A Journal for Bible Teachers

The Law, Repentance, and Life – Jesus Christ: The Life (Part 3)

The Law, Repentance, and Life – Jesus Christ: The Life (Part 3)

As we have seen in the past two editions of this series on the three prophets, Moses, Elijah, and the Lord Jesus Christ are very united in Scripture and in eternity. In the first part of this series, we saw the meekness of the Lord through Moses, and how important it is that His meekness be worked out through us. In the second part, we see Elijah brought the message of repentance.

The great difference between these two men of God and the Lord is that the Lord created them and He fulfilled their messages. When we studied Moses and Elijah, we were studying these prophets objectively. The Lord Jesus fulfilled the messages of Moses and Elijah. Moses was the lawgiver, but Jesus fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17). Elijah brought Israel back into submission to the will of God, but Jesus fulfilled all the will of His Father.

The Lord is in us, and He desires to be admired in us, as stated in 2 Thessalonians 1:10: “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.” He wants to fulfill in us the righteousness of the law that He Himself fulfilled (Romans 8:4).

In this third study, let us prayerfully consider the aspects of His ministry and nature. He wants to reveal His nature and ministry to others through us, including the different responsibilities He held. When these truths are fulfilled in our lives, we too will experience life, and life more abundantly in Christ.

 

Chief Shepherd

In 1 Peter 5:4, the Lord is called “the Chief Shepherd,” meaning He is the Chief over His shepherds. He who is meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29) desires that we be likewise clothed with a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4).

 

Rabbi

He is also called Rabbi (Teacher). The Lord desires us to be teachers of righteousness who will travel throughout the land preaching His Word. As King David said, “…His word was on my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2). Deuteronomy 18:18 says, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” We read in John 6:14, “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” In the days of Jesus the people asked, “Is this not the promised prophet?” The Apostle Paul brings out very strongly that we must covet to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:39). In other words, the prophetic word must flow through us when we teach others.

 

Co-Creator

There is a beautiful thought in Revelation 4:8-11 concerning Jesus who was the Co-creator of the universe: “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” This scripture speaks of Jesus who was, and is, and is to come. We were created for the good pleasure of the Lord. Everything we do should be done for His honour and His glory.

 

Root out of Dry Ground

Jesus is called a “root out of a dry ground” (Isaiah 53:2). The Church is going through a spiritual drought. The heavens are about to pour out rain upon us, but it has not yet come. Many of us have been in the wilderness experience and spiritual darkness. As Isaiah 50:10-11 declares, “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled…” There is a warning for the righteous who are walking in times of darkness. We must not create our own light, but wait patiently for the Lord to bring us to the end of the tunnel into the light of His honour and glory. As we wait patiently, we will receive all the hidden treasures that God has for us during these times. “And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel” (Isaiah 45:3).

When we consider the prophets, we realize that they faced tremendous opposition. Moses, for example, had to contend with all manner of difficulties and strife, including the rebellion of Korah, because the people were indeed backslidden in heart in the wilderness. Elijah could cry out, “… even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10). Christ died of a broken heart, being despised of men and esteemed smitten of God (Isaiah chapter 53). In Philippians 1:29-30, we are called to suffer for His sake and enter into the fellowship of His suffering (c.f. Phil. 3:10).

 

Ministry

These three great men of God were all given a task, a goal, and a vision for their ministries. Moses was to bring Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, but he lost the generation that he brought out of Egypt. Elijah was to turn the people back to God. On Mount Carmel they acknowledged that the Lord was God, but it was not long afterwards that they turned their backs again. The Lord was to gather the people unto Himself, yet Isaiah foresaw what was really going to happen in the life of Jesus. Thus in Isaiah 49:4 we see Jesus, through Isaiah, was saying, “I have laboured in vain.” We need to understand that although they did not have success in our parlance, they fulfilled their ministry and accomplished what the Lord had purposed for them to do.

 

Faithful

Another aspect of these three men was that they were faithful. Hebrews 3:1-2 says, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.” We see Moses was faithful in all his house, as was Christ. We are to be those who are called, chosen, and faithful unto the Lord, “…for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).

 

Life-giver

A truly remarkable aspect of Jesus was that, “in him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). While Moses brought the law, and Elijah brought the message of repentance, Jesus came to bring life. In John 10:10 the Lord reveals, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

 

The Rock

Deuteronomy 32:4 states, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Christ is called the Rock. His work is perfect and He exudes stability. We want our houses to be built upon the Rock so that when the storms come, like Christ, we will not waver.

Another aspect of the Rock of Christ we want to consider is in Exodus 17:6: “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.” The Lord said He would go and stand by the rock so that when Moses struck the rock, water would flow out. In John 7:37-38, there is a promise for us personally that out of our innermost beings shall flow rivers of living water. “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.”

