Jesus Christ
Prophet, Priest, and King

During the past 2000 years, many great men have played important parts in the affairs of the world. But none have exercised such a prodigious and enlightening influence upon the human race as the one known as Jesus Christ. It matters not where we look--into religion, politics, the arts or literature--we see a far-reaching change since the days when Jesus walked throughout the land of Judea. When he appeared upon the scene, the Jews, although living in the land of Israel, were subject to the power of the Roman Empire. A few years after his crucifixion, the nation was punished for rejecting him. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed, and the people were scattered among the nations. In this condition they have remained for almost 1950 years. But during the first World War, their land was freed from the Turk, and opened up for colonization under the protection of Britain.

When Jesus appeared, the whole Gentile world was in a state of idolatry. The results of his teaching were so wide-spread, and so lasting that, within three centuries most of the pagan temples were either converted into churches for Christian use, or were removed and replaced by buildings designed for that purpose. Other pronounced effects of the work of Jesus are that wars have been fought, kingdoms have been overturned, and--sadly--countless thousands of people have been put to death.

The whole civilized world has become so permeated with the traditional reverence for the name of Jesus, that it is impossible to determine where his influence begins or ends. This is particularly true of the English speaking nations, where the influence of his moral precepts is reflected widely, though distortedly, in our educational systems, and the literature of our day. The vast distribution of the Bible, during the past century, has caused the name of Jesus to become virtually a household word in all parts of the civilized world.

Most people seem to think that if we are born in what is considered a "Christian" land, we are qualified to be called "Christians." But this is altogether wrong, for you will find that most of the existing knowledge of Jesus is extremely shallow, and is greatly corrupted with erroneous views with respect to his teaching, and also his mission. Even the various religious leaders do not agree as to who he was, or why he appeared.

Therefore, is it not reasonable that if we would have a true conception of the Anointed Jesus, we must lay aside any notions that we may have learned since childhood, and turn to the Bible with an unbiased mind and search the Scriptures in a persistent, determined effort to find out just what they do teach about him.

If we will do this, we will find predictions concerning Jesus that were given long before his birth. In the New Testament we will find a record of his sayings, and the things he did. And not only so, but we will discover many promises of what he will do in the future. The record is sufficiently complete so that the knowledge obtained will make one wise unto salvation.

But this knowledge cannot be obtained by a single reading of the Bible, or an occasional attendance at a meeting where the Truth is taught. There must be a continual daily application of the mind to that which is written, if we are to have even a modest share of success.

Religious leaders call upon the people to "Hope in Jesus," to "Trust in Jesus," or to "Take him as their personal Savior;" but little, if anything, is ever said about "Knowing Jesus." But it is essential that we do know him, for he has said-- To know God and Jesus, is not simply to be aware of their existence, but to know the attributes and purposes of God, and the nature, character and mission of Jesus.

The vital importance of knowledge is revealed in many places in the Bible. Here is one from the prophet Hosea-- But there is one in the Psalms even stronger-- Coming to the New Testament, we have this from Paul-- It is amazing to talk to professed Christians and see how superficial their knowledge is of Jesus. Therefore let us look into the Bible that we may learn of him. First, let us examine his Name. "Jesus" is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, and means a savior. The angel, addressing Joseph, said: The word "Christ" is not a name. It is a Greek word transferred into the English language, and means "Anointed." Jesus Christ, therefore, means "The Anointed Jesus." The anointing of Jesus took place when he was 30 years of age, at the time he was baptized by John. Of this, said Peter-- This was a three-fold anointing. Like Elisha, he was anointed to be a prophet; like Aaron, he was anointed to be a priest; and like David, he was anointed to be a king. They were anointed with oil, but Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit. They were types, but Jesus was the anti-type.

That Jesus was to fulfill these three offices, was clearly foretold by Moses and the prophets, as we shall see. The New Testament confirms all of these predictions. Therefore, to truly know Jesus in the Bible sense, we must know what he taught as a Prophet. We must understand the sacrifice he offered as a Priest, and the ruling he will exercise as a King.

