The Mystery of His Deity

The Mystery of His Deity

Scripture: John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1:1-4, John 8:58
Date: 04/12/2008  Lesson: 2
One of the great mysteries of Jesus is His deity, or His preexistence as God before becoming a man.

Jesus saves Leftovers by Doug Batchelor

Jesus saves Leftovers by Doug Batchelor
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. Welcome to sac central this morning for our study hour. And I would like to especially welcome our regular members here joining us in the sanctuary, our visitors that are here, and a very special welcome to you that are joining us from across the country and around the world. However you're joining us this morning, through radio, television, live on the internet, Happy Sabbath and welcome. Our first hymn this morning that we're gonna sing is a new one to me, hymn 394, "far from all care.

" And this comes as a request from John, joan, and sid in enfield, england, John in Oklahoma, and maurice in new zealand. Hymn 394. We're gonna sing the first, the second and the last verse... I'm so grateful this morning for Sabbath and the appointment that we have with God every week to meet with him at a special time and special places and that we can draw closer to him. If you have a special hymn that you'd like to sing with us on a coming Sabbath, I invite you to go to our website at www.

saccentral.org. And there you can click on the music link. And you can request any hymn in our hymnal. And we would love to sing that with you on a coming Sabbath. Our next hymn we're gonna sing this morning is hymn number 334, "come thou fount of every blessing.

" This comes as a request from Peter in australia, linda in south africa, eric in Canada, Joel and abel in the republic of korea, kimberly in the Philippines, candace in guyana, gerlene, steve, and norda in jamaica, richard in trinidad and tobago, jenae from Connecticut, Daniel in Minnesota, cress jr. In Ohio, michelle in florida, don and cindy in Pennsylvania, katie in New Mexico, brendy and megan in New York and rauley in California. Hymn 334 and we'll sing all 3 verses... Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, dear Jesus, all we have to offer you this morning are our hearts.

And we just humbly come before you. And we ask you to just take them. Fill us with your love. Change the things in our hearts that stand between us and you and that perfect relationship that you are longing for. We thank you for the Sabbath day where we can come and just spend time with you, precious time that we need.

And we ask you to please just bless us this morning. Please bless Pastor Doug as he brings us Your Words. Help us to have listening ears to open hearts, that we can take His Words and we can spread Your Word to those around us, that we can hasten your coming. Lord, we look forward to that day, that when you come through those clouds of glory, that we can be redeemed, taken home to live forever with you. Lord, we are longing for that day.

We pray these things in your precious name, Jesus, who died for all of our sins, we pray. Amen. Our study this morning will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you, jolyne, our musicians. Morning friends.

Glad to see each of you here. And again I want to welcome our extended class. We have friends from all over the world who study with us in addition to those who are sort of remote members of Sacramento central. We have a lot of people who are isolated by geography. Or some are shut-in and they say, "we don't really have a church we can attend.

" And they've adopted us, and we've adopted them. And want to welcome those who are part of our cyber church, for lack of a better term. We're continuing our study in a new study guide dealing with the subject of, "the wonder of Jesus." And boy, I'll tell ya, we're on sacred ground especially today dealing with this subject. We're in lesson number two, "the mystery of his deity," "the mystery of his deity." And we have a number of verses we're going to be considering here, but I want to start with our memory verse. And the memory verse is-- tell you what, before I do the memory verse, I forgot we have a free offer.

I always like to mention that first, 'cause I start just getting into the lesson at that point. This is a book called, "the trinity: is it biblical?" And if you call the number you see on your screen and ask for that offer number that appears there on your screen, tell them that you're watching Amazing Facts Sabbath school study at central church, and we'll send you a free copy of this. This takes a biblical approach to this important lesson. We'll send that to you. Now back to our memory verse, which is John 1:1-3, John 1:1-3.

Please say it with me. "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," very profound and sacred passage dealing with the deity of Christ. Now, this subject is gonna talk about the Godness of Jesus, for lack of a better phrase.

And I always like to set this subject up by just explaining, you know, here you have a mortal before you doing his best to explain something that is divine. The Bible tells us, "as the heavens are high above the earth, so are my ways above your ways." John wesley said that for a man to explain God, it would be like a worm explaining man. He is so far beyond. He's past finding out. And so all we can do is try to discuss what is revealed in His Word, recognizing that our understanding of God through eternity is going to be expanding, because he is so big.

He is so vast. He is so infinite that for us finite creatures with limited minds to describe the infinite, we are venturing on holy ground. So just making sure that we have that clear. We're gonna now delve into this very important subject, talking about the divinity of Christ and the mystery of his deity. To begin with, in the first section it talks about his preexistence.

