JESUS CHRIST IS GOD (part 20)

 1 Are angels gods?

  1. No. Scripture explicitly states that angels are not gods.

  2. Demonic spirits are not gods, 1 Cor. 10:20; Gal. 4:8; thus, being ‘mighty spirits’ does not make angels gods.

  3. Satan is therefore also a false god: 2 Cor. 4:4

  4. Psalm 8:5 does not teach that angels are gods.

    1. Psa. 8:5 is paraphrased in Heb. 2:7, not quoted literally (cf. Psa. 68:18 with Eph. 4:8). In Psa. 8:5, elohim certainly means God, not angels, since Psa. 8:3-8 parallels Gen. 1:1, 8, 16, 26-28. Note that the Psalmist is speaking of man’s exalted place in creation, whereas Hebrews is speaking of the lower place taken by Christ in becoming a man. Thus, Heb. 2:7 may not mean to equate angels with gods at all.

    2. Even if Heb. 2:7 does imply that angels are ‘gods’, in the context of Hebrews 1-2 these angels would be those falsely exalted above Christ: Note Heb. 1:6 (which quotes Psa. 97:7, which definitely speaks of ‘gods’ in the sense of false gods); and cf. Col. 2:16 on the problem of the worship of angels

  5. Elsewhere in the Psalms angels, if spoken of as gods, are considered false gods: Psa. 29:1; 86:8-10; 89:6; 95:3; 96:4-5; 97:7-9; 135:5; 136:2; 138:1; cf. Ex. 15;11; 18:11; Deut. 10:17; 1 Chr. 16:25; 2 Chr. 2:5

  6. Even if angels were gods (which the above shows they are not), that would be irrelevant to Jesus, since He is not an angelic being, but the Son Who is worshipped by the angels as their Creator, Lord, and God: Heb. 1:1-13

  1. Conclusion: If there is only one God, one true God, all other gods being false gods, neither men nor angels being gods, and none even like God by nature — all of which the Bible says repeatedly and explicitly — then we must conclude that there is indeed only one God.

II. THIS ONE GOD IS KNOWN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AS JEHOVAH/YAHWEH (‘THE  LORD’)

  1. Texts where Jehovah is said to be elohim or el: Deut. 4:35, 39: Psa. 100:3; etc.

  2. Texts where the compound ‘Jehovah God’ (Yahweh Elohim) is used: Gen. 2-3; 9:26; 24; Ex. 3:15-18; 4:5; 2 Sam. 7:22, 25; etc.

  3. Conclusion: Jehovah/Yahweh is the only God, the only el/elohim

III. GOD IS A UNIQUE, INCOMPREHENSIBLE BEING

  1. Only one God, thus unique: see I.A.

  2. None even like God: see I.B.

  3. God cannot be fully comprehended: 1 Cor. 8:2-3

  4. God can only be known insofar as the Son reveals Him: Matt. 11:25-27; John 1:18

  5. Analogical language needed to describe God: Ezek. 1:26-28 Rev. 1:13-16

  6. God is transcendent, entirely distinct from and different than the universe, as the carpenter is distinct from the bench

    1. Separate from the world: Isa. 40:22; Acts 17:24

    2. Contrasted with the world: Psa. 102:25-27; 1 John 2:15-17

    3. Created the world: Gen. 1:1; Psa. 33:6; 102:25; Isa. 42:5; 44:24; John 1:3; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:2; 11:3

IV. THE FATHER OF JESUS CHRIST IS GOD

  1. Explicit statements: John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; etc.

  2. The expression, ‘the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’: 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3; 1 Pet. 1:3

V. JESUS CHRIST IS GOD

  1. Explicit statements:

    1. Isa. 9:6; note 10:21. Translations which render ‘mighty hero,” etc., are inconsistent in their rendering of 10:21. Also note that Ezek. 32:21 is (a) not in the same context, as is Isa. 10:21, and (b) speaking of false gods, cf. I.G.5. above.

    2. John 1:1. Even if Jesus here is called ‘a god’ (NWT), since there is only one God, Jesus is that God. However, as we have proven, the NWT rendering is a mistranslation. Other passages using the Greek word for God (theos) in the same construction are always rendered ‘God’: Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38; John 8:54; Phil. 2:13; Heb. 11:16. Passages in which a shift occurs from ho theos (‘the God’) to theos (‘God’) never imply a shift in meaning: Mark 12:27; Luke 20:37-38; John 3:2; 13:3; Rom. 1;21; 1 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 4:10-11.

