Are you a Christian, or are you just fooling yourself?
At 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (RS), the command of Jesus Christ for the resurrection to begin is described as “the archangel’s call,” and Jude 9 says that the archangel is Michael. Would it be appropriate to liken Jesus’ commanding call to that of someone lesser in authority? Reasonably, then, the archangel Michael is Jesus Christ. (Interestingly, the expression “archangel” is never found in the plural in the Scriptures, thus implying that there is only one.)
~ “Jesus Christ“, Watchtower Online Library
Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and some other groups do not believe that Jesus Christ was and is God. This has also become a common heresy in some claimed areas of the Churches of God.
Is Jesus God? If not, then quit calling yourself a Christian right now! Either Jesus pre-existed, was divine, became a human and was resurrected back to godhood, or Christianity is a false religion. You cannot have it both ways!
A “Christian”, in its simplest terms, is one who follows Christ (cf. Ac 11:21,26). The entire Christian movement began by a few people literally following Jesus around, but especially a core of twelve Apostles.
These people were disciples of Jesus. A disciple literally left their lifestyles and followed the teacher, the rabbi in this case, around, eating, drinking, sleeping and traveling with him, learning from his words and actions. A student in a school listens to the professor or teacher and tries to learn from them and the provided materials, but a disciple actually experiences what the teacher believes in action and by emulation.
In a very real sense, they try to become the teacher as much as possible.
So, why not believe what the Teacher taught? Why not believe the materials the Teacher pointed to? Why not believe what the Teacher Himself believed?
What Did Jesus Say?
Many will claim that Jesus never claimed to be God or even the Son of God, and they will use all sorts of clever arguments to get around the fact that He did exactly that.
During the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, what did the Devil try to prick Jesus’ ego with? “If thou be the Son of God…” (Mt 4:3, 6).
Now, the fact that the Devil said it does not make it so. However, the fact that Jesus did not lift a finger to contradict him speaks volumes. Jesus could have easily explained that He was not the Son of God, after all, and therefore nip these particular temptations right in the bud!
Just compare Mt 16:15-16; Jn 5:18; Jn 10:33 for a full picture of what Jesus Himself claimed:
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Again, Christ did nothing to correct Peter’s assertion, which means it was true! However, the consequences of the belief that He was the Son of God lead to far more dire conclusions if not refuted.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Of course, Jesus could have easily asserted this was not the case. Instead, Jesus pushed it further, stating that it was the power of the Father in the Son that was at work (v19), even to the power to resurrect people to life (v21)! IOW, Jesus not only did these things because He was the Son of God, with power equal to God, but He had God’s approval in doing them!
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Again, the Jews were offended that Jesus would claim to be the Son of God. Still, He did not try to correct their interpretation that being the Son of God was the same as saying He had the power of God, but rather He continued to press on with telling them that He had God’s authority and approval to do so.
However, two times Jesus made an even bolder claim. Not only did He claim to be God, but He claimed to be the God of the Old Testament, YHWH, or the “I AM” of the only Scriptures they had in those days.
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
~ Jn 8:58
Again, the Jews wanted to stone Him. They understood what Jesus was saying, and He did nothing to dissuade them that He meant exactly what they were thinking: He was claiming to be the God of Abraham.
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
~ Jn 18:5-6
What is not evident in the public domain version of the KJV on BibleGateway.com is that the “he” is in italics. Notice the Authorized King James Version:
5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
A lot of Jesus movies get this all wrong. The gentile guards did not step back and fall down in worship! These were pagan idolators! No, they “went backward”, which means they were knocked backwards onto their backs!
In this unusual show of power, Jesus was making it quite plain that He was allowing Himself to be taken! He was willingly laying down His life (Jn 10:17-18)!
Jesus made no bones about it: He was and is God! He was the actual God of the OT!
Some think God the Father was the God of the OT. Many Protestants believe that God the Father was the strict and stern God that gave all those useless laws, but then came along Jesus who in effect said, “Loosen up, Daddy-O! We don’t need all those laws!” and then proceeded to “keep them for us”, whatever in the world that is supposed to mean.
