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  • Writer's pictureRick LoPresti

The deity of Jesus Christ

There are two main beliefs among those that call themselves Christians about the identity of Jesus Christ. One is that God exists as three separate and distinct co-equal persons called the trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Another is that God is a Spirit that manifested Himself in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ who died for our sins, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and manifested Himself afterwards as the gift of the Holy Ghost. A third idea which the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims hold and is gaining popularity among others who call themselves Christians is that Jesus existed but is not more than a man – that He is not God at all. Let us look at what the Bible says about this.

There are many prophetic passages in the Old Testament about the first and second comings of Jesus Christ. In some of these passages such as Daniel 9:25-26 He is called the Messiah which in Hebrew means the anointed One. In the New Testament, the Greek synonym for this is Christ. Genesis 3:15 is often viewed as the first Messianic prophecy. God spoke to the serpent and said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Since biologically the reproductive seed is in the man, not the woman, and since God is telling the serpent who deceived Eve into sinning that the seed of the woman would destroy him, this is understood to mean that a virgin would one day conceive a man who would defeat that old serpent the devil (Rev 12:9). This was Jesus Christ (Is 7:14, Mt 1:18-23, Lk 1:35). Some argue that the word virgin in Isaiah 7:14 could also be interpreted young woman, but there are several problems with that. Grammatically, that word is never used that way. A young woman who is not a virgin having a baby would not be a miraculous sign of anything. The Greek word in Matthew 1:23 means a virgin. The reason Joseph was going to divorce Mary is because he thought she was no longer a virgin, and the angel Gabriel had to tell him she still was. If Mary was not a virgin, then Joseph was right and Jesus was an illegitimate child. This is absurd and clearly in direct opposition to the plain teaching of scripture.

Another important phrase in Isaiah 7:14 shows us that the son would be named Emmanuel. This was not to be the proper name of the child, but a description of who He is. Matthew 1:23 shows us that this verse is fulfilled by Jesus and that this title means that He is God with us. This harmonizes with many other passages about who Jesus is, titles given to Him, and who He Himself said that He is. Isaiah 9:6 is one such verse. It gives us five of these - Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. The Hebrew word yaats is translated Counsellor here. It is the synonym of the Greek work parakletos which is translated Comforter four times in John and applied to the Holy Ghost (14:16 & 16, 15:26, 16:7), and also advocate and applied to Jesus in 1John 2:1. It is also applied to God the Father in the verb form in 2Corinthians 1:3-4.

Abraham’s relationship with his son Isaac reflects on the deity of Jesus Christ because it was symbolically prophetic (Heb 11:17-19). In Genesis 12:1-3, God promised Abram He would make of him a great nation. A major step in the fulfillment of this promise was the birth of Isaac (Gen 17). Isaac symbolized Jesus because he was the promised seed (Gal 3:16). When Christ came in the flesh, he took on Him the seed of Abraham (Heb 2:16). When Abraham offered up Isaac, we see a clear foreshadowing of the death of Jesus (Heb 11:17-19). The father offered the son who was willing to lay down his life for the will of his father. He even carried the wood for his sacrifice to the place. When Isaac asked Abraham about what was going on, he said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering (Gen 22:8)”. When the scribes and Pharisees were questioning the identity of Jesus in John 8, He repeatedly asserted His deity (vs 14, 21, 23-25, 28). Then He said, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad (vs 56)”. They were so taken aback by what He said that they completely got it backwards. They asked, “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” He did not say He had seen Abraham, he said Abraham saw His day. Then Jesus clarified what He was saying with an assertion of His deity: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” They then understood exactly what He was saying because they took up stones to kill Him. Micah 5:2 says His goings forth have been from old, from everlasting. John the baptizer said Jesus was before him but He was born 6 months later (Lk 1:26 and 36, Jn 1:30).

