Thursday, April 29, 2010

Theology Part 3

Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses both believe Jesus to be Michael, the archangel. A peculiar Watchtower doctrine states that He was the greatest of God's creations, directly created by Jehovah and then used to create all else. Yet Scripture states that Michael was not unique. In Daniel 10:13 we read: “Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me.” Michael is merely one of a number of archangels, it would seem; this number may include Gabriel who is also mentioned in Daniel. Nor would Jesus claiming to be an angel bother the Jews; angels were part and parcel to their orthodoxy. When Paul was on trial before the Sanhedrin the Pharisees wanted to release him, thinking an angel had given him divine knowledge, Acts 23:9. Why not? Daniel and other prophets were frequented by angels numerous times. Yet the Jews wanted to kill Jesus; not for claiming He was an angel, but for claiming that He was God, John 10:33. As mentioned just prior, Jesus was worshiped by certain Jews. Yet the prohibition in the Mosaic Law was clear: worship of any being other than God Himself would merit the death penalty, Exodus 20:3-6. Later Paul would warn against worship of angels as a false religion, Colossians 2:18. He states in verse 19 that when we let go of the Head (Christ), we become vulnerable to idolatry, and worship created things. Such people exchange the truth of God for the lie (Satan's lie), worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator, Romans 1:25. We must then conclude that these Jews (including the original Apostles; see Matthew 28:17 and Luke 24:52) were idolaters worthy of death, or they recognized that Christ was in fact God in the flesh, and worthy of worship. The holy angels abhorred the thought of being worshiped, such as when John attempted to worship an angel, Revelation 19:10. Both Peter (Acts 10:25-26) and Paul (Acts 14:11-14) adamantly refused worship. What should we think of Jesus, who never blushed or felt shame for being worshiped? The Son is greater than the angels—Hebrews 1:4—because angels are ministering spirits, Hebrews 1:14; while Jesus is the Creator of all things, Hebrews 3:3-4.

Now we shall continue our hunt through the Old Testament to find the claims God made about His unique role as Savior and Creator. We will limit our hunt primarily to Psalms and Isaiah, which will more than adequately supply us with the answers we are seeking. I will limit any additional comments about the passages, and allow them to stand alone.

• OT Psalm 18:31, “For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock except our God?”
• NT John 19:28-29, “Thomas answered and said to Him (Jesus), 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 1st Corinthians 10:4, “For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”
• OT Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
• NT Colossians 1:16, “For by Him (Christ) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” This verse is perverted in the NWT, the Bible of the J.W. Their reading adds the word “other” (all “other” things, etc) several times to insinuate that while God created Jesus, Jesus created everything else, or else God through Him. There is absolutely NO manuscript authority for this translation; it was done to promote what Peter calls a “private interpretation,” 2nd Peter 1:20.
• OT Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
• NT John 10:11, “I (Jesus) am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
• OT Psalm 51:4, “Against You (God), You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight.”
• NT Mark 2:5, 10-11, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven you,'...'But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins,'-He said to the paralytic, 'I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house,'”
• OT Psalm 118:14, “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.
• NT Titus 2:13-14, “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
• OT Isaiah 41:4, “Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am the first; and with the last I am He.”
• NT Revelation 1:17, “And when I saw Him (Jesus), I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last.’”
• OT Isaiah 42:5, Thus says God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it.”
• NT Hebrews 1:8, 10-12, “But to the Son He says… ‘You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain, and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.”
• OT Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images.”
• NT 1st Peter 1:21; Revelation 5:12-13, “Who through [Jesus] believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing...Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
• OT Isaiah 43:10, “You are My witnesses,’ says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.”
• NT John 8:24, 58, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins…Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
• OT Isaiah 43:11; 60:16, “I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior…you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.”
• NT Luke 2:11; Titus 2:13; 2nd Peter 1:1, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

For those who are willing to accept this truth, the truth is freely and readily available, and the only truth by which men are made free, John 8:31-32. Rejection of this truth always creates a vacuum that the institution rejecting the truth rushes in to fill. Instead of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone for eternal salvation, rules, regulations, works, affiliation with a certain church or sect, etc, spring into being. The anthem is legion. There is no salvation outside the pale of this particular church or organization. This is in diametric opposition to Christ’s very words when He stated that there was no salvation outside of Him, John 3:18; 6:37; 8:24; 10:25-28; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 13:39; Romans 3:21-26; 10:9-10; 1st John 5:1, 5, 10-13; 2nd John 1:9. To anyone resisting the plain words of Scripture, or twisting them to suit your own idea of who or what God is, set down your notions and arguments, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. The carnal mind is enmity to God, Romans 8:7. Anyone unsaved and unregenerate, having never been born again through faith in Christ, cannot please God in anything they do, Titus 1:15-16. Rather than attempting to lower Scripture to your level of thought, elevate the word of God to its rightful place of preeminent, divinely inspired truth given to a needy and impoverished race. Christ is God manifest come to give us rest, Matthew 11:28-29; Hebrews 4:9-10. This is the beauty and grace of the truth! Salvation is an offer made by a God of infinite mercy, who extends it freely to any who are willing to receive, and admit their inability to pay for it, Revelation 22:17; Isaiah 55:1. Christ suffered as our representative man to bring us to God; will we degrade and ignore His passion? His was the only offering for sin the Father found acceptable, Hebrews 10:11-18. Instead of trying in vain to earn what Christ already purchased with His own blood, simply rest in the full knowledge that what Jesus did, He did for sinful people such as us, and He did it with perfect and eternal efficacy. None that come in faith will be cast out. Amen.

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All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible (KJV) or New King James Bible (NKJV). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.