    3. John 1:18. The best manuscripts have ‘the unique God’ (monogenes, frequently rendered ‘only-begotten’, actually means ‘one of a kind’, ‘unique’, though in the NT always in context of a son or daughter). Even if one translates ‘only-begotten’, the idea is not of a ‘begotten god’ as opposed to an ‘unbegotten god’.

    4. John 20:28. Compare Rev. 4:11, where the same construction is used in the plural (‘our’) instead of the singular (‘my’). See also Psa. 35:23. Note that Christ’s response indicates that Thomas’s acclamation was not wrong. Also note that John 20:17 does show that the Father was Jesus’ ‘God’ (due to Jesus becoming a man), but the words ‘my God’ as spoken by Thomas later in the same chapter must mean no less than in v. 17. Thus, what the Father is to Jesus in His humanity, Jesus is to Thomas (and therefore to all believers as well).

    5. Acts 20:28: ‘the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood’. The variant readings (e.g., ‘the church of the Lord’) show that the original was understood to mean ‘His own blood’, not ‘the blood of His own [Son]’ (since otherwise no one would have thought to change it). Thus, all other renderings are attempts to evade the startling clarity and meaning of this passage.

    6. Rom. 9:5. While grammatically this is not the only possible interpretation, the consistent form of doxologies in Scripture, as well as the smoothest reading of the text, supports the identification of Christ as ‘God’ in this verse.

    7. Titus 2:13. Grammatically and contextually, this is one of the strongest proof-texts for the Deity of Christ. Sharp’s first rule, properly understood, proves that the text should be translated ‘our great God and Savior’ (cf. same construction in Luke 20:37; Rev. 1:6; and many other passages). Note also that Paul always uses the word ‘manifestation’ (‘appearing’) of Christ: 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 8.

    8. Heb. 1:8. The rendering, ‘God is your throne’, is nonsense — God is not a throne, He is the one Who sits on the throne! Also ‘God is your throne’, if taken to mean God is the source of one’s rule, could be said about any angelic ruler — but Hebrews 1 is arguing that Jesus is superior to the angels.

    9. 2 Pet. 1:1. The same construction is used here as in Titus 2:13; see the parallel passage in 2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:2,18.

    10. 1 John 5:20. Note that the most obvious antecedent for ‘this’ is Jesus Christ. Also note that the ‘eternal life’ is Christ, as can be seen from 1:2.

  2. Jesus is Jehovah/Yahweh:

    1. Rom. 10:9-13. Note the repeated ‘for’, which links these verses closely together. The ‘Lord’ of 10:13 must be the ‘Lord’ of 10:9,12.

    2. Phil. 2:9-11. In context, the ‘name that is above every name’ is ‘Lord’ (vs. 11), i.e., Jehovah.

    3. Heb. 1:10. Here God the Father addresses the Son as ‘Lord’, in a quotation of Psa. 102:25 (cf. 102:24, where the person addressed is called ‘God’). Since here the Father addresses the Son as ‘Lord’, this cannot be explained away as a text in which a creature addresses Christ as God/Lord in a merely representational sense.

    4. 1 Pet. 2:3. This verse is nearly an exact quotation of Psa. 34:8a, where ‘Lord’ is Jehovah. From 1 Pet. 2:4-8 it is also clear that ‘the Lord’ in v. 3 is Jesus.

    5. 1 Pet. 3:14-15. These verses are a clear reference to Isa. 8:12,13, where the one who is to be regarded as holy is Jehovah.

  3. Jesus has the titles of God

    1. Titles belonging only to God

      1. The first and the last: Rev. 1:17; 22:13; cf. Isa. 44:6

      2. King of kings and Lord of lords: 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16

    2. Titles belonging in the ultimate sense only to God

      1. Savior: Luke 2:11; John 4:42; 1 John 4:14; Tit. 2:13, cf. v. 10; etc.; cf. Isa. 43:11; 45:21-22; 1 Tim. 4:10; on Jesus becoming the source of salvation, Heb. 5:9, cf. Ex. 15:2; Psa. 118:14, 21

      2. Shepherd: John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; cf. Psa. 23:1; Isa. 40:11

  4. Jesus receives the honors due to God alone

    1. Honor: John 5:23

    2. Love: Matt. 10:37

    3. Prayer: John 14:14 (text debated, but in any case it is Jesus Who answers the prayer); Acts 7:59-60 (cf. Luke 23:34, 46); Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:2; etc.

