Who Is Jesus Christ?

Scripture: Luke 9:20, Luke 4:16-30, Ephesians 1:3-5
Date: 04/18/2015 
Lesson: 3
"Who is Jesus Christ? This question is not a philosophical or a sociological gimmick. It gets to the heart of who humans are and, even more important, what eternity will hold for them."
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Good evening, friends. And welcome again to Sabbath School Study Hour. I'd like to welcome those joining us across the country and around the world to this international Bible study. Thank you for being a part of our study together. I'd also like to welcome our church members here - members of the Granite Bay adventist church.

Thank you for joining us again. This is our final study together here in the Amazing Facts studios. Starting this coming week, we're going to be meeting for Sabbath school over in the church. So we're looking forward to continuing our study in the Gospel of Luke as we meet from week to week. Now, before we get into the lesson today, we have a free offer that we'd like to let our friends who are watching know about the free offer.

It's a book written by Joe Crews entitled Christ's human nature and it goes along with our study for today. And we'll be happy to send this to you for free. All you have to do is just call our resource line and you can ask for offer #703. The number to call is -788-3966. Again, ask for offer #703 - that's 866-study-more - 788-3966.

You can also read this book for free online at the Amazing Facts website. If you don't have today's lesson - lesson #3 - on the Gospel of Luke, you can download today's lesson at the Amazing Facts website. Just click on Sabbath school study hour, download the lesson, and follow along with us. Well, before we begin our study, let's just bow our heads and ask God's Holy Spirit to guide us. Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you for the opportunity to gather together to study your word.

And as we take a look at this very important subject - as we talk about Jesus - Lord, we need the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and our minds. And, like Moses, we need to approach the subject humbly. We need to recognize that we are dealing with the divine and we just ask, in a special way, that you'd bless our time together, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Amen. Our lesson today - lesson #3 - on the Gospel of Luke, is entitled who is Jesus Christ? It's a fantastic study - just a lot of information that we want to be sharing.

We have a memory text, it's Luke chapter 9 and verse 20 - Luke chapter 9, verse 20, "He said unto them, 'but whom do you say that I am?'" - This is Jesus speaking - "Peter answered and said, 'the Christ of God.'" Now people might admire the works of Christ. They might be ready to accept Jesus as a good man who tried to set things right, to infuse fairness where there was injustice, to offer healing where there was sickness, and to bring comfort where there was only misery, but none of these things, however, come near to answering the all-important question that we wish to consider today and that question is a question Jesus asked his disciples: 'whom do you say that I am?' Who is Jesus? Now I don't think there's too much controversy as to the historical person of Jesus. All of the major religions of the world, in one way or another, recognize that there was a person by the name of Jesus. There's an interesting quote that you find in the Jewish antiquities, written by Josephus, who was a Jewish historian. He lived from 37 ad to 100 ad.

He was actually present at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 ad. But he had this to say, with reference to Jesus - and I quote - it says, "about this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man, for he is one who performs surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accepted the truth gladly. He won over many jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon accusations of the principle men among us, pilate had condemned him to the cross.

Those, who at first had come to love him, did not cease. He appeared to them, spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him and the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still, to this day, not disappeared." Now there are some scholars that feel that maybe what Josephus had to say about Jesus was added to by the church during the dark ages, but almost all of the scholars recognize that Josephus does mention Jesus. He also, by the way, speaks about John the baptist and some of the things that were taking place around that time. So, yes, Jesus is a historical figure. Even in the koran, you can read about Jesus.

Of course, he is not presented as the Messiah, or The Son of God, but he's presented as a good man. So we know Jesus existed - no doubt about that - but who was he? What did he claim to be? Now, when Jesus said that he was The Son of God, it created quite a response from the people that he was talking to. In the new testament these incredible claims are made, not only about what Jesus did but, even more importantly, about who he was. Jesus claimed that he was God, that he was the redeemer, that he alone was the way to eternal life. And, of course, these claims demand our attention because they are full of implications that have eternal consequences for every person today.

So let's begin by taking a look at an experience that happened to Jesus in his hometown. You find this story recorded in the Gospel of Luke - Luke chapter 4 and we're going to begin reading here in verse 16. So you can follow along with your Bibles - Luke chapter 4 and we're going to start reading here in verse 16. This is a familiar story. It says, "so he came to nazareth, where he had been brought up.

And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." Now, if you were to go visit the town of nazareth before Christ's public ministry began, and you were to go there during one of the days of the week - you walk through those cobblestones and you ask somebody, 'I'm looking for the carpenter's shop - Joseph's shop - or his son Jesus' shop - they would direct you and you would go find this little shop and inside you'd see Jesus working or maybe Joseph working there in the carpenter's shop but, if you happen to visit on the Sabbath and you went by this carpenter's shop, you'd notice the door would be closed. Maybe if you peeked through the windows you'd see everything packed neatly away, and if you asked somebody, 'say, where is Jesus?' They would probably say, 'well, it's the Sabbath. He's not working in the carpenter's shop, he's over at the synagogue.' And if you follow the crowd to the synagogue and you walked in, it's quite possible that you could see Jesus standing up to read from the Scriptures. Now Christ, by this time, had begun his public ministry. He had gone around the area of Galilee preaching and teaching and the rumors had come back to the inhabitants of nazareth that Jesus, one of their hometown boys, was doing miracles and preaching great things.

