Continuing the old study paper from the old Ambassador College on
THE FAMILY OF GOD.
WHO WAS JESUS?
Your Savior - was He man, God, or what? Where did He come from?
How did He get here? Was He really divine? Could it be true that
Christ and the God or the Old Testament are one and the same
Person? Many have asked these most basic and important questions.
Here, from the book of John, are the answers.
Most all human beings either have or have had a "best
friend," or a "closest buddy" - someone with whom they share a
side of themselves seldom seen by others.
Though Jesus loved all men, He was especially close to His
disciple John. The apostle himself revealed this warm
relationship in his own Gospel. He is a bit hesitant about
mentioning himself in the first person - although he wasn't at
all hesitant about mentioning the other disciples by name.
He is the only one of Christ's biographers who was bold
enough to point out Simon Peter as the man who severed the
servant's ear during Jesus' arrest in the garden (John 18:10).
Yet he never mentions himself by name in his entire book; when he
writes of "John," he refers to John the Baptist.
"The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved."
At His last Passover, "Jesus was deeply troubled and
testified, 'I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray
me.' His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which
of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was
reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and
said, 'Ask him which one he means.'" (John 13:21-24, The New
Who was this "disciple whom Jesus loved"?
Some days after Jesus' resurrection from the dead, Peter
engaged in an extended discourse with the risen Christ.
Concluding the conversation, "Peter turned and saw following
them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his
breast at the [last Passover] supper and had said, 'Lord who is
it that is going to betray you?' When Peter saw him, he said
to Jesus, 'Lord, what about this man?' Jesus said to him, 'if it
is my will that he remain [alive) until I come, what is that to
you? Follow me!'" (John 2120-22).
Verse 24 then reveals the identity of this disciple and
future apostle: "This is the disciple who is bearing witness to
these things, and who has written these things; and we know that
his testimony is true." This could be none other than the author
of "the Gospel According to John." John remained alive to write
the book of Revelation long after Peter's martyrdom. Apparently
John was the only apostle whose life did not end in martyrdom. It
is thought that, although imprisoned, he was allowed to live out
his last days in relative peace on the Isle of Patmos.
John was also favored to be among the small inner circle of
disciples who witnessed a foretaste of the Kingdom of God in
vision. "And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James
and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart"
(Matt.17:1). There they saw Jesus transfigured before them, with
Moses and Elijah.
It was also John who was the first disciple to believe
Christ had risen from the dead. Shortly after Christ's
resurrection, Mary Magdalene came and saw that the tomb was
empty. "So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other
disciple, the one whom Jesus loved..." (John 20:2).
John outran Simon Peter to the tomb, but impetuous Peter
went in first (verses 3-7), "Then the other disciple, who reached
the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed" (verse 8).
John's Deeper Understanding.
Perhaps in part because of his special closeness to Jesus,
John was given of God a deeper and broader understanding of his
Savior. Matthew, Mark and Luke each begin their "minibiographies"
of Jesus with an account of John the Baptist or with the
conception of the human Jesus.
But John's beginning pre-dates even the events in the Old
Testament: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all
things were made through him, and without him was not anything
made that was made" (John 1:1-3).
Verse 14 explains who this "Word" was: "And the Word became
flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we [the
disciples] have bebeld his glory, glory as of the only Son from
the Father." Jesus Christ is the only heavenly Being who ever
became a fleshly human being and lived in this world.
These very few verses tell us a great deal about the nature
of Jesus Christ: 1) He was God; 2) He was with another Being
called God from the very beginning; 3) he was the "Word" (Greek:
Logos) or Spokesman for the Father ("No one has ever seen God,"
meaning the other Being called God, verse 18).
John's first letter and two of Paul's epistles provide us
with an excellent commentary on these beginning Scriptures in the
fourth Gospel. As if by habit, John begins his first epistle with
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we
have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched
with our hands, concerning the word of life - the life was made
manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you
the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest
to us - that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to
you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship
is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ" (I John l:l-3).
This letter, as the first verses of John's Gospel, makes it
plain that the Being with whom they had lived, worked, played,
swam and fished was none other than a member of the Godhead -
with, and like, God the Father.
