The following Scriptural explanation of who the Biblical Yeshua (Jesus) is has been very helpful to me in my discussions with Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other false "Christian" cults and groups. I have found that if I will begin my discussions with them determining who they think Jesus is, which is what Yeshua Himself asked His disciples to determine if they were qualified to be members of His Church (Matthew 16:13-18), and (1) we agree, I can share with them the true Gospel of salvation through faith in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Or, (2) the discussion will lead to more discussions in which I will have an opportunity to share the Savior's complete plan of salvation (the Gospel) with them. Or, (3) they will leave without agreeing with me and I can avoid wasting a lot of time having them lead me through the swamps of their false doctrines, practices and unscriptural ideas about who the Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) is.
At the present time (when writing this), I just finished my fourth, very congenial discussion with two young Mormon missionaries and, without getting into all the details of what they believe and practice, we are still discussing who Jesus is. And, in our fourth session, the Lord gave me the opportunity to share this entire explanation with them, to which I am prayerfully and hopefully awaiting their reply.
If you are not clear in your own mind about who the Biblical Yeshua is, or if you want to be well prepared to share who He is with others, I pray the following explanation will help you, as it has helped me.
Jesus is God in both the Old and New Testaments
(Quotes are from the King James Version which Mormon missionaries and some other "Christian" proselytizers like to use.)
God the Son and God the Father share some of the same titles:
Isa 9:6 For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Rather than being created by God like humans, the angels, and other heavenly beings, the title Eternal Father, indicates that God the Son is identified as not only eternal like the Father but, in some mysterious way that we can’t comprehend, is the Eternal Father. That’s why Paul stated that God the Father’s manifestation of Himself in the flesh as the Son is a “great mystery.”
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
This great mystery was confirmed by John:
Joh 1:1-2, 14 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. And the Word [Jesus] was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
So, the Word [God the Son] was not only with God the Father when the world was created, but He, in a mysterious way that our human minds cannot comprehend, was God.
And not only was God the Son with God and was God when the world was created, but He was the Word of God that created the cosmos and all that is in it including the angels and human beings.
Psa 33:6 By the Word of the LORD (Yehovah) the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their lights.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him [the Word]; and without him was not anything made that was made.
Col 1:16-17 For by him [Jesus] 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 [as in I AM] before [prior to] all things, and by him all things consist.
Other titles and even the name of Jesus indicate that He is God.
“Jesus,” the English translation of the Greek word iesous, which is generally translated to mean “savior,” is really a watered-down version of His Hebrew name Yehoshua (shortened by most to Yeshua). All Hebrew names have specific meanings. For example, Israel means “God contends” because Jacob wrestled with God before he was given the name Israel (Gen 32:28). Likewise, Yehoshua or Yeshua for short has a specific meaning, which is “Yah is salvation.” “Yah,” which occurs over 40 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, is the shortened name of God which, in the Hebrew Scriptures, is YHVH, variously pronounced Yehovah, Yahweh, Yahuah, and so forth (“the LORD” in most English translations). Therefore, even every time we speak His name, we are confessing that Jesus is the LORD (Yah), aren’t we? Jesus (when referring to the Son of God) is not just a human name, it is the divine name of God the Son. Interestingly, Jesus has exactly the same Hebrew name as Joshua who led Israel out of the wilderness into the promised land.
Another name that Jesus was given at His birth in fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy was Immanuel which means “God with us” (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:23).
So, Yeshua (“God is salvation”) was the name given to God manifested in the flesh when He was born for the purpose of saving us from our sins (Mat 1:21). It is His New Testament name. But here is an interesting question for you: Since He is eternal and was with and was God in the beginning of the Creation, what was God the Son’s Old Testament title and name? Solomon asked the poignant question, “What is His [God the Father’s] name or His Son’s name? Surely you know! (Pro 30:4)
To answer that question, we need to understand that the Hebrew is much more precise than the Greek in the way it uses names and titles. For example, Adonai in the Hebrew, translated “the Lord” in English, always refers to “the ruler or master.” And YHVH, pronounced several ways (Yehovah, Yahweh, Yahuah and so forth), in the Hebrew, although it occurs 6,828 times in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, is always translated as “the LORD” in English. But, that is confusing and actually obscures the name of God because “lord” is a title, not a name, and Moses was told that the name of the One who spoke to him from the burning bush was Yehovah (Exodus 3:16) (“the LORD” in English translations).
