By Femi Aribisala
The first of all commandments says: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4). If the Lord our God is one, how then can we talk of the Trinity? How can we explain the divinity of Jesus? God says to Jesus: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.” (Psalm 45:6).
Is Jesus God? How can he be God if there is only one God?
Names of God
All the Jehovah names of God are applicable to Jesus.
For example, God is Jehovah Mekaddsh; the Lord who sanctifies his people. (Exodus 31:12-13). Jesus is our sanctifier: “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.” (Hebrews 10:10). God is Jehovah Nissi; The Lord our banner of victory. (Exodus 17:15-16). So is Jesus: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
God is Jehovah Rhoi; the Lord our shepherd. (Psalm 23:1). Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11). God is Jehovah Shalom; the Lord is peace.” (Judges 6:24). Jesus is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6). God is Jehovah Shammah; the Lord is there. (Ezekiel 48:35). Jesus is Immanuel: “God with us.’”(Matthew 1:23).
Jesus says: “I have come in my Father’s name.” (John 5:43). This means Jesus is also God’s name. Jesus means God is salvation. Jehovah means the same thing. Jesus is simply the English transliteration of the Hebrew name Jehovah. But how come God and Jesus have the same names?
Jesus says to God: “Holy Father, you have given me your name.” (John 17:11). Paul says God gave to Jesus: “The name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.”(Philippians 2:9-10). Only the name of God can be above every other name. Therefore, Jesus is also the name of God.
Isaiah says: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).
All these names are also attributed to God in the scriptures. God’s name is Wonderful. (Judges 13:18). He is Counselor. (Isaiah 25:1). He is Mighty God. (Jeremiah 32:18). He is Prince of Peace. (Romans 16:20).
The Son Jesus given to us is also the Everlasting Father. (Isaiah 9:6). Elsewhere, Isaiah says: “You, O Lord, are our Father; our Redeemer from Everlasting is your name.” (Isaiah 63:16). This means Jesus and God the Father are not two persons but one and the same.
God is omnipresent: he can be in several places at the same time. So is Jesus: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). So could God have sent himself to earth in the person of Jesus, while remaining in heaven at the same time? Certainly! “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37).
Jesus says to Nicodemus: “No one has ascended to heaven but he who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 3:13). In effect, the son of man talking to Nicodemus here on earth, is in heaven at the same time simultaneously.
John says of Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). If Jesus was God, then Jesus is God. God says: “I am the Lord, I do not change.”(Malachi 3:6). Neither does Jesus. He is: “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8).
The four living creatures who stand around the throne of God say continually: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8). However, the Lord God Almighty on the throne turns out to be Jesus. Jesus says to John: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8).
This means the throne of God is also the throne of Jesus: “He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Revelation 22:1). Sometimes Jesus is pictured seating on the throne. (Revelation 4:8). Sometimes he is said to be seated at God’s right hand. (Mark 16:19).
But then David reveals that Jesus sitting at God’s right hand will be temporary and not permanent: “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalm 110:1). Where will Jesus seat when God’s enemies have become his footstool?
Paul provides the answer: “When all things are made subject to him, then the Son himself will also be subject to him who put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28). I take this to mean the Father and the Son will merge: “that God may be all in all.” Christ will no longer be at God’s right hand but on the throne, for it is Christ himself “who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:22).
Thus, Jesus is sometimes the Son and sometimes the Father. He says, on the one hand, if we ask anything in his name, the Father will do it. (John 16:23). Then he says, on the other hand, if we ask anything in his name, he will do it himself. (John 14:14). He says he is the son but sometimes he speaks as the Father: “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:5). “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”(Mark 5:34).
Again, this is because the Father and the Son are actually one and the same person. When he is on earth talking to the Father in heaven, he is talking to himself. But even more importantly, he is simply demonstrating to us how we should relate to God.
Mystery of godliness
For this reason, Paul says of Jesus: “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16). He also refers to Jesus as: “Our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13).
God says: “My glory I will not give to another.” (Isaiah 42:8). If so, Jesus must be God because he shares in the glory of God. He says: “The Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father.” (Matthew 16:27). He says to God: “O Father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was.” (John 17:5).