The Apostle Paul wrote "He [the Father] has delivered us
from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom
of His beloved Son [Jesus Christ], in whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of sins. He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible
Gao, the first-born of all creation; for in Him all things were
created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether
thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all
things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all
things..." (Col.1:13-17; compare with Eph.3:9). Paul here points
out the broad and massive extent of the work and authority of the
John's Theme - the Godship of Christ.
John emphasizes over and over again, through the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Tim.3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 14:26),
the pre-existence of Christ as God before His human birth. It is
a prominent theme running throughout his entire Gospel. Notice it
again in the very first chapter. "He was in the world, and the
world was made through him, yet the world knew him not" (John
1:10). If He made the world, then He preceded His own creation.
Yet when He came in the human flesh, the vast majority of those
who had the opportunity to know Him rejected their own Creator.
John the Baptist picks up this same theme. "John bore witness to
Him, and cried, 'This was he of whom I said, He who comes after
me ranks before me, for he was before me'" (John 1:15). Was the
Baptist indulging in some kind of spiritual doubletalk here? No!
John the Baptist was begotten and born into the human flesh
before Jesus was (Luke 1:35-36,57-60). But Jesus was God long
before John was ever conceived. The Baptist repeats it in verse
30: "...After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was
Jesus' Supernatural Knowledge.
John revealed that Christ possessed powers that no normal
human being had, although He was certainly subject to the pulls
and temptations of the flesh (Heb.4:15).
When Christ called Nathaniel to a discipleship (and future
apostleship), "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of
him, 'Behold, an Israelite indeed, if whom is no guile!'
Nathanael said to him, 'How do you know me?' Jesus answered him,
'Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I
saw you.' Nathanael answered him, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of
God!'...Jesus answered him,'Because I said to you, I saw you
under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things
[miracles] than these'" - (John 1:47-50).
Notice also the last three verses of John, chapter two. "Now
when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in
His name when they saw His signs which He did; but Jesus did not
trust Himself to them, because He knew all men and needed no one
to bear witness of man; for He Himself knew what was in man"
(verses 23-25). Christ the Creator had made mankind and He knew
all about people's human weaknesses.
Jesus - From Heaven.
John knew Jesus' true origin. Quoting Christ Himself, John
3:13 declares: "No one has ascended into heaven but he who
descended from heaven, the Son of man."
John continues this theme in the second half of the chapter:
"He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth
belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; He who comes
from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what He has seen
and heard, yet no one [the vast majority] receives His testimony;
he [only a few] who receives His testimony sets His seal to this,
that God is true. For He whom God has sent utters the words of
God, for it is not by measure that He gives the Spirit" (verses
While Jesus Christ was yet in heaven (before His human
birth), our Savior saw and heard the message that He later spoke
on earth. Here, in a conversation with the religious leaders of
His generation, He said: "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my
testimony is valid, for I know where I came from [heaven) and
where I am going [heaven]" (John 8:14, The New International
Version). He continued in verses 23 and 28: "You are from below,
I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this
world.... When you have lifted up [crucified] the Son of
man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on my
own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me."
Backtracking to verse 26 "...But He who sent me is true, and
I declare to the world what I have heard from Him."
Verse 38: "I speak of what I have seen with my Father...."
Verse 42: "I came not of my own accord, but he sent me."
Jesus - The God of the Old Testsment.
In this very long dialogue of Jesus, the Pharisees brought
up the subject of Abraham (the greatest of Jewish national
heroes). Jesus explained to them: "Your father Abraham rejoiced
that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad" (verse 56).
The One who became Christ actually walked and talked with
the patriarch Abraham (Gen.l2:1-4; 13:14-18; 17:1-22; 18:1-33;
22:1-2). Of course, these religionists simply didn't grasp what
Jesus was saying. "The Jews then said to him, 'You are not yet
fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' Jesus said to
them,'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am'
Jesus Christ was the same God who walked and talked with
Moses in the wilderness - the same "I AM" (see Ex.3:14) who
brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Paul makes this
plain. "I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all
under the cloud, and all passed through the [Red] sea, and all
were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.... For they
drank from the same supernatural Rock which followed them, and
the ['that,' KJV] Rock was Christ" (1 Cor.10:1-4).
