What Jesus Is Now
WHILE what Jesus looked like is of interest, it is much more vital to determine what he is now and where he is. What part does he serve in God’s purpose toward the human family?
Secular history cannot give us the answers. They can be found only in the document that God authored for the benefit of truth seekers. And that is the Holy Bible, or the Sacred Scriptures, the most widely distributed volume in the history of the world.
The Bible is not just another book authored by humans. While humans were used as his penmen, God was the real author: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
The apostle Paul recognized what the Scriptures were, for he wrote: “When you received God’s word, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God.”—1 Thessalonians 2:13.
God is the all-powerful Creator of the universe, with its billions of galaxies and billions of stars in each galaxy. What awesome power he has to be able to create all of that! Surely the Almighty One, who made the amazing universe, could author a book that would be a reliable guide for anyone searching for truth.
What the Bible Says
God’s Word cuts through the endless theories and speculations about Jesus. Note some of the details it gives us about him:
• Jesus was the first and only direct creation of God in heaven countless ages ago, before the angels and the physical universe. That is why he is called God’s “only-begotten Son.” All other creations were made through this Son, God’s “master worker,” in his prehuman existence.—John 3:16; 6:38; 8:58; Proverbs 8:30; Colossians 1:16.
• About 2,000 years ago, God transferred the life of Jesus to the womb of a Jewish virgin, to be born as a human. Even now, by the process of artificial insemination, humans can do something that is in some ways comparable.—Matthew 1:18; John 1:14.
• Jesus was much more than just a good man. As an adult he reflected perfectly the loving, compassionate, righteous personality of his heavenly Father, Jehovah God.—John 14:9, 10; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 4:7-11, 20, 21.
• As God’s representative on earth, Jesus cared for the needs of the poor and the oppressed, yet he did not discriminate against the wealthy. With the backing of God’s powerful holy spirit, Jesus miraculously healed the sick and even raised the dead. By doing such marvelous works, he demonstrated on a small scale what he would do earth wide after he was raised from the dead to heavenly life and became King of God’s heavenly Kingdom.—Matthew 11:4-6; Luke 7:11-17; John 11:5-45.
• That heavenly Kingdom of God is what Jesus taught his followers to pray for and to put first in their lives. “It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms [that exist today], and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” Then, the Kingdom will be earth’s only government. It is the only hope for distressed mankind.—Daniel 2:44; Matthew 6:9, 10.
• God was Jesus’ Father, and Jesus was faithful to God. Thus, when Jesus was killed, he was a perfect man. He willingly offered up his perfect life to God as a ransom sacrifice to recover what Adam lost when he rebelled against God. By doing so, Jesus opened the way to eternal life for all who exercise faith in him.—John 3:16; Romans 3:23, 24; 1 John 2:2.
• As God’s appointed heavenly King, Jesus will carry out God’s purpose to remove wickedness from the face of the earth and to uplift obedient mankind to perfection of mind and body. Mankind will then live in peace and happiness on a paradise earth, with good housing and abundant food for all. Gone forever will be sickness, sorrow, and death. Even the dead will be resurrected and have the opportunity to live forever on earth.—Genesis 1:26-28; 2:8; Psalm 37:10, 11, 29; Proverbs 2:21, 22; Isaiah 25:6; 65:21-23; Luke 23:43; Acts 24:15; Revelation 21:3, 4.
Thus, the Bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the central figure in God’s purpose to establish a new world of righteousness here on earth. Because of the vital role that he plays, Jesus could rightly say: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”—John 14:6; 2 Peter 3:13.
A Compassionate Ruler
Humble people want Jesus to be their ruler in the new world, and what a different, delightful kind of ruler he will be! One way he demonstrated this was by the amazing works of healing that he did while on earth. (Matthew 15:30, 31) But note, too, the type of ruler he will be.
Consider first the record of this world’s rulers. History shows that down through the ages, they have often been cruel and heartless, leading their people into countless wars, atrocities, inquisitions, and massacres. In this 20th century alone, well over 100 million people have been slaughtered in wars.
Contrast the attitude and record of this world’s rulers with the attitude and record of Jesus in his dealings with the poor, the downtrodden, the powerless: “On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” So he said to them: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.”—Matthew 9:36; 11:28-30.
