Who really is
Jesus Christ?


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Parts of the following material are excerpted from the book,
"What Does the Bible Really Teach"

Arguably, it could be said that Jesus is world famous. Just about everyone on earth, over the age of six, has probably heard something about him. But, as is the case with most famous people, He has had his supporters and his dissenters. To judge which to believe requires more than just knowing that he existed. You need to know such things as: What special role does he play in the overall scheme of things? Where did he come from? What kind of person is he? Where is he now? In the case of Jesus you particularly need to know, What does the Bible Really Teach About Him?

  • THE PROMISED MESSIAH
  • WHERE DID JESUS COME FROM?
  • Why did the Jews in general not accept Jesus as the Messiah?
  • Is Jesus Christ actually God?
  • Did Jesus really die on a cross?
  • Is believing in Jesus Christ all that is required for salvation?
  • WHAT KIND OF PERSON WAS JESUS?
  • WAS HE FAITHFUL TO THE END
  •  NOTE: This section is a work in progress; please keep checking back.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    THE PROMISED MESSIAH

     

    Since the first Bible prophecy was given in the Garden of Eden, God-fearing men were waiting and watching, anxiously, for the promised deliverer who would undo all the damage caused by the deception of the original serpent, "the one called devil and Satan."  —Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:9   The Hebrew-speaking Jews called him "The Messiah;" Greek-speaking Christians called him  "The Christ."  Both of these terms mean, "The Anointed One," that is one appointed by God to a special position.

    In the first century C.E., the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth were fully convinced that he was the foretold Messiah. It started with a man named John who was baptizing his followers in the Jordan river when he saw his cousin, Jesus, approaching. He immediately recognized him and called to his disciples, “See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!  —John 1:29

    The account goes on to relate how a man named Andrew reacted to what John had said: "First this one found his own brother, Simon, and said to him: “We have found the Mes·si′ah” (which means, when translated, Christ).—John 1:41 

    Simon eventually became better known to his Christian brothers as the Apostle, Peter, who is later quoted as saying to Jesus: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." —Matthew 16:16

    How could he be sure that Jesus filled that major role? For one thing, Jehovah himself spoke from Heaven not just once, but on two separate occasions, concerning Jesus. The first time was at his baptism. As witnessed to by all present, a voice from heaven said "This is my son, the beloved, who I have approved." —Matthew 3:17  The other time was at his transfiguration when a voice came out a cloud saying “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved; listen to him.” —Matthew 17:5 This time Peter was on hand to hear it.

    Many prophecies had been recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures centuries before his birth. The following list is far from complete and many had not yet been fulfilled when Peter made that statement, but this partial list should be sufficient to convince any today who are sincerely seeking the truth about the role Jesus plays in the overall scheme of things.

    In each  instance, the first scripture shows the prophecy; the second records the fulfillment.

    PROPHECIES REGARDING THE MESSIAH

    • Born of the tribe of Judah: Genesis 49:10 / Luke 3:23-33

    • Born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14 / Matthew 1:18-25

    • Descended from King David: Isaiah 9:7 / Matthew 1:1, 6-17

    • Declared by Jehovah to be his Son: Psalm 2:7 / Matthew 3:17

    • Not believed in: Isaiah 53:1 / John 12:37, 38

    • Entered Jerusalem riding an ass: Zechariah 9:9 / Matthew 21:1-9

    • Betrayed by a close associate: Psalm 41:9 / John 13:18, 21-30

    • Betrayed for 30 silver pieces: Zechariah 11:12 / Matthew 26:14-16

    • Silent before his accusers: Isaiah 53:7 / Matthew 27:11-14

    • Lots cast for his garments: Psalm 22:18 / Matthew 27:35

    • Reviled while on the stake: Psalm 22:7, 8 / Matthew 27:39-43

    • None of his bones broken: Psalm 34:20 / John 19:33, 36

    • Buried with the rich: Isaiah 53:9 / Matthew 27:57-60

    • Raised before corruption: Psalm 16:10 / Acts 2:24, 27

    • Exalted to God’s right hand: Psalm 110:1 / Acts 7:56

    Between the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and Jehovah God’s own testimony there should be no doubt for honest-hearted individuals that Jesus was the promised Messiah.  [back to menu]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    WHERE DID JESUS COME FROM?