Now what makes the plan of salvation special is that God came to earth in the form of a man. And his name was Jesus. We call him Jesus. That is called the incarnation. God incarne--how do you say, "flesh," in spanish? Carne.

It means God took on the form of human flesh. He did not take on the form of immortal flesh, because he had a body that grew. It got tired. It felt the fatigue and things that our sinful bodies feel. And we'll talk more about that maybe in another lesson.

Jesus existed prior to his coming to this earth. He had a conscious awareness. He is God The Son. He existed through all eternity. We're gonna find out in our study today that when you describe the characteristics of God, Jesus has those same characteristics.

And so that's something very important we need to understand. I've got some verses I'm going to give out to have you read with me. Matter of fact, I'll start with one of 'em, Colossians 1:15-17. I think we distributed some of these to help you find them in advance. Who has that, Colossians 1? "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

For by him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities. All things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." [Whistles] yeah, that's pretty heavy when you think about it, that all things are held together by him, all things were created for him, all things are created by him. Now what are the first words in the Bible? "In the beginning," who? "God created the heavens and the earth." Now when it tells us, "all things were created by him," and the context of this is Jesus, what does that make Jesus? If in the beginning God created everything, and here it says Jesus created everything. Then you just do a little deduction and Jesus is God.

And then again all things that were made were made by him. He's the word. And it says that in the beginning God created. Jesus is God The Son. But God The Son came to earth and became a man.

Now this is a mystery. When Jesus took on the form of man and he was born, at some point in his life he became aware of his divinity. When he was a baby there in the manger, and through his infancy as he was cooing and gurgling in the primitive bassinet that mary had in the carpenter's shop, he did not have all the knowledge and the wonder-- the word and the information and the wisdom of the cosmos swirling around in his little bitty brain. And you understand what I'm saying? But at some point, and this is where it's a mystery, it may have been when he was 12 years old and he went to the temple. He had that epiphany.

And he began to realize, and God The Father opened up to him. Because he limited to some extend his divinity when he became a man. It was veiled. And we're gonna talk about that, read some other verses. Let me read one for you, Hebrews 1:1-3.

Jesus existed before he was born in Bethlehem. "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to The Fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds." God The Father, through The Son, made the worlds. Now that establishes something there. In the family of the three persons of God, and we use the word, "trinity." Some people that bothers them that you use the word, "trinity." They say, "trinity," is nowhere in the Bible. How many of you believe the Bible? We all believe the Bible? Okay.

You know the word, "Bible" is not in the Bible? Does that keep you from believing the Bible? No, there are words that are used to describe things that are in the Bible and that shouldn't be a problem. I believe in the millennium. Well, the word, "millennium" is not in the Bible. It's called the thousand years in the Bible. We just have terms that we use to simplify things.

No, the trinity just means the tri-entities, the three entities of God The Father, God The Son, and God the Spirit. And so don't be shaken by that. Now there are different churches, when they talk about the trinity they may have little different meanings of it. I believe in the rapture-- better hurry up and add-- but not the secret rapture. The concept that we are caught up, we are raptured, I believe that.

Bible says that in Thessalonians 4. So when I say the word, "rapture," I mean something different by it than others mean. And so when I say the word, "trinity," I may not mean the same thing all churches mean by that. But it does describe that there are these three entities of God The Father, God The Son, and God the Spirit. And we're gonna talk about that.

It's not mentioned just that way in the Bible. You need to do a little bit of scholarly research and this truth is something that unfolds as you compare Scripture with Scripture. And it has been a hotly debated subject in the church. The church has fought wars over the subject of arminianism and the trinity and calvinism and these different hotly debated subjects of theology. And that's kind of sad when you think about it.

So let's just look and find out what the Bible says. Did Jesus exist before he was born in Bethlehem? Micah 5:2. "But thou, Bethlehem ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel, whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Alright, so here it tells us that his goings forth are from old. They're from everlasting. Jesus existed before he was born.

It tells us that when you can read in Proverbs that he was with The Father. If you read in Genesis, God said, "let us make man in our image." It's very clear that it's in the plural form there. And so--and then again you get to Genesis 11, and God said, "the man has become like us--" I'm sorry, that is Genesis 4 after man fell. "Man has become like us to know the difference between good and evil." Then you go to Genesis 11 another time where God says, refers to himself, "in us." And so you have these three individuals who are one. Now a lot of people are confused, because you read in Deuteronomy 6:4, "hear, o Israel: the Lord our God," is? "One.

