Seven "Anothers" Regarding The Lord Jesus
Tonight I want to take up seven another's in regard to the Lord Jesus, for in regard to His human servants God always had another One before Him, the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Another Prophet
"Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shall ye hearken." (Deut 18:15)
Moses was from the tribe of Levi, the Lord Jesus from the tribe of Judah, so how could God raise up another prophet like Moses? Well, He could mediatorially. A prophet is one who speaks the mind of God and all that God had to say in Moses' day was through His mediator Moses. Moses had a unique position, "Jehovah spoke with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" (Ex. 33:11a). Even in the book of Revelation the redeemed sing "the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb" (15:3).
I believe that when Moses was born the devil thought it was Jesus, and he energised Pharaoh to kill all the male children for he knew that "the seed of the woman" was going to bruise his head (Gen. 3:15), he knew that a great deliverer was going to come into the world, but he does not know everything, he is not omniscient. Moses was from the tribe of Levi, but according to Jacob's prophecy the Messiah was to come from the tribe of Judah, "The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and to him will be the obedience of peoples" (Gen. 49:10). The devil tried to take the life of this great deliverer, this mediator who came into the world, the male child, and so all that God had to say to His people was through His prophet Moses. In these two ways the Lord was another prophet like Moses.
Not everything that was written in the Old Testament was written for Old Testament saints, "For as many things as have been written before have been written for our instruction, that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope" (Rom. 15:4). They might not have ever entered into the spiritual truths of the Old Testament writings as we can today.
Now Moses had married an Ethiopian woman and Miriam, the instigator, and Aaron spoke against Moses (Num. 12), but the fact that he had married an Ethiopean woman was not the reason, the real reason is seen in their words, "Has Jehovah indeed spoken only to Moses? has he not spoken also to us?" (v.2). They wanted to usurp Moses' authority. Notice God's reply, "Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I Jehovah will make myself known to him in a vision, I will speak to him in a dream. Not so my servant Moses: he is faithful in all my house. Mouth to mouth do I speak to him openly, and not in riddles; and the form of Jehovah doth he behold" (Num. 12:6-8). So Moses was a mediator and a Prophet, speaking God's mind, but we have another Prophet.
In John 4 we have One like unto Moses, the blessed Lord Jesus, the Christ of God. What a Prophet He was! Just for the sake of brevity look at verse 19, "The woman says to him, Sir, I see that thou art a prophet"; and He was. A prophet gives forth the mind of God and "God having spoken in many parts and in many ways formerly to the fathers in the prophets, at the end of these days has spoken to us in [the person of the] Son, whom he has established heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (Heb. 1:1-2a). This is the One God speaks through, all that He has to say has been said through His Prophet. When the Lord Jesus spoke they were not His words and the works which He did were not His works, they were those of Him who sent Him, they were the Father's words and works.
Then in John 6:14, "this is of a truth that prophet who should come into the world", this was the One whom Moses was told about, God's Mediator. Oft times we quote the verse "For God is one, and the mediator of God and men one, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5) and we say 'Christ is our Mediator', but that is not what the verse says, He is, but that is not what this verse says, it says He is God's Mediator. The only way that God can come out in blessing to mankind is through His Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus functions in at least eight different mediatorial offices now that He is risen and glorified, He is God's Mediator.
Then in John 7:37-40, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet". The officers tried to take Him but they could not and they said, "Never man spoke thus, as this man speaks" (John 7:46). He spoke the Father's words (John 14:10). All that God has to say is said through His Prophet the Lord Jesus. Now when we have the so-called 'prophecy' (or 'open ministry') meeting if we speak let us make sure that we have the mind of God and we speak as the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11).
If God gives you a word young brother or older brother, you give it; if God has laid it on your heart give it. You may not be eloquent but that does not matter, if God has given you a word, however brief, speak it. One instance will suffice, a brother once got up and, quoting Colossians 3:19, said "Husbands love your wives; husbands love your wives; husbands love your wives" and sat down. You ought to have seen the married couples holding hands. That was the word of God for the moment.
2. Another Priest
"And this shall be the sign to thee, which shall come upon thy two sons, upon Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them. And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, [who] shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind; and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed continually." (1 Samuel 2:34-35)
God said, 'The priesthood has failed, but I will raise up another priest', none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Nadab and Abihu offered "strange fire" (Num. 3:4) and their lives were taken immediately, Hophni and Phinehas took the fat from the offerings which belonged to God, it was God's portion, that which typically speaks of the inner feelings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not only that but they were committing adultery too. God did not take their lives outright they were taken in battle, and not only that, but one of their wives upon hearing the news died in giving birth to a son - and Eli, their father, died also and, most importantly, the ark of God was taken captive (1 Sam. 4). What a sad case in Israel. Be that as it may, God said, "I will raise me up a faithful priest." (1 Sam. 2:25).
