Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who Is Jesus?

There are many ideas about who Jesus was and is; sad to say, most ideas presented fall far short of who the real Jesus is as presented in the Scriptures. Almost every popular doctrinal stance embellishes on the revealed Word to make Jesus to be some one he never claimed to be. The apostle Paul spoke of some in his day who were, in effect, preaching another Jesus, that is, they were preaching Jesus, but not the truth about Jesus. Nor can we in this day when Satan and his demons are working miracles so as to deceive, if possible, the elect (Matthew 24:24; Revelation 13:14; 16:14; 19:20), expect that, simply because a miracle occurs, that we have found the true Jesus in the message of the worker of miracles who might be doing miracles in Jesus' name. (Matthew 7:22) Indeed, many heathen who do not believe in Jesus at all claim miracles performed in the name(s) of their gods or idols.

It is recorded that Jesus once asked his disciples: "Who do men say that I am?" He got a reply, that some thought him to be John the Baptist risen from the dead; that others considered him to be Elijah risen from the dead, and others thought of him as being perhaps one of the other Prophets. Then came the point of the question: "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus admitted the correctness of this, saying, "You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven." -- Matthew 16:13-17; Mark 8:27-30.

Afterwards, Jesus began to explain to the beloved Twelve the experiences that lay before him -- how the Kingdom would be formally proffered to the Jews, and how through their representatives, the Elders, the chief priests, they would reject Him; how he would be killed, and after three days rise again. This, of course, is not what the Jewish populace in general had expected of Messiah. So what would be the reactions of the disciples concerning this description of Jesus' own expectations concerning himself? -- Mark 8:31; Matthew 16:21.

He made the statement about His death very emphatic, and the disciples clearly understood it. Perhaps they were disappointed, considered it a disgrace upon the Messiah to take such a view of the future, and a disgrace also upon the apostles, because if Jesus had such expectations it would modify and regulate his course, and soon disaster would come to him, and the dashing of all their hopes which he had inculcated -- hopes of sitting with him in his throne, etc.

Doubtless all of the apostles were disappointed, but only Peter had the courage to express himself, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you." In effect, Peter was saying: You will, we all know, as the Messiah, attain the throne of Israel and thus eventually the throne of the world, and bring blessing to the whole human race; and as you have promised, we will be with you in your throne. -- Matthew 16:22; Mark 8:32.

In this course Peter was opposing the Divine will and plan, of which the death of Jesus was the very center or hub, from which would radiate all the fulfillments of all the various promises -- to the Church first, to Israel next, and finally to all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues. Jesus perceived that these influences were striving to hinder his consummation of his sacrifice, even as Satan tried to do in the beginning of his consecration. To make the matter very emphatic he said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men." Then He began to make clear to his followers what had not been "food in due season" to give them before, in such plain terms, namely, that whoever desired to be counted in with him in any part of his work must realize that it would cost him all that he possessed of an this world's affections; he must deny himself, take up his stauros and follow him.

The great question of nineteen centuries ago is the great question of today! Who is Jesus? If, as some claim, he was merely a good man, a most able teacher, then he was not the promised Messiah, for the promises concerning the Messiah showed that, although he was the embodiment of all the qualities of what man would consider to be "good man", he was more, much more. To be the Christ, He must have been "the man Christ Jesus," who gave Himself a ransom price for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5,6.) And this signifies that he must have been, not of ordinary birth, but extraordinary, born from above, because if born in the ordinary course of nature he would be like others of Adam's sons, subject to the sentence of death, and hence unable to save either himself or others. But Jesus was the Christ (which means Anointed One), the one sent by God, who left the glory he had with his God, the only true God (John 17:1,3,5), and was made flesh, with the glory of a sinless man, that he might "taste death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9) Thus, we see him as the great redeemer (deliverer, repurchaser) of the world, whose death was necessary as a ransom, or corresponding price, to secure the release of mankind from the death sentence and to make possible the resurrection of Adam and his race. -- Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.
Where can we go to find out the truth about who Jesus was and is? God has revealed his truths by means of his holy spirit through the apostles. God, by means of his holy spirit, especially led the apostles into all the truths concerning Christ and what he said. (John 14:26; 16:4-13; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:2) The truths revealed to the apostles and made available to us are recorded in the Bible itself. (Ephesians 3:3-12; Colossians 1:25,26; 1 John 4:6) Of course, without the holy spirit, these things that are recorded will still be a mystery to us. -- Mark 4:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10.

