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Is Jesus God?
By Peter Kamen
past six months or so, I have been called upon to address a concept, which
seems to have a tendency to find its way into the Church of God from time
to time. While certainly not a new issue (the early New Testament church
was forced to address it as a result of encroaching Gnosticism), it has
once again surfaced. The issue involves Jesus and His “pre-New Testament”
subject is actually a two-pronged issue. One segment concerns itself with
the question “Did Jesus Christ exist in any form prior to His coming and
the New Testament era?” The other segment, which is based on the first,
“Was and is, Jesus God?”
this is not a new idea, the "Jesus is/was not God" issue is finding its
way into the Church of God in an upfront fashion. A major publication
that addresses the Churches of God has published a series of viewpoints by
different authors. One prominent minister has reportedly held a seminar
on the West coast recently to discuss his position that Jesus is not God.
purpose of this article is to show that there were in fact two beings
known as Jehovah/YHWH in pre-New Testament times and to sow that Jesus
Christ was, and is now, God. We will examine the key Scriptures of this
issue, but certainly not every one to which we could allude. You are
encouraged to study your Bible and build on what is presented here.
be most helpful if we establish something of major importance in
approaching an issue such as this; that is, this subject must be studied
in a contextual manner. If we are not careful, we can find
ourselves becoming entangled in a philosophical ball of yarn, which will
serve nothing more than to generate endless questions. Therefore, let’s
begin with some foundational Scriptures.
God of the Old
with the slightest degree of Biblical familiarity knows, the very first
scriptural statement, which one encounters is Genesis 1:1: “In the
beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Here the word
translated into “God is yhla or elohiym. According to
Strong’s this word is a plural of  elowahh meaning God or the
deity. Elohiym can be translated as:
Rulers or judges
Works or special possessions of God
The [true] God
bottom line here is, that in the Old Testament, it is impossible to argue
that the word “God” is used only in one sense. We can only be sure of the
meaning of the word when we see it in its intended context.
God of the New
opening statement of the Gospel of John affords us an enhanced detail of
Genesis 1. John 1:1-2: “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. The Greek word used here
for Word is Logos. Actually Logos is a word that also has multiple
definitions ranging from “something said or implied” to “speech” or
interesting point derived from one commentary states: “A Greek philosopher
named Heraclitus first used to term Logos around 600 B.C. to designate the
divine reason or plan which coordinates a changing universe. This word
was well suited to John’s purpose in John chapter 1.” (Crosswalk on Line
we have an entity referred to as the Word, who was WITH God, and WAS God.
In verse three, John goes on to tell us that, “All things were made by
Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
God, as used here is the Greek word Theos, which means a general
name of deities or one true God.
Who Did The
are many incidents recorded in the Old Testament, which show God
conversing with man. Who was this Being that humans conversed and
there are numerous Scriptures that record such incidents, we will examine
a few of the most familiar examples.
Genesis 3:8-14, we have the account of where the Lord God spoke to Adam
and Eve. The word Lord used here is the well-known Jehovah/YHWH,
or “self-existing one,” and the word God used in this context is
Elohiym, which we have examined. Once again remember, context
is important here. Someone is represented in these verses as a
combination of Self-Existent and one of the definitions of
Elohiym, which is plural in nature. This same combination is
again used in Exodus 6:2: “And God [Elohiym] spake unto Moses and
said unto him ‘I am the Lord’ [Jehovah].”
revealing Himself as a plural status, or family of self-existent
beings. This is also the case with Deuteronomy 6:4, which is often
referred to as proof of monotheism. Here again, both words are
used and the sentence should read, “the Self Existing one” is one
proceeding, let’s review what we’ve covered, and the context of the same.
We have so far established that the word God, in the Old Testament,
is derived from Elohiym, which is plural in its meaning and can be
translated in several different ways.
opening verses in the Gospel of John provide additional insight as to the
plural nature of God by clearly revealing that, the “Word [Logos] was God,
and was with God.”
representing themselves as Elohiym and YHWH [Jehovah or self-existing] has
appeared to, and communicated with humans all through the Old Testament
writings. These interactions included conversation, dining, and even
important incident recorded in the Old Testament serves to establish the
identity of who was interacting with mankind.
Conversation with Moses
chapter three, we have the account of God first appearing to Moses in a
burning bush. In Exodus 3:13, Moses inquired of God as to by what name
he would say that he had been sent. God replied in verse 14, “And God
said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, thus shall you say unto the
children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you.” While God had revealed
himself via titles such as Elohiym or Jehovah/YHWH, here is an account of
God actually identifying himself with a specific name, “I AM”.
numerous Messianic Prophecies in the pages of the Old Testament, but one
in particular gives a rather comprehensive description of Christ's part in
God’s plan, and is found in the ninth chapter of the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto
us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his
name shall be called wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The
Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
goes on to describe His everlasting kingdom. All of the above titles
include the true, or self-existent God. This alone should quell all
arguments as to whether or not Jesus is God. But there is even more solid
scriptural evidence, which establishes Jesus as God, and links Jesus to
the one who represented himself as God in the Old Testament.
