Jesus – The Alpha & Omega Book Introduction

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Jesus is God just like the Father

The idea that Jesus is equal in every way to God the Father may be hard to grasp at first, but it is true. Jesus has all the power, authority and glory the Father does. Jesus is not a lesser God. Somehow the title "Son of God" seems to make Jesus a lesser God in some people’s minds, but this is not the case. I will explain later how the title "Son of God" refers to the state of submission that Jesus entered to save man. Jesus has existed forever. He was not created.

Just like the Father and Holy Spirit, Jesus is an eternal member of the Godhead. Jesus is as worthy of honor and worship as is the Father! (John 5:23) Paul wrote, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form . . . who is the head over every power and authority." (Colossians 2:9,10) In Revelation Jesus said to John, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."(Revelation 1:8)

Remember, this same John wrote, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:1-3)

Peter wrote, "He [Jesus] was chosen [as the one who could die for man] before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake." (1 Peter 1:20, insertions mine.)

In the Old Testament, Isaiah quotes Jesus saying, "Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together . . . This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." (Isaiah 48:12,1316,17)

Near the end of Job’s suffering and distress, Jesus revealed just how little Job and his friends knew about His purposes. Jesus said, "Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7)

For some readers it may be hard to grasp that it was actually Jesus who said to Abraham, ". . . I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless." (Genesis 17:1) When the Jews argued with Jesus about His claim that He was greater than Abraham, Jesus responded, "Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it[in vision] and was glad." [The Jews sneered,] "You are not yet fifty years old . . . and you have seen Abraham! ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ " (John 8:56-58, insertion mine.)

One last point. Old Testament writers were well acquainted with Jesus even though they did not know Him by the name "Jesus." The writer of Hebrews stated that "He [Moses]regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." (Hebrews 11:26, insertion mine.)

How did Moses know Christ before Christ was born? John knew that Jesus had revealed His glory to Isaiah 700 years before Jesus was born. John wrote, "Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him." (John 12:41)

How did Isaiah know about Jesus before He was born? When Jesus was upon Earth, notice what He said about Himself by repeating Isaiah’s words: "He [Jesus] replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." (Mark 7:6-8, insertion mine.) When Jesus began to select His disciples, Philip excitedly ran to Nathaniel and said, ". . . We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (John 1:45)

What do these verses confirm? Jesus lived in Heaven before He was born to Mary. Obviously, He did not go by the name Jesus before His birth, but all the Old Testament prophets knew Him as God Almighty or Jehovah God. (Exodus 6:3) Enoch, Job, Noah, Abraham and Moses even talked with Him. Jesus is fully God and the creative agent of the Godhead. Jesus does so much! He is so much!

Mary Told to Call Him Jesus

Here is a point to consider. The angel instructed Mary to call her child by the name "Jesus." (Matthew 1:21) In other words, Mary and Joseph could not choose the name of the Messiah. It is my opinion that the loss of this privilege gently imposed Heaven’s higher ownership of this baby boy. In ancient times, the mother usually had the privilege of naming her offspring at birth. (Genesis 29:32-3530:6-131 Samuel 4:21)

This privilege was suspended for both Elizabeth and Mary (mothers of John the Baptist and Jesus) because these sons were not to be under the dominion of their respective mothers. Like the prophet Jeremiah, the Holy Spirit set them apart from birth. (Luke 1:15,35Jeremiah 1:5)

The Bible is very clear that Jesus lived in Heaven before He created the world. Jesus was not called by His earthly name though, until He was born to Mary. It makes sense then that we do not find Jesus called by His earthly name in the Old Testament. Remember, more than 90% of the references to God in the Old Testament are references to the person we now call Jesus! For example, in Gethsemane Jesus prayed to the Father saying: "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."(John 17:5)

Clearly, Jesus shared glory with the Father before the world was created. On another occasion, Jesus revealed where He had come from: "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day." (John 6:38,39)

On more than one occasion, Jesus told the Pharisees that the Old Testament specifically focused on Him: "And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me.[The Father spoke at the baptism of Jesus saying, ‘This is my Son . . .’] You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by[knowing] them you possess eternal life. [But] These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." (John 5:37-40, insertions mine.)

