8. Christ Jesus
What is “the Lord Jesus Christ?”
8. Christ Jesus
As I re-sought the Lord concerning the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles in the life of the church, beginning in 2005, I found all discussion of that reality inside of thinking that included, with some, an attempt to define Jesus as one thing and Christ as something completely different. As I began this Christ Our Life letter in late 2008, I connected with some readers who also wanted to call those two something entirely different. One brother posted something I wrote on his website, but replaced “Jesus” all the way through with “Christ.”
I accept nothing of large consequence without writing out all that God actually says on the subject from the New Testament. In this case, I started with Romans, thinking that I would write out every verse in the epistles – that is, through Jude, in which “Jesus” and/or “Christ” appears. I needed to know from the actual words how the apostles truly understood the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I stopped my study at Romans 8:11; there was no need to continue.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
It is a simple law of logic. If A is B and if C is B, then A is C. Jesus IS the Christ. Now I see that it is Paul who uses every possible combination of Jesus, Christ, Christ Jesus, Jesus Christ, and the Lord Jesus Christ all the way through.
However, the most important reference there is, Romans 13:14, is very specific. We do not put on Christ, we do not put on Jesus, we do not put on the Lord. We put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
What, exactly then, are we wrapping around ourselves?
What is it that we are making our only identity? What is this new Self of ours?
If the entirety of our task as believers is to wrap ourselves by faith entirely inside of the Lord Jesus Christ, enduo, put on, with what, precisely, are we en-clothing ourselves?
In one of my books discussing poetry, the writer stated: “The universe is organized, but it is not personal.”
I wrote “God is a Person” before I took these courses, but I wrote these words recently, “The universe is utterly, intensely personal,” in direct contradiction of this writer's non-thinking claim.
You see, if the universe is not personal, then neither are we. And if we are not personal, that is, just a chemical reaction, then stomping out humans, as the Marxists like to do, is just a-okay.
In the same regard, if Christ is not Personal, that is, Jesus, then neither are we. If “Christ” is just some impersonal “force” that permeates everywhere, with which we connect and learn to arise into, some new “consciousness” that pervades but does not have a heart, then we also are not persons. And, you see, those who want such a “christ” also push “you are dead,” or “you're just a dead man walking.”
I KNOW the debilitating numbness that comes into people's lives by the ever present demand to “just die,” by the horrific mutterings of “God isn't making you nothing, you already are.”
I can assure you of this: Jesus did not die for nothing.
The true death of the cross is entirely “was dead,” and entirely “alive forevermore.”
Value is measured only by the price for which something is purchased, never by the thinking of the seller. I could have a car into which I have put thousands of dollars, but if it's not worth that to any buyer, it cannot be valued by what went into it. Only the purchaser determines the value of anything.
You were purchased with Blood, the highest value in the universe. You are of higher regard inside the Heart of a very Personal universe than all the wealth of creation.
Here is part of what the Nicene Creed says about this Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“. . . born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light. . .”
Now, this is very confusing, how do I wrap myself with this?
You see, there is only ONE command in the entire Bible, one command that must be obeyed. All of Christianity, whether works or grace FAILS unless we obey this one command: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, Abide in Me and I in you.
“Born of the Father before all ages” places God into the realms of time. The writers of the Creed do not comprehend that all time words in the Bible, when referring to God, are figurative, just as Jesus said in John 16.
The Father is both NOW and HERE. He doesn't exist any other way. There is no God that is not now; there is no God that is not here. They claim that God is eternal and infinite; they just do not believe it.
What is “the Lord Jesus Christ?”
I do not consider Him as “God the Son”; I don't think God is known in that way. I don't consider Him as non-Divine, even in His humanity.
Part of the difficulty of the religious human living with his or her back turned to God is this desperate need to drive God and man far apart, to place God in one box over here and man in a totally different box over there, and to require them to be utterly, utterly different.
No one considers marriage.
With my present seeing, I see God as One Person, the Father.
I see that One Person, the Father, revealing Himself through many persons.
I see that the Man, Christ Jesus, is the continual revelation of the Father in the Now, in the Here, in the Personal in us – in the physical realms of earth.
I see that the Spirit, who is the Spirit of the Father sent out as the expression of all heaven's God-phenomena, who is also the Spirit of Christ, who is also my Sspirit and yours, in whom we live and move, who is our breath and the energia of our lives, is Gladness. Is that not what David called Him, a Spirit of Gladness? You have anointed me with Gladness above all my fellows.
