BY PASTOR MIKE TAYLOR
Hebrews 1:1 “ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
1:2 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;
1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
1:7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
1:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”
Hebrews, considered to be a work of Paul the Apostle addresses the question, “Is Jesus really God?”. For two millennium, the devil has attempted to make Jesus out to be somebody He is not. Through the workings of this master deceiver, there have been many sects of heretical teachings that blaspheme who Jesus actually was and is....God Almighty!
Deception in the early Church
Right after the church was born and was thriving in Jerusalem and spreading far and wide to the Gentile nations, men became deceived in their hearts and attempted to change what was known and written down in Holy Scripture of the Old Testament, as that is all they had for them at the time, until the New Testament writings were compiled in one place. And who was that Old and New Testament written for? Yes, it was for us, the end time church on earth. But men tried to interpret what the apostles taught based on their first hand experience of walking, talking, and eating with our Lord. These men were first person eye witnesses to the sinless life, death and resurrection of the Creator of all living things. This message was passed down by voice and letters written to these churches of their experiences living with the Master.
They saw His miracles. They saw His transfiguration on a mountain speaking with Elijah and Moses. They saw Him heal, and saw Him reach out to the lost and dying world with Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. They saw Him beaten, scorned and yes, die a cruel death. But the wonderful news is, they saw Him alive 3 days after He was laid in a tomb. They came to understand that Jesus was indeed, God in the flesh. These men were eye witnesses to His ascension into the clouds with a command to spread the Gospel to the four corners of the earth. Each of these men died, save one in martyrdom for their witness of being with God in the flesh. But some would not believe their eye witness accounts.
Heresies Enter the Fledgling Church
During the first century, you had the Gnostics, heretics who believed that Jesus was entered by God when He was baptized by John and the Holy Spirit landed on Him, as a dove, then left Him before He died. Gnosticism is defined as the Hellenization of Christianity. Wikipedia defines Gnosticism thusly:
Gnosticism (from gnostikos, "learned", from Greek:γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices found among some early Christian and non-Christian groups called "gnostic" ("learned") by Irenaeus and other early Christian leaders. In the past many scholars believed that gnosticism pre-dated Christianity, but now it is generally accepted that gnosticism developed into a coherent movement only in the second century CE.
These deceivers of the truth, believed that Jesus came to earth to deliver gnosis, or secret knowledge. This flies in the face of the biblical truth that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, no secret knowledge, no work of charity, being a member of a Christian church, or anything else will grant us eternal life. Nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ can save men. Peter stood up and spoke these words after the day of Pentecost had come to the people who heard them speak in other tongues by God's Holy Spirit. Acts,
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Another group around the same time were the Docetist who believed that Jesus was a phantom. He was not real, not flesh and blood, and only seemed to be human, but had no reality, but mere semblance.
When the Word became a man, He entered into a new state of being. He was a fleshly person with two natures. The word likeness in the Greek text found in Philippians: 2:7 “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
and Romans 8:3-4 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Both refer to "that which is made like something else." His humanity was a real likeness. He was not a phantom, as some of the Docetists believed, but His human likeness did not and could not express the whole of His being. Jesus was also God, but His human form could never express the fullness of God, even though He was God.
The denial “that Jesus is the Christ” does not imply that the Docetists thought Jesus was not the Messiah. Rather, the Docetists claimed that Jesus—the Man whom John had heard, seen and touched—was not truly God in the flesh and that the true Christ was an ethereal being in heaven. John argues that such a teaching denies the family relationship of the Father and the Son, obscuring the true nature of God.
Furthermore, in 1st John, John writes, anyone who denies that Jesus was God in the flesh, subject to temptation just like all human beings, “does not have the Father either.” Such a person simply does not understand the Gospel message. 1st John,
2:22 “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
He re-emphasizes this very fact in the fifth chapter of the same book:
1st John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
When Paul speaks of who Jesus was on earth, living as a mortal man, he compares Jesus being God made flesh and taking on the likeness of His fellow brethren in Hebrews,
2:6 “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?
