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Who is Jesus Christ?

Jesus is the Messiah

Who is Jesus Christ? Who did he claim to be? Jesus asked this question about himself. Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted about three years. At its beginning he chose twelve disciples who ministered with and learned from him during those years. During those years he was in constant conflict with the Jewish religious authorities. One day, Jesus asked a revealing question of his disciples. Matthew recorded,

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ (Matthew 16.13-20).

Jesus commended Peter for giving the right answer. What did Peter say? Peter said Jesus was the Christ (ὁ Χριστὸς) or the Messiah. The Messiah was the one sent from God who would establish Israel as the top nation of the world, rule from Jerusalem, and bring in a government of world peace and righteousness. He was the one to whom the Old Testament pointed and whom the prophets foretold. Peter also said Jesus was the “Son of the living God”. What did that mean? It meant Peter recognized Jesus was divine. What was Jesus’ response? He told Peter he was blessed and his answer was right because God Himself revealed it to him. He then went on to declare that he would give to Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and that these “keys” would give him authority to “bind and loose”. This in itself was a remarkable statement. Who can give that kind of authority? Can a man? No, only God can grant such authority. So Jesus revealed that he was God.

Jesus is YHVH (יהוה)

Jesus not only taught his disciples that he was God, he revealed this truth to those opposed to him by his statements and by his deeds. Consider the remarkable confrontation Jesus had with the Jewish authorities John recorded in John 8.

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8.31-32). 

This verse sets the context for the argument. Among those who believed Jesus’ words were those of the Jewish religious establishment who did not believe him but were constantly trying to confound, accuse, and condemn him. Upon hearing Jesus they replied (their self-righteous sarcasm is visceral):

They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’” (John 8.33)?

John recorded Jesus’ answer:

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father” (John 8.34-38).

We now have a full-blown argument. These Pharisees continued to assert their righteousness and declared Abraham was their Father.  Note their statement and how Jesus replied:

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is,you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.”They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God” (John 8.39-47). 

The Jews responded by stating that Jesus was a demonically possessed half-breed. Jesus responded to their insult by invoking His obedience to God and His own authority over death itself.

48 The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death” (John 8.48-51).

The Jews could not comprehend his answer. They could not imagine they were speaking with the Creator, the God of Israel Himself. They replied:

52 The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’ 53 Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be” (John 8.52-53).

Jesus pointed out that they were religious but far from God. He ended by making a remarkable statement about Abraham.

54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing;it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8.54-56).

Unable to resist this statement the Jews continued:

57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

Notice Jesus’ response

58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

And their reaction:

59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

What did Jesus say to make them angry enough to stone him? Jesus’ words, “truly, truly” were an idiom that meant, “listen up, what I’m telling you, you can take to the bank.” That got their attention. Then he said the words,

“Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί.”

This is translated, “Truly, truly I say (present active indicative–I am or keep saying to you) before Abraham came into being, I am.” Abraham γενέσθαι–he was born, he came into being.  But Jesus did not γενέσθαι. He was ἐγὼ εἰμί, “I am”. He did not become, He is. He claimed eternal self-existence. Do not think the Jews did not understand what he was saying. They got it. The knew their Bible and their minds immediately flashed to God’s words to Moses in Exodus 3.13-14.

13 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

What Jesus was telling these Jews was that he was the God of the Bible. He was the eternal, ever-existing one, the I AM. He was God Almighty.

Jesus Forgave Sin

Jesus not only made claims of his divinity, he proved his words with deeds. Jesus had a widespread healing ministry. He healed thousands. Luke recorded a dramatic healing of a paralyzed man in Luke 5.17-26:

17 One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. 18 And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. 19 But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” 22 But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” 25 Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. 26 They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Here we find a situation where Jesus was teaching and some Pharisees and lawyers were present. Some Jews approached carrying a paralyzed man and tried to get their friend to Jesus for they had heard about his healings. But the crowd was so dense they could not get him to Jesus. Someone came up with the bright idea to attack from above. They climbed onto the roof, tore off the tiles, and began to lower the lame man down into the crowd. What a scene! Jesus, observing this, was impressed. What did he say to them? Luke recorded:

20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.

