TITLE: WHO IS (not was) JESUS CHRIST?
Resources to aid your Understanding
Subtitle: Apologetics 101
In case you may not be familiar with the term "apologetics," it is the branch of theology that deals with the defense and proof of Christianity. And while it is in no way supposed to take the place of faith, it certainly helps with our understanding of Bible truths. So let us keep that in mind as we consider some things about the "....author and finisher of our faith...." (Hebrews 12:2a, KJV)--the Lord Jesus Christ.
POINT #1--Jesus of Nazareth is God in the flesh! And please note that I emphasize "is" and not "was". He is very much alive and currently seated at the right hand of God the Father, where He intercedes on behalf of those whom the Father has given Him.
"Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus, the Messiah, Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? (Romans 8:34, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary, emphasis mine).
Although it is beyond our human ability to fully comprehend the concept of the Trinity--God being three Persons in one--it is found in the Scriptures. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all co-equal entities within what theologians refer to as the "Godhead." And taking cousel together in perfect harmony it was determined that God the Son would become a man for the express purpose of dying a sacrificial death for the sins of His people. How do we know this? The Apostle Peter tells us in his sermon on the day of Pentecost:
"This Jesus, when delivered up according to the definite and fixed purpose and settled plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and put out of the way, [killing Him] by the hands of lawless and wicked men" (Acts 2:23, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary, emphasis mine).
The transfer of the sin principle from Satan to mankind was the result of Adam's willful disobedience to God's clearly stated prohibition in the Garden of Eden. And because of that transgression, the judgment of eternal spiritual death fell upon all men--making it totally impossible for any of us to stand in God's holy presence based upon our own effort. If we were to ever have a chance of entering heaven, God Himself had to satisfy the demands of His own holiness and righteousness. This was accomplished in the death and subsequent resurrection of His Son--where He paid the ransom price with His own blood and redeemed those chosen in Him before creation (Eph.1:4). This redemption grants the very holiness and righteousness of Christ Himself to the believer and enables him/her to stand before the Father as an adopted child.
No other system of belief on earth promises total forgiveness for sin and cancellation of the debt. All "religions" identify themselves as such when they advocate personal works as a means to satisfy, or propitiate, God's wrath against sin. And even the most ardent among their adherents are not likely to claim that their system provides the absolute perfection of position one gains through genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
POINT #2--The empty tomb is one of the best apologetic arguments for the validity of the supernatural resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many "religions" can point to the spot on earth where their founder is still buried, but Christianity is not among them! In the following article, entitled "The Empty Tomb", we attempt to explain the events and circumstantial evidence surrounding the supernatural resurrection. If you have not read it, we urge you to do so:
POINT #3--The regeneration of genuine believers, or the new birth experience (being born again), results in totally changed lives--instantaneous changes of heart and direction that can not be explained in human terms, because it is contrary to nature. Drunkards become sober and remain so, thieves steal no more, prostitutes find other ways to make a living and "johns" cease to frequent brothels. Filthy language is dropped, and broken relationships are mended--just to name a few of the many sins that are left behind, never to be practiced again. Yes, these people still sin occasionally because of their fallen human nature, but since the Holy Spirit literally dwells within them they will not be allowed to continue in sin indefinitely. Those whom God loves, He chastens! (Heb.12:6). But the foolish Christian who insists upon wallowing in sin may lose his/her life by being removed prematurely:
"If any one sees his brother [believer] committing a sin that does not [lead to] death [the extinguishing of life], he will pray and (God) will give him life--yes, He will grant life to all those whose sin is not [one leading] to death. There is a sin [that leads] to death; I do not say that one should pray for that" 1 John 5:16 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary, emphasis mine).
This does not refer to loss of salvation, because God will never reject one of His children--but in all likelihood, it will result in a total loss of reward at the Judgement Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10).
POINT #4--The ethical and moral principles commanded by Jesus Christ have no equal among the world's religions. While many so-called "Christians" make a mockery of them in the eyes of others, the standards themselves are beyond comparison.
POINT #5--Demons spontaneously attested to the deity of Jesus Christ whenever He came near them!:
"And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" Matthew 8:29 (KJV)
And on at least two occasions they acknowledged Him through the ministry of the Apostle Paul:
"And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation" Acts 16:16-17 (KJV)
"Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.  And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.  And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.  Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver" Acts 19:13-19 (KJV, emphasis mine).
POINT #6--Before He ascended back into heaven, the Lord made sure His disciples understood that He would come back for them:
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" John 14:3 (KJV, emphasis mine).
"Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:11 (KJV, emphasis mine).
POINT # 7--The spirit of wickedness and preoccupation with the occult that is now pervading the planet is a sure sign that the Lord's return is near:
"And [just] as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the time of the Son of man" Luke 17:26 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary).
What were the conditions on earth in the days of Noah that prompted the Lord to make such a statement? We find the answer in the following:
"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually" Genesis 6:5 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary).
God destroyed the antediluvian (pre-flood) civilization because of their wickedness and that same degree of wickedness during the Tribulation Period will again result in near-total destruction at a place called Armageddon. Out of the multiplied millions of people on earth during Noah's day, only eight were spared--a remnant! And this same principle will be repeated at the Lord's return:
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" Matthew 24:22 (KJV).
In other words, the Lord is saying that unless He comes back "in the nick of time," the devil will finally succeed in killing all of humanity. But for the sake of God's chosen few--the remnant, or elect--Jesus Christ will intervene.
POINT #8--Judgment is coming. Are you ready to stand before your Maker and give an account for your life as to how you lived it?
For those who mistakenly believe that they will be judged on the basis of good works versus bad, I leave the following verse of Scripture:
"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" Romans 8:8 (KJV, emphasis mine).
My friend, all of us need a Savior!
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
Return to Pastoral Articles index
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.
God bless you.