"Wherefore it behoved [the Lord Jesus Christ] in all things to be made like to his brethren, that he might be a merciful [to you and me] and faithful [to God] high priest in things relating to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people; for, in that himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to help those that are being tempted" (Heb. 2:17-18). The Lord Jesus could not be a priest on earth because He was not of the tribe of Levi but from Judah, but in calling Him to Priesthood God has seated Him at the pinnacle of the universe, He has crowned Him with glory and honour and majesty and splendour. He filled God the Father's heart when He was on earth, He was the Bread of God, God fed upon Christ daily (what are we feeding on?), and now He is filling all heaven and He is coming back again soon to fill the whole universe with the glory of God. This is the One who has been called to Priesthood.
What a Succourer or Helper this One is. He has walked this path before, He wept at the grave of Lazarus (John 11:35), He has been hungry (Luke 4:2) and thirsty (John 4:7), He has been "tempted in all things in like manner, sin apart" (Heb. 4:15), He was homeless, He did not have place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). As He has been tested in all areas, sin apart, He can succour us. Not only does He succour us but in Hebrews 4:14-16 we are told that He sympathises with us, "Having therefore a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast the confession. For we have not a high priest not able to sympathise with our infirmities, but tempted in all things in like manner, sin apart. Let us approach therefore with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and find grace for seasonable help". So the Lord Jesus in this office as our great High Priest mediates for us, succours us and here He sympathises with us. Who can sympathise more than Jesus (humanity), the Son of God (Divinity). How He, a true Man, can be "over all, God blessed for ever" (Rom. 9:5) goes beyond human comprehension but it is certainly true. This is where faith comes in and lays hold of this truth. So He is human, He is Divine, and He is compassionate, merciful and accessible (you can talk to Him in your car going to work, or in your closet, or in your bed, or coming to the meeting, in fact in any circumstance night or day).
He is gracious too, and that is why He says in verse 16, "Let us approach therefore with boldness to the throne of grace". The Old Testament saints did not have a throne of grace, they could not draw near, they had a throne of fear and of wrath, under the law, given on a burning mount and accompanied by thunderings and lightenings (Ex. 19:16), only one man could draw nigh and that was once a year when he had to offer first for his own sins and then for the people (Heb. 9:7). But you and I can draw near to the throne of grace, there we "receive mercy, and find grace for seasonable help". What is the difference between grace and mercy? Mercy is power to lift us above the trial and grace is encouragement to take us through the trial.
There were two ladies in one assembly and both had symptoms of cancer, one was told that she was going to have investigations immediately and the results came back negative, God delivered her from that particular malady, the other sister in the same assembly had similar tests and it came back positive and she had to have surgery. But both were spiritual, both loved the Lord, so what was the difference? God does not set any precedence, the words of the hymn, "what He has done for others, he will do for you" apply in certain cases, but not always. This sister was given mercy and when others in the hospital were downhearted she would come in bright and cheerful with a bag of tracts and God used her in that way. God does not always deliver us from trials, He might say, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:9) and this was her case, but whatever the circumstance might be in our lives God "is able to do far exceedingly above all which we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20). The Lord Jesus graciously sympathises with us and succours us.
Then in Hebrews 7:24-25 we have a Salvation-Priest, "but he, because of his continuing for ever, has the priesthood unchangeable. Whence also he is able to save completely those who approach by him to God, always living to intercede for them." This sense is not to unsaved people, the Lord Jesus is a Salvation Priest for you and me, to save us to the uttermost. What kind of saving is this? Well we may have some ill feeling towards somebody or we may have an unforgiving spirit, and if we have He can save us from that, He ever lives to make intercession for us in this way. He knew, for example, you were coming to the prayer meeting tonight, He knew you were to meet Him at the throne of grace and maybe He saved you from some bad thoughts that you may have had during the day, or maybe from something you saw which could have spoilt your thoughts about the Lord Jesus Christ and so He saved you from that. He knows on Lord's day you are going to approach Himself and God the Father at the breaking of bread and so we have a Salvation Priest who ever lives to save the believer completely. What a city of refuge He is! What an 'all-the-way Saviour'. He saves us completely.