    4. Worship (proskuneo): Matt. 28:17; Heb. 1:6 (cf. Psa. 97:7); cf. Matt. 4:10

    5. Religious or sacred service (latreuo): Rev. 22:13

    6. Faith: John 3:16; 14:1; etc.

  5. Jesus does the works of God

    1. Creation: John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16,17; Heb. 1:2; Rev. 3:14 (cf. 21:6 on ‘beginning’); on ‘through’ and ‘in’ cf. Rom. 11:36; Heb. 2:10; Acts 17:28; cf. also Isa. 44:24

    2. Sustains the universe: Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3

    3. Salvation: See C.2.a. above.

    4. All of them: John 5:17-29

  6. Jesus has all of the incommunicable attributes of God

    1. All of them: John 1:1; Col. 1:15; 2:9; Heb. 1:3

    2. Self-existent: John 5:26

    3. Unchangeable: Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8

    4. Eternal: John 1:1; 8:58; 17:5; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:2

    5. Omnipresent: Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13; Eph. 1:23; 4:10; Col. 3:11

    6. Omniscient: John 16:30

    7. Incomprehensible: Matt. 11:25-27

  7. Jesus is the Son of God

    1. ‘Son’ in Scripture can mean simply one possessing the nature of something, whether literal or figurative (e.g., ‘Son of man’, ‘sons of thunder’, ‘sons of disobedience’, cf. Mark 3:17; Eph. 2:1)

    2. Whenever ‘son of’ is used in relation to a person (son of man, son of Abraham, son of David, etc.), the son possesses the nature of his father

    3. Jesus is clearly not the literal Son of God, i.e., He was not physically procreated by God

    4. On the other hand, Jesus is clearly the Son of God in a unique sense (cf. ‘only-begotten Son’, John 1:14; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9) and in a preeminent sense (i.e., the term is more fitting for Him than for anyone else)

    5. Scripture is explicit that the Son possesses God’s essence or nature (cf. F. above)

    6. Jesus’ repeated claim to be the Son of God was consistently understood by the Jewish leaders as a blasphemous claim to equality with God, an understanding Jesus never denied: John 5:17-23; 8:58-59; 10:30-39; 19:7; Matt. 26:63-65

    7. Jesus is therefore God’s Son, not God’s creation, God’s servant, God’s agent, etc.; Jesus is God’s Son who became a servant for His people’s sake and for the Father’s glory (John 13:13-15; 17:4; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 1:4-13; 3:1-6; 5:8; etc.)

  8. Objections

    1. Prov. 8:22: This text is not a literal description of Christ, but a poetic personification of wisdom (cf. all of Prov. 1-9, esp. 8:12-21; 9:1-6), poetically saying that God ‘got’ His wisdom before He did anything — i.e., that God has always had wisdom.

    2. Col. 1:15: Does not mean that Christ is the first creature, since He is here presented as the Son and principal heir of the Father (cf. vv. 12-14); thus ‘firstborn’ here means ‘heir’ (cf. Gen. 43:33; 48:14-20; Ex. 4:22; 1 Chron. 5:1-3; Psa. 89:27; Jer. 31:9); note that v. 16 speaks of the Son as Creator, not creature (cf. E.1. above)

    3. Rev. 3:14: ‘Beginning’ (arche) in Rev. as a title means source or one who begins, i.e., Creator (cf. Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13); elsewhere Christ is called the arche in the sense of ‘ruler’, Col. 1:18, cf. plural archai ‘rulers’ in Col. 1:16; 2:10, 15, also Luke 12:11; Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Titus 3:1; cf. Luke 20:20; Jude 6; 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21

    4. 1 Cor. 11;3; 15:28. Jesus is still subordinate to God, but as the Son to the Father; i.e., they are equal in nature, but the Son is subordinate relationally to the Father

    5. John 20:17; Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 15:24; 2 Cor. 1;3; Rev. 1:6; 3:12: Jesus calls the Father ‘My God’ because He is still man as well as God; note the distinction between ‘My God’ and ‘your God’ in John 20:17 (i.e., Jesus never speaks of ‘our God’ including Himself with the disciples)

    6. Mark 13:32: Jesus’ statement that He did not know the time of His return is to be explained by His voluntary acceptance of the humble form and likeness of a man (Phil. 2:7); in fact as God Jesus did know all things (John 16:30), and after His resurrection He does not include Himself as not knowing (Acts 1:6-7)

    7. Mark 10:17,18: Jesus does not deny being God, but simply tells the man that he has no business calling anyone ‘good’ in an unqualified sense except God

