Why men think Jesus was God while He was Man?



"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

Why People think Jesus was God while He was Man?

In the beginning, Jesus was God the Word (John 1:1). Later, Jesus became a man (John 1:14). After that, upon his resurrection from the dead and subsequent ascension, he was anointed once again as God (Hebrews 1:8 and 9). During the period of time when Jesus lived as a man, he lived only as a man, and not as God. The Word was God until he became a man. God did not mask his omni-powers with a fleshly body; but he willingly stepped down from being God with omni-powers, to a man of flesh with no power. As a man, fully human, he lived among men as Jesus of Nazareth. During his time as a human he lived a holy life and, by so doing, provided the example after which our lives are to be patterned. After fulfilling his life as a man and after his death as the Lamb of God, God made Jesus to be our Lord and Christ. At the same time, Jesus Christ entered the Omni-Power Spirit body of God, and God the Father and the Holy Ghost anointed Jesus as God. So, Jesus is no longer a man of flesh; he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, now as God the Son.

1. Common misconceptions regarding scripture: The Man Jesus as God

Many people feel scriptures clearly state that Jesus lived as God during his time on the earth. Let’s take a closer look at some of the scriptures on which these people base their opinions, and see what we can learn.

A. 'Since Jesus was the begotten Son of God, he must be God.'

John 3:16 says: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This Almost all preachers refer this verse to the cross. But 'the begotten Son' refers to the resurrected Jesus Christ. 'God the Father' gives the resurrected Jesus Christ to the world according to Acts 3:26; "God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Please refer this Link to study about the begotten Son. Link is: "Begotten Son". Then, he was anointed as God after his ascension as in Hebrews 1 says: "8) But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9) Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." So, the son of God while he was a man, was only a man. But the begotten son, after his ascension is God. For more details, please click on this link: "Resurrected Jesus Christ is God."

B. Jesus, when He was Man, claimed that He was the Son of God and God was his Father, So He was God.

It is true that Jesus referred himself as the Son of God and called God as his father, while he was a man. But, this is not proof to say that he lived as God, while he was living as a man. See the examples below.

(1). Most religious Christians claim that they are sons or daughters of God and God is their father. A person calling him or herself by the name ‘Son of God’ is neither proof nor evidence that such a person is God. So also, even though Jesus was the Son of God, he was not God.

(2). Matthew 6:9 says: "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." Jesus was teaching his disciples to call God their Father. So, if his disciples call God as their father, so being made sons of God, are they God? They are not God.

(3). Those who mortified the sinful deeds of their body are led of the Spirit of God and they are sons of God. Romans 8 says: "13) if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Does that mean that they are God because they are the sons of God? Obviously not. So, the claim of being sons of God will not make anybody God.

(4). John 1:12 says: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" Those who receive him also receive the power to become the sons of God, but this power does not make them God.

(5). Philippians 2:15 says: "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Those people who are blameless, harmless, shine as light and are without rebuke are sons of God; but that does not make them God. So also, Jesus has remained as a man, until the end of his life.

(6). 1 John 3 says: "1) what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God…." They; who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, made themselves pure -as Jesus of Nazareth was pure; are also sons of God. Even though their spiritual status is high, they are not God.

(7). Those who shun idol worship and the world, are accepted as sons and daughters. 2 Corinthians 6 says: "17) ... come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Does this mean they are becoming God? Seriously? Of course not.

So, a son of God is not God, but he or she is just son or daughter of God. That is it.

C. 'Since Jesus Christ is called Emmanuel, Mighty God, God Almighty and so on, he must be God.'

This is an issue that confuses many people because Jesus was God before he became flesh and he again became God after he was raised from death and ascended to heaven. It is a temptation to pull one of the references that pertain to the period of his life before or after he was a man, and claim that it proves Jesus was God when he was a man. This confusion results mainly from ignorance or misunderstanding, but in some cases it is intentional mischief. One must look at the specific scripture/verse to find out whether it pertained to Jesus’ time on the Earth as a man. With careful study, the doubts will be cleared. Before and after his time on the earth (i.e., when he was not a man), he was God. When he was on the Earth as a man, he was not God. It is a fairly simple premise, fully supported by scripture.

D. In John 14:6 Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." So, he must be living as God.

No! The word of God does not say that the way is God, or the truth is God, or the life is God. Further Jesus was speaking all things as God the Father was teaching him to speak, and so these are the word of 'God the Father', according to John 3:34, 7:16, 8:26 to 28, and 47. Further, if the Man Jesus (Jesus of Nazareth) isthe way, the truth, and the lifethen, as soon as Jesus of Nazareth was crucified "the way, the truth, and the life" would have been destroyed. But, Jesus has taught the truth, he showed the way by living the way according to 1 Peter 2:21, and we live by the resurrected Jesus Christ according to Acts 3:26, and Romans 5:10. And if we go to heaven, the resurrected Jesus Christ is the one who will take us there, but not the Jesus of Nazareth.

E. People worshiped Jesus of Nazareth. This is proof that he was God

In general, the word ‘worship’ is used as a religious term referring to ceremonies, song services, devotions, prayer services, etc. The Bible, however, uses the word 'worship' not only to show reverence to God, but to show high respect to others. So, if a Bible passage says that a person is worshiped, we cannot take this as proof that such a person is God. Let me give you a few examples from the scripture.

(1) Revelation 19:10 says: "... I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren...." Revelation 22:8 says: "And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things."Apostle John got very excited about the things he saw in heaven and as a result, he fell at the feet of the angel who showed him these things to worship him and he did it two times. It does not mean that the angel is God.