What was the reaction of the religious authorities?

21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

They were right. Only God can forgive sins. What was Jesus’ response? Luke recorded:

22 But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” 

Jesus presented the religious leaders with a question. He asked them what was easier, to say “your sins are forgiven” or “get up and walk”. What was the answer to the question? It is easier to say “your sins are forgiven”. That requires no proof. So what did Jesus do? He gave them proof. To demonstrate he had power to forgive sins he healed the man. Now it is important not to miss the significance of Jesus’ statement. If you do something wrong to me I can forgive you and the matter is settled. But this man had nothing against Jesus and yet Jesus declared that his sins were forgiven. If a regular person went around forgiving people whom he has never seen or had any dealings we would call the person mad. But Jesus was not mad. He considered that the fact of the matter was that he was the person chiefly offended by sin. And to prove it he healed the man.

Another thing not to overlook is that Luke’s statement that Jesus “saw their faith.” Who can “see faith” but God? Luke recorded the reaction of the man and the crowd:

25 Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. 26 They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Jesus Healed the Blind

One of the greatest miracles Jesus performed was the healing of a blind man. John wrote that this man was blind from birth (John 9.1). Jesus healed the man and the man was taken to the Pharisees to show them that he had been healed (John 9.13). The Pharisees kept asking how he was healed. He kept repeating what had happened but they refused to believe. They then asked the man’s parents but they were afraid to answer (John 9.19-23) and told the Pharisees to ask their son. They did and then got into an argument with him. No one is more testy than self-righteous religious people. The former blind man was uneducated but gave the Pharisees a theological lesson:

30 The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

Unable to respond, the Jews excommunicated him (John 9.34). When Jesus heard about this he made a special effort to find and speak with him. John recorded:

35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

The term “Son of Man” was the title Jesus took to identify himself with man as the God-man and Messiah. God had used this nomenclature many times for Ezekiel. Jesus asked the man if he believed in the Son of Man. When the man asked him who he was, Jesus declared that he was the “Son of Man”, that is, the Messiah. The man believed and worshiped him. Only God is worthy of worship. Jesus accepted this worship for he is God.

Jesus is the Only Way

Shortly before his crucifixion Jesus spoke words to comfort his disciples. He declared that he was the only way to God. Notice he did not say a way, he said the way. John recorded in John 14.1-6:

1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jesus is Equal to the Father

Continuing his discourse, Jesus said that if anyone knew him he also knew the Father. Philip, not understanding, asked to see the Father. Jesus declared that who had seen him had seen the Father. John recorded:

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father (John 14.7-12).

Jesus is the Creator

Moses wrote in Genesis 2.4 regarding the creation of the world:

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.

The Lord God (יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים) made the heavens and the earth. We know from a number of Scriptures and from Jesus’ own words that he is YHVH יהוה. Jesus Christ is the one who created the universe–the heavens and the earth (John1.3; Colossians 1.15-16; Hebrews 1.2; Ephesians 3.9; 1 Corinthians 8.6).

Jesus Rose from the Dead

There is only one who has the power to rise from the dead. No man has this power. Only God can raise the dead. The Scriptures teach that Jesus rose from the dead and for Christians this is the proof that Jesus paid for our sins and satisfied the righteousness of a holy God. This is the gospel (1 Corinthians. 15.1-5). The reaction of the disciples to Jesus’ resurrection is the clearest proof of the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. No other rational explanation can explain their change of behavior. The resurrection turned them from terrified cowards to become as bold as lions. Why? They had seen the resurrected Lord (Matthew 28.6-7; Mark 16.6-14; Luke 24.6, 34; 2 Timothy 2.8; John 2.22; 21.14; Acts 2.24, 32; 3.15, 26; 4.10; 5.30; 10.40; 13.30, 33-34, 37; Romans 4.24-25; 6.4, 9; 7.4; 8.11, 34; 10.9; 1 Corinthians 6.14; 15.4, 12-20; 2 Corinthians 4.14; Galatians 1.1; Ephesians 1.20; Colossians 2.6, 12; 3.1; 1 Thessalonians 1.10; 1 Peter 1.21).