Strange, is it not, that in the churches of Christendom we hear nothing of these things? Especially in evangelical, or revival meetings, where all we hear is, "Jesus saves. Give your heart to Jesus, and take him for your personal Savior." They quote Paul's words in Acts 16:31-- Unfortunately, however, they tell us nothing about what we are expected to believe. They do not follow Paul's example. If they did, they would do as Paul did in Rome and other places:

When the people in his own neighborhood would not believe him, Jesus declared (John 4:44) that-- Therefore he departed and went into Galilee.

That the Messiah should appear to Israel as a prophet was predicted very early in their history. Through Moses, God said: They were not left in doubt as to the character of this prophet. He was to be like Moses, and would therefore fulfill similar functions. Moses was a prophet, a mediator, a lawgiver, and a ruler, or king. Being like unto Moses, Jesus must fulfill all these. That he is the only one in whom this expectation can be realized, is proven by Peter in Acts 3:20-24-- With these words in mind, let us follow the New Testament record briefly. On the occasion of one of his miracles, we read-- John records, at the beginning of his testimony-- After his resurrection, on the way to Emmaus, he met two of the disciples, who said unto him (Luke 24:19)-- The greatest example of Jesus as a prophet is found in Luke 21 in what is known as the "Mount Olivet Prophecy." In this chapter, Jesus outlines the future from the day he was speaking, until he comes the second time, when he will assume the power of a king. He tells the disciples of the persecutions that would come upon them. The days of vengeance were rapidly approaching when the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed, and the people would be led away captive into all nations.

From that day forth Jerusalem would be under the power of the Gentiles; but not forever --only until their times should be fulfilled. He spoke of the signs that would indicate the time of his return to the earth, and pressed upon their attention the vital necessity of watching for him, saying-- During the days of his ministry, Jesus performed many miracles--wonderful works that were far beyond the power of men to do. The object of this was, of course, to prove that he was what he claimed to be, and that he was the one of whom Moses and the prophets had written. Those who listened attentively, and observed narrowly, were "astonished at his teaching" (Matt. 7:28, etc.); even some of the officers of the chief priests admitted: "NEVER MAN SPAKE LIKE THIS MAN" (John 7:46).

That it is essential we know what Jesus taught, and understand the purpose of his mission, is evident by what he said-- Therefore, to reject Jesus' teaching is to disbelieve God, for-- How, then, can anyone expect to find favor with God if he denies Him, or if he pays no attention to the words Jesus spoke?

In the Old Testament there are two orders of priests that come to our attention--the Meichisedec and the Aaronic. Of the former, there is very little information given; but what is said of it is highly important. In Gen. 14:18, we read-- If it were not for the letter to the Hebrews, we could not get very far in our understanding of this brief passage. Of course David, in one of his prophecies of Christ, did say-- But even then we have to depend upon Paul, who does much for us. Here in Hebrews 5, he explained the relation of Christ to this great man-- And again in verses 8 to 10, Paul says-- Of the Aaronic, which existed during the administration of the Mosaic law, full particulars are given. The principal duties of the priests were to-- Jesus was not a member of this priestly order, because it was of the tribe of Levi. He was of the tribe of Judah. But we will find that the Aaronic priesthood was a type of Jesus in the capacity of high priest, and the various things connected with the Mosaic Law, such as the altar, the animals that were sacrificed, the temple and its furniture, were all types of Jesus.

Therefore, united in him were the functions of a priest, and the requirements of a sacrifice--something which has never been done by any other person.