    8. Heb. 5:14: Jesus was tempted, cf. James 1:13; but note that Jesus could not sin, John 5:19

    9. John 1:18: No one has seen God, but men have seen Jesus, e.g., 1 John 1:1,2; but note that no man can see the glorified Jesus either, 1 Tim. 6:16, and that to see Jesus is to see the Father, John 14:9

    10. 1 Tim. 1:17: God cannot die, but Jesus did, e.g., Phil. 2:8; but note that no one could take Jesus’ life from Him, He could not remain dead, and He raised Himself: John 10:18; Acts 2:24; John 2:19-22

    11. 1 Cor. 8:6: Father called God, Jesus called Lord: but here ‘God’ and ‘Lord’ are synonymous (cf. v. 5); moreover, this text no more denies that Jesus is God than it does that the Father is Lord (Matt. 11:25); cf. Jude 4, where Jesus is the only Lord.

    12. 1 Tim. 2:5: Jesus here supposedly distinct from God; but Jesus is also distinct from (fallen) men, yet is Himself a man; likewise Jesus is distinct from God (the Father), but is also God

    13. Deut. 4:12, 15-25: God did not appear in a human form to Israel, lest they fall into idolatry; but this does not rule out His appearing in human form later after they had learned to abhor idolatry

 

VI. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD

  1. Equated with God: Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:17-18

  2. Has the incommunicable attributes of God

    1. Eternal: Heb. 9:14

    2. Omnipresent: Psa. 139:7

    3. Omniscient: 1 Cor. 2:10-11

  3. Involved in all of the works of God

    1. Creation: Gen. 1:2; Psa. 104:30

    2. Incarnation: Matt. 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35

    3. Resurrection: Rom. 1:4; 8:11

    4. Salvation: Rom. 8:1-27

  4. Is a person

    1. Has a name: Matt. 28:19; note that even though ‘name’ might be used of a nonperson, here, in conjunction with the Father and the Son, it must be used of a person

    2. Is the ‘Helper’

      1. Is another Helper: John 14:16, cf. 1 John 2;1; note also that ‘Helper’ (parakletos) was used in Greek always or almost always of persons

      2. Is sent in Jesus’ name, to teach: John 14:26

      3. Will arrive, and then bear witness: John 15:26-27

      4. Is sent by Christ to convict of sin, will speak not on His own but on behalf of Christ, will glorify Christ, thus exhibiting humility: John 16:7-14

    3. Is the Holy Spirit, in contrast to unholy spirits: Mark 3:22-30, cf. Matt. 12:32; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 3:24-4:6

    4. ‘Impersonal’ language used of the Spirit paralleled by language used of other persons

      1. The Holy Spirit as fire: Matt. 3;11; Luke 3:16; cf. Ex. 3:2-4; Deut. 4;24; 9:3; Heb. 12:29

      2. The Holy Spirit poured out: Acts 2:17, 33; cf. Isa. 53:12; Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6

      3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit: Eph. 5:18, etc.; cf. Eph. 3:17, 19; 4:10

 

VII. THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT ARE DISTINCT PERSONS

  1. Matt. 28:19

    1. ‘the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit’: use of definite article before each personal noun indicates distinct persons unless explicitly stated otherwise; compare Rev. 1:17; 2:8, 26.

    2. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Armstrongites, etc., argue that ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ are distinct persons but Holy Spirit is not a person at all; Oneness Pentecostals argue that all three are different offices or roles of one person. Both views are impossible in view of the grammar.

    3. Does singular ‘name’ prove that the three are one person? No; compare Gen. 5:2; 11:4; 48:6; and especially 48:16!

    4. ‘Name’ need not be personal name, may be title: Isa. 9:6; Matt. 1:23. If a single personal name is sought, the name shared by all three Persons is ‘Yahweh’.

  2. Acts 2:38 and Matt. 28:19

    1. Neither passage specifies that certain words are to be spoken during baptism; nor does the Bible ever record someone saying, ‘I baptize you in the name of….’

    2. Those said to be baptized in the name of Jesus (whether or not the formula ‘in the name of Jesus’ was used) were people already familiar with the God of the OT:

      1. Jews: Acts 2:5, 38; 22:16

      2. Samaritans: Acts 8:5, 12, 16

      3. God-fearing Gentiles: Acts 10:1-2, 22,48

      4. Disciples of John the Baptist: Acts 19:1-5

      5. The first Christians in Corinth were Jews and God-fearing Gentiles: Acts 18:1-8; 1 Cor. 1:13

    3. Trinitarian formula for baptism (if that is what Matt. 28:19 is) was given in context of commissioning apostles to take the Gospel to ‘all the nations’, including people who did not know of the biblical God.

