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Was Jesus Just a Prophet?:

I will focus on the Old Testament in a second, but first, it’s important to understand that the New Testament undoubtably teaches there is only ONE God and that Jesus is God and was with the Father and the Holy Spirit during the creation process.  Anyone who says Jesus did not understand and clearly show he was “God in flesh” does not understand the Bible.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).   Verse 14 shows the “Word” is Jesus as he became flesh and made his dwelling among us. There are 3 important things in John 1:1 verse about Jesus and the Father: 1) Jesus was “in the beginning”-He was present at creation. Jesus had existed eternally with God. 2) Jesus is distinct from the Father—He was “with” God. 3) Jesus is the same as God in nature—He “was God.”  Colossians 1:16 clearly teaches that God created “all things” through Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 1:2 says, “In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.”

Jesus clearly claimed to be God by:

  1. Accepting worship. Many verses including: ( 14:33: “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 9:18: While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Luke 24:51-53: While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53and were continually in the temple praising God.
  2. Forgiving sins (Mark 2:5, 2:10, Luke 5:20, and many others) and
  3. Claiming “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58) referring back to Exodus 3:16 where God told Moses “I am who I am”. Jesus clearly claimed to be the great I AM of the Old Testament!

The above 3 thing is why the Jews numerous times tried to kill him throughout his ministry and the main reason why they ultimately demanded he be crucified.  It’s also why Pilate put on the cross “King of the Jews” and refused to change it.  He knew that Jesus was claiming to be the God of the Universe in flesh as the Bible clearly teaches.

Did God die?  Of course not.  The human body of the 2nd  person of the trinity died.  This death was the FINAL sacrifice so no longer do we need Priests to do animal sacrifices  to forgive our sins.  Why? Jesus has been resurrected in victory and his death was a substitute for YOUR sins. As Hebrew states, he is the high

Jesus simply gives us no choice.  He is either the Lord (God) as he claims, a Lunatic or a Liar.  He cannot just be a prophet because he clearly claimed to be Divine many/many times.  Even Thomas said  to Jesus: “My Lord, and my God” (John 20:28) and Jesus did not correct him.

Holy Spirit personhood (NEW AND Old Testament)

Also, remember the Holy Spirit or Spirit of God is a person, not a force (as incorrectly taught by some).   He’s God and the 3rd person of the Trinity as proven by both old and New Testament scripture.  We are not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit can be sinned against (Isaiah 63:10) and lied to (Acts 5:3). We are to obey Him (Acts 10:19–21) and honor Him (Psalm 51:11).  He was personally involved in creation (Genesis 1:2), empowers God’s people (Zechariah 4:6), guides (Romans 8:14), comforts (John 14:26), convicts (John 16:8), teaches (John 16:13), restrains sin (Isaiah 59:19), and gives commands (Acts 8:29). Each of these works requires the involvement of a person rather than a mere force, thing, or idea.  The Holy Spirit’s attributes also point to His personality. The Holy Spirit has life (Romans 8:2), has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11), is omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:10–11), is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), and is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7). A “force” could not possess all of these attributes, but the Holy Spirit does.

Trinity means Tri-UNITY.  One God/3 persons.  Unity and monotheism are vital to understanding the Trinity.

Old Testament

In Genesis 1:1-2 we read, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In the very beginning of God’s revelation of himself we read of two Persons—God and the Spirit of God.

In the Bible, both God the Father and Jesus are called Shepherd, Judge, and Savior. Both are called the Pierced One—in the same verse (Zechariah 12:10). Christ is the exact representation of God the Father, having the same nature (Hebrews 1:3). There is some sense in which everything the Father does, the Son and Spirit also do, and vice versa. They are always in perfect agreement at every moment, and all three equal only One God (Deuteronomy 6:4). Knowing that Christ is God and has all the attributes of God aids our understanding of Jesus as the Creator.

Elohim is a plural name (single verb) may hint toward the Trinity as well.

Back to some of my favorite verses in the Bible, in Exodus 3:13-14, Moses says to 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?” God’s answer to Moses is, “I AM THAT I AM…Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Here God, when asked to identify himself, says, in effect, “I AM, I AM, I AM. Potentially having them tell the children of Israel that the Triune God has sent you?

In Deuteronomy 6:4, the great Sh’ma prayer of Judaism, God says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” Again we see the three in one, The LORD, God, the LORD—one.

In Isaiah 6:3 we see that the Lord of hosts is not merely holy, but “Holy, holy, holy.” Again one Lord, but three times holy.

Also, the “angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and exercises the responsibilities of God (Genesis 16:7-1221:17-1822:11-18Exodus 3:2Judges 2:1-45:236:11-2413:3-222 Samuel 24:16Zechariah 1:123:112:8). In several of these appearances, those who saw the angel of the Lord feared for their lives because they had “seen the Lord.” Therefore, it is clear that in at least some instances, the angel of the Lord is a theophany, an appearance of God in physical form.  The appearances of the angel of the Lord cease after the incarnation of Christ. Angels are mentioned numerous times in the New Testament, but “the angel of the Lord” is never mentioned in the New Testament after the birth of Christ.  It is logical that Jesus would be active and manifest in the world in the Old Testament. Whatever the case, whether the angel of the Lord was a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ (Christophany) or an appearance of God the Father (theophany), it is highly likely that the phrase “the angel of the Lord” usually identifies a physical appearance of God.

Here’s the most convincing to me (Rick’s personal opinion) Plsalm 110: “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand… “ (personal name of God Adonai, …) God is having a conversation with David’s Lord!!  In Matthew 22:44, Jesus confuses the Jewish experts in the law with this.  So, Jesus shows that He is BOTH David’s son and David’s Lord.  Later in the Psalm (Psalm 110:4) God says “You will become a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” which is what Christ became.  The final sacrifice that only God’s sacrifice could become.

So yes, I believe Abraham and the prophets were always worshiping the One and Only Triune God although they may not of explicitly thought of that this way.

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