What some groups teach about Jesus and the Bible's response
Adapted from Rose Publications, Christianity, Cults & Religions, 7th Edition
My disclaimer upfront: I do not agree with this belief. I am though reaffirming my beliefs and hoping to impact others. Another thing you need to know about me is that I am just a guy that is trying to put intelligent thought down on paper; something that I have never been very good at. So if you are going to criticize, be kind.
John 10:30 GW “The Father and I are one."
Even the trained pharisees and rabbis that he said this to did not accept his statements. They were more than willing to stone him for blasphemy. I find it such an oddity that the world can say He never made any statements declaring that He was God. Are you serious. You only prove that you do not read the scriptures when you say something like that, for the crowd before him heard it. They even restated it back to Him and tried to kill him by throwing him off a hill on one occasion.
I do not think that God expected us to accept everything thrown at us without giving these concepts some thought so look at Isaiah with me: (Isaiah 1:18 ASV) “Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: ..”
Just because he invites you to reason with him does not mean that you are going to change God's plans, but it does demonstrate his desire for relationship.
Moses approached God, reasoned with Him, and God withheld his judgment.
I do think that applying your brain to statements like this is appropriate. By itself the statement, “the Father and I are one.” has nothing that gives it merit. Take other factors into consideration and it takes on a much larger meaning, and deserves consideration, and your eventual acceptance.
Factors to consider:
- What evidence does Jesus have to back his claim. In this case “Jesus was created by God”. The strongest argument anyone would have for Jesus being created could be His virgin birth. Did you ever stop to think that God knew you from before the foundations of the earth, and we do not hold a candle to Jesus and the Father's relationship. What we do have is a pattern to follow. One of the major claimants for Jesus being created would be the Latter Day Saints. Satan is a created being, and for your theory to hold true Jesus would have to follow pattern.
- Did Jesus follow a consistent pattern. Did he consistently say the same thing, therefore NOT creating holes in his own “brash” statements, or act out of sync with the Father's wishes?
- Was there anything else that would corroborate his testimony. Things like miracles, angels, or witnesses. The answer is yes, and though many still will refuse to believe, you should still consider the reactions of the pharisees that heard and saw what he did. They knew and believed that only God could do what this man Jesus was doing.
- We have the Father's acknowledgment of Jesus as the Son. When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan the Father acknowledged him as the Son in which he was well pleased, and again upon the cross.
- After Jesus death, the Angels acknowledged him.
- He was witnessed by over 400 people after his death, and He rose to the Father just as he said he would.
(John 17:21 MSG) The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind-- Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
I am not sure how this refutes the concept that “Jesus was created”, but let's attack it anyway.
There is a strong theme that runs through this statement and that is oneness. This might be a cruel analogy but a servant never has the same status as the Son, and a created being (Satan) is not a Son, so get the idea of Pinocchio becoming a little boy out of your head. That is not happening.
The point in all this is that whether it is one heart and mind, or what appears in Jesus statement as a clear cut definition of His relationship with the Father as being one in the same, it is there. What it seems to require of you is thought.
An adequate assessment by you will only lead you back to the one who poured out his life for you, and really does not demand you wrapping your brain around every concept.
John 10:31-39 NIV Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, (32) but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" (33) "We are not stoning you for any good work," they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." (34) Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"'? (35) If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and Scripture cannot be set aside-- (36) what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? (37) Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. (38) But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." (39) Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
We are trying to refute the statement that “Jesus was created by God.” To be created sounds so mechanical, and Satan is not, but Satan is not the son or brother. He was created to do God's bidding. Satan's error that got him cast out was in trying to rise above God, by exerting his own will.
The Jews understood, with precision, Jesus statements about His relationship with the Father. To prove that point they are trying to stone him, again. In verse 33 ("We are not stoning you for any good work," they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.") They answered Jesus question as to why with, because you claim to be God. There was no skirting the issue here, no speculation about being a creation of God, they would not even allow him that error; they were on a mission to kill him because he claimed to be God, and God is not creating himself.
Jesus attacks their logic by pointing out that the things he had been doing, right in front of them. The Jews knew these were things that only God could and would do. The alternative, God forbid, is that the miracles could be attributed to the devil. For them to say that could have put them into blasphemy and then they would have to be killed, and that was not going to happen.
