There is a depth of wisdom in the Christian faith which most professing believers have neither taken a closer look at nor for personal reasons preferred to look away from. But of course, truth cannot be suppressed forever.
Most Christians believe Jesus Christ is God but unfortunately cannot convincingly if not satisfactorily explain this simply because they often use the wrong tools to do so. Before I attempt to analyze what I mean, I will like to first and foremost call our attention to the purpose which brought our Lord Jesus Christ on the earthly scene. This is important because purpose determines direction. Until we are able to establish the purpose for which Jesus was born as a man into this world, we would not be able to determine the route or direction to drive through Scriptures for relevant and applicable revelations on the subject.
The Father desiring to save His children who have been held in bondage or in captivity by a SUBTLE devil was the purpose for Jesus’ coming into this world. The word ‘subtle’ points at ‘brain work’ (cunningness). A closer look at this word will help us appreciate the nature of the tussle which will go on (in the process of our salvation) between the captor (the devil) and the rescuer (the Saviour). Itis crucially going to be brain battle! Yes! Wisdom battle!
THE SAVIOUR IS GOD
Isaiah 49:24-25 says “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children”. God by this scripture is saying that He is the one who will contend with the terrible enemy to deliver His people and their children from their captivity. Their captivity was lawful because Adam and Eve practically submitted authority to the devil through sin (Rom 6:16). Hebrew 2:14 also says “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”. Obviously, the word ‘children’ used to qualify those held in bondage in the above scripture would not be appropriate if the one described as “he also himself” in the scripture is not the Father of the said children in the passage. It is quite evidential by the above scriptures that the one who intended to come and save us is God Almighty Himself. How come it was the Son of God who came to save us? Brain work! Wisdom! That is why the Son (Jesus) is known in 1 Cor 1:23-24 as the wisdom and power of God. “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God”.
JESUS IS GOD’S SECRET CARD
Jesus is the ace up God’s sleeve in His salvation strategy against the devil. The identity of Jesus is wrapped up in divine mystery. This truth is exactly what 1 Cor 2:7-8 reiterates. It says:“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”. So the mystery of Jesus is the hidden wisdom which God implored to distract the devil and his cohorts to take the wrong step of crucifying ‘the Lord of glory’ to their defeat. Yes, they took the wrong step which left them in a perpetual quagmire of disgraceful defeat! Superior wisdom speaking!
The above scripture refers to the one crucified as “The Lord of glory”. Of course none can be addressed as such but the Almighty God Himself who would never share His glory with anybody (Isa 42:8). Our God expects outsiders (satan’s camp) to struggle with this mystery but not His people. Not His chosen!Isa 43:10 says ”Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour”. God Almighty says beside Him there is no saviour; that He is “He”. Who is this “He”? Of course it is Jesus (because Jesus is the Saviour). See Isa 45:15 also: “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour”. So the Saviour is the God who hides Himself to be discovered! Outsiders cannot discover Him but insiders (His children) can.
Mk 4: 11 says “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables”. Who are those that are “without”? The proud! The Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, the chief Priest who did everything in their power to see Jesus crucified were in the ‘outside camp’ and their identity was pride. We still have several proud people in these contemporary times that fit into this category. They are those in the dark of divine moves who will never listen to the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Some so called Christians even fall into this category.
DIVINE WISDOM DISTRACTS OPPOSITION
We can take a cue from how God operates His wisdom in the presence of opposition from the strategy which He taught Prophet Samuel when He sent him to anoint a new king for Him. Samuel expressed to God, his genuine fear of what King Saul would do to him when he (Saul) catches a wind of his mission. How did the Lord handle that? See 1 Sam 16:1-3.“And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and…thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.” That is simply how God operates His wisdom in the presence of His enemies. Had Saul known Samuel’s mission, he would have foiled it! It is the same strategy God used for them to crucify the Lord of glory. “For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”.God ‘dribbled’ them. Brain work! God gave them ‘wisdom knock-out’!
JESUS’ FATHER IN HEAVEN
The strategy God taught Samuel explains why Jesus kept referring to a Father in heaven who is greater while He was on earth. Just as it was not a lie that Samuel told King Saul that he was going to sacrifice in Bethlehem, so also was it not a lie that Jesus kept saying “My Father in heaven”. It was not a lie because though He was God, He humbled Himself to be born into this world as a man; and as a man He must join men to call the Father who is in heaven.
A Christian once asked me: “How do you explain the scene of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, where the Father spoke from heaven and the Holy Ghost came upon Him at the same time?” To answer that question, I also asked if he had ever watched the American movie “Coming To America” by Eddie Murphy? I was glad he answered in the affirmative. I reminded him of the several roles and characters Eddie Murphy as a person played in that movie. One of these scenes is that of the barbing salon where (1) the barber – An old black man was Eddie Murphy (2)The white funny old man was Eddie Murphy (3) The customer who was being barbed was Eddie Murphy. One man played three different characters in the same room. If a human could do this, how much more God, who all men agree could do all things?
The fact that Jesus prayed to the Father in heaven does not mean He cannot be the same God. In Jn 16:25. Jesus said “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you”. Jesus was saying by this scripture that each time He referred to the Father in heaven, He was speaking in proverbs (parables) but a time was coming when He would show plainly who the Father is. During this period, when prayers are offered He will be the one to answer them. The Father would not come into the picture at that time.
At a time, Philip who apparently appeared confused and desperately wanted clarity,engaged Jesus in the following dialogue: “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” – John 14:8.
Jesus in effect told Philip not to look for another father beside Him. In other words, the Son is the same as the Father. Many, including Christians are struggling with this mystery; yet several evidences in Scriptures point to this truth.Isaiah 9:6 is one of such scriptures. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father…”The given Son is the same as the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father. He is the Almighty God but He took upon Himself the nature of a Son so He could do the work of a son to deliver the lawful captives out of the hand of their captor. This is the kingdom mystery which God expects His children to know. Matt 13:10-11 says “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given”.
BUILDING CONNOTES GRADUATION
When Peter caught a revelation about Jesus being the Son of the Living God, Jesus commended him and told him He was going to build His church by that revelation (Matt 16:16-18). This obviously explains why up till today, Christian still see Jesus as the Son of God. But the word to look at in Jesus’ statement is ‘build’. “I will build my church…” Building goes with change of levels. It connotes graduation. Meaning, Peter’s revelation about who Jesus is was only the starting point revelation, which must be left behind as the building of the church progresses. Which level should the church be now? The last book of the Bible has it. Rev 1:8 says “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”.The Lord which was and is and is to come is referred to in this scriptural verse as the Almighty. This is food for thought!
JESUS THE ALMIGHTY GOD
Jesus revealed Himself to John the beloved (The only one among the twelve disciples who could not be killed) as the Almighty. Hear John: “I John, who also am your brother, …I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches…” – Rev 1:9-11. Jesus sent the above message through John the Beloved to His churches. In other words that is the level He expected the church to be now. The church is expected to have graduated from Peter’s revelation of “Son of God” to John’s revelation of “Alpha and Omega”.
For His identity not to be mistaken, Jesus came clearer in verses 17 and 18. ”And when I saw him…he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death”.To paraphrase that: Jesus said: ‘Do not mistake me for another person.I am the one who lived, died and resurrected from the dead! I am here to let you know my true status. I am Alpha and Omega”.Even heavenly beings agree that Jesus is the Almighty: “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” – Rev 4:8. How come Christians cannot boldly tell the world that Jesus is the Almighty? The answer is found in the next sub title.
THE WRONG TOOL OF TRINITY
Unfortunately, Christians are holding on a wrong Word, which is making it extremely difficult for them to explain that Jesus is not just the Almighty God, but also the whole of God. Colossians 2:8-9 says “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” This scripture is saying that philosophies of men and rudiments of this world can spoil our understanding of the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately the philosophical word Trinity which is not found in Scriptures but was coined by a Roman Father named Tertuilian is doing exactly what Colossians 2:8 warns Christians about.
Trinity which means ‘three in unity’ divides God into three, thereby making Jesus a part of God and not the whole of God. This is a huge error. The proper scriptural word for describing God is DIVERSITY and not Trinity! “And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all” – 1 Cor 12:6. Many Bible scholars in the bid to explain Trinity have used water, vapour and ice to describe the word; but that illustration rather describes DIVERSITY and not Trinity. Water, vapour and ice do not unite to become the same substance, rather they are the same substance in diverse forms. Unity begins from separate parts. As long as we hold unto the word Trinity, we are telling the world that we serve three gods. That is dangerous! Because God is not just passionate about His oneness, He is also very emphatic about it:“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:” – Mk 12:29.James 2:19 also says “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”This shows that satan is comfortable with the word Trinity. Obviously, all odds are against this privately coined word. The more reason why Christians have to be suspicious of the word Trinity is because the Scriptures does not allow private interpretation (2 Pet 1:20). When Jesus sent His disciples to go baptize in Matt 28:19, note that He did mention “name” instead of “names” to qualify Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Meaning, the three items mentioned have just one entity that represents them. This explains why the disciples did all their baptisms in the name of Jesus! They understood that the name Jesus represents Father, Son and Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38; Acts 8:16; Acts 19:5).
It is high time believers stopped priding in historic philosophies and started embarking on Holy Ghost guided search! There is much more in Scriptures than meets the eye. Jesus said “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” –John 5:39. God bless you.
- Frederick France
(Author: Divine Keys Daily Devotional & President of Diversity Mission Agency.)