02 How Can Jesus Be God?
To Paul Sharpe, Ernest Nelson and Friends - August, 1989
Thirty one years ago, in the final meeting of the second convention then held at Silverdale, I stood as the meeting was closed in prayer. The message had included Revelations 3:20 , and my own prayer was to the effect that I opened my heart's door wide for Jesus to come in and sup with me. So began my journey of concern for the truth; a journey not yet at its end.
Often, as I prepared to read, and often in prayer alone, I asked, "Father open the eyes of my mind and spirit that I may understand." Nevertheless, some things puzzle me yet. With all sincerity and sobriety, I am concerned for the truth, because eternity is a very long time if one is wrong and misses the mark.
Please bear with me as I share with you some of the things that trouble me. I look to discover sound and solid understanding by whatever means possible. It is my hope that you may be able and willing to help me sort these things out correctly. I have not felt free to share these problems in meetings before, as I wish to direct them to the stronger saints alone, those most likely to be able to answer. This will contain a lot of quotes of Scripture, so as to save you time in looking them up yourself, but if it appears that I have made any errors in the quotes, I may fail in the attempt to save you the time. 
Ephesians 4:4-6"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
It is evident by this that there are not many choices of methods of salvation, but one alone. In my search of Scripture, sometimes I wonder, as did Pilate, what is truth? In answer, Jesus said; 
John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." 
2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. "
Psalm 119:9  "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
The Bible has been my guide, as I have felt that my salvation is much too important a concern to entrust it to the opinions of others. But sometimes a brother can be of great help to clarify some things, only that advice I think, is to be checked by Scripture. I believe that God's Word is the only safe refuge. 
2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you.
except ye be reprobates?"
By this I know that an individual self-examination is correctly in order, but how does one perform such an examination? What does it mean "Jesus Christ is in you?" How can one be sure that Jesus Christ is in him? Is there some unique feeling that shows the presence of Christ inside, because even though I had prayed that Jesus come in and sup with me, in all honesty I didn't feel so different afterwards. Does this mean that he did not come into my heart?? If so, how does this square with this Scripture; 
1 John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
Could it be that my prayer for Jesus to come into my heart was not according to God's will? If this is a possibility, what about this Scripture: 
2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Could one use God's law of righteousness as a measure to see if he is in the faith? God's law of righteousness was given to the Jews through Moses, as recorded in the first five books of the Bible. One could measure his own standing before God by God's law; the result of such a self-examination would show the degree to which he is able to please God. I don't fare well at all. I find that I cannot pass the very first of God's commandments perfectly, and even if I could keep that one point, I surely have to admit to failure when I get to "Honor thy father and thy mother." While I looked at God's law, I did notice something, besides that I am a sinner. Though the law contains many points, Scripture consistently refers to the law in the singular form, as a unit. The significance, I think, is that if I dishonor my father, for example, I am guilty of breaking the law; just as guilty as one who has committed murder. Conversely then, if I have committed murder, I am no more guilty than one who has dishonored his father. What does Scripture say in this regard? 
James 2:10 "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Does this mean that there are no degrees of sin before God?
My tendency has been to grade sin; to say that one sin is far worse than another. I think that I have been wrong in doing so. This is important for me to grasp, because if there are little insignificant sins, they could get ignored easily. Also, if there are no grades of sin, then a sin such as hating a brother one time for one second is as bad as what Hitler did to the Jews. My conclusion of self-examination by God's law of righteousness is that I am a sinner, and in no wise will I enter the kingdom of God by keeping His law. One might try to argue that the law was given to the Jews, and I am not a Jew, but does this exempt me? 
Romans 2:12 "For as many as have sinned without the law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the
Romans 3:20-26 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight. for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 
Romans 3:31 "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. 
Galatians 3:24-25 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
What is this faith through which we are saved by grace?
