciliation with God, and thereby provide everlasting life to all the obedient.
Jesus will indeed be a Wonderful Counsellor and a righteous Judge. In another prophecy, we read, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear [reverence, Hebrew] of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear [reverence] of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”—Isa. 11:2-4
Our Lord will deal justly with the people and, under his future administration, those who desire to return to God and to receive the blessing of everlasting life on a perfected earth will be given every opportunity to do so. The assurance that he will not judge after the sight of the eyes, nor according to the hearing of the ears is especially noteworthy. The most competent of all the judges the world has ever known have been limited in making their decisions upon what could be seen and heard. They have been unable to look into the hearts of the people and to discover their hidden motives, or whether their words and conduct belied the real facts of their lives. However, Jesus will be endowed with divine powers of perception and will know the truth concerning all, regardless of their professions.
THE MIGHTY GOD
Another title ascribed to Jesus is “A mighty God.” This does not mean that Jesus is the Almighty God, but that he has been highly exalted by his Heavenly Father, who is pleased to have him recognized as a mighty God and to be thus worshiped. “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”—John 5:22,23
As written concerning him long centuries ago, we read, “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”—Isa. 53:12
The high position of Jesus in the divine arrangement is again brought to our attention in this 53rd chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy. Here the suffering and death of the world’s Redeemer is foretold. Thus this scripture was fulfilled when Jesus was raised from the dead and highly exalted to the right hand of the throne of God. There he became “The mighty God,” the one to whom the whole world may properly look for help and relief as the representative of the Heavenly Father.
In Jesus, we see the glorious characteristics of God manifested. Observing the laws of his future kingdom of righteousness, men will recognize that through Jesus the justice, wisdom, love, and power of Almighty God have become the operative principles for the world’s blessing. Gladly will the people recognize Jesus as God’s representative, and the manifestation of God’s presence in their midst.
MICHAEL STANDS UP
Another title applied to Jesus is the term “Michael,” which literally means, who as God, or the representative of God, and is recorded in the prophecy of Daniel. “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”—Dan. 12:1
In this prophecy, we read that when Michael stands up there will be a “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” In this title, Jesus is seen in connection with the overthrow of the kingdoms of this world and in preparation for the establishment of his future kingdom of righteousness. We are witnessing some of the signs that we are now living in the end of this present Gospel Age.
The term “Father” means life-giver, and an everlasting father is one who gives everlasting life. Jesus will act as an “Everlasting Father” for all who will believe on him and obey the laws of his kingdom. All who then come to Jesus will be given everlasting life.
In his letter to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.”—I Cor. 15:45-47, New American Standard Bible
Here the apostle refers to Jesus as “the last Adam,” and declares that in his resurrection from death he was made a “life-giving spirit” that is endowed with the power to give life to others.
The first man [Adam] was of the earth, earthy. Adam and Eve were commanded to multiply and fill the earth with their offspring. Thus he became the original father of the human race. Because he transgressed the divine law, he brought the penalty of death not only upon himself but upon all of his yet unborn sons and daughters.
The last Adam is our Lord Jesus who will regenerate the entire race of the first Adam and enable them to obtain everlasting life. Thus he will be “The everlasting Father” and those who are faithful to their heavenly calling in Christ Jesus will share with him in blessing all mankind in his future kingdom. “Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”—Matt. 19:28
PRINCE OF PEACE
Jesus, the Savior of the world, will also be “The Prince of Peace.” The angelic song which heralded the birth of Jesus featured the happy theme of “peace on earth,” and this peace will become a reality. “In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”—Mic. 4:1-4
Our Lord will establish lasting and universal peace between all people. Peace of heart will result from being at peace with God. The world of mankind is now alienated from God through wicked works. The Prince of Peace, serving as Mediator, Counsellor, and Judge, will reconcile men to God. No longer will the human family be in rebellion against their Creator. Being in harmony with him and enjoying the sunshine of his favor, they will have life everlasting, for “his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”—Ps. 30:5
THE LAMB OF GOD
The symbolic description of our Lord Jesus as the slain lamb of God is frequently alluded to in the Word of God, and the revelator has recorded this wonderful passage of scripture. “I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’ And the four living creatures kept saying, ‘Amen.’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.”—Rev. 5:11-14, NASB
The faithful members of “The Christ” who are being called out from the world during this present Gospel Age will share the kingdom honor and glory with our dear Lord Jesus. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6) They will share in the great work of judging. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (I Cor. 6:2,3) They will also share in the work of Mediator. “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” (II Cor. 5:18) They are promised to share his heavenly home. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”—John 14:1-3
THE MORNING STAR
The Apostle Peter wrote, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” (II Pet. 1:19) The morning star makes its appearance just before the rising of the sun. In keeping with this illustration, the prophecies indicate that before the establishment of Christ’s kingdom, and before the world will enjoy the warming and healing rays of the Sun of Righteousness, the Lord’s own people will recognize the presence of Jesus through the prophecies of old, and by the signs of the times. Thus do they see our Lord Jesus as the Morning Star, who has come to save his people from their sins.—Matt. 1:21