  3. Father and Son are two Persons

    1. The salutations: Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; 6:23; Phil. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1, 2; 1 Tim. 1:1, 2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; Phil. 3; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:2; 2 John 3.

    2. Two witnesses; John 5:31-32; 8:16-18; compare Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; 19:15.

    3. The Father sent the Son: John 3:17; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 4:10; etc.; compare John 1:6; 17:18; 20:21.

    4. The Father and the Son love each other: John 3:35; 14:31; 17:23-26.

    5. The Father speaks to the Son, and the Son speaks to the Father: John 11:41-42; 12:28; 17:1-26; etc.

  4. Jesus is not God the Father

    1. Isa. 9:6. ‘Father of eternity’ means eternal; compare other names formed with the word ‘father’:

      1. Abialbon, ‘father of strength’ = strong (2 Sam. 23:31)

      2. Abiasaph, ‘father of gathering’ = gatherer (Ex. 6:24)

    2. John 10:30

      1. Jesus did not say, ‘I am the Father’, nor did He say, ‘the Son and the Father are one person’.

      2. The first person plural esmen (‘are’) implies ‘we’, thus two persons.

      3. The neuter word for ‘one’ (hen) is used, implying essential unity but not personal unity (compare John 17:21-23).

    3. John 5:43

      1. Oneness interpretation: Jesus’ coming in His Father’s name means He was the Father because He had the Father’s name.

      2. Actual meaning: Others come in their own name (or their own authority), but Jesus does not; Jesus comes in His Father’s name (on His Father’s authority).

    4. John 14:6-11

      1. Jesus and the Father are one being, not one person.

      2. Jesus said, ‘I am in the Father’, not, ‘I am the Father’.

      3. The statement, ‘the Father is in Me’, does not mean Jesus is the Father; compare John 14:20; 17:21-23.

    5. Colossians 2:9

      1. Oneness argument: The Godhead, which is the entire being of God, is in Jesus; Jesus is not the Godhead.

      2. Trinitarian interpretation; ‘Godhead’ means Deity, the state of being God, the nature of God; thus Jesus is fully God, but not the only Person Who is God. Since Oneness makes ‘the Godhead’ = the Father, they cannot say that Jesus is ‘not in the Godhead’, since Jesus is in the Father (John 10:38; 14:10, 11;17:21).

  5. The Son existed before His incarnation, even before creation.

    1. Prov. 30:4. This is not a predictive prophecy; ‘prophecy’ in 30:1 translates massa, which is rendered elsewhere as ‘burden’.

    2. The Son created all things: see V.E.1.

    3. Jesus was ‘with’ (pros or para) God the Father before creation: John 1:1; 17:5; pros in John 1:1 does not mean ‘pertaining to’, although it does in Hebrews 2:17; 5:1.

    4. These statements cannot be dismissed as true in God’s foreknowledge.

      1. We are all in God’s mind before creation; yet such passages as John 1:1 and John 17:5,6 clearly mean to say something unusual about Christ.

      2. To say that all things were created through Christ means He must have existed at creation.

      3. No one else in Scripture is ever said to have been with God before creation.

  6. Jesus is not the Holy Spirit

    1. The Holy Spirit is ‘another Comforter’ (John 14:16; compare 1 John 2:1).

    2. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; 16:7).

    3. The Holy Spirit exhibits humility (John 16:13) and seeks to glorify Jesus (John 16:14).

    4. The Son and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two Persons in Matt. 28:19.

    5. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus (Luke 3:22).

    6. Texts commonly used to prove that Jesus is the Holy Spirit

      1. 2 Cor. 3:17 — the Spirit is here called ‘Lord’ in the sense of being Yahweh or God, not Jesus; note Acts 28:25-27 cf. Isa.6:8-10.

      2. 1 Cor. 15:45 — Jesus is ‘a life-giving Spirit’, not in the sense that He is the Holy Spirit whom He sent at Pentecost, but in the sense that He is the glorified God-man; and as God He is Spirit by nature. All three Persons of the Trinity are Spirit, though there are not three Divine Spirits; and only one Person is designated ‘the Holy Spirit’.

      3. Rom. 8:27,34 — the fact that two Persons intercede for us is consistent with the fact that we have two Advocates (John 14:16; 1 John 2:1).