Now Jesus came back to nazareth and you can imagine the excitement. It's the Sabbath, so Jesus comes to the synagogue and he is about to read from the Scriptures. Take a look at verse 17 - Luke chapter 4, verse 17 - it says, "and he was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written:" - now Jesus quotes from Isaiah chapter 61, and here he's quoting from verse 1 and verse 2. And Jesus says, "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

" Now you can just imagine here, Jesus stands up and he opens up the scroll of Isaiah and he begins to read some very familiar words to the people. They're all nodding - they're smiling - and maybe even they're quoting along with Jesus as he reads from the prophet Isaiah. And then, if you read the next verse, "then he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him." So it was customary for the rabbi to read a passage of Scripture, hand the scroll back and it would be put away, and then he would take his seat in the front and he would explain the Scriptures. So Jesus read from Isaiah, gave it back, and it was put away.

And then Christ took his seat and everybody's watching to see what Jesus is going to say. Up to this point, everybody's in agreement. Great passage - they understood this to be a messianic passage - to speak about the Messiah - and then Jesus says, in verse 21, "and he began to say to them, 'today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'" And at first, there's not much response. Just imagine the people are sitting there and suddenly it begins to dawn on them what Jesus is actually saying. They understood this passage to be messianic - talk about the Messiah - now Jesus says, 'today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

' And they begin to wonder, 'is he talking about himself? Is he saying that he's the Messiah?' Take a look at the next verse that says - verse 22 - "so all bore witness to him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, 'is this not Joseph's son?'" Some would say, 'well, wait a minute. He's not the Messiah, he's Joseph's son. We know the family. They've been in nazareth.

He is not the Messiah.' And then verse 23, "he said unto them, 'you will surely say this proverb to me, 'physician, heal yourself!'" - Now, by the way, that is a reference to what the people said to Jesus when he was on the cross - and you can read that in Matthew chapter 27, verse 42 where they said, 'he healed others - he saved others - he can't save himself.' So Christ is referring to that event that was to come. And then verse 23 continues: "whatever we have heard down in capernaum, do also here in your country." - Verse 24 - "then he said" - Jesus still speaking to the people - "'assuredly, I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.'" - Verse 25 - "but I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of those was Elijah sent except to zarephath, in the region of sidon, to a woman who was a widow.'" So now Jesus says a prophet is never received in his own country, and then he goes back and he refers to a historical record that the jews were very familiar with - the story of Elijah when it didn't rain for three and a half years and he went and ministered to the needs of this widow who was not even a jew, and helped provide for her needs. Now, of course, Jesus is emphasizing the fact that the Gospel was not exclusive for the jews, but the work of Israel was to prepare people to prepare the world for the first coming of Christ. They would have preached the Gospel to everyone. However, they kind of felt that the Gospel was theirs or that they were privileged above all of the other nations around them, and Jesus is trying to help them understand that their mission is to prepare people for the first coming of the Messiah.

Of course, our mission today is to prepare the world for the second coming of Christ. That's why we have the three angels' messages that have to go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Now, a couple of things about this illustration that Jesus uses here about Elijah in verse - it says it didn't rain for three and a half years. Now that's an interesting time period. Three and a half is the time period that you see referred to several times in Scripture.

There is a prophetic element to this three and a half year period. The last week of the seventy weeks of Daniel chapter 9 is divided - seven - seven years - it's divided into two parts: three and a half and three and a half. The first three and a half has to do with Christ's public ministry. In the midst of the week, Jesus put an end to sacrifice and offerings when he died on the cross. And then, for another three and a half years, the disciples gave witness of Christ until the stoning of stephen in 34 ad.

Then you find persecution coming upon the Christians in Jerusalem and they spread out into the gentile world and now the Gospel goes out to the gentile world. It's further then - it's not just for the jews, but now everyone's receiving the message. There was also another three and a half-year time period in Revelation chapter 12 that is referred to as 42 months or 1260 days. This represents a time period of papal supremacy from 538 until 1798. It says, in the days of Elijah, it didn't rain for this three and a half-year period.

When the church left the truths of God's Word, there was a corresponding drying up of the spirit and the manifestations of the Spirit in the church, because if you set aside God's law and you set aside the principles of Scripture, there is a drying up, spiritually speaking, and that time period, of course, 538 all the way to . And during that time period there was persecution that came upon those who wanted to stick to the truths of the Bible. We're still wanting to follow the truths as revealed in Scripture. Just like the jews persecuted those who held to the truths of the Bible - the truths of the Scriptures, so, during the dark ages, there was persecution that came against those who were holding to the teachings of Jesus. Now there's another illustration that Jesus uses over here in verse 27.

