Monday, October 1, 2007

The Glory of Jesus Christ

Some years ago, I was working with a Muslim man who respected Jesus as a good man & a fine teacher & example, but could not receive His deistic status. This view parallels the view of many religious & secular persons alike; though what the religious fail to consider is that His consistent claims to a supernatural nature demand one of two reactions from them- either they must completely embrace & worship Him as God, or they must wholly dismiss Him & His teachings alike as the words of the greatest deceiver & blasphemer in the history of the world. Similarly, the secular must choose whether these are the words of a madman or a true visitation from Heaven's throne. It really is quite black & white. The religious cannot pronounce Him as good while saying His claims to be God were false & the secular cannot proclaim a megalomaniacal madman to be a fine teacher & example. The record of Jesus & His teachings demands an all or nothing approach.

So I set out to show this Muslim that all of Scripture (he had a degree of respect for the Christian Bible) as well as Jesus Himself spoke of His everlasting divinity. We discussed several portions of God's Word, when I realized I had never seen an expansive analysis of the Biblical evidence pointing towards the Son's true holy nature. I would have liked to have given him such a study before I left that job but was not able; therefore afterwards I immediately set down to compose one & the next like opportunity I would be more prepared. As I had been studying John's Gospel at the time, I naturally began with those.

I know this piece is not exhaustive on all passages that point to Jesus' divine nature, so all are encouraged to add what they have found in the comment section.


John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

-Three statements are presented here in John 1:1:
1. Jesus existed before the Creation (therefore, He was not “created”)
2. Jesus was “with God” (therefore a distinct person Himself)
3. Jesus “was God” (therefore dichotomously equal with the Father in power & authority- as with a partial moon, there is a seen portion & an unseen portion; they can be spoken of individually & have different attributes, yet they are actually united in one accord).

2 He was in the beginning with God.

-Emphasizing the second point.

3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

-Emphasizing the third point. Again, Jesus was not “created;” quite the opposite- He was a “Creator.”

4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

-And John 14:6 teaches His life continues to be our light & life today.

5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

-The “valley of the shadow of death” is a dark & gloomy place, but in this place God helps His own to “comprehend” the light of Jesus Christ & therefore be saved out of that darkness..

6-18 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'") And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

John 5:18-23 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

-Anti-trinitarians love to quote 5:19 (the words in green), but they prove themselves disingenuous by ignoring the revelation in the surrounding verses. They quote single verses to try to lend veracity to their "self-made religion" (Col 2:23), while the honest student studies & quotes passages to gain true context & true revelation. Jesus reveals deep truth in John 5:23 concerning Himself; it is up to us to accept or reject this unabashed statement as truth & worship the Son the same as the Father.

24-30 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."

John 6:28-29 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

John 6:62-69 What if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? At this, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Jesus said therefore to the twelve, "You don’t also want to go away, do you?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

John 8:16-19 Yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. "It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.” Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."

John 8:56-59 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and was glad." The Jews therefore said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I tell you, before Abraham was born, I Am." They took up stones therefore to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

-They took up stones to stone Him because He called Himself “I Am, a title reserved for God Almighty (I Am means “the self-existent one)-Ex 3:13-15 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I Am who I Am." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I Am has sent me to you.' " Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'

John 10:30-33 I and My Father are one." Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God."

John 10:17-18 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This command I have received from My Father."

-We all have the ability to lay down our own life; but who, among men, has the power to take it up again?

John 11:24-27 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

John 12:44-45 Then Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.”

John 13:3
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God…
13:31-32 So, when (Judas) had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. "If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.

John 14:8-11 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves…
23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

John 16:13-15 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

John 17:5 Now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was…
20-26 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

John 19:6-7 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him." The Jews answered him, We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God."

John 20:26-29 After eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace be to you." Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don`t be faithless, but believing."
Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed."

Matt. 11:27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

Matt. 12:6-8 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. "But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

Matt. 17:1-6 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.


Matt. 27:43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, "I am the Son of God."
Mark 1:23-24 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are-the Holy One of God!"

Mark 2:3-12 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you." And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk'? "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"-He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house." Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

Mark 14:61-64 He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus said, "I Am. (see prior note on John 8:56) You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "What further need do we have of witnesses?"You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

Psalms 110:1 The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."

Mark 12:35-37 Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool." 'Therefore if David himself calls Him 'Lord'; how is He then his Son?" And the common people heard Him with gladness.

-Jesus not only existed in David’s time, but was Lord in David’s time.