The necessity for either priest, or sacrifice, is evidence of the existence of SIN, and it was for that very reason that Jesus was manifested, that he might "take away the sin of the world." In Rom. 5:12, Paul informs us that-- This directs our minds to the record of the creation and the introduction of sin into the world because of transgression of Divine law. The Mosaic account of the creation of man is brief, but clear (Gen. 2:7)-- The breath of life which man received merely constituted him a "living soul," or "living creature." It had no relation to immortality. This is plainly revealed in the report of the effects of the flood, as we read in Gen. 7:21-22-- No special training or ability is required to understand this plain statement. We go back now to Gen. 2:15-17, where we read of man being placed under Divine law-- After this the woman was formed, and they continued obedient until tempted by the serpent--not the devil. Paul, commenting on this incident in 2 Cor. 11:3, says-- As an inducement to our first parents to partake of the forbidden tree, the serpent said (Gen. 3:4-5)-- This was the first religious lie ever told; and like nearly all others, it was a mixture of truth and falsehood. The first part was false, and a direct opposite of what God had told Adam. The serpent said they would not die. This theological fable has continued to this day, and most of the world's inhabitants believe it. The doctrine of the natural immortality of man is nothing more than the continuance of the serpent's lie.

The second part was true, as we see by vs. 22-24-- The Divine law having been violated, and sin brought into the world, the sentence of death was pronounced-- The principle upon which this punishment was inflicted is stated by Paul in Romans 6:23-- Sin, being the cause of death, it is obvious that before death could be abolished, sin must be removed. This is the work of Jesus, as John the Baptist said (John 1:29)-- Or as Paul expressed it in Heb. 9:26-- Under the Mosaic system, animals were sacrificed; but they were only types and could not take away sin. So says Paul-- It was therefore necessary that a member of the race which had sinned, should manifest that perfect obedience which Adam failed to do, and then have his blood, or life, poured out, that he might undergo the penalty of death brought upon the race by sin, and that he should be raised from the dead on account of his righteousness, and become the author of immortality for other members of the same race.

These requirements are found in no other person than Jesus Christ. Jesus, being born of a woman, partook of our nature as Paul testifies in Heb. 2:14-18-- If possible, in his letter to the Romans, Paul puts more strength into his words (8:3)-- If Jesus had possessed a nature superior to ours-- The principle on which the perfect sacrifice of Jesus was based is easily discovered-- Therefore he could say to John in Rev. 1:18-- But in all this Jesus has only destroyed the sin principle in himself. If he had put away sin and abolished death completely, there would be no sin now, nor would there be any death. However, he has accomplished the purpose of his first appearing, and will achieve his work in its completeness when he appears the second time without sin unto salvation to assume his duties as a king.

Of all the things concerning the Name of Jesus, there is none more beautiful, nor is there any so plainly taught in the Bible as that of his kingship. When preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, in the capacity of a prophet, he made known to Israel that he would be their king. It should be specially noted that in the offering up of his perfect sacrifice on the cross, in the capacity of a priest, it was brought about by his claims as a king. Because of this claim of Jesus, we turn first to the prophets and consider the covenant God made with David (2 Sam. 7:12): There was no misunderstanding on the part of David. He knew that the time would come when his throne would be established for ever; he did not look to heaven for salvation-- The throne of David continued until the days of Zedekiah when it ceased to exist, and has remained so unto this day. Here is the word of God to Zedekiah-- Six hundred years pass by until the days of Herod, the Roman king of Judea, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary of the seed of David, and said to her (Luke 1:30-33)-- The disciples of Jesus understood this clearly; and when he was about to leave them, they said unto him (Acts 1:6)-- The answer of Jesus shows they were not mistaken, except in the time appointed-- After the Holy Spirit had been given on the day of Pentecost, we hear Peter speaking-- Since the days when they asked Jesus if he would restore the kingdom at that time, further revelation had been given them, for we have Peter speaking again, in Acts 3:20-21-- Jesus, then, is to return to the earth, and assume his position of king over Israel on David's throne in the city of Jerusalem Here is one of the many prophetic pictures in the Bible-- The reward promised to the disciples (Luke 22:29-30)-- His last promise (Rev. 22:12)-- If therefore we would attain unto salvation, we must, like Paul: Yea, we must "set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth," so when Jesus returns, we may share--