" And people will argue, "how can you say that you believe in three Gods?" I have some friends that are muslim. And when we talk, they say, "you know, how can you say you believe in one God." Or they'll say, "do you believe in one God?" I'll say, "yes." They'll say, "well, how can you believe in The Father, son, and the Holy Spirit if you say you believe in one God? Do you believe Jesus was God?" I say, "yes." And they just--they find that incomprehensible. They says, "you're talking out of both sides of your mouth. You can't do both." Yes, you can. See, just letting the Bible describe what does it mean by one.

"A man shall leave his father and mother," this is the same God that we describe as one, "he'll cleave unto his wife and they two shall become," what? "One." Jesus prayed in John 17 regarding the 12 apostles, "father, I pray that they may be one, even as we are one." That's a very important verse. So Jesus is saying that The Father and The Son and the Spirit are one, but that doesn't mean that they're fused together in a one-headed organism. They are three distinct personalities, three distinct individuals, just as the twelve apostles were distinct, but they were to be one in their purpose, one in their direction, one in their love, one in their motive. God The Father, son and spirit are one the same way. A wife and a husband are to be one the same way.

So when Moses said, "hear, o Israel, the Lord our God is one," he was referring to the difference between the God of Israel and the God of the Egyptians they had come out of. Let me explain. The Gods of the Egyptians, like the Gods of the Romans and the Gods of the Greeks, they were feuding Gods. They were fighting over the worship of their creatures. And some said, "well, you might worship apollo, but you know I worship jupiter.

And I'm loyal to this God and you're loyal to that God." And others said, "I worship the God of the clouds." And someone said, "I'm the God of the moon." "I'm the God of something." "I'm the God of the bushes and the trees." And everybody had their different Gods that warred with each other. Our God is stronger than your God. Do you remember--let me give you an example. In the Bible, when the Israelites defeated the assyrians, the assyrians said, "well, that's 'cause your God is a God of the mountains and our God is the God of the valleys. If we fight you in the valleys, we'll win.

We worship valley Gods." And so God said, "look, I'm gonna have to beat 'em in the valleys too just to prove that I'm the God of the mountains and the valleys." See, so God being one means that he's united. He's the God of everything. He's not fragmented God. So God The Father, son, and spirit are perfectly united in their purpose, in their mind, in their love. That's why Moses said, "our God is one.

He's not like your Gods." But it's three persons. So don't misunderstand that, 'cause Moses is also the same one who said, "God said let us make man in our image." So he understood that you can have one God that is defined as these three distinct individuals. Alright, so Jesus existed before the world was made. Let me give you some others. Someone read for me John 17:5.

I think we handed that out. "And now, o father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was." Wow, that's pretty clear. Jesus is praying, "father, glorify me with the same glory that I had with you before the world was." If there's any verse that makes the preexistence of Christ clear, that would be a verse. "I had glory with you before the world was." Did he evidently lay aside his glory so he could come to earth? He veiled his glory. Even when God spoke to the children of Israel from Mount Sinai, he was in a cloud.

And part of the reason he was in that cloud was to protect them. He said, "don't come near. You'll be destroyed, 'cause sinful man cannot endure the glory of this holy God. Even holy men, when they were exposed to God, they cowered at the light. Isaiah said, "whoa is me; I am undone," when he saw God in his glory.

And Ezekiel fell down like he was dead; as did Daniel, as did John. Matter of fact, even the glory of an angel, John fell down to worship the angel. He said, "no, don't do that." So the glory of God, "God is a consuming fire," the Bible says. He's too bright for us to even imagine. John 17:24, "father, I desire that they also whom you gave me may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which you have given me; for you loved me before the foundation of the world.

" There's another clear verse. Even before the world was created, he says, "you loved me." And I think I've distributed to someone 1 Peter 1:20. "He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." Alright, he existed before the foundation of the world, but he was unveiled. He was manifest. It's like a person has a package underneath a tree.

And it might be there for a month before Christmas, but then it's finally unwrapped. Well, it's always been there. And the Bible's saying Christ always was--existed, but he was manifest to us, not during the first or second or third, but finally the fourth millennium of earth's history he came. And he was revealed to us. And again, Titus 1:2, "in hope of eternal life which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began," the plan of salvation.

Christ is the essence of eternal life promised before the world began. Now you've got the witness in the new testament. And I'm moving on to the second segment here about the divinity of Christ. John 3:13, I think I've given that to somebody. Are you ready? "No one has ascended to heaven but he who has come down from heaven, that is, The Son of man who is in heaven.