      4. John 14:18 — Jesus here refers to His appearances to the disciples after the resurrection (compare 14:19), not to the coming of the Spirit.

  7. The Father is not the Holy Spirit

    1. The Father sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:15; 15:26).

    2. The Holy Spirit intercedes according to the will of God for His people (Rom. 8:26-27).

    3. The Father and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two Persons in Matt. 28:19).

    4. Arguments commonly used to prove that the Father is the Holy Spirit.

      1. Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35 — it is argued that the Holy Spirit is the Father of the incarnate Son of God; this argument ignores the fact that the ‘conception’ is not a product of physical union between a man and a woman!

      2. The Father and the Holy Spirit are both said to be active in various activities; the resurrection of Jesus (Gal. 1:1; Rom. 8:11), comforting Christians (2 Cor. 1:3-4; John 14:26), sanctifying Christians (Jude 1; 1 Peter 1L2), etc. The most these facts prove is that the two work together; they do not prove the two are one person.

VIII. Conclusion: The Bible teaches the Trinity

  1. All the elements of the doctrine are taught in Scripture

    1. One God

    2. The Father is God

    3. The Son is God

    4. The Holy Spirit is God

    5. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Persons

  2. The Bible does not forbid using extra-biblical language to define and describe biblical truth.”

 

The Lord Jesus used the phrase ‘I Am’ no less than 23 times in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. “7 of these are specifically stated to identify His being in John's Gospel, as John consistently uses the number 7 throughout his writings. There is no prophet other than Jesus that could or dare say ‘he that believeth on Me, or abides in Me, ‘hath everlasting life’, (see Jn. 6:35,47;11:25; Jn.15), or instructed the people to ‘follow Me’ (see Matt.19:21;10:21; Lk. 18:22). Nor could any other prophet state that there are massive consequences for not believing who he said he is. There is probably no more of an important statement than when Jesus said to the people ‘for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins’ (Jn. 8:24). John's entire Gospel concentrates on Christ’s  Deity, and we begin to understand fully what Jesus meant when He applied the name God gave to Moses at the burning bush. Jesus makes seven important ‘I am’ statements about Himself that are spread out over His 3 years of earthly ministry.

1) John 6:35: ‘...I AM the bread of life...’ This is the first of the ‘I AM’ proclamations by Jesus contained in the Gospel of John. This was said in the discourse which followed the feeding of the multitude. During the discourse, Jesus tells the crowd, ‘Labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life which the Son of Man shall give unto you…’ (Jn. 6:27). As He seeks to elicit faith in Himself, He is met with a challenge to ‘demonstrate His credentials’. They ask Him, ‘…What sign shewest Thou then, that we may see, and believe Thee? What dost Thou work? (Jn. 6:30). To this they add, ‘Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from Heaven to eat’ (Jn. 6:31). Referring to when Moses gave them the manna supernaturally. Jesus goes on to correct their misunderstanding, He states, ‘…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from Heaven, but My Father giveth you the true bread from Heaven’. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from Heaven, and giveth life unto the world’ (Jn. 6:32,33). Jesus reminds them that God gave sustenance but now He Himself is ‘the bread of God which cometh down from Heaven’ (v.33). They were not asking for this bread from Heaven, they were hungry and are thinking carnally, so their understanding is lacking until the conversation continues to develop.

“In response to their request (v. 34), Jesus declares: ‘…I AM the bread of life;  he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst’ (v.35). The Israelites in the desert in their sojourn with Moses had two constant complaints, hunger and thirst. But Jesus is not speaking of the physical but the spiritual. He is saying that He is the answer to the needs of the human heart, He alone is our source of spiritual nourishment.” Any food can fill the stomach, but it is not every food that nourishes the body. So, too, a belief in a false god may give one the feeling of sustenance and satisfaction, but there is only one God Who truly sustains and nourishes the spirit of a man (see Eph. 5:29; Matt. 4:4). “Since bread is a basic food universally, Jesus’ statements claim that He fulfils this role for every one of His people. He is ‘the Saviour of the world’ (Jn. 4:42; 1 Jn. 4:14), and ‘giveth life unto the world’, to Jews and Gentiles alike (Jn. 6:33). Jesus alone, is the bread of life. All other bread one will hunger again, like manna in the wilderness it was good for the day it was given, but not the next day. It would sustain their hunger; once tasted, they would be satisfied. As the Psalmist writes, ‘…taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Psa. 34:8). Jesus identified Himself as the sustenance man needs to survive, to be preserved from death. He used the Scripture reference on the Devil himself when he was tempting Him to eat and prove He was actually the Son of God. Jesus said: ‘I am the living bread which came down from Heaven: If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever…’ (Jn. 6:51).

