In the previous post we saw the biblical evidence that Jesus is indeed God. Now we will go onto the next section:
1. That Jesus is God – covered in Part 1
2. That Jesus is the God of the Old Testament
3. That Jesus can be prayed to and worshipped as God
The key verse I’ll focus on is John 8:58. Again, all quotes from the Bible are from the KJV unless otherwise stated.
John 8:56-59 – Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
If Jesus simply wanted to say he existed prior to Abraham, he would have used the past tense. Instead, he uses the present tense. Why?
Jesus’ words “I am“, as recorded by John in Greek, were “εγω ειμι” … “ego eimi“.
The translation of the Old Testament books most used by the Apostles when quoting them in the New Testament was the Septuagint. Jesus was quoting Exodus 3:14 when he said, “I am” – and John faithfully uses the same words from Exodus 3:14 as found in the Septuagint:
Exodus 3:14 – And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Septuagint: και ειπεν ο θεος προς μωυσην εγω ειμι ο ων …
The Jews recognised this, and were horrified. To them this was blasphemy, and they tried to stone him. The Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying, as they were quite clear on the “I am” name of God in the Old Testament. Jesus said “I AM” in the present tense because he is the I AM of the Old Testament. Here, Jesus was claiming the very name of God.
If Jesus claimed the name of God used in Exodus 3:14, then the pre-incarnate God the Son was who appeared in the burning bush and spoke to Moses. Jesus was claiming to be the God of the Old Testament.
If Jesus was the God of the Old Testament in one passage, where else was the God of the Old Testament really the pre-incarnate Christ?
Note: for Trinitarians, this is not an issue. Where the Father acts, speaks, or simply exists, there the Son and the Spirit are too. So it is when the Son speaks, or when the Spirit moves. They are not three Gods, each doing their own thing independently. However, Jesus is identified as the Logos – Word – in John 1, and so it is reasonable to find God the Son speaking in the Old Testament. And finding God the Son in the Old Testament shows us that Jesus is indeed God.
Let’s look at some of the titles or roles of God in the Old Testament.
There is only one saviour, and that is God.
Isaiah 43:11 – I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.
Only one saviour – God.
Hosea 13:4 – Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.
Only one saviour – God.
John 4:41 – And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
Only one saviour – God. Jesus is the saviour of the world. So Jesus is God.
1 John 4:14 – And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
Only one saviour – God. Jesus is the saviour of the world. So Jesus is God.
The beginning and the end – the Alpha and the Omega
Isaiah 44:6 – Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
There is no God other than the God who says he is the first and the last.
Rev 1:7-8 – Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 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.
The person who is saying he is the Alpha and Omega is the person who comes with clouds, and was pierced – that is Jesus.
Rev 1:11 – Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Verses 12-16 go on to describe “one like unto the Son of man“, i.e. Jesus.
Rev 1:12-16 – And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
John sees here what Daniel saw in Daniel 7:9:
Dan 7:9 – I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
Daniel saw the Ancient of Days – John saw Jesus, the Son of man. Daniel appears, at first glance, to separate the Son of man and the Ancient of Days – see Dan 7:13. But if we look closer at Daniel’s three references to the Ancient of Days (Daniel 1, verses 9, 13, 22), they actually describe Jesus.
Dan 7:9 is a parallel of Rev 1:13-15’s description of Jesus.
Dan 7:13 – I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
This might seem strange at first, but this is not Jesus returning to earth in the clouds. In a situation where the Son of Man and the Ancient of Days are depicted separately, we have two options. The first is that the Ancient of Days refers to God the Father. If Jesus is coming in the clouds, and arrives where God the Father is, then he’s moving into heaven and approaching the throne of the Father. The Father is never said to be on earth at the time Jesus returns to earth in glory. The Father is in heaven. So if this is Jesus approaching the Father, and doing so on clouds, then the only possible event that this could be describing is Jesus’ ascension into heaven after the completion of his earthly ministry.
Acts 1:9 – And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
That is the only time in the Bible when Jesus moves somewhere with clouds, while simultaneously approaching the throne of the Father in heaven. Daniel is seeing, from the perspective of heaven, what the Apostles saw from their perspective on earth.