" Now this is one of the verses sometimes troubles people. "No one has ascended to heaven, except he that came down from heaven." Had anybody ascended to heaven before Jesus came? We got Enoch. Who else? Elijah. One more. Moses.

We find out later Moses also ascended to heaven. So you've got Enoch. You've got Elijah. You've got Moses. How can it say, "nobody has ascended to heaven?" Oh, this is talking about that verse in Deuteronomy where Moses said, "the Word of God is not far from you that you should say, 'who will ascend up to heaven and bring it down to us that we can know what God wants us to do?'" He's saying that no one has come with the Word of God from heaven, that they've ascended up and come down from heaven except Jesus.

Jesus is the one who came with the Revelation of The Father. It's not talking about who's made a trip up there. It's talking about who is really coming from the mind of God to reveal The Father. That wasn't Enoch or Elijah or Moses. That was Jesus.

So Jesus is the one, he's the only teacher of heavenly things as being the only person who has been in heaven in the bosom of The Father. Now this next verse we're gonna read, John 8:56, Christ is involved in one of his many debates with the religious leaders. And he says here, "your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad." When did Abraham see Jesus' day? Well, I think a number of times. God The Father gave some visions to Abraham. He said, "in your seed, all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

" "Through your seed the Messiah would come." "God will become a man through your seed." Well, he saw it in that sense. I think he especially saw it in the miracle of the birth of Isaac. That was a supernatural miracle. How can a child be born to someone that just is beyond the age of producing the egg? I mean that was a miracle. But even more, when did Abraham see the day? When he was up on the mountain, and he said, "God will provide himself a sacrifice," when he was bringing Isaac up the mountain as a sacrifice.

And the Lord stayed his hand at the last moment. God revealed his love for humanity. He said, "look, you've had faith. You've trusted me in that you're gonna give your son. But this is a type of what I will really do.

I'm stopping you before you have to make this sacrifice. I'm gonna go through with it. I'm going to give my son." Abraham saw his day. The greatest part of Christ's life was his sacrifice in Jesus. So Christ is saying, "your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad.

Then the jews said to him--" they're looking at Jesus, "what do you know about talking to Abraham?" He said, "you're not old enough to have known Abraham." I mean let's face it, there were some patriarchs that lived 900 years. And they're looking at Jesus and going, "you didn't live that long." They said to him, "you are not yet fifty years old." Now that's an interesting statement. How old was Jesus when he made this statement? Probably 32, 33 at that point. Be careful about asking people to guess your age. I was at church one time, was having a birthday party for me.

And I was just turning 30. And one of our saints--i'd been her pastor for years, but she never really asked me how old I was. She said, "now how old are you, Pastor Doug?" One of our older saints, she said, "are you 40?" And I said, "no, but let me guess your age." I said, "you 90?" No, I didn't. You want to be careful about having people guess your age. They might guess too high.

But I'm high mileage, you know, and sometimes when I first starting dating Karen, people thought she was my daughter, 'cause she looks younger than she is and I'm high mileage. I look a little older than I am, but we're only 6 years apart in case you're wondering. Anyway, so they said, it's interesting, they said, "you're not yet 50." You know what that tells me about Jesus, he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And I think after he spent those 40 days in the wilderness fasting, he came back and he looked a little bit weathered from that experience. I think it aged him somewhat going through that trial.

So he did look--and his ministry, it had aged him. He was just--he was exhausted sometimes. He fell asleep in the boat during a storm. Jesus, I think, was a little beyond his years. "You're not even 50.

How can you see you've seen Abraham?" Now this is very important. Jesus said to them, "most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." Now who else was it that said, "I am?" Jehovah. He calls himself, "jehovah," that appeared to Jesus at the burning--jehovah God--that appeared to Jesus--Moses, sorry--at the burning bush. Who was it that spoke with Moses at the burning bush? God The Father or God The Son? I believe it was God The Son, 'cause God The Son is the one through whom God communicates. Doesn't Jesus say, "no man has seen The Father at any time?" And people say, "how can Jesus say no man has seen The Father when he says, 'Moses spoke to God face-to-face?'" Jacob says, "I have seen God.

" MeNoah said, "I have seen God." The children of Israel one time said, "we will die for we have seen God." There's so many in the Bible that claim that they saw God. Well, Jesus makes it clear in the Gospel of John, "no man has seen God The Father." And so when Moses spoke with the Lord, who is it that God The Father uses principally to communicate with humans? It's God The Son. So now having said that, I've studied sometimes with my jehovah witness friends. And I admire their dedication in going out and giving Bible studies two by two. I disagree with their view on the nature of Jesus.

