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2011 A.D.: What is Jesus to God?

 Jesus is God?  The Holy Spirit is God?  The Father Almighty is God?  It is all true in the way God the Father meant it to be true, but it confuses, in cases even offends the Muslim, and even perhaps the Jew when Christians say it.  But anything God declares is fine...all three religions agree to that.  All three respect God the Father, the God of Abraham.  But all do not agree on all things concerning what is truth.  We know that.  Much blood has been spilled over it, in fact. 

  It's unlikely that reading a few verses from the Bible will bring sudden harmony between the Christian, the Jew, and the Muslim.  But it's good to at least have the facts straight about what the actual claim of the Christian religion is on a few hotly contested issues. Here are some of the Christian Bible's actual scriptural answers to some contentious questions. 

  First, God the Father is the greatest.  Of Him came Jesus, we Christians believe, before other things were created.  Jesus was with God when the Creation was formed.  The opening verses of the Gospel of John leave little doubt of this, and the Gospel of John is among those words that were given through the Holy Spirit for man to hear.  From the Christian scriptures, the First Chapter of the Gospel of John Chapter 1: 1-18:

  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning."

  "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

  "There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world."

  "He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who received him, to those that believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."

  "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the Only Begotten, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." ('Only Begotten' was the annotated interpretation in the NIV)

  John testifies concerning him.  He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'"  From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God, but the Only Begotten, who is at the Father's side, has made him known." End Quote

  So, this speaks very specifically about Jesus being on hand when the rest of creation was created.  He came before all of the creation, and was at the Father's side when it was made, and in fact, these words say that the creation was 'made through him' by and with God the Father.  That is Christian Doctrine, and we do not find it heresy to claim that Jesus is more than a prophet (as Muslims, for instance, hold Jesus to be).  We rest our confidence that Jesus is far more than just a prophet on such scriptures as this, and on His great miracles during His ministry, and upon His fulfillment of the scriptures, revealing Himself to be the 'Promised One'.

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  Is Jesus only a prophet, or perhaps a super-prophet?  Or is He truly the Son of God, as in the Son of Yahweh, who is God the Father?  I have discussed this with Muslims who are quite willing to profess that Jesus was a great prophet, but they seemed basically apalled that Christians would mis-characterize the respected prophet Jesus as having been the Son of God, or as having personally claimed to be the Son of God.  I believe these Muslims said this out of what was, in their heart and mind, a respect for God and Jesus.  But......the Christians draw their beliefs on this matter from scriptures we know to be proven and holy, such as the Gospels, and the writings of the Apostles.  For instance:

  When Jesus was baptized, God spoke out loud, from heaven, in the hearing of those present, acknowledging that this 'man', Jesus of Nazareth, was His Son.  Here is the account from Matthew 3:16,17:

  "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.  At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." "   End Quote 

  It says this same thing in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1: 9-11) and in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 3:21,22), and in the Gospel of John, Chapter 1:29-34 the words of John the Baptist are recorded, and in them John the Baptist testifies that God told him that Jesus was the one foretold of, who would baptize with the Holy Spirit, and John the Baptist also testifies that Jesus is "the Son of God."

  So, the Christian scriptures give the Christian no room to believe anything other than this:  Jesus was the Son of God according to a loud voice that came from heaven, and (so says John the Baptist) God the Father told John the Baptist that Jesus was the "Son of God".  And Christian scripture has great authority; great miracles have accompanied the spreading of the Gospel in all corners of the world that the gospels have been taken to.  Also, there are thousands of surviving ancient Christian scriptural documents to attest that the words in today's Bible were translated faithfully from the writers near to Jesus's time on Earth.  And...some (me for one) see and believe that human anatomy itself bears testimony to both God and Jesus.

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  Sometimes when speaking with Muslims I will hear from them that Jesus would not have declared Himself to be the Son of God.  They know Jesus as a respected prophet, though an especially important one.  Well, I was not alive when Jesus was performing His Earthly ministry.  Just as the Muslims have to believe the Koran and whatever writings are from the time of Muhammed, I also have to believe the Christian scriptures, which is O.K. by me.  I believe the Christian scriptures to be proven and true.  So, does Christian scripture record Jesus as asserting that He was the Son of God, or similiar type statements?  Yes, it certainly does.  There can be no mistaking some of the statements that Jesus made as they exist in the Christian scriptures, such as the Gospels.  And again, if anyone has scriptures that have proven themselves reliable, it is the Christian scriptures, and before those, the Jewish Torah and their writings from God's Prophets.

  But let's look at a few of Jesus's statements:

  Gospel of John Chap 14 v. 1,2  Jesus is speaking to His Apostles:  "Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you."  End Quote.  Notice that Jesus calls the place where the 'many rooms' are His "'Father's house."

  Gospel of John Chap 14 v. 6,7 Jesus is still speaking to His Apostles.  " I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him."  End Quote.  So, to see and know Jesus is to see and know the Father?  Yes!  Jesus is the way, the door that leads to the Holy Father?  Jesus says 'yes'!  And Jesus is only a prophet? No.  Not according to Christian scripture.  Not according to the recorded words of Jesus.

