Did you know that both the Old and New Testaments point to Jesus?
As a matter of fact, you can flip to any page of the Bible and find a prophecy or a statement that, in essence,refers to the Messiah.And because the Scriptures teach us that Jesus is essential to how we live, we are called to preach and declare Him, study His words, and walk according to His teachings.
So what does God’s word teach us about Jesus?
Both God and Man
The first and most important aspect of Jesus we must adopt is that Christ is fully God and was fully man.
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all of this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:’Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’”
Matthew 1:21-23, NKJV
This portion of Scripture gives us the affirmation to know and believe that He is the Messiah and God wrapped up in human form.
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 2:5, NKJV
No one in the history of the world can match Jesus. He is the only one who can and doesgive the opportunity to have a relationship with God!
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;”
Colossians 2:9, NKJV
In other words, this verse expresses that Jesus comes to reveal Himself and manifest Himself as God. He became a breathing and living example ofGod and showed us the principles we should follow. Jesus lived a life loving unconditionally those God loves and revealed to us what a life empowered by the Father looks like.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word became 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.”
John 1:1, 14, NKJV
The Word with God and of God lived among men, and His name is Jesus! As followers of Christ, this is where we should hang our hats when it comes to our beliefs of who Christ is.
Conceived By the Holy Spirit
When Mary conceived, she did so through a supernatural act: she became pregnant by way of the Spirit of God.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 1:18, 20, NKJV
The world has a hard time understanding this to be true; however, I think it is important to note that Jesus’ conception through the Holy Spirit is so important that God prompted Matthew to say it twice in this particular passage!
Born of a Virgin
Jesus was not only conceived by the Holy Spirit, but He was also born of a virgin, just as the prophecies said.
“’Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’”
Matthew 1:23, NKJV
Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, had never been with a man. Because of this, Jesus’ birth was not the work of mankind; rather, it wasthe work of God.Christ is divine!
He Rose From the Dead
Luke 24 (as well as the other three Gospels) shares the entirety of the resurrection of Jesus. I encourage you to read theseaccounts of the Old Testament prophecies coming forth.
“Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the prints of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’ And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”
John 20:24-29, NKJV
Jesus, in His kindness, blesses those of us who were not there! We weren’t able to put our hands in His sides and our fingers where the nails pierced his palms. Yet, we believe in faith in what the Scriptures teach about Christ, and ourbeliefis reinforced because of our experience with Hisgoodness, power, and might.
Jesus has freed us from bondage, helps us to love the unlovable, and has opened our eyes so we can see God in our everyday lives. He has made us realize that He is a living and resurrected Savior.
And we know He rose from the grave because He rose in our hearts, and we are forever changed.
II. Jehovah’s Witnesses: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was the first creation of God, a worker of Jehovah on special assignment and not equal to God. Furthermore, this organization claims that before Christ lived on earth, He was Michael, the archangel.
While we know and believe what the Bible says to be true of Jesus’s resurrection, this organization teaches that Jesus was not raised to life in bodily form but as a spirit creature from the grave.
My question is, how can Thomas physically feel Jesus’ hands and sides if He was simply a spirit? (John 20:24-29)
Jesus’ Second Coming
The Holy Bible tells us of Jesus’ second coming, but this group believes and teaches that He already returned to earth in 1914 in a spirit form.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses declare that Christ is a created individual and, therefore, the second greatest personage in the universe. However, we know and believe that He is equal to God.
In addition to this belief, they believe He is not God but only the son of God, rejecting the idea that He was ever equal with God. As a result, theyidentify Him as merely being a spirit person, not a physical person.
Finally, they do not embrace the truth that Jesus lives forever.
Equal to Adam
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus was born as a human creature and that He only finds equalitywith the perfect Adam in the Garden of Eden. They acknowledge that Christ is the long-awaited Messiah but didn’t hold that status until His water baptism.
III.The Mormons: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The Mormons believe Jesus Christ was the firstborn child of God and that He was ranked as a god because of His obedience and devotion to the truth.
This organization believes people can attain Godhood only if they do the right things and live the right way.
They believed Christ’s birth in a mortal body was necessary for Him to attain this status. Additionally, theybelieve that a person previously existed in a spirit realm and was thenphysically brought into the world. However, it wasn’t until these two things came to pass that you could earn your way to godhood.
Aids of Creation
The Mormons claim that Jesus was assisted in the work of creation by Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Peter, James, John, Joseph Smith (the founder of the Mormons), and many more.
IV.The Moonies: The Unification Church
The Moonies believe that Jesus bows down to Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church.
They believe Moon is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the Lamb of God. This is troubling because Moon put himself in a posture where he was greater than Jesus Christ.
Among the atrocious beliefs I mentioned above, the Moonies do acknowledge that the difference between Christ and us as mankind is that He was without original sin. However, they do not accept the godhood of Jesus.
They believe Jesus attained deity status only by working up the ladder but is not God Himself.
Parent of Mankind
The Moonies claim that Christ came to earth not as the Messiah but as the ‘True Parent’ of humanity.
Furthermore, they believe that Jesus, as the second Adam, is to find the second Eve, where they will become the ‘True Parents’ of all humanity.
The Unification Church teaches that Christ was not sent to Earth to die on the cross. They claim He failed to accomplish God’s will in finding the second Eve and stand firm on the belief that Chris’s death cannot remove our original sin.
Born of Korea
The Moonies believe that the Messiah is to be born physically, rejected by many, suffer many unfathomable things, and be born in the east of Korea.
Can you guess whom they are convicted the Messiah might be? You got it – Sun Myung Moon.
Death of Jesus
Another claim of the Moonies is that the death of Jesus was not His will nor His fault, but rather it was murder. While this is partially true (Christ was murdered), His death was a part of the will of God.
Furthermore, they didn’t believe Jesus was raised from the dead but that His body was stolen by Satan.
Brothers and sisters, it is my heart to share these things with you so that you may remain awake and aware of the deceitfulness of the world. May you have open eyes and ears that hold fast to your convictions.
Praise be to God for the revelation of Jesus Christ, and may we remain steadfast and confident in the truth of God’s Word.