Jesus, The Faithful Head of the “New Man” (His Body)
After the Jews had rejected Jesus The Christ as their Messiah, calling for His Execution (Luke 23:21; Mark 15:13 & John 19:15), He was crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem; which was in fulfilment of the prophecies given to the Jews at various times in the previous 1000 years (Psm. 41:9-10; 22:1,7,8,16,17,18 & Isa. 50:6; 53:4,7,9 & 12).
That outcome was manipulated by the Pharisaic Sanhedrin, who had orchestrated both the people, and the Roman occupiers, although many Jews did accept the teachings of Jesus and His Person! Saul, later the Apostle Paul, was, after a dramatic encounter with the Risen Christ (Acts 9), given the instruction by Jesus, to visit all the main Synagogues of the Jews to show from Scripture that Jesus was indeed their long awaited Messiah, whom they had rejected and killed; see: The Apostle Paul:
Paul had been told by the Risen Jesus, that He would be given instructions during the duration of his mission to the Jews, which he was to follow at the time; see: Paul's Changing Mission! and, that he had been especially chosen for the task (Acts 9:15).
Many people are taught by the ‘Churches’ that the Jews were rejected totally when they crucified Jesus, see: Replacement Theology (Spiritual Israel)? and erroneously, that the “Church” Age began at the Pentecost event 7 weeks later. A prayerful and careful reading of the Bible shows that all the events of Pentecost were for the Jews alone, (Matt. 15:24) and that they had a chance to revisit their tragic decision regarding Jesus’ life, and His offer of Salvation; see: The Events of Pentecost; What is the Truth? (Discussion Document).
Paul did as he had been instructed by the Risen Christ Jesus, as is shown in Acts; and his last visit was to the Synagogue in Rome. However, despite much interest shown, especially by the Bereans, his message was rejected by individual Synagogues and also by corporate Israel (the Sanhedrin), and in Acts 28:26-27, Paul quotes Isa. 6:9-10; “Go unto this people and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them”. (That statement from God’s prophet shows that the heart of a person must be sincerely contrite, for healing and Salvation)! Paul then went on to say in verse 28; “Be it known therefore unto you, that the Salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will hear it”!
That dramatic statement carried great authority, as Paul’s words were in fact Christ’s Jesus Words, as Paul was the mouthpiece of the Risen Lord, and an interesting fact is that the Jews have been resisting those words Paul stated in verse 28 ever since! Paul had been commissioned by Christ Jesus, to explain the reason the Temple Vail was rent as Jesus gave up His Spirit! See: Renting of the Veil; Since that time the Jews have, because of their rejection of Paul’s / Christ’s message to them, been set to one side (Lo-Ammi), as per the prophecy of Hosea 1and 2; and are now awaiting their reinstatement by their Jehovah God.
After the events described above, Paul wrote 7 more Epistles; Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. These differ in emphasis to all Paul’s pre-Acts 28 works, and are pertinent to the True Church, which is the “Church of Christ Jesus’ Body”, the “New Man” of which He is the Head! (Col. 1:18 & 2:19)
Paul had alluded to the “Body of Christ” in his earlier writings; (1Cor. 12), but in verse 27 there is no article, but a careful reading in context shows that he is describing the organisational aspect of the then Church, which was pre-Acts 28. The conclusive point is the fact that in verse 30 he refers to “healing gift”, which ceased at the end of Acts due to Israel’s rejection of Christ Jesus as their Messiah; which proves that a new Age (Dispensation) of God had begun; the Age of the Gentiles; the Age of “The New Man”!
This is shown here to differentiate the term “Body of the Mystery” in Paul’s latter writings, with his earlier writings; and it starting with Ephesians shown above; and that that change which took place in “Dispensation” at Acts 28:26-27; and was the completion of the prophecy in Isa. 6! (See page 1694 Companion Bible).
The writers have found that many sincere Christians have great trouble seeing and accepting the Dispensational change of Acts 28:28; and that must be a function of the extreme errors of the established Churches; and their unwarranted hold on the minds of many Christians! When it is seen and understood, God’s Holy Word, the Bible opens up to much clarity for the sincere Christian! More can be read on this subject in the book by Lloyd Allen; “The Church, When did it begin”.
The explanations regarding the “Mystery Body” are taken further by Paul in Eph. 1:22-23; 2:11-22; 3:3-9 & 4:1-16. He refers particularly to the Gentiles, as His/God’s priority had changed at Acts 28:28, from Jew to Gentile. Not that the Jew is excluded from the “New Man”, but that the Gentiles were/are the new priority of God! The Jews have exactly the same opportunity to enter the “New Man” as all the world’s Gentiles; however, it is harder for them because God has placed a vail over their ability to understand Scripture (2Cor. 3:12-18). However, many Jews (some famous), have entered the “Body of Christ”, as this Link shows: Jewish Believers;
Paul was at pains to show that the final object of God the Father is to draw the two groups (Jew and Gentile) together eventually in Christ Jesus; which will be after the Second Advent of Christ; and the events of Zech. 12:10!
So, it is seen that a change had taken place at Acts 28:28, and that the Gentile has taken priority over Israel to form a “New Man”, (Eph. 2:15), and that is without the Laws of sacrifice and all the stipulations of the Old Testament (OT), which applied to the Jews (Luke 16:16). As regarding the Gentiles, they are no longer to walk in the way of most Gentiles, i.e. “in the vanity of their minds” (Eph. 4:17) and in the ways of other Gentiles (Acts 15:29). So, although the Jews are not excluded from the “New Man”, they are not to rely on, or observe the OT stipulations for absolution of sin; because Christ Jesus has taken that entire burden on Himself SUCESSFULLY on the Calvary cross; in obedience to His Father’s Will; and by His own freewill!
What then is the reason for the above changes? Here we must refer back to the beginning of this Creation (as opposed to any earlier ones), of the man and woman, Adam and Eve. See: Eve and Adam.
Genesis shows that under pressure from Satan, Eve followed by Adam sinned, by disobeying God’s direct order not to eat the “fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. That direct disobedience (by the freewill of Eve and Adam) brought death into the world for them and their heirs, which is the whole human race; and Satan has been proving ever since, that he can manipulate all God’s created beings both human and spiritual, if they have freewill! Satan’s challenge to Almighty God extends to the promises that God has made to Israel, and to His statement in Jer. 31:36, that Israel will always exist! God is allowing this conflict within rules imposed on Satan; (Job 1:12), which all God’s creation are witness to!
Was that the start of the problem? No. The entity (Satan) who had so easily tempted Eve and Adam, had much earlier rebelled against God, when he was “the Cherub that covereth” (Ezk. 28:14); and in his pride and freewill wanted to be “as God” (Ezk. 28:2 & Isa.14:13)! See: Satan's Origins.
So; although the problem of “sin” and rebellion against Almighty God is severe on Earth; it started with the rebellion of Satan against God; and was instigated by Satan’s pride in himself (which is still a human problem), as the most magnificent of God’s creation, who was given the honour of being the “covering Cherub” (Ezek. 28:14); and also endowed with freewill!
What Satan’s power extended to in his honoured position before God, and before his rebellion; we are not told, but even from Paul’s descriptions of God’s domains, in Rom. 8:39; Col. 1:16; 2:15; Eph. 6:12; 3:10-11; and particularly 1:20-21; it is extensive, and allowed by God at this present time, (Job Chaps. 1 and 2)!
Satan’s instigation of rebellion in God’s creation (by the gift of God to him of freewill), has had massive impact on creation's beings, (who by implication also have freewill). It is recorded in Revelation that ⅓ of Heaven’s angels have turned against God and now follow Satan (Rev. 12:4 & 9), and that their numbers are very large. See: Angels and Demons!
After the fall of Adam and Eve to Satan’s temptation, God pronounced that because of their acquired knowledge of good and evil, they would die, as He had warned Adam in Gen. 2:17. God did however give a way out of the situation in Gen. 3:15, where “the seed of the woman” was to be the downfall of Satan and all his followers; see: M A R Y, the mother of Jesus.
So, we see that the “seed of the woman” is Mary, the betrothed of Joseph, whose pregnancy is not of Joseph or any man; but of God Almighty Himself! See: The Virgin Birth of Jesus: and: God's Only Begotten Son.
What was the significance of such a miraculous birth, which mixed the seed of the woman with the life giving Holy Spirit of God ; producing a human being (Luke 1:35), in a way differently to the pro-creation which had been vested in Adam and Eve?
When Adam was formed “from the dust of the ground” (Gen. 2:7), the spirit of life was “breathed” into him, and he “became a living soul”.
When the Holy Spirit (The Third Person) of the Godhead covered Mary, and she conceived Jesus, “that holy thing” (Luke 1:35),was born with the inherited sin nature of Adam (Rom. 8:3); which had been the case in all people since Eden!
Some commentators think that Jesus was born without the sin nature of Eden, but Scripture makes clear that He was “tempted in all points as are we, but without sin (Heb. 4:15)”! So; it is clear that Jesus knew the trials of Satan that all humans are subject to; but “in Him was no sin”, by His freewill, (1John 3:5).
So; the “seed of the woman” now was to produce a sinless being , a blank sheet of paper, that through its life would not commit the sins common to mankind; (“that holy thing”); which was to have the purpose of “redeeming” (salvaging), much of the human race; which was recognised and recorded by Simeon (Luke 2:29-32).
For the object of God in Christ Jesus to be achieved, He had to live a sinless life, by His freewill, which He did all the way to His Sacrificial death on Calvary’s Cross; when He was able to pronounce “it is finished”; and the Temple Vail was split from top to bottom; indicating that access to God the Father was from then on open to the Jew’s; and latterly to all! (See: Rom. 5:19; Heb. 12:2; Phil. 2:8; Rev. 1:5 & 3:14).
That is why Jesus is called the Second Adam; “as in Adam all die, so in Christ Jesus shall all be made alive” (1Cor. 15:22 & 45-47). Those that accept Jesus Christ and His free gift of Salvation will have eternal life; those that do not, will also be raised, but to be judged before the “great white throne of God”, (Rev. 20:11-15).
There is however more to the stupendous work of Christ Jesus; which His “faithful” life to His Father's Will, has and will in the future bring to fruition!
Christ’s faithfulness to the end of His first Advent, brings into play the following:
For the first time, the defeat of Satan, because as the “Perfect Man” the challenge of Satan is met by an equal; who voided the precedent created by Satan; by the opposite action of Satan; i.e., obedience and faithfulness; as opposed to Satan’s rebellion, shown above.
Rebellious Israel (God’s chosen people); who failed miserably to keep their fidelity to their vows to God (as expressed in Deuteronomy and elsewhere); and which is recorded in detail in the book of Malachi! Israel’s failure to recognise (from prophecy) their long awaited Messiah; their rejection of Him, and their crucifixion of Him! They await their salvaging as the “Bride of Christ”. See: Jehovah's dealings with Israel.
At the present time (Jan. 2017), the wilting and erroneous Christian Church in all its variations worldwide, where faith in Him is true; is “seen through Christ to be perfect”, (Heb. 10:14;2:10; Col.1:28 & Eph.5:27). That is because all people who truly believe in their hearts what Christ Jesus has done for them are “sealed in Heaven”, they enter "the New Man" of which He is the Head; and they await perfection at the Second Advent of Jesus! See: The Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ:
So, we see that Christ Jesus’ faithful and blameless walk when on Earth; and His obedience to His Father's Will, even to the death of the cross; has multiple results, when they are enacted in the timing of the Father. See: Jesus in Gethsemane.
At present, Jesus is seated at the “right hand of the Father in Heaven”; (Psm.110:1; Luke 22:69; 20:42-43; Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36 & Acts 2:35), awaiting the time that His enemies on Earth, and in Heavenly places are made His footstool; the timing of which also links to Israel’s “Jacob’s Trouble” on Earth, (Jer.30:7 & Gen. 49). See: Jacob's Trouble
People have said to the writers that God seems to have made this whole process of defeating Satan, a very painful and protracted sequence. They ask “why didn’t God just eliminate Satan when he rebelled”? God of course could easily have done so at Satan’s rebellion; but that would have been the reaction of a dictator; which as God is in the process of proving His Great Love, would have been counterproductive! See: Ultimate Love.
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