|(6a) Who is Lord Jesus Christ ?|
|Book 30 LESSON THREE * PART II |
Now there is another point. You have no idea how many people are asking the question, "Well, Who is Christ?" A lot of people are confused. Some have the idea that Christ never really amounted to anything until He was born at Bethlehem. They do not have the understanding that Jesus of Nazareth was the manifestation in the flesh of the Creator God of Genesis 1:1. I show that when we teach the Book of Genesis that Christ, as we know Him in the New Testament, was the Creator of the Old Testament.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,..."
As I explained to a person yesterday morning on the phone, and this very concept that we talked about in our last lesson. that when Christ died He paid the sin debt of every human being from Adam until the end of time. He could have never done that if He had not been the God of glory. So Jesus is the fleshly manifestation and is the image of that invisible eternal God. Turn with me for a moment to the Book of Colossians in Chapter 1. And let's see how this fits so beautifully with what the Holy Spirit inspires the apostle to write back in the letter to the Corinthians.
"Who (speaking of the Son in verse 13, and who has redeemed us in verse 14 through His Blood.) is the image (or visible manifestation) of the invisible God, the first born of every creature:"
So you see this is what we have to take by faith. I know I can't prove this in a laboratory experiment, but the Scriptures says it. And by faith we believe it, that God the Triune, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were invisible. But God the Son stepped out of that invisible Godhead and became the visible manifestation of the whole. And that's Christ, that's The Lord Jesus of Nazareth. Do you see that? Now verse 16, and here we find that Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, attributes The Lord Jesus with the Creation.
"For by him (Son in verse 13) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; (that even goes into realm of Satan and his powers) all things were created by him, and for him."
So that's why I say He is the same God in Colossians as He is in Genesis. The only difference is He has now taken on human flesh, human appearance. He is the image of the invisible God. I had a whole living room full of people about 25 years ago the first time I taught this. And when I just laid this out so clearly that Jesus of the Cross was the same God Who created everything in Genesis 1:1 it just blew their minds. And these people had been in church all their life, but they had never seen that before. And that's what we have to understand that Jesus of Nazareth was same God of Genesis 1:1, the only difference being He had now been manifested in the flesh. And that's why when we put our faith and trust in what He has accomplished, then we're not just talking about some Jew who grew up in a carpenter shop. But rather we're talking about the Creator Himself Who has taken it upon Himself the very work of redemption.
Let's pick up right where we left off in Genesis 2:4:
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD GOD made the earth and the heavens."
As we noted last time, all through Genesis 1 the term "God" is used to refer to the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Beginning in Chapter 2, however, we have a new name of Deity - "LORD GOD" - or Jehovah God. You are all probably familiar with the term "JEHOVAH" because it is used often in the Old Testament. This term is very important, for it brings the Name of God from the Old Testament through the New Testament where Jesus personally comes to earth in the flesh. The word "JEHOVAH" is made up of two Hebrew words, "Jahweh" and "Havah." "Jahweh" is the word for "I AM." Remember Moses' experience in the wilderness with the burning bush? (See Exodus 3:6,13-14.)
"I AM THAT I AM ... thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'"
"Jahweh," then is the eternal, pre-existent, "I AM." The word "Havah" means "to be revealed," and is a continuing action verb, or means "to continually be being revealed." Jehovah, therefore, means "the Eternal, Pre-existent I AM Who is to be more and more (continually) revealed to mankind."
As we go further in the Scriptures, we will find that various extensions are added to the word "Jehovah" to give more definition and understanding to our concept of God. For instance, "Jehovah-Joshua" would mean "the eternal, pre-existent I AM who is to be more and more revealed to mankind as the "Savior." ("Joshua" means "Savior"). In the New Testament, then, we find the name "Jesus." This is the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew "Jehovah-Joshua" or "God the Savior." (See Matthew 1:21). So, the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation, gives us a continuing revelation of the eternal "I AM."
Think about it. First the LORD GOD walked with Adam in the garden in the cool of the day; then He revealed Himself to Abraham (see Genesis 18) and when Abraham prepared the meal, the Jehovah of the Old Testament actually sat down and partook of it.
