THE SON OF GOD
If there is one God, the Father, "of whom are all things," as the Scriptures teach, then who is Jesus? What is His relationship to the Father? Is He Deity, or is He some lesser being as some teach? Is He simply a great teacher?
These must have been some of the questions that plagued the mind of a man named Nicodemus, a Pharisee. In John 3, we have the story related to us. It was in the dead of night that this leader of the church stole silently to the garden where he knew he would find Jesus. Nicodemus feared to be seen with this popular teacher, yet something in this man Jesus was different. He longed to know who He really was. Thus Nicodemus opens the conversation:
"Rabbi, we know thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (John 3:2)
It was as if Nicodemus was saying to Jesus, "Tell me who you really are!" Who is this teacher sent from God and why is He here? Who is this man who dared to rebuke the abominations performed in the temple courts? Who is this man who can heal the sick and raise the dead? Who is this man who spoke so beautifully about Heaven, as if He had been there Himself? Who is this man who called God His Father? Who is He and why was He here?
As we begin to answer these questions, let's go back through the eons of eternity to a place called Heaven. The key to understanding who Jesus is, necessitates that we understand the controversy that took place in Heaven before this world was created.
All was peaceful among the inhabitants of this magnificent place until one day something very troubling began to show itself. One of the angels that God had created began to show signs of rebellion. Clearly, it is a mystery how a being, created perfect by the hand of God, could sin; but the Scriptures tell us it did indeed happen.
"Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was thy covering... the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness...." (Ezekiel 28:12-17)
We learn some astounding facts about how sin began from this portion of Scripture. We see that the "cherub that covereth," the one that stood next to God, was the very being who began to cherish thoughts of sin. Lucifer, as he was called, began to cherish seeds of pride that grew into outright rebellion against the Creator.
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Isaiah 14:12-14)
This Scripture is pretty plain as to what Lucifer desired: He wanted to be equal with God. He wanted to sit in the counsels of Heaven as if he were Deity. It is an astounding thought that a being, created by God, would want to be worshipped as God Himself! Actually things haven't changed a lot since then. Even today, through the New Age teachings, men strive to become gods. Yet, this is the thinking that brought about all the misery we now see on this earth. Why wasn't Lucifer content to be the highest of the angels? What made him want to be worshipped as God? I believe it's important for us to understand exactly what Lucifer's problem was, because that controversy, begun in Heaven, is the same one that is raging today. So let's look now at another person who was in Heaven with God during the time Lucifer began to cherish seeds of rebellion—God's Son, called Michael (means "one like God"). (See Jude 9; Revelation 12:7-9) Michael was called Jesus during His life on earth. What does the Bible say about Him?
John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made."
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus, as Michael, existed with God before all creation. He is the "Word," or the "audibleness," of God. What speech is to thought, that is what Christ is to the Father. Jesus is Deity revealed to us. He is the manifestation, or the evidence, of the Father and is called the "Word." Jesus was God's Son in Heaven before He ever came to this earth. It was Jesus (Michael) who, by the power of God, created all things.
Proverbs 30:4 "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?"
God has a Son, and that Son existed with Him in the eons of time before the creation of this world. The Great Creator (the Father) had a partner in the creation of our world; it was His Son.
Proverbs 8:22-30 "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth.... Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him."
Jesus, God's own Son, stood by the Father in the creation of the world. In the NKJV it says, "Then I was by him as a master craftsman." (v.30) Jesus was brought forth as God's Son in the eons of eternity past. The Scripture does not say how this was accomplished, but simply that it was so. The word rendered "brought forth," in the Hebrew, means to "twist or whirl," "to bear," "bring forth," "to form," "to travail." Many have felt that this passage refers to "wisdom" and should not be taken as literally talking of Jesus' existence. However, we need to remember that Jesus is Wisdom.
"But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:24)
The controversy that began in Heaven was over this very issue. Christ, the Son of God, was the only being in all of the universe that was taken into counsel with the Father. It was Christ only who created the world in conjunction with God. Lucifer, who, you will remember, thought he should be included in the decisions of Deity, was angry that God's Son was taken into counsel but he, Lucifer, was not consulted. In effect, Lucifer had denied the thought that Jesus was the very literal Son of God. Jesus was Divine; He was God's Son. No other being could carry out the work of Christ. Lucifer wanted to be brought into that counsel to make a "Trinity" of three beings worthy of worship and praise, but how could a created being ever be equal to his Creator? The answer is simple; he can't be! Friends, let's keep that thought in mind as we continue our study because it is the very root of the whole issue on the concept of the Godhead. Let's continue with our study about Jesus and see what else the Scriptures have to say about Him.
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."
Please note that the Father gave His begotten Son to die for us. Jesus did not become the begotten Son, as the Trinitarians teach, when He was born as a babe in Bethlehem. Jesus existed in Heaven as God's only-begotten Son before He came to earth.
1 John 4:9 "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him."
John 1:14 "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 Word, the Wisdom of God, took on human flesh and dwelt among us! This was God's one and only Son who came to do this; the same Son that Lucifer was jealous over, feeling he should be treated as Jesus was treated.
Let's take a look now and see who the disciples believed Jesus to be.
John 6:69 "And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ the Son of the living God."
Matthew 14:33 "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God."
John 11:27 "She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world."
The disciples clearly believed that Jesus was the Son of God! The Apostle Paul shares the same thoughts in his many references to God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..."
2 Corinthians 11:31 "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..."
This is a very common expression of Paul's which is used numerous times throughout his writings. Please notice that he calls God (the Father) both Christ's Father and His God.