“Matthew 4:3,4: ‘And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’. This verse is quoted from Deuteronomy 8:2,3 where Israel was led by God through the wilderness and hungered, it was God that fed Israel manna for its survival, ‘…that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live’ (Deut. 8:3). John 6:35: ‘Shall never hunger’ - Strong double with first aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive, ‘shall not become hungry’. ‘Shall never thirst’ - the future active indicative instead of the aorist subjunctive as above, an even stronger form of negation.

‘All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me…’ (Jn. 6:37), is reflective of the psalmist in Psalm 42:1,2: ‘As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…’ It is the same principle answer Jesus gave to the woman at the well: ‘Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (Jn. 4:13-14). He is to the soul what bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life. When Jesus spoke, ‘…I AM the bread of life…’ (Jn. 6:35), ‘…the true bread from Heaven…the bread of God is He which cometh down from Heaven’ (Jn. 6:32,33), He is making His Heavenly origins known.

2) John 8:12: ‘…I AM the light of the world…'

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I AM the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’ (Jn. 8:12). This is spoken in the first person, ‘I’, showing He alone has possession of this title. It was at the beginning of creation that there was only darkness and as the first activity to earth God brought light to divide the darkness. ‘And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good…’ (Gen. 1:3,4).

“Light is often used throughout the Scriptures in reference to God’s Word as truth. The Word of God, (the law of God) is as a light to guide the path of those who look to follow righteous instruction.  Psalm 119:105: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path’ (cf. Prov. 6:23). God, or God's Word, the Bible, are frequently represented as light or a lamp to enlighten and guide the believer in a world of darkness ‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not’ (Jn. 1:5). Echoing John 8:12 and its allusion to walking in the light of life, John writes in 1Jn.1:7: ‘But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another…’ which is a reference to an admonishment of the prophet Isaiah 2:5: ‘O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord’. To not walk in His ways is to walk in darkness, meaning one walks in ignorance and sin. To not walk in truth means one is severed from their communion with God.” (see also 2 Jn. 9).

 

“God's light is seen in His revelation (see Ezek. 1:4,13,26-28), and salvation (see Hab. 3:3-4). Job 29:3: ‘When His candle shined upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness’. Psalm 43:3: ‘O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me…’ The Psalmist also declared, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation…’ (Psa. 27:1). Light is also used as a symbol of holiness and purity. Psalm 44:3: ‘…neither did their own arm save them: but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of Thy countenance, because Thou hadst a favour, unto them’. The arm of the Lord is symbolic of the Messiah, His activity on earth.

“Light also represents goodness, and God's redemptive work. It is juxtaposed with darkness, which symbolizes sin, evil, the works of Satan. An example of light used for the Word - Isaiah 8:20: ‘To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them’.

“John introduces us to Jesus as both the light and life in the beginning of his Gospel. In his Prologue, John speaks of the Incarnate Word: ‘All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not’ (Jn. 1:3-5). Darkness being a representative of what is fallen, ignorance or sin. ‘I am come a light into the world. That whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness’ (Jn. 12:46).

“Speaking of himself, John the Baptist says: ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (Jn. 1:8,9). John is telling us Jesus is the revelation of truth and salvation for everyone who ever lived. The Word visited men as Light before He was incarnated (see Jn. 1:9; 9:5), and light accompanied the incarnation (see Jn. 3:19-21; 8:12; 12:46), that was full of grace and truth.

“In His second ‘I AM’ statement the Lord Jesus once again picks up the light metaphor, and expands what He has previously written. John states: ‘This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 1:5). This affirms that Jesus is the true Light, the Light of men, the God of all creation.

“John 3:19: ‘And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil’. John 3:21: ‘But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God’. Psalm 107:10,11, ‘Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High’.

 

“The expression to not walk in darkness and walk or live in light is consistently used in the Old Testament. Micah 7:8: ‘…when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me’. Isaiah 50:10: ‘Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God’.

 

“I John 1:6,7: ‘If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin’. John 8:12: ‘Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life’.