God cannot not lie; neither does he contradict himself. When he gave his glory to Jesus, he did not give it to another; he gave it to himself. As a matter of fact, Jesus says: “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30). He tells Philip: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.. I am in the Father and the Father in me.” (John 14:9-11).
Jesus is God and God is Jesus.
Sat, Mar 9, 4:33 PM (14 hours ago)
Begin forwarded message:
On Saturday, March 9, 2019, 4:32 PM, Femi Aribisala <[email protected]> wrote:
Column: Article of Faith
Headline: JESUS WILL SAVE ALL BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS (1)
Author: Femi Aribisala
Pull Quote: The redeemer will not stop redeeming until he has saved the whole world.
Moses warns Israel: “The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken me.” (Deuteronomy 28:20).
But would God really do something like this? Would God afflict his erring offspring until he is destroyed and perishes? You better believe it!
The disciples asked Jesus a similar question. He was asleep in the stern of a boat when they ran into a terrible storm. Afraid that they would drown, they woke him up with an accusation: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:39).
However, Jesus rebuked them: “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). But what precisely are they supposed to have faith in?
They are supposed to believe that, because Jesus is in the boat with them, they will not perish. They are supposed to believe that, even if they perish, Jesus is nevertheless still more than able to save them. They should know that Jesus is “able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him.” (Hebrews 7:25).
Saviour of the world
What a shame that most Christians today still don’t have this kind of faith in Jesus. Instead, they conclude that once a soul perishes or is destroyed, it is beyond salvation. They say once a soul perishes or is destroyed it spends eternity in a burning fiery furnace in hell.
However, Jesus reveals God is love. (1 John 4:8). So, how can God who is love consign his beloved offspring into a burning fiery furnace for eternity? Only a god who is hate would do that. God is love and love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8). That means God will never fail to love. Accordingly, Jesus, our saviour, will not fail to save. Indeed, Jesus will not stop saving until he has saved every human being that has ever lived.
Jesus asks: “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14).
Jesus is not just the saviour of Christians: he is the saviour of the world. (1 John 4:14). John says to believers: “(Jesus) himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:2).
James says: “Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13). It is the mercy of God and not his wrath that endures forever. (Psalm 136:1). When the judgment of God collides with the mercy of God, it is God’s mercy that prevails.
Take another look at this doxology: “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19).
Redemption from destruction
Some scriptures are mistakenly believed to contradict this. For example, Paul says: “Many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction.” (Philippians 3:18-19).
But while, indeed, the actions of many will lead to their destruction, the wrong translation in King James should not lead to the conclusion that their end is destruction. Many will be destroyed but destruction will not be their end.
Scripture must be used to understand scripture. Jesus says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 1:8). Since God is the end, the end of everything must be love for God is love. Since God is the end, the end of no man can be destruction or a burning fiery furnace. Since God is the end, the end of everything must be good.
The psalmist confirms destruction is only a means to God’s end: “You turn man to destruction, and say, ‘Return, O children of men.’” (Psalm 90:3). We all come from God and will all end with God. (Ecclesiastes 12:7). We are all the offspring of love and will end with love.
God, “the Mighty One of Jacob,” is not only our saviour; he is also our redeemer. (Isaiah 49:26). Christians need to know that nothing, absolutely nothing, is beyond God’s redemption. Because God is love, he even redeems what he destroys. The redeemer will not stop redeeming until he has saved the whole world.
Jesus says to the Jews: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19). This shows the destruction of a thing or person is not the end of the thing or person. God is more than able to redeem what has been destroyed.
The psalmist says: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:1-2). Nevertheless, there is one benefit that, as Christians, we insist on forgetting. The psalmist reminds us that God redeems our life from destruction. (Psalm 103:4). If so, destruction can never be the end. There is redemption even for the destroyed.
Israel was destroyed but not beyond redemption: “O Israel, you are destroyed, but your help is from me.” (Hosea 13:9). God will still help Israel even though Israel is destroyed. Israel is destroyed, nevertheless: “All Israel will be saved.” (Romans 11:26).
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Nevertheless, Sodom and Gomorrah will be redeemed: “When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them…When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state.” (Ezekiel 16:53-56).
The truth of the matter is that God’s love cannot and will not be limited by anything.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39).