Reading on it says, "and many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except naaman the syrian." Verse 28 "so all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath," - so at first they're all happy that Jesus is reading from the Scriptures and they're amazed at the wisdom. And then when he begins to deal a little bit with their pride, suddenly they become very angry. They become so angry, if you look in verse 29, it says "and rose up and thrust him out of the city; and the led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down over the cliff." - They wanted to kill Jesus - "then passing through the midst of them, he went his way." So not everyone, even of his own people - even of his own city - they weren't willing to receive the message that Jesus is the Christ. How true that is today. There are so many today who won't receive the fact that Jesus is the Christ.

There are people that acknowledge Jesus as being a good man, even some that he is a prophet. But is he really the Christ - The Son of the living God? You know, not only was it the enemies of Jesus that questioned some of the things Jesus said. Even some of his friends, at times, questioned the things Christ said. One of Christ's closest friends, when his public ministry began, who prepared the way for Jesus, was, of course, John the baptist. Did John the baptist ever question whether Christ - whether Jesus was the Messiah? Well let's take a look at Luke chapter 7 - Luke chapter 7 and we begin over here in verse 18 - Luke chapter 7 and verse 18.

It says, "then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things." Now those things, if you look a little higher, it was the resurrection of the widow's son and some of the other things that Jesus had done. By this time, John the baptist was in prison because he had been put there by herod and now he hears about Jesus but he begins to wonder 'is he really the Christ?' Look at verse 19, "and John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, 'are you the coming one, or do we look for another?" Now that's always strange that here you have John the baptist who, just a short time before this, had pointed to Jesus when Jesus came to him at the Jordan and said, 'behold the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.' And now he's in prison and he's wondering, 'well, is he really the Christ? Well part of the reason why John was asking this question is perhaps he didn't have a full picture, at least at that point, as to what the mission of the Christ was - what the mission of the Messiah was. John, along with many of the others in Israel, looked at the coming of the Messiah as being, not only redemptive from sin, but also he shared the hopes that the Christ or Messiah would establish Israel as a great nation, fulfilling the old testament prophecies about Israel and giving them their proper position and status amongst the other nations. Now as John heard of Jesus and heard about the miracles that Jesus performed, here John is in prison - maybe he is wondering, 'well, if Jesus is the Christ, why does he allow me to stay in prison and to suffer? Why doesn't he come rescue me or come visit me?' And nothing's happening and as he's sitting there in his dark dungeon he begins to wonder, 'is he really the Christ.' So he calls two of his disciples and he says, 'go ask.' And so they go. Take a look at verse 20 - it says, "when the men had come to him, they said, 'John the baptist has sent us to you, saying, 'are you the coming one, or do we look for another?''" Verse 21 - it says, "and that very hour he cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind he gave sight.

" So Jesus doesn't answer their question right away, instead he says, 'well just wait around.' And they watch what Jesus does - he heals the sick. He opens the eyes of the blind. He preaches the Gospel. Verse 22, "Jesus answered and said to them, 'go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the Gospel preached to them." - Now it's very interesting what Jesus says in verse 22. Again, Christ quotes from the prophet Isaiah - he's actually quoting from Isaiah 35, verse 5, which was also a messianic passage which helped to identify the work of the Messiah - what the Messiah would do.

And so, at first, when the disciples of John come to Jesus, he doesn't give them an answer right away. But he says, 'watch.' And they observe what Jesus does and then he says, 'now go tell John.' And then he quotes from Isaiah. Now John was familiar with this passage in Isaiah, so when the disciples went back and they told John what Jesus had said, John realized what the true mission of the Messiah really was - that it wasn't to establish a nation on earth, but rather the work of the Messiah was to come and provide salvation and to preach the Gospel and to set at liberty those who are held captive by sin. And then it says in verse 23 - Jesus says, "and blessed is he who is not offended because of me." Verse 24, "when the messengers of John had departed, he began to speak to the multitudes concerning John:" now this is such a beautiful passage from verse 24 on to verse 27. Can you imagine? Here the disciples are leaving and as they're walking away from Jesus, Jesus turns to the crowd and says, "'what did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments?'" Jesus says those dressed in fine apparel, they belong in the palaces of Kings.

"But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than prophet... "For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the baptist." Now maybe, we don't know, maybe the disciples, as they walked away, they caught a little bit of what Jesus said. And as they went back to John the baptist and they told of the great things that Jesus had done and they told what Jesus had told them to tell John, and maybe they even caught a little bit of what Jesus said to the crowd concerning John and they shared these things, John's faith was revived and strengthened and he said, 'no, he is the Christ. He is the Messiah.' And he stood faithful to the truth even to the point of death. So what we find Jesus doing in this passage is directing John's attention back to the old testament as a validation of his mission and his work.

So when it comes to us considering who Jesus is, Jesus himself directs us to the Scriptures. Jesus said, 'it is the Scriptures that testify of me. Now there was another occasion where, not only did the crowd question what Jesus had to say, but even his disciples - the twelve - questioned what Jesus said. Let's go to John chapter 6 and we're going to look here in verse 53 - John chapter 6 and let's look at verse 53. Jesus is talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood and this caused some problems with the disciples.

Starting in verse 53 - John 6:53 - it says, "then Jesus said to them, 'most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of The Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." Now if you drop down to verse 60 it says, "therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, 'this is a hard saying; who can understand it?'" Verse 61, "when Jesus knew in himself that his disciples complained about this, he said to them, 'does this offend you?' " - And then he explains what he means in verse 63. He said, "it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

" But not all of those who follow Jesus received the message. If you look in verse 66 it says, "from that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more." - So even some of the crowd that witnessed the miracles that Jesus performed, they had a hard time receiving the things that Jesus had to say. Verse 67, "then Jesus said to the twelve, 'do you also want to go away?' But Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, The Son of the living God.'" So even Jesus, with the miracles that he performed, the crowd around him would not receive who he said he was. It's the same today.

Now, on Monday's lesson we're introduced here to the theme of Jesus being The Son of God. The Son of God and The Son of man are two names that are used in the Gospels with reference to Jesus. Luke chapter 1, verses 31 and 32 emphasizes the idea of Jesus being The Son of God. It says, "and behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus." Verse 32 - Luke 1:32 - "he will be great and will be called the son of the highest;" - Jesus is The Son of God - "and the Lord will give him the throne of his father David. So here, with reference to Christ, the announcement of the birth of Jesus to mary, Jesus is said to be The Son of the highest and he's also said to receive the throne of his father, David.

Now you'll recall the prophecy in Daniel chapter 2, when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a dream and in the dream he saw this great statue - the head of the statue made of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs made of brass, legs of iron, feet of iron and clay representing the different empires from the time of Babylon all the way down to the second coming of Christ. And then in the dream there was a stone, cut out without hands, that came and struck the image upon its feet and then the stone grew and became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Now Daniel, explaining the dream to Nebuchadnezzar, says 'the head of gold, that's you - that's Babylon. Chest and arms of silver is the next kingdom - we know that to be medo-persia and then greece and then rome and then western europe divided up as we have now. The stone that struck the image represents the second coming of Christ.

But the stone growing and becoming a great mountain and filling the earth, represents Christ's kingdom being established. Now, there's different parts to Christ's kingdom and this is what the jews at the time of Christ got mixed up on. There is what will be called the kingdom of grace and the Kingdom of glory. When Jesus came and he began preaching 'repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,' Jesus was introducing what we call the Kingdom of grace - that is to receive Jesus as our Savior - as our Lord - that is to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Jesus says, 'if you'll receive me - if you believe on me, you have everlasting life.

That is the establishment of the kingdom of grace. But there is a kingdom of glory that the Bible speaks of that is soon to come and that is when Jesus comes as king of Kings and Lord of Lords, just described there in Daniel chapter 2, the stone that strikes the image that grows and becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth. Matter of fact, Jesus, speaking of himself says, 'whoever falls upon this stone will be broken' - speaking of himself - 'but woe unto the one on whom it falls, for it will grind him to powder.' That is a direct reference, by Jesus, to Daniel chapter 2 and the stone that struck the image. Now, in Luke chapter 2, verses and 11, we have another reference here to Jesus being The Son of God. Luke chapter 2 and beginning in verse 10, "then the angel said to them," - this is the angel announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds on the hills surrounding Bethlehem, "'do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." So here Jesus is referred to as the Savior. Jesus is also referred to as the Christ. Now if you notice there in verse , the angel says, 'behold I bring you good tidings of great joy.' The two words there, translated 'good tidings' in the english, come from the single Greek word which elsewhere is translated as 'Gospel.' In other words, you can read 'do not be afraid for I bring you the Gospel of great joy and it is for all people.' The Gospel concerns Jesus as the Christ and Jesus as the Savior. So Jesus is The Son of God. This affirms Christ's position in the Godhead.

Jesus, as The Son of God, is also the creator. Now this is a very important point that we find emphasized, especially in the Gospel of John, so go with me to John chapter 1 - Jesus as The Son of God is also the creator. Now we're going to see why that's so important as it relates to redemption a little later in our study. John chapter 1, verse 1 through to verse 5 - familiar words - John chapter 1 beginning in verse 1, "in the beginning was the word," - it says - "and the word was with God, and the word was God." - Who's the word? The word is Jesus. Notice that Jesus is called the word.

What are our words? Well, our words are our thoughts expressed. Jesus is the expression of God's thoughts. In the book of Revelation, Jesus is described as the alpha and the omega. The alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Jesus is the a and the z, so to speak.