Jehovah is God the Father. This is clear in the way the New Testament quotes Messianic passages from the Old Testament. For example, Jehovah said they shall look upon me whom they have pierced (Zech 12:8-10, Jn 19:37). Zechariah 13:7-9 says to smite the shepherd who is Jehovah, but this is fulfilled by Jesus (Mt 26:31). Many things the Bible attributes to Jehovah it also attributes to Jesus:

1. Lord of the angels

a. the angels are Jehovah God’s (Gen 28:12, Gen 32:1, Job 4:18, Ps 68:17, Ps 91:11, Ps

103:20, Ps 104:4, Ps 148:2)

b. Jehovah of hosts

1. host – army of men or angels, stars

2. Lord of hosts 284 times

3. host of heaven (1Ki 22:9, Neh 9:6, Lk 2:13)

c. Jesus is Lord of the angels (Mt 13:41, Mt 16:27, Mt 24:31, Mt 25:31, Mt 26:53, Jn 1:51,

2Thes 1:7, Heb 1, Heb 2:5, 1Pet 3:22, Rev 7:11)

2. Deut 10:17, Ps 136:3 – Lord of lords (Rev 17:14, Rev 19:16)

3. Jud 11:27, 1Sam 2:10 - Jehovah is the Judge (Jn 5:22 and 27, Jn 16:7-8, Rom 14:10, 2Cor


4. Is 6 – Isaiah saw Jehovah which is Jesus (Jn 12:37-42, esp. vs 41)

5. Is 8:13-15 - Jehovah is stone of stumbling, rock of offense (Rom 9:33, 1Cor 1:13, 1Pet


6. Is 28:16 – Jehovah lays the foundation stone (Rom 9:33)

7. Is 35:2-6 - the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God, your God

will come (Mt 11:2-5)

8. Is 44:6 - Jehovah is first and last (Rev 1:11 & 17, Rev 2:8, Rev 22:13)

9. Is 53:1 – the arm of Jehovah (Jn 12:37-38)

10.Is 42:8 - Jehovah said he would not give His glory to another Jesus said He is going to

come in the glory of His Father (Mk 8:38).

11. Jer 7:11 - the house of Jehovah (house of prayer) the Father belonged to Jesus (Mt 21:13,

Jn 2:16 and 19).

12. Jer 23:5-6 – his name shall be Jehovah our righteousness

13. Zech 14:1-3 – Jehovah shall come with the saints, his feet shall stand on Mt. Olivet

a. Acts 1:9-12 - shall come as ye have seen Him go…mount of Olives

b. Rev 19:6-16 – Lamb, vesture dipped in blood, name is Word of God, comes w. saints

14. “Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah)” was the Spirit of Christ in the prophets (1Pet 1:10-12)

15. Jehovah is the only Savior (Is 43:11, Hos 13:4). That is Jesus (Titus 1:3-4, Titus 2:13,

Titus 3:4 & 6)

God made a special promise to David when he was planning to build the temple (2Sam 7:11-16). Although it was literally about his son Solomon, it was also a prophecy about Jesus the Messiah as the Son of David who would sit on his throne forever. Jesus Christ is the son of David in the flesh, but also his Lord and root in his divinity (Lk 20:41-44, Rom 1:3-4, Rev 5:5, Rev 22:16). On the day of Pentecost, Peter stated that David prophesied about Christ being the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises to him (Acts 2:25-36). Paul made the same point in Acts 13:22-39).

Daniel had a vision of the Son of man coming to the Ancient of days (Dan 7:9-14 & 22). Some assert that this shows separate persons in the Godhead or that Jesus is not God at all. However, Jesus is the Ancient of days who sits on the throne and comes (Rev 1:13-15, Rev 5:11). There is a similar passage in Revelation 5:6-7 where the Lamb takes the book out of the hand of him who sits on the throne. In this passage, Jesus is both the Lion and the Lamb, and in other passages in Revelation, He is clearly the One sitting on the throne (Rev 20:11-15, Rev 22:1-4). These passages neither show that Jesus is one of multiple persons in the Godhead, nor that He is not God at all. They Him in His dual nature are both God and man. He is called the Son of man (Eze 92 times, Mt 32 times), but there is only one throne, and one sitting in it (1Ki 22:19, Is 6:1, Eze 1:26, Eze 10:1, Dan 7:9) and it is Him (Rev 1:4-8, Rev 3:21, Rev 4:1-10, Rev 5:1-13, Rev 6:16, Rev 20:11-15, Rev 22:1-4 (31 times in Rev.). Jesus will present the church to himself (Lk 19:12, Jn 14:3, Eph 5:27, Jude 24).

Jesus is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. He forgives sin (Mt 9:2, Lk 7:48). One cannot forgive sins not committed against him on behalf of another who was sinned against.