Conclusion

C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity wrote the following:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”1

Some have criticized Lewis that his logic is flawed. I would submit that those who have made this argument have failed to examine carefully Jesus’ statements. They need to read their Bibles. When one reads the Scriptures, the accounts about Jesus such as the ones above, one rational conclusion exists: Jesus is God. Lewis’ logic was flawless.

1 See P. H. Brazier. ‘God . . . Or a Bad, or Mad, Man’: C. S. Lewis’s Argument for Christ–A Systematic Theological, Historical and Philsophical Analysis of Aut Deus Aut Malus Homo. The Heythrop Journal. Vol. LV (2014), pp. 1-30 for an analysis of Lewis’ argument and its history.

©2010 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated 19:10:122016-05-25


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70 thoughts on “Who is Jesus Christ?

  1. linda

    Don,
    Great article.
    I was wondering, is Jesus considered King now? Is He king over the church and not Israel? later becoming king for them during the earthly reign? I had this question on my mind and googled it and it really go me confused reading different articles stating that premillennialism is false. That Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this world and that When Jesus’ disciples tried to make Him an earthly king, He withdrew from their midst (Jn. 6:15), refusing to be an earthly king. This really threw me off. Help me understand. TY

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Linda,
      There’s a great deal of confusion and false teaching about this. The Scriptures declare that one day Jesus will sit on His throne but at present He is seated at the right hand of the Father’s throne (Psalm 110.1). Jesus is never stated to be the King of the Church. His designation for us is Lord and Head. What Jesus meant when He said His kingdom was not of this world was that the source of His kingdom was not of this world, not that it would not be on this earth. Almost everyone who has gone to church has said the Lord’s Prayer, which states, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The Scriptures declare Jesus will reign on the earth many times (Zechariah 14.9 cf. Psalm 2.8). Those who teach otherwise, err, not knowing the Scriptures.

      1. christina

        Hi! i have encountered a JW who is pretty firm on sticking to Jesus is not God, even with the many many many scriptures that i clearly shows that He is! In one area in particular, where stephen “worshiped” Jesus or anywhere it says someone “worshiped” Jesus. He keeps referring that the KJV changed the original greek word, which is suppost to be “obeisance” which is to bow down and not worship. how would i explain it to him in a clearer understanding?

        Thanks,

        Christina

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Christina,
          The word for worship is προσκυνέω. See John 4.20.21,23. This is the same word used for those who worshipped Jesus. The wise men came to worship Him. They knew He was God. If Jesus had accepted worship of Himself and not been God He would have been evil. Does he think Jesus was evil? Or insane?

  2. Tom

    Thanks for your article here Don. When Peter gave his answer that Jesus was “…the Christ, the Son of the living God”, was this a redundant answer or a two pronged reply? In other words it is my understanding that “the Christ” is a similar answer as if Peter said instead “the Messiah”, but did the Old Testament Jewish scholars equate Messiah (or the Christ) and “the Son of God”?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Tom,
      The word “Christ” is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew/Aramaic “Messiah.” Both mean “anointed one.” As to the “Son of God,” it is doubtful the rabbis knew the Messiah would be God. I think the closest they got to this understanding was that the Messiah would be “Emmanuel,” “God is with us” (Isaiah 7.14). Interestingly, the term “son of God” in the OT is spoken not by a Jew but by a Gentile–Nebuchadnezzar, who declared when he threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the furnace, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3.25). What is important to understand is that Peter’s statement was a declaration of saving faith. Believing who Jesus was, His identity, constituted saving faith (cf. John 11.26) in Jesus’ earthly ministry–and afterwards until we get to Paul. This was the gospel of the kingdom. With Paul we have a new gospel–the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20.24). Today, we are not saved by believing who He is, that He is the Christ, the Son of God, but by believing what He has done–His death on the cross for our sins and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Peter had no understanding of this until Paul revealed it.

