Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

   by Jeannette Haley

If there’s anything that Satan wants to destroy and wipe off of the face of the earth, it’s the Name of Jesus Christ. When it comes to Christmas, he isn’t picky about which weapon to use, whether it’s a segment of religious folks that oppose Christmas traditions, or the communist ACLU, or other liberal, atheistic organizations, just so that it ceases to exist. After all, the bedrock of Christianity is the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Satan hates the fact that He came at the “appointed time” and in the manner foretold by prophets of old. His advent is the pivotal point in the history of mankind.

If Satan can’t prevent the story of the Christ child’s coming (which is still proclaimed this time of the year through various means), the next best thing he can do is to pervert its authenticity and true meaning by drowning it out with gross worldly overindulgences. Satan operates through substitutes and counterfeits. Take, for example, how inspired carols and hymns centered on the Savior’s birth are being minimized, or altered, while pop music and meaningless jangles take center stage. Silly fables that capture the imagination, especially of the young and impressionable, diminish the importance and meaning of the miraculous birth of Christ.  Decorations, food, shopping, and gifts, while not sinful in and of themselves, can easily become the highlight of our celebration. Awe, reverence and sobriety are being replaced in our culture with silliness, fantasy and perversion.

However, such attempts on the part of the world and the devil to discredit Christmas pale in comparison to Satan’s most devious and subtle attack against one thing, and that is the truth of Jesus’ identity. Who was this Man? Historians and archaeologists cannot deny the facts surrounding His birth, life, death, and resurrection. We know that He came into this world, and impacted it forever. Is it really important to know from whence He came, and why?

To discover who Jesus Christ is, we must turn to the Word of God, approaching it with an open, seeking heart of faith, while casting aside the religious traditions and opinions of man. We must embrace love for the truth, regardless of personal misgivings, experiences and preferences. And, we must sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. Jesus promised: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” Matthew 7:7, 8.

The Bible confirms itself in many ways, and one of those ways is through the witness and confession of others, including angels. In Luke 1:35, the angel Gabriel explained to the Virgin Mary: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Here we see that the Lord Jesus is declared by Gabriel to be “holy” and the “Son of God.” We know that no newborn babe, however sweet and innocent he or she may be, is “holy.” And, it’s a sure thing that every baby born into this world has both a biological mother and a father.

Jesus’ advent, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah, also reveals His identity: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 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 7:14; 9:6-6. Here we see that the prophet identified Jesus as “God with us,” (Immanuel) and as Jehovah (The mighty God).

Continuing in the second chapter of Luke, verses 2:9, 10, we read the witness of the angel of the Lord to the shepherds: “Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Here the announcement is made that Jesus is not only the Saviour, but “Christ the Lord.” Christ means anointed of God, and Lord in this context means “Lord God.” (Greek: “kurios” meaning supreme in authority, controller, God, Lord, Master.)

We know that according to God’s Word, it is idolatry to bow down and worship anyone or anything other than God Almighty. Yet, we read of the wise men: “…when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him…” Matthew 2:11a. Thus, we have their witness that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh. (Notice that they did not worship Mary, but only Jesus.)

In Matthew 14:22-32, we read about Jesus’ disciples being tossed about in the midst of the sea, and how Jesus came to them, walking on the water; and how Peter got out of the boat and walked towards Jesus until fear took over and he began to sink, and of how Jesus stretched forth His hand and rescued Peter. In verse 32, 33, we read: “And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” Here we have the witness of the disciples as to Jesus’ identity. Jesus did not protest or object to their worship. If He were a mere man and nothing more, He, and they, would have been in violation of the first commandment. Again, in the Book of Matthew, chapter 28:9, we read: “And as they [the women] went to tell his disciples [that Jesus had risen from the dead], behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.”

The entire Book of John was written to declare Jesus’ identity. John 1:1-3 declares: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Colossians 1:15-17 declares, concerning Jesus: “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, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” [Emphasis mine.] Hebrews 1:2 & 10 confirm Jesus as Creator of the worlds. Amazingly, a vast number of Christians are ignorant of this important fact.

Jesus’ identity as The Word is clearly stated in 1 John 1:1, 2: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us)”.  In the Book of Revelation (which is the revelation of Jesus Christ), we read: “And he [Jesus] was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God…And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,” Revelation19:13; 16b.

Jesus Himself revealed His identity to the Jews when He told them: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” John 8:58. (When they heard this, they took up stones to kill Him, because they knew He was declaring to be God.) Jesus stated that He “came down from heaven” John 6:38. In Jesus’ prayer in John 17:5, He said: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”  And, in Philippians 2:5-8, we read “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in 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 of the cross.”

The result? “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Verses 9-11.) Here again, we see Jesus receiving worship from His whole creation!

In the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we find recorded the plurality of the Godhead. Consider: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” Genesis 1:26. [Emphasis mine.] In Genesis 11, we read the account of the tower of Babel. Verse 7 records: “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” [Emphasis mine.]

The resurrected Christ, as revealed in the Book of Revelation, declares: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” 1:8: 11a; 21:6. In Revelation 22:13, Jesus again confirms His identity: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

The Holy Spirit faithfully confirms Jesus’ identity, not only throughout Scripture, but in the heart and life of every born again believer. If you have doubts as to the real identity of Jesus Christ, know that from cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation, you can find the true identity of Jesus. The question is, do you truly believe that: “…this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” 1 John 5:11?  Or, have you been deceived by one of the many “…deceivers [that] are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” 2 John 7? The eternal destination of your soul depends upon who you say Jesus Christ is.

As we enter another season of heightened remembrance of God’s gift to us in the Person of His Son, let us be truly mindful of Who He is, why He came, the hope of His coming again, and what our response should be. May the blessing of the Lord be upon you as you worship and adore Him.