King Jesus, as He is today, is described in the passage of Scripture recorded by the apostle, John, while exiled to the isle of Patmos in his elder years.
REVELATION 1:12-16 --"And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having tuned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle. And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it had been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength."
As I read the New Testament I discovered that there is a great difference between the Jesus that Paul preached about and the Son of Man of the four gospels that we seem to preach about today. Today we spend a great deal of our messages talking about the miracles like the feeding of the 5000, the walking on water, the cursing of the fig tree, the raising of Jarius' daughter, the healing of the leper, the casting out of demons, healing many people, etc. These are indeed great things to speak about, but do you realize that the Messiah we see in the gospels was actually the weakest and least powerful state of being that Jesus ever experienced? He was demonstrating for us how to live as a spirit filled human being, not as the eternal God of all creation.
PHILIPPIANS 2:5-8 -- "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
For the 33 years He was alive on this earth He made Himself of no reputation and humbled Himself to be a servant, not a King. Can you see that Jesus was a common person just like the all the servants of those days. He was even born in dirty old manger like the animals, He spent His life among sinners like thieves, prostitutes, and publicans. He was crucified just like the worst of all criminals and He was buried in a borrowed tomb. For 33 years He gave up His glory and became as one of us -- a baby, a carpenter, and a preacher - not the King Jesus we see in His description given by John in the scripture above.
What is 33 years compared to existing eternally? It's like comparing 33 cents to a multi-trillionaire.
When we pray is this the image of the Lord we see in our minds eye? Or do we see King Jesus in all of His glory, splendor, and power?
Yet, most of the Church world today envisions Jesus as this servant person we have been taught about in Sunday School and have seen portrayed in pictures and movies.
This was the Jesus that the original 12 apostles knew and loved. They knew Him"according to the flesh", or as a flesh and blood person. When these 12 encountered their Teacher they simply saw a physical man who challenged them to "Come, follow Me." Yes, even in this state of being, Christ did many amazing things and performed many amazing miracles -- I don't want you to think I am diminishing His feats. But the vast majority of His life on earth was spent as a simple carpenter. The last 3 years of His life is when He was the Christ of the 4 gospels and His primary activity was challenging the religious structure and traditions of the society and teaching about the concepts of His Kingdom.
Because He challenged the religious system and its man-made traditions and was teaching radical truths about the kingdom of God that were contrary to what was taught by the religious leadership, He was put to death to get rid of the teacher with the revolutionary concepts. Doesn't this act of getting rid of Jesus, in itself, demonstrate the power of the "traditions of men"? The Lord Himself warned against these traditions.
MATTHEW 15:3, 8-9 -- "And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?"
"You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE TRADITIONS OF MEN."
Now, let's see how Paul met King Jesus
In the Book of Acts chapter 9 and verses 1-19 we see the story of Paul's encounter with the Lord. It was much different than the original 12 apostles who were challenged by a physical man to "Come, follow Me". When Paul first met the Lord He was knocked to the ground and blinded by the brilliant light of His glory. It was as though Jesus let Paul get just a glimpse of Him in His eternal state of being King Jesus of the Kingdom of God and He told Paul what he must do. Paul's response to this encounter was simply "Who art Thou, LORD?". Paul immediately addressed Jesus as Lord, or Master. This encounter with the resurrected eternal King Jesus, the Creator of all creation, radically transformed Paul from an extremely religious man, who persecuted the followers of Christ, to a radical disciple of his new found King who was responsible for building up the Church, spreading the good news of the kingdom of God to the known world at that time, writing the majority of the New Testament, and he suffered greatly for following this King Jesus the Mighty God but never turned away from or denied his new found Lord.
The Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:1-6 about Paul's experience of being taken to heaven after his encounter with the King Jesus on the road to Damascus. This testimony of Paul indicates why Paul's teachings were different than Peter's and the other apostles. The original apostles, including Peter, had known their Lord "according to the flesh", but Paul only knew Jesus in His glorified spiritual state of being as King, Lord, Creator, and Master of all. That is why we don't see Paul teaching about the miracles that the Lord did while in His fleshly body. Paul declares to us who the Lord is today in His capacity as King Jesus of the eternal kingdom of God.That is why Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 5:16 --
" Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer."
Paul was simply stating that even though the original apostles had known Jesus and proclaimed Him as a physical person, from now on they should all proclaim only the eternal Lord and King that has been given a "name that is above all names and at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Lord" --Philippians 2:9-11.
Today, we are to no longer know King Jesus just according to the flesh as the bearded one with long hair, sandals, and a robe. We are not to see Him as the baby in a manger, or the preacher on the hillside speaking to the multitudes, or the skinny bloodied body hanging on the cross. Today, we are to know Jesus as the eternal King of all creation and the Supreme power and Ruler of the universal kingdom. He is the most glorious and powerful being in the entire universe and when we meet the true King Jesus our lives become changed forever because we have encountered the life altering message of the King and His kingdom.
When Paul proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom of God it was with power and it changed people's lives.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 -- "And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God."
1 Corinthians 4:20 -- "For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power."
When we go to a meeting at our local church facility on Sunday morning, do we hear a message of persuasive words of wisdom, or do we hear a proclamation of King Jesus as Lord and His kingdom accompanied by a demonstration of power?
This difference in seeing who Jesus really is can be a life altering concept. That is why I have included it in this section on the kingdom of God.
The gospel message of the kingdom of God is a life altering and life transforming message. Central to the gospel message is the proclamation that Jesus is Lord and that He is alive and well as the Supreme power and Ruler of His universal kingdom. From the moment we meet Him and have our encounter with King Jesus, we bow our knee to Him and from that moment on we begin to obey Him as we learn to hear Him instruct us by His Holy Spirit.
Is the Christ you know the mighty Ruler over all, or the bearded hippy-lookin' man we see in pictures?
The Lord Himself said in John 3:3-6 that we cannot even see the truth of the kingdom of God, or enter it, until be are "born again" by the Spirit. Being born by the Spirit and filled with His life is the central meaning of the New Covenant which Jesus died physically to give to us.
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"Declaring the kingdom of God is at hand and that Jesus is Lord & King"
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