This same Personage in the Godhead presided over the Flood
in Noah's day. Peter gives us the facts: "For Christ also hath
once suffered for sins, the just and the unjust, that he might
bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened
by the Spirit: by which also He [Christ] went and preached unto
the spirits [demons] in prison; which sometime were disobedient,
when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,
while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls
were saved by water" (I Peter 3:18-20, KJV).
From Creator to Son.
But we find the most emphatic statements about the
pre-existence of Jesus Christ in the book of John. The book's
major emphasis is on the undeniable fact that Jesus Christ was
God before His human birth. Even the Pharisee Nicodemus said to
Jesus: "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God..."
Jesus told the leaders of this smallish sect: "My Father
worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more
to kill him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said
also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God"
(John 5:17-18, KJV).
If you have any sons or daughters, they are on the same
plane and level of existence as yourself. They are not inferior
beings like animals. Jesus was equal with God in the sense that
He existed on the same God-plane that the Father did. True, the
Father was and is greater in authority - "My Father is greater
than I" (John 14:28, KJV).
Continuing His discussion with the Pharisees, Christ drove
home the point that He was indeed God's Son: "Truly, truly, I say
to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what
He sees the Father doing, for whatever He does, that the Son does
likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all that He
Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him,
that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives
them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will" (John
5:19-21). Jesus possesses the same powers that the Father does,
because He too is God.
Jesus Christ said: "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30).
Not that they are the same Being, but they are one in purpose,
one in plan, and most of all, one in the sense that they are
members of the same God family.
If anyone in that generation saw Jesus, they saw how One in
the God family would act if He were here on earth - and
specifically the Father. "And Jesus cried out and said, 'He who
believes in me, believes not in me but in Him who sent me. And he
who sees me sees Him who sent me'"(John 12:44-45).
Jesus Resumed His Glorified Godship.
We have firmly established the fact that Jesus was God
before His human birth. Notice just one more verse to that
effect: "And now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence
with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made"
(John 17:5). Jesus was a glorified God-Being before there ever
was an angel or man on earth. In fact, Jesus has eternally
existed as God.
But He divested Himself of His former glory and came down to
this earth as a human being to (among many other things) die for
the sins of all mankind. Paul wrote to the Philippian brethren:
"Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus,
who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality
with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the
form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being
found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto
death, even death on a cross" (Phil.2:5-8).
Paul then brings out the fact that Jesus is now restored to
His former glory: "Therefore God has highly exalted Him and
bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the
name of Jesus every knee should bow [God does not allow human
beings to worship other human beings or even angels - only
members of the God family], 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" (verses 9-11).
John also wrote of Jesus' resuming His Godship. Notice
Christ's words in the true Lord's prayer: "And now I am no more
in the world ... and I come to thee" (John 17:11, KJV).
Earlier Jesus had said to His disciples: "What and if ye
shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before?" (John
6:62, KJV.) Later they did see just that (Acts 1:9). Notice John
7:33 (KJV): "Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I
with you, and then I go unto Him that sent me."
Concerning the occasion of Christ's last Passover, John
begins: "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew
that His hour was (very soon to] come that He should depart out
of this world unto the Father ..."(John 13:1, KJV).
John repeats this vital theme over and over again. "I came
forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave
the world, and go to the Father" (John 16:28, KJV).
The Incredible Destiny of Men.
Jesus was God before His human birth; He was God in the
flesh while a human being here on earth; and He is now very God
at the right hand of the Father in heaven. But must we stop there
in our knowledge?
Jesus said to Mary Magdalene: "Touch me not; for I am not
yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto
them, I ascend unto my Father, and your father; and to my God,
and your God" (John 20:17, KJV).
