A few years back I wrote a prayer in my Bible right next to the beginning of 1 John. I asked God to let me know Him better like those that wrote the words in the New Testament. Having read the Bible for years, I was now led to natural revelation. In Romans 1:20 and 2:15 the Bible tells us that there are two things that everyone deals with every day that make the knowledge of God undeniable, even for those that have never read the Bible. It actually says in Romans 1:20 …so they are without excuse. This is the area of natural revelation I was led to investigate. At one point when I realized where I was heading a tremendous fear came upon me. It was in the form of a question – What if you find out it is not true? Almost immediately after that God spoke to me in an impression like He has a few times in the past but this time there was a visual element where I could sense a gentle smile and warmth to encourage me, kind of like saying don’t worry, He then said – Dig as deep as you want, Flip it upside down, turn it inside out, because it won’t change the truth. Thus I began my investigation and I have come to learn exactly how little faith I need to believe in the God of the Bible and Jesus exactly as He is described within it. While ironically at the same time gaining great faith. Today if I have a doubt I investigate it and I find that there are reasonable answers. I find that most if not all of my doubts are emotional and if attacked by them because I don’t quite feel right today, I glance back over my shoulder at the facts and realize they have not changed. I realize the truth has nothing to do with how I feel. If the Bible is true and Jesus is God as it claims, then it is true for everyone, everywhere not matter how I or anyone else feels. It has also changed the way I look at the Bible. Today it is even more precious and I relate in a deeper way to the individuals portrayed. They are real people just like you and me. I am holding the TRUTH in my hands and in my heart. I would appreciate any comments. If you would like to review the highlights of the facts go to www.god-evidence-truth.com and read my book entitled Gravity- True For Your But Not For Me. It is free online and available in most formats. There is even a video linked version in PDF that goes into more depth.
Here is a small portion of a book that I just came out with designed to be handed out to the lost. It can be read fully online in a free e-book and sent to friend s and family. It is also available in print 4 x 6 , 132 pages, full color cover for a very nominal donation amount. Less that $60 for 80 copies delivered to you.There have been some excellant initial reviews. Send it to everyone you know for Christmas. It goes over the evidence for Gods existence and identity. Check out www.god-evidence-truth.com
Who Did Jesus Claim to Be?
Back on page 13 and 14 were listed a number of contradictory beliefs for Jesus identity. Now we will look at who Jesus Himself claimed to be in the Bible:
1. Jesus Claimed to be God
In the Old TestamentGod calls Himself “I Am” in Exodus 3:14. In the NT Jesus uses the same name in John 8:58-59; the Jews realized what He was saying and picked up rocks to stone Him because they knew He was claiming to be God.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel”, “I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:14.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am,” so they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. John 8:58-59
2. Jesus Claimed to be the Object of Prayer
Jesus claimed to be the mediator between God and man, thus He was claiming to be God. How would you respond if I asked you to pray in my name?
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the
Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13
3. Jesus Claimed to Forgive Sins
We can all forgive someone for sinning against us personally. But of the numerous times Jesus forgave sins, He had just met the people so they had not sinned against Him personally. He was forgiving their sins against God, something only God can do.
“Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive
sins but God alone?”Mark 2:5-7
4. Jesus Claimed to be Worthy of Honor Due God
The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the
Father who sent him. John 5: 22-23
5. Jesus Claimed to be the Messiah – God in the OT
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:25-26
Caiaphas asks Jesus,“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”Mark 14:61-62
6. Jesus Claimed to be Equal in Authority with God
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will
not pass away.”Matt. 24:35
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven
and on earth has been given to me.”Matt. 28:18
7. Jesus Claimed to be Yahweh (LORD)
In the Old Testament, God is referred to in many ways. In the New Testament, the same attributes are
applied to Jesus and suggest He is God in the flesh.
