JESUS, YAHWEH OR NOT?
by Pastor Jeromy John Visser
This morning I'd like to talk about a subject that might make a few of you cringe. Nonetheless, it's something that needs to be discussed not only because it's a basic fundamental of Christianity but because it's a topic that many latter-day followers have fallen away from. Of course, I'm talking about the aspect of Jesus Christ being Yahweh, the God of Israel. Scattered throughout the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, are many scriptures that support this claim. In the Old Covenant there are several 'types and anti-types' of the coming Messiah -- the ram caught in the thicket that Abraham offered in place of Isaac might come to mind. Even more complex are the characters of Melchizedek king of Salem and even Joshua himself. In this sermon, I intend to probe deeper into these areas of the Bible and hopefully give you food for thought.
In the New Covenant, Jesus Christ himself made the claim to be Yahweh in numerous passages that we'll be looking into. We will also read scriptures from the Apostles that support the fact that Jesus Christ is the very Creator spoken of in Genesis 1:1. We'll look into the term "Son of God" and expand on its meaning this morning, as well. I intend to cover a lot of scripture so have your Bibles ready if you have them, I suggest the King James Version.
Speaking of which, be sure to be here this Wednesday evening where our sermon topic will be New American Standard: Corrupt, Period where I'll be addressing the numerous passages in that so-called Bible where Jesus Christ is deleted altogether. I've noticed an increased interest in this faulty translation infiltrate the Christian movement lately so I'll also be talking a bit about Dr. Logsdon the co-founder of the NAS who said in his own words "I must under God renounce all attachment to the NASB and the King James Version is 100% correct." More on that Wednesday night.
Most importantly is we'll be expounding on the four verses in the Bible that mention the term 'antichrist' and look at the characteristics that causes Yahweh to define one as such. Ironically, you'll also discover that from this very Biblical description many popular mainstream preachers fall under this category and as false prophets teach that Jesus isn't God in an attempt to separate the Trinity for their own purposes.
(In The Beginning:)
We'll begin reading in the Gospel of John, right at Chapter 1 -- "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 (John 1:1-3)." These verses tell us many things. First of all it tells us that 'the Word' was there in the beginning. Take a guess at who that might be? Exactly, Revelation 19:13 teaches us that Jesus is "The Word of God."
Based on those two sections of scripture alone one begins to wonder why anybody would teach otherwise. If The Word of God is God and Jesus is that Word, than obviously Jesus Christ is Yahweh. Still, a little later it gets more specific. For the sake of time we'll jump down to verse 14 in John's Gospel where it reads "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." Here we see that this same Word that was God was made flesh and dwelt among us. What does this mean? Simple -- Jesus is Yahweh.
Still, false teachers insist on attacking this simple teaching from scripture. For further clarity we have another verse found in Colossians that expounds "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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." In this passage Paul is speaking about Jesus who "is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15-17)."
Now, turn with me now to 1st Timothy, chapter 3 and pick it up in verse 16. Here, Paul writes to Timothy these words -- "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." Yet again, this is another witness that proves Jesus was 'Yahweh manifest in the flesh.' Maybe now the verse found in Genesis 1:26 might make a little more sense when you read "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
(The Coming Messiah:)
Before I focus on Jesus' own claims to be Yahweh, I'd first like to look at a few of the Old Testament prophecies concerning His future coming and what they mean. The first place I'd like you to turn is Isaiah 7:14 and we read "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Nothing too strange about this verse you say? Well, look up the name ‛immânû'êl in a trusty concordance and you'll discover that this word (pronounced im-maw-noo-ale') means "God with us (Strong's #H6005)."
A second witness is found in the Gospel of Matthew that reads "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:23)." If Immanuel is 'God with us' and Jesus is this same Emmanuel than one could safely deduct that Jesus is obviously Yahweh from these verses as well.
The next prophecy I'd like to center in on is also found in the great book of Isaiah, this time in chapter 9 and verse 6. It reads "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Right here, the prophet Isaiah is speaking of the coming Jesus and not only calls Him 'the mighty God' but 'the everlasting Father.' The God of Israel is Jesus Christ.