Further confusing and obscuring the name of God in the New Testament and in the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament), the Greek term kurios is always translated as “the Lord,” whether it refers to God the Father or to Jesus. So, whether “the Lord” in the New Testament is referring to Jesus as God or as the Master or Ruler (Adonai in Hebrew) has to be determined by context. As examples:
Mar 2:28 “Therefore the Son of man is Lord (Kurios) also of the Sabbath” is referring to Jesus as the master or ruler of the Sabbath. However,
Luk 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him [the devil], “It is said, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord (Kurios) thy God.’” This is an example of Kurios referring to Jesus as God the Son because Scripture states that God the Father cannot be tempted (James 1:13), but God the Son (Jesus) was tempted just as we are, except without sinning (Heb 4:15). This in itself tells us that Jesus is no mere human being but is also God, because “all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1Jn 1:8).
Another problem in translation that obscures Jesus’s identity as not only the Son and the Messiah but as God is using “God” (Hebrew: Elohim, Greek: Theos) as only referring to God the Father rather than to also God the Son. But many passages of Scripture in both the New and Old Testaments refer to Jesus as “God.” As examples:
Joh 1:18 No one has seen God (Theos) at any time; God (Theos) the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him.
Joh 20:28 And Thomas [speaking to Jesus] answered and said unto him, My Lord (Kurios) and my God (Theos)!
This is especially true in the Old Testament:
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heaven and the earth.
Interestingly, the title Elohim is plural, being literally translated “gods.” And, in some places in the Hebrew Scriptures it refers to multiple “gods,” whether they are false gods (e.g., Exo 20:3) or humans (e.g., Psa 82:6) created in the image of God because we were created to manifest His eternal, spiritual attributes like no other created beings. But, when used in the singular as in Genesis 1, it refers to God the Father and God the Son as one being, not separate beings (see the singular pronoun used in Gen 1:27). Therefore, both God the Father and God the Son are included in the Hebrew term Elohim when it is used to refer to the one, true God. The most often-used quote from the Hebrew Scriptures by the religious Jews, which they recite twice daily, is Deu 6:4: “Hear, Israel! The LORD (Yehovah) is our God (Elohim), the LORD is one!” And that’s why they (so far, although they will accept Him when they see Him returning the clouds at the end—Zec 12:10; Rev 1:7; Rom 11:26) reject Yeshua as the Messiah, because they can’t understand how He, just a man in their eyes, could claim to be God. Exception: Sometimes, when referring to God as one among all the “gods” of the world, the singular El is used. For example, in Exodus 20:5 both El and Elohim are used as titles for God:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them [false gods or idols]: for I the LORD (Yehovah) thy God (Elohim) am a jealous God (El).
To further establish that Jesus is both the LORD (Yehovah) and God (Elohim), notice that His complete name and title the LORD God (Yehovah Elohim) is used hundreds if not thousands of times in the Bible, beginning in Gen 2:4:
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD (Yehovah) God (Elohim) [the Son and the Father] made earth and heaven.
In other words, during Old Testament times, from the Creation until His incarnation, the name of God the Son, just as it is the name of God the Father, was Yehovah because God the Father and God the Son, in a way we cannot understand with our rational minds (1 Cor 2:14), although separate beings, are one, not only in purpose or the Son manifesting the Father’s divine attributes, but in essence, eternal existence, and in the creation of all things. That is why it is called a mystery (1Ti 3:16).
Joh 17:21-22 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Also, when Moses asked God (Elohim), who was speaking to him from the burning bush, who he should tell the Israelites He was, He told Moses to tell them “I AM has sent me to you” (Exo 3:14). I AM that I AM, meaning the eternally self-existent One, was His title. Then, He told Moses to tell the Israelites that His name was “the LORD” (Yehovah) (Exo 3:15-16). John recorded Jesus as stating, on numerous occasions when He was telling His listeners about His unique, divine attributes, that He was I AM:
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I AM the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Joh 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.