Now, in order to show that with Adam on the scene, the Eternal, Pre-Existent "I AM" is God the Son, and is going to be the One Who is to be more and more revealed as we come up through the human experience, turn to Exodus 3. Here God revealing Himself to Moses in the burning bush - not in physical form as before, but by means of a human voice. The Lord speaks to Moses, telling him that he's standing on holy ground and instructing him to remove his shoes. Then in verse 13: "Moses said unto God, 'Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, `The God of your fathers has sent me unto you;' and they shall say to me, `What is His name?' What shall I say unto them?"
Notice right at the beginning, that even though Jehovah, God the Son, has been separated out of the Godhead as a unique Person, yet He is still one with the Godhead, He is still God!
Remember that Moses had lived in Egypt for the first 40 years of his life. He knew and understood the thinking or mentality of both the Egyptians and the Israeli who had been in bondage there for nearly 400 years. Egypt had many "gods," and each one of them had a special name; and Moses knew that when he told them that God had sent him, they would ask him, "What is His name?" - which one sent you to us? Therefore, he asked God for His Name. In verse 14 God gives the answer: "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."
It is this same "I AM" that we discussed before and the Old Testament will continue to refer to Him as JEHOVAH. In fact, in Exodus 6:2,3 God says, "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD;" Remember that `LORD' can be inter-changed with JEHOVAH;
"And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them."
When theologians say that Jesus didn't claim to be God and that they don't believe in His Deity, see what they have to do to Scripture? They have to throw it out! Look at John 8:52-58. The Pharisees are testing Jesus in these verses, trying to drive Him into a corner. Whenever He said or implied that He was God, or the Son of God, to them it was pure blasphemy, and that's why they were trying to get Him to say in no uncertain terms that He was the God of Abraham. Then, they thought they would have just cause to put Him to death! As far as they were concerned, that was as blasphemous as one could get!
"Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?" Talk about a caustic reply. Look at Jesus' answer to them:
"Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad."
Remember as we discussed earlier that it is recorded in Genesis 18 that Abraham prepared a meal and God sat and ate with him and pledged His covenant with Abraham. So Abraham knew all about the Messiah's coming some day to the sons of Israel. Jesus rightly said, "Abraham rejoiced to see My day." But look at the Jews' reply in verse 57: "Then said the Jews unto him, 'Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" In the "timeline" illustration at the beginning of this book, we indicated that Abraham had lived about 2000 B.C., so the Jews here are aghast that Jesus, who was only about 30 years old, would say that he had seen Abraham! But Jesus' answer is beautiful and straight to the point; verse 58:
"Jesus said unto them, `Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.'"
Jesus claims His Old Testament identity, I AM. He is stating that He is the eternal, pre-existent I AM who would be more and more revealed to humankind. We've seen how He was revealed in various ways to various Old Testament people, and here we see Him revealed in the New Testament as the Son of God, born of Mary in the flesh, presenting himself to the nation of Israel. He goes to the cross and rises from the dead and again reveals Himself unto His followers for 40 days - but in His post-resurrection form He is again different than He was before the Cross, because now He is in His resurrected, glorified body - the body fashioned as ours one day will be. It was a further revelation!
As we look deeper into the New Testament, we find the Apostles, Peter and Paul beginning to reveal Jesus as the "God of all grace" (I Pet. 5:10), and as the Lord Jesus Who loved us and died for us, and gave Himself for us (Gal. 1:4, I Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:14); all further revelations of the very person of Christ Who so loved us and had such compassion for us that He would even go to the Cross for us to purchase our redemption (Heb. 12:2).
And then, what is the name of the final book of the Bible? The Book of Revelation! It's a misnomer to call it "The Revelation of St. John the Divine," for it is actually "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" Himself, and within its pages we see Jesus coming in the clouds of glory to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Do you see the constant revealing of Jesus through the Scriptures? As we study through the Word of God, we see more and more of Who Jesus is!Les Feldick
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