  3. Joe

    In Matthew 10 Jesus commands (not “suggests”,”hopes”, etc) his disciples not go to gentiles but the lost sheep of the House of Israel. When was this command lifted?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Joe,
      It could only be lifted when Israel repented. This will be their role in the Millennium. But in grace, God saved Paul to be the apostle of the Gentiles. The 12 never had a ministry to Gentiles.

  4. George

    Hi brother, you mentioned before to me that Paul was the exception when it came to Paul, as a person, switching from the gospel of the kingdom salvationto the mystery gospel salvation, but what about Luke who was with him to the end, could Luke be another exception?

      1. Vanessa

        Hi Don, Your comment about Christmas and celebrating the Lords birth on this day shocked me. Jesus was not born on the 25th December as we all know so why do we follow mans traditions, especially a Catholic tradition. Forgive me if I come over a little harsh but God dwelt with me on this very issue a few years back. Take care.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Vanessa,
          Do you think we should celebrate the Lord’s birth? If so, on what day? Jesus was not born on Dec. 25 and this day was chosen to replace a pagan holiday. The closest application I can think of is meat offered to idols. Paul told the Corinthians that it was ok to eat such meat but if it bothered one, he should not (1 Corinthians 8). This is an area of Christian liberty.

  5. Roger Spielmann

    Hi, Don. I just read this article and found it kind of interesting. The reason I say “kind of” is because it seems to assume that one must believe that Jesus is God to be in the Christian camp. You know all the alternatives, I’m sure, so there’s no reason to rehash them here. In my reading of the gospels Jesus usually seems to be distancing himself from God (I’m sure you know all those passages, too), thus we have to rely on the “I AM” verse to somehow get across something that Jesus was never clear about. As orthodoxy has developed over the centuries, that Jesus is God is the prevailing view. I don’t see that ever changing.

    On the flip side of the coin, some believe that Jesus was God’s first (and only?) creation. That would certainly account for the “I AM” passage, but such a belief is certainly not “orthodox.” My question is: is one saved by grace through Christ even if one believes that Jesus was God’s first creation? It kind of goes back to the whole issue of “What must one believe in order to be saved?”

    I don’t want this to turn into a discussion, really; I’m just curious how you would answer that question.

    Thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Roger,
      The Scriptures provide significant evidence Jesus is God: He forgives sin, accepts worship, is the source of all life, is the Creator of the universe, etc. The path to demonstrate Jesus is not God is extremely stony and difficult.

  6. Roger Spielmann

    That being the case, who or what was created in Proverbs 8:22-30? I’ve never heard a logical interpretation of that passage. Whoever or whatever it refers to must have been lacking to God. Have you had a chance to interpret this passage? Thank you.

  7. Roger Spielmann

    Are we reading the same passage? I referred to Proverbs 8 but you mention Psalm 8.

    I’ve yet to hear an interpretation of this passage that makes sense. I was hoping you had.

    My question presses, but if you think I’m just being argumentative, feel free not to respond.

  8. Roger Spielmann

    Yes, I get that. But why did God create it? He certainly wasn’t lacking wisdom, was He?
    Most evangelical commentators say Wisdom is Jesus, and then don’t comment on the creation part of it. How are we to understand this passage?

  9. Roger Spielmann

    You seem hesitant to answer my question. How would you explain this passage to someone who really wants to know what’s going on? Who or what did God create? What does “Wisdom is being personified” mean? There may be others in this forum who would like to know as well. It’s confusing to me, especially in light of the commentators. How would you explain the passage to a 9-year old?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Roger,
      I do not understand what kind of answer you want. It’s poetry. Solomon is personifing wisdom to describe its value. I think a 9 year old can understand this. As for “create” I assume you mean in v.22. The KJV renders this “possess” as does NASB. The Hebrew is קָנָה. See Gesenius’ note on this verb.