And it troubles them when I say not only do I believe that Jesus is God The Son, but I believe Jesus is God jehovah. Let me tell you why. You'll read in the Bible where it says that only jehovah can forgive sin. Does the Bible tell us Jesus can forgive sin? Now I'm going through these quickly. We don't have time to look 'em up, but there's a lot of 'em.

Jehovah created the heavens and the earth. Not only does it tell us that God created the heavens and the earth in Genesis, but several of the Scriptures in Isaiah and psalm say that God created the heavens and the earth. Doesn't it tell us that Jesus created the heavens and the earth? In 2 Kings 8, it says, "only jehovah knows the thoughts of men's hearts." Now the devil can put thoughts in your mind. He can tempt you, but he can't read your mind. He can sometimes look at your body language, and he can tell whether his temptations are taking hold.

He can often measure. Of course humans can do that. You can just look at a person's countenance and their body language and kind of guess sometimes what they're thinking. If you're married, the longer you're married, the easier it is for you to guess what your spouse is thinking. Right? Some of us never figure 'em out.

But you know, usually you get a little better at that. But God can actually tell what you're thinking. When you pray in your heart, does God hear that prayer? He knows exactly what you're saying. "He knows what you want before you ask," Jesus said. Did Jesus know what people thought? Could he read minds? John 3 says, "for he knew what was in man.

" And again Mark 2, "Jesus knew what they were thinking." And when he was at the feast in Simon's house, he knew what Simon was thinking. And he said, "Simon, I've got something to say." Simon was thinking in his heart, "that woman is a sinner. If he was a prophet, he wouldn't let her touch him." Jesus knew what he was thinking. And he often answered what people were thinking. So if only jehovah knows the thoughts of men's hearts, and Jesus knew the thoughts of men's hearts--the Bible says there's no Savior but jehovah.

That's what it tells us in Isaiah. Was Jesus Savior? "Unto us--" matter of fact, let us turn there, this is in our lesson, Isaiah 9:6. Matter of fact, I'll have someone read that one for me. Isaiah 9:6, "for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace.

" Thank you. That's a very powerful verse, 'cause for one thing it's telling us--it's talking about Jesus, "a son is given." Then it's telling us that he is the "everlasting God." But it also says that he is "The Father." So that confuses people. If he's The Son of God, how can he be The Father? Well, he's your father. He's your brother. He is your friend.

Look at all the names Jesus uses to identify with us. How is he our father? 'Cause all things that were made were made by him. He's our creator. Jesus, when he came to earth, he sort of laid aside the paternal part of who he was, 'cause he was pointing us to God The Father in Heaven. Now among the three of the Godhead, you have The Father, you have The Son, you have the Spirit.

Keep in mind, they are trying to use words that you and I can comprehend and relate to. Their relationship is something of a mystery. Some things seem to be revealed. I used to say this with probably more reservation than I do now, but the more I study the Bible and I've read other scholars, and I don't claim to be a scholar. I always like to reiterate that.

I'm just studying with you. But the more evidence I find that in the family of God, The Father, son, and spirit, it appears that God The Father is the supreme authority. One reason is that God The Father gives to The Son dominion. God The Father gives The Son, "God so loved the world, he sent his son." Which God? God The Father. Gave what? God The Son.

And so you often see the authority streaming from The Father. His name is mentioned first. "Baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit." There are some who believe that God The Father, son, and spirit are one and he just kind of reveals himself different ways. He takes on different forms. If you have ever visited with oneness pentecostal, the apostolic pentecostal friends, they believe that.

They believe in the oneness doctrine, that Jesus is-- he is The Father. And he is the Spirit. And he takes on these different--he morphs into these different forms. Well, they really have problems when you get to the subject of the baptism, 'cause when Jesus gets out of the water and he's baptized, the heavens are opened, a voice ostensibly from God The Father says, "this is my son," referring to someone outside of themselves. Unless Jesus is a ventriloquist and he's schizophrenic, that wouldn't make sense.

So God The Father is saying, "this is my son." On the mount of transfiguration, the voice from The Father speaks and says, "this is my beloved son. Hear him." And so you've got two distinct individuals. So the key is that Jesus laid aside this dimension of his paternal nature when he came to earth. But it seems like The Father is the supreme authority. Alright, let's move on here with some other verses.

What did the disciples do when Jesus said, "before Abraham was, I am?" How did they respond to that? "They took up stones to throw at him." Why? For blasphemy, because they knew he was claiming divinity. Matter of fact, one of the things that John tries to make clear through his Gospel more than any other is the I am-ness of Jesus. For instance, how many times do you find Jesus using the word, "I am," in the Gospel of John? "Before Abraham was, I am." "I am the way." "I am the truth." "I am the life." "I am the living water." "I am the bread that came down from heaven." "I am the door." "I am the good shepherd." Just to name a few. Just type in, "I am." Search the Gospel of John--I'm assuming you have a computer, sorry. Some of you it's hard to type in with your paper Bibles.

But if you get a computer Bible program, and you type in, "I am," and just capture the Gospel of John-- I should have done that. You tell me how many times it's there, but John emphasizes that Jesus is the "I am." And why does God use the word, "I am?" Before I was a Christian, I was in eastern religion. And they used the "I am" to identify the oneness of God we're all trying to return to. And reincarnation issues from this, "I am." And it's symbolic of the self-existent eternal one. Well, they steal that from the Bible, but it is true that God is the self-existent eternal one.

Perpetual motion, if we could discover that with the energy crisis that we've got in the world today, that'd be wonderful. I did some experiments with a friend one time with magnets. And they say that you're wasting your time. But I used to think, "boy, if you could develop a magnetic motor. And it operates on the same principle--" what keeps the atom spinning? What keeps the electrons and the neutrons rotating around the atom and the molecules? Do you know they're constantly moving? Like Ezekiel's wheel within a wheel, what keeps it moving? Where does it--where do they get the gas? They don't stop.

Oh, they said if you get to space, if you can reach absolute zero, they may even slow down, but they don't stop. And this mystery of constant energy that just seems to fuel itself, boy if we could tap into that, that'd really be something, huh? God is self-existent. He has always existed. You and I can't comprehend that. Our minds just start to cave in when we think about the beginning of God.

And then there are those who say, "yes, we believe in God The Father, son, and spirit, but Jesus was created at some point, because after all he's called 'the begotten.' And so at some time he must have been begotten." Now when you look at that phrase, "the begotten of The Father--" matter of fact, that's John 3:16, "for God so--" and now we're delving into the section, "apparent contradictions," "for God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him might not perish." Other places in the Bible where it uses the word, "only begotten," the emphasis is not on the being born. The emphasis is on the singleness of, the uniqueness of. It tells about the widow of nain, her only begotten son had died. It's not talking about that he was born. That's not the emphasis.

That's always understood. It's talking about that he was the only one. It tells about jairus' daughter, that this was the little girl that was raised. This was his only daughter. And so it's not the born part that is being emphasized in this verse.

It's the only part. And so there's this Greek word that tHis Word, "begotten," comes from: monogenous. And it's just talking about the only one. It's not emphasizing that he was born. Now, for those of you who might be stuck on the part, "but it means born!" That's fine.

The only time God was born as a man was Jesus, so the only begotten, the only time God was begotten as a man is Jesus. So hopefully that'll solve it for you. But don't get hung up on the idea that sometime in the remote recesses of the space that God The Father gave birth to God The Son. Let me tell you what the problem is with that. Do you believe the verse that says, "all things that were made were made by him?" Nothing was made that was made without him.

So if he was made without himself, how could that be true. If God The Father made Jesus then that verse is not true. Otherwise that verse should read like this: "all things that were made were made by him, except himself of course." It doesn't say that. The other thing you need to consider: if Jesus was born at some time in the remote recesses of history and God The Father would have been alone, right? 'Cause God The Son made everything. And who knows how long that was.

If God is eternal, that means there was at least an eternity past when God The Father was alone. I don't know what he was doing, but he was alone, 'cause God The Son wasn't made yet. Right? You still with me? Is God love? Can you be love without anyone else to love? So how can God The Father be love and be all by himself through eternity past? It just doesn't work, friends. Jesus is "the alpha and the omega." "From everlasting to everlasting thou art God." There is no end. If you go forever in this direction like a circle and you go forever in this direction, it doesn't ever reach an end.

He is God forever. Our minds can't comprehend it. We always want to try and pin a beginning on something. But you just can't do it with God. Mark 13:32.

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor The Son, but only The Father." Whoo! Some will say Jesus does not even know the day and the hour of his coming. How can he be God? Well, that shouldn't be a problem for you. First of all, remember what we said. When Jesus was on earth, he did not at all times know all things. He had a human body and a human brain.

