In studying the 66 books of the Bible, the most important thing is to understand Christ and establish our faith in Him. For the Bible says that Christ is the great mystery.
About 2,000 years ago, the Israelites suffered greatly under the oppression of the Roman government. Their only hope to sustain them was that the Messiah, prophesied in the Bible, would come and deliver them from their oppression. They had been looking and waiting for the Messiah, which enabled them to endure the Roman oppression. However, when the Messiah-Jesus Christ-came to them, they rejected and crucified the Messiah whom they had eagerly waited for.
To the Israelites, God was much more precious than their lives. They would rather die than abandon their faith. However, they crucified the God whom they loved and valued so much. What caused them to commit such a terrible sin? Unless we know the reason, we will commit the same sin as they did when God comes again in these last days.
First, we need to study Jesus. Let’s see who Jesus is in nature.
“… For by him [Christ] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. …”Col 1:13-18
Jesus is the God who created all things. The Almighty God came to this earth as a man bearing the name Jesus. In those days, the Israelites had a fixed idea about God. They thought only about the Almighty God who by His word made light and divided the heavens and the earth and appeared out of a whirlwind and storm.
About 3,500 years ago, when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God terrified the Egyptians with ten supernatural miracles. They expected the Messiah to come upon this earth with such great power and glory. So do most Christians today; they look for God to come with such visible glory.
The Apostle John described the divine nature of Jesus as follows:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. … He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”Jn 1:1-14
In the days of Jesus, religious leaders were confident that they would be able to easily recognize God the Creator who had said, “Let there be light,” when He came as the Messiah. However, they failed to receive God the Creator of the world. Rather, they hated God who came to His own and rejected Him, and even crucified Him.
If God had appeared in His majesty with His angels, they would have recognized Him. Such a glorious appearance of God was deeply contemplated in the hearts of the Israelites. However, contrary to their expectation, Christ came to this earth, being made lower than the angels.
“ … “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.” …” Heb 2:6-8
How could the Israelites imagine God being made lower than the angels? Even though God Himself came to them, they spat in His face and struck Him with their fists. They searched hard for God in the synagogue, but they completely rejected God who came contrary to their expectation. For they never thought that God would come as a man made lower than the angels. When Jesus came, becoming lower than the angels, even His own brothers did not believe in Him and His friends came to take charge of Him.
Thus, they didn’t believe in Jesus Christ. The disciples repeatedly told them to believe in Him. If it had been easy for everyone to believe in Him, they would not have repeatedly said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus.” Saying that, they preached Jesus Christ. This implies that it was so difficult to believe in Him. For He was a totally different God from what they had conceived or wished. Now, we need to be fully convinced that Christ is ‘the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations,’ so that we may understand and receive Him.
“the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”Col 1:26-27
“…so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col 2:2-3
All the prophets and the gospel writers testify that Christ is God who created all things (Isa 9:6; Col 1:16; Jn 1:1). The Almighty God came to this earth and was executed by so-called believers.
Why does the Bible describe their rejection of Jesus? For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us (Ro 15:4). Like them, most people today have a fixed idea about God; they never think that God will be made lower than the angels, and they are waiting for Christ to appear a second time in dreadful and terrifying majesty.
We must let go of our fixed ideas about God. Just as we believe, God is omniscient and omnipotent; He can appear in His majesty or in a form of a man; He can be born of a virgin or through physical parents. If we make up our own ideas about Christ, we will fail to receive Him in these last days.
Most Korean people think that roosters cry ‘kkokkio,’ dogs bark ‘meong meong’ and cats say ‘yaong.’ However, Americans think that roosters cry ‘cock-a doodle-doo,’ dogs bark ‘bow-wow’ and cats cry ‘meow.’ The disparity exists not because those animals indeed cry different languages. Nevertheless the people in each country think that they cry differently from one country to another, because they have learned to hear the sounds that way from their childhood.
