Whom Do You Say That I AM
The question of who is Jesus
The subject of who is Jesus is the subject of many thousands of articles, conversations, and hundreds of years of deliberation. Despite all the efforts made by others to explain or define who Jesus is, the bottom line is always who you think Jesus is.
13When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
The subject of Jesus Christ is central to not only our own personal lives but to the timeline of mankind. Despite recent efforts to change this, we are still in the year 2023 A.D. Which is to say two thousand and twenty-three years Anno Domini but to me it always meant AFTER DEATH. Before Jesus Christ was B.C. and after His death it was A.D. Jesus is THAT important.
He Wants You To Know Him
Since the fall of man; the original sin in the garden of Eden, God has been longing to bridge the gap between man and Himself. The communion that God and man had in the garden was sabotaged by sin. Specifically, it was our desire for knowledge and a perversion of God’s own word that did us in.
6And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The relationship between man and God was contingent upon understanding and adhering to just a couple of simple rules. These rules would ultimately be broken but not without help from Satan. It has been the goal of Lucifer/Satan to destroy man’s relationship with God from the beginning. The oldest trick in his playbook is to twist the Word of God.
1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
God never said not to touch the fruit. That is a subtle mistake, but one that let Satan know that Eve did not have solid command of God’s word. Likewise, if we do not have a solid command of God’s Word today, we communicate that same vulnerability. When Jesus was tempted directly by Satan He used scripture to resist temptation.
Despite our failure, God still wants to know us; to have an intimate relationship with us. This can be seen through the Bible.
2looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
Christ in us is the hope of glory! Rather than the spirit being on, around, and over us (like the oil of anointing on David), it is the desire that Christ would be in and through us.
17that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
It is the desire of Satan that we never commune with God again like we did in the garden. Perhaps the best way for Satan to do this is to twist the word of God and obfuscate our understanding of who Jesus really is.
Satan Desires to Keep Us Separated From God
History bears record of the deliberate attempt by Satan to separate God from man and man from God. Whether it is the shame of sin, the deception of lies , or the introduction of other god’s, satan has always used deception and lies to achieve his goal. Truth stands resolute. Truth can stand on its own. Lies require other lies and a truth can be hidden when surrounded by other lies. This is what Satan does to the Word of God:
Surround God’s Word with lies and twist the truth into a lie.
Would a twisted Word of God seem any less true or any less benevolent? From the beginning the pagans worshiped many gods. This was problematic for the children of God throughout the Old Testament.
They sacrificed unto devils, not to God;
To gods whom they knew not,
To new gods that came newly up,
Whom your fathers feared not.
18Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful,
And hast forgotten God that formed thee.
The children of Israel spent nearly 2/3 of the Old Testament backslidden and in rebellion to God’s word.
for they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them: 27and the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: 28and the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day. 29The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
While Moses was receiving the Commandments of God, Aaron and the children of Israel were making a false God:
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
2Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
This violated the very first commandment. Thou shall have no other gods before me (Ex 20:3). Upon seeing the graven images, Moses destroyed the tablets in disgust (Ex 32:19). From the beginning it was always about ONE God. Look at all the gods of the pagans:
Notice Christianity is listed as a tri-theistic religion. This was never supposed to happen. The pagan’s fascination with Tri-theism spans almost our entire existence. The BIG LIE of Satan is to twist the godhead of Christianity into a Tri-theistic pagan godhead. If you don’t know who Jesus really is, it becomes more difficult to worship him for who He is.
This traditional mainstream Christian concept of the godhead is what the doctrine of the Trinity has created. This notion that there is some grey haired bearded father figure with Jesus at the right hand and a dove flying about is a pagan fantasy.
It Has Always Been About One God
To be fair, no devout Christian who believes in the Triune God will admit they worship three gods. It is not their intention to worship as pagans and they often see no contradiction with saying God is three persons. How can that be? How can three be one? Is it some great mystery how three are one?
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
While it is true that there are no shortage of scriptures that would lead us to think that there is some sort of hierarchy concerning the godhead, the contradictions to this concept are too great to overcome.
“There are no contradictions. If you find one, check your premises.” – Ayn Rand
If we suggest that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, as the image above depicts, how does that concept stand up against these:
· And immediately I was in the spirit : and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. – Revelation 4:2
· Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD – Deuteronomy 6: 4
· For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily – Colossians 2:9
· For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. – 1 John 5:7
· In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1
· And the Word was made 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 1:14
· I and my Father one. – John 10:30
· But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him. - 1 Corinthian 8: 6
If we strictly adhere to the concept that of a Father and a son seated at the right hand these scriptures in and of themselves pose many contradictions. We can argue that God the father created the world from 1 Corinthians. However, we can also argue that Jesus created the world from John chapter 1 and 1 John chapter 5. So, which is it? Did the father create the world or did Jesus?
As such as is the case with contradictions, we must check our premise: Does three really make one? Perhaps the better course of action is to establish that there is one throne and one who sits upon it. Who are you choosing to sit on the throne?
And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne – Revelation 4:2
Jesus Is The Father
“I and my Father are one.
31Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” -John 10:30-33
This is the great mystery revealed to us. The only solution that makes sense; the only premise that must discarded to solve the contradiction is that somehow the Father and the son are separate in some way. There are no shortage of scriptures that illustrate Jesus being begotten of the Father but does that mean one came before the other? This kid of linear thinking where the greater presence somehow comes before the presence here on earth lacks context. To a God who lives outside the realm of time, does one really come before the other?