He was constantly aware of whatever The Father revealed to him that he needed to know. He lived by faith like you and I live by faith to receive wisdom and knowledge from God as we need it. Does the Bible tell us we're gonna know everything at all times? Or does Jesus say, "do not worry about what you'll say; it will be given you in that hour what you will say," as a defense? When Jesus is walking through the crowd and that woman who was bleeding touched him, and Jesus said, "who touched me?" He didn't know right away who touched him. But he knew that someone had touched him, because virtue had gone from him. It was revealed to him who it was and he wanted her to confess it, but Jesus was not walking around with all the knowledge of all the people and all their thoughts at all time swirling around in his head while he was on earth.

Read this verse with me. It answers a lot of mysteries right here. Philippians 2, go there, Philippians 2, this is marvelous when you think about it, verse 5-8, "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God." In other words, if you had told him that he was equal of God, he said, "I'm not robbing anything that belongs to God. That's just. It's due.

I am equal to God." "But he made himself," God The Father didn't do it, "he made himself," he chose willingly, "of no reputation, taking on the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of man." This is the mystery that God laid aside this aspect of his divinity and came to earth in the form of a man. He made himself of no reputation. "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." So Jesus laid aside--for one thing, what are some of the characteristics of God? All-powerful, omnipotent is all-powerful, omniscient, all-knowing, omnipresent, he can be everywhere at one time. Was Jesus omnipresent, or did he lay that aside? Why do you think Jesus said, "it's expedient for you that I go away, because if I do not go, the Holy Spirit cannot come?" That's another proof text that tells us that they're not one in the same. Otherwise, he'd tell, "I'll just stay here and I'll be the Holy Spirit.

" But he said, "I'm going. And I'll send the Holy Spirit." And there's a specific time he's gonna come. Now this lesson is more about the wonder of Jesus than the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit is a distinct person as well. Matter of fact; let me read something to you. This is from "special testimonies--" you'll want to jot this down-- "special testimonies," series b, number 7, page 62-63, "the comforter that Christ promised to send after he ascended to heaven is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Savior.

" Listen, "there are three living persons of the heavenly trio. In the name of these three great powers: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized. And these powers will cooperate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life." Very clear, very distinct, three distinct powers, she calls them here "a trio." So when Jesus said he did not know the day and hour of his coming, do you think he still does not know? Well, of course he knows now. He's at the right hand of The Father. Do you think that The Father's got this little calendar, and he's got that place covered up and Jesus tries to peek and he says, "no, no, you might tell somebody.

Can't trust you." Why would he not know now? I mean that's absurd when you think about it. He was saying here on earth, "I don't know now. So if you wanted me to clue you in, The Father has that information. The angels don't know now. God The Father has that.

" So it doesn't mean he is not God. He laid aside that dimension of his divinity when he came to earth, made himself of no reputation. Talking now in the next section about the deity of Christ. Alright, when--we already actually read some of these, but let's do that again. John 1:3, got that right here, dale? John 1:3.

"All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made." Alright, well we've referred to this several times, but when you remember the first words of the Bible, "in the beginning, God created," and then you read, "all things were made by him," then that just makes it pretty clear that he is the God of creation, Jesus is. By the way, if all things that were made were made by him, who is it, whose finger etched the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai? Jesus. So when Jesus said, "if you love me, keep my commandments," would it at least include the ten? Do you know some people say, "oh no, God The Father wrote the Ten Commandments. He gave those to Moses. Jesus' law, it's just love your neighbor.

Love the Lord. He's got different commandments than the ones--the two different Gods gave two different sets. The Father gave--" oh no, no, no, no, all things that were made were made by him, including the Ten Commandments. And so when Jesus says, "if you love me, keep my commandments," "whoever says he loves him and keeps not his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him," Jesus created those commandments. They belong to him.

Another verse, Corinthians 13:14. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." Alright, notice that he is including all three the same way Jesus closes out Matthew by saying, "baptize in the name of The Father, The Son, the Holy Spirit." One of the commandments says, "do not take the name of the Lord in vain." So if they were not God, he would not have included all three "in the name of." They're all three holy and sacred, to be worshipped. And by the way, when I study with my jehovah witness friends, and they say, "you should just worship jehovah. Bible says only worship jehovah," well, are we told to worship Jesus? We are.