Old TestamentNameNew Testament
Psalm 23:1ShepherdHeb. 13:20
Isa. 44:4 First & Last Rev. 1:17
Isa. 40:28CreatorCol. 1:16-17
Isa. 62:5Bridegroom Mt. 25:1
Ps. 27:1LightJn. 8:12
Isa. 43:11SaviorJn. 4:42
Isa. 42:8God’s Glory Jn. 17:5
1 Sam. 2:6Giver of LifeJn. 5:21
Deut. 32:4Rock1 Cor. 10:4
Joel 3:12Judge2 Cor. 5:10
Revelation tells us it is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1:17-18 are Jesus’ words claiming to be the First and Last, an Old Testament title in Isaiah 44:6 reserved for God. He also says “I was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore,” which only fits Jesus.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have
the keys of Death and Hades.”Rev. 1:17-18
8. Jesus Accepted Worship on Nine Occasions
Mother of James and John - Matt. 20:20, Possessed man - Mark 5:6, A blind man - Matt. 28:17, Doubting Thomas - Jn. 20:28, The women at the tomb - Matt. 28:9, A Canaanite woman - Matt. 15:25, His disciples - Matt. 14:33, A healed leper - Matt. 8:2, A rich young ruler - Matt. 9:18.
Jesus was also a Rabbi and the first duty of a Rabbi is to point out blasphemy. Yet Jesus never rebuked anyone who worshiped Him and even commended Thomas in John 20:29. In contrast, the apostle John tried to worship an angel in Revelation 22:9 and was rebuked. Jesus, on the other hand, accepts worship reserved for God alone. He was more than an angel.
9. Jesus Claimed to be One with God the Father
Despite the claims of many popular books today, it is clear the Jewish witnesses had no trouble figuring out Jesus was claiming to be God. They did not believe He was God, so in the end they crucified Him for blasphemy (claiming to be God, using God’s name in vain). They would have been right if He was not in fact God.
“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” John 10:30-33
10. Why Does Jesus Call Himself the Son of Man?
In the first verse below, Daniel 7:13, “Son of Man” is the God figure in the Old Testament. In John 8:28 Jesus calls himself the Son of Man, which He does 82 times in the (ESV) version the New Testament.
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaventhere came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient
of Daysand was presented before him. And to him was given dominionand glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an ever-
lasting dominion,which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. Dan. 7:13-14
So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.” John 8:28
No matter who you or anyone else in popular culture think Jesus is, based on the evidence it’s ludicrous to say that Jesus never claimed to be God.
Ten Points, Source: Bible,format adapted from Dr. Frank Turek’s video series. I Do Not Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.
“Additionally there is an enormous difference between who Jesus claimed to be when compared to other leaders of different beliefs. Jesus claimed to be able to forgive sin, He accepted worship numerous times, and He said He was the only way to the Father.Only Jesus claimed equality with a sole, supreme deity. According to E.O. James, an authority on comparative religions, nowhere else had it ever been claimed that a historical founder of any religion was the one and only supreme deity. Only Jesus spoke on his own unquestioned authority. Zoroaster and Muhammad acted as spokesmen for God, while Socrates and Buddha urged every man to consult his own conscience.”
“Indeed, it’s shocking to me how much of Jesus’ life can be established, including his radical personal claims, his crucifixion, his burial in a tomb, the discovery of his empty tomb, his post-mortem appearances, and his disciples’ coming to believe suddenly and sincerely that God had raised him from the dead. We therefore have quite solid reasons for believing in Christ on the basis of the historical facts preserved about him in
in many ways. He gave us the ultimate proof by rising from the dead as He predicted. Therefore Jesus is God who came in the flesh.
I thought Jesus was the Son of God
He is the Son of God; He shares the nature of God with the Father and the Holy Spirit. This is what is called the Trinity. One God as the Bible clearly tells us but in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A very simple but limited analogy that seems to help people understand the Trinity is H2O. It can be water, ice, or steam - but the nature of all three is H2O.It is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit but the nature of all three is God. The Trinity is hard to fully comprehend, but it’s not contradictory since it does not state there are three Gods and one God at the same time. Illustrated further in the following picture:
Another analogy often used is the triangle. Its three corners represent the God figures and they all share in the one nature of God, the triangle itself.
How could Jesus be God and Man
The Bible tells us Jesus was a man and God incarnate; Deity willingly clothed with humanity. When reading through the Bible it is important to consider who is speaking and who the audience is. For example many people who do not believe in the Bible, claim that Jesus said, “God forgives” and think it applies to everyone. But in context, this is spoken only in reference to those who have placed their faith in Jesus. So it is obvious how important context is.