  Gospel of John Chap 14 v. 11 Jesus is still speaking to the Apostles, particularly Philip.  "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe in the evidence of the miracles themselves."

  From the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16, v. 13 - 17 (For any non-Christians reading this, know that Jesus frequently referred to Himself as the 'Son of Man'.)  "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

  "They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "

  " "But what about you?" he asked.  "Who do you say I am?" "

  " "Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." "

  " Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was revealed to you by my Father in heaven. "  "

  Here in our Christian scriptures Jesus admits to being both the Christ (the 'annointed one' in Greek) and more pointedly, Jesus openly acknowledges that Simon (later called Peter) was right in saying that Jesus was the Son of the Living God.  So, this was a monumental statement.  You could be killed for making such a blasphemous statement, though here it was said in earnest.  Jesus knew how serious it was to say it out loud.  Simon also knew.  So did all of the Apostles that were there to hear the conversation.  Yet Jesus said it.

  Eventually Jesus would be taken into custody by the Jewish government, and the High Priest of Israel would demand that Jesus tell him if the rumors were true...that Jesus was calling Himself the Son of God!  Here is that conversation, from the Gospel of Matthew Chap 26, v. 63 - 68: 

  "But Jesus remained silent."

  "The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God:  Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."

  "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.  "But I say to all of you:  In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

  "Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy!  Why do we need any more witnesses?  Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?"  "

  "  "He is worthy of death," they answered. "

  "Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists.  Others slapped him and said, "Prophesy to us, Christ.  Who hit you?" "   End Quote

  So, Jesus admitted to the Jewish high priest that He, Jesus, was both the Christ and the Son of God.  To put it simply, it would have been a very big deal - a huge strike against Jesus as a mere prophet - if He had told a lie to the high priest concerning this.  What prophet of God almighty had ever told such a lie?  So, if Jesus had lied about this, it is highly questionable whether he could have been a prophet of God at all. 

  Therefore, if Jesus has any great standing in heaven, then He must have been telling the truth when he admitted to being the Christ and the Son of God.  And even the Muslims admit that Jesus has great standing in heaven.  So..... if the Christians are wrong about Jesus (wrong in believing that Jesus truly was the Son of God), then the Muslims must be wrong also (for they hold him to be an honorable prophet, but what Jewish prophet could tell an outrageous lie to a Jewish high priest?)

  But, if the Christians are right about Jesus (right in saying that He really is the Son of God) then the Muslims are wrong (Because they hold Jesus to be only a prophet, and little more.  Certainly Muslims believe Jesus was not the Son of God.)

  The remaining possibility, the only one that allows the Muslims to be right about Jesus, I think, is that the Christian scripture's Gospels are fabrications, but if that were true then why did the Jews crucify Jesus; what fault did they find in Him that merited the death penalty if it was not that He proclaimed Himself to be the Son of God?  And why did the early Christian writings hold that Jesus had claimed Himself to be the Son of God, without any record of the Jews blaming Jesus' crucifixion on some other charge...I know of no such record existing, at least?  And why did pagan cultures sum up the Christian movement in virtually the same terms that any Christian would sum it up?

  The evidence for Christ as the Son of God is very strong!!  Monstrously strong, actually.

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     So, will there be dual kingdoms eventually?  Will Jesus have His kingdom and God the Father have His?  Well, Jesus will be King over mankind for a time.  For about 1,000 years, after the great tribulation.  It says that in Revelation. 

  But in the end, it says that all things go back to God the Father...Jesus (a good and loving son) turns over all of his posessions and all of His authority to the Holy Father; so then God is supreme in all things, even by the willing abdication of One to whom God the Father granted some things - that person being Jesus His Son.  Here's what it says in 1 Corinthians 15: 20 - 28 :

  "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own turn:  Christ, the first fruits, then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  For he "has put everything under his feet".  Now, when it says that "everything" has been put under his feet, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.  When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all." 

  So, if someone from another faith, or even the Christian faith, sees Jesus as any sort of competitor or potential usurper of the Holy Father's power (as if such a thing could ever happen without God the Father merely allowing it) then be able to tell them about 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.  It explains that Jesus has no plans to try to infringe upon His own Father's authority, but to the contrary, it is through Jesus that God will choose to restore all authority, power, and dominion to Himself that man tried to take to himself through the instrument of 'human free will'.  Human free will has turned out to be a great failure...it may have gratified our ego to be able to choose as we wished, but the evidence is in:  we choose foolishly, and bring great harm and disgrace upon ourself. Humans are a failure when it comes to governing themselves.  Even the ones that think that they, personally, govern themselves well would, I believe, be willing to admit that many others do not.

  Free will ....didn't someone write that the deadliest form of radiation is opt-ions?  That it was the one thing that no human has learned to handle safely?  

    

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