  10. Vanessa

    Good Morning Don, The question I wish to ask is not an easy one and it may even come over as silly. Can one say that Jesus of Nazareth and the Risen Lord are different. I tread so carefully in posting this as I am so aware of false doctrine. I have read the above article but putting it in one simple sentence does not come easy. I read another article saying Jesus was a Rabbi and came for the Jews only and we as gentiles have no claim over him as our Messiah. But the risen Lord we can call him ours. What are the differences between Jesus of Nazareth and the Risen Lord. Thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Vanessa,
      Jesus in His earthly ministry came to present Himself as King and offer the kingdom to the Jews (Romans 15.8). For the Church, Jesus presented Himself as the risen Lord. Responding to Him in the former required believing He was the Messiah, the Son of God, water baptism, keeping the Law. Responding Him today requires believing Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).

  11. Joe

    It is interesting to me that when the Magi asked where they should go to see the new born King , Herod asked the religious leadership where Christ was to be born….Of course they didn’t know so they went and looked it up. (Book of Micah) Surly 30-33 years later some of these religious leaders would have remembered this (along with the killing of all the young male children), realized prophecy was being fulfilled and associated all that was transpiring (miracles) and associated the fulfilling of OT prophecy that Jesus was the Christ (their Messiah) .

    But like Paul says “if they had known they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord”.(1 Cor. 2:8)

    Seems unfair to hid things that might otherwise aid in someone’s salvation.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Joe,
      The Jews should have and could have recognized their Messiah. Consider today. Look at all the evidence. But precious few Jews come to Christ. God provides sufficient, but not exhaustive evidence for salvation.

    2. GraceReceiver

      I know what you’re saying Joe.
      When it seems unfair, I am reminded of what Paul says: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! Who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counsellor?” (Romans 11:33-34)
      One day we will see it all clearly. I am fully expecting to fall to my knees in amazement at that point.

      1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

        GraceReceiver and Joe,
        The only thing I can say to this is that it appears the lost will not learn. They remain in everlasting rebellion. Jesus made this point in his story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man did not regret his actions, only his torment. He told the rich man that Moses was sufficient evidence for them and greater evidence would have no effect. C. S. Lewis took up this subject in The Great Divorce.

  12. christina

    correct me if im wrong, so there is Not 3 different persons in the trinity (not a biblical term), as some believe. It’s all three are ONE God, not three gods!! right!? Equal in every way, not one subordinate to another? God is the Father, came down in the Flesh, and is the Holy Spirit as well! Omnipresent?

    thanks,

    Christina

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Christina,
          Historically, the explanation has been God is one in essence and three in person. This is made clear from Genesis 1. The word Elohim is plural and is translated God or gods according to context. Genesis 1.26 reads, “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.”

  13. Ron C

    Hi Don,
    Once again thanks for your many articles. So many areas of difficulty now make so much sense. God bless you and keep you active in this powerful ministry.

  14. Pete

    Don, Thank you for your ministry. I “accidentally” found you while looking for references on the Bride of Christ. One area I can’t seem to wrap my mind around is that the ministry of Jesus was all about WHO He was. The desired response of Israel was to recognize Him as the Messiah and believe in Him. Then why in virtually every healing, did He then tell the healed not to say anything about what had happened (I think I understand since He was swamped with people wanting to be healed everywhere He went). But in the last verse above and there are many others why did He tell the disciples not to disclose that He was the Messiah?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Pete,
      It’s a good question and difficult to answer. Jesus performed thousands of miracles. They were designed to prove He was the Messiah. Yet Jesus repeatedly commanded that His miracles or identity not be revealed. Part of it was that nothing could interfere with His going to the cross. He couldn’t be made king prematurely. See Mark 9.9. The resurrection was the great miracle. It far surpassed healing the blind, dumb, deaf or even raising others from the dead. It was the definitive miracle which revealed to Israel He was the Christ. In addition, God actively hid some things. One remarkable passage is Luke 18.31-34. Despite this, all who wished salvation received it. God’s genius is to allow His sovereignty and human will to work in concert. After His resurrection, Israel had no excuse.