Remember, the "Scriptures" at the time of Jesus were the books we now call the Old Testament. (Luke 24:27) Jesus’ remarks confirm that the Old Testament is a testimony about Himself.

Progressive Revelation

The truth about Jesus is continually unfolding. In fact, the last book in the Bible is appropriately called "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" because it describes how Jesus will be fully revealed to the world at the end of time.

Our knowledge about Jesus is based on progressive revelation. In other words, the revealing of all that Jesus is – has been progressively unfolding over thousands of years. Early prophets did not know as much about Jesus as people who came later. Each succeeding prophet stood on the shoulders of the earlier prophet, providing a more complete picture of Jesus and His work.

Notice one instance of this progression in the Bible: "God [Jesus] also said to Moses, ‘I am the Lord [Jehovah]I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty [El-Shaddai], but by my name the Lord [Jehovah] I did not make myself known to them.’ "(Exodus 6:2-3, insertions mine.) This text presents a bit of a problem because Abraham and Jacob knew about God’s Hebrew name Jehovah.

Notice these two texts: "And he [Jehovah] said unto him [Abraham], I am the Lord[Jehovah] that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it." (Genesis 15:7, KJV, insertions mine.)

Later, God spoke to Jacob in a vision as he was fleeing from his brother Esau: "And, behold, the Lord [Jehovah] stood above it [the ladder reaching to Earth], and said, I am the Lord [Jehovah] God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed . . ." (Genesis 28:13, insertions mine.) These two texts, as well as Genesis 22:14, indicate that Abraham and Jacob knew of the name Jehovah.

So, what did Jesus mean when He said to Moses, "by my name the Lord [Jehovah] I did not make myself known to them."

I understand Jesus to mean that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not understand the meaningof His name Jehovah. In ancient times, Hebrew names were carefully selected to describe character, emotions, or an event at the time of birth. In this sense, although Abraham and Jacob knew the title "Jehovah," they could not understand that the awesome meaning of the name would not be revealed until the time of the Exodus.

At the time of the Exodus, Jehovah (Jesus) performed a series of astonishing miracles. These miracles established the Hebrews as a nation under His sovereign leadership. Jehovah sent Moses and Aaron to speak to Pharaoh. Jehovah sent ten plagues on Egypt. Jehovah "passed over" Egypt at midnight and killed all the firstborn of Egypt, both man and beast. Jehovah destroyed Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea.

At this time, the Deliverer of Israel began to identify Himself with the Hebrew name Jehovah.Jesus did this so that all nations would know the King of the Jews was Jehovah God. About 1,400 years later, Jehovah was born to Mary and He died on the cross with this title written above His head: "The King of the Jews." (John 19:19-21)

Sacred Name

Some Christians today insist that Jesus must be called by a Hebrew name such as "Yashua," "Yehoshua," "Jehovah," "Yahweh," etc. I find these claims to have no merit. From secular history and Bible history, we know that the name "Jesus" was a common Jewish name used at the time of Christ’s birth. (Acts 13:6Colossians 4:11)

If it is inappropriate to call Jesus by His given name, why was Mary required to give her son the name "Jesus?" The basis for insisting on one sacred name for Jesus stems from Jewish superstition. The Jewish people became so superstitious about God that they refused to speak or even write the names "Yahweh" and "Jehovah." Actually, one name is no more sacred than any other title or name which God uses. It is God Himself who makes a name and title holy, not a specific name that makes Him holy.

Regardless of the name or title you may find in the Bible to identify Jesus, we should never use any of His names or titles carelessly. (Exodus 20:7). One of the highest and most exalted titles given in the Bible for God is "Father" and Jesus instructs us to address the Ruler of the Universe with the endearing title, "Our Father." (Matthew 6:9) Furthermore, because "Father" is an exalted title for God, Jesus forbids anyone from calling a clergyman, "Father." (Matthew 23:9)

So, Who is Jesus?

Jesus is all of the following:

Jesus said to His disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:1-4)

Do you think our trust in the Father should be any different from our trust in Jesus?

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