For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
The Law Administration comes to a close with the life and ministry of John the Baptist. Israel remains under the Law but the Law Administration comes to a close. The transition into the Christ Administration is both John and Jesus ministering at the same time. John came baptizing with water but Jesus came to baptize with spirit and with fire.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
There is a principle stated with this transition that applies to every transition, as the new administration is coming into being the old administration must pass away.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
As the new administration or age comes on the scene the former administration must decrease and come to a close. The transition helps man adjust to the current step in God’s plan of salvation and redemption. If man walks into the Patriarchal Administration thinking everything will be as it was in the Garden of Eden then he will soon die. If someone born in the Patriarchal Administration is still living after Moses has received the law from God, he needs to know that there is now a written standard for living life. If the religious leaders and the general population had believed the scrolls of the law they held tightly in their hands, they would have received their King, The Christ, The Living Word of God. If Christ is not the point of transition from the Christ Administration to the Revealing Administration then the people of Israel walk into the darkest days on earth blindly and unprepared. John came to baptize with water and Jesus begins to baptize in the Revealing Administration with spirit but only after he has prepared his followers to receive spirit.
Jesus opens his ministry with the words that best describe his daily life and lifestyle.
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
“It is written.”
Every day, every moment of the day, Jesus did the will of God. Jesus made the deliberate decision to follow the will of God rather than his own will. There was no automatic pilot or cruise control so that he could just sit back and relax. He had to make the decision to obey God every moment of every day.
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Abraham believed God. Moses believed God. Mary believed God. But Jesus believed God completely and entirely.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,…
The context is believing, with a further context of witnesses or examples. The witnesses are those men and women that believed God in chapter eleven. The Greek word translated faith is pistis. Lexicons define this Greek word with the English words “believe, or believing, or belief.” You can call this faith if you desire, as long as you understand that the Greek word pistis means to believe. The reason I say this is because the way some have described the word faith has left nothing but confusion and vague generalizations.
Believing is simple. We do it all day every day of our lives. We believe a chair will hold our weight and so we sit down without concern, without doubts. We believe our cars will start and so we put the key in the ignition and turn it. We believe in things we see and we believe in things we cannot see. We believe flipping this switch will send electricity to a light bulb across the room. Most believe the air we breathe will fill our lungs and bring life to our bodies and so we inhale without fear. Others fear things in the air and so they wear masks, air filters so the air won’t harm their bodies.
Believing is simple, we do it every day. The problem with mankind is that almost all of what we believe has nothing to do with God or directly contradicts what God has clearly stated.
As a society we believe in the goodness of man and that directly contradicts the Word of God. As a culture we believe we can bring peace to earth through that goodness we mistakenly believe is in all of us. Some believe our species was placed on this planet by ancient astronauts, others believe a glob of ooze was struck by lightning and we developed.
We receive information into our minds, once received we decide if it is true or false and so we believe accordingly. If we deem the information false we will reject it. Believing is that simple. Lining our believing up with the words of God’s is the challenge. Before Jesus could declare “It is written” he had to first read the words of God, he had to know God’s will. Before we can believe God we must first know His will.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our [the word our is in no text] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
No man had ever believed God from beginning to end, all the way through his life. Adam started in believing but then lost his focus on God exchanging it for the lies God’s enemy brought into the world. All men after Adam are born with the sin nature Adam passed down through his blood; all men except Jesus. Jesus is the only man since Adam that has had the power to believe God from the beginning unto the end.
All of Adam’s descendants are born with a sin nature and that nature is the enemy of God. It is impossible for a person with sin nature to believe God from beginning to end, to take every step upon the words of God, to live “It is written” all the days of his life. That is why God declared, concerning His plan of redemption, back in Genesis 3 that it would be the “seed of the woman” when women do not have seed.
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
A virgin shall conceive and that is what we call a miracle. A man, in this case Joseph, was not involved in the conception of Jesus. It was God who fertilized the egg within Mary’s womb that developed into the child Jesus.
Which were [literally should be translated who was] born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
God did the fertilization of this one egg.
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
What exactly does it mean that God fertilized the egg within Mary? What difference is there between the birth of the descendants of Adam and this one child of Mary?
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
We are partakers of “flesh and blood” but Jesus only “took part” of the same. This verse lays out for us the difference between being a descendant of Adam and God fertilizing the egg in Mary. The Greek word translated partakers is koinoneo and it means to share fully, to share one hundred percent in a thing. All of mankind shares fully in the flesh and blood of our father Adam. While the Greek word used for took part is meteko and it means to share in only a part or portion.
Jesus had flesh just like you and me but his blood was different from ours. His blood didn’t carry the corruption carried in the bloodline due to Adam’s sin. Jesus had pure blood, his bloodline was perfect. (For greater detail on this subject see Perfection to Corruption).
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Jesus was the Lamb of God, just like the Passover Sacrifice and like that sacrifice, the blood of Jesus was without spot and without blemish because during his life time he always obeyed God, he remained sinless by virtue of his obedience. This new bloodline placed Jesus on the same scale as Adam, both having pure blood, both having a perfect physical or natural nature verses our sin nature.
Adam accepted directions from Eve and disobeyed God. Jesus accepted directions from others, as in Matthew 8:7-8, but only those directions that were in line with the words and will of God. Eve dealt with the Devil one on one. Jesus dealt with the Devil one on one. Eve considered what the Devil had to say while Jesus responded with “It is written”.
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Jesus makes this statement toward the end of his earthly ministry. He is saying that the Devil has nothing on him because he did not sin. After Adam, because mankind now has a sin nature, man is under the authority of the Devil, authority given to him by Adam. But the Devil had no authority over Jesus because he was not under sin. His sinless life showed Israel the full meaning of the feast of Unleavened Bread, just as his perfect blood showed Israel the fullness of the Passover sacrifice.
1 Peter 1:19
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Jesus began his life with pure blood and because he always did the will of His Father no corruption had the opportunity to enter into his life.
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
With every action taken, with every word spoken Jesus obeyed the will of God. He believed God from the very beginning unto the end when he declared, “it is finished”.