Who IS Jesus?

Seems like silly question for a pastor to ask, but I find it more abundantly important today more than ever.names-of-Jesus 2

When we get into conversations with non-believers, one of the first things that draws them to learn more is the conviction of their sin. This is a work of the Holy Spirit not us. Understanding that they have sinned, and understanding that they have sinned against God that has authority over them makes sense to a lot of people. Once they come to that understanding, they next step is to understand a need for forgiveness of that sin- what we call salvation.

“Salvation” is a funny thing. Because in spite of the fact that its Christian meaning is virtually universal in its definition, how we come to receive salvation is where people get tripped up.

To the evangelical Christian, Salvation can only be had one way. Through the biblical Jesus, and belief in Him as your openly means to salvation by faith, through the grace of God. Why do we believe this? Because this is what scripture clearly teaches. Today we are seeing a wide variety of ways to salvation being perpetrated against the Christians in America by an equally wide variety of media faces.

John Travolta and Tom Cruise have their scientological views on salvation. Oprah and Eckhart Tolle have their views on the subject. The Dali Lama has been all over TV as of late. Now, we are dealing with the Mormon theology being shoved in the faces of Americans and being sold as orthodox Christianity. This is a real danger to Christians in America. Why? Because our foundation on the truth of biblical Christianity has been eroded to the point where not only has the foundation been exposed, it has been washed away.

In a recent discussion of this topic with some friends and fellow pastors, one man had this wisdom to offer:

“It occurred to me… that very few people today are familiar with Walter Martin’s ministry. Walter in his book “Kingdom of the Cults” and his radio programs, inculcated into a lot of us who were around at that time a framework with which to judge what is a cult and what is not, what is orthodox Christianity and what heresy.”

One of the things that he taught so clearly by Dr. Martin was that every one of those groups that we should consider heretical and a cult, had a misconception about the nature of God. Heresy follows a misconception about the nature of God. Here we are today having a debate about who Jesus is. I wonder why?

The Jehovah Witnesses believe that Jesus is “Michael the arc angle” (and thus he could not have paid the price for mankind’s sins not being our kinsman redeemer), the Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is a created being and the spirit brother of Lucifer (and thus he could not have paid for our sins either because he is not our kinsman redeemer), etc., etc. Walter for a very long time refused to consider Roman Catholicism a cult because it held a proper view of the nature of God, although it is steeped in works salvation, but he reconsidered this later on including them in the discussion, but without the brand of “Cult”.

Who you believe Jesus Christ is determines his ability to save; in other words, the source of your salvation. Believing in another Jesus is to believe in another gospel, and the first chapter of Galatians tells us that if anyone comes to us delivering us another gospel than the one Paul and the disciples had taught, and that they (the Galatians) and we have received, that we are to consider him “anathema” (headed for hell).

Because Walter Martin and his ministry have faded so far to the background, I think that a lot of people today are not concerned if someone believes in any old Jesus (however you want to define him) for salvation. Our current media darlings are often perpetrating a hoax on us; sometimes deliberately, and sometimes from the behind the blinded eyes of one fooled by the enemy. We must show grace, and we must have compassion, but we must not be blind ourselves to the results of those misleadings either way – in the lives of those precious children of God we call our friends and family.

Otherwise, Scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and whoever else comes along teaching or believing in a different Jesus, is going to get a foothold in people’s lives. In our commission of making disciples, we are tasked with pointing out heresy. Unfortunately, those who fight to defend truth are often branded as evil because to point to heresy, we must also point fingers at those teaching it. Funny thing is, Jesus did exactly that. Ask the Pharisees.

8 thoughts on “Who IS Jesus?

  1. Tom,

    Being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’d like to clear up an apparent misunderstanding above. While we do believe there is biblical reason to associate Jesus with the archangel Michael, the Bible explicitly refers to Jesus as “the last Adam”. (1 Cor. 15:45)

    We believe Jesus’ sacrifice redeems mankind because he was the equal of Adam. Adam was created sinless and thus perfect; he lost that condition by his decision to disobey. By remaining faithful in that same condition, Jesus was able to freely give it up in behalf of all of Adam’s descendants that put faith in him. So only by becoming a perfect man could Jesus pay back what Adam had lost.

  2. Simply because the Bible refers to Jesus as the “last Adam” does not make Him and Adam equal. This is eisegesis, forming an opinion nased on a verse that fits your desired intention. If you properly exegete the Word, and entire “counsel of God” as Paul calls it in Acts 20, you find verses like Heberews 2 and I Peter 3 that sow that jesus was above tha angels, and made to but just a little below them as He became man. This is not possible if He was for ABOVE them before hand.

    Paul deaqlt strongly with the heretical deception of the early first century as false teachers even then came to try and paint Jesus as less than the Son of God. Such is not the case.

  3. Tom, the point of my post was not to argue whether or not you agree with our understanding of scripture, it was to correct a misunderstanding of our beliefs in your post above. Your response shows further misunderstandings of our beliefs, as we certainly view Jesus as the Son of God (but not God the Son, which certainly requires eisegesis).

  4. I’m happy to be corrected if in fact I am wrong. If we are to be open to the truth of scripture, we must all be open to the fact that a particular doctrine we hold true, may in fact be false. But the Bible must be the standard and not tradition or any extrabiblical writings.