How compassionate Jesus was toward people! In this he imitated his heavenly Father. Jesus was the personification of love, and he taught his disciples to have true, principled love for one another. They would thus not let race, nationality, economic standing, former religion, or anything else interfere with their international unity. (John 13:34, 35; Acts 10:34, 35) Indeed, Jesus loved people so much that he gave up his life for them. (Ephesians 5:25) He is the kind of ruler this world needs and will get.
Jesus Now a “Handsome” King
God’s prophetic Word helps us to understand that Jesus is now a powerful heavenly King. Of him the psalmist prophesied: “You are indeed more handsome than the sons of men. . . . In your splendor go on to success; ride in the cause of truth and humility and righteousness . . . You have loved righteousness and you hate wickedness. That is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of exultation.”—Psalm 45:2, 4, 7.
As a heavenly King anointed by God, Jesus is commissioned to go into action to express his love of righteousness and his hatred of wickedness. Thus, he is described in the Bible as an immortal conqueror, the “King of kings,” who will soon execute all of God’s enemies. Moreover, he will restore the earth to a paradise condition and uplift redeemable mankind to perfection.—Revelation 19:11-16.
The new role of Jesus will not be that of a ‘suffering Messiah’ who is taunted, beaten, and killed by opposers. Instead, his new role is that of a “Mighty God,” the ruler of the earth. (Isaiah 9:6) This is not welcome news to most human rulers, for their kingdoms will shortly be crushed out of existence, as Daniel 2:44 foretells. Using Christ as his executioner, God “will certainly break kings to pieces on the day of his anger. He will execute judgment among the nations.”—Psalm 110:5, 6.
Isaiah foretold that in doing this, Christ will “startle many nations. At him kings will shut their mouth.” Why? “Because what had not been recounted to them [by their religious confidants] they will actually see, and to what they had not heard they must turn their consideration.”—Isaiah 52:15.
‘Reaping the Whirlwind’
Isaiah was foretelling a dereliction of duty on the part of religious leaders. For instance, they do not teach Bible truth but teach their flocks unscriptural doctrines regarding eternal torment in a fiery hell, a trinity of three gods in one, and immortality of the soul—all of pagan origin. And the clergy have supported all the wars of their nations, even when it meant killing people of their own religion. This is in direct violation of God’s commandments.—1 John 2:3, 4; 3:10-12; 4:8, 20, 21.
Also, the clergy offer their flocks eye-pleasing but, in God’s eyes, meaningless religious images, clerical garb, expensive cathedrals, and paintings embellished with pagan concepts, including the halo of the sun-god. This in spite of God’s command to his servants: “Turn away, turn away, get out of there, touch nothing unclean . . . , you who are carrying the utensils of Jehovah.”—Isaiah 52:11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Those who claim to represent God but who violate his commandments and teach others to do the same will reap what they have sown. They will be judged adversely and will pay the price when this system of things is destroyed. As the prophet Hosea said, “they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”—Hosea 8:7, King James Version; see also Revelation 17:1-3, 15, 16.
Honesthearted Learn the Truth
Clerical misrepresentation of God and of Jesus will not prevent honesthearted people from learning the truth about Jesus. In the first century, it did not, for as Paul Barnett writes in The Two Faces of Jesus, “Christ is no parachutist who just dropped from the sky into history, unheralded.” Yes, back then Bible prophecy accurately ‘heralded’ the Messiah, giving his loyal disciples confirmation of his coming. Today there is much more evidence heralding the fact that Jesus has been empowered by God to reign as the glorious heavenly “King of kings.”—Matthew 24:3-13; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13.
Indeed, “this good news of the kingdom [of God with Christ as ruler] will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) That is being done by Jehovah’s Witnesses, who number well over five million throughout the world. So those who want to know the real Jesus can surely do so. (John 10:14; 1 John 5:20) And both knowing and obeying him are vital for survival through “the great tribulation” soon to sweep the earth.—Revelation 7:9-14; John 17:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10.
Jehovah’s Witnesses would be delighted, therefore, to help you to examine the Bible’s appealing portrait of the Son of God.
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Christ in Kingdom power will wipe out wickedness
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Under the loving rule of Christ, this earth will become a paradise