Think of a yellow pistil of a flower. It appears yellow to us, but to dogs it appears white (because dogs are color-blind and perceive things in only black and white) and to bees it appears red. Can we say confidently that the color we perceive is real? Can we truly believe that all our senses are basically reliable?
Think about the earth’s revolution. The earth moves around the sun at a speed of about 108,000km per hour. However, our body doesn’t feel any speed. Besides this there are a lot of things that we can’t perceive with our senses. But most people acknowledge only the things that they can see and perceive with their senses and believe only what they think is right. How foolish they are!
By using our own senses, we can’t discern between the true and the false. So God said, “Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes” (1 Co 4:5). Nevertheless many interpret the Bible in their own ways. Each of them insists that only their interpretation is true, even denying the truth uttered by God Himself. What a blasphemous act!
We must not believe in only the visible. Instead of insisting upon our own ideas, we need to ask God to open our spiritual eyes to read the Bible with correct understanding. For we can’t receive Christ fully with our own way of thinking.
From whose point of view should we look at Christ? We must see Him through the eyes of those who are saved, so that we can understand Him correctly and get salvation. For the goal of our faith is the salvation of our souls. Let’s look at Christ through their eyes.
“Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 … No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. …”Rev 14:1-5
From the view point of the 144,000 who have been redeemed, Christ dwells in Zion. We must find Zion and know her law in order to meet Christ. In the eyes of those outside Zion, Christ cannot be found. We should not look at the Bible in a church’s view no matter what the church says, neither should we look at it from the point of view of a person.
Think of the yellow pistils of flowers. Only the human eye can perceive the color as yellow; neither the eyes of insects like bees nor the eyes of animals can see it the same way. Without understanding such a mystery, we can’t understand God. We need to know at least a part of God’s creation in order to understand the Bible. Many fall into error, because they try to look at God’s word, a mystery of Wonderful Coun-selor, with a finite and very limited human mind or understanding.
Revelation 14 shows us that Christ dwells in Zion. The Lamb dwells in Zion with the 144,000 who have been redeemed. Let’s find out what Zion indicates.
“Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals; … There the LORD will be our Mighty One. … For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us. …”Isa 33:20-24
Zion is the place where the Biblical feasts are celebrated. God is the Judge, the Lawgiver and the King of the people who dwell in Zion with Him. As there is a law by which a king rules over his people in the world, so there is the law of the new covenant by which God the King of Zion governs His people.
Every country has different laws. People in each country can’t be easily adapted to foreign laws. Likewise, those who are not God’s people are not willing to observe the laws of Zion which God has established. For they are not the people of the kingdom.
It is in the last days that God proclaims His law in Zion (Mic 4:1). Many will stream to Zion to find the way to salvation. In the Day of Judgment, those who do not know the law of Zion will be judged by that law [the new covenant]. Without abiding in Zion no one can know the law and avoid God’s judgment. We should break free of the fixed ideas so that we can meet God whom the Bible testifies about. Now, let’s find out what blessings God bestows upon His people in Zion.
“For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it-””Ps 132:13-14
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”Ps 133:1-3
Thus, God has chosen Zion and made it His dwelling, where He bestows His blessing-life forever. Only from the point of view of the people in Zion can people recognize Christ, the greatest Mystery of all mysteries; only those in Zion can receive Him and have the blessing of eternal life. For God lets them look at everything from His standpoint and evaluate it according to His standards.
Only in Zion can we understand the Christ, who is the great mystery hidden for ages. God has given us, who are in Zion, the blessing of eternal life and the invitation into the kingdom of heaven. How precious God’s invitation is!
There are our lost brothers and sisters who cannot recognize Chirst because their spiritual eyes are not opened. Let’s lead them quickly to Zion so that their spiritual eyes may be open to recognize Christ, the mystery of God. Let’s share the blessings of salvation with them, by delivering God’s invitations to them. Then we will receive God’s praise when we go back to our heavenly home.