And, of course, we take the letters of the alphabet and we arrange them differently to produce words. Our words are our thoughts expressed. So Jesus is the Word of God - God's thoughts revealed. Jesus said, 'I have come to reveal The Father. Jesus said to Philip, 'if you've seen me, you've seen The Father.

Verse 2 - it says, "he was in the beginning with God." - So Christ and The Father were one. They were together in the beginning - all things were made through him," - that is the word, Christ - "and without him nothing was made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men." - Verse 5 says, "and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." Now, when you read from verse 1 through to verse 5, there is a parallel with an old testament passage. What comes to mind when you read about 'in the beginning was the word' and talks about light shining in darkness. What passage comes to mind? Genesis chapter 1.

Now, of course, there is a clear link here, and John does this on purpose, where he talks about Jesus being in the beginning with The Father and that all things were made through Christ. Even the reference here to light - light shining in the darkness - Genesis chapter 1 speaks about God saying, 'let there be light.' And there was light. Now why is it important for us to recognize that Jesus is the creator? Because it's the creator and his creative power that is needed for our redemption. The psalmist says, 'create in me a' - what? - 'Clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.' Only the creator can create within us a clean heart. That's the work of sanctification.

So God's creative power is used in our redemption. So the fact that Jesus is the Son of God - it's emphasizing that he is the creator - that his creative power is used for man's redemption. In the book Desire of Ages we have the statement talking about Jesus being The Son of God and, I quote, "Jesus says, 'my father which is in heaven' as reminding his disciples that while, by his humanity, he is linked with them a share of their trials and sympathizing with them in their sufferings by his diving nature, he is connected with the throne of infinite." So with Christ's humanity, he comes close to mankind. But with his divinity, he connects us to The Father. That's why Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No man cometh to The Father but by me.' Because through his humanity Christ embraces humanity and with his divinity he lifts us up to the throne of God. That's why there is salvation only in Jesus - because he is both The Son of God and he is The Son of man. Well, on Tuesday, we talk about The Son of man. We spoke about The Son of God - the emphasis there his creative power - Tuesday's lesson talks about The Son of man. And this is a great study here.

The phrase son of man was Christ's favorite name that he uses for himself. Actually, it's mentioned 80 times in the Gospels - 25 times in Luke alone, where Jesus speaks of himself as being the son of man. Now outside of the Gospels, there are four references to The Son of man, as it relates to Jesus. The first one you find in Daniel chapter 7, verse 13. So let's take a look at all four of these.

Daniel chapter 7 and verse 14 talks about The Son of man. Daniel 7 - well, actually, I'm going to begin over here in verse 9, just to get the context. Daniel chapter 7, beginning here in verse 9, Daniel writes, "I watched till thrones were put in place, and the ancient of days was seated; his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire;" now in verse 9 we're introduced to somebody called the ancient of days. Who do you suppose the ancient of days is? God The Father.

That's God The Father. You'll see that as you read on. Verse 10 says, "a fiery stream issued and came forth from before him. A thousand thousands ministered to him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated and the books were opened.

" So here we're introduced to a judgment-type scene in heaven. The ancient of days, God the father, is seated and it says 'the court was set and the books were opened.' Now, if you take a look at verse 13, here we have a reference to The Son of man. Verse 13, "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, one like The Son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven!" - Who's that? Jesus. That's Jesus. Of course, Jesus is often referred to as coming with clouds of heaven.

Now, at first reading, you might think, 'well, this is the second coming of Christ.' But keep reading: verse 13 says, "coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him." - So this is not Jesus coming to the earth with the clouds of heaven. Those clouds of heaven can represent angels. But here it is, rather, Jesus, entering in before the ancient of days. So the court is set. A judgment is to take place in heaven and now Jesus enters in before The Father.

Look at verse 14: it says, "then to him" - that is, Christ - "was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." Now, remember we mentioned a little earlier that in Daniel chapter 2, the stone that struck the image represents the second coming of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God here on earth. So in Daniel 7 you have a picture of the judgment scene in heaven that is followed by the establishment of Christ's kingdom. Jesus comes again; his kingdom is established here on earth. But here in Daniel, Christ is referred to as The Son of man.

So the kinship of Christ is often associated with the fact that he is The Son of man. His creatorship that he is the Son of God. Now there's another reference to Jesus as The Son of man and you'll find this in acts chapter , verse 56 - acts chapter 7 and verse 56 - and this is describing the stoning of stephen and, as stephen was brought before the council - verse 56 - "and said, 'look! I see the heavens opened and The Son of man standing at the right hand of God!'" So The Son of man, here, is clearly referring to Jesus. John - or not, rather, John, sorry - stephen, here in this passage, as is ready to face death. He looks up and he sees Jesus standing at the right hand of The Father.