As we stated earlier, there is a tremendous difference between studying the lives of Moses and Elijah and studying Christ. Because Christ is in us, that which He fulfilled on earth, He wants to fulfill in us, His living Temples. When He provided that water in the wilderness, it is a type of what He wants to do in our lives. The Lord desires to release those rivers of living water in us to flow out and meet the needs of men and women and the nations around us.

We need to have a complete revelation of the nature and character of Christ in order for Him to manifest Himself through us as we walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit in these last days.

 

Lord of the Harvest

Now with the rivers of living water, let us also consider the thought of the harvest that is coming. God is Baal Hamon, the Lord of the Harvest.

I was beginning to have a revelation of the heart of the Father, who desires much fruit, as the Lord spoke to me through the pond of fish that we keep in the courtyard of our grounds. My heart was opened and I had a vision of a pond teeming with fish. Suddenly I had a desire to have many, many fish. Why could I not be content with four or five different fish swimming in that pond? I simply could not be satisfied with the few fish that we had. Then the Lord explained, “That is My heart, I want to have multitudes.” He wants to work out His beautiful nature in our lives and give us a revelation of the harvest—how a farmer does not just desire a few kernels of corn, but fields and fields of corn.

Flowing in this thought of waters, living waters, and rain is James 5:7, which reads, “… Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” How does the fruit of harvest come? It comes through the early and the latter rain. In farming, there is a process of sowing, but in order to bring fruit, two distinct rains are necessary, the early and the latter rain. Jeremiah 5:24 says, “…Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.” In other words, rain does not come at just any time. There are appointed seasons for the early and the latter rain. These rains are very important, as they will bring the fruit to maturity. According to the rain, so will the harvest be.

That verse goes on to say, “He reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of harvest.” One of the great blessings that God promised Israel is a harvest after the latter rain. By the grace of God, we have appropriated some of the promises that God has given: the promise of salvation, baptism of the Holy Ghost, healing, and many others. The appointed weeks of harvest are a promise that I feel God wants us to appropriate. A blessing is going to come after all our labours, and that blessing is the harvest.

Hosea 6:1 says, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” There are some who need to come back to the Lord and be re-commissioned. Elijah needed a re-commissioning in his life. Re-commissioning is one of the blessings that we have.

The Lord says in His Word that if you can change the seasons, the days and the nights, then He will no longer keep His covenant (Jer. 33:20-21). The beautiful promise He gives is that His going forth is prepared as the morning. Without a shadow of doubt, we know the morning is prepared and it is coming. Tomorrow the sun will rise, and we know for a certainty that it will be morning. What does the Lord say concerning this? He said that if you follow on to know Him, His going forth is as the morning. It is infallible. How is He coming to us? He shall come unto us as the former and latter rain upon the earth. God is going to visit us with the glorious former and latter rain. This is confirmed by Joel 2:22-23: “Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.”

He has given us the early rain moderately, nothing like they had on Pentecost. The promise in Joel 2:23 is that He will give the early and the latter rain at the same time (which is basically eight times the power they had on the day of Pentecost, for Pentecost is a one day feast, whereas the Feast of Tabernacles is seven days; and one plus seven is eight). The outpouring on Pentecost was sufficient to turn the world upside down in their days, but in our days, the whole world shall hear of the glory of God, for He is promising an outpouring that is eight times as great.

These promises of God are infallible. In Isaiah 44:2-3 the prophet declares, “Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.”

Furthermore, Ezekiel’s river started as a trickle, became a stream, and then became so great that it was impossible to pass over (Ezekiel 47:2-5). We must have our eyes open spiritually to what God is going to do. Not only is He going to give water unto those who thirst, but also He will send floods upon the dry, thirsty grounds. He will pour out His Spirit upon our seed and His blessing upon our offspring. Now whilst this verse is uniquely speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is going to be fulfilled in the last days. He is going to give floods upon the dry ground.

Another illustration of the multiplication and harvest is seen with grass. Job 5:25 says, “Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.” No one in his right mind would try to count the blades of grass because there are so many. Moreover, Abraham was told that the number of his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands of the sea (Genesis 15:5, 22:17). There would be multiplication upon multiplication upon multiplication! We have to understand the heart of the Father.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:32: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” The Father has given us the most precious gift—the Lord Jesus Christ. As parents, our children are the most precious gifts we have. Our children count more than our houses or our cars—more than anything we have. They are the joy of our hearts. Nothing compares to them. This is how it is with the Father. He has everything, but only one Son. He can recreate an angel, but He cannot recreate His Son. He gave His most precious possession for us. Therefore, will He not freely give us all things?

