The Divinity of Christ, part 19
Isaiah 40 provides a plethora of proofs of the Divinity of Christ
This will be probably be the penultimate blog in my series on the divinity of Christ. We have been showing in numerous ways various proofs that Jesus is God. Previously, we were going verse by verse through Isaiah 40 and simply noting, in that one chapter alone, all the pointers to the deity of Christ. We pick up now in Isaiah 40:13.
Isaiah 40:13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?
There is a very famous passage in Isaiah 9, verse 6. (Part of its fame is due to George Frideric Handel having used it as a text in one of the portions of The Messiah oratorio.) I discussed the ramifications of that verse as it relates to the divinity of Christ in a previous essay. You might remember it; it goes like this:
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.
The reason we reprise it here is because, not only is the Son said to be “The mighty God,” but the Son (in His pre-incarnate existence as the Word, of course… “In the beginning the Word was with God,” etc.), but here the Son is also said to be the Wonderful Counsellor. So that the answer to the question that is Isaiah 40, verse 13 above, is the same as the answer as in the next verse.
Isaiah 40:14 With whom took he [the Father] counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
So indeed, with whom did Yahweh-Elohim-El Elyon, with whom did God take counsel? With Himself! Now proceeding all the way down through verse 24, Yahweh compares His almighty power as Creator with the puniness of the works of men and nations—including the works of men like Sagan and Gould and Weinberg. We will simply read these verses with a sprinkling of comments.
Isaiah 40:15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.
Do you hear that, you men of science—Sagan, Gould and Weinberg—and all those who have made science your god? … But let’s stop and think for a moment. Is it science itself that is their god? Not really. They are really putting their faith in themselves! …In their own ability to think and reason and test and discover truth without acknowledging the eternal Creator.
So, the reality is that science is not their god, self is! They worship themselves, in that “we shall be as god, knowing good and evil. In other words, they believe that given enough time and money, that they can figure out everything. Such that, with sufficient genetic research, they think they can figure out how to live forever. But if God says that all nations before him are as nothing, then surely any individual man is also counted as less than nothing. Praise our Father for He has sovereignly chosen to save us!
18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
Well, the fact is that men and women liken God to all sorts of false gods, to idols of wood and stone, and gold and silver. As in the days of old, the heathen still liken God to His creation, to the earth itself, in that they worship Gaia, the supposed Mother Earth goddess.
19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.
20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.
21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Yes, even though most of the world believed for centuries that the earth was flat, God speaks here of its globular shape. I am sure many of you know that when Christopher Columbus “discovered” the New World, thinking that he had arrived in India, that he wrote in his journal, “Fully accomplished are the words of Isaiah.” Did Columbus know that the earth was round by reading the book of Isaiah? Now I realize that there is much controversy surrounding revisionist history of Columbus, but that is beyond the scope of this lecture.
23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.
24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.
And then the Almighty God challenges any creature with this rhetorical question:
25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
Again, just to call your attention to it because we proved it in one of the previous essays in this series, that the title “Holy One” and “Holy One of Israel” are titles of deity. We saw that it was applied to our Lord Jesus Christ. So, the answer to God’s question, to whom shall I be equal, is that He is equal to Himself in the other members of the Trinity, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things,
Alright, who has created these things? God? Of course. But God as manifested as the Word. Christ as the Word created all things. Now listen to this…
that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might,
Does not just the concept of numbering and naming ALL things just about overload your brain circuits? It does mine!
for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.
That is another reference to the omnipotence of the Almighty God.
27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
Once again, “the LORD,” Yahweh is the Creator and is equal and in union with the Word as Creator.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
There are at least two further hints at the deity of Christ within this last verse. First, we read that those who wait upon Yahweh will renew their strength. How does one renew strength? Or let me ask it this way: while you are waiting for your strength to be renewed, what are you doing? We do it for eight hours every night. We are resting, right? We gain strength when we rest. Here now are the familiar words of Jesus as he said to his disciples in Matthew, chapter 11:
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
(By the way, these verses are also part of Handel’s oratorio: it is a solo by an alto singer, then one by a soprano, and finally by the entire chorus. If you have heard it, you know what a beautiful, heavenly piece of music it is!)
To make the connection with the deity of Christ clear, we saw that in Isaiah it says that they who wait on God will renew their strength. Here we see that Jesus encourages people to come to Him and find rest, and thereby renew their strength. Once again, we repeat the refrain that God in the Old Testament is Jesus in the New Testament.
The other implied reference to the deity in this verse in Isaiah is where the strength of the saints originates. You see, Paul tells us in
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The connection is the same as the one we just discussed. And so how many references to the divinity of Christ have we found in just one chapter in Isaiah? Perhaps eight or ten?! Let us now turn to Luke, chapter 4. This incident describes the devil tempting our Lord.
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
Now for those modern Arians who seek to deny the massive amount of Scriptural evidence we have provided thus far in this series of essays—and especially where we showed that the title “the Son of God” was understood to mean equality with God—then we ask you at this point: If the title meant that He was nothing more than any other ordinary man, then why would the devil challenge Him to turn a stone into a loaf of bread? Can any and every ordinary man perform that miracle? No. It only makes sense when we understand that the devil was challenging Christ’s deity. As if to say, “If you are God, then prove it, buster!”
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Is it just a coincidence that here we have another scene on a high mountain, and again we have the aspect of glory connected with it? Well, the devil continues challenging Jesus:
7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
We mentioned it previously that when men and women worshiped the Savior, Jesus did not rebuke them since they were actually and properly worshiping God Himself.
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
There in verse 12 Jesus is quoting from the Old Testament, specifically from Deuteronomy 6:16, and here again is a case where the translators should have at least put the word “Lord” in all caps since that is the way it appears in Deuteronomy, and once again, it means Yahweh.
Thus, here we see the devil tempting Jesus and Jesus responds by scolding the devil by essentially saying, shame on you, you are not supposed to tempt God! Do you see that? There we have another very clear example of the deity of Christ! (To be continued.)