Now, you can just imagine what's going on as this raucous crowd, they grab stephen and they begin to drag him out of Jerusalem and they begin to pick up stones and they're about ready to stone him and stephen looks up and he sees Jesus standing. Jesus is not seated at the right hand of The Father, at least not in this picture, but Jesus is standing. Why is Jesus standing? He's standing because one of his followers is standing up for him. When we stand for Jesus, Jesus stands for us. So in Daniel chapter 7, The Son of man - Christ - is pictured as our advocate before The Father in the judgment.

Here in acts, Jesus is pictured as our defender - as one who comes to bring hope - to bring deliverance. And, of course, that ultimate deliverance comes when Jesus comes the second time. Another reference to Jesus as The Son of man is found in Revelation chapter 1, verse 13, so let's go there - Revelation chapter 1, verse 13 - and notice how Jesus is described here - Revelation chapter 1, beginning in verse 13 it says, "and in the midst of the seven lamp stands one like The Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band." Now Jesus is described in this passage as standing amongst the seven branched candlesticks. Where in the Bible do you read about the seven branched candlesticks or the lamp stands - the seven lamp stands? It comes from sanctuary imagery. Also notice what Jesus is wearing here in Revelation chapter 1.

He's girded, it says, with his golden girdle around his chest and he's dressed in a long white robe. That's really the dress of the high priest. So here in Revelation chapter 1, Jesus is described, or pictured, as our high priest interceding for us. Of course, we know that's what Jesus is doing for us now. So Jesus is described, not only as our intercessor, our defender, but also here, as our high priest ministering for us in the heavenly sanctuary.

And then the final reference to Jesus as The Son of man outside the Gospels, we find in Revelation chapter 14 and verse - Revelation chapter 14, verse 14 - and notice how Jesus is described here: it says, "then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat one like The Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, 'thrust in your sickle and reap, for the time has come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." So here you have a description of the second coming of Jesus and here he isn't dressed as a high priest but he's wearing a crown and coming back as king of Kings and Lord of Lords. So the four references that we have of Jesus being The Son of man - it emphasizes that he is our intercessor, that he is our defender, that he is our high priest, and that he is coming as our king - king of Kings and Lord of Lords. In the book selected messages page 244, we have this beautiful quote. It says, "the humanity of the Son of God is everything to us.

It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ and, through Christ, to God. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man. He gave proof of his humanity in becoming a man, yet he was God in the flesh." So through Christ's humanity, he embraces the human family. But by his divinity, he pulls us up into the presence of God.

Also, the title, son of man emphasizes five aspects of Christ's ministry. The first, it identifies him as being one with humanity. Luke chapter 7:34 and Luke 9, verse 58 talk about Jesus as a human being, where he didn't even have a place to call his own. He says, 'foxes have holes, and the birds have nests but The Son of man has nowhere to lay his head. So Jesus identifies himself with humanity.

Even though he is The Son of God, he becomes one with mankind. 'The word became flesh,' the Bible says, 'and dwelt among us.' Secondly, the title son of man also connects Jesus as the Lord of the Sabbath. Now this is an interesting connection emphasizing the fact that Jesus is the creator. And the verse there is Luke chapter 6, verse 5, where Jesus said, "and he said unto them, 'The Son of man is also Lord of the Sabbath." Now, of course, the Sabbath that you read about in Genesis chapter 2, it is the celebration or the memorial of God's creative work. Jesus, here, is the Lord of the Sabbath and, as mentioned earlier, it's important to note that The Son of man - The Son of God - is also the creator for creative power is needed for man's redemption.

Thirdly, The Son of man is also connected with the work that Jesus came to do. Jesus said of himself, in Luke chapter 19, verse 10, "for The Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Jesus is our Savior. He is our redeemer. He came to save us. In Luke chapter 15 we find three parables with reference to something that was lost and then it was found.

The first is the parable of the lost sheep. Jesus told the story about a shepherd that had a hundred sheep and one was lost and he left ninety and nine safe in the fold and he went in search of the one that was lost. And when he had found the one that was lost, he put the sheep on his shoulders and he came back and there was great rejoicing. Jesus left the angels in heaven - left the other worlds and he came to this sin-polluted planet to seek and save the lost. This was the little sheep that had strayed away.

Jesus came to us. The second story about something lost that you read about there in Luke chapter 15 is a lost coin. Jesus tells the story about a woman that had ten coins and she lost one of the coins and so she lit a lamp and she swept out her house and she searched for the one that was lost and when she found it, she rejoiced and she told her friends about it. Now, in the Bible, what does a woman represent? A church represents a church. Is there anything that we read about in the Bible that comes in ten? What's the most significant thing in Scripture associated with ten? The Ten Commandments.

Now did the church, during the dark ages, lose sight of one of those Ten Commandments? Yes, indeed. The one, in particular, that we're referring to is the fourth - the Sabbath. But when people open the Scriptures they lit the lamp and they started studying and then they discovered the truth of the one that was lost and then they wanted to tell all their friends about it. Then the third story that you have of something that is lost is, of course, the parable of the prodigal son or the lost son and that refers, individually, to Jesus wanting to save each of us. But in order for us to be saved, we need to recognize our need of a Savior.