Therefore when you ask a question about Jesus a similar situation arises. The question needs to be asked in two ways. Was the Father greater than Jesus? As God no, as man yes. Did Jesus know the day and hour of His return? As God yes, as man no. Did Jesus get hungry? As God no, as man yes. Did Jesus get tired? As God no, as man yes. Did Jesus die? As God no, as man yes. Next, Dr. William Lane Craig uses an analogy that utilizes the movie Avatar, to explain the two natures of Jesus:
“I explained the doctrine of Christ's being one person who has two natures and used the movie Avatar to illustrate the doctrine ("Avatar" is another word for incarnation.) The movie tells the story of Jake Sully, a disabled marine who becomes an avatar among a race of extra-terrestrials called the Na'vi. He becomes physically incarnated among them as one of them. At the same time he doesn't cease to be human. So Jake has both a human nature and a Na'vi nature. In the movie these two natures have strikingly different powers. If you were to ask, "Can Jake Sully run?" The answer would have to be, "Yes and no: yes, in his Na'vi nature but no, in his human nature."“I told the audience that if you can make sense of Avatar, you can make sense of Christ's incarnation. For in a similar way, Christ has both a divine nature and a human nature. These natures have different powers. In his human nature Christ experienced all the limitations intrinsic to human nature. But in his divine nature he had supernatural powers. Just as Jake Sully in his Na'vi nature became the Savior of the Na'vi people, so Christ in his human nature becomes the Savior of mankind.” William Lane Craig, Christian Philosopher and Theologian debate with Yusuf Ismail. www.reasonablefaith.org
Check out a small portion of my new book - Gravity - In this small glimpse we see one piece of evidence that tells us the events reported in the Bible actually happened, it is true. Embarrassing testimony is just one fact that tells us so.
2. Embarrassing Testimony
The “Principle of Embarrassment” is one method used by historians to decide if the authors of a text are telling the truth. It says if the text is embarrassing to the author or authors it is probably true. This is because people do not fabricate events that make them look bad. As a matter of fact, they may leave them out in an attempt to look good.
Consider what a person who is trying to sell you a lie might do. Let’s say someone wanted you to invest your life savings with them. What kind of picture would they paint with the words and literature they offer? No problems, right? Well consider if the writers of the Bible were trying to make up a God they wanted you to believe in. Wouldn’t they do the same and claim there were no problems? Yet the Bible is filled with embarrassing details about Jesus and the disciples. His followers had many of the same problems we see Christians struggling with today. Experts say embarrassing testimony like this would be counter-productive in a plot to falsely claim that Jesus is God. Therefore the following embarrassing details about what some thought of Jesus, could only be a true report of what actually happened. This supports the belief that the disciples told the complete unvarnished truth. Note the following claims are not supported by facts. They are simply a reporting of what some people, mainly His detractors, claimed.
Called a drunkard - John 10:19
Called a madman - John 10:20
Family thinks he is out of his mind - Mark 3:21
Not believed by his brothers - John 7:5
Called demon possessed - Mark 3:22, John 7:20, 8:48
Thought to be a deceiver - John 7:12
Deserted by many followers - John 6:66
Crucified despite the belief that anyone hung on a tree is cursed, making it very difficult for Jews to accept – Deut. 21:23
“People do not make up embarrassing details about themselves.”
Quote Dr. Frank Turek, Embarrassing testimony support adapted from Turek & Geisler’s, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.
Conclusion – If you were making up a God you wanted everyone to believe in, you would not include embarrassing details about Jesus, unless it was a true reporting of what happened.
You can read the whole book filled with the evidence for Gods existence and identity in a free e-book at www.god-evidence-truth.com . It will supercharge your faith and show you exactly how little faith you need to believe. In Print to for a very low cost, like 20 for $20 delivered to you, 80 for under $60, 132 pages, 4 x 6, full color cover. Similiar to More than a Carpenter or Case for Christ. It has received some excellant reviews. Designed to be given to the skeptic, the lost, anyone that does not know Jesus as Savior. Everyone deserves a chance to examine the evidence for themselves and as believers we have a MORAL OBLIGATION to share the truth.