In meetings I have often heard that faith is belief in the unseen. At Prince George convention we heard about faith and how it comes to us. In my notes I have written, "Faith is believing what you do not see. When we first come to meetings, and before faith comes, we must almost like the messengers, or trust them, then faith will come. I not only like the messengers, but I love them, and yet the faith or trust I have in them doesn't seem to fit the bill. I'm going get a bit simplistic, or stupid here, and so I apologize up front. But in order to illustrate what my problem is: no one can see the wind, will belief then in the wind save? Again, and even worse, no one can see Satan, and of course belief in him will not save anyone. Obviously, the object of the belief is crucial; yet Scripture does agree with the worker, that faith is believing what you do not see.
Hebrews 11:1  "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 
Hebrews 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 
Hebrews 11:8 "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 
Hebrews 11:17-19 "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called; Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
What is common to both Noah and Abraham?
Noah was warned of God, he believed God and staked not only his own life on what God told him, but the lives of his house. Abraham was promised some things by God, he believed God to the point of unquestioningly offering up the one in whom the promises were to be fulfilled, believing God to be able to deliver on His promises anyway.
They both believed God, and obeyed Him without question.
The object of their faith was God. They believed what God told them even when it seemed illogical or impossible in the human sense.
If a definition is good, then it should make perfect sense when substituted for that word; 
Ephesians 2:8 (substituting) For by grace are ye saved through believing what God has said even if it seems illogical or impossible: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
So, what then is grace? 
Esther 2:17 "And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
One element shown here about grace is that Esther received the royal crown even though she was not entitled to it, out of the king's favor. Grace here is equated with favor (unmerited). 
Galatians 5:4"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Neither Christ, nor grace is of the law, both are separate from the law to those who are under grace. 
Romans 4:4 "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 
Romans 11:6 "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is
no more work. 
Romans 3:24-26 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are part, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Grace in these verses is contrasted with debt. In other words, if the reward is worked for, then it is received as payment or wages. So, grace, not being of debt for work that must be performed, must then be a free gift.What is forbearance?
An example of forbearance would be: if I were struck in the face for no reason, and though thus being entitled to strike back in retaliation, instead, I held back from retaliation of any form; a quality that Jesus showed always.
To summarize; grace then according to Scripture, is a free gift of favor that holds back God's just retaliation for sin. 
Ephesians 2:8 (substituting) "For by a free gift of favor that holds back God's just retaliation for sin are ye saved through believing what God has said even if it seems illogical or impossible; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. 
1 Corinthians 6:11  "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
What does it mean, "ye are sanctified?"
To sanctify is to make holy; a process, as is denoted by the word "make."
What does it mean, "ye are justified?"
To justify is to acquit of guilt; a declaration of a position of righteousness.
According to Scripture then, in the name of Jesus, the believer is washed, and is made holy (separated unto God, or sanctified): he is justified, or declared righteous, having the righteousness of Jesus imputed to him through faith in His blood (faith in His sacrifice for our sin). This is done by the Spirit of our God, the comforter, who was sent by Jesus to dwell in the believer, and whose job it was to guide the Apostles into all truth. (Did He guide them into recording all truth; or did Jesus lie? Is He to guide us into all truth today, and if so, by what means? Will anything that He guides one into contradict God's word?)
What does the Bible say that God told us to believe in order to be saved? In other words, what are we told is to be the object of our faith through which we have access to God's saving grace? 
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
1 John 5:10 "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
Acts 4:10-12  "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, This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the comer. Neither is there salvation in any other. for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
John 14:6  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The object of Noah's, and Abraham's faith, as shown before, was God.
The object of our faith, as shown in the above verses, is to be Jesus Christ. Does this then constitute a change in God's mind? 
Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
What then is the record that God gave of His Son; that which, if we believe not we make God a liar? It seems to me that the following verses are part of it. 
Acts 20:28 "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Luke understood Jesus to be God. Was Luke not a member of the first century church? 