They were the ones that used the term “a mere man”, therefore we see Jesus turn that back on them.
- Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"'? (35) If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and Scripture cannot be set aside-- (36) what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?
We can reference Jesus response to something God previously said in the Psalms verse 82:6 BBE
I said, You are gods; all of you are the sons of the Most High:”
The passage goes on to say: Psalm 82:7 But you will come to death like men, falling like one of the rulers of the earth.
The Jews called him a mere man, so his comparison is then with a passage in which God refers to mere men as gods, and in their minds Jesus was certainly that, therefore God was fully capable of working through him as well. If they were going to use this kind of logic on Jesus then I suppose they deserved such a retort.
- If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and Scripture cannot be set aside--They had already called him a mere man. In referencing this passage, one in which God is referring to mere men as gods, he is also pointing out that he himself, acting as a mere men, is still acting on behalf of his Father for he is doing the works of His Father, and that they should believe that He is who He claims based upon that fact alone.
all of you are the sons of the Most High
This appears to have been penned by King David, and we all know the release from sins had not come yet, for there was no death on the cross. Is he then talking about a time to come, prior to the cross? Even that is a dim piece of logic for Jesus uses it with authority prior to the cross. Is he actually talking about mere men, throughout the course of time? That does not make sense for we have historical record of men throughout the generations that have performed atrocities upon people. Surely God is not talking about them. Are we like Job, thinking that we can tell God how he is to make his decisions?
Is he speaking about a future time frame, after the cross? That would make more sense for the act of becoming a believer brings about an adoption, henceforth making us sons. Alright then, what about those who prior to Christ’s death performed such horrors upon people. We know from scripture that Christ preached to the captives, and that may have included them. While I am trying build a case against fallacy, they is no denying that statements like “all of you are the sons of the Most High” lend themselves to more confusion than, unless you look everything in context.
- what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?In spite of His substantially clear assertion that he was not a mere man, he follows an aggressive path by reiterating that the Father set him apart as his very own, and sent him into the world. If you followed the story in scripture then you know that though they may have been silent for a moment they picked up stones again to throw at him. Why? Because once again he made himself very clear in his assertions of who he was, God's only Son.
In John 17:5 we have Jesus praying. “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” This he did quietly, in the presence of a few of his disciples. He again has reiterated his association as son, as one that was with the Father at the beginning, and that he was the only one.
God gave us a prophetic word by the mouth of Isaiah. In Isaiah 7:14 it says: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Immanuel - meaning God with us.
Things that strike me as significant in Isaiah 7:14, if they paid attention, is:
- The time factor. How many years before Christ's birth was this declared.
- God himself thought this would be significant to them.
- It will just be some random child, but a boy.
- He is to have a specific name. That name carries with it the depth of God himself.
The Jews were confronted with the truth that he, God, was standing before them in so many ways. I have heard it said that there were a large number of prophecies concerning Jesus coming and his life here on earth, all of which the learned ones would have studied. They supposedly awaited his coming, and yet when he came in the specified manner, and lived out a life that fulfilled everyone of those prophecies, they refused to believe it. How much different are we today if we refuse to believe.
One last shot at using scripture to enforce my beliefs.
Proverbs 8:22-31 NIV "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; (23) I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be. (24) When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water; (25) before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, (26) before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth. (27) I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, (28) when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, (29) when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. (30) Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, (31) rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.
Strong arguments these may not be, but scripture itself is an argument for the existence and veracity of God. Jesus is God whether I can handle the concept or not. I am not alone in that struggle. I recently sat next to an acquaintance from high school, and I asked him, “do you know the Lord?”, he responded with, “I think that God is so beyond our comprehension and ability to know.” I responded by saying, “I can understand why you might say that.”
How does one comprehend a love so great that he gives his only Son to a world that certainly did not deserve it, unless there is a greater goal, the restoration of life in me.
How do you comprehend someone who has always been and there has been no other. This becomes difficult because all I see is death around me, and no one lives forever.
How is it that this God of ours turns out be so compassionate, forgiving, and a lover of beauty, much like me. Perhaps I have this all backwards and the reason that I love beauty is because I am made in His image.