Then in Hebrews 9:24 we see His priestly service, "For the Christ is not entered into holy places made with hand, figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us". Not only does He succour us and sympathises with us during our trials and difficulties and situations or saves us to the uttermost, here He serves us. This is a line of ministry that we do not often enter into. We are sometimes so occupied with ourselves that we never get to this point in our meetings, but if we have eyes to see and ears to hear then maybe we might enter into this more often (I am not finding fault with anybody). This service is not interceding for us, this is nothing to do with infirmity or trials, this is His service as the Minister of the Sanctuary. The Lord Jesus praises God the Father in the assembly, He leads the singing if we have ears to hear. We sometimes sing in our meetings, "Join in the singing which He leads". As the Minister of the sanctuary He always has something whereof to offer. Well, you say, He offered Himself, yes, He did, but He is offering here that which we read of in Hebrews 8:1-3, He offers our praises, He offers all of our prayers and praises in His acceptability. I may give out a wrong hymn, I may approach the throne of grace improperly, but there is One who sets it all proper and to all our prayers and praises He adds His part. How wonderful is this priestly ministry of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Most of us know about His advocacy and His priestly ministry but let us take advantage of His offices in which He functions. Much more could be said but I must move on.
3. Another Man
"And the passage of the scripture which he read was this: He was led as a sheep to slaughter, and as a lamb is dumb in presence of him that shears him, thus he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation his judgment has been taken away, and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answering Philip said, I pray thee, concerning whom does the prophet say this? of himself or of some other? And Philip, opening his mouth and beginning from that scripture, announced the glad tidings of Jesus to him." (Acts 8:32-35)
The eunuch went on his way rejoicing because he was introduced to some other man, the blessed Lord Jesus. What this eunuch said once he had heard the message from Isaiah 53 was, in effect, 'You mean to say that this wonderful Man was not worthy to live? Well, I am not worthy to live either, so put me to death in this water'. This is what you do when you are baptised, you say I do not deserve to live and I am going to take my place in the death with Christ, we become "buried with him in baptism" (Col. 2:12). Thank God we are not left down there or we would drown but once we are raised up we are to "walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4).
So the eunuch was baptised as a dead sinner (even though he was saved) and was raised up and went on his way rejoicing and Philip was caught away. The eunuch went on his way to Ethiopia and thank God for all the Christians in that part of Africa (although this might actually have been modern day Sudan), perhaps because of this man's testimony and because Philip preached unto him "some other Man", the blessed, anointed, separated Man. Yes, He was also the Man of sorrows acquainted with grief, but that is no longer true, He does not cry or mourn any more. Now He is the Man of joy, gladness fills His heart and "through this man remission of sins is preached to you" (Acts 13:38). God has "set a day in which he is going to judge the habitable earth in righteousness by the man whom he has appointed" (Acts 17:31), Christ Jesus. I hope everybody here knows this other Man.
4. Another King
"But the Jews having been stirred up to jealousy, and taken to [themselves] certain wicked men of the lowest rabble, and having got a crowd together, set the city in confusion; and having beset the house of Jason sought to bring them out to the people; and not having found them, dragged Jason and certain brethren before the politarchs, crying out, These [men] that have set the world in tumult, are come here also, whom Jason has received; and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying, that there is another king, Jesus." (Acts 17:5-7)
The Lord Jesus is not the king of the church, He is not even the Lord of the church, He is the Head of the church, but in one sense we can rightly sing, "King of my life, I crown Thee now," meaning simply that He has the pre-eminence. He is the coming King, He is going to be King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16).
What a great work was wrought in the hearts of these people here in the three Sabbath days when Paul preached the gospel at Thessalonica. They "turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God and to await his Son from the heavens" (1 Thess. 1:9-10a). They heard about the second coming of Christ and every chapter of 1 and 2 Thessalonians deals with this. They were a model assembly. Sometimes people say the Bereans were more noble than the Thessalonian Christians, but they are wrong, the Bereans were more noble than the unbelieving Jews in the synagogue in Thessalonica, not the Thessalonian believers, in that they "searched the Scriptures daily to prove these things that they were so" (Acts 17:11). What a testimony these Thessalonians had, turning to God. Their testimony went out throughout all Asia because these men that turned the world upside down said there was another King, one Jesus.
