196 – JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY AND TODAY, YES AND FOREVER
Let us delineate the sublime character of Jesus and his spiritual makeup through texts extracted from the four Gospels, and also from the Epistles written by the apostles. The men who wrote the New Testament were filled with the Holly Spirit, and for this reason we accept as truths what they wrote, because Peter said, “For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pet. 1:21).
- Jesus said, “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:29). We know that meekness and humbleness are virtues cultivated through perseverance.
- Jesus, even though he was king and God, became a servant to all. He declared, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
- Jesus forgave everyone: sinners, enemies and prostitutes. He was forgiving. He forgave the adulterous woman who had already been condemned to stoning (John 8:3-11). He forgave a prostitute (Luke 7:36-50). He forgave his executors (Luke 23:34).
- Jesus was full of compassion towards the poor and the sick (Matt. 14:14-21). Jesus Christ has ever been, is, and will be the bread of the poor, and of the sinners (Matt. 15:29-32).
- The love with which Christ loved the lost is so great that he gave his life in order to save them.“Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4).
- His will was so manifested that a young, extremely religious Jew told him, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good” (Matt. 19:16-17).
- With nothing but his presence, Jesus communicated life and peace. Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary, was sick and died. When Jesus arrived, Martha told him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). Later, speaking of his departure, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).
- Jesus did not complain, did not deplore his fate, and did not accuse anyone, not even those who crucified him. The prophet Isaiah told us, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like sheep that is silent before its shearers, He did not open His mouth” (Is. 53:7).
- In his immeasurable mercy he did not judge or condemn anyone, not even those who did not accept him. “And if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47). So unlike Jehovah, for we read in Psalms 7, “If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts” (Ps. 7:12-13).
- Jesus, modestly, did not like to show up to be applauded. He once said, “I do not receive glory from men” (John 5:41). Jehovah was different from Jesus in this aspect, too, for he created Israel for his own glory (Is. 43:7; Jer. 15:11). He also accepted the testimony of men (Is. 43:10-12; 44:8).
- The Lord Jesus did not accuse anyone. “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope” (John 5:45). The book ofRevelation declares that the devil is the one who accuses (Rev. 12:9-10). In the Old Testament Jehovah was the one who accused, for he accused Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:16-19). He accused the sodomites (Gen. 13:13). He accused the ones who lived before the flood (Gen. 3:16-19). He accused his people Israel (Deut. 32:18-19). He accused David (2 Sam. 12:7).
- As a judge, seeing the wickedness of men, he made himself advocate to try and save them. “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).And the apostle of love, John, declared, “My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).
Dozens of pages would be necessary if we were going to number the admirable facets of the character of Christ. One thing, though, is certain: according to Hebrews 13:8, Jesus will never change, for he is the same yesterday, today and forevermore.
Let us look at the Jesus Christ revealed in the book of Revelation:
- The Christ of Revelation accuses people and condemns them (Rev. 2:4-5).
- Going against Luke 22:31-32, Jesus allows the devil to imprison the saints (Rev. 2:10).
- Imitating the vengeful spirit of Jehovah, he kills the sons of Jezebel, because she was prostituting(Rev. 2:20; Is. 14:21).
- Jesus affirmed that the devil is the thief of the souls, for he takes life and does not allow time for repentance. And we read in Revelation that Jesus comes as a thief of souls, denying any extra time for conversion or repentance (Rev. 3:1-3). The one who steals souls is Satan. The word thief is used for the end of the world, when Jesus comes without notice, that is, the day of the Lord (1 Thess. 5:1-4). The last day will be like the thief in the night, but the reference is not to the theft of souls.
- Revelation reveals an irate Jesus, not the meek Lamb. In the final day men will call out. “And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come; who will be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:16-17). As we read about the seven cups of the wrath of God, we do not find the God who is love, or the merciful Christ. God is a father, and the father suffers when his sons die (Rev. 16:1-21).
- The same Jesus who commands us not to react to a slap on the face, who tells us to give the coat to the one who takes away our clothes (Matt. 5:38-42), goes back to the teaching of an eye for an eye? (Matt. 5:38-42). Has Jesus changed from being the same yesterday, today, and forever? We cannot believe this.
- Jesus taught gentleness, the love to virtue, the renouncing of the ego and of the world. According to Revelation he is going to stir up the Christians as tyrants, to rule over the earth with a rod of iron(Rev. 2:26-27). Well, let the Christians know that these two verses were added, and they are not part of the Greek originals.
- The apostle John, whom the apostles affirm to have written Revelations, exhorts the Christians in his first epistle to give their lives for their fellow men (1 John 3:16). In Revelation, the witnesses of Jesus kill (Rev. 11:3-5), and have power, given them by Jesus, to hurt the earth with all kinds of plagues (Rev. 11:6).
- John says that the Christians overcome the devil, and in Revelation the beast overcomes the saints (1 John 2:13-14; Rev. 13:7).
- Jesus condemned the eye for an eye, that is, the vengeance, and now he adopts this method?(Matt. 5:38-42; Rev. 13:9-10).
The Jesus Christ of the Revelation is not the same one of the gospels. Since Jesus Christ does not change, he is not the Christ of Revelation. All Bible commentaries reveal that in the beginning of the Church they were sure that John was not the author of Revelation, because the writer of the Revelation knew the Hebrew very well, and the Greek very badly, whereas John spoke perfect Greek. In the Bible of Jerusalem there is an introduction to Revelation, a convincing explanation about the issue. Jesus, though, said that in the last days there would be false teachers who would deceive many people (Matt. 24:4-5; 24:24).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira