Behold Thy God!

Behold Thy God!

David Leathem

The greater burden of the message of the Written Word is not the assertion of its own claims to divinity, but, rather, the presentation of the evidence of the divinity of the Living Word. By the minds of those who deny the inspiration of the Bible, its testimony to the proofs of the Deity of Christ will be rejected. Nevertheless, a sincere belief in the Deity of Christ is consequent to a belief in the verbal inspiration of the Bible. If we deny the One, We must deny the Other, but if we believe the One, we are convinced of the Other. Between them there is perfect accord, for the One witnesses to the Other. Let us review some of the testimony of the Scriptures to the Deity of Christ. In so doing, we shall examine the statements of the two major sections of the Holy Bible. The Old and The New Testaments.

The Witness Of The Old Testament:

It is incumbent upon us, that we approach this examination with caution, lest we indulge in unholy speculation. It will be well for us to confine ourselves to a close survey of only those Old Testament Scriptures which by the Eternal Spirit already have been applied to Christ in the New Testament.

When we speak of the Deity, let it be understood that reference is made to the Holy Being Who possesses the divine nature and essence with all their attributes. A proper and sincere use of the infallible Bible will convince the soul that the Lord Jesus possessed, the nature of Deity, and in His perfect manhood displayed both the personal and moral attributes of God. The Son of God is:

JEHOVAH-JESUS: In chapter 12:14, of his Gospel, the apostle John, as he speaks of Jesus, makes reference to the wonderful vision recorded for us in Isaiah 6, “These things saith Esaias when he saw His glory” (the glory of the Lord Adonai which means Sovereign Master). It will be noticed that in this passage in Isaiah the vision purports to be that of Jehovah sittinig upon a throne. The vision is definitely that of Jehovah. John speaking of Jesus says, “His glory.” Obviously, then, Jesus is Jehovah. Jesus in His perfect humanity is Jehovah in His eternal Deity.

Another interesting point of the application made of Old Testament Scriptures in the New is, that, thereby, the titles of God are ascribed to Christ. In chapter 1 of the Hebrew epistle, we have a detailed delineation of the person and the work of Christ at the end of which a quotation from Psalm 102:25-27, is applied to Him, “And Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth.” Psalm 102 is another description of the Lord Jehovah in His person and work.

There are several Old Testament quotations scattered throughout the New Testament in which the name “God” (Theos) is used to translate the Hebrew name Elohim. That which is true of God as the Almighty is also true of the Son of God. It was of Christ the prediction was made, and the sign was given, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel,” (God with us) (Isa. 7:14) Most definitely both this sign and title with its signification are applied to Christ at His birth. “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying,” (Matt. 1:22-23).

One more case is worthy of note. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews applies the quotation from Psalm 45:6-7, to Christ, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness is the septre of Thy kingdom.” (Heb. 1:8).

The witness of the Old Testament is startling and bold, emphatically it declares that Jesus is Lord, God, Jehovah.

The Witness Of The New Testament:

A very interesting and instructing comparison may be noticed between the opening of the Book of Genesis and that of the Gospel according to John. The first opens with a sublime declaration of God in His Triunity and power; the second, with a significant statement of the Godhead and power of the Eternal Son. In this important record of John there are several salient points:

(1.) The imagery employed: The “Word” (Logos), an expression used by John in all his writings, a precious title he applies to Christ. In his Gospel, Christ is the Word; in his epistle, He is the Word of Life; and, in the Book of The Revelation, He is the Word of God. John would convey to our minds the idea that Christ is the means by which God expresses Himself: “God spake… in these last days has spoken by His Son,” (Heb. 1:1-2).

(2). The Eternity of the Word: “In the beginning was the Word.” This sentence denotes the perpetual existence of Christ, the Word of God.

(3). The Personality of the Word: “The Word was with God.” This means, that as one person associates with another, even so, Christ, as a divine person, associates throughout all Eternity with God.

(4). The co-equality of the Word: “The Word was God.” The Father is not superior to the Son; the Son is not inferior to the Father, and the Spirit is equal to each.

(5). The creative power of the Word: “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”

(6). The Incarnation of the Word: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us… full of grace and truth.”

There are two notable Cristological passages in the writings of the apostle Paul, the first in his epistle to the Philippians, and the second in his epistle to the Colossians. The Philippian passage emphasizes more the personality of Christ, while the portion in Colossians declares His pre-eminence. It might also be stated, that in the former we view Christ as He moves from heaven through earth back to heaven, while in the latter, we see Him as He passes from Eternity through time to Eternity. In the sevenfold declaration of the superiority of Christ in this epistle (Col. 1:15-19) these facts are emphasized:

(1). His priority: “The First born of all creation,” (R.V.)

(2). His power: “By Him all things were created.”

(3). His authority: “By Him all things consist.”

(4). His position: “He is the Head of the body, the Church.”

(5). His resurrection: “The Firstborn from the dead.”

(6). His honour: “That in all things He might have the pre-
eminence.

(7). His fullness: “In Him should all fullness dwell.”

The claims to Deity made by Christ Himself are witnessed to by the writer of the four Gospels. Even a simple examination of our Lord’s own works will further strengthen faith in this Glorious One. He demanded equal honour with the Father, “That all should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father,” (John 5:25). He declared Himself to be the “I Am”; “I am the Door;” I Am the Good Shepherd;” “I Am the True Vine.” He also revealed His pre-existence, for to the Jews He said, “Before Abraham was, I Am,” (John 8:58). Those who heard Him speak certainly understood His claims, for they took up stones to stone Him.

John the Baptist, in like manner lends his testimony to this absorbing theme. His answer to his critics was, “He it is, who coming after me, is preferred before me.” And again, “He was before me.” (John 1:26-30) Now we know that in point of time John was born before Christ, so of the Lord he says, “He cometh after me,” but he quickly adds, “He is preferred, before me.” John knew that the Lord Jesus was before Him in existence, dignity, and glory.

Our Lord is the Eternal with Whom is neither past nor future, for He ever exists in the glorious circle of the infinite present. No circumstance ever affects Him. He is Eternal and Immutable. The God who veiled His immutable presence in the burning bush, is the Unveiled God of the Gospel according to John.

On one occasion the Lord raised the startling question, “What and if, ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before,” (John 6:62). The electrifying effect of this bold assertion, made by means of an interrogation, was that many publicly forsook Him, while others clung the closer to Him. Peter’s response is the answer of a vast multitude of devoted hearts even in this our day, “We believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Amen, and Amen!!!

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“Thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God.” “Lord, this shall not be unto Thee.” (Matt. 16:16 and 22) Wonderful words! Strange words! Words spoken by the same disciple, under the same circumstances, in the same place, on the same occasion. They almost sound contradictory. In the first, Peter declares the Messiah-ship of the Lord Jesus; in the second, he rejects His Saviourhood. Little did that disciple know, that Christ could never wear a diadem until after He had endured a death; that no crown could adorn His brow, until after a cross had been burdened with His form. Christ could not be the Messiah of Israel until after He had become the Saviour of the world.