In this verse, Jesus was equating Himself (though He was
their Lord and Master - John 13:13) with His disciples and future
apostles. What is the real significance of this statement? Jesus
Himself gives us the true answer in John 10. "The Jews took up
stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, 'I have shown you
many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone
me?' The Jews answered him, 'We stone you for no good work but
for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.'
Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law, I said, you
are gods [see Psalm 82:6]? If he called them gods to whom the
word of God came (and Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of
Him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, You are
blaspheming; because I said, I am the Son of God?'" (Verses
This very vital passage of Scripture reveals, believe it or
not, that man's ultimate destiny is to become a part of the God
Notice John's first letter once again: "Beloved, now are we
the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but
we know that, when He [Christ] shall appear, we shall be like
Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2, KJV).
Can you grasp what John is saying here? Even as God became
man, so man may become God! The two planes are interchangeable
under certain conditions.
Man is to become just as much God as Christ is God. That in
a nutshell is the transcendent purpose of human life!
What can every man and woman do to ensure that this
wonderful event does indeed happen to them? Verse 3: "And every
man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He
[Christ] is pure" (KJV).
THE ONENESS OF OGD
Jesus said, as recorded in John 10:30: "I and my Father are
one." Now please read carefully John 17:21, where He prayed for
His followers: "that they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in
me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us...."
There is one Godhead, or one God family, who are of one mind
and purpose. But that family is now composed of two individuals.
God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. This is clearly stated
in John 1:1 (RSV): "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God." The "Word," or "Spokes-
men," refers to the One who later became Jesus Christ (see verse
Hebrews 1 also shows conclusively, that Christ was and is
now God;! "God ... 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" (Heb.1:1-3).
God says of Christ: "Let all the? angels of God worship Him"
(verse 6). Only a member of the God family is worthy of worship.
But the God family is not limited to God the Father and
Jesus Christ: "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to
become the sons of God..." (John 1:12). And this does not mean an
existence on some sort of angelic plane, either. Hebrews 2:7
(RSV) shows that mankind, like Christ, was made "for a little
while lower than the angels, "but that he to to be "crowned with
glory and honor." "Everything" is to be put "in subjection under
his feet." But, "As it is, we do not yet see everything in
subjection to him;" because the resurrection to immortality
hasn't occurred yet.
When Christ said He and the Father were one, and that He was
equal with God, the Jews accused Him of blasphemy. Here is what
he replied: "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, you are
[potentially] gods? If he called them gods to whom the word of
God came (end Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom
the Father consecreted and sent into the world, 'You are
blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?" (John
So the family of God will eventually be expended to include
all of mankind who choose to accept Christ as their Savior and
follow God's way. Christians "now are ... the sons of God, and it
doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He
shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He
is" (I John 3:2). I Corinthians 15:49,53 (RSV) adds: "Just as we
have bome the image of the man of dust (Adam), we shall also bear
the image of the man of heaven [Christ) ... For this mortal ...
must put on immortality." Here it says plainly that resurrected
Christians are to be immortal like Christ. He is our elder
brother (Rom.8:28; Heb.2:11), the pioneer of our salvation (Heb.
2:10). When we are changed, our mortal bodies will become spirit
bodies like His. He will make "our lowly body to be like his
glorious body, by the power which enables Him even to subject all
things to Himself" (Phil.3:20-21, RSV).
CHRIST IN THE BOOK OF JOHN
John had an unusually close, friendly relationship with
Jesus. He seems to understand better than other disciples where
Jesus came from, where He was going, and what He was all about.
Below are references from John's Gospel on the nature of Christ.
Christ created the world
He was the God of the Old Testament
1:15,30; 5:46; 8:56-58
He was One with God the Father and equal to Hin
5:17-18; 10:30,33; 12:44-45; 15:23; 17:11, 20-26; 19:7
He Rules over Everything
3:34-35; 5:19-23, 26-27; 16:15
He Became Man
He Came Down from Heaven
3:13,31; 6:38, 41, 51, 58, 62; 8:14, 21-23
He was Sent by God the Father
3:16-17, 34; 4:34; 5:30; 6:29, 44, 57; 7:28-29, 33; 8:42; 9:4;
10:34-36; 11:42; 16:27-29; 17:7; 20:21
His Authority was from God the Father
7:16-18; 8:16, 26-29; 12:44, 49-50; 14:24; 15:15
He went Bach to Heaven
6:62; 7:33-34; 8:21; 13:1-3, 33; 14:1-3, 12; 16:27-29; 20:17
He will Come Again
5:25-29; 14:3; 21:22-23
Entered on this Website February 2008
From a child I had read over and over again the four Gospels. As
a young teenager I was give a "Red Letter" New Testament. I read
the words of Christ over and over during those teen years.