Do even the angels worship him, Hebrews? They do. And after Christ rolls from the dead, when mary first went to worship him, he says, "do not cling to me. I've not yet ascended to my father." "Do not touch me," it says in king James, "I've not yet ascended to my father." But when he came back victorious and his sacrifice had been declared accepted, he said, "all hail." They all fell down and worshipped him. And he didn't say, "oh no, don't do that. Just worship God.

" He received worship. So either Jesus broke one of the Ten Commandments, or he's God. Does that make sense? And the Bible says, "worship jehovah only." I think that's pretty good evidence. Let's look at another one here. And I think I gave Hebrews 9:14 to somebody else.

"How much more than will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse your consciousness from all acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God?" Notice all three are being mentioned by the writer of Hebrews here. "The blood of Christ," "through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God." And you of course know that verse, "there are three that are declared in heaven: The Father, the Spirit and the word." I'm misquoting that. Let me refer to my booklet here. Oh yeah, here we go. John 5:7, "for there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the word, and the Holy Spirit; these three are one.

" Now I don't often use that verse, because a lot of people contest it. I guess it's not in some manuscripts or they challenge it, maybe it was translated wrong. You know you get into trouble if you do that, if you start going through the Bible and saying, "well, I know that's a powerful proof text, but some manuscripts may not have that and some translations." If you start picking apart the Word of God like that, pretty soon you have nothing left." I think you're better off taking all of it and taking too much, than not taking enough. I think you're better off believing in the inspiration of what we have than challenging the inspiration of everything we have. And that's a very slippery slope to start going down.

Revelation 1:4, notice here, last book of the Bible that he is identifying the persons of God, "John, to the seven churches that are in asia: grace to you and peace from him who is and was and is to come, and from the seven spirits that are before his throne," there you've got the Holy Spirit. By the way, before i--I'm gonna park right there. Turn to Isaiah 11:1-2. What are those seven spirits it talks about in Revelation? "There shall come forth a rod from the stem of jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

" The seven spirits of God referred to in Revelation, near as I can tell, you just read them here in Isaiah. It's talking about the seven facets of the Spirit of God. You need to count as one, "the Spirit of the Lord." You know sometimes in the Hebrew mind, they would have seven of something and one of the seven would stand out as sort of foundational, like you got seven days in the week, but one is foundational. So you got, "the Spirit of the Lord," "wisdom," "understanding," "counsel," "might," "fear of the Lord," "knowledge," actually "knowledge," "fear of the Lord." So you've got these seven characteristics of the Spirit of God, ways that the Spirit of God guides and manifests. And it says this here in connection with Jesus.

Alright, so back to Revelation 1. He says, "and from the seven spirits who are before his throne." Now one more time, is the Holy Spirit one or seven? One. Might have seven facets, seven characteristics that you can outline or identify, but it's one spirit. How many churches does Jesus have on earth? One. Well, there might be one in Sacramento and one down in bakersfield and one--but how many churches is he supposed to have? One church.

Don't get hung up on the "one" thing. In the Hebrew mind, one did not always mean numerical quantity. It often meant unity, cohesiveness. "The faithful witness," I'm back in Revelation 4, "the firstborn from the dead," and from--I'm sorry, "Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and ruler over the Kings of the earth. To him who loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and has made us Kings and priests to God The Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.

" And so here you've got The Father, The Son, the Spirit are mentioned. You find it all through the Bible. It becomes clearer as you move on through the new testament that Jesus is divine. By the way, who's law did we break when we sinned? Who's law? God's law. Who wrote the Ten Commandments? Jesus did.

Who is the only one then that can pardon us, that can issue a pardon? The one whose law you broke. He's the one we've offended. He's the one that we robbed of worship and love and allegiance according to his law. And he's the only one who can take the penalty. If Jesus is not God, then he can't forgive you.

That's why it's so important for us to understand the divinity. Otherwise, think about this, what you've got God The Father doing is saying, "look, these human creatures have misbehaved, but you know, I created a son years ago. I'm gonna send him as a sacrifice." That's sort of a mean thing to do. I'm out of time. So Jesus has always existed.

He is God The Son. Amen? Alright friends, don't forget, we have a free offer here. And it's a book by yours truly called "the trinity: is it biblical?" And it's got a lot more information. I should have read it myself before I taught today and brushed up. Got a lot of good information on the subject in there and some of the history of the discussion.

Thank you very much for studying with us. Thank you for joining us for this broadcast. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including "Amazing Facts presents," "central study hour," "everlasting Gospel," "Bible answers live," and "wonders in the word." You'll also find a storehouse of biblical resources geared towards answering some of your most difficult questions. And our online Bible school is just a click away.

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