Jesus Christ: The Most Misunderstood Person In History
When reading the Bible, we understand that our redemption from sin is the theme of the book. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me to see how this simple theme and prophecy concerning a coming Savior can be so misunderstood by people. In fact, people not only misunderstood the facts about Christ in “Bible days,” but He is also misunderstood today! What is it that makes Christ so misunderstood? Put simply, it is because people attached their own wishes and thoughts to Him rather than letting Christ speak for Himself! Please take note of the following.
In The First Century:
- Some expected Christ to be a military leader to overthrow Rome and rule in Jerusalem on a literal throne. This happened on several occasions. Please read the following verses and see this fact (Matt. 20:21; Jn. 6:15; Lk. 24:21; Acts 1:6).
- Some looked upon Christ as merely another prophet from God (Matt. 16:13-14; Jn. 4:19). In other words, they did not appreciate who He really is. They thought he was merely another prophet with a message from God. Yet, He was/is much more!
- Still, others saw Christ as an imposter and rebellious to Abraham and the law of Moses (Jn. 5:45-47, 8:38-40, 53-58; Matt. 27:63). Many felt their power and influence threatened by what Christ said and what He represented. Therefore, they lied about the Lord and tried to make folks believe that Jesus was an imposter so that they would not lose the “power” they had.
- There were a few, though, who understood Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ (Jn. 3:2, 4:25-29, 42, 9:33-38; Matt. 16:16). These few are what made all the difference in Bible days. These are the ones who taught the truth of Christ wherever they went.
In Like Manner, Today:
- Christ is looked upon as merely a prophet by many. There are people who blatantly deny that He is the Son of God.
- The millennialists still expect Christ to be an earthly ruler with a military campaign to defeat Satan and rule in Jerusalem on earth one day. Yet, Christ never promised such a thing would occur.
- Others see Christ as their personal “genie,” granting wishes and providing earthly treasures. Such is the “gospel of health-and-wealth” taught by many today. Such was never taught by Christ!
- There are also those who look upon Christ as the author and sustainer of the many varied and conflicting churches we see in the world. Does a position that says Christ approves of the religious division of the day agree with such passages as I Corinthians 1:10, John 17:20-21, and Ephesians 4:4-6?
Yet, how many see Christ as He really is? He is our Savior (Lk. 19:10), and redeemer (Titus 2:14). He built only one church (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16). He has only one plan of salvation (Acts 2:38) which produces Christians only (Acts 11:26). He is a spiritual king concerned with our spiritual welfare. He wants us in Heaven with Him one day (II Pet. 3:9; Rom. 2:7-11). Do you believe this?
How many times have we heard our friends or neighbors talk about the “end times” and about the “anti-Christ” that is supposed to come in a future time? It seems every time a war happens or some catastrophe (natural or man-made) happens, we hear folks speaking about the “end times”, the “anti-Christ” and similar things. They talk of the “anti-Christ” as if this is a specific person (perhaps a specific political leader, or other person). The truth is that the word “anti-Christ” simply means an “opponent of the Messiah” (Strong’s Hebrew/Greek Lexicon). In truth, this spirit of anti-Christ has been around since the first century! How can I say this? Let us let the Bible speak.
John said, “Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist.” He continued his thought by saying, “Which you heard was coming and now is in the world already” (I John 4:3). The Holy Spirit even inspired John to write that there are “many anti-Christs” (I Jn. 2:18)!
Therefore, to say that “Anti-Christ” has not come, and we must look for this in the near-future is completely foreign to the Scriptures. “Anti-Christ” has been around since the first century! As we noted above, “anti-Christ” is anything or anyone that opposes or contradicts Christ and His teachings! With this in mind, are you acting in a way that is opposed to Christ and His will? Let us beware! (I Cor. 10:12)
“Why Bring Christ Back To Earth?”
In this third article, we conclude by studying Ephesians 1:20-23. Paul lists six reasons why Jesus does not need to come back to the earth.
1. Jesus is sitting now at the right hand of God (v. 20). This denotes authority, degree of position, or level of rank. It speaks of the superiority of Christ over all things (Matt. 28:18).
2. Jesus is ruling “in the heavenly places” (v. 20). Paul is simply saying that Christ’s throne is not a material one, but a spiritual throne for a spiritual being (Jn. 4:24).
3. Jesus is “far above all principality, power, might and dominion” (v. 21). This verse declares Christ’s complete authority over everything spiritual and physical. Any name or title that may ever be used is in subjection to Jesus (Phil. 2:9-10). His authority transcends all titles and authority for all time (Acts 4:12).
4. Jesus has “all things under His feet” (v. 22). In other words, all things are in TOTAL subjection to Christ.
5. Jesus is the head of the church (v. 22). Since He is the head, Christ is in control. He is the law. We cannot do or say anything without His authority (Col. 3:17).
6. Jesus is in control of the church today (v. 23). Just as one’s body cannot function without its head, The body of Christ (the church, Col. 1:24) cannot function without its head (Christ).
Let us learn that Christ has all power and is reigning now. To bring Christ to earth to rule is to dethrone our King!
“Why Bring Christ Back To Earth?”
Yesterday we asked this question to learn why Jesus would need to come to the earth. Let us continue and see that there is no reason for Jesus to set foot on earth again.
Colossians 3:17 says that the things we do must be done “in the name of the Lord.” The word “name” means “position, rank, and title.” Christ has “a name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9-10). He wears a name no one else can wear. He has a position no one else can obtain. Seeing these things are true, to bring Christ to the earth would be a demotion in position, rank, and title.
Please read I Peter 1:19-21 and John 17:5. These passages show us that His glory is complete. Just as His name is above every name, so is His glory. To bring Jesus to this earth again would diminish the glory He now has.
In John 17:4, we read “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” There is nothing left for Jesus to do on earth! Jesus plainly said at the end of His life, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). Christ knew He had done all His Father had commanded; now it is up to us to realize it!
There is no need for Christ to return to the earth. He has done all He is going to do. He has all glory, dominion, and power. Why bring Jesus to earth and demote Him?
“Why Bring Christ Back To Earth?”
Many teach that Christ is going to come back to earth to reign for 1000 years. Is this true? If so, why bring Christ back to earth to rule?
Jesus’ mission is completed. Ephesians 1:7-10 makes this very clear. Jesus declared before He died that He had finished His work (Jn. 19:30). We now have the Plan of Salvation in its fullness and simplicity, and it is “in Christ”. Why do we need Christ to come back to the earth? There would be nothing for Him to do!
Jesus is not going to reveal any “new” doctrine to man. His revelation is complete. Jude 3 tells the brethren to, “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The meaning of that passage is “once and for all delivered unto the saints.” It is not going to be delivered again. Christ completed His revelation.
His authority is complete (Matt. 28:18-20). We know He has all authority, because it was exercised on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38). About 3000 were baptized “in the name of Jesus Christ” (i.e., by His authority) on that day! How can He return and claim more authority when He has all of it right now?
The kingdom of Christ is with us today. Those who are Christians are “translated” (transferred/transplanted) into this kingdom (Col. 1:13; Heb. 12:28). According to Paul, Christians are in the kingdom and will be judged by His laws. Therefore, why bring Christ back to earth?