Everything you have just read and I hope studied in this old
study paper, I KNEW from my teenage years.
Today we have some in the Protestant world and in the 7th Day
observing Churches of God, who teach that Jesus was just a man,
but a man with more of the Holy Spirit than you and I. Some even
go so far as to say Jesus did NOT EXIST until born of a virgin
maid - Mary!
I will TELL YOU THAT SUCH TEACHING IS NOT ONLY TOTALLY WRONG, IT
IS A HERESY!!
Anyone who teaches such way out in left field theology,
you need to AVOID as the plague. It does not matter what other
teachings they may have correct, IF THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE
TRUTH OF WHO JESUS WAS AND IS, as you have seen in this study,
YOU NEED TO GET AS FAR AWAY FROM THEM AS POSSIBLE, THEY ARE HERETICS!
They may sound very spiritual, they may even have "letters" after
their name, and they will have clever technical answers to uphold
their teaching that Jesus was merely a man and that He did not
exist before being born of Mary. But the simply truth is what you
have read in this study.
I tell you a CHILD can come to understand WHO Jesus WAS abd IS! I
was a child reading the Gospel of John (and the other three
Gospels) and it was CLEAR TO ME, WHO JESUS WAS AND IS!
This TRUTH is SIMPLE to understand. There has always (eternally)
been TWO members in the Godhead. One member BECAME the Jesus
Christ of your New Testament. The other whom we today know as the
"FATHER" - both with the name of God, as we might say, a "sir-
name." Both are equal in EVERYTHING, but God the Father is
GREATER in AUTHORITY. Jesus put aside being One with the Father
in the ONE Godhead, and was willing to take on the form of human
flesh and blood - IMMANUEL - meaning "God with us." Jesus was God
in the flesh. He came to DIE for the SINS of all manind, so YOU
and I, could REPENT of sin, accept Jesus as our PERSONAL Savior,
and be a VERY LITERAL child of God the Father.
Jesus is our BROTHER! Can you understand that? Yes, you can, just
read the four Gospels, and the leters of John. If you have not
done so, study my study called "A Christian's Destiny" on this
Just read all the passages in the Bible concerning this GREAT AND
WONDERFUL TRUTH. Read them as a child, believe them as a child.
It should bring tears of joy to your eyes. What the Father wants
to SHARE with YOU, is beyond human comprehension, we can know it,
yes, but we see it only as through a glass darkly. But one day
dear reader YOU WILL KNOW IT FULLY AND AS WE ARE KNOWN. Few
Christians today REAlLY KNOW WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO HAVE. But it is
there, in your Bible, for those who search it out.
It does not matter WHO you are. It does not matter YOUR FAME, or
your MONEY (large or small), or your physical material "stuff"
that you have. Everyone who has been and will ever be, on this
planet, is on the same equal ground, when it comes to Salvation
and the GLORY that can be YOURS in the Immortal Family of God.
All you need to do is CONFESS to the Father that you are a
sinner, that your sins need to be washed away from the record
book. Just REPENT of sin, turn your mind and heart to the
RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. Just ACCEPT Jesus as your PERSOANL Savior,
the God who died for your sins. RENEW your mind, be CONVERTED to
the Holy ways and commandments of the Eternal Father and His Son
If you have not done this. If you are new to reading God's Word
the Bible, and if you are new to the wonderful truths you can
find on this Website, in the topics of eternal Salvation, then I
encourage you to TURN YOURSELF OVER into the hands of the
heavenly Father, who wants to give you more than your dreams can
You will be blessed NOW and FOREVER!