  15. anonymous

    Jesus is only the Son of God he is not God himself and in John 8:58 he’s not claiming to be God but claiming to be the Messiah and the Son of God that Abraham saw by faith according to Hebrews 11 stop reading your Pagan theology into the text trinitarian deity of Christ believing so-called Christians are not really Christians because you have a different Jesus and a different God Paul said in Galatians 3:20 in the Amplified Bible that God is only one person if he’s only one person and not three then the Trinity is false and Paul proved it right there in that verse your ministry is a very dangerous Ministry because you preach the right gospel but the wrong God and the wrong Jesus there for your a false Christian and are not saved until you reject the Trinity and the deity of Christ

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Anonymous,
      So many Scriptures reveal Jesus is God, it’s hard to know where to begin. To state the contrary only reveals ignorance of the Scriptures. Just for a beginning, John 1.1-14, 10.30, 14.9; Daniel 7.9-10, 22; Revelation 1.8, 11-20; Hebrews 1.8; Titus 2.13.

    2. Bobbi

      Anonymous,
      No true believer would reject the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      1 Cor. 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
      46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
      47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
      That’s exactly what is said here.

      Rom. 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

      By saying what you’ve said your even denying the virgin birth… your saying you don’t believe the Bible.
      Matt. 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
      19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
      20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
      21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
      22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
      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.
      And another is…
      1 Timothy 3:16
      “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

      Think on this and may God open your eyes .

  16. anonymous

    Galatians 3:20 now a go between intermediary has to do with an implies more than one party there can be no mediator with just one person yet God is only one person and he is the sole party in giving that promise to Abraham but the law was a contract between two God and Israel its validity was dependent on both. 1st Timothy 3:16 there is no doubt that Godlioness is a great mystery Jesus appeared in a body the Holy Spirit proved that he was the Son of God he was seen by angels He was preached among the Nations people in the world believed in him he was taken up to heaven in Glory. there is no Trinity or deity of Christ in these verses the KJV has corrupted those verses and I don’t deny Matthew 1:18 if it wasn’t for the Virgin birth Jesus wouldn’t be able to be created perfectly without a sinful nature to be empowered by God’s invisible active forced to live a sinless life died on the cross and rise again from the dead to save us from our sins

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Daniel,
      LORD in the Psalm refers to God the Father. Lord is the Son. The whole matter of the “persons” of the Godhead is somewhat transferable. Isaiah 9.6 says the Son is the everlasting Father. Read Daniel 7 where the description of the Ancient of Days is like John’s description of Christ (Revelation 1) but then the Son comes before the Ancient of Days. Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” I think of the Godhead in terms of roles. If you’ve read The Count of Monte Cristo, you know Edmund Dantes is the Count, Abbe Busoni, Lord Wilmore, etc.

  17. Phantom

    Mr Don, please why did Jesus many times distance himself from the father when they are supposed to be equal? Again, Proverbs 8 so strongly depicts Christ. Paul wrote that Christ is the wisdom and power of God. Why is it not Christ?
    What does first born of every creature mean?
    The relationship BTW father and son seems to mean that the son came from the father that the father existed before the son. But why should God and Christ be an exception?
    Thing is that a JW just talked to me about this and how Christ is in unity with God and of course deity but not equal with him, it appears that way throughout the gospels like in John 17 talks about the unity in John 10:39.. Also see John 14:28

    Thanks Very much… I am at this point reading led feldick’s “through the bible” as I know you learnt from him

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Phantom,
      The word πρωτότοκος applied to Christ is a title of preeminence. Christ is fully God and fully human. He holds first place over all humanity. God is One but manifests Himself in three roles, relationships, or personalities: Father, Son, and Spirit. The Father is seen as God over-all. The Son is the spokesman of the Father and the only visible member of the Godhead, the Spirit is the revealer and empowerment of God. Only God is worshipped and Jesus accepted worship (Hebrews 1.6). The problem with the JW position is they ignore many Scriptures that refute their view. Just a few are John 10.30, 14.9; Daniel 7, Revelation 1.

  18. Phantom

    Thanks very much…1)Pls do you know exactly why Jesus chose to refer to himself as son of man?

