DEFINE YOUR TERMS
Is Jesus God? The question raises many thoughts. However, we have shown that the question, as posed, is inadequate since the word "god" is not definitive. We have approached this subject this way to teach you the pitfalls of illogic so no one can put you on the spot by tricking you into trying to answer the wrong questions, or questions you don’t understand. You must make them define their terms so you can understand what they’re asking, and, in turn, they can understand your answer.
This is especially true with the identity of God. It is not enough to call someone "God." To fully identify him you must be more specific.
I Corinthians 8:
As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many), But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus the Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
If we’re going to use the word "god," or if we’re going to refer to something or someone as "a god," we must define our terms. Otherwise we’re going to be misunderstood. There are many gods out there in the world, but to us there is only one Yahweh. Also, there is only one Lord Jesus Christ. There’s a big difference between "Yahweh" (the Creator) and "a god" (a deity) by actual definition. By the way, "deity" is another pagan term that has been adopted by the churches.
13. One raised the other from the grave
While one was dead in the grave, the other was alive.
Turn to Acts 2:
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God (Yahweh) hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
The Everliving Yahweh put life back into the dead Jesus.
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Of all the differences between Jesus and Yahweh, this is the most dramatic. Jesus was dead! Then, He was raised back to life by the One that cannot die.
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
I Corinthians 15:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the covenant of the age,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
There are many more verses like the above, but these few should be sufficient to establish the fact that Yahweh was alive and well during the time that Jesus was dead – an impossibility if they were one and the same person.
At this point, someone may ask, "But didn’t Jesus say that He had power to lay down his own life and that He had power to take it again?" This would indicate that Jesus raised himself from the grave. Admittedly, the King James Version does lend itself to that – at least a little bit. However, an honest reading of the passage, again, relieves us of this error – especially when it is translated correctly.
John 10 is the scripture in question:
17. Therefore does my Father love me, because I am laying down my soul, that I might receive it again. No man took it from me, but I am laying it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to receive it again. This commandment (authorization) have I received of my Father.
His Father authorized Him to lay down his soul. That is not the same thing as just dying, as it appears to be saying in most English versions. Jesus was talking about more than dying. Verses 7-16 use the illustration of a shepherd who "lays down his soul for the sheep." This shepherd is not dying to protect the sheep from wolves. He was risking death for their sakes, to be sure. But, "laying down his soul" meant more than "death." He was dedicating his life (his soul) to protecting the sheep from the wolves.
Again, one must have an accurate definition of the word "soul" to understand what Jesus is saying here. Quoting ACM’s ANTI-THOUGHT-CONTROL DICTIONARY, the word "soul" is defined:
"Soul" is your identity; how you are known. It is the whole composite of traits, characteristics and form, which define a person or a thing. It is the essential identity, which distinguishes one creature from another.
When Jesus referred to himself as our Shepherd who lays down his soul for us, He was saying that He dedicated his whole life – his whole being – for the good and well being of the sheep. His death was only temporary. In giving up his own pleasure to help the sheep, He "laid down his soul" for them. The Father authorized Jesus to do this.
Also, please note that Jesus had "authority to receive." That’s quite different from "power to take," as the King James Version renders it. "Authority" must be handed down from a superior power. By the same token, in order to "receive," someone else had to "GIVE." Giving and taking requires two parties. Jesus "received again" his soul when his Father gave Him the throne – when He was no longer a servant, but a King. Jesus relates this to us as well in Matthew 16:
24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25. For whosoever will save his soul shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his soul for my sake shall find it. 26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For now the Son of man is to be coming in the glory of his Father with his messengers; and then he will be giving back to every man according to his works.
In exchange for trading in our worthless souls, Jesus gives back to us a new soul patterned after his own. Thus, we share in the life and spirit of Jesus. That is why Paul said in Galatians 2:
20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
14. One received his status from the other
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
These titles were handed down (authorized) by Yahweh.
In Philippians 2:
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus the Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Yahweh possessed the throne and the glory. He shared it with Jesus by ordaining Him to the highest position of authority under him.
15. One is greater than the other
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go under (not "away"), and come again unto you (i.e. "die and rise again"). If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I advance toward the Father, for my Father is greater than I.
In "going under" (dying) and coming again (rising from the grave) Jesus "advanced toward" the Father (followed the Father’s will).
16. One is subject to the other
I Corinthians 15:
For he (Jesus) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy, death, is being made powerless. For he (Yahweh) hath put all things under his (Jesus’) feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he (Yahweh) is excepted, which did put all things under him (Jesus). And when all things shall be subdued unto him (Jesus), then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (Yahweh) that put all things under him (Jesus), that God may be all in all.
This tells us that everything, and everyone, is under Jesus’ subjection – except "Him" (Yahweh) to whom even Jesus is subject. Two personalities are indicated here; one in subjection to the other.
17. One learned obedience; the other didn’t
8. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
The Son learned discipline. Yahweh didn’t need to learn discipline. Character development is not something that Yahweh needed. Jesus, on the other hand, needed to learn. That means that He came into the world as a normal child. His conception was supernatural, but his birth and life weren’t. Jesus grew up naturally, learning obedience through Yahweh’s guidance.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Christ’s obedience is an example for us. We can strive to grow in obedience, using him as our example, knowing He was human just as we are.
18. One mediates for the other
I Timothy 2:
5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men; the man Christ Jesus.
God is above. Man is below. And the risen Jesus is the mediator between the two. Here are three levels, if you will: 1. Yahweh (above) 2. The risen Jesus (between) 3. Natural man (below). Three UNEQUAL levels. It would have been deceptive, if not ludicrous, to call Jesus a "mediator" for the Father if He was actually the Father himself. Furthermore, this illustration shows the great difference between Yahweh and man. The difference is so great that Yahweh saw the need to raise Jesus above man to be a Mediator to bridge that gulf. Man cannot be Yahweh, and neither can Yahweh be man. The two positions are mutually exclusive. Therefore, since Jesus was a man, He could not be Yahweh.
19. One gives eternal life to the other
1 Corinthians 15:
45. And so it is written, The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life giving spirit.
26. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the son to have life in himself;
27. And hath given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the Son of man (Adam).
Yahweh has given the Son to have life in himself, He did not have it from the beginning, this was earned because of his faithfulness. The Son has also been given authority to execute judgement. He did not have this from the beginning, it was received from the Father.
There are scores more scriptures I could cite. However, these will be sufficient to show enough contrast to establish a clear difference. If these contrasts have not convinced you, then neither will a hundred more.
Next: Rational thinking | Back to Is Jesus God Index | Home