Saul of Tarsus, once known as a Pharisee of the Pharisees, staunch law keeper, a vicious tyrant, and persecutor of the new sect called ‘Christianity’ – which simply means ‘followers of Jesus Christ’ – later became an apostle and champion missionary preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He authored the most New Testament books of the Christian Bible – 14 in total. He delves into the annals of bible history to try to uncover, untangle and fully reveal the mystery of Godliness to clearly set the records straight on how easy and simple it is for anyone alive to know who this God of the Bible truly is.
The Jews of ancient Judaism, with their unmitigated monotheistic belief in the one Jehovah God of the Torah (Hebrew Bible), and Islam, founded only in AD 609, trace their ancestry and connections back to the one Allah/Jehovah/God of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and therefore both recognise Jesus Christ – but only as one of the prophets, a good teacher and mere human person, and definitely not God.
Let us explore what the Apostle Paul is trying to spell out in our previous text.
God was manifest in the flesh. Ancient Judaism, through their own Torah/Tanakah (Jewish Bible) and by their own prophets already prophesied of one who shall be born of a virgin, as in Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”.
This very word Immanuel simply means, ‘God with us’. In another words, their very God Jehovah will come and dwell amongst his own people Israel.
Again in Isaiah, 9:6, we read, “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, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”.
Did this scripture really mean what it says, that this newborn child shall be called the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father? Doesn’t this sound blasphemous to a Jewish mind? Is this Jehovah One God Believer prophet Isaiah out of his mind?
Yet that same prophecy remained undeleted until the archangel Gabriel appeared unto Joseph, engaged to marry Mary the mother of Jesus, with these words in Mathew 1:20 and 21: “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus – for he shall save his people from their sins.”
There again arises another question – who but God alone can forgive sins? All in all, this is He, the Almighty God, Paul declares: “God – manifested in the flesh.”
Justified in the Spirit, approved, certified, justified and authorised by a voice heard from heaven at Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist at the river Jordan. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mathew 3:17)
Again at Jesus’ transfiguration in Luke 9:35, “And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son. Hear ye him’”.
Even more so, confirmation of his Godhood in Mathew 28:18, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”. And to top it all off, he declares his absolute and total oneness in God in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one”. Not two in one or three in one, but ‘are one’.
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. He that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life – and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5: 10-12)
At Christ’s birth, we are told, an angel of the Lord appeared unto the shepherds who were watching their flock by night, to deliver them a great news. “For unto you is born in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord… And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace and goodwill toward mankind”. (Luke 2: 9 – 14)
He was not only seen of angels but also has the power to call upon his Father for a release of angels to come to his rescue. “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than 12 legions of angels? (Mathew 26: 53)
Preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory. Jesus’ final prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion was: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5)
Before the world ever existed, Jesus already existed with God the Father, not as another god or person but still one God.
John 1:1 declares, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God”.
The Psalmist David writes of the Return, Ascension, and Glorification of Jesus Christ after his resurrection from the dead in Psalm 24: 7-10. “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be lifted up ye everlasting doors. And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift your heads, O ye gates – even lift them up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.”
Conclusion: Yes! Absolutely without doubt, dispute and controversy, Jesus Christ truly is God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, come in the flesh, sacrificed his own self upon the Cross on Calvary Hill, shed his pure and unblemished blood for the remission of all of mankind’s sins.
Like the 120 believers in the Upper Room on that first Pentecost Sunday Birthday of Christianity, 3000 more souls were added to the one Church of the Lord Jesus Christ when Peter delivered God’s New Birth and only plan of salvation when he said in Acts 2: 38-39, “Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Peter continued by emphasising, “for this promise is unto you, and to your children, to all those who are afar off and all that the Lord shall call”. This assures us that this Gospel of Salvation in Jesus Christ extends further from Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the Earth.
That in a nutshell is what Easter is all about – that only in and through the resurrected power of the Holy Ghost manifested in the lives, preaching and teaching of his apostles warrants us direct access to the only power source that the gates of hell shall not prevail against.
True Easter is celebrating not Easter but Christ in us – our hope unto Glory!
Kia Manuia taau orote I roto I to tatou Atu tei tu akaou mai mei te mate ei Ora no to tea o katoa!
Bishop Tutai Pere