(2) Daniel 2 says: "46) Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 47) The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret." Daniel, in dealing with king Nebuchadnezzar, revealed to Nebuchadnezzar both the content of his (Nebuchadnezzar’s) dream and the meaning of the dream. Hearing Daniel’s words, the king fell upon his face and worshiped Daniel, then commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors to him.  The king did not worship Daniel as God, but he worshiped Daniel as the servant of God. Even though Daniel was worshiped, Daniel was not God.

(3) Acts 10:25 says: "And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26) But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man." Apostle Peter went to Cornelius, based on an invitation from Cornelius and because he had been so instructed by God. As he arrived, Cornelius fell at Peter’s feet and worshiped Peter. Was Peter God? No!

(4) Revelation 3:9 says: "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." The Lord Jesus Christ says that he will make those who belong to the synagogue of Satan to fall before the feet of his servants to worship. This worship is not evidence that these true servants are God.

(5) Wise men from the east came to worship Jesus when he was born and, when they arrived, they worshiped the baby Jesus. Because the wise men worshiped the baby Jesus, most Christians are convinced that the baby Jesus was God. This opinion is incorrect, since scripture clearly states that 'the Word' became flesh. John 1:14 says: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," Look closely at these verses to understand what the wise men really said. They did not inquire to learn where God was born; rather, they sought to learn where the king of the Jews was born. Matthew 2 says: "1) ... Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2) Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.... 11) And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him:" They said that they came to worship the king: they did not say they had come to worship God. They did worship Jesus as a king, but not as God.

Additional Note: If you see in the Bible that Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man, was worshiped, read the verse carefully and you will find that, if it is the time Jesus was on this earth as a man, he was worshiped either as a great teacher, a great healer, a great miracle worker, the Son of God, a man used of God, etc, but not as God, because he was not God at that time. If he is worshipped as God, it will not be at the time that he was a man. For example, one verse that is commonly misinterpreted is in John 20:28, where Thomas called Jesus: "My Lord and my God." Remember our previous discussion highlighting the importance of timing? Thomas' statement was made after Jesus' resurrection, which was after Jesus' time as a human being had ended. After his resurrection, Jesus returned to his status as God. However, just because someone worship a donkey or a stone, the worship will not make it God. God is God, even we worship him or not. So, the argument that someone is worshipping him and so he is God, is not a valid one. Jesus Christ is God before and after his time on the earth as a man. When he was a man, he was just a man.

F. 'Jesus of Nazareth forgave the sins of people. So, he must be God.'

We Christians believe that God is the only one who can forgive sins. While the authority to forgive sins comes only from God, we also know that God has given this authority to Jesus, to his servants, and to his church. John 20 says: "22) ... Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." Matthew 18 says: "17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18) Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Power to forgive sins is, therefore, delegated to his servants also. So, if someone has been granted power to forgive sins, it is not proof that this person is God.

G. 'Jesus of Nazareth raised the dead, healed the sick, gave commandments, and performed miracles, so he must be God.'

A common man cannot, of his own power, do supernatural works. When, however, a person performs supernatural works by the power of God, those works are not proof that the person is God. For example, God performed miracles through Moses. Pharaoh's magicians were able to copy some of the miracles (and, clearly, they were not God). Elijah and Elisa performed many miracles, including healing leprosy and even raising the dead. The Apostle Peter raised the dead. Jesus’ disciples healed everywhere they went; people were healed even by the passing shadow of Peter and by the apron of Paul. All these men performed supernatural works by the power of God manifested through them. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man, performed many miracles, yet expressly stated that he was performing miracles by the power of God and not by his own power. John 5 says: "19) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20) For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21) For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." He acknowledged that he could do nothing by himself without the power of God. If a person cannot do anything by himself, is he God? Of course not. So, even though Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man performed many miracles by the power of God, he was not God; he was, rather, a humble man who was used by God.

Jesus preached the gospel and gave commandments. In so doing, he confessed that he did not say anything of himself, but the Father taught him all the things that he said. John 8:28 says: "that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." John 12 says: "49) For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50) And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." In the Old Testament, God gave commandments to Moses, and he gave the commandments to People. Moses described Jesus, the Son of Man, as follows: Deuteronomy 18 says: "15) The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 18) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." Acts 3:22 says: "... Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you." The Bible refers Jesus of Nazareth as a prophet just like Moses. We know that Moses was not God. How, therefore, could Jesus of Nazareth, a humble servant of God just like Moses, be God? He could not.

God the Father spoke the word to Jesus, so Jesus could preach the gospel. John 7:16 says: "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." John 8:26 says: "... I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him." John 17:8 says: "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them…" God had to teach and to give power to Jesus of Nazareth, and this teaching and power enabled Jesus preaching and do miracles. But we see that Jesus of Nazareth was not God; rather, he was a man used by God.

H. On Matthew 17:2 Jesus was transfigured, his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. Is he not God?

Immediately before he was crucified, Jesus was fearful and asked God if it was possible to ‘take this cup’ (i.e., remove this duty) from him. God the Father sent an angel to strengthen Jesus. Luke 22 says: "42) Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." In Matthew 17:2, God the Father came down with Moses and Elias to encourage Jesus, showing him a vision of his future glory. During this vision, God the Father talked to Jesus and to his disciples. Matthew 17 says: "3) behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4) Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5) While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.... 9) And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead." The transfiguration was a vision, and it was the doing of God the Father. In the vision, not only was Jesus of Nazareth seen in a transfigured body, but also Moses and Elias were seen in transfigured bodies. So, if Jesus of Nazareth was God for this reason, then Moses and Elias were also God. It’s all or none, right? So then, the transfiguration does not show that Jesus was God.

For more, please read this link: "Jesus Man".

Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
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