2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (speaking of mankind)
2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,”
Unfortunately, there is still false beliefs of who Jesus was, and is...He is God. It survives even today and even more so to try and diminish the Divinity of our Savior and Lord. I had a chance to look on another Christian website who is somebody I respect as a sound biblical teacher, and read some comments at the end of His sermon online. One ladies stance on who our Savior was on earth gave me pause and filled me with sadness...As she went on about what God had revealed to her, one statement jumped out at me that made me have to reply to her and correct her in love from the bible, that she said does not contradict itself. That remark was “Jesus is not God”. Say what? Did I read that right. Yep, I read it right and I had to respond. First her errors are so anti-Biblical and blantant blasphemy I didn't know where to begin. So let's explore what the bible says who this man, Jesus Christ was. Let's start in the Old Testament and compare it to the New.
In the Beginning...Genesis
1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
Jesus is the God of the Old Testament. Before Jesus became man, the Bible called Him the Word. Many places confirm that the God of the Old Testament revealed Himself to men before He became flesh and blood and lived on this earth. John confirmed this when he wrote the first verses of his Gospel....
John 1:1…” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
The Great I AM,..... I AM that I AM
When God came to Moses in the form of the burning bush, that burned and was not consumed, Moses knelt down and removed His shoes from his feet. Then God identified Himself when Moses asked who shall I say has sent me? What did God say? Exodus,
3:13 “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”
And what did that God do? With power and mighty wonders for all to see, He brought Israel out of bondage and decimated the Egyptian economy because of their sins and refusal to let His people go.
When we look to Jesus, as He was speaking to the people, He proclaimed who He was, and the people understood and tried to stone Him, because of their unbelief. John,
8:56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.”.
Jesus was telling them that He was the God of the Old Testament. He was Jehovah, God of their fathers, and the Great I AM that I AM.
ABRAHAM AND ISAAC ON MOUNT MORIAH
In this passage, God stops Abraham from sacrificing his only son, a foreshadow of what our Lord and Savior would do for us. Genesis,
22:11 “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”
In this passage, the word is “angel” but is better interpreted and read as “messenger”. This was a messenger of the Lord God. He said, “for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing you hast not witheld thy only son”. The God of the Old Testament stopped Abraham and played a drama out to Abraham of the coming Redeemer who would shed His blood for all mankind. The Messenger, was Jehovah, pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.
IN the New Testament Matthew replays this drama and Jesus lives what Isaac was spared. Matthew reports Jesus' words,
26:2 “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”
Just before He died, Jesus cried out:
Matthew 27:45 “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”
It was the only time in the short life of our Lord and Savior, that Jesus experienced what He feared most...it was not the pain, the suffering, or even dying. It was the separation from the Father He had known for all eternity. He knew at the very moment, just before He gave up His Spirit, what we feel. Before this, He had not experienced it. But now, He knows what it felt like and He feared it more than anything else. The day became black as night. The clouds covered the face of the earth, and God turned His face away from His Son, because He could not bear to look upon what He had received, the sins of the whole world on His person. For that He died under it's burden. As He did, we should fear separation from God Almighty for all eternity, instead of just three days and three nights as He was.
JESUS IS THE ROCK!
God was with the Israelites in the wilderness and identified Himself as the Rock...
Exodus 17:6 “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
IN 1st Corinthians chapter 10, Paul identifies who this Rock was,
10:4 “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
THE HIGH PRIEST TO GOD, MELCHIZEDEK
It's one of the great mysteries of the Old Testament. Who was this priest, the King of Salem? You know the story. Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from being captured in a war between Canaanite cities. On his way back from taking spoils from routing these captors who had taken his nephew as prisoner, Abraham was visited by the King of Salem. Genesis chapter 14,
14:18 “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”
You give tithes to God, as Abraham did. Abraham realized he was being paid a visit by God Himself. Abraham had many meetings with God, and was called a friend of God.