    2)When I mentioned John 10:30, he used John 17:22 to refute it… saying they just have the same purpose like believers should or something like that
    3)The Greek word used for first born in Col 1:15 was the same word used in Luke 2:7.. like as if he was the first to come into existence…
    I know and I’m very sure that Christ is self existent but how will I explain to someone who has the above views(2 & 3)?….

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Phantom,
      Jesus referred to Himself as “son of man” to identify Himself with us. One must examine all the Scriptures. There are scores of Scriptures that prove Jesus is God. One can always select a few and argue against them but when taken in its entirety, this is not possible. I doubt this person brought up Revelation 1, where Christ is the Alpha and Omega or Titus 2.13. The problem with these folks is they don’t want to see. Their religion is greater than the Scriptures.

      1. Bobbi

        Phantom,
        I did a study on these verses …Hebrews 1:2,3 and was very awed.
        Verses 2&3, if you can access an interlinear such as Blue Letter Bible , do a word study on the words describing Christ. It is awesome and a great study.

  19. Phantom

    I don’t really understand this statement you made, pls just clarify “One can always select a few and argue against them but when taken in its entirety, this is not possible”
    Please look at d number 2 n 3 points again. And answer them accordingly, make them clear please because I know scripture cannot contradict itself.. I need to understand them the right way… Thanks..

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Phantom,
      If you have scores of Scriptures that reveal Christ is God and a couple that give problems, the problem is misunderstanding the couple that give problems. Luke 2.7 uses πρωτότοκος in terms of Jesus’ birth as Joseph and Mary’s first child but this is not how Paul used the word or what he meant. Words have meaning according to context. Paul’s usage has nothing to do with Jesus’ physical birth.

  20. Phantom

    Its very clear now.. Thanks again
    Im sure your articles have really blessed a lot of people
    I wonder if you going to do a new article probably on the Lord’s supper or on the books of 1, 2 n 3 John
    Grace and peace

  21. Bobbi

    Hi Don and all:)
    Romans 8:17 KJV — And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
    2 Timothy 2:12 KJV — If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

    Is Lord Jesus suffering still?… this is sad to consider, as he suffered so much for us in his death and carrying our sins… just something I was thinking of.

  22. Vanessa

    Hello Bobbi and Don,
    Hope you are well and had a good Thanksgiving. I am busy studying The Gift of suffering and its not an easy study. Never knew suffering was a gift. It hardly feels like that in my life but I desire to so the right thing so I must study.
    2 Timothy 2:12 KJV — If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
    The sentence begins with an IF which tells me that not all suffer. The denying is not the same as what Peter did but refers to giving up on our faith and walk. Don please set me right. Thank you.
    Last question please. Why do some believers suffer more than others.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Vanessa,
      2 Timothy 2.12 is a first class conditional clause which means it is assumed to be true. The presumption is that every believer will suffer. We live in the Devil’s world and believers compose only a tiny minority. The whole world is arrayed against us. The question of why some suffer more than others is unanswerable. Some suffering is caused by poor choices, abuse of one’s body etc. But other suffering cannot be explained this side of heaven. Paul prayed three times to the Lord that his thorn in the flesh be removed. It wasn’t. The Lord told him His grace was sufficient. Ultimately, God deals with us as individuals and has but one objective: to conform us into the image of His Son.

  23. Bobbi

    Hello dear Vanessa and Don,
    is this verse 2 Tim. 2:12, similar to Romans 8:9 KJV — But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his…? If one is saved we have the Spirit of Christ… Paul and his “if we” and “if so be’s”… lol. Sometimes it’s hard.

  24. Josh

    Dear Sir,
    The twelve went to the circumcision, but Paul went to the uncircumcision. How do you reconcile Philippians 3:3? We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit? Thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Josh,
      Paul is using “circumcision” here in a different sense—a spiritual sense. He regarded the circumcised Jews, the false teachers who opposed him as “concision,” (Philippians 3.2, multilation), not true circumcision, a circumcision of the heart (see Romans 2.29, cf. Deuteronomy 10.16, 30.6; Jeremiah 4.4).

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