Still, there are many serpentile 'teachers' that continue to lecture against the very fact that Jesus is Yahweh all the while professing to be Bible believers themselves, makes you wonder doesn't it? Considering that in order to be a "Christian" one must follow Jesus as God and trust His teachings like when he says "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14:9)."
Again, before I get to the Messiah's own claims to being God, I'd like to further present more proof from the Apostles who also believed and worshiped Jesus as Yahweh. There are many so-called "New Testament Christians" who like to throw away over two thirds of God's Word, most even denying the validity of the scriptures when they do. If you're from this misfortunate train of thought, I'll tell you right now -- this sermon won't do you a bit of good. However, if you trust the Word you should be able to appreciate the following verses that I'm going to present to you.
(The Apostles' God:)
Turn with me right now to Acts 20:27-28. This passage reads "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Here, the teaching is that Jesus Christ, here called both God and the Holy Spirit, purchased the church 'with his own blood.' Not much confusion here.
The next place I'd like to go is to the epistle of Paul to the Romans, chapter 9. We'll start reading on verse 5: "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." Again, further proof that Paul accepted Jesus as 'God blessed for ever.' Still, there's plenty more proof by way of scripture that I'd like to give you so you might be able to answer or even question a false teacher that teaches against the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Over in Titus 2:13 we read "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Here Paul is calling Jesus both 'God and Savior' and this verse also ties in Acts 20:28 where it says God bought the church 'with His own blood.' Over in the epistle to the Hebrews we discover more proof that Paul recognized the deity of Jesus in chapter 1, verse 8. Here, Paul is teaching about Jesus and says "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."
Paul also teaches us in Philippians 2:5-6; "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Does this verse need any further clarification? Here Jesus is called both 'equal with God' and 'the form of God.' Indeed, time will not allow me to expand on the many other verses that support this claim but I think we've covered enough area already to disprove your common neighborhood snake.
Still, many easy-believest Christians have something against Paul so for even further clarity here's another scripture from 1 John 5:20 that reads "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." John also accepted Jesus as 'the true God.' Now, let's hear a few quotes from Jesus himself regarding this same matter.
(The I AM:)
A word of warning right now, what I'm about to talk about will make many false teachers anxious. For one reason or another, they usually like to teach 'separate entities' and rip Jesus out of His rightful place in the Godhead. In 1 Titus 4:1-2 it reads "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." As close as I can figure is it's this same 'seared conscience' or that person's own unrepentant heart that causes them to war against Jesus because he's the Word. Usually, people who hate Christ also hate the Bible because they as one condemn them somehow.
That being said, I'd like to look at several scriptures spoken by the Messiah where He himself made the claim to be Yahweh. These passages should be the ones that you pay closest attention to if you want to Biblically arm yourself against any doctrines of devils that happen to get introduced your way in life.
Turn with me first to Exodus 3:13-14. The topic this morning is "Jesus, Yahweh Or Not?" so I feel this is the best place to begin. This particular passage reads as follows: "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 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." There is so much information in these two verses that an entire of series could be preached on the theme of the great "I AM." In fact, volumes have been written on the subject and numerous cults have sprung up throughout history because of it.
Have no worries though, I have no intention on doing as such. However, I will give you the abbreviated version of what 'I AM' means here -- Yahweh. This is one of the numerous place where we find God's name, also called the 'tetragrammaton' or 'YHVH' This exclusive title "I Am" reveals the fullness of His nature and over in Psalm 68:4 we read "Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him." The word translated JAH is actually yâhh (pronounced yaw) and is the sacred name of God (Strong's #H3050). Perhaps a full-scale sermon on this very topic is in order soon but I'm sure most Christians have done some study on this very verse so I'll continue on.
(In Jesus' Words:)
Turn over to John 8:24 and read the words that Jesus spoke to the Jews; "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." In this verse, the word 'he' is italicized and only inserted for smoother reading so go back and read it again without the added word, "if ye believe not that I am ye shall die in your sins." Jesus is plainly saying He is God in the flesh because to 'believe' carries with it your knowledge of the Christ as God, born of a virgin, not procreated by man, but the Creator of all.
