Friday, January 27, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Ten

2:22-23 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Christ is the Greek version of the Hebrew word “Messiah” which means “anointed one.” Messiah also means Savior, a title given to Christ our Lord 16 times in the New Testament, while it is accorded to God 8 times. The Old Testament is clear: God alone is Savior, Psalm 106:21; Isaiah 43:3, 11; 45:15,21; 49:26; Hosea 13:4, etc.

If Christ claims the title of Savior while it was a title reserved exclusively for God, then does that mean Christ, the Messiah, or Anointed One, is God? Yes, it does. Does Scripture detail this marvelous truth? Without doubt, and I will take pains to list passages that give straight forward testimony that Jesus Christ is Yahweh of the Old Testament, the I AM of Moses and the enthroned Lord of Isaiah.

I have already labored to put down every reference to Christ being God on my page “Is Jesus God?” but I will reference a few of them here and extrapolate a little to verify that the writers of Scripture fully believed that their risen Lord and Savior was also the great I AM from the Old Testament.

John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This passage is extremely complimentary with Hebrews chapter 1. The writer of Hebrews went to great lengths to showcase the eternal deity of Jesus Christ and agrees entirely with John’s curt assessment that Christ was (is) God.

“[Jesus] being the brightness of his 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,” Hebrews 1:3. The anonymous writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of God’s person. In other words, Jesus is God manifest; the person of Christ was the image of the invisible deity; as John states: the Word became flesh, John 1:14. Christ holds all things together by the word of His power, power which is natively His own. Paul agrees with this verdict when he writes: “For by him 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: all things were created by him, and for him,” Colossians 1:16. Jesus purged our sins by Himself. The Greek word for “purged” is actually two. It combines “poieo” which means “to do, make, practice or produce,” and “katharismos” which means “cleansing, purification or washing.” Our modern word “catharsis” is derived from this term. The idea is that Christ did the work on our behalf and made us clean BY HIMSELF. As Man He did it on our behalf, as God He did it perfectly. Now Christ, as glorified Man, sits at the Father’s right hand waiting for His enemies to be put under His feet.

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him,” Hebrews 1:6. This is strong language and utter blasphemy if Jesus is not God. The angels who were companions to John during his visions of the Revelation refused worship and commanded the apostle to worship God alone, Revelation 19:10. The Father commands His angels to worship Christ, and when He brought the firstborn into the world that is exactly what they did, Luke 2:9-14

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom,” Hebrews 1:8. The Father speaks to the Son in this passage and addresses Him as God, quoting from Psalm 45:6-7. He talks about the eternal nature of Christ’s kingdom and that it will be a righteous kingdom with Christ perpetually as king. This verse, and much of this chapter, have been warped and twisted by cults and sects seeking to escape the ultimate outcome of these passages but they remain forever as a testimony of the nature and person of the Savior we confess and follow.

And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail,” Hebrews 1:10-12. The Father is still addressing the Son in this passage, quoting from Psalm 102:25-27. The Father is attributing to Christ the events of the creation week. The Trinity created the heavens and earth and that is implied by the very name of God in Hebrew: Elohim. The name literally means “Gods.” This passage deals with the unchanging, eternal nature of Christ. Creation perishes but Christ remains. He shall do away with them eventually but He remains forever the same and His years will never fail, see also Malachi 3:6. The prophet Micah writes: “But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,” Micah 5:2. Later in Hebrews the writer succinctly states: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” Hebrews 13:8. From eternity past to eternity future, our Lord does not change. He is the I AM, the unchanging self-existing One whose goings forth are from everlasting, John 8:58.

Jesus plainly declared “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:6. Peter adds his testimony: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12. Paul says much of the same when addressing a Jewish audience regarding salvation. “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses,” Acts 13:38-39. John warns his own audience: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son,” 2nd John 1:7-9.

Many confess Christ, but it is a Jesus of their own creation and not the only begotten Son of God, Lord and Savior of mankind. To deny the person of Jesus Christ as Scripture plainly declares Him is to deny both the Father and the Son. If you do not accept the Son as He is rest assured you do not have God. You have a false god, an idol, and like that idol you will sadly perish with it. John names everyone who rejects the deity of Jesus Christ an antichrist. Some want to drag the Lord down to humanity’s level and make Him a created being; others want to ascend to the divine level and assert that all mankind can become “christs.” Both speak and teach from the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2:2.

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