5. Another Way
"But was not in like manner also Rahab the harlot justified on the principle of works, when she had received the messengers and put [them] forth by another way?" (James 2:25)
This other way is the way of faith. Rahab was already saved, if she had not done these works she would still have gone to heaven, but this proved that she was saved, it proved that she was a true child of God. She had heard how, years earlier, God had delivered His people out of Egypt (Josh. 2:9-11). She heard, as did the whole city, about the Red Sea and all the other activities of the children of Israel. They all had chance to repent, but this woman only was a woman of faith and she became a woman in Israel. How was this? Because she acted on faith, she put the scarlet line in her window and her father, her mother, her brethren and anyone in her home was saved. The greatest victory in Jericho was Rahab the harlot, and she is mentioned in the genealogy of Christ, (Matt. 1:5), she sent the messengers out another way. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12, 16:25). Everybody in Jericho thought they were right, but only one woman was right, so do not think because the multitude says something that they are necessarily right for, by and large, the multitude is wrong. It is God's way. It does not matter what others say, we want to go the Lord's way. So here is a way of faith, God's way, another way.
6. Another Altar
"We have an altar of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle . By him therefore let us offer [the] sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, [the] fruit of [the] lips confessing his name." (Hebrews 13:10, 15)
We are not talking about an altar rail or a mourners' bench, this is a figure of speech, this is no physical altar. When we think of an altar we think of sacrifice, the Lord Jesus was offered on the altar of sacrifice. When we think of an altar we think also of approach to God, and this is what it is, so we Christians have an altar which those under Judaism, under the law, know nothing of. What a wonderful altar we have, and every believer has this altar. How sad that some believers have never heard of it.
Let us just consider the brazen altar. We come to a meeting, we remember the Lord Jesus and in so doing "show the Lord's death till He come" (1 Cor. 11:26), but here let us say this is the brazen altar, but we do not stay there, if we do God does not get His portion. The Father is the source of every blessing, "Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of lights" (Jas. 1:17), so if He does not get His portion we do not get to the source, so when we get to verse 15 not only do we serve as believers at this altar for divine service but there is also the incense altar we might say. How precious it is to remember the Lord Jesus at the brazen altar when we break the bread and drink the cup, but when that happens the meeting is just beginning, so to speak. In many places it is the end of the meeting, and I am not finding fault, as we cannot stereotype any meeting but possibly if the bread is broken early in the meeting, and the Spirit of God so leads then we can move to the incense altar and thank God for sharing Christ with us. We often sing, "Oh God Thou hast engaged our hearts, with Christ Thy well-beloved Son". God the Father is seeking worshippers (John 4:23-24), "But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth." So just because the emblems are broken that does not mean that that is the end of the meeting, sometimes it is, but once the bread is broken , we can give additional thanks, praise and worship to the Father, who has shared His dear beloved Son with us! Can this be done before? Well, yes it can, but how wonderful that we can serve at the brazen altar with the remembrance of the Lord Jesus but also the incense altar.
Every believer has an altar at which to perform the service of God. This is not giving out tracts, not preaching the gospel, not Levitical service, but rather sanctuary service. We are left here to perform the service of God; that is why we are priests. The Lord Jesus is a Priest, and we too are priests of God to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through the Lord Jesus at an altar which believers in previous ages did not have, at another altar.
7. Another City
"for we have not here an abiding city, but we seek the coming one." (Hebrews 13:14)
This is a heavenly city, it is not London or Chesapeake or New York or Chicago, it is a heavenly city. If we look in Revelation 21 we get a wonderful description which would take several nights to go into in detail. The glory of God is in this city, the water of life, the Holy Spirit, is in that city, the tree of life is there,Who is Christ and there is only one street there, (people speak of streets of gold, but there is only one street), and on each side of this street is the tree of life. Therefore, the Lord Jesus is accessible to all of His people. The city is the bride of Christ, the church. There will be other families there, friends of the Bridegroom, but the heavenly, holy city is actually the bride, the Lamb's wife. Think of that! We are part of this city. I do not understand it, as it is too vast to comprehend, but it is true. We are looking for this other city. We have here no continuing city, but we seek one to come. It does not pay to set our tent pegs too strong here because if a hurricane comes it will blow it away, so we seek another city, the one that Abraham looked for, "whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10).
Abraham is not part of the city, he will be a friend of the Bridegroom. John the Baptist will not be part of the city, he is also a friend, but the church, the assembly, all true believers from the day of Pentecost until the rapture make up this wonderful glorious, heavenly city; another city.
How good to have another prophet, another priest, another king, another man, another way, another altar and another city before us. May God add His blessing to His word, to the end that we might be more occupied with that "lovely Man"who is filling all of heaven and who is soon to return to fill the universe with the glory of God!