    The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus IS God. The scond member of the Godhead including God the Father, Jesus (God the Son), and God the Holy Spirit. Proper exegesis of scripture cannot deny this. If your traditions, interpretations or changing of biblical scriptures make Jesus anything less than God, than you have made the Bible less than the true Word of God.

    Make no mistake, I fully underdstand your doctine: http://www.watchtower.org/e/20090401a/article_01.htm
    The JW doctrine is the total denial of the Trinity which is in fact a biblically heretical doctrine. It is for that reason that the JW and Watchtower Society are not accepted as orthodox Christians by any other orthodox Christian group – same as the Mormon church.

    I’m not angry or bitter and I do not speak in hate. But I must speak out when a response is given the is less than factual. Terminology is critical to proper understanding. The Jersus you teach (Not God, Not part of the TRinity) is NOT the Jesus of the bible. And so there we must part ways.

  5. Tom, you say “[m]ake no mistake, I fully underdstand your doctine”, yet above you said that from our view “[Jesus] could not have paid the price for mankind’s sins not being our kinsman redeemer.” We in fact do believe that Jesus became a human, our kinsman, in the fullest sense of the term in order to become our savior.

    I understand that you’re full of zeal and ready to speak boldly about your beliefs (and others’), but what you have done above, perhaps unknowingly, is create a strawman argument. That’s all I’m trying to point out to you.

    Now, if you care to discuss the Trinity from a strictly biblical standpoint, I’d be happy to address that with you for a time. Simply stating over and over again that it’s true and we are heretics isn’t really all that productive or convincing.

  6. TJ,

    The discussion of the Trimnity has been settled from the time of Christ and before. Genesis 1 did that. It is a fact that is not open to theological debate to Orthodox Christians. It is a foundational standard for accepted biblical orthodox Christianity. I have seen the arguments, read your web site, debated them in person and in print, and do not need to do so again. My comments or apologetics on the subject would only be regurgutating responses that have been made since time immemorium. Both you and I know the resources for that argument are in plethora all over the internet.

    What I’m a little disturbed with, is that you quoted me as having made a comment I never made. In quotations you referenced a comment I made by saying, “[Jesus] could not have paid the price for mankind’s sins not being our kinsman redeemer.” I made no such statement.

    Jesus did in fact pay the price for the sin of all mankind. But as scripture states that all man is born with sin, that sin entered all mankind through one man, then no “man” who was only man could pay the price. That’s why Jesus, fully God and fully man, born of a virgin, sinless, had to take on that role. Your remarks elude to an idea that Jesus could not have done so if He were “God”? But perhaps you just meant “God alone?”

    The bottom line here is that we are talking about two different people. Jesus according to scripture, was THE One and only Son of God, fully God and fully man. Not a created being, but Eternal in the Heavens – and this is where the JW faith gets it wrong, to the point where the denomination had to change the biblical text in John Chapter 1 to make it meet their doctrine. “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was God, and the Word was with God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Your denomination, made of sinful men, changed that phrase to read the “the word was [a] God…” Jesus was not “A” God, He IS THE God.

    Most cults will work in the same manner. Proposing to be Christians (when no quality or respected religious resource in the world agrees), trying to be like Christians to give your cult some sort of legitimacy, you use the same terms that Christians use, but with different definitions in a well orchestrated and purposeful manner to deceive people from the truth. In doing so, you become unwitting agents of the enemy.

    The JW Jesus, is NOT the Jesus of the bible. So any explanation of the work your Jesus has done for mankind, is in fact moot to this argument, and germane only to a cultists interpretation.

    I apologize if my apologetics seem as if they are a personal attack. They are not. TJ, I pray that the blindfold of ignorance and deception be removed from all people who have fallen prey to false doctrines and false teachers. My job is not to belittle you, but to protect the flock which I serve, and to make certain that unbiblical doctrine is strongly refuted here on my blog for the protection of all true belivers and seekers who might be reading. We may not be doctrinal borhters, but you are a creation of God, and for that I owe you the utmost respect.

  7. Hello Tom, you said:

    What I’m a little disturbed with, is that you quoted me as having made a comment I never made. In quotations you referenced a comment I made by saying, “[Jesus] could not have paid the price for mankind’s sins not being our kinsman redeemer.” I made no such statement.

    Yes you did. That statement is from your original post above, and is the reason for my responding to you in the first place. There your said:

    The Jehovah Witnesses believe that Jesus is “Michael the arc angle” (and thus he could not have paid the price for mankind’s sins not being our kinsman redeemer)

    Such a statement reveals that you don’t really understand how we view Jesus Christ, despite your saying that you do. This is really a strawman argument whether you realize it or not.

    The rest of your response seems to be just more tactless statements of your beliefs, for which you evidently are unwilling to discuss the scriptural backing. Perhaps you feel that I’m blinded Tom, but I’m here willing to actually engage the scriptural evidence and not simply pronounce judgments again and again.

  8. Ahhh.. yes. I did make such a statement. But in context, as you can see, it applies to Jesus in the case of Him being just an angel, and not fully God as the Bible defines Him.

    This blog is not meant or designed to be a place to hold theological debates. It is a place for me to expound my thoughts, my feelings as they apply yo the events taking place in my life. I do not wish this thread to become a debate over JW’s theology or a source for apologetical debate. I can give you plenty of links to sites that have already accomplished such tasks.

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