Romans 9:4-5 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

Acts 10:35 In every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

-The Greek word used here is “phobeo” (fob-eh'-o); it’s defined:
a. to fear, be afraid
b. to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm
c. to fear, be afraid of one
d. to fear (i.e. hesitate) to do something (for fear of harm)
e. to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience
The KJV translates this word 62 times as “fear,” 28 times as ”be afraid,” only once as “reverence.” If Jesus was or is a mere man, why would we be called to fear Him as such? If neither Jesus nor the Father had wrath for men, if God were only love, why would such fear be required?

10:36-43 "The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ-He is Lord of all. That word you know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."

Acts 2:22-23 You men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as you yourselves know, for David says concerning him, `I saw the Lord always before my face, For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved.

Acts 3:12-15 When Peter saw it, he answered to the people, "You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Why do you fasten your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up, and denied before the face of Pilate, when he had determined to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses.

Acts 7:53-60 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it." Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

1 Cor. 10:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

-Jewish legend of the day claimed a physical rock miraculously followed the Jews in the desert, since on two occasions (Ex. 17:6, Num. 20:11) Moses produced water from a rock; but we see here the rock following them was spiritual not physical.

Phil. 2:5-11 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient [even] unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven, on earth and under the earth, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

-In the next life all will bow before Him, & every tongue will confess, even the obstinate atheist's.

12-13 So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.

Col. 1:13-19 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom (Christ is a person, not an idea or concept) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.

Col. 2:9-10 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Col. 3:1
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

-Only an equal can sit beside the Father (read Phil 2:6 above); those who are subordinate must bow before Him- Psalms 22:29 “All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship: All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him, he who cannot keep his soul alive.”

2-3 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

1 Tim. 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

Heb. 1:1-13
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through 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 at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire." But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions." And: "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail." But to which of the angels has He ever said: "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool?"

1John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life- the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us- that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ

-The Apostle opens his epistle in the same manner he opens his Gospel- with a strong declaration of Jesus Christ's divinity.

1 John 2:21-25 I have not sent you this letter because you have no knowledge of what is true, but because you have knowledge, and because that which is false has nothing in common with that which is true. Who is false but he who says that Jesus is not the Christ? He is the Antichrist who has no belief in the Father or the Son. He who has no belief in the Son has not the Father: he who makes clear his belief in the Son has the Father. But as for you, keep in your hearts the things which were made clear to you from the first. If you keep these things in your hearts you will be kept in the Father and the Son. And this is the hope which he gave you, even eternal life.

I John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him…7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

2 Peter 1:1-3 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and virtue.

James 1:1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings
James 2:1 My brothers, don't hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons.
Jude 1:1 Jude, the bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ… 25 To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, let us give glory and honor and authority and power, before all time and now and for ever. Amen.

-Jude & James were Jesus’ earthly brothers, yet they speak of Him only as Lord, & of themselves only as His bondservants, not making any claims based on common bloodlines.

Revelation 1:4-8 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

Revelation 19:11-16 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 22:13-16 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. I Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David; the Bright and Morning Star."

The following comprise some of the Old Testament evidence of the plurality of the Triune God.

Gen. 1:26 And God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'
27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

-These verses both speak of the creation of mankind, one in the present tense & one in the future tense., but also one highlights the plurality of the Godhead, while one speaks to His singular nature & purpose. The words of John 1:1-3 are confirmed by Gen. 1:26.

Gen. 3: 22-23 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-" therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

Gen. 11:6-7 And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech."

Is. 6:8-9 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." And he said, "Go, and say to this people: "'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.'"

-These are neither "typos" nor cases where the Hebrew was corrupted by the beliefs of Christian translators. To prove my point, I have used the Jewish Publication Society's translation for the above eight verses. The fact that orthodox Jews, who of course deny the Trinity, would translate these verses this way demonstrates two points:

1. That the Hebrew obviously demands such pronoun usage.
2. That Jews have traditionally given great diligence to copying & translating Scripture verbatim, thus they have been worthy caretakers of OT Scripture. (Gives further confidence for the veracity of NT Scripture as well, for many first century Christians were Jewish & surely passed along the serious nature of being custodian over God's Word.

Also, there are no capital letters in the Hebrew alphabet. When translated to other languages that do have uppercase letters, the translator chooses to use them as the original diction & understood context would direct. Thus the orthodox Jew would choose to capitalize "God," "Lord" & the singular pronouns in the above passages; whilst his denial of the plurality of God would naturally preclude his capitalization of the plural pronouns.

Gen. 22 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you." So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide (lit. JEHOVAH-JIREH); as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The Lord it shall be provided." Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son. Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Gal. 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He doesn’t say, "To seeds," as of many, but as of one, "To your seed," which is Christ.

