Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting John 8.24 Right

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Getting John 8.24 Right

Remember what Jesus said as a warning:

"Unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." - John 8.24

There's a lot we can be wrong about, but on this one point, we better get it right or according to Jesus, there are eternal consequences. The question is, "who is Jesus?" Is he:
  • God?
  • An angel?
  • A good teacher?
  • A liar and blasphemer?

If we get this wrong and Jesus said you will "die in your sins" for holding to a wrong answer, it's imperative we figure out who Jesus is. Below are some passages from God's word that will help. Look at the Scriptures and see for yourself. Don't take my word for it! I'm just human like you and had to look at the evidence the same way as anybody regardless of my feelings or religious background. Take God's Word:

CREATION - Who created the world?

1. "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable." - Jehovah (Isaiah 40.28)

2. "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. And, You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end." - Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1.8,10-12)

3. "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." - Jesus Christ (Colossians 1.16,17)

Who, by the verses above created the world, Jehovah or Jesus Christ?
Fill in answser: ____________


FIRST AND LAST - These passages speak of the first and last (imagine you sitting at your computer right now and saying of yourself, "I am the first and the last!" Wouldn't that be blasphemy? Yes, unless you are God speaking of yourself):

1. "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god." - Jehovah (Isaiah 44.6)

2. "I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." - Jesus Christ (Revelation 1.17) This one is obvious; only Christ died but he called himself "first and last" making himself equal with God the Father.

3. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." - Jesus Christ (Revelation 22.13)

4. "I am he; I am the first, and I am the last. My hand laid the foundation of the earth" - Jehovah (Isaiah 48.12-13) But in Hebrews 1.8-12 above, God's word says that the Son laid the foundation of the earth.

Who, by the verses above is the first and the last, Jehovah or Jesus Christ?
Fill in answser: ____________


SAVIOR: - Who is the savior according to God's word?

1. "I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior." - Jehovah (Isaiah 43.11)

2. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world." - Jesus Christ (1 John 4.14)

Who, by the verses above is the savior, Jehovah or Jesus Christ?
Fill in answser: ____________


GOD - How many Gods are there?

1. "Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me." - Jehoavah (Isaiah 43.10)

2. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." - Jesus (John 1.1)

Who, by the verses above is God, Jehovah or Jesus Christ?
Fill in answser: ____________


JUDGE OF THE WORLD - We will all stand before God when we die., that much we know, but who is it that we will stand before?

1. "For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." - Jehovah (Romans 14.10)

2. "To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance." - Jehovah (Isaiah 45.23)

3. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." - Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5.10)

4. "so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - Jesus Christ (Phillipians 2.10,11)

Who, by the verses above is our judge and to whom shall we bow, Jehovah or Jesus Christ?
Fill in answser: ____________

There's no reason why you and I can ever say we were ignorant about who Jesus is. Open your Bible to see if what I quoted above is true. They aren't my words. I wasn't alive yet when these words were written. If you disagree, you need to take it up with God. Jesus is clearly not an angel like the Jehovah's Witnesses say. He is not a spirit brother of Satan as the Mormons say. He is not just a good teacher as the Muslims say. He is God, as the Bible says.

This is an interesting passage about the Jews who wanted to kill Jesus. We have to ask, "why were they so angry? Why would they want to get rid of this Jewish man, Jesus?" See the discussion they had that is recorded in John 10.31-33 below:

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.

Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?"

The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God."

Did Jesus deny that he is God when they said he was making himself God? No, he did not. They eventually did kill him, but Jesus never denied the accusation about him being God.

You can visit CARM's website that show Jesus is God. It has much more Scripture to prove who Jesus is. I suggest also reading John 8 through 10 which helped me study this out for myself. It's good to have teachers but it's bad to have ones who are deceived themselves. The Bible will never lie to you. Read it for yourself. According to Jesus, your etenal life does depend on it.

Note: John 8.24 states "I am" not "I am he" though most English tranlations add "he" in the verse. Jesus is clearly identifying himself with the "I AM" of the Old Testament who is God. See Exodus 3.14. In the Greek, Jesus says, "ego eimi" which is I AM. As James White from Alpha & Omega Ministries points out, "The specific phrase ego eimi occurs 24 times in the Gospel of John." He goes onto explain how the words ego eimi and the usage of these words in the book of John as in comparison to Exodus 3.14 clearly show that Jesus is claiming to be God. The Jews understood this and so they wanted to stone him for blasphemy, for calling himself ego eimi (I AM) Put yourself back in those days and imagine yourself to be a Jew who understood the Old Testament well and you've known all your life that God calls himself ego eimi or "I AM." A man comes along calling himself Jesus, doing good works and calls himself "I AM" just like in Exodus 3.14! Blasphemy! Or is it? You, just like the Jews in those days, would be furious. It's similar to how a Christian would feel if he heard a man in the pulpit at church this Sunday say, "If you do not believe I am Jesus Christ, you will die in your sins." You would be pretty upset because of the blasphemy this man was committing against your Lord! Now you may not pick up stones, but you wouldn't stick around to hear the rest of his sermon, would you? Well, the same holds true for the Jews. Jesus never said he is not I AM, but that he is the I AM of the Old Testament. He clearly stated he is the God of all mankind and that every knee will bow to him, including mine and yours. For further explanation of the Greek text, see James White's article called, Purpose and Meaning of "Ego Eimi" in the Gospel of JohnIn Reference to the Deity of Christ.

- Tamara Slack