The Big Lie is the doctrine of the Trinity. The unholy consequence is that we are to believe God sent his only son to die for us. God didn’t have a son. The spirit of God robed himself in flesh and his name is Jesus. I, for one, choose not to believe in a God who sends someone else to do his dirty work. The truth is that God Himself robed himself in flesh, and died for our sins.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who being the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death on the cross. “– Philippians 2:5-9
Once a person does away with the linear timelines of our existence and considers the omnipresent nature of Jesus then it is not hard to see that the world was created by Jesus. John chapter 1 proves this. Consider this from Colossian 1 verses 15 through 17:
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Jesus created the world and Jesus robed himself in flesh and dwelt among us. Here is the most powerful truth that is lost in the doctrine of the Trinity:
We were created in his image. That means we were created in the image of Jesus Christ!
Do you think Satan wants us to know that? The same Jesus who created the world, robed himself in flesh, was crucified, dead and buried, and rose again ALSO created us in his image. This is the beginning of revelations. Once you know who Jesus really is, the entire Bible opens up in way unseen before.
Jesus’ ministry was short and the bulk of His ministry was spent trying to convince both Jews and Gentiles who He was. Had Jesus chosen to arrive on earth as the sprit that he is, there would be no confusion; there would be no contradictions. But because he came to earth robed in flesh, much of the scriptures used to explain the trinity were actual being used to describe relationship. The scriptures would use what is called “anthropomorphism” which is the assigning of human characteristics to a spiritual being.
Does God really have a right hand? Not really. But the term is used as the right hand of power, a kings champion. The idea that Jesus is begotten or is the son of the Father is another way to describe Jesus’ relationship to a spirit that is greater in quantity and not quality. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega and he has no beginning or end. The flesh that dwelt among us was the image if the invisible God that was much greater in terms of presence.
Consider this interaction from John 8:56-59
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
Jesus claimed to be the father! Jesus was also keen to use the “I AM” tetragrammaton; that is to say, the Great I AM. If Jesus claimed it, I am inclined to take him at his word.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6
Why it is Important
Knowing who Jesus is can be seen as paramount to salvation. If you don’t know who He is then in whom do you believe? This question was posed to Peter in the New Testament:
When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven
Matthew 16: 13-19
This interaction is very significant in many ways. First, it illustrates the importance of knowing who Jesus is personally. Secondly, Jesus reveals who Peter is and what he means for the kingdom. A couple chapters later, Jesus issues the Great commission to his disciples:
And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The disciples, and specifically Peter were given charge to teach all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It stand to reason that those who knew Jesus best had the best knowledge of His teachings.
So why didn’t a single person ever get baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
There are plenty of accounts of the disciples baptizing people in the Bible but not one was ever baptized calling on the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The reason has EVERYTHING to do with the disciples understanding of who Jesus was.
Peter was given the keys to the kingdom because of his knowledge and understanding of WHO Jesus was. Those keys are revealed in the book of Acts of the Apostles. The reason no one was ever baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost is because those are not names…they are titles.
There is one name, given amongst men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12) and that name is Jesus.
· The name of the son is Jesus
· The name of the Holy Ghost is Jesus
· The name of the Father is Jesus
Sure, Peter failed Jesus in denying him three times, but Peter made good on his chance for redemption. Here is Peter preaching to the Jews in Acts chapter 2:
“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself,
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
What comes next is a result of the Jews feeling convicted about their crucifying of Jesus. Here, Peter displays his understanding of what name we should be baptized in:
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 2:37-38
This is the fulfillment of the Great commission and really the culmination of Jesus’s teachings and the key to having the Spirit of God dwelling within us. The bridging of the gap is complete upon obedience to this scripture. Every account of someone being baptized in the book of Acts, it is done calling on the name of Jesus. In fact, the disciples believed the infilling of the Holy Ghost was directly related to the manner in which you were baptized.
1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
“Have you received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” Wow, that is a powerful statement. You mean there is more to being a follower than just believing? Furthermore, unto what and whom do you believe?
The purpose of this article is not to assemble the readers under a certain banner of ideology or dogma. These are the authors discoveries after having grown up in a Dutch Reformed (Calvinist) home, visited my grandparents Catholic church, baptized in Southern Baptist church, and ultimately finding and abundance of truth in the Apostolic faith. The search for truth should never end and we should always question our beliefs against the Word of God.
The doctrine of Trinity was ultimately fashioned by the Roman Catholic church via the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. (and the many synods that followed). This council and the many synods that followed created a doctrine to appease the pagans and was presided over by emperor Constantine. This adoption of pagan ideology by the Roman Catholic church is known as assimilation and has infiltrated almost all the denominations of Christianity in some way.
The Old Testament is filled with types and shadows pointing to the coming Messiah. We know him as Jesus they knew him Yahweh, Jehovah, and even the I AM. The Jews missed out on who Jesus was and is but to this day assert there is but one God (they got that right). I don’t want to make the same mistake as the Jews before me.
Jesus is still asking me whom do you say that I am? To me, Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and Jesus is the Holy Ghost but why stop there:
· He is the cloud by day and pillar by night
· He is the Rose of Sharon
· He is rod of Aaron
· He is the answer in the whirlwind
· He is the Sun of righteousness
· He is the bright and morning star
· He is the alpha and the omega
· He is the author and the finisher of my faith
· He is Ezekiel’s Wheel in the middle of the wheel
· He is the fourth man in the fire
· He is the burning bush
· He is the ram in the thicket
· He is the lamb that was slain
· He is the great I AM
“I would rather die with Christ and hope in my heart and be called a fool than to stand over the corpse of the dead republic and say I told you so.”