Jesus and The
cited many references to His Father. The fifth chapter of the gospel of
John contains Jesus’ testimony of His relationship to, and with the
Father. One very important Scripture in Jesus’ testimony is found in
But I have greater witness than that of John:
for the works which the Father has given me to finish, that I do, bear
witness of me that the Father has sent me. And the Father himself, which
has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice
at any time, nor seen his shape.
one who was interacting with humans throughout history had to be the
Word, the one who became Jesus Christ!
have additional Scriptures, which show beyond any doubt, that the one who
became Jesus Christ was the member of the God family, who spoke with man.
The Apostle Paul devoted a set of Scriptures to explain the very mind and
nature of Jesus Christ and the example that has been given to us. We will
quote from the Living Translation Philippians 2:6-10,
Your attitude should be the same that
Christ Jesus had, though he was God, he did not demand and cling to
his rights as God, he made himself of nothing he took the humble position
of a slave and appeared in human form, and in human form he obediently
humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.
Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a
name that is above every other name [remember, Jesus praying to the Father
to return him to the glory, which he had with the Father before the
world was? John 17:5], so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,
in heaven and on earth, and under the earth.
“The fact of the
matter is that Jesus is the Son of God and He is God, even as our children
are our own flesh and blood. Jesus is a God by virtue of being a
member [Son] of the God family."
The “I AM”
Yet another proof (and in
this author’s opinion, one of the strongest) consists of two accounts of
Jesus identifying Himself as the “I AM” who had spoken to Moses. In John
Chapter 8:56, Jesus talking to the Jews stated,
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and
he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, you are not yet
fifty years old and you have seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, truly,
truly, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM.
John chapter 18 records
the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. In verse 3 we read,
Judas then having received a band of men and
officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came forth with lanterns
and torches and weapons, Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should
come upon him, went forth, and said unto them; “Whom do you seek?” And
they answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said unto them ‘I AM’! “He”
is in italics indicating that it is not in the original manuscript. As
soon as He had said, “I AM,” they went backward and fell to the
Jesus identified Himself
as the very God, who had spoken to mankind from the beginning, and the
power of His name ruled for the moment.
As we all know, Jesus was
crucified and died for the sins of all mankind, thus becoming our Savior.
The Epistle of Hebrews offers a comprehensive and detailed explanation of
exactly what Jesus accomplished with His first coming, death, and
resurrection. A study of this book is highly recommended.
In themselves, the first
four verses of chapter 1 offer a synopsis of Christ's purpose and current
God who at sundry times and in divers manners
spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last
days spoken unto us by a Son whom he has appointed heir of all things,
by whom also he made the worlds. Who being the brightness of
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; Being so much better than the
angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Jesus came to:
(1) Preach the Gospel
of the kingdom of God
(2) Be our Savior
(3) Grant us direct
access to God by replacing the Levitical priesthood and thereby
(4) Become the
First Born of many brethren
(5) Become the
author, finisher, and captain of our salvation.
Jesus In The
Future of God’s Plan
In Matthew 28:18, Jesus
proclaimed to His disciples, ”All power is given unto me in heaven
and in earth.” In 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 we read,
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and
become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death,
by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die,
even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own
order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at
his coming. Then comes the end when he shall have delivered up the
kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule
and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he has put all
enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he has put all things under his feet. But when he says all things are
put under him, it is manifest that he [the Father] is excepted,
which did put all things under him [Christ]. And when all thins shall
be subdued unto him, then shall the Son himself also be subject to him
that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
This set of Scriptures
specifically states, that Jesus will be subject to God the Father and will
rule over all of creation directly under the Father.
From this last point,
some have reasoned that these verses show that Jesus is not God, because
He will never be God, as God is God. The fact of the matter is, Jesus is
the Son of God and He is God, even as our children are our
own flesh and blood. Jesus is a God by virtue of being a member
[Son] of the God Family! This is the entire purpose of the Word
becoming flesh—that God could die for the sins of mankind and reconcile
us to become members of the God family as well. This is the ultimate
fulfillment of the plan of God.
In Revelation 21 we see
the new heavens and earth, the holy city descending from heaven, and God
the Father now dwelling among His people. This is in fulfillment
of 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus now having delivered up everything to the
Father. And in Revelation 21:5-7 we read: “And he that sat upon the
throne said, Behold I make all things new. And he said unto me, It is
done, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto
him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that
overcomes shall inherit all things [Hebrews 2:8] and I will be his God,
and he shall be my son.
In conclusion, God has a
beautiful plan by which He is going to add many children to His family,
yes; they will become Gods, themselves (2 Corinthians 6:18, Matthew
13:43). No, they will not be God the Father; anymore than any of us can
ever be our fathers and they will not have power over Jesus. As we have
seen, He, the Word, was with God and was God from the
beginning. He is now our elder brother and will always be so. To lose
sight of these facts is to lose the precious insight, which God has
revealed concerning His magnificent plan.