Jehovah is the founder and Lord of the Sabbath (Gen 2:2-3, Ex 16:23-29, Ex 20:8-11, Ex 31:14-16, Deut 5:12-15, Is 56:6). Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Mt 12:1-8, Mk 2:23-28, Lk 6:1-5 – picking corn). He healed on the Sabbath (Mt 12:9-13 – withered hand, Lk 13:10-17 – bowed woman, Lk 14:1-6 – dropsy, Jn 5:1-18 – lame man, Jn 9:14-19 – man born blind), He cast out devils on the Sabbath (Mk 1:21-27). When the Lord healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, He said God was His Father, and the Jews said that He was making Himself equal with God.

Here are some questions for those who say Jesus is not God. Who would be speaking through the apostles - Mt 10:20 – note “Spirit of your Father”, Mk 13:11 - Holy Ghost, Lk 21:15 - I)? How is this if He is just a man? How many divine kingdoms are there (Mt 13:43, Jn 18:36, Rom 14:17)? How can Jesus be where two or three are gathered (Mt 18:20)? How does Jesus have all power in heaven and earth (Mt 28:18)? How can Jesus be with the disciples until the end of the world (Mt 28:20)? Who raised Jesus from the dead – the Father (Gal 1:1), Himself (Jn 2:19-21), or the Holy Ghost (Rom 6:4, Rom 8:11)? How could Jesus come down from heaven and simultaneously be in heaven (Jn 3:13)? Also see John 6: 32-33 & 41 & 50-51 & 58 & 62 where He is the bread which came down from heaven. Who draws all men – the Father (6:44) or Jesus (Jn 12:32)?

The Lord made many statements in John 14 that show He is the Father and also the Holy Ghost – that one divine Spirit (Eph 4:4). He said that He is the invisible Father made visible (vs 7-9). He said the Father dwells in Him (vs 11). He told us to pray to Him (vs 13-14). He told the apostles He was going away but would return in another form called the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, or the Holy Ghost (vs 16-26). In verse 16, He used the phrase “another Comforter”. The

Greek word translated another in this verse is allos, not etepos. This means that another is not another person, but another of the same substance. The Greek word translated Comforter is parakletos, which means advocate or counselor. This is the same word used for Jesus as our advocate with the Father in 1Jn 2:1. Does one person of God advocate to another? The man Christ Jesus is our one and only mediator (1Tim 2:5, Heb 8:6, Heb 9:15, Heb 10:24). 2Cor 1:3-4 states the Father is the parakletos. In Is 9:6 Jesus is the son, the Counselor (yaats - synomym, and the everlasting Father all in one verse. Jesus is the truth (vs 6), and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of truth (vs 17). That makes the Holy Ghost the Spirit of Jesus Christ. He said he dwelt with them but would be in them. He then said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you (vs 18)”. The word comfortless here is orphanos which means orphans or fatherless. This statement again makes Him both the Father and the Holy Ghost. He said He would manifest Himself to them after He left (vs 21 & 23, Jn 16:7). This correlates with John 7:39 which says the Holy Ghost was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Who is the Comforter (Jn 14:18 - Jesus, Jn 14:26 - the Holy Ghost, 2Cor 1:2-4 - the Father)? Which Spirit is in us?:

1. Acts 2:4 – Holy Ghost

2. Rom 8:9 – Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ

3. 2Cor 6:16 – God will dwell in them

4. 2Cor 13:5 – Jesus Christ is in you

5. Col 1:27 – Christ in you

6. Phil 1:19 – supply of the Spirit (capital S) of Jesus Christ

There are parallel statements in John 17:3 and 1John 5:20-21 which show us that Jesus is the true God manifested in the flesh. He is the Almighty (Rev 1:8).

The disciples wrote the accounts of Jesus Christ, the book of Acts, the epistles, and the book of Revelation. They also made many statements showing the deity of Jesus Christ. Matthew records the angelic proclamation of the name of the Christ, which is JESUS (Mt 1:21 & 25, Lk 2:21). This is not just another title expressing something about Him. This is His actual proper name. In these verses it is written in all capitals like when God revealed the name Yahweh to Moses (Ex 3:14). That is because the name Jesus means Yahweh is or has become salvation. That is who Jesus is. That is now the only saving name in the new covenant (Acts 4:12). Here are other proofs of the deity of Jesus:

1. Jn 1:3 & 10, Col 1:16 – Jesus is the Creator

2. Jn 20:28 – my Lord and my God

3. Acts 7:59 – calling upon God and saying Lord Jesus

4. Acts 20:28 - the church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood

5. 1Cor 10:1-4 – the rock that followed them was Christ

G. Who administers the spiritual gifts (1Cor 12:4 - the Spirit, 1Cor 12:5 - the Lord, 1Cor 12:6

– God)?