     

    The Bible teaches that Jesus lived in heaven before he came to earth. Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and also said that His origin was “from early times.” (Micah 5:2) On many occasions, Jesus himself said that he lived in heaven before being born as a human. (John 3:13; 6:38, 62; 17:4, 5) As a spirit creature in heaven, Jesus had a special relationship with Jehovah.

    Jehovah and his firstborn Son enjoyed close association for billions of years—long before the starry heavens and the earth were created. How they must have loved each other! (John 3:35; 14:31) This dear Son was just like his Father. That is why the Bible refers to the Son as “the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) Yes, even as a human son may closely resemble his father in various ways, this heavenly Son reflected his Father’s qualities and personality.

    Jesus is Jehovah’s most precious Son—and for good reason. He is called “the firstborn of all creation,” for he was God’s first creation. (Colossians 1:15) There is something else that makes this Son special. He is the “only-begotten Son.” (John 3:16) This means that Jesus is the only one directly created by God. Jesus is also the only one whom God used when He created all other things. (Colossians 1:16) Then, too, Jesus is called “the Word.” (John 1:14) This tells us that he spoke for God, no doubt delivering messages and instructions to the Father’s other sons, both spirit and human.

    Jehovah’s only-begotten Son willingly left heaven and came down to earth to live as a human. But you may wonder, ‘How was it possible for a spirit creature to be born as a human?’ To accomplish this, Jehovah performed a miracle. He transferred the life of his firstborn Son from heaven to the womb of a Jewish virgin named Mary. No human father was involved. Mary thus gave birth to a perfect son and named him Jesus.—Luke 1:30-35.[back to menu]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Why did the Jews in general not accept Jesus as the Messiah?

     

    The Encyclopaedia Judaica says: “The Jews of the Roman period believed [the Messiah] would be raised up by God to break the yoke of the heathen and to reign over a restored kingdom of Israel.” (Jerusalem, 1971, Vol. 11, col. 1407) They wanted liberation from the yoke of Rome. Jewish history testifies that on the basis of the Messianic prophecy recorded at Daniel 9:24-27 there were Jews who expected the Messiah during the first century C.E. (Luke 3:15) But that prophecy also connected his coming with ‘making an end of sin,’ and Isaiah chapter 53 indicated that Messiah himself would die in order to make this possible. However, the Jews in general felt no need for anyone to die for their sins. They believed that they had a righteous standing with God on the basis of their descent from Abraham. Says A Rabbinic Anthology, “So great is the [merit] of Abraham that he can atone for all the vanities committed and lies uttered by Israel in this world.” (London, 1938, C. Montefiore and H. Loewe, p. 676) By their rejection of Jesus as Messiah, the Jews fulfilled the prophecy that had foretold regarding him: “He was despised, and we esteemed him not.”—Isaiah 53:3, JP.

    Before his death, Moses foretold that the nation would turn aside from true worship and that, as a result, calamity would befall them. (Read Deuteronomy 31:27-29.) The book of Judges testifies that this occurred repeatedly. In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, national unfaithfulness led to the nation’s being taken into exile in Babylon. Why did God also allow the Romans to destroy Jerusalem and its temple in 70 C.E.? Of what unfaithfulness had the nation been guilty so that God did not protect them as he had done when they had put their trust in him? It was shortly before this that they had rejected Jesus as the Messiah. [back to menu]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Is Jesus Christ actually God?

     

     

    Is the firstborn Son equal to God, as some believe? That is not what the Bible teaches. As previously noted (see, "Where Did Jesus Come From?) the Son was created. Obviously, then, he had a beginning, whereas Jehovah God has no beginning or end. (Psalm 90:2) The only-begotten Son never even considered trying to be equal to his Father. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father is greater than the Son. (John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 11:3) Jehovah alone is “God Almighty.” (Genesis 17:1) Therefore, he has no equal.