The humanity of Jesus is in me, and that is a divine expression.
You see, if the Man, the humanity of Jesus is in me and if the Man, the humanity of Jesus is in you, that takes a type of omnipresence, which is an attribute of divinity.
Physical bodies cannot be omnipresent. Jesus was confined to one place and one expression when He walked the earth. Yet now, Jesus the Man is not confined to one place and one expression, but He shows up, not everywhere, as the Spirit does, but in many, as in a many-membered body. Jesus is not omnipresent as Spirit; He is omnipresent as Body.
This is all a mystery, but we are talking about Christ and the church.
Jesus' humanity is fully divine; Jesus' divinity is utterly human.
Now how's that for something to chew on? One great crime of the Nicene Creed is the concrete boxes into which God is forced over here and man is forced over there.
In my last letter, I said that Word/Spirit can never be separated from each other and that Word/Spirit can never be separated from the bringing forth of Life. We could say Word is Jesus, Spirit is the Holy Spirit, and Life is the Father. Yet when I read any discussion of “the Trinity,” I go cold. It's as if they are talking about something foreign and different, something I cannot know.
If I cannot know the Father as the One who fills me full, it ain't the Father. If I cannot know the Son as the One who lives as me, it ain't the Son. If I cannot know the Spirit as the One who fills my heart with love and who flows out of me as joy and gladness, it ain't the Spirit.
My humanity is fully divine, utterly saturated with all of God in Person; my divinity is utterly human, a kind word, a tender touch, a Man on His knees to serve.
Do we know Him thus?
There is no other way to know Him. We cannot speak of God and Man except as total marriage union.
Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
There are two ways only to know “God,” one is real, the other is false.
The real way to know God is to see Him through the lens of Jesus, the Man, particularly through His walk of the Atonement, that is, through Jesus' eyes, through the eyes of a Man laying down His life for His friends.
The false way to know “God” is to see through the lens of an angel who thinks highly of his pretty self and who wants everyone to see him as grand, wise, and powerful. Most people see “God” through those eyes.
Everything said about God in the Bible, every one of His attributes can be seen through either set of eyes.
BUT!!!!! The same thing of God seen through a life poured out versus seen through self-exaltation appears, is defined and known, as something entirely different.
It's as if there are two “God's,” two “Jesus's,” and two “Holy Spirits.”
It's not what we see, but the lens through which we look, that is, the eyes.
But this letter is not about God, but Christ Jesus.
Here's the point. Just as there is one way alone by which we can know anything “about” God, that is, by Jesus Christ walking this earth, so there is one way alone by which we can know anything “about” Jesus. Here it is.
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3
Do you see my point, here in these words? The world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
This is the core of the Covenant. It is found in my list of the most important verses in the Bible, entirely inside of #1 – Romans 8:29, to be conformed, symmorphos, to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn, prototokos, of many brethren.
Romans 8:29 is written three different ways. Here is the third way it is written.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
If we cannot be entirely like Jesus, then the Jesus we cannot be like ain't Jesus.
“He that has seen Me, has seen the Father.” Jesus the Christ.
“He that has seen me, has seen Jesus the Christ.” Daniel Yordy
Those who think “blasphemy” know neither man nor God.
I want to get at something so fundamental. Everywhere I read, people define “being like Jesus” as being outwardly powerful. These are the same people who will reject Him utterly when He shows up as just ordinary.
Look at those who knew Jesus, His brothers. They knew their brother; He was an ordinary man. They did not believe Him.
When we think of “being like Jesus,” let us think of age 29, not age 32. In most people's lives, 29 comes before 32, yet most idolizers of Jesus want to leap straight into 32.
Hebrews says that “He was tempted in all points just as we are, yet without sin.” We are talking about age 29. It is not sinful to be a human; sin is the spirit of the mind, the source out of which people live.
Consider James. Let's assume that James was 26 when Jesus was 29. Now, I was a younger brother and I had a younger brother. Likewise, I have two sons, one older and the other younger, who is also named James. I know younger sons; I know older sons.
But let's get a full picture of this 26-year-old James. In twelve years he will be the unappointed, but fully recognized head of the church of Jesus Christ. He has the carriage and natural authority to which all the apostles, including Paul quietly yield. In seventeen years he will write his letter, James. That letter demonstrates both a keen intellect and a natural wisdom, that is, an understanding of human psychology.
