Come Join Us In Remembering What The World Has Forgotten..... The Seventh Day Sabbath!
THE DEITY OF JESUS
Testimony of Truth
People of The Living God
As they stand their watch, every Christian watchman knows and sees the sword coming; they fully realize Christianity is under attack. From every direction, our faith is questioned, criticized, mocked, belittled and hated. It is not difficult to see the great adversary at work in today’s world laboring to extinguish the Gospel and terminate Christianity and those who believe in Jesus Christ. Carnal men have fully determined that they “will not have this man reign over” them (Luke 19:14). They have intentionally blinded themselves to the realization of pending judgment and eternal damnation which hangs over them. They have seared their conscience with lies and deception in order that they may continue in sin without the torments of conscience, that law of right and wrong which God has placed in the heart of every man, woman, and child. If there was ever a generation who lived in a time of great deception, it is the present generation.
While so many attacks on Christianity from the enemy are obvious, there are just as many that are subtle and elusive, and not so easily seen. One of these is the attack on the deity of Jesus Christ. Although it has been around for centuries, questioning the deity of Jesus Christ is one that still prevails even in many “Christian” churches in America today. But time has given it opportunity to become more cleverly refined. It is not broadcasted or posted on billboards throughout the land but rather delicately and tacitly presented in church Bible studies and subtly passed on and strengthened through other teachings and doctrines of the church. Most who have encountered the Jehovah’s Witnesses know that they are one group that does not believe in the deity of Jesus. They teach that Jesus is Michael the archangel. Unfortunately, they are not the only group that teaches this error; there are many others. There are Christians who attend churches whose doctrinal positions stand in agreement with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The seriousness of this false doctrine cannot be overemphasized, for it has eternal consequences. What are some of the repercussions that this false doctrine promotes? Where does it lead those who accept this teaching? We might answer that question to some degree by considering those who rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah when He was here in the flesh, such as the religious leaders, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and other religious zealots. Where did the rejection of Jesus leave them? What were the ramifications for those that refused to acknowledge Jesus as God? The annihilation of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the carnage which that destruction entailed was only part of the repercussions of that rejection by the Jews, for even more seriously than the desolation of Jerusalem, was that it culminated in eternal damnation for those who rejected Jesus Christ. Jesus wept over Jerusalem because He understood their hopeless condition, their house was left unto them desolate. The same is true today for those who reject the deity of Jesus. If Jesus were not God He could not have borne the sins of the world. If He were not God He could not have taken man’s place on the cross. If Jesus is not God there is no salvation for man. If Jesus were just another man and one who never sinned, although he lived a perfectly holy and righteous life, he could have died only for one man’s sin and not the sins of the whole world. It was because He was and is God that He could die for the sins of the whole world. Consider just a few scriptures which clearly reveal the deity of Jesus Christ.
The Deity Of Jesus
Let’s begin with Malachi’s prophecy of the forerunner of Christ found in chapter three and verse one. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” Sometimes the use of pronouns in scripture can be confusing as to whom the pronoun refers. This verse is not too difficult to distinguish which pronoun refers to John the Baptist and which speaks of Jesus if we connect this verse with the history recorded in the Gospels, the account of John the Baptist and Jesus the Son of God. Malachi’s prophecy identifies the One to come, who was preceded by John, was “the Lord”. He shall suddenly come to His temple. He is also called “the messenger of the covenant.” The New Covenant, established upon better promises, was established by Jesus Christ. Malachi calls this messenger “the Lord.” The Hebrew word used in Malachi 3:1 for Lord is Adonay which James Strong defines as, “the Lord (used as a proper name of God)”. Clearly this Messenger of the New Covenant was God incarnate.
Continuing, we move on to the supernatural birth of Jesus Christ. There are four times the expression “only begotten Son” is used in scripture referring to Jesus Christ. The most well-known is John 3:16 which reads, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (See also John 1:18, John 3:18, 1 John 4:9). Those who would deny the deity of Jesus will proclaim that we are all sons of God and might even state that Michael the archangel is a son of God because he was created by God. However, when scripture declares Jesus to be the “only begotten of God,” it vividly sets Jesus apart from created beings. In the following verses we catch a glimpse of the meaning of “only begotten of God.”
