Immanuel (also see Christmas 2014 sermon)
Matthew 28:18-20 (Pastor Heo)
The Great Commission (Final will and command of our King, God, Lord, Savior – the command of a king is not optional, but absolute. We MUST obey this mandate.)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Our Lord Jesus is a King, the King of Kings. So, he has authority to use POWER.
Matthew stresses Jesus’ authority – shown through
- his teaching and healing –
- authority over Satan,
- spiritual beings,
- ALL authority (in heaven and on earth)
So we can obey him without fear – in whatever circumstances and situations we find ourselves. By his death and resurrection, he defeated ALL enemies and won ALL authority.
He is a missionary king. Christianity is a missionary faith – God’s character demands it = “God is love and desires that no men perish, but all come to a saving knowledge of his Son…”
If we knew that, we would also want to go out and tell all the world this good news.
In this Great Commission, Jesus says, “Go out and make disciples.”
What is a disciple? Biblically:
A disciple is a Christian who is making disciples who can make more disciples… (Twitter)
- First step = commit my life to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
- This disciple who makes other disciples will be able to fully experience the 4 dimensions of Immanuel ( “God is with us” ).
The book of Matthew = the book of Immanuel.
- Chapter 1 “All this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and they shall call him “Immanuel” which means “God with us.”’”
- The final sentence “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age” is another view of Immanuel.
So, the book of Matthew = begins with Immanuel and ends with Immanuel.
The whole Bible is a book of Immanuel – a book of World Missions.
In the Bible, there are 5 kinds of Immanuel (Christmas sermon 2014 also explains these):
These are the same in human language, but different in meaning and effect:
In the WHOLE BIBLE, 5 types (many hours of study compressed into 25 minutes):
Immanuel = God is With Us / God is With Me
#1: One-dimensional = Immanuel applied to all Creation of God (living and unliving things – humans and non-humans) –
- Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God is creator, sustainer, and keeper of ALLLLLLL Creation.
- Eph 4:6 “There is one God”
The Bible makes this clear “There is only ONE God who is over all, through all, and IN all.” He is omnipresent – he feeds the birds, he grows the plants. Not even one things falls to the ground without the permission of God.
Heb 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being – he is sustaining all things with his powerful Word.” Why is the SUN up in the air? Because Jesus is ACTIVELY sustaining it. (Sidenote: some of us may have too SMALL an understanding of God)
#2: 2D = Immanuel applied to ALL human beings (good and bad) – God is with ALL people Christian and non-Christian.
- Psalm 139:7-9 “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the mountain, if I go to the depths, you are already there.”
God sends his rain to the Christians AND the non-Christians. Yes, even though the non-Christians do not recognize that God is with them, YET he is with them. This is the “General Grace” of God – to ALL human beings.
#3: 3D = Immanuel applied to Christians (children of God – believers – penitent humans who’ve confessed Christ as Savior and Lord).
Jesus himself says his nickname is Immanuel (John 10:20?) “I give you eternal life – you will never perish – no one can snatch you out of my Father’s hand.”
- Heb 13:5 “Keep yourself free from the love of money – keep yourself content with what you have for God has (promised) “NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.””
- “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Nothing in all Creation. In all these things we are MORE than conquerors.” (Romans 8:38~)
This is Immanuel given to only born again Christians – the children of God. This is:
- eternal life,
- intimate fellowship/relationship with God,
- perseverance of the saints.
We are safe and secure in Christ based on not what I did, but based on what Christ did on the cross.
#5 (skip 4 for now) = Cannot be experienced in this world – this is YET TO COME.
This is the Immanuel (God with us) which true Christians will experience in the literal heaven with God for eternity.
- 1 Thes “The Lord Jesus Christ will come down from heaven with the cry of the archangel and a loud trumpet sound and the dead in Christ will rise first, and then those who are alive in Christ will be caught up with him in the air and we will be with him forever more.”
This is the FIFTH dimensional Immanuel which we will enjoy in heaven eternally.
What is the meaning of this Immanuel?
We will SEE God face to face, we will reign with Christ as co-heirs with him, we will share his victory. Absolutely we cannot experience this kind of Immanuel with these physical bodies – so we will be changed into heavenly bodies with him.
There is no more crying, no more troubles, pain, cancer, suffering, death.
#4: 4D (*What time is it now?) = this is the promise and guarantee that Jesus is mentioning in this final verse “And surely I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS to the very END OF THE AGE.” (this is not the eternal 5D Immanuel)
This type of Immanuel is only available in THIS world. He will no longer be available to us in the next age (heaven).
So, you can see how this one word “Immanuel” is the same in language, but TOTALLY different in meaning.
- God is with Creation
- God is with humans
- God is with believers
- God is with disciple-makers (functional, conditional)
- God is with believer IN HEAVEN
- #1,2,3,5 are immutable, unconditional
- #4 = conditional – make disciples and THEN I am with you
Remember Moses and Joshua?
Already, Moses had been enjoying Immanuel with him – then God called Moses to free the Israelites in the Exodus “I will be with you”
Before this, he was afraid (and 80 years old) “No, no, who am I that I should do this? I can’t.” God promised “I will be with you.”
Not only in the OT, but also the NT, the BEST BLESSING AND GUARANTEE is “I will be with you.” (Immanuel)
Joshua = Moses’ successor
God was with Joshua at least 40 years. Joshua was enjoying Immanuel God with him but when God called him to conquer Canaan, God gave him the promise of Immanuel again “I will be with you. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you through ALL the days of your life.”
So, what is the difference?
THIS promise of Immanuel is for:
- Mission, ministry, service
This is the promise of Jesus in Matthew 28, the Great Commission.
To Moses = the promise that “you will be like a god” before Pharaoh, before the people, before your brother = you will be MY agent (as long as you carry out your mission, my power will be manifest through you and shown outwardly) THIS is the 4D Immanuel.
“All authority has been given to me. THEREFORE, go and make disciples of all nations.” (And MY authority will be manifested through you).
Moses performed at least 10 miracles before coming out of Egypt – then he made the sea part, then water came out of rocks (twice).
Who performed these miracles?
- God performed the miracles through Moses.
- Moses performed the miracles BY God.
“Go and make disciples of all nations and surely I AM WITH YOU to the very end of the age.”
Thank you for coming today. Now, GO – make disciples.
This is the Great Commission (the Great Command) of our King.
May God bless all of us with this 4D Immanuel. Let us all recognize further, more and more, how GOD IS WITH US.