We are not talking about a dunce or a has-been. We are talking about a fully qualified young man.
For 26 years, James has lived with his older brother. Now, there is no question that those 26 years have been filled with squabbles and wrestlings. James has told on his brother, gotten him into trouble when it was James who did the deed. James has “borrowed” his brother's favorite things and then forgotten to bring them back. James has pestered and poked at his brother for 26 years, secretly admiring him, but outwardly putting on a show of disdain.
No one on earth knows Jesus the way James knows Him.
James is 26; Jesus is 29. Let's ask James two questions.
James, is your brother, Jesus, the Messiah of God? – NO WAY!!
James, is your brother, Jesus, God in the flesh? – Are you a blasphemous idiot? Of course not!
James, who knew Jesus better than anyone, James, of above average intellect and carriage, saw not one thing, not one thing that caused him to think that Jesus was anything more than his big brother.
Except, I suspect we could ask James one more question.
James, is your brother, Jesus, always kind to you? Does he always treat you like you're something special?
– Uh. I guess. Yea.
God in the flesh is always KINDNESS first and alone before anything else is ever added on.
You see, the miracles, the ministry, even the cross and all the rumors of a resurrection, none of that convinced James. Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians 15, what was the only thing that convinced James. A few days before the ascension, Jesus appeared to His younger brother and showed Himself to him. They likely spent a quiet afternoon together, walking the familiar paths, laughing about childhood pranks.
Then, and only then, did James believe.
DO WE SEE HIM?
Don't make Jesus into a demi-god, into a superman, into a power ranger. Don't treat Him like that. Do not add to the endless abuse of the Lord Jesus; He has been abused enough.
When God shows up in the earth; He is a man just like you and me.
God in heaven, Man on earth – same thing.
The anointing of the Spirit that came upon Jesus for 3 1/2 years was not “who Jesus is.” Yes, that anointing was upon and always flowed out from Jesus, the ordinary man. But that anointing was for a specific purpose and ministry. We can safely say that God will never anoint us to win a people for the day of Pentecost or to walk the path of the Atonement ourselves for the sake of eternal redemption.
Yes, God anoints us for the present ministry appointed to us, just like He anointed Jesus for the present ministry appointed to Him, whether it was being kind to a rascally little brother when He was 29 or whether it was spitting into a piece of dirt and rubbing the mud onto a man's blind eyes when He was 32.
Here are Jesus' words. – John 5.
Most assuredly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself – I can of Myself do nothing.
But that's not all; here is what else He says.
If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.
Think about that one. (In John 8, Jesus seems to say the opposite, but let His point here sink fully in.)
Then in John 8, Jesus said this. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.
We CANNOT know God except by a Man.
Then Jesus said this in John 14:10. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
I have paced us through these statements of Jesus slowly because I want their full impact to fill us full. In fact, as I read through just now the words of Jesus in John's gospel, I see so differently, such wonder and glory, such precious treasure; I see, now, out from Jesus' eyes.
The gospel is that I, Daniel Yordy, am in the Father, inside of Christ, and the Father is in me, inside of Christ my only life. Whatever there might be that could be called “miraculous” is the Father who dwells in me doing whatever the Father does. I am just an ordinary man, filled with God.
We will never know Him in His power until we know Him first as our weakness. Though God does seem to anoint pretenders, He will never show Himself as He is through anyone unreal, through anyone un-human.
People say, “See as God sees.” They are close, but still they refuse to enter in. We do not see “as” God sees, we see only out from His eyes, tucked utterly inside of Him. The difference is the difference between Salvation and every form of pretension.
I am in the Father who is inside of me.
Now that I am just like Jesus (paying ZERO attention to outward anointing for specific ministry), I can know Him. And now that I know Him, for the first time in my life, I know the Father.
I know the God who fills me full with ALL of Himself.
It is a terrible mistake to imagine that one specific outward anointing for ministry is “being like Jesus.”
Now, the Nicene Creed says two things true, two things God says, in it's definition of Jesus. The second thing is “by Him all things were made.” Inside the context of the definition of Life as I described in the last chapter, this Word from God shows the nature of that Word. But outside of Spirit and Life, it remains just an idea.
The first thing that God actually says, however, is “the only-begotten Son of God.” Monogenes Huios Theos. As I said before, monogenes is a word used only by John and only five times. Let's pull in two. The other three are just like the first one here; but the fifth and last time John used the term, he said something quite different.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have the life of the age to come. John 3:16 – His monogenes Son.
