In the Old Testament, the Lord had three offices that He set up in leadership for His people - they were the offices of prophet, priest, and king. The representatives of all three of these offices were anointed, and all three pictured the Messiah (the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek term Christ - the Anointed One) who was to come. Through these offices, He revealed Himself to His people. These three offices not only pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ, but were all completely fulfilled in Him.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
In Scripture, a testimony about something was believed and accepted if there were two or three witnesses that declared it. In these three offices, we have the authoritative declaration of their offices, and the Messiah who would come to fulfill all three offices in Himself.
In this light, it is interesting to note Jesus' threefold testimony/witness of Himself in Matthew 12 (please read surrounding verses for the context):
1) Jesus is greater than the office of the prophets, and their witness pointed to Him:
Matthew 12:39-41 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
Deuteronomy 18:15-18 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Jesus is that Prophet that was foretold:
Acts 3:20-24 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Acts 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
2) Jesus is greater than the office of the Old Testament priests, and their witness pointed to Him:
Matthew 12:5-6 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. (Ie. the Temple being the place where the priests ministered to the people.)
1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.
Jesus is that Priest that was foretold:
Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Hebrews 7:21, 24-28 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)... But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
Jesus is is the fulfillment of the type of the Aaronic priesthood, and the Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
3) Jesus is greater than the office of the kings, and their witness pointed to Him:
Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
1 Chronicles 17:11-14 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
Jesus is that King that was foretold:
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Matthew 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
1 Timothy 6:13-16 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Revelation 19:6, 11-16 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.... And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Jesus is the Faithful Witness - the Prophet that was foretold - the one that all the prior prophets pointed towards. (See Hebrews 1:2.)
Jesus is the First Begotten From The Dead - the High Priest - the one that all the OT priests were just a type and a shadow - the one that would be the Only Mediator between God and men; the True Priest that represented God to men and men to God, and fulfilled that by offering Himself wholly upon the altar as the sacrifice for our sins.
Jesus is the Prince Of The Kings Of The Earth - the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Prince here means "the first (in rank or power)." He is the Most High King, the greatest King that would ever live - and He lives and reigns forever!
Zechariah 6:12-13 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Jesus, in appealing to the three main authorities of the Old Testament, established that He was so much better and greater than those three witnesses - and that He Himself is Prophet, Priest, and King.
"[Jesus] has already fulfilled His role as prophet, He is now fulfilling His role as priest (He accomplished the Aaronic priesthood on Calvary - and is now performing the Melchizedek in the Holy of holies in Heaven) - and His future role as King will begin with the Millennial Kingdom." - statement posted online by a friend.
(Lyrics: John Mason)
I’ve found the Pearl of greatest price,
My heart doth sing for joy;
And sing I must, for Christ is mine!
Christ shall my song employ.
Christ is my Prophet, Priest, and King;
My Prophet full of light,
My great High Priest before the throne,
My King of heav’nly might.
For He indeed is Lord of lords,
And He the King of kings;
He is the Sun of Righteousness,
With healing in His wings.
Christ is my Peace; He died for me,
For me He shed His blood;
And as my wondrous Sacrifice,
Offered Himself to God.
Christ Jesus is my All in all,
My Comfort and my Love,
My Life below, and He shall be
My Joy and Crown above.
My Christ, He is the Tree of Life
Which in God's garden grows;
Whose fruits do feed, whose leaves do heal;
My Christ is Sharon’s Rose.
Christ is my Meat, Christ is my Drink,
My Medicine and Health;
My Peace, my Strength, my Joy, my Crown,
My Glory, and my Wealth.
My Saviour is the Heaven of Heavens,
And what shall I Him call?
My Christ is First, my Christ is Last,
My Christ is All in All.
(Hymn taken in part from the website linked above, and partly from two other sources.)
I just love how the Lord guides! I finished the study, and then was looking for a poem to post on my poetry blog - and I found this hymn in my saved emails. Did an online search and found many more verses to it. What a tremendous blessing!