Our God is a God of abundance. Truly, He is the Lord of the Harvest. In Matthew 9:37 the Lord said, “…The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” God wants an abundance of fruit. The harvest will be so great in these last days that the reapers will not be able to bring in the harvest at the appointed time. In fact, we see in Amos 9:13 that the ploughman is going to overtake the reaper: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper…” God is not going to be satisfied until He has a tremendous harvest. God wants us to influence every nation of the world that all might believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. We are falling short of God’s plan for our lives if we miss even one nation.

God must glorify Himself in every aspect of His nature and every name that He has appropriated for Himself. Therefore, He has to be the greatest farmer of all time. Think of the time of Joseph when he brought in the grain and kept the nation for seven years during the famine (Genesis 41:54-57).

God will glorify Himself as the Lord of the Harvest. As our hearts are open, we will appropriate this revelation of Christ. People will be convicted in their homes and in their offices, and will preach the gospel to those around them. He who is the Lord of the Harvest has humbled Himself to allow us to help Him bring in the harvest. If I had something precious, I would leave it to the angels to do. Yet, the Lord, in His humility, has entrusted the harvest to us.

The Song of Songs is the wonderful book that speaks of the beautiful union and communion between the Lord and His bride. In 7:13 it says, “The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.” We are called to be reapers who will bring in the fruit, store it, and lay it at the feet of Jesus. What fruit are we going to bring to the Lord? There are two types of fruit—the fruit of the Spirit and the harvest of souls. Firstly, the fruit of the Spirit in our lives has to be brought to maturity. We want both the old and new truths developed in our lives. Secondly, we want souls: men and women coming to know the Lord.

In Deuteronomy 16:16-17 there was a commandment given to the Israelites, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.” The Israelites were to come before the Lord three times a year and not to appear empty-handed. The three parts of the Tabernacle of Moses – the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies can be related to the three harvests (feasts) – Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. The harvest of Passover speaks of salvation. May we turn many unto God so they will receive a new birth (Outer Court). We want a harvest of souls for God. The second harvest, of Pentecost, speaks of believers whom we have influenced and caused to come (by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and truth) into the Holy Place. The third harvest, of Tabernacles, symbolizes coming within the veil. May we have the privilege of bringing a multitude within the veil (Holy of Holies) where they might see the glory of God’s face. When we stand before God, may we have a multitude of souls who have come to Him in each of these three places.

In our pursuit of excellence, we want to produce quality fruit in the sight of the Lord. Let us use an illustration of apples. There are all kinds of apples, one of which is sour crab apples. With multiplication, we either multiply good apples or sour, bitter apples. Do we want to present sour or rotten apples to the Lord? No! We have to preach the vision of perfection in Christ, and the truths that will change peoples’ hearts. The whole counsel of God has to be taught, believing that they will be filled with the Holy Spirit and grow in the Lord so that we can present beautiful saints to Him.

If we are going to receive a harvest from every nation, we must have a revelation of the abundant harvest of the Lord. Isaiah 60:5 speaks of the abundance of the seed that will be harvested in our days: “Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” God is a God of abundance. He may have pruned us, but it is with the intention that we might be more fruitful. May we have the privilege of presenting to the Lord a multitude of beautiful saints.




About the Author

Dr. Brian J. Bailey is the President of Zion Fellowship International, Zion Ministerial Institute, and Zion University. He is also Senior pastor of Zion Chapel in Waverly, New York. He has traveled to over a 100 countries during his ministry of over fifty years, teaching in Bible colleges and preaching in leadership seminars. He is a prolific author of over 50 Christian books that have been published around the world and translated into many languages, including Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, and French.

Dr. Bailey hails from London, England and left there on his first missionary trip to France. From there he went to Switzerland and became co-founder of a missions fellowship called “Croisade Missionaire.” It was there he met his wife who was herself on a missionary trip to Europe and North Africa.

After a pastorate in Washington State, the Baileys were invited to be on the faculty of Elim Bible Institute. Later they were invited to New Zealand where they had an extended ministry and participated in the national awakening that the country experienced. In 1973 they served for more than five years with World MAP, a missions organization that conducted leadership training seminars in many nations throughout the world. This led them to travel and minister in many nations. Then the Lord directed them to establish Hebron Missionary Fellowship at Waverly, NY which is now named Zion Fellowship International.

Dr. Bailey received a Doctor of Theology, Th. D. from Hebron Bible College. He received a Ph. D. in Biblical Studies form Vision Christian Bible Seminary. He also received a Doctor of Divinity, D. D. from Canada Christian College.

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