Right about now, I'll bet hundreds of verses are filling your mind but for the sake of time I'll quickly cover some: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34)." "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother (Matthew 10:35)." "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24)." "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Matthew 22:32)." "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am and shall deceive many (Mark 13:6)." "I am come to send fire on the earth (Luke 12:49)." "Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them (Luke 21:8)." "Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world (John 8:23)." "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58)." "Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am (John 9:9)." "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10)." "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for I am (John 13:13)." "Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am (John 13:19)." "I am come a light into the world (John 12:46)."
Still, here's a few more things that Jesus said about the great 'I AM' -- "I am that bread of life (John 6:48)." "I am the living bread (John 6:51)." "I am the light of the world (John 9:5)." "I am the door of the sheep (John 10:7)." "I am the good shepherd (John 10:11)." "I am the resurrection (John 11:25)." "I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)." "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman (John 15:1)." "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Revelation 22:13)." At this point in this morning's lecture we can deduct from the Bible itself that Jesus Christ is the same I AM that spoke to Moses from the burning bush and gave His perfect Law to Israel. This also might be why He also said "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil (Matthew 5:17)," it's a sin to even think it.
(Sons of God:)
Before winding this whole lesson down I'd like to address two more important issues -- the term "son of God" and the label "antichrist." As we've already addressed in Wednesday's sermon Trees and Stars In The Garden of Yahweh, the 'sons of God' or 'stars' are titles mostly given to angels. For example, in Genesis 6:2 "the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." Over in Job 1:6 "the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan came also among them." John writes this: "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, to them that believe on his name (John 1:12)." Romans 8:14 reads as such; "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" and finally in 1 John 3:1 we read "that we should be called the sons of God." My point? Jesus being called 'Son of God' doesn't make Him a separate deity from Yahweh.
In the Bible, Jesus is also called Son of Man, Son of David, Son of the Father, Son of the Blessed, Son of the Highest and the Sun of Righteousness. Indeed, our Savior Jesus is an omnipotent and awesome God. Still, this 'Son of God' said a few things that I'd like you to think about until we reassemble next time. I know that we've covered a lot of scripture this morning and for that I make no apologies -- as Christian soldiers we need to keep our swords (that is the Word of Yahweh) sharp and need to question anybody that would attempt to teach this damnable doctrine. If time allowed me I'd reference the early church fathers who also accepted Jesus as God. Perhaps I'll expand on this very theme sometime later in the year.
Here's a few final select quotes from Jesus Christ himself, I hope they aid you in your Christian walk; "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me (John 8:42)." He also said "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world (John 16:28)" and "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14:9)." Here's one that's very similar: "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him (John 14:7)."
"When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me (John 15:26)." "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and to whomsoever the Son will reveal (11:27)." "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me (John 14:10)?" Jesus arguably claimed to be Yahweh throughout His entire ministry.
My intention with this Sunday's study is not to cause ripples among the denominations or confuse anybody. Believing on Jesus Christ as Yahweh is essential for proper Christian growth shedding light on why we pray 'in His name' and 'do all things in Jesus.' In fact, Yahweh can not be made into a liar and by worshipping anything other than the triune Godhead itself is a violation of the first and second commandments given to us, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" and "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image and bow down thyself to serve them." Speaking of liars, let's quickly look at the four places in the Bible where the term 'antichrist' is mentioned.
The first verse is found in 1 John 2:18 and reads; "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." This passage is important because it tells us that there are, without a doubt, many antichrists at work in the world today. The next passage is the 22nd verse of this same chapter and it's even more specific; "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
Now, Two more to go -- Turn over to 1 John 4:3 and read the following "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." The final passage dealing with the word antichrist is found in 2 John 1:7 and it reads "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."
My intention with this entire study is to get you to think on those final four verses I just shared and search out for yourselves who these antichrists are by the Bible's own description. Our three main clues are: #1) They deny that Jesus is the Christ (Christos or the 'Messiah'). #2) They will not only deny Jesus as Lord but deny Yahweh in the process of doing so. #3) They also confess that Jesus hasn't come in the flesh. You might also be surprised that this very 'Jesus isn't God' theology that I've touched upon this morning is actually promoted by these same "children of the wicked (Matthew 13:38)." That's a sermon for another time, though. War for Christ! Amen.
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