However, discounting this very idea are the words of Jesus Himself:
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God [referring to Himself], he [not they!] hath seen the Father.
~ Jn 6:45-46
27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
~ Mt 11:27
Not only was Jesus Christ the God of the OT, God the Father could not have been! God, YHWH, appeared in a cloud on top of Mt Sinai. God, YHWH, walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Since Jesus was and is God, it must have been Him doing these things.
New Testament Verses In Proper Context
HWA taught that the plain things were the main things and the main things were the plain things. How many have gotten it backwards!
These we have just gone over are plain verses. We need to use the plain verses of the Bible to interpret the not-so-plain verses, not the other way around. Those who engage into eisegesis, reading what they want to see into the word, instead of exegesis, getting the meaning out of the word, start with the vague verses like Jn 1:1:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
By starting with the more vague Scriptures, it is easier to twist its meaning and the other Scriptures by comparing them to the twisted Scripture. However, doing exegesis makes it plain that the “Word” is Jesus Christ preincarnate.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
~ v 3
Compare this to:
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
~ Ac 17:24
2 [God] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
~ Heb 1:2
Jesus Christ is not only the God of the OT, He is God the Creator that was revealed in Genesis 1!
Prophecy reveals that Jesus is God as well. Most importantly, we are told that He was “God with us”.
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
~ Isa 7:14
The only way critics have found around this is to dig into the meaning of “virgin” and reinterpret (ie, twist) it! At the end of the day, there is only one Who was born of a virgin! And, it is quite clear Who He was:
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.
~ Mt 1:23
I think it is shameful that a verse that even most Protestants and Catholics get right would be so rejected by those who claim to be part of the COG!
Granted, many times people were named various names with alternatives of God’s name within them. However, what is overlooked in such an argument is that God is the One giving the name here!
And, there’s more!
Take a look at Isa 44:6; Rev 1:8; Rev 22:13 side by side:
6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
In these last two, it is the revelation of Jesus Christ, and thus it is obvious Who is speaking here. In fact, He even states so again just before the dictation of the letters to the seven churches (1:11).
Here is a logic puzzle for you. It’s called the Napkin Test. Take a napkin (or some other piece of paper you can write on), and draw a line down the middle. The napkin represents all things that exist.
On the left side, write “All things that never came into being”, which means all things that have always existed even before time itself. On the right side, write “All things that came into being”, which means they did not exist previously but somewhere along the line they were created.
Hopefully, you can easily see that the only logical thing you can put on the left side is “God”. Only God is uncreated, existing from one end of eternity to the other.
Now, what goes on the right side. Essentially, “All created things”. Since they have not always existed, someone or something had to create them.
Now, Who is the author of “all created things”? As we have already seen, Jesus Christ (Jn 1:3)! Jesus Christ created “all things”, which is also stated in Col 1:16. Obviously, Christ pre-existed in order to create all things!
Since Christ created “all things”, which category does He belong? If Christ were a created being, then He could not have created “all things”, since He could not have created Himself. Therefore, the only logical place to put Him is in the category on the left, which makes Him “God”!
Was Jesus a Hypocrite?
Did Jesus mean what He taught?
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
~ Lk 4:8
So, did Jesus mean this or not? If only God was to be worshipped, then how could He allow someone to worship Him? Unless, of course, He is God?
2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
~ Mt 8:2
When God says something once, we should pay attention. When God says something twice, we definitely should consider what that means. I count eleven verses where Jesus was worshipped (and the Romans mocking Him does not count)!
In comparison, John fell down to worship a spirit being showing him the visions of Revelation, and the angel rebuked him. If Jesus were not God in the flesh, would He had not done the same?
The Weight of Evidence
When the weight of evidence favors one side in abundance, it takes a clearly closed and twisted mind to ignore it.
Point blank: You either believe Jesus was always and still is God, or you are not a Christian.