Part of the truth revealed by means of the holy spirit was that there was to be an apostasy, a "falling away" from the truth of God's Word, with strong delusions. (Matthew 13:24-30; Acts 20:29,30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3,4) This falling away had already begun in the first century. With some receiving a different spirit and preaching "another Jesus"; the apostasy was restrained for only a short while. (2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 2:18,19; 2 Corinthians 11:4) The apostasy spread rapidly after the death the apostles and developed into the great "Man of Sin", or more correctly "Lawless Man", or "Illegal Man", a great religious system, which claimed to have the authority to add to God's Word since their revelation was allegedly of God's Spirit. The central doctrine became the false teaching that Jesus had to be God Almighty in order to provide atonement for sins. With this spirit of error in mind, the writings of the apostles were totally reinterpreted to accommodate the error, and many of the Hellenic Jewish philosophies, as well as other pagan philosophies, were adapted and added to and blended in with the New Testament, even as the Jews had done with the Old Testament.

Isaiah, in prophesying concerning the stone of stumbling (Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:23) to both the houses of Israel (Romans 9:6,31; 11:7; 1 Corinthians 10:18; Galatians 6:16), warns us: "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20, New King James Version) The "law", of course, is what we call the Old Testament; the "testimony" of this prophecy is the testimony of the apostles, as given in the New Testament. This the way to test the spirits. (1 John 4:1) It is to these and through these scriptures that the holy spirit today gives true direction, and anything not in agreement with these scriptures is not of the light of the day. (John 11:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:5) The distortion of who Jesus truly was and is -- who while on earth before his death was only human, and yet he was a human who had never fallen short of the glory of God. Having the sinless glory of a human he was a little lower than the angels, the man gave his flesh for the life of the world. The teaching that Jesus is the Supreme Being, however, is one of the greatest stumblingblocks to understanding the true Gospel revealed in scripture. Thus Jesus becomes a stumbling stone, not only to the house according the flesh which was corrupted from true doctrine (Israel after the flesh -- Luke 13:25-28; Romans 9:30-33), but also the house which claims Jesus, which has also become corrupted from true doctrine through spiritual fornication. -- Matthew 27:21-23; Revelation 2:13-15,20-24.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Yahweh (Jehovah) is the only true God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. Jesus has One who is the Supreme Being over him; we find nothing in the Scriptures where any Bible writer claimed that Jesus was the only true Supreme Being. We do find that Jesus worshiped, prayed to, and and was sent by this only true Supreme Being, and whose will he carried out in willful obedience. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is the firstborn creature, existing with his God and Father (whom he identifies as "the only true God") before the world of mankind was made. -- John 1:1,10; 6:62; 17:1,3,5; Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus was sent by Yahweh, speaks for Yahweh, represents Yahweh, and was raised and glorified by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus never claimed to be, nor do the scriptures present Jesus as, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The scriptures presents Jesus as being sent by and representing the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 22:32; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; 12:26; Luke 13:35; 20:37; John 3:2,17,32-35; 4:34; 5:19,30,36,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; 20:17; Acts 2:22,34-36; 3:13,22; 5:30; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 8:6; 11:31; Colossians 1:3,15; 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:1.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus receives his inheritance and dominion (power) from Yahweh. His power and authority is given to him by his God, his Supreme Being. His God and Father, the only true God, is the One who gives him this dominion, all authority and power (with the evident exception of the only true God himself -- 1 Corinthians 15:27), yet the exercise of this power and authority by Jesus is all to the praise of Yahweh, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. The Bible writers never claimed that Jesus is the ultimate "source" of his own power. -- Psalm 2:6-8; 45:7; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; 11:2; 42:1; 61:1-3; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14; Matthew 12:28; 28:28; Luke 1:32; 4:14,18; 5:17; John 3:34; 5:19,27,30; 10:18,36-38; Acts 2:22; 10:38; Romans 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:27; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Colossians 1:15,16; 2:10; Ephesians 1:17-22; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:2,4,6,9; 1 Peter 3:22.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is anointed [made christ, the anointed one] by Yahweh, the only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel. Jesus never claimed to be his God and Father, Yahweh, the only true God, who sanctified and who sent Jesus into the world of mankind. -- Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; John 10:36; 17:1,3,5; Acts 2:36; 4:27; 10:38.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is son of the only Most High, Yahweh. Jesus is never spoken of as the "Most High"; he is not the only Most High Yahweh of whom he is the son. -- Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is given the power of life in himself from Yahweh. Jesus is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who gave him this power. -- 1 Samuel 2:6; Psalm 36:9; John 5:21,25-29.