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9 – That we might live throughthe monogenes Son.
Monogenes is two Greek words merged together. The first is monos, alone or only; the second isginomai, similar to gennao, to procreate, to conceive (you must be born again). But ginomaimeans “to cause to be.”
Here is the telling verse, the truth conveniently ignored in the Nicene Creed.
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat (illustrating to us gennao, seed, the Word God speaks) falls into the ground and dies, it remains ALONE; but if it dies, it produces much grain. John 12:24
The word “alone” is monos.
Purpose! Intent! Heart! Motive! Desire!
Father, I DESIRE that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I AM (in the Father) . . . – I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one. . . John 17:24 first, then 23.
Monogenes, alone, alone, alone! I will forever be alone, forever alone, forever the only-begotten, unless I, Jesus the Christ, fall into the ground and become the plant, My church, and then, I will be the begotten in many.
FATHER! I WILL drink Your cup.
Seed, monogenes, alone, monos, into the earth, you must be born again, the plant, you in Me and I in you, seeds, many, tikto, coming out of the womb, and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
Seed – plant – seeds. That's how the whole thing works.
The Nicene Creed and Christianity puts it thus: Seed – ticketed sinners – bliss someday.
Yes, the Seed is the same EXCEPT with His heart ripped right out of Him.
Yes, that is an appropriate picture. Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is both a great movie and an horrific one. It is not for the squeamish, but it's a powerful story filled with truth. In that movie, one is presented with a very vivid picture of Mayan priests tearing the hearts out of the human sacrifices.
And so the church has done to Jesus, ripped His heart right out of Him, right out of their whole picture.
It is awful. It is, in fact, the greatest of the Nicene crimes, ripping the heart right out of God by ripping it out of themselves and offering it up to Self for self, the appearance of the serpent as God.
We never see the word monogenes, only begotten, without its full match, prototokos, first born.
I desire. Let's allow (never make) our heart to be Jesus' heart; that is, call it to be so all the time regardless. To rip His heart out of ourselves is to rip His heart out of Him.
Jesus lives in our hearts as DESIRE, desire first to live as us, and by living as us, by carrying utterly all that we are in Himself, and desire, second, that causes us to be – ginomai – just like Himself in every conceivable way.
That's why Paul said, “Do not ever lose your heart, but keep it with all diligence.” Our heart and Jesus' heart are the same thing, the throne of heaven, upon which we sit in Him.
This interplay of monogenes to (not)mono, then to prototokos, seed-plant-seeds, is very telling.
Prototokos, firstborn. Proto is the Greek word meaning first and foremost. Tokos is an inflection oftikto, to bring forth a child, as in, Mary brought forth a newborn son and the woman brought forth a manchild.
Here are the uses of prototokos in the New Testament as referring to Jesus' resurrection.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. – And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:15 & 18 (two times)
Grace to you and peace. . . from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. . . Revelation 1:5
Every Greek “dictionary” attempts to define prototokos, firstborn, by the prejudice of the Nicene Creed and the opposite of Paul's so obvious context in Romans 8 and Colossians 1. They make it a part of God's definition, separate from “man,” and turn their backs utterly, even viciously on what the context says.
They all assume that “preeminence” means DIFFERENT. Nothing is preeminent except AMONG it's own kind. A large starfish is preeminent over smaller starfish, but it cannot be preeminent over a spark plug. No one, rational or even irrational, would ever claim that a starfish is preeminent over spark plugs.
That He might be the firsborn, the prototokos, among many brethren can mean one thing only. Jesus is the first One of our kind, our genes. Jesus, the monogenes, the alone Seed, when He walked this earth, did not ever want to be alone, monos, but rather chose to drink the Father's cup, becoming us. He did so for one reason only, that He, the monogenes in our hearts THROUGH whom we live, might also be the prototokos, the first One of our kind, that we might, in all possible ways, be just like Him, conformed, symmorphos, become us becoming Him, into the image of Theos Huios.
Now where is that in the Nicene Creed? And do you see why I always place Romans 8:29 as the most important verse in the Bible. If we don't have that DESIRE and Heart of God – Motive – as the definition of everything else in the Bible or in the universe, then we cannot know anything as it is.