-Gen 22 tells of a bewildering test of Abraham's faith that raises all sorts of perplexing questions to the orthodox Jew. Only in the light of Christ's work on the cross are all these questions answered. God clearly portrayed all the essential elements of His Son's magnificent work as far back as Abraham's day. To paraphrase: "Now we know that God loves us, since He has not withheld His Son, His only Son, from suffering for our sin."
Gen. 18:1 Then JEHOVAH appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day…22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before JEHOVAH…27 Then Abraham answered and said, "Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to JEHOVAH.

Gen. 32:24-30 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!" So He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob." And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked, saying, "Tell me Your name, I pray." And He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name?" And He blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

Judges 13:2-11 Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. So the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name. Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, and said, "O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born." And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her. Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, "Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!" So Manoah arose and followed his wife… When he came to the Man, he said to Him, "Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?" And He said, "I Am."
17-23 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, "What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?" And the Angel of the Lord said to him, "Why do you ask My name, seeing it is Wonderful?" (Isaiah 9:6). So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the Lord. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on- it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar- the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. When the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the Lord. And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!" But his wife said to him, "If the Lord had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time."
-Notice the prophecy of the barren woman bearing a son, tremendous as it was, becomes secondary to the magnificence of the Prophet. The Messenger proves greater than the message in this case. Nowhere in Scripture does man build altars & offer sacrifice to mere angels- these are for God Himself alone.
As stated previously, John 1:18 says “no one has seen God at any time,” yet Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, & Manoah not only saw Him, but conversed with Him face to face. The understanding the New Testament conveys regarding this seeming paradox is that no carnal man can see the Father’s glory & survive, but the Son is apparently capable of transfiguring His glory to allow sinful man to gaze upon Him. This ability would be an absolute necessity if the Son were to fulfill His role as mediator between sinful man & the Holy & perfect Father in Heaven through His 33 year visitation- "He is the image of the invisible God..." Col. 1:15

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us).
Isaiah 9:1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
God made it glorious by dwelling there in the flesh & walking among them.
9:2-7 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 11:10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples--of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind- so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
-The most explicit of Old Testament prophecies.
Daniel 7:13-14 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. (14) And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
The "son of man" is the subject of this passage, but verse 14 makes clear this is no ordinary man. "Son of man" refers to a human & was Jesus' favorite self-title in the course of His ministry, but "all peoples ...serving him" can only refer to God alone. Thus, the dual nature of the Christ in O.T. prophecy.
Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
One is walking in sinking sand who does not accept the overt testimony of Jesus & all eight recorders of New Testament Scriptures- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter, & Jude (in addition to prophecy of the Old Testament) as they declare Jesus to be much more than a mere man. This Jesus existed before all things ( John 1:1) & will continue to exist after all creation disappears (the Alpha & Omega, the Beginning & the End). His purpose was to come to earth of His own volition to suffer & die (read John 12:27) in our stead, for our sins, in order to provide a means for the cleansing of sin from the record of our lives. Who else but God Himself (in the Person of Jesus Christ) can forgive sins? (Mark 2:7)

4 comments:

Paul said...

Hey,Steve. There is much here to take in I'm going to have to read it a bit at a time. But I look forward to digesting this. love to you and your family

Zoarean's Purse said...

Paul,

Thanks, may the Lord bless you & Melissa also.

Anonymous said...

What really helped me was a Christian writer who referred to Jesus Christ as totally together at all times like 2 persons in one. However when she referred to Jesus she referred to the Son of Man the man who was born and who died on the Cross. However when she referred to Christ she referred to the Son of God who is the Alpha Omega who always is and always has been and who is the way, the Truth and the Life. I feel that this explanation is a lot easier for a Muslim to understand since scripture also tells us that God cannot be man.

Zoarean's Purse said...

Anonymous,
I can agree with that explanation of the existence of His Godly nature in a human body. The mystery of the Trinity is probably too complex for our minds to fully grasp-at least with the murky perception of the divine we have in this world (1Cor. 13:12). Though John chapters 5 & 14-17 do help tremendously.

One thing I do believe that for those 33 years, Christ really was just like us, except without sin. Yes, all the fullness of God's deity dwelt in Him (Col. 2:9), but Jesus Himself said in Matt. 12:28 that He cast out evil spirits "by the Spirit of God."
When He became flesh, He temporarily surrendered His own divine prerogative, therefore utterly becoming “in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7) in every way, except without sin. He walked this earth, not in His Godly authority, but constrained by the same physical limitations that constrain us. By revealing the source of His authority, He was demonstrating the limited abilities of the natural man as well as paving the path for us to follow, for He received spiritual power as we receive spiritual power- through the Spirit of God.

This is why the Spirit had to fall upon Him at His baptism- while He did have all the knowledge & wisdom He had previously in Heaven, He operated by the Spirit's power, thus exemplifying our similar reliance upon the Holy Spirit to be able to operate in the Kingdom of God.

Heb 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.