The other option is not that the Ancient of Days in Dan 7:13 is God the Father, but that this is a symbolic return of the Son of God to his place as God the Son. Again, this would have to occur at the same time as Acts 1:9. Support for this view can be found in:
1599 Geneva Bible Translation Notes:
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, (a) [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and (b) came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
(a) Which is meant of Christ, who had not yet taken upon him man’s nature, neither was he yet the son of David according to the flesh, as he was afterward: but he appeared then in a figure, and that in the clouds, that is, being separated from the common sort of men by manifest signs of his divinity.
(b) That is, when he ascended into the heavens, and his divine majesty appeared, and all power was given to him, in respect that he was our mediator.
John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible:
A son of man — That is, the Messiah, he came with the clouds of heaven, gloriously, swiftly and terribly.
And came — This relates to his ascension, at which time, he received his royal investiture, for the protection of his church, and curbing of their enemies.
Dan 7:22 – Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
This must refer to Jesus – Jesus was incarnated as man first, and will come in glory at the end to judge all.
Rev 1:17-18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Once again, the first and the last here is the same Jesus who was living, then dead, then living again.
Rev 2:8 – And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive
And again, the first and the last here is the same Jesus who was living, then dead, then living again.
Jesus is the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, and the one who was dead and is now alive. Therefore he is the only God that exists, according to his words in Isaiah 44:6.
LORD vs Lord
Some make the claim that Jesus is called Lord, but in the Old Testament, only God is called LORD. LORD, in capitals, is how some translations of the Bible translate “Adonai“, which stands in the place of YHWH, the name of God in the Hebrew Old Testament.
The Apostles, however, use Old Testament passages that refer to the LORD (God), to refer to Jesus. I’ve included the capitalisation from the KJV below, and where the word is cited in the New Testament, I’ve capitalised that as well, to demonstrate the impact it has.
The name of the LORD?
Romans 10:9-13 refers to Jesus as Lord, and cite Joel 2:32 which refers to the same LORD:
Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.
Joel 2:32 – And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
One LORD. One God.
The day of the LORD?
Amos 5:18-20 – Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
Zephaniah 1:7 – … the day of the LORD …
Zephaniah 1:8 – … the day of the LORD …
Zephaniah 1:14 – … the great day of the LORD … the day of the LORD …
1 Corinthians 1:8 – … the day of our LORD Jesus Christ
In the LORD are the righteous?
Exodus 31:13 – … I am the LORD that doth sanctify you
Isaiah 45:24 – … in the Lord have I righteousness and strength …
Isaiah 45:25 – In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified …
1 Cor 1:2 – … to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus …
1 Cor 1:30 – But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption
1 Cor 6:11 – … ye are justified in the name of the LORD Jesus …
Knees bowing and tongues confessing?
Isaiah 45:23 – I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Phil 2:10-11 – 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.
(You’ll notice that the whole chapter 45 of Isaiah is actually God the Son speaking as YHWH, our only God, our only saviour.)
The LORD of glory?
Psalm 24:7 – … the King of glory …
Psalm 24:8 – Who is this King of glory? …
Psalm 24:9 – … the King of glory …
Psalm 24:10 – Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
1 Cor 2:18 – Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the LORD of glory.
The Rock that was Christ?
1 Cor 10:1-4 – Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Deut 32:3-4 – Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
The rock was YHWH. The rock was Christ.
The Bible is clear. What is said of YHWH in the Old Testament is said of the LORD Jesus in the New Testament. Qualities and roles belonging to God alone in the Old Testament belong to Jesus in the New Testament.
God: Ezekiel 34:11,31, Psalm 23:1, Psalm 95:7,
Jesus: 1 Peter 5:4
King of Kings, Lord of Lords:
God: Deuteronomy 10:17, Psalm 136:3
Jesus: 1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:16
Heb 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
That describes only God. God does not change.
Jesus Christ Was the God of the Old Testament … by Erik Jones
Names, Titles and Characters of Jesus Christ
Jesus is God: Hundreds of Biblical Proofs & Evidences … by Dave Armstrong
Dialogue with Jehovah’s Witness on Christology & Trinitarianism II … by Dave Armstrong [Part 2 of 4]
Dialogue with Jehovah’s Witness on Christology & Trinitarianism III … by Dave Armstrong [Part 3 of 4]