    John 17:3, Revised Standard: “[Jesus prayed to his Father:] This is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God [“who alone art truly God,” New English], and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (Notice that Jesus referred not to himself but to his Father in heaven as “the only true God.”)

    John 20:17, RS: “Jesus said to her [Mary Magdalene], ‘Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (So to the resurrected Jesus, the Father was God, just as the Father was God to Mary Magdalene. Interestingly, not once in Scripture do we find the Father addressing the Son as “my God.” 

    The Athanasian Creed, subscribed to by Catholic and Protestant churches alike, is a statement of belief that God is a trinity consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The three are considered to be co-equal in Power, Authority, Eternity and Substance. For this to be so we would have to eliminate the following scriptures from the Bible:

    Neither equal in power nor substance:

    • (John 14:28) "YOU heard that I said to YOU, I am going away and I am coming [back] to YOU. If YOU loved me, YOU would rejoice that I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am."

    Chain of command shows not equal in authority:

    • (1 Corinthians 11:3) But I want YOU to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God.

    Not equal in eternity since the father has always existed:

    • (Colossians 1:15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;

    Jesus is referred to over and over as "the son of God," yet not once as "God the son."  [back to menu]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Is believing in Jesus Christ all that is required for salvation?

     

     

     

    (Acts 16:30-32) And he brought them outside and said: “Sirs, what must I do to get saved?” 31 They said: “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of Jehovah to him together with all those in his house.

    Was that man’s ‘believing in the Lord Jesus’ just a matter of his saying sincerely that he believed? Paul showed that more was required—namely, knowledge and acceptance of the Word of God, as Paul and Silas now proceeded to preach it to the jailer. Would a person’s belief in Jesus be genuine if he did not worship the God whom Jesus worshiped, if he did not apply what Jesus taught as to the kind of persons his disciples should be, or if he did not do the work that Jesus commanded his followers to perform?

    We cannot earn salvation; it is possible only on the basis of faith in the value of the sacrifice of Jesus’ human life. But our lives must be consistent with the faith that we profess, even though that may involve hardship. At Matthew 10:22 [RS] Jesus said: “He who endures to the end will be saved.” [back to menu]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Does Jesus have his fleshly body in heaven?

     

     

    Work in Process

    1 Cor. 15:42-50, RS: “So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. . . . It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. . . . Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam [Jesus Christ, who was a perfect human as Adam had been at the start] became a life-giving spirit. . . . I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” (Italics added.)

    1 Pet. 3:18, RS: “Christ also died for sins once for all, . . . being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit [“in the spirit,” NE, AT, JB, Dy].” (See page 334.)

    Illustration: If a man pays a debt for a friend but then promptly takes back the payment, obviously the debt continues. Likewise, if, when he was resurrected, Jesus had taken back his human body of flesh and blood, which had been given in sacrifice to pay the ransom price, what effect would that have had on the provision he was making to relieve faithful persons of the debt of sin?

    It is true that Jesus appeared in physical form to his disciples after his resurrection. But on certain occasions, why did they not at first recognize him? (Luke 24:15-32; John 20:14-16) On one occasion, for the benefit of Thomas, Jesus appeared with the physical evidence of nail prints in his hands and a spear wound in his side. But how was it possible on that occasion for him suddenly to appear in their midst even though the doors were locked? (John 20:26, 27) Jesus evidently materialized bodies on these occasions, as angels had done in the past when appearing to humans. Disposing of Jesus’ physical body at the time of his resurrection presented no problem for God. Interestingly, although the physical body was not left by God in the tomb (evidently to strengthen the conviction of the disciples that Jesus had actually been raised), the linen cloths in which it had been wrapped were left there; yet, the resurrected Jesus always appeared fully clothed.—John 20:6, 7.