Deity Of Christ In Old Testament
There are scriptures about the deity of Christ in Old Testament times. Those who have not read the Bible for a very long time, may not know about the deity of Christ in Old Testament times. In the Gospels, Jesus referred to Himself many times as God or deity when confronted by the Pharisees about who He is. For example, in the book of John, Jesus tells the Pharisees "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM". This reference to Himself as "I AM" or God, is the same statement that God made to Moses in Exodus chapter three. This is one of the boldest, most clear statements Jesus ever made in the Gospels about the Lord's diety. The Pharisees knew exactly what He was saying, and wanted to stone Him for it. It is incredible that the Lord was quoting the Tanakh to them about references to Himself. Rather than humbling themselves and opening their eyes and hearts, they felt they had to prop up their pride and deride Him for speaking to them, or teaching them about the scriptures. To them, the Lord was unlearned, but seemed to have a special insight into the Tanakh. In reality, there are numerous references to Jesus in the Old Testament.
What does deity mean? It is making a claim to being a King or royalty. In this case, THE King or Creator of the universe. The Jewish people thought the Messiah would be a military king, and did not consider that their need required a spiritual King of their hearts. This is exactly what Jesus, promised Messiah was, and this is why they did not accept Him as their Messiah. They were not looking in the right place. However, there are references to Jesus in the Old Testament that the Jewish people read, but do not understand as being prophetic references to Him. For example, in the book of Micah, there is the description about the Lord's birth in Bethlehem. The story goes on to describe the Lord's deity and scope of rule. The scripture says "But you, Bethlehem of Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting . This term "from everlasting" literally means "the days of eternity".
Attached to this verse is yet another reference to the deity of Jesus in Old Testament times in the book of Isaiah. In Isaiah it says "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, The Everlasting Father". At the beginning of this reference to Jesus in the Old Testament, is a description of the Lord's birth. "Unto us a Son shall be given..". So, in the same reference is His birth, and it ends with the description of the Lord being the "Everlasting Father".
Another reference to the deity of Jesus in the Old Testament, actually begins with a reference given by the Lord to Pilate in the Gospels. When being questioned, Pilate asks Christ if He is the king of the Jews. The Lord says this in verse 36: "My kingdom is not of this world". A cross reference to this verse is Daniel chapter 2 verse 44. In this reference is a description of the kingdom the Lord is talking about. "And in the days of these kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever". Here is a description of the Lord's kingdom, which is spiritual, of the heart. An earthly king can never reign in the hearts of mankind, and so the only king who can reign spiritually is a king who is an everlasting God, absolute deity.
References to Jesus in the Old Testament are in several places. They are in the book of Daniel, in Isaiah, in Psalms and in Micah. Many of these reference Him as the coming Messiah, his place of birth and the scope of His kingdom. One day He will come again to the Earth as the Judge, and will create a new heaven and new Earth, where He will reign forever in a literal kingdom. So, He will be in both men's hearts and reign physically. All kingdoms of the new Earth will bow to Him. Perhaps this is why the Lord said that His kingdom is not of this Earth, because he was speaking in a dual manner - His kingdom is both of men's hearts and one day, on the new Earth.
References to the deity of Christ in Old Testament times were always speaking of what would happen in the future, both in the not too distant future, and the future thousands of years hence as well. Therefore, the Jesus in the Gospels is also the God of Israel spoken of in the Old Testament. Because the Jews never accepted Jesus as the coming Messiah, and therefore do not accept the New Testament, then they do not have the benefit of the references Christ made to Himself in the Old Testament or Tanakh. However, Christians have a wonderful opportunity to present these truths to them and show the Jews the deity of Christ in Old Testament times, contrasting and cross-referencing comments by Jesus in the Gospels. There is no doubt that Jesus is God or deity. All it takes is a comparison of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah with New Testament comments made by Jesus.
God's Plan Of SalvationGod's plan of salvation reveals the way to eternal life and that is through His son Jesus Christ. The only way that a person can truly experience salvation is by believing in the crucifixion of Jesus. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6). Before Christ came God required that people present sacrifices of animals for the atonement of sin. Christ was the perfect sacrifice and his death on the cross was the ultimate atonement for all sin, past, present, and future. However, a person must believe and confess Jesus as Lord to be saved. God's word is the authority and is a Christian's guide to eternal life.
Recognizing the need for a Savior is the first step towards being saved. Recognizing the need for a Savior leads to repentance. A person becomes truly sorrowful over his or her sinful nature. Romans 3:23 says, that absolutely everyone is a sinner and unable to save themselves. Christ was the only one who has ever lived that was not a sinner. This is why He could become the sacrifice for all sin. The crucifixion of Jesus made the way for people everywhere, no matter what race or color, to experience eternal salvation and freedom from death forever.
Repentance means to not only admit to sin but to be willing to turn away from it. God's plan of salvation reveals how to do this. Salvation is not a complex concept but instead is very simple and easy to understand. A person can make Heaven home by simply believing in Christ and confessing that belief openly. When Jesus rose from the dead He completely conquered death and the grave. When Christ ascended into Heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to Christians everywhere so that they can attain the rights to become sons and daughters. The Holy Spirit is a comforter, guide, teacher, and counselor giving Christians everything needed to live for Christ and eventually make heaven home.
Confession and believing is how a person receives this wonderful gift from God. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). Confession of the need to be forgiven from sin, being willing to turn from sin, and accept Christ is the necessary formula in God's plan of salvation. One of the most important things to do after becoming saved is to find a local church that preaches and teaches the Word of God. The things that can help a person to grow in faith are reading God's word, fellowship with other Christians, and worship. The Bible says that those who are in Christ are new creatures. Every born again believer needs to renew their mind with the word of God and walk accordingly. This can be done by reading God's word faithfully everyday and spending time in prayer.
Baptism is another very important step in receiving salvation. John 3:5 says that a person needs to be born both of water and of the Spirit. Right after Jesus began His earthly ministry He went to John the Baptist and asked to be baptized of him. Baptism symbolizes the burial of Christ. Most sources believe that a person should be totally immersed in the water during baptism. Baptism is a symbol to the believer of the crucifixion of Jesus and the burial. Christian's should not forget that Christ rose again after being in the grave for 3 days. Before being baptized search out the scriptures and talk to clergy about the importance of this act.
Commitment is what God expects from His sons and daughters. Being committed to live by faith and to grow spiritually in the Lord are vital for successful Christian living. The Lord wants commitment out of love and obedience with the right attitude. Living for God means never having to make excuses for faith in Him and never denying Him. Some Christians will only profess the crucifixion of Jesus if living for Him does not cost them anything. Several good examples of faithful Christians in the Bible include Daniel, Joseph, and Paul.
Daniel was willing to be put in the lion's den for having faith in God. God honored that and sent an angel to shut the lions' mouths. He prayed three times to the Lord every single day when in captivity by the Babylonians even after being ordered to quit praying. Daniel refused to eat the delicacies served by the Babylonians but instead ate what was acceptable in God's sight and according to His word. Daniel had great wisdom and may have been tempted by the food of the Babylonians but knew that honoring God meant taking care of his body so chose to eat what was good for him. Joseph remained faithful to God even after being sold into slavery. Both Joseph and Daniel whom lived at different times were blessed by being able to interpret dreams. This raised Daniel and Joseph both to leadership positions in which they were able to help God's people. God saved them both from times of famine and drought. Paul spent a long time in ignorance and persecuted the church of God. However, after Paul was saved, he was completely faithful and obedient to God. He preached God's plan of salvation to everyone that God sent him to and underwent great persecution himself over and over again but never renounced faith in God.