6. The Father is all in all, but so is Jesus (1Cor 15:28, Col 3:11)

7. 2Cor 5:19 – God was in Christ

8. 2Cor 6:17-18 – saith the Lord, I will be a Father to you and ye shall be my sons and

daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (how many Lords are there?)

Philippians 2:5-8 is a description of how Jesus is God but took on humanity to die for us. When and of what did Jesus divest Himself if He is just a man? There is none equal to Jehovah (Is 40:25, Is 46:5), but this passage says He is equal. This is the word isos, which means “equal in quantity and quality”. The only way to be equal with God is to be Him. It also says He made himself of no reputation. That is the word keno, which means he emptied Himself.

Colossians 2:9 says that in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. This word Godhead appears in 3 verses in the KJV (Acts 17:29, Rom 1:20, and Col 2:9). Thayer’s Lexicon says it is “the state of being God”, and also says “deity differs from divinity as essence differs from quality or attribute”. Using the words all, fulness, and Godhead is triply emphatic and even redundant. 1Timothy 3:16 says God was manifest in the flesh. Hebrews chapter 1 records a prophetic Messianic passage. It is not a literal conversation. In verse 3, the word person is the Greek word hupostasis, which means essence or substance. Verse 4 says He is better than the angels. Verse 6 says, “let all the angels of God worship Him”. Verse 8 says, “thy throne, O God, is forever and ever”. Jesus is the God of the Old Testament prophets. 1Peter 1:11 says the Spirit of Christ was in them. Revelation 22:6 & 16 say that Jesus is the Lord God of the prophets.

There is a distinction made is between the divinity and humanity of Christ, or as it is called His dual nature. The distinction is not between the divinity of God as completely separate from

the humanity of Christ. This is the key to many verses that trouble some people:

1. He slept in the boat and then got up and took control of the storm (Mk 4:36-41)

2. He prayed and answers prayer (Mt 26:39-44, Jn 17, Heb 5:7, etc.; Jn 14:14)

3. He is the Lion and the Lamb (Rev 5:5-6)

4. He goes before the throne and sits on it (Dan 7, Rev 5, Rev 22:1-4)

5. He is the root and offspring of David (Rev 22:16)

6. He is the priest and the offering (Heb 10)

7. He is the Father and (or in) the Son (Jn 1:1-3 & 14, Jn 10:30, Jn 14:11, 2Cor 5:19, Col 2:9,

1Tim 3:16)

a. Is 7:14 - son and God with us

b. Is 9:6 - son and Father

8. He is the Spirit (Jn 14, 2Cor 3:17, Phil 1:19, Col 1:27), and the flesh (Lk 24:39, Heb 5:7)

9. He is God (Acts 20:28) and a man (Jn 8:40, Acts 2:22)

10. Jehovah said to my Adonai (Ps 110:1, Mt 22:41-46 - how is He then His Son?)

11. He is eternal (Is 9:6, Mic 5:2, Jn 1:30, Jn 8:58) and begotten (Jn 3:16, Ps 2:7 w. Acts 13:33,

Heb 1:5. Heb 5:5)

12. He is the visible part (Jn 1:18, Jn 5:37, 2Cor 4:4-6, Phil 2:6-8, Col 1:15, 1Tim 3:16, Heb

1:3) of the invisible God (Jn 1:18, 1Tim 1:17, Heb 11:27)

13. He is so much better than the angels as their God (Heb 1:4 & 6) and a little lower than the

angels as a man for the suffering of death (Heb 2:9)

14. He is the eternal God manifested in time, and He is the infinite God manifested in space.

There are some who pervert the teaching that we are the sons of God by equating our sonship with His. His sonship and ours are not exactly the same:

1. He had the Spirit without measure (Jn 3:34), metron - limited measure

2. Above fellows (Ps 45:7, Heb 1:9)

3. All the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9)

4. One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren (Mt 23:8 & 10)

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