We need to turn and head on back home. We need to come to God. The story tells us that the father was waiting for his son and that's the reception that we have from God. When we come to him with humility, we recognize our need of a Savior. God will embrace us and lift us up and save us.

Fourthly, the phrase son of man refers to Jesus in his suffering. Jesus, in Luke chapter 18, verse , spoke of The Son of man that was to suffer and die and then he would rise again. In other words, The Son of man - the phrase The Son of man emphasizes the human sufferings of Jesus. Hebrews chapter 4, verse 15 says, "for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." So, because Jesus took upon himself humanity and became one with us, he understands what it's like to be human. He knows our trials - our difficulties - he knows what it's like to be tempted.

So we can come to him in our time of need and say, 'Lord, please help.' And he can help us because he is one with us. He is The Son of man. And then fifthly, the phrase son of man is also associated with Jesus coming as our king and as our redeemer. There are many references to The Son of man coming the second time. Luke chapter 9:26 and Luke 12:4 and so on, talks about Jesus coming - The Son of man coming to bring deliverance.

Now, on Wednesday, the lesson talks about Jesus being the Christ. And the principle passage there on Wednesday's study was Luke chapter 9, but I want to go and read this same occurrence in Matthew chapter 16, so turn with me to Matthew chapter 16. Now I'm going to be looking at verse 13 - Matthew chapter 16 and begin in verse 13. Matthew 16, verse 13 - it says, "when Jesus came into the region of caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, 'who do men say that i, The Son of man, am?" Now, why do you suppose Jesus asked his disciples that question? Did Jesus know what the people thought of him? Yes, but Jesus wanted the disciples to think about it so he said, 'who do the people say that I am?' And the disciples answer in verse , "so they said, 'some say John the baptist..." Well, by this time, John the baptist had been beheaded by herod and people looked at Jesus and the work that Jesus was doing and the message that Jesus was preaching and they said, 'boy, this is John the baptist resurrected from the dead. 'Some people say that you're John the baptist.

' And then they said, 'some say that you're Elijah.' Now the reason the people said that Jesus was Elijah is because of the prophecy that you find in the last book of the old testament - the book of Malachi - that says, 'behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and he'll turn the hearts of The Fathers back to the children and the hearts of the children back to The Fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.' And so people looked at Jesus and they said, 'this is Elijah come down from heaven. And then, reading on, some of the people said, 'well, he's Elijah.' Others said, 'no, he is Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' Now I've always wondered why, specifically, Jeremiah. If you read the book of Jeremiah, it talks about the need for repentance in Israel. Sometimes Jeremiah is referred to as the weeping prophet. It talks a lot about 'woe is this' and 'woe is that' and maybe when people heard Jesus, they kind of got the idea that, 'well, there is a need for repentance.

' And they said, 'he sounds like Jeremiah.' They said Christ is Jeremiah. Some said, 'no, no, he's not Jeremiah, he's just one of the prophets that is come. And then if you look over here in verse 15, "he said to them, "but who do you say I am?" In other words, Jesus said, 'I know what the people are saying about me, but who do you think I am? In verse 16, "Simon Peter answered and said, 'you are the Christ, The Son of the living God." Now, of course, today, when we think of Jesus, we think of Christ and rightfully so, but to the jew, Jesus was not necessarily the Christ. To the jew, the Christ was the anointed one, the promised Messiah, the one that would come and set Israel free from their enemies. The Christ would rule on the throne of David.

Every good Jewish mother would look into the face of her newborn son and secretly hope that he would be the Christ. But Peter said, 'you are the Christ. You are the fulfillment of all of the old testament prophecies. You are our deliverer. You are our Lord.

You are our Savior. You are our king. You are the Christ. Then Jesus went on to say this - verse 17 - "Jesus answered and said unto him, 'blessed art thou, Simon bar Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my father which is in heaven." In order for a person to come to a correct understanding of who Jesus really is - it's more than just simply accepting a set of historical facts. Its' more than saying, 'yeah, Jesus came and even he was the Son of God.

' To really know Jesus as the Christ, it is the moving of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. Jesus said to nicodemus, 'except ye be born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of heaven.' It is that conversion experience - that new-birth experience - it is the Holy Spirit moving upon the heart of the person. That's why Jesus said, 'flesh and blood has not revealed this to you. You haven't heard this from somebody else, it's my father in heaven that's revealed this to you.' That's the moving of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of someone. That's the kind of experience that we want - that continual moving of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts and our lives so that we can come to understand who Jesus really is - that he is our Christ, personally.

He is our Savior. He is our deliverer. He is our Lord. He is our king. It's the moving of the Spirit of God upon the hearts and the lives of people.

