Which Christ Do You Worship?
Having a Vision of the Exalted
by Tom Brown
Your vision of Christ will affect the way you live.
For example, if you have a vision of Christ as the humble,
poor man from Galilee, then you will imitate Him. You too will
believe that God wants you poor. On the other hand, if you have a
vision of the crucified Christ, then you will live a crucified
lifefilled with sin-consciousness.
I believe that those visions of Christ are inadequate because
they dont tell the complete story. The reason is because
Christ is no longer the poor man from Galilee, and He is not the
Lamb on the cross anymore. No, friend, Jesus Christ is now
exalted to the right hand of God the Father, and He is Lord of
So why does your present vision of Christ affect the way you
live? Consider 1 John 4:17:
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have
boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we
in this world. (KJV)
Notice that this Scripture says, as he is, so are we in
this world. It does not say as He was, but as He is.
Do you see the ramifications of the vision you have of Christ?
You will imitate the Christ you worship.
Poor Man from Galilee
People that are against the message of prosperity eventually
point out how the Scriptures portray Christ as poor.
They say, "He had no where to lay his head. He lived off
of the donations of others. He didnt have much."
Im not interested in arguing the point of whether or not
Christ was rich on this earth. For sure, as far as His condition
prior to the incarnation, definitely, in comparison to His state
in heaven, yes, He was poor on this earth. But you see, we are
not called to imitate the lowly man from Galilee.
Many try to follow Christ pattern as the Gospels portray
Him. This is why monasteries were built, and vows of poverty
became norm. What were many trying to do by joining monasteries
and vowing poverty? They believed that they imitated the Christ
they saw in the Scriptures. Unfortunately, they imitated, not the
exalted Christ at Gods right hand, but the Christ in
Unfortunately, As Christ was, so are they in this world.
The Crucified Christ
There are those in the body of Christ, who go past the earthly
ministry of Christ and come to the cross. Their vision of Christ
is on the cross. Yes, Christ died on the cross for our sins, but
our vision of Christ should not be Him on the cross. Hes
not there anymore.
Yet, you can visit homes all over the world and see crucifixes
decorating walls. This seems to be the picture of Christ of many.
So whats wrong with that? It produces a sin-consciousness,
guilt, shame, and condemnation in so many sincere followers.
At the cross, Jesus took your sin and guilt. If you envision a
crucified Christ youll feel guilt and shame.
Have you ever seen a movie or play about Christ, and when
its time for the scene of the crucifixion, is your heart
filled with pain and guilt when you see the sufferings of Christ?
My heart breaks every time I see a portrayal of the crucifixion.
Yet, imagine having that vision in your home everyday. No wonder
the church is filled with shame and guilt. For sure, you should
remember the crucifixion, but move on to the victory.
I talked to a man who said to me, "I just dont
believe in the message of you faith ministers. You talk about
living in victory and abundance. Well, Ill tell you what I
believe. I believe in living a crucified life, not a successful
life. Im a cross man!"
I disagree. Im not a cross man, Im a throne
man! Thats the difference.
In this world you will become like the Christ you worship. If
you see Him on the cross, then you will try to live a crucified
life, but if, like me, you see Him on the throne, then you will
live a throne life.
Someone might say, "What do you do with the Scriptures
about taking up your cross?"
Christ on a Journey
Matthew 6:24 says,
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would
come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and
Jesus said to take up the cross and follow me.
"Follow me" is a favorite phrase of Christ. The word
for "follow" is the Greek word akoloutheo. It
literally means to accompany on the same road. It implies a
In other words, Jesus was saying, Come on the same journey
with me. In this journey Im taking up the cross, so follow
me there to the cross, and take up your cross like Me. You
see, while Christ was on the earth, He was on a journey. He was
moving toward a destiny. The destiny was the throne. To get
there, though, Jesus had to go to the cross.
He told His disciples that they were going to the cross as
well. But He was not staying at the cross. The cross was
transitory. It was the path to the throne.
Today, Christ is not on a journey. He completed the journey.
This is why the Hebrew writer says that "Christ sat
down." He finished His journey. Hes arrived!
In the Epistles, the call is never to "follow"
Christ. The word in the Epistles is mimetes. It means
imitate. Sometimes translators translate this word as follow.
It means different than the way Christ meant it.
An example of this word is in 1 Corinthians 11:1:
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
The word follow is the Greek word mimetes, it
means mimic or imitate. It does not mean to accompany on the same
road. Nowhere in the Epistles is there ever any call to take up
the cross. That call was exclusively to the Apostles, and was in
affect until the ascension.
I Have Been Crucified
Now youve begun to understand Galatians 2:20:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live
by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for
I have been crucified with Christ, not I am
crucified. Its true that the King James Version translates
the phrase in the present tense. Perhaps the translators still
saw themselves on the cross. However, the literal Greek is in the
I am not crucified with Christ anymore. I have already taken
up my cross. Ive been to Calvary. I was there in the mind
of God with Christ on the cross. But I continued with Christ on
His journey to paradise. I still followed Him to hell. From there
I journeyed with Him to the dungeon where the spirits were
banished in Noahs generation (see 1 Peter 4:19-20). I was
there in the tomb where Christ rose. I rose with Him. I followed
Him to Galilee where He ascended into heaven. I went up into
heaven with Him. And now I am seated with Him in heaven as
You might say, "Pastor Brown, where did you get all this
from? This sounds far fetched."
I got it right out of the Bible. Ephesians 2:4-6:
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich
in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in
transgressionsit is by grace you have been saved. And
God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the
heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
You are identified with Christ. You died with Christ,
you were made alive with Christ, you were raised up
with Christ, and you were seated with Christ in heavenly
realms. Cant you see it? You journeyed with Christ
until you arrived at the throne.
Do you see yourself on the throne? Or do you see yourself on
the cross? It cant be both.
What vision do you have of Christ? Christ on the throne, or
Christ on the cross? Your vision will affect the way you live.
You can live on the cross and suffer shame and guilt, or you can
reign on the throne and experience victory.
The Lamb on the Throne
John had a vision of Christ as the Lamb. But the Lamb was not
where you would expect Him to beon the cross. No, the Lamb
was on the throne. He writes:
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain,
standing in the center of the throne... (Revelation 5:6)
The Church gives an incomplete picture when she portrays the
Redeemer at the cross. No, the Church must preach that the
Redeemer is at the throne. And He beckons His followers to come
to the throne with Him.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with
me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my
Father on his throne. (Rev 3:21)
Do you see it? Christ had overcome. He overcame the cross,
sin, and shame. He is now on the throne. Only overcomers can sit
with Christ. Are you willing to be an overcomer and sit with
Christ, or are you satisfied hanging on a cross? Do you want to
go up higher or stay below?
Live as an overcomer, and rule and reign in life with Christ!
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