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Was Jesus Divine While He Lived on Earth?

January 31, 2019

(Photo by João Silas on Unsplash)

 

For it was the Father's good pleasure

for all the fullness to dwell in Him,

Colossians 1:19 (NASB)

 

When I grew up, I never questioned the divinity of Jesus or knew of anyone who did. To this day, I can hardly believe some prominent Bible leaders teach that Jesus was not divine; but rather just a man in right relationship with God. That we, too, as believers can achieve what Jesus did, including living a life free from sin, and performing miracles greater than He did, based on one interpretation of John 14:12. These leaders say Jesus did not become the Christ until His baptism when the Spirit of God came to rest on Him. He was not divine. At His baptism, Jesus received the "Christ anointing," and was given the same power as believers are given today. These leaders claim that everything Jesus did in His ministry was as a man dependent on the Holy Spirit. One prominent leader writes in his books:

 

...Jesus had no ability to heal the sick. He couldn't cast out devils, and He had no ability to raise the dead. He said of Himself in John 5:19, 'the Son can do nothing of Himself.' He had set aside His divinity. He did miracles as a man in right relationship with God because He was setting forth a model for us, something for us to follow. [1]

 

Jesus so emptied Himself that He was incapable of doing what was required of Him by the Father--without the Father's help. [2]

 

The anointing is what linked Jesus, the man, to the divine enabling Him to destroy the works of the devil. [3]

 

Do you see what this author is saying? That Jesus had no more ability to live a supernatural life than we do because He was not God while He was on earth. He was merely a man. Deity is by very definition supernatural. Believers would never claim to be divine, but Jesus did. In fact, He claimed to be God. I wrote in my post, Jesus, the Eternal Word

 

Jesus also claimed to be God. No, he never said the exact words, "I am God," but in John 14:9, Jesus says, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." And in John 10:30, Jesus declares, "I and the Father are one." In John 8:58, He says, "I tell you the truth...before Abraham was born, I am!" Two of the three times, Jesus was speaking to unbelieving Jews, and they understood Him to be claiming He was God, so they tried to stone Him. Jesus came into the very world He created, but the world didn't recognize Him, and even His own people, the Jews, rejected Him (Jn 1:10-11).

 

Those who teach Jesus was not divine, base their teaching on Philippians 2:6-7, "Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." They interpret these verses to say that Jesus gave up His divinity when He became a man.

 

Jesus was fully man, making Him the unique Son of God. He gave up a lot to become human, but He didn't give up His divinity. As a human, he needed sleep and nourishment. He was born like any other person is born, and grew as a child. He lived within the constraints of time and worked as a carpenter. He knew what it was like to endure temptation. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus was, "tempted in every way--just as we are--yet without sin."

 

Jesus was fully God and fully man. We will not completely understand how this can be, and it will remain a mystery this side of heaven. But the Bible tells us in Colossians 1:19, "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him," speaking of Christ.

 

I read somewhere that Jesus being both God and man is like a king who for a time gave up the privileges of being king to live as a peasant. He moved into their neighborhood and took on their identity though he still was a king. He didn't stop being a king while he was living as a peasant, and we might rightfully say he was fully king and fully peasant for a time. This analogy isn't perfect, but hopefully, it helps you understand a little better what it means that "Jesus didn't consider equality with God a thing to be grasped."

 

In future posts, I will be going into more depth on the greater works that Jesus referred to in John 14:12, the Christ anointing, what it means that the Son can do nothing of Himself, and why it's essential to believe Jesus was God here on earth.

 

I will also be exploring reasons why leaders claim that Jesus gave up His divinity on earth which seem to be linked with the doctrine of dominionism (aka the Seven Mountain Mandate), and the Manifest Sons of God that I wrote about in earlier posts on the New Apostolic Reformation.

 

 

Sources:

[1] Johnson, Bill, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind: Access to a Life of Miracles. 2005, Destiny Image: “Speaking to the Purposes of God for This Generation and for the Generations to Come”, Shippensburg, PA; p 50

[2] Johnson, Supernatural Power, p 50 

[3] Johnson, Bill, When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. 2003, Treasure House/Destiny Image, Shippensburg, PA; p 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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