Joh 10:7-9 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I AM the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I AM the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Joh 10:11 I AM the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Joh 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I AM the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 15:1, 5 I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman … I AM the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Who could sanely deny that no mere human being, no matter how good or righteous he is, could truthfully make all the above claims for himself?
But the last straw for the religious leaders, resulting in them accusing Jesus of blasphemy and taking up stones to kill Him, was when He told them, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58)—a clear claim to being the LORD God (Yehovah Elohim) of Exodus 3:14-16 who preexisted Abraham. Another time the religious leaders accused Jesus of blasphemy for claiming to be God was when He forgave the sins of a man He healed (Mark 2:3-11).
Finally, when the soldiers came to arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told them, “I AM He.” And the power of those words caused them to draw back and fall to the ground. (John 18:4-6)
Another title that God the Son shares with God the Father is Savior.
Isa 45:21 ….there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior….
Both God the Father and God the Son are referred to as the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega.
Isa 48:12 Hearken unto me [the LORD], O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
Rev 1:7-8 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. “I AM the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Notice that here Jesus [the One coming with the clouds] clearly states that He is the Lord God Almighty.)
Rev 21:5-7 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Rev 22:12-13 And, behold, I [Jesus] come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Not only did Jesus manifest the glory of God when he was on the earth, but in Heaven He is the glory of God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Mat 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
Heb 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
If you are not yet convinced that Jesus is God, please don’t go away. There is more.
Physical Appearances of God the Son as the LORD (Yehovah) in the Old Testament
First, we need to understand that no human, except God the Son, has ever seen God the Father face to face and lived (Exo 33:20; Joh 1:18). The only one who came close to actually seeing God the Father in person was Moses when he just got a glimpse of His back through a cleft in a rock. And even that had such an awesome impact on Moses that he had to put a veil over his face because it shone so brightly that the people were afraid to come near him. (Exo 33:31-33; 34:30, 33-35).
Nevertheless, there are numerous instances during Old Testament times when the LORD God (Yehovah Elohim) interacted, in human form (as God the Son), with people. (Note: Sometimes, these men are called “angels,” but the context makes it clear that they are God.) That’s because the Hebrew word (malak) translated “angel” can also mean “messenger” rather than necessarily a celestial, created being, as in 1Sa 23:27. Examples of God the Son appearing in Old Testament times:
The LORD God, “walking” in the garden, interacted in person with Adam and Eve (Gen 3:8-24).
An “angel” (messenger) called by her “the LORD” (Yehovah) interacted in person with Sarah (Gen 16:13).
Three men, two of them angels and one the LORD (Yehovah), interacted with Abraham (Gen 18:1-3, 13-14, 22-33).
It was the “angel of the LORD,” later identified as God, I AM, and Yehovah, who spoke to Moses from the burning bush (Exo 3:2, 4, 6, 14-16).
There are numerous other examples of God the Son interacting with His people Israel in the Old Testament.
Jesus accepted worship of Himself.
Exo 20:3-6 You shall have no other gods (elohim) before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the LORD (Yehovah) your God (Elohim), am a jealous God (El), inflicting the punishment of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing favor to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
So, it is a sin—a violation of the first two Commandments—to worship any person or object other than God. Yet, there are many examples of Jesus, from the day He was born until He ascended into Heaven, being worshiped (Mat 2:2, 11; 8:1-2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9, 17; Mar 5:6; Luke 24:52; Joh 9:38). Jesus’s disciples, who also worked miracles, refused to be worshiped (Acts 10:25-26). Even the angels (except the fallen angel Satan) refused to be worshipped (Rev 22:8-9). Yet, Jesus accepted worship of Himself. What more evidence do we need, unless Jesus was a liar and an imposter, that He is God?
So, let us do as many did when He was on the earth: bow down before and worship God the Son.
Jesus’s Basic Nature as God
God the Father is not a physical being. He is spirit. Neither, ultimately, as the only begotten, sinless Son of the Father (begotten by the Holy Spirit), is Jesus. He just temporarily put on human flesh so we could identify with Him and so He could pay the penalty for our sins with His blood. But, although the Son still sometimes manifests Himself as a physical being as He has throughout history, He is now back in Heaven in His glorified state as God the Son. And He will return to Earth as God.