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). The fulfillment of this prophecy is recorded for us in Luke 1:26-35. For this article I will include the verses which are pertinent to the fact that Jesus is “the only begotten of God”. Verses 26-27, “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.” “A virgin shall conceive”. Here we have a wonderful, stupendous and divinely orchestrated work of God Almighty. It was an exquisite heavenly venture that made all heavenly beings stand in awe as they beheld God making a way for His Son to become a man and dwell among mankind, with the full intention and determination to save man from eternal destruction. Such is the love of God for mankind.
Continuing in Luke: “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” This clearly and undeniably states that Jesus is the Son of the Highest or the Son of God. In conclusion of Luke’s account, verse 34-35, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 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.”
I realize that these verses state He shall be “called” the Son of God and some will say that He was only called the Son but was not actually God’s son. But go back to Isaiah’s prophecy, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” The fulfillment of this portion of Isaiah’s words are found in Matthew 1:23: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” These scriptures mean nothing unless Jesus is God.
Another prophecy concerning Jesus given by Isaiah is found in chapter nine, verses six and seven. “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.” From these verses we see that a child (Jesus) is born, a son (Jesus) is given, the government will rest upon His (Jesus’) shoulder (“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matt. 28:18). We have in Isaiah’s prophecy that upon this child or son would rest the government of God, and scripture records Jesus claiming this authority is given to Him. But the question always arises concerning this “child” and this “Son” of whom Isaiah prophesies, is the phrase, “The everlasting Father.” “How is this possible?” Or we’re asked, “This clearly shows that Jesus is not the One of whom this prophecy is speaking,” or we’re told that “Jesus is the only God,” therein denying the trinity.
This phrase, “The everlasting Father” in Isaiah’s prophecy may seem a little confusing at first glance but, if one contemplates its meaning and connects it with other portions of scripture, the truth begins to emerge. Jesus is the One who brought eternal life to mankind. This makes Him the father of eternal life or the One who made eternal life to man a reality. We might better understand this phrase if we paraphrase it somewhat. “The father of everlasting life.” In the beginning when God created the world and all that is in it, he created Adam, and Adam is called “the son of God” (Luke 3:38). Was Adam born or created? He was created and, therefore, God is the father of Adam, just as Eli Whitney is credited as the “father” of the cotton gin. Karl Friederich Benz of Germany is considered the “father” of the modern automobile. From the same perspective, we see Jesus as the father, or the One who “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Tim. 1:10).
One of the clearest portions of scripture that reveals the deity of Jesus Christ is John the first chapter. Let’s begin with the first four verses. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” The “Word” in these verses is equated with God. The Word was first: “with God”, second: “was God”, third: the Creator, fourth: He was in the beginning with God. The word “beginning” refers to the beginning of the world as we know it. This is clearly seen in the next phrase, “All things were made by him.” From this we can safely conclude that He (the Word) existed before the world was created, and we also see from these verses that He possessed eternal life.
Now, let’s read verse fourteen. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” How plain can it be? This same “Word” which was in the beginning, was with God and was God, was also made flesh and dwelt among man. The writer of the book to the Hebrews writes, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:1-3). This writer is clearly speaking of Jesus Christ. God specifically verifies that Jesus was not a son as Adam was, or one of the prophets through whom God spoke under the Old Covenant, but was the only begotten of the Father. In verse six the writer informs us, “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” According to Jesus Himself, we are to worship God only (Matt. 4:10). Yet at the birth of Jesus when an angel came to inform the shepherds of the birth of the Savior, “suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:13-14).
There are many other portions of scripture that exalt Jesus Christ as God, but these should be sufficient for any soul searching for truth concerning the deity of Jesus Christ. Let us therefore worship Him Who gave Himself for us and proclaim His deity, for it is in His precious name that we have forgiveness of sin and have eternal life. “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26).