God, by means of his holy spirit, through the scriptures reveals that Jesus is the servant of Yahweh, and was such before he was sanctified and sent into the world of mankind; he is not Yahweh whom he serves. -- Isaiah 42:1; 53:11; Matthew 12:18; John 1:10; 3:16,17; 5:30,36; 6:38,44; 8:29,38,42; 10:36; 13:16; 17:3; Acts 4:27,30; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 10:5; 1 John 4:9,10.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals that Yahweh has made Jesus to sit at the right hand of Yahweh, the only true God, after God raised and exalted Jesus. -- Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-40; Luke 20:39-47; Acts 2:34; Ephesians 1:20-22; Hebrews 1:3,13; 10:12,13; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22.

The scriptural conclusion is that God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, through his holy spirit, is telling us that Jesus is not Yahweh whom Jesus worships (serves as a servant, prays to) as his God. -- Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20; Isaiah 42:1; 53:11; Matthew 4:10; 12:18; 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 4:8; John 13:16; 17:1,3; 20:27; Acts 4:27,30; Hebrews 1:9; Revelation 2:7; 3:12.

Jesus is never described as the father of Jesus, and Yahweh is never described as the son of Yahweh. The term "everlasting father" in Isaiah 9:6, if this should be applied to Jesus, does describe Jesus' role toward mankind that he purchased, and of whom he has become father as the second or "last Adam." (Romans 5:15-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22,45,47; Psalm 45:16) Jesus came in the name of Yahweh his God and Father. (Deuteronomy 18:15,18; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; John 3:2,17; 5:19,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; Hebrews 1:1,2; Revelation 1:1) Yahweh never came in the name of any other than himself; thus, since there is none higher, he swore by himself. -- Hebrews 6:13.

The name given to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 is probably describing the God and Father of Jesus, not Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus can be referred to as Mighty EL in the sense of the the power and authority given to him by the Mighty EL that is mightier than he, the only true Supreme Being, Yahweh. The plural of the Hebrew phrase translated "Mighty God" in most translations in Isaiah 9:6 is used in Ezekiel 32:21, where it is used of earthly rulers, not God Almighty. -- Psalm 2:2,7,8; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; 61:1; Luke 1:32; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14; John 17:1,3; Acts 2:36; Hebrews 1:2,6.

In some cases, it is true that the Hebrew words EL and ELOHIM are used in the sense of divine being exclusively as spirit beings, as in Psalm 8:5 (see footnote of the RSV), and also we believe in John 1:1, THEOS is used to designate the kind of being that the LOGOS 'was' before coming into the world of mankind, that is a divine, a mighty being. Many do not realize, however, that the Hebrews used the words designating divinity in a sense of special mightiness, even of humans. Therefore, Moses was made, not a divine being, but divine, mighty, toward Pharaoh of Egypt, and also toward Aaron, whom Yahweh spoke of as Moses' prophet, or spokesperson (Exodus 4:16; 7:1), thus Moses could be referred to as divine (in the sense of having special might as received from God) although a human. The term Ha Elohim is applied to the judges of Israel, as a body of men, not as spirit beings (Exodus 21:6; 22:8,9,28 [See Acts 23:5]), thus these men could be referred to as "divine" (in the sense of having special authority given to them by God), although men. Furthermore, in Psalm 82, the terms EL and ELOHIM are being applied to human sons of God, thus they could be referred to as divine (in the sense of the special powers given to them by God), although human. In each of these instances those humans could be referred to as "divine" because of special powers, mightiness, or authority, given to them by God, not because they are the Supreme Being.

No scripture says that Jesus was God Almighty in the flesh, although possessing the mighty power that he received from Yahweh as did Moses, Jesus could be referred to as 'a god', "a mighty one", (ELOHIM, THEOS) in a manner similar to Moses. (Exodus 7:1; Deuteronomy 18:15,18; Acts 3:18-22) Neither in the case of Moses nor Jesus does this make either of them into God Almighty who gives them their power and authority.

As to the God innate, that is, the Power, Might, Innate, "the Supreme Being," there is only one God, who is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus who sent Jesus. -- John 17:1,3.

All others who are legitimately called "gods" (el, elohim, theos, mighty, mighty ones) in the Bible are not the one true God, including Jesus, because these all receive their power and authority from the one true God. Thus they are called EL, ELOHIM, THEOS, (the Hebrew and Greek words for "god", "mighty, might", etc.), in a different manner than of innate Godship, which only belongs the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. If one honestly studies the usage of the words for God in the Hebrew and Greek, it becomes solidly plain that this is so, for like many other words, there is an exclusive usage that is applied to Yahweh, and relative usages that are applied to others, including Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment