Ephesians 4:3-6; One Lord – The Mediatorial King, part 6.
length: 62:59 - taught on Mar, 24 2021
Wednesday March 24,2021
4. The Ability of the Coming Ruler
God says to us, “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen One in whom My soul delights.”
One of the great abilities of our one Lord is His ability to be a Servant. He would completely depend upon the Father. We must do the same.
The prophets describe the character and ability of the King.
Great ruler: high character, good will, nobility, intelligence, wisdom, and strength to carry out the good.
We long for a ruler like this, or rulers like this. If we had a government filled with men and women like this, our nation would prosper and be free and strong, though still not perfect. In the world, however, generally the leaders are a reflection of the people. Even dictators come to power through popularity, and a people easily duped by empty promises, find themselves ruled by cruel dictators.
This pattern of good rulers is in fact steeped in our nation’s tradition; a tradition currently under great attack. In fact, our electoral college system for electing the president is tied to it, as well as our Senate. The founders distrusted mankind, and they were well educated in the history of governments, especially Greece and Rome. Aristotle said that the best government was founded upon a nation of farmers, agrarians who owned small plots of land. Greece and Rome were built upon a similar type of middle-class agrarian. Why was the agrarian so important? First, he knows where his water is coming from, his sewage is going, how his horses need care and repair, like cars and trucks of modern times. He is directly responsible for these things. He has to protect himself and his family. The police are not five minutes away but hours away, an in ancient times, non-existent. Second, and linked to the first, he has to be smart. If he’s going to plant a vineyard he has to know how and how it needs to be taken care of and nurtured, but that knowledge does him no good if he isn’t also strong enough to do the physical labor. So, the middle-class agrarian has to be wise and strong.
Contrast that to the urbanite. He doesn’t know where his water comes from or where his waste goes. He lives in a push-button world where everything is handed to him easily and effortlessly. His food, his water, his entertainment are all given at the push of a button. He can call the police to defend him, and doesn’t have to learn to do so himself. Some urbanites might be wise and strong, but they don’t have to be to live, and so most of them are not. They have plenty of time to spend time on things that don’t matter and to believe in ideologies that are idiotic. If you could have a government filled with either type of person, which would it be?
So the founders instituted the electoral college. The agrarian, in the minority then, and much more so now, had an important say in the election of the president. If the election were based only on popular vote, candidates would go up and down the east and west coasts, to the major cities and completely ignore the middle. If the number of senators per state were based on population, then CA would have a dozen or so and Wyoming maybe one. The agrarian, the man or woman with the strong mind and body would have no part in government, and the nation would be ruled by push button elites. This is an example of a good ruler, high character, good will, nobility, intelligence, wisdom, and strength to carry out the good.
And, only in Christ is this found in completeness and perfection.
5. The functions of the coming Ruler - Prophet, Priest, and King.
There have been a lot of false prophets. There have been a lot of corrupted priest and a lot of stupid and weak kings. But our Lord will fulfill all three functions perfectly.
6. The Mystery of the coming King’s Career.
Who has believed our message?
He is presented in Old Testament prophecy not only as the Servant of Yavah but as a suffering Servant; a Man of sorrows, despised and rejected of men; an alien to His mother’s children, and hated without cause; wounded, bruised, afflicted, and dying for the iniquities of men.
Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head;
Those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies,
What I did not steal, I then have to restore.
I have become estranged from my brothers,
And an alien to my mother's sons.
9 For zeal for Thy house has consumed me,
And the reproaches of those who reproach Thee have fallen on me.
Reproach has broken my heart, and I am so sick.
And I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
And for comforters, but I found none.
21 They also gave me gall for my food,
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
He is the great and good Shepherd:
Get yourself up on a high mountain,
O Zion, bearer of good news,
Lift up your voice mightily,
O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;
Lift it up, do not fear.
Say to the cities of Judah,
"Here is your God!"
10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His recompense before Him.
11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs,
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
Yet, when the sheep wander from the paths of righteousness, it is not the sheep but the Shepherd who is smitten with the sword of God.
"Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
And against the man, My Associate [near relative],"
Declares the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered;
And I will turn My hand against the little ones.”
In His crucifixion Christ was smitten (ISA 53:4, 7, 10) and His own disciples abandoned Him. His hand against the little ones may refer to the scattering of the Jewish nation which would occur in 70 AD, which will again happen in the last half of the Tribulation.
The King restores what He didn’t take away.
What I did not steal, I then have to restore.
He comes at the appointed time as the long awaited Messiah the Prince of Israel; yet He is cut off and has nothing which belongs to His regal glory (DAN 9:25-26).
The mystery deepens as the OT saint reads that “it pleased the Lord to bruise Him,” ISA 53:10.
In the face of this mystery, therefore, it should not be surprising to find Isaiah opening his 53rd chapter with the exclamation, “Who has believed our report?” which is the report of the Messiah-King who must suffer under the hand of Yavah.
How could they reconcile these two apparently conflicting elements - the glory and the suffering? Faith believes revelation from God, even which the mind cannot understand.
The prophets never spoke of two kings. There was ever only one, and He is depicted as a victorious conqueror in many passages as well as suffering and dying in weakness in many other passages. The human mind tries to unravel the knot, and when it can’t, it cuts the knot by using conjectured ideas and labeling them truths. It was difficult for them to discern two advents of one King - a first and a second coming. It was very difficult for the religious leaders in Christ’s day to conceive of a Messiah dead and hanging on a tree, as Paul addresses in Gal 3. It was even difficult for Peter and the other disciples to discern it, revealed so well by Peter attempting to forbid the Lord from going to Jerusalem to suffer and die. Still, faith has to accept what is difficult or impossible for the mind to unravel, if what is known and understood is shown to be true.
May he also rule from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 Let the nomads of the desert bow before him;
And his enemies lick the dust.
My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
2 O my God, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest.
61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; 61:2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 61:3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
How could they unify them, reconcile them?
This problem was not unnoticed by the Jewish rabbis. Some thought there might be two Messiahs; one, the “son of Joseph,” who would suffer and die; the other, a “son of David,” who would come to reign in glory. Other Jewish scholars applied the prophecies of suffering to the nation of Israel personified; a view favored by modern Jewish interpretation. But both of these views are post-Christian in origin, and were probably motivated by Jewish antagonism toward the Christian interpretation of OT prophecy. We wonder if anyone in the OT could have gotten the interpretation exactly right. Even our Lord’s disciples didn’t get it right until the resurrected Christ personally showed them in the OT scriptures.
And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were conversing with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 And it came about that while they were conversing and discussing, Jesus Himself approached, and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18 And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?" 19 And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 "But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive. 24 "And some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see." 25 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. 28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He would go farther. 29 And they urged Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over." And He went in to stay with them. 30 And it came about that when He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 And they said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?" 33 And they arose that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, "The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon." 35 And they began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
36 And while they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst. 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." 40 [And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.] 41 And while they still could not believe it for joy and were marveling, He said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" 42 And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43 and He took it and ate it before them.
44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 "You are witnesses of these things. 49 "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 And it came about that while He was blessing them, He parted from them. 52 And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple, praising God.
Hearing all of this instruction from a resurrected Christ would make all the difference in their understanding and faith. The prophets of the OT searched their own writing and that of other prophets in an attempt to understand the time and the manner of the Messiah’s coming. What they found is that their ministries were really serving us more than it was them.
After the first coming of the King and His rejection is a matter of history, it is easy to find reference to His second coming in the prophets. Before His first coming, seeing two advents separated by a vast gulf of time, was difficult. That means that it was not necessary for them to see everything as clearly as we can.