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul understood Jesus to be God. Was Paul a false Apostle?
John 20:29-29  "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, an(9 thrust it into my side. and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed.- blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for calling Him "God," but rather commended those who would believe without seeing Him personally, in bodily form which presumably includes those of our day, as well. Was Thomas a false Apostle? 
Hebrews 1:8 "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.
God called Jesus God; I mean, take a look at this verse! God the Father calls Jesus the Son, "GOD!" Would God the Father lie?? If God the Father doesn't know who Jesus is, we're in a lot of trouble! 
John 1:1-14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The Apostle John understood Jesus to be God. Wasn't John a true Apostle? 
John 1:3 "All things were made by him [Jesus], and without him was not anything made that was made.
The Apostle John knew Jesus as the Creator. 
Hebrews 1:2 "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
The writer of Hebrews knew Jesus as the Creator. 
Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Moses understood God to be the Creator. 
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.- and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
It was prophesied that Jesus should be known as God.
How can Jesus be God? By human reasoning, it is impossible that Jesus is God; it is illogical. But it is just the kind of thing that Noah and Abraham believed when God told them.
Who raised Jesus from the dead? 
John 2:18-22 "Then answered the Jews and said unto him, what sign shewest thou us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. 
Acts 10:40 "Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly. 
Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
According to Scripture, Jesus raised himself, God raised him, and God's Spirit raised up Jesus. Was Jesus then raised from the dead three times? What does God tell us about His Spirit? 
Acts 5:3-4 "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Peter understood the Holy Ghost to be God. Didn't the Holy Spirit guide Peter into all the truth? 
Romans 8:9-10 "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
So, what if I can't comprehend all this?
Proverbs 3:5  "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 
James 1:5-6 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 
Matthew 7:22-23 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Until I worked alongside of a man who's name was Jesus, I never paid much attention to what Scripture says about "another Jesus." You would be amazed how many people have the name Jesus; apparently a popular name in Central America, and South America, not to mention the Mediterranean area. This is however, not of a religious usage of course. Does one then just call the name "Jesus," and therefore have the correct Jesus?
Does it not make good sense that one must know who the Biblical Jesus is?
To Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus is the Archangel Michael, and was raised in spirit only.
To Mormons, Jesus is the spirit brother of the devil.
To Christian Scientists, Jesus didn't really die, but hid alive in the sepulcher.
The Baghwan Shree Rajneesh said, "When you call Jesus, really you have called me; and when you call me, really you have called Jesus." (Utter blasphemy!)
2 Corinthians 11:34 "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Who is Paul referring to when he says "we?" The Apostles themselves, I think.
Who is Paul speaking to when he says "ye?" The first century church, I think.What is the gospel that Paul preached? (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 .)  Galatians 1:8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Who is accursed if he or she preaches any other gospel than that which Paul preached? Anyone who preaches a different gospel, right? Maybe workers too, right?
God's word says that the Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. Also God says that there is one God. Again, God says that He raised Jesus, Jesus raised Himself, and God's Spirit raised Jesus. In Romans 8:9-10  the believer has God's Spirit in him, the Spirit of Christ in him, and Christ in him. Only in the context that the one living God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, can I make any logical sense from these verses of Scripture.
Now if these were the only verses of Scripture that present this view of God, I may be able to somehow come to a different conclusion of what God tells of Himself, but I find that Scripture is absolutely full of verses and concepts of this view of God. But if you will look into this for yourself, with prayer, you will see what I mean. Just because we as finite beings, find it difficult or impossible to understand all about God, who has the power to create all, which also we cannot understand, does not mean that His word is any less true. We do not make it true by our belief, it is already true. According to God's word, having the correct Jesus is absolutely crucial, and essential to salvation. The teaching of who "the way, the truth, and the life" is makes the difference between Biblical truth and damnable heresy. A gospel devoid of the Biblical Jesus, is also devoid of offering salvation, being Christless.
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