That's the secret to living a victorious spiritual life - it's understanding who Jesus is. It's knowing Jesus as our personal Christ, as our Savior, as our Lord and that's what the spirit wants to do in us. Jesus emphasizes the importance of that. Then Jesus goes on and says here in verse 18, as we finish up here, "and I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it." Now, I want to make it clear that Peter is not the foundation upon which the church is built. The word 'Peter' here means a pebble or a stone, but the declaration that Peter had just made - that Jesus is the Christ - that's the foundation - that's the rock upon which the church is built.

Peter never acknowledged himself to be the foundation of the church. He said, 'Jesus is the cornerstone. Jesus is the foundation.' Jesus is the rock upon which the church is built. If we come to know Jesus as our personal Christ, that will be the foundation to our lives. Jesus goes on to say, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

" When we come to know Jesus as our personal Christ, as our Savior, as our Lord, as our kin, the devil cannot overcome us because 'greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.' That's the promise of Jesus. Jesus has overcome the enemy and as we receive him as our Christ, he empowers us, by his grace, to overcome the enemy. So there's some wonderful promises that Jesus makes with reference to receiving him as Christ. By the way, that's not just a one-time experience, but it's a day-by-day, moment-by-moment experience. The apostle Paul says, 'I die daily.

' It is that day-by-day surrendering of ourselves to Christ and receiving him as our personal Savior. That's what it's all about. Well, we didn't have time to get to Thursday's lesson, but Thursday we have the story of the mount of transfiguration, where Jesus is glorified and there's Moses and Elijah that come and stand with him. Just one thing I want to mention quickly about that is you have Moses and Elijah - Moses represents the law and Elijah represents the prophets. The old testament was divided into two parts: the law, the first five books written by Moses, and then the prophets.

The prophets were often represented by Elijah so it's interesting that here Jesus, being The Son of God - being the Christ - he is being testified by the law, represented by Moses, and by the prophets, represented by Elijah. Jesus said, 'in the mouth of two or three witnesses, everything shall be established.' Christ would often point people back to the Scriptures as evidence for who he said he was - the law and the prophets. Our confidence for who Jesus is needs to be rooted in the Scriptures - in the law and the prophets. It's interesting what Peter has to say about this when he speaks of his experience. Let's go to that quickly - 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 16 - and we'll close up with this - 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 16.

Notice what Peter says - 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 16. Peter says, "for we did not following cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." Verse 17 "for he received from God The Father honor and glory when such a voice came to him from the excEllent glory: 'this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.'" Now, at first reading, you might be thinking, 'well, that sounds like the baptism of Jesus.' And, of course, when Jesus was baptized, there was a voice heard, 'this is my beloved son.' But notice in verse 18 he says, "and we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain." - Talking about the mount of transfiguration. Then he says, in verse 19, "and so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to take heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation." So Peter says, 'we've not followed cunningly devised fables when we've told you about the power of Jesus - that he is the Christ.' He says, 'we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. We saw it. We know it's real.

We heard the voice from heaven. In essence, Peter is saying, 'please believe. Believe that Jesus is the Christ. Recognize Jesus as your personal Savior - as your king - as your Lord - that he is The Son of God and he is also The Son of man.' In recognizing Jesus as the Christ, we have deliverance. We have forgiveness.

We have power. We have redemption. So that's the emphasis of this week's lesson. There's so much more there, but it's a beautiful study. It's really the heart of Christianity - the fact that Jesus is the Christ.

He is our Savior. He is our Lord. That brings hope. That brings life. That brings strength.

I'd like to remind our friends of our free offer. It's called Christ's human nature. We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. The number, again, is -788-3966 and you can ask for offer #703. You can also read the book for free online at the Amazing Facts website.

Just go to the website and click on the free library and you can read the book right away. Thank you, again, for joining us, friends. I trust that it's been a blessing as we have studied God's Word together. Let's close with prayer. Dear Father, we thank you once again that we have the opportunity to study together and we just ask that this very important truth - that Jesus is the Christ - that we would allow that to bury itself deep within our hearts - that every day we will come to you and receive you afresh as our Lord and as our Savior.

Thank you, father, for the great gift that was given in Jesus. We pray this all in his name, amen. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, Biblehistory.com is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's word.

Go deeper. Visit 'Biblehistory.com'. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming. Watch Amazing Facts television by visiting 'aftv.org'. At 'aftv.

org' you can view Amazing Facts programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device. Why wait a week? Visit 'aftv.org' - it's that easy. I was having some problems in my life I really didn't know how to deal with. I just said to myself, I said, 'God, if you're real, show yourself to me.' And then, I think, one day at my mother's house they were watching the 'final events in Bible prophecy'. There was something about the way that doug preached and things that I felt that touched me.

No matter how bad of a sinner you think you are, the Lord Jesus loves you no matter what you've done. I am so thankful to God for Amazing Facts, for Doug Batchelor and especially his book 'the richest caveman'. If it wasn't for these, I would not be here today. God was able to use these tools to reach the unreachable.

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