What’s in a name, and title?
When we observe the title Judge in front of a person’s name, what image does that project about the person? Titles reveal a great deal about a person. The same judge mentioned above, may also be a professor at a university, same person, different title; two offices, one man, each title giving us a clue to his work and qualifications.
So, it is with Jesus the Christ. The name Jesus, and office of Christ reveal a great deal about our Lord. Have you ever asked yourself, why is the name Jesus at times used without Christ attached, and why Christ is used without the proper name Jesus attached? Yet at times we see them joined together. There is a very clear and specific reason for this.
Let’s begin with both the proper name of Jesus, and the office of Christ that He alone claims. The title of the book is, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ."
What emphasis is placed upon the proper name of our Lord? First it makes us aware of the person under discussion; the book is a revealing of Jesus the Christ and Him alone. Everything points to Him, flows from Him and ends with Him.
In this name Jesus, we are introduced to His first office, that of Savior. The name Joshua in Hebrew, is Jesus in English, and used mostly in the narrative of the Gospels, and rarely appears in any direct personal address.
After His introduction, the book moves on to the churches, revealing Jesus correction, and chastening to the church. In His own words, we are made aware of His patience; His blessings and justice. In the chapters that follow, we are made aware of His judgments, and finally the glories of His kingdom are revealed to us.
What importance does the name Jesus have when used alone, and what does it mean when the title Christ is added to His name Jesus? Jesus and Christ are mentioned together for the first time in Matt.1:1.
Jesus is the Savior, Savior of what? His claim is that He alone is the Savior of the world. As Savior, Christian's are brought into a spiritual union with Him. In Him is our incentive to holy living, and the promise of the transformation of our bodies. We wait patiently for His return and for the fulfillment of all things written in this book.
Christ means, the "Anointed one." He was anointed, meaning sealed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism. At the river Jordan a miraculous event occurred, and was witnessed by many. Jesus was sealed by the Holy Spirit as Messiah. In this there can be no mistake, no opportunity for anyone other than Jesus to make, and prove this claim. The nail prints in His hands also mark His physical person as the Christ, the suffering servant; anointed of God, and marked by man.
As teacher, Jesus had a message for His disciples and for us today, "Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ."
The title Christ is often emphasized with the definite article "The," which gives emphasis to the phrase, "The promised Messiah." He is the Anointed One. He alone represents His people as King, High Priest, and Prophet.
In Rev.2, John reminds us that the angel sent by God, joined with John's own eye-witness, and that of the Holy Spirit bear record of this testimony of Jesus Christ. There shall be no further Revelations concerning Jesus Christ, and no future eye-witness will come forward concerning His crucifixion and resurrection.
Rev.1:5, speaks of Jesus Christ as being the “faithful witness”, “the first begotten of the dead”, and “the Prince of the kings of the earth.” Here we have three more offices of our Lord.
The first reveals Jesus, as the "The faithful witness" implying that He shall speak the truth concerning Himself, of His future mission, and what lies ahead for the Church and for those who reject his finished work.
Secondly Jesus is referred to as, "The first begotten of the dead.” The man Lazarus was raised from the dead to die again, Lazarus being raised was to confirm who the Lord was, also the power and authority that stands behind him. Jesus was raised from the grave, to die no more. He is the first fruits of the resurrection unto the Father. He left for us proof, a surety of what the future holds for all believers in Him.
Matt.27:52-53, "The graves (of the dead) were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose --- after his (own) resurrection." These are the first-fruits unto Jesus Christ and of the Father.
Jesus tomb was not the womb that gave birth to His resurrection, "He (the Father) hath raised up Jesus again." With Rom.1:4, "And He, (Jesus) declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the (Holy) Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." This fulfilled O.T. Scriptures,
Ps.2:7, “I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten you.”
Lastly, Jesus is called, "The Prince of the kings of the earth." He is the ruler of this world, He waiting for the world to be made his footstool. Remember how Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness? The devil took Jesus to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory. He said to him, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."
The kings of the earth have and continue to conspire against the Father's anointed. This fulfilling,
Ps.2:2, "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD (the Father), and against His anointed."
After Rev.1:9, the proper name Jesus and the title Christ are not found in the letter to the seven churches, and not seen until Rev.11:15, and 12:17.
So why is the name and title Jesus and Christ not found in the letter to the churches?
One would think as Savior His name would be seen often in the letter to the churches. So, by what title, and by what means does He speak to the 7 churches?
He speaks to the 7 churches overall as, "The Almighty," not as the Christ. John said His eyes were as flames of fire, he sees and knows all things; “His feet like fine brass, burning in a furnace and comes as one who will refine, or burn away all the works of men.
So, from whom are we instructed, and to whom do the seven churches of Revelation have to answer? it’s the Almighty!
Jesus promised us, John 14:16, "I (Jesus) will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter." With ver.26, "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost (Spirit,) whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance."
John 16:13, “He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever He (the Holy Spirit) shall hear, that shall He speak.”
To cut to the heart of the matter, what He was saying is, "When I leave you, I will send my Holy Spirit to you, and He shall guide you in all things. And now it’s up to each of you to read, to hear, and to believe by faith, the things done by myself at the cross, and to have the hope of my return and of resurrection."
When we receive the things of God, we shall be sealed by God's Holy Spirit, and He will "bring all things to our remembrance" this being the key thought. I am sure when John was released from Patmos he had made clear to others the meaning of his visions. But it appears time has cast its shadow over the things written in it. Yet the truth lies within its pages, all we need to do is search for them!