Joh 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Luk 1:35 The angel answered and said to her [Mary], “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason also the holy Child will be called the Son of God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin [holy].
Rev 4:8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, who was and who is and who is to come.” God the Son is coming back, not God the Father.
Rev 1:10-18 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, “Write on a scroll what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And after turning I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man [but not actually a man], clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and wrapped around the chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze when it has been heated to a glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I AM the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
Some say that Jesus is special because He has His Father’s DNA. But since God is spirit, not flesh, and Jesus was begotten (conceived) by the Holy Spirit, He must not have had a human father’s physical DNA. It’s interesting to speculate about the ramifications of that reality, isn’t it? What was His DNA from His Heavenly Father, even if He had it, like? Maybe that’s why He was not married—He would not have passed His DNA down to His human children.
Here’s another interesting side note: After Einstein came up with his Theory of Relativity, it has been easier to understand how God can be spirit and not flesh and how He could have created everything out of nothing, just by His Word. One part of the Theory of Relativity explains the relationship between physical mass and energy, expressed by the formula E=mc2 (Energy=mass times the speed of light squared). That formula postulates that, ultimately, mass and energy are interchangeable. In other words, when physical matter is broken down into its most fundamental form, it is pure energy.
If that theory is accepted as true, which it pretty much universally has been, then it’s not too much of a jump in logic to conclude that everything has been created by God’s Spirit, Who, as the Word of God, manifests Himself as energy that is the basic substance out of which all physical things are created.
True science (not false “science” like the Theory of Evolution) is not only compatible with the Bible, but confirms it.
From Gen 1:1 to Rev 22:21—from beginning to end—the Bible is all about Jesus, God the Son. That’s why our religion is called Christianity. Hence, both He and His Father are called “the beginning and the end.” The world was created by, for, and through Him to be its King. But, when Adam and Eve sinned and let Satan in, the world was usurped from God the Son by that devil and he is its present ruler (John 12:31; 14:30). So, at the present time, the Son sits on God the Father’s throne (singular) with Him (Rev 3:21), patiently waiting for His plan of salvation of those who are being saved to be completed on the earth. But, in the end, He will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to destroy the global kingdom of Satan’s incarnation the false messiah (Antichrist), take the true King’s kingdom back, and “restore all things” to their Garden of Eden-like beauty and perfection (Rev 19:11-21; Eze 36:35-36; Acts 3:20-21). He will then rule over Paradise with His redeemed, glorified Saints (Rev 20:4). Yes, Jesus is the Redeemer and His followers are the redeemed. He is God (Elohim), the glorious, magnificent Creator. And His followers are the created ones who, in the end, when we see Him face to face, will be restored to manifest His image and His glory (1Co 13:12; Phi 3:21) the way the first man and woman did before they sinned and lost it.
So, how diabolically deceptive it is for the devil to convince anyone that God the Son is just another human being created in the image of God! That’s not even logical. How could the eternal, living Word, God, the Creator of the universe and everything that is in it, including humans, be one of those He created? Woe to those who thus diminish the status of the perfect, sinless, magnificent, only begotten Son of God, God incarnate (manifested in human flesh) who will soon return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to destroy all those who have rejected Him for who He is and re-establish His kingdom on earth! If you believe that deception of the devil, please, I urge you, repent of perpetuating that lie, come out of the darkness of delusion, and follow the Light of the World (John 8:12), the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), the great I AM to His Paradise before this present world is destroyed and it is too late.
Common English translations of Hebrew and Messianic terms used in this commentary:
Yehovah - the LORD or GOD
Yah - I Am (the short form of Yehovah)
Elohim - God
El - God (the short form of Elohim)
Adonai - my Lord or Master
Yeshua - Jesus
Followers of Yeshua -
Messiah - Christ
Assembly of Followers of
Yeshua - the Church
Antimessiah - Antichrist
BBM - Before the Birth of
the Messiah (rather than
BC or BCE)
ABM - After the Birth of the Messiah (rather than AD
For a complete explanation of Hebrew terms used, go to Important Terms and Concepts.