Revelation Through Jesus Christ

Wednesday English Service  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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When deciding what we should study and reflect upon for our very first English Wednesday service, I decided that we should start at Step #1, which happens to also be the very first important step.
Tonight, I would like to talk to you about Jesus.
But more importantly, I want to talk to you about how the New Testament writers understood and saw Jesus, and how that affects how we see what is written in scripture
And for that, I want us to begin in what I feel is a very important text in the New Testament, specifically because of the context and intention the book has in relation to Jesus. This text is found in Hebrews 1:1-3:
Hebrews 1:1–3 NKJV
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
This text, first of all, is important because the purpose of the book of Hebrews is to point to the superiority of Jesus Christ to every Jewish practice and belief in the time of the early church. The literary purpose of the book is to prove why you should continue believing in Jesus, and why this is not a mistake.
The book of Hebrews is really a Christ Centered book.
So it’s opening statement becomes even more important when trying to understand Jesus.
And the text begins by saying that God speaks to us in numerous times through different ways. (We know these as dispensations, the way God has communicated and dealt with humanity through different times. ) Paul specifically points to two ways God has spoken to His people:
The very first thing that it tells us that is that God speaks to us. God does not leave us in the dark.
The first is through the use of prophets.
The very first thing that it tells us that is that God speaks to us. God does not leave us in the dark.
God speaks to us in various ways. But Paul points to two main ways:
Revelation through what was Spoken through the prophets
The second is through HIs son.
Now we know a lot about God speaking through His prophets.
I would like us to delve into these two concepts in a bit more detail.
This evening we want to focus on the second one, but let me just take a few minutes to address the very first way God has spoken through us.
The Prophets
Now we know a lot about God speaking through His prophets. The reason we know a lot is because
Now we know a lot about God speaking through His prophets, because this is a concept that shows up in the Bible numerous times:
Amos 3:7 NKJV
Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
Not only does the Bible tell us that He does nothing without revealing what He will do to His prophets, but we know this by experience based on what we know about scripture.
We know that the Bible has is a collection of the writings of the prophets, based on what God revealed to them.
And we also know that the Bible contains the story of other prophets, and How God used them.
In other words, the Bible is based on what God has revealed the prophets, and we receive that message through:
What they have written.
And what was written about them.
Amos The reason we know a lot is because
We have always known that God speaks to the prophets. Throughout scripture, this is the
Now when God speaks to the prophets, we know that the message that the prophets received have come to us in two ways:
through the written word - what they have written
through the story of their lives - what was written about them
So what Jesus does it ultimately trump and supercede what was told to the prophets.
Now says two things I want you to pay attention to:
God speaks “at various times and in various ways”
This phrase is important, because it points to the importance of the message of the past. We must recognize that God has spoken at different times throughout history. WE cannot discard what was written in the past, and only focus on How God speaks to us now.
For example, the Old Testament is just as important as the New Testament.
Various ways points to the numerous methods that the prophets have received the message:
Audibly (through hearing, i.e. the voice of God)
The second thing I want you to notice is that Paul makes a distinction between the Revelation of God in the past, and the revelation of God now.
In the past, God spoke to the father by the prophets.
But now, he says that God is speaking to us through His Son, that is, through Jesus Christ.
John 3:16
This is important because it tells us that for us to get the full message, we have to look at the message that has been given in “various times”
Now this distinction between the now and then is extremely important, because it points to how the New Testament writers understood and saw Jesus.
Jesus above the Old Testament
This does not mean, once again, that the revelation to the fathers by the prophets is not important. But it does mean that once Jesus arrived, that Revelation is superceded and trumped by what Jesus came to reveal.
I want to give you two examples of what this means:
The Sermon on the Mount:
Notice that Jesus is clear about the fulfillment of the Law. He points to the Law and the Prophets, a phrase that most likely pointed to the entirety of scripture:
Known as the Tanakh
Prophets - prophetes (probably referring to the Tanak)
Torah - Law
Nebiim (prophets)
Kethubim (writings)
But we see Jesus show us this when he gives His examples of what He means:
Thou shalt not murder
Jesus takes this and elevates this.
Question? Which one do we follow?
Do we follow simply not murder?
Or do we follow “do not even think about murdering?”
Therefore, Jesus teachings supercede the Old Testament Law.
Not that it is not valid. But that His teachings point to a greater reality and fulfillment of that law.
Another example is what the Gospel writers do with the Old Testament prophecies:
(the text is speaking about Israel as a nation)
Hosea 11:1 NKJV
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
Hosea 11:1–2 NKJV
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. As they called them, So they went from them; They sacrificed to the Baals, And burned incense to carved images.
Matthew 2:14–15 NKJV
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
It’s the wrong interpretation, but the New Testament writers saw every old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Jesus.
Returning , this is why Paul says that Jesus is:
According to the following verses, Jesus is
“the brightness of His glory”
and the “express image of His person”
Its very close to what John says:
John 1:14 NKJV
And the Word became 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.
So the New Testament writers saw Jesus as the maximum revelation of God. Yes, he had given revelation to the prophets before, and they in turn gave us the scriptures as we know it.
But once Jesus arrived, everything changed! Jesus became the fulfillment of what the Prophets wrote. Even when the prophets were not speaking about Jesus, the New testament writers saw Jesus even in the things that were not about Jesus.
Once again, Jesus changed everything. He not only superceded the revelation of the Old Testament, but came to elevate the Old Testament to a better and more clear understanding.
Ultimately, I see something like this working from the New Testament perspective:
If you really want to know God, you need to know Jesus.
And if you really want to know Jesus, you need to know the Old Testament (what the prophets wrote and what we see in the Law).
The Sanctuary Fulfillment
But I want to give you one final example. This is perhaps the best example, simply because it centers around the temple. And the temple, if you notice this throughout the New Testament, is the center of all the Jewish economy and lifestyle.
Matthew 12:6 NKJV
Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple.
You can see this fulfillment right at the death of Jesus:
Perhaps the best example of this is what we find right at the death of Jesus:
Matthew 27:50–51 NKJV
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
Mark 15:37–38 NKJV
And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Mark 15:
To this, notice what EGW says (Christ His Sanctuary, p43):
“Since the whole ritual economy was symbolical of Christ, it had no value apart from Him. When the Jews sealed their rejection of Christ by delivering Him to death, they rejected all that gave significance to the temple and its services. Its sacredness had departed. It was doomed to destruction. From that day sacrificial offerings and the service connected with them were meaningless. Like the offering of Cain, they did not express faith in the Saviour. In putting Christ to death, the Jews virtually destroyed their temple. When Christ was crucified, the inner veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, signifying that the great final sacrifice had been made, and that the system of sacrificial offerings was forever at an end.”
So the center of everything religious in the Old Testament finds it’s fulfillment in Jesus himself. So sometimes we have to be careful what we do with the Old Testament:
Celebrating the sanctuary feasts
Applying Old Testament customs
Brothers and Sisters, Jesus, for the New Testament writers, is extremely important.
This is the same concept
He is now our main source of knowing about the father.
We may know the Bible, but I guess I am asking today if you know Jesus.
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