Notice that Melchizedek was king of Salem. That is the city of Jerusalem. "Salem" comes from the Hebrew word meaning "peace" That would make Melchizedek the "King of Peace". The Hebrew name Melchizedek itself means "King of Righteousness"
Paul emphasizes this in Hebrews,
7:1 “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”
Paul clears this up for us. Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
The same individual is mentioned in Psalm 110, Speaking prophetically of Christ, David stated: "The Eternal hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."
Notice again: Melchizedek, this scripture reveals, abides that is, remains permanently, continually, a priest. God the Father is not the Priest of God, but Christ the Son of God . is. Yet, in the days when the Apostle Paul lived and wrote, shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven as High Priest, the scripture states that even then Melchizedek "abideth "—which means does now abide—"a priest continually." The Moffatt translation states it: "continues to be priest permanently" even while Jesus Christ is High Priest!
Also, note that if Melchizedek is a high priest forever, but Jesus Christ is also called our High Priest before God the Father, can there be two high priest before God. No, because Melchizedek and Jesus Christ are one and the same.
THE FATHER AND JESUS ARE ONE!!
Scripture professes that Jesus is indeed, GOD in the flesh. Jesus is a direct manifestation of the Creator in human form. Jesus said in John 10:30 “I and my Father are one.” And again when asked by Phillip to show them the Father, Jesus cleared it up for all of us, in John
14:9 “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”
How much clearer can our Lord and Savior be??
To deny that Jesus is God come in the flesh is the spirit of anti-Christ. We are to test the spirits and all who deny this one thing are of the devil, 1st John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST.
Jesus revealed Himself to the apostle John while he was on the isle of Patmos. Revelation, starting verse 1:
1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw”......dropping down,
1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
1:8 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.”
John was in the spirit on that day and seeing a vision that God was providing him as a witness of things to come and that witness was delivered by none other, than the Creator God, the Son of God in all His glory:
1:12 “ And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:”
From the beginning of Genesis v. 1, to the ending chapter in Revelation, the bible has only one focus, Jesus Christ and His coming into the world. God in His wisdom knew that men could not save themselves, and He would redeem His creation from Satan the devil. To do so required that He come Himself, as a man clothed in mortal flesh to be made like His brethren, to share in their mortality and to feel their need for a Savior, up close and personal. He was tempted in all things like we are, but without sin.
Jesus was the sinless substitution to satisfy payment for the remission of sins. 1st John,
2:2 “ And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”
I could go on and on, but the evidence found in your bible, plus the eye witness accounts, and historical evidence proves that Jesus was a real being, with real feelings, and was God in the flesh. To say otherwise, is to be deceived, or possess the spirit of anti-christ. So yes, my friend, Jesus is really God.Do you know my Jesus personally?
How do you come to know Him, as He really is? He came to save lost souls which we all are. He shed His own blood, as the substitute payment for the salvation and cleansing us of those sins. He did what God the Father required to allow mortal man into His presence. How do you and I approach God the Father? By confessing our sins, repenting of the way we have lived up this point, realizing that Jesus is God and that He died on a cross and by shedding His blood, made a way to be forgiven of those sins. Then accept by faith the blood sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and realize and confess with your mouth, that Jesus died, but more importantly rose to life three days later and lives eternally, as God Almighty (and sits at the right hand of God our Father on high, waiting to return to reclaim His creation, meaning the earth, and you, and me) then and only then can we know Him and claim His salvation by faith, given in mercy and grace as a free gift by God the Father to the world. Call upon my Jesus, your Jesus. If you cry in true repentance and ask Him to come into your heart and life, as Lord and Savior, He will do as you ask…He is only a prayer away for the truly repentant sinner. Look in the mirror, you’ll see who I’m talking about.
This is pastor Mike Taylor praying God's salvation comes into your life throught His Son, Jesus Christ. If you need any help, counseling, or just a friendly ear to listen to you, drop me a line via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus feet.