I want to get at something; that is, I want to take a sword and cut clean through two very different things. Here on one side is Jesus, the Christ of God, the Son of God, a Man filled with God, God revealed, God showing up in the earth. On the other side is the specific anointing for a specific ministry Jesus was given to fulfill. Here is a place where some say, well, the Man is Jesus, but the ministry is Christ. NO!!!!!
The ministry was a ministry, neither Jesus nor Christ.
Here is a little old lady. She is confined to her bed or a wheelchair. She cannot speak. She loves Jesus with all her heart, lying upon her bed, worshipping Him. She intercedes in what she knows for others, but the only sign of outward ministry is the smile upon her face. She is anointed by God for the ministry of loving Jesus, of being an intercession for those she loves, and of smiling.
She is JUST LIKE Jesus in every possible way – except for the nature of her particular outward ministry.
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
This seems so obvious now as we spell it out; the ministry, the activity, is not the man or woman.
IDENTITY! Who we are does not come out of what we do.
We CANNOT know Jesus, who and what He was and is, and thus we cannot know how we are just like Him by looking at any part of that outward ministry of His pertaining to preparing a people for the day of Pentecost.
Yet everyone I know, when they say “like Jesus” creates an image of an outward performer, outward power, outward zapping, outward shebang! It is, in fact, idolatry.
Outward zapping, discharging lightning bolts, healing the sick and raising the dead in an outward, temporal manner, as Jesus did, has nothing whatsoever to do with “being like Jesus.”
Jesus did not heal the sick or raise the dead as a performance of outward reality. Everyone whom He healed got sick again. Everyone whom He raised from the dead died again. It was not nearly as awesome as people imagine. Nothing was different; the universe stayed the same. Jesus did those things for one reason only: to prepare a people for the day of Pentecost.
Did God send us into the world to prepare a people for the day of Pentecost? No! Pentecost has already happened, June 5, AD 29. God sent us into the world to prepare a people for the Day of Tabernacles. And that is something entirely different.
Wow. That sounds like a whole series of letters right there. In fact, that is the only focus that works for that exploration, a journey I have wanted to take from the start. We can speak of Passover and Pentecost by personal knowledge and experience, but not Tabernacles. But in exactly the same way, Jesus could not speak of either Passover or Pentecost except obliquely; that is, He spoke entirely out from His present purpose, that is, preparing Himself for the first and a people for the second. And that is how we must speak of Tabernacles!
So when we say – What is Christ Jesus? – we must not look at His “gifts,” His “ministries,” His “activities,” as Paul described the various workings of the Holy Spirit, but rather at the God who fills and works all in all. Thus, in knowing what is Christ Jesus, we must look only at the Man, not at His particular ministry, including even His ministry of teaching. And we look at the Man as a growing unfolding; that is, we see Him at age 29, wrestling with his little brother, yes, then we see Him in His human actions, visiting with a Samaritan woman, taking children in His arms to bless them, getting down on His knees to wash His disciples' feet. But that develops further, much further, as Jesus walks across the brook Kidron into Gethsemane. Except for healing Peter's brash mistake, Jesus walked the Path of the Atonement entirely as a Man. That is, entirely as the Revelation of God.
Jesus knew that no one could hear Him, including His disciples. He did not waste His time trying to cause something that could not be to happen. He did not waste His time trying to alter God's purpose or present human reality. Jesus did not teach so that the people would understand Him. He did not do miracles so that the people would know He was “the Christ of God.” His teaching and His miracles were for ONE purpose alone, and that was to prepare a people on both sides of the Day of Pentecost, to prepare His disciples as those who would finally speak Him, and to prepare a people who would hear the apostles speak Christ. No one heard Jesus until the Day of Pentecost, and Jesus did not ever imagine that they did.
I now understand God's purpose through us as never before; we come out of the womb running.
Christ Jesus is one thing alone to us: our life, and as our Life, our Salvation. We are saved by His life.
Those who insist on defining and separating God and man, as if they are two divorced and irreconcilable things live only in their intellects, in the imagination of minds turned away from Him. We see Jesus alone, and in seeing Jesus, we see that, by His very nature, in His essence and being, God and man are forever married. As God and man are married, fully and without outward distinction, in Jesus, so we are just like Him.
When you see a Man, you are seeing God, God revealed. And if you ever get a chance to see God? Surprise! You are seeing a Man, God revealed.
Look in the mirror, see God and yourself, married fully and forever, and by so doing you are transformed into all the glory and image of Christ Jesus.