The Divinity of Christ, part 9
Christ possesses the attributes of God
Let us now commence another broad category of proofs of the divinity/deity of Christ. We can label this category: “Christ possesses the attributes of God.” Remember the axiom: if a = c, and b = c, then a = b.
Example #1. If God—and only God—is eternal (a = c), and if we can show that Jesus the Christ is eternal (b = c), then God equals Jesus Christ (a = b). If we believe in the existence of God, of a Supreme Being, then, by definition, we believe that God is eternal (a=c).
What about Jesus Christ? Well, as a man, as the Word made flesh, He had a beginning, but as the Word before He was made flesh, He had no beginning; i.e., He is eternal. I presented those passages from John 1 in the immediately previous post in this series, so I won’t repeat them here. Instead, let’s go to John, chapter 17.
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
If Jesus were not fully God, then what right would He have to ask the Father to glorify Him along with the Father’s own self? …With the glory He possessed before the world even existed?
The only way that Jesus would have a right to make that request is if He were fully God Himself. Turn to Romans 9. As a second witness to the eternality and Godhood of Jesus, we read this:
Romans 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth [See Note 1 below.] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
The New King James Version renders that last phrase as “the eternally blessed God. Amen.” In other words, Christ, or the Messiah, is over all things, all creation, and He is the eternally blessed God.
Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible renders this verse:
“Whose are the fathers, And of whom is the Christ—according to the flesh,—He who is over all, God, blessed unto the ages. Amen.”
Example #2 in this category: A second attribute of God is that He is omnipotent. The Father is omnipotent. Actually, we don’t find that word very often in our English Bibles because the Hebrew and Greek concepts are usually translated into English by the word “Almighty.” Knowing that, we now realize that there are scores of references to God as the Almighty.
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
From Genesis, the first book in the Bible, now let us go to the last, to Revelation 1. We have just seen how the Father is identified as the Almighty God. Now we will show you the connection with Jesus as the same Almighty God.
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
And dropping down to verse 8, Jesus speaking to John, declares:
Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
We also find support in Hebrews 1.
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
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; [referring to Christ as the pre-existing Word. See Note 2 below.]
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
“upholding all things by the word of his power,”… Does that not speak of omnipotence? It most certainly does.
Example #3 in this category of the attributes of God. God is omnipresent. This word itself is not found in the English Bible, but the concept is a Scriptural necessity. Here is how it is stated in …
Jeremiah 23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
Be careful here. Some might want to find support for pantheism in this verse, but that would be an incorrect assumption…and here I am assuming that all of you understand what pantheism means. But just in case you don’t know, here is an online reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism
Anyhow, just because it says that God fills heaven and earth, it does not follow that God is the rocks, the trees, the birds, the bees, the stars, the intergalactic gases and so forth. That’s an unwarranted leap of logic. It simply is not logical.
The Father, however, is omnipresent. There are other verses we could cite in support of that, but we leave that to the reader-Bible student as an “extra credit” exercise. Now, what about the omnipresence of Christ? Well, here is a verse you don’t need to turn to since it is almost as widely known as John 3:16. But perhaps you never thought of it in light of the omnipresence of Christ before. Jesus is speaking to his disciples here and He assures them that in the days ahead…
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Example #4 is an attribute of God which is closely related to omnipresence and omnipotence and that is His omniscience. He knows all. Once again, there are scores of possible passages which could be cited here, but we will limit ourselves to a few.
Psalm 147:2 The LORD [YHWH, Yahweh] doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
We have thus identified that the passage is speaking of the Father. Now look at verse 4 and 5:
4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
There is omniscience. Our greatest astronomers can only guess; they have no idea in reality how many stars exist in the universe; yet God not only counts them, but He has names for every one of them. Is there a better word for God than awesome? Granted it sounds so trite today, but words fail us in describing and praising His wondrous attributes. Here, that word reveals itself to be so inadequate when we ponder the expanse of the universe.
5 Great is our Lord, and of great power [there is omnipotence again]: his understanding is infinite [and omniscience again].
Was Jesus omniscient? If He is God, then He is. Let’s set forth some evidence. Turn to Matthew 9.
Matthew 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
Now, of course, a skeptic would be quick to charge that Jesus is simply a superb observer of human nature or He’s a good psychologist. Well, then let’s turn over to John, chapter 2.
John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
Incidentally, if you are using the KJV, what do you notice about that verse? See Note 1 below. So if we leave out the word men, then it says that Jesus knew all. …Which could equally mean Jesus knew all things, which included everything about a man, his inner thoughts, desires, etc. Going on,…
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Another attribute of God is truth.
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
God the Father is truth. Let’s see what the Word of God says about Jesus now.
Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true,…
Next, let us consider the gospel of John, chapter 14.
John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Hopefully, we all speak the truth, but notice that in this instance, Jesus did not say, I am telling you the truth; He said: I AM the truth! As long as we are here, let’s go right on reading because there is more proof of the divinity of our Lord in these next few verses.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?
Jesus is saying: Philip, don’t you get it yet?
he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
In other words, you, Philip, being in your physical body, you do not possess the capacity to see the invisible God. The Father is Spirit. Therefore, I, as the invisible Spirit God (the Father), I chose to lower Myself into a flesh form so that you can see Me. Do you get it now, Philip?
Now there is a punny little connection here, if you can see it. Is it just a coincidence that out of all the twelve apostles, it was Philip who has this little conversation with Jesus? Here is what I mean.
What are the first three letters of Philip’s name? Phi. It is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet. Technically, it is pronounced fee, as in feet. But in English, everyone says fie as in final, or fi as in fit, so we will live with that. Like the Greek letter pi, phi stands for a geometric ratio.
It is the basis of sacred geometry because the phi ratio is the sacred ratio, the golden mean, the Fibonacci sequence—there are several names for it. The phi ratio is found everywhere in nature. Over 20 years ago, I studied sacred geometry intensively for a couple of year.
For those of you who have heard and seen my series of lectures called From Inner Space to Outer Space, do you remember what the phi ratio symbolizes? It represents a doorway or a portal into another dimension!
In Solomon’s temple, it was the doorway from the Holy Place into the Holy of Holies (Most Holy Place). It represents the gateway from matter to spirit. From earth to heaven, or from heaven to earth.
Furthermore, you may recall how in that series of lectures, I shared with you the analogy of Flatland? Flatland refers to a fictional two-dimensional world. In it, we learn how mysterious and inexplicable it would be to the Flatlanders to witness a visitation from three-dimensional beings such as ourselves.
With our understanding of that analogy, we are able to get some sliver of an idea of what it means for the infinite God to lower Himself into our three-dimensional world of flesh and blood. Therefore, was is merely a coincidence that Philip (Phi-lip) was the apostle who questions Jesus on this particular issue?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
Also in our Inner Space/Outer Space series, we discussed the concept of a finite container being able to hold infinity—Jesus being the prime example. He was a flesh and blood man, who was simultaneously the infinite God Almighty! Is that possible? Yes, indeed, and we gave a mathematical example of it as well.
So here in verse 11, Jesus is essentially telling Philip and the others that if nothing else, then look at the works that I do, and that should convince you that I and the Father are one.
(To be continued.)
Note 1: Reminder: My primary English text is the King James Version. In it, and some other Bible versions, the translators used the italic typeface to indicate where they have added word(s) which are not in the Hebrew or Greek versions. Therefore, I do not use italics for emphasis within a Bible quotation. However, I do use italics, as well as underlining and boldface, for emphasis elsewhere.—JWB
Note 2: Anything within [brackets] within a quotation (Bible quotation or otherwise) is commentary by me. —JWB