“John in the beginning of his Gospel informs us of Jesus being the light of the world, (which is a reference to Genesis), here John states that Jesus makes the claim out loud (see Jn. 9:5; 12:35,36,46). John tells us Jesus made this claim in John 8:12 at the Feast of Tabernacles, at the temple courts. The backdrop to (Jn. 7:14) the Feast of Tabernacles is important, two major symbolic ceremonies took place. The first was the outpouring of water on the steps by the Levitical priests, as the choir sang the Great Hallel (see Psa. 113-118). The second was the lighting of several large candelabras (Menorah) in the temple area which lit up the temple to be seen for miles. Jesus took the opportunity of using these two ritualistic symbols to illustrate His teachings and Person (see Jn. 7:37,38; 8:12).

 

“The Tabernacle was made to host the presence of God over the ark in the Holy of Holies. But before one could enter they would go through the holy place which had the lampstand, the only natural light in the tabernacle.

“Exodus 35:14,15: ‘The candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light, And the incense altar, and his staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle’; (see also Ex. 39:37-39). The lampstand was made of the most expensive material on earth pure gold.

“Exodus 27:20: ‘And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always’. Leviticus 24:2 informs us that the pure oil came from pressed olives which were for the light, ‘…to cause the lamps to burn continually’.

“In John 8:20, Jesus spoke these words in the Court of the Women, the most public part of the temple. Four golden candelabra stood there, each with four golden bowls, each one was filled from oil. These were lighted on the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles (in reference to the memory of the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night). The figure itself was familiar to them all, drawn from prophecy and tradition. According to Hebrew tradition, God is light and Light was one of the names of the Messiah (see Isa. 9:1; 42:6; 49:6; 60:1-3; Mal. 4:2; Lk. 2:32). Bamidbar Rabba (a religious text holy to classical Judaism): ‘The Israelites said to God, O Lord of the universe, Thou commandest us to light lamps to Thee, yet Thou art THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: and with Thee the light dwelleth’. In John 8:12: ‘Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life’.

 

“With this as the background, Jesus’ exclusive claim (repeated in John 9:5) of being ‘the Light of the world’, Jesus was proclaiming Himself as the fulfillment of their Jewish religion given to them by God.

“The light metaphor is found in Old Testament events and typology. The glory (the presence of God) in the cloud led the Hebrews to the promised land (see Ex. 13:21-22), and protected them from their enemies (see Ex. 14:19-25). The Israelites sang, ‘The LORD is my Light and my Salvation…’ (Psa. 27:1). Isaiah the prophet tells us that the Servant of the LORD (Messiah) was given as a light to the Gentiles, that He might bring salvation to the ends of the earth ‘And He said, It is a light thing that Thou shouldest be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth (Isa. 49:6). The coming Millennial Age would be a time when the LORD Himself would be the Light of His people (see Isa. 60:19-22; Rev. 21:23-24).” “Christ was given, that He might be the Author of that salvation, which God had chosen and appointed His people to, and provided for them in covenant; and that being the salvation of His own people, He calls it His own salvation; and which should reach to them all everywhere, in the several parts of the world, and the corners and ends of it, east, west, north, and south, wherever they were.”

 

“Jesus' declaration at the Temple made it clear who He is. He is not the light of the Jews only, but ‘I am the Light of the World’ (Jn. 8:12). His reference to being the light of every man is telling those who reject Him, that they are in actual fact rejecting God. One cannot praise God in truth and deny the Deity of the Son of God. God is described as light or clothed in light: '…the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory’ (Isa. 60:19). Psalm 104:2: ‘Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment: Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain’. The Lord Jesus is called by the apostle Paul ‘…the Lord of glory’ (1 Cor. 2:8) a term of Deity because it refers to God’s Shekinah; His light.

 

“Jesus, halfway through His ministry, personally revealed this to His three closest disciples. Matthew 17:2: ‘And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light’. Luke 9:29: ‘And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering’. ‘…Peter and they that were with Him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw His glory’ (Lk. 9:32). In 2 Peter 1:17-19 Peter calls this ‘…the holy mount…’ (v. 18). In verse 19, the apostle says ‘We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts’,  this is reminiscent of when Moses came to Horeb, the mountain of God in Exodus 3:1-5. ‘And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush…’ (Ex. 3:2). In verses 4 & 5: ‘…God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said…Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

“John 12:46: 'I am come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness’. Of the lost, those who reject the Lord Jesus and His Gospel, the Word of God says, ‘In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them’ (2 Cor. 4:4). The Gospel is considered light because it is focused on the One Who is the Light of the world. ‘For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).

“2 Timothy 1:10: ‘But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel’.

“1 Timothy 6:15,16: ‘…until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in His times He shall shew, Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen’. Jesus is the King of Kings and lord of Lords (see Rev.17:14).