Who is Jesus Christ?

Temptation of JesusJust who is Jesus Christ? Some long dead mystic? A mythological founder of Christianity? A good moral teacher?

“I am Jesus”

An earlier version of this page began with the section below (Jesus Was a Man Who Really Existed). If you are a skeptic, be sure to read that. But something has happened to make me want to revise this page to begin with a more personal story.

I have been a follower of Jesus for decades, since high school, although I rejected Christianity when I accepted atheism for a time somewhat afterwards. My Christian walk has included many faith traditions within the stream of Christianity, starting with a legalistic, works-based tradition where I judged and condemned others who didn’t follow my very specific outward efforts and specific interpretation of who God is and how to “get and stay saved.” We were delivered from this mindset many years ago.

Do I have a good testimony?

Some people have dramatic stories of being delivered from drug addiction or whatever. I don’t. I was raised in a Christian home by amazing Christian parents. They weren’t too strict and they weren’t too lenient. We went to church 2 or 3 times a week, religiously, even when I wasn’t believing anything and thought it was all a delusional showmanship. They set me on a lifelong path of reason and faith, set against a backdrop of servant leadership. So, was my story worth telling? Did I even have a good testimony?

A Personal Encounter with Jesus

Last night, I was in a long worship service with other leaders in my faith community, where we were intentionally contemplating why and how we worship.  If you think about it, a  Christian worship service can seem weird; with a bunch of people singing songs in unison about or to an invisible being.

But actually, it’s not that weird: people cheer sports and war heroes, sing songs to their nation or the ideals behind their governments, or songs to their school or university or they cheer musicians at concerts  or movie celebrities.

Worship in this context is setting your affection on someone or something, and expressing that affection outwardly. I actually think it’s weird that people will cheer their favorite sports team rabidly, but won’t cheer the creator of the universe.

So last night, I was contemplating why we followers of Jesus worship God, and I was mulling some financial challenges my family is facing now and the chronic pain in my back and my lack of testimony, and feeling rather depressed about all of them.

Then, God showed me something. What I mean is, thoughts peeled open in my mind, and these thoughts originated from outside of myself.

First, I saw the event of our miscarriage from may years ago, and I heard God say that event was an attack from the enemy (i.e., bottom line, bad things come from the enemy, good things come from God). This attack that resulted in death: the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. 1

Then in my mind’s eye, I saw the birth of our  daughter nine years ago. That pregnancy was relatively normal for the first eight months. Then, my wife Amy spent most of the last month in the hospital, and her birth experience involved an emergency c-section being stopped as the blade was about to penetrate the skin because there was a supernatural urge to push, and out the baby came: not breathing. They suctioned her lungs and no breath, no cries. She was blue… And then suddenly, the doctors were able to revive her, and I’ll never forget hearing that cry.  Last night, God showed me that was another attack. What the enemy meant for death, God restored to life. “I came that they might have life and have it in the full.” 2

Then I saw the years of thwarted efforts in trying to get pregnant again.  The PCOS, the emotional trauma, the attacks against our marriage, the words of the doctor who said it was unlikely to happen. But after some emotional forgiveness and physical healing, we did.  This pregnancy, however, had complications. A blood test showed the baby would be deformed and would likely die at birth. Fifteen days before the due date, a startling and wonderful dream woke Amy up in the early hours, and her water broke suddenly. We raced to the hospital… But labor did not set in. There were no contractions. None, not even with Pitocin. The doctors were puzzled. They couldn’t figure out why her water would break if she wasn’t in labor. It made no sense.

Suddenly, our son’s heart rate and oxygen levels plummeted, and they raced Amy off for an emergency C-section. The umbilical cord had wrapped around our son’s neck, strangling him, and if she would have had contractions, he would have been killed. Even more, the placenta was necrotic or dead. The doctor delivered him, …Alive! Healthy! No brain damage or deformity (except for two fused toes. My wife feels this is God’s reminder of how he healed our son in the womb)!

Last night, God showed me the enemy had targeted our son for death, but God intervened sovereignly, sending an angel to trigger her water breaking to get us to the hospital and preventing contractions – even after Pitocin was administered – so the doctors would discover what was happening and save our son.

Our miracle children

Our miracle children

And God showed me the enemy also targeted our third baby for death, but he could not get anywhere near her… hers was the unexpected doctor-defying pregnancy, and had zero complications. Early on, I wanted to name her, “Zoe” – Greek for life; the Greek word Jesus used when he said, “I am… the Life.” The word Jesus used when he said believing in him gives us eternal life.

Little Zoe is certainly full of life!

Last night, God further showed me the multiple attempts on my marriage – some from my own poor choices, some that were orchestrated by the enemy, but God saved it.  Each time.

God showed me there were multiple enemy-inspired attempts on our lives, most we knew nothing about. But God saved us.

“Why?” I asked. “Why would you do this?”

Because I am Jesus.

This is why I sing.

I was wrecked by this response. I’m still wrecked by it. I’ve been trying to know more about Jesus most of my life, and I’m realizing I have much more to learn. Jesus is a lifelong pursuit. He’s the reason why I sing.

Jesus Was a Man Who Really Existed

There is little historical doubt that an actual human named Jesus of Nazareth lived during the first 3 decades of the Common Era. He was a Jewish teacher (rabbi) of whom the mother was known, but the father was not, and this situation earned him the scorn and rejection of his community.

Roman and Jewish records testify to the reality of an actual Jew named Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity.  The Case for Christ, written by a journalist makes the compelling case that the records of Jesus presented in the Bible are historically true. (The journalist came out of the investigation a believer). It turns out some of the biblical authors who wrote tracts about Jesus were pretty good investigative journalists, providing valuable insight to historians in the culture of the day.

This page provides further historical and non-biblical references to the existence of Jesus, the founder of the Christian faith. There are more non-biblical historical references (from those who were not Christians) about Jesus of Nazareth than most other figures of the Roman Empire. To doubt the existence of Jesus and not, for instance, the existence of Julius Caesar indicates an illogical agenda on the doubter.

Christ, by the way, means, “The Annointed One” or “Messiah” or “Savior.” It is not Jesus’ last name. It is one of his titles that was prophesied in the Old Testament.

Jesus was also a Divine Being

It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, a reader of a site about seeing spirits and holding a supernatural worldview, that I believe in the existence of diving beings (entities that aren’t mortal).

The Old Testament indicates who Jesus was. The New Testament reveals who Jesus is.

Jesus existed before becoming human as the Word of God, a person separate from God the Father, but the same essence as God the Father. 3 From the beginning, he was with God and he was God. 4

God the Father was Jesus’ father, and Jesus was God’s son, the only son that God birthed through a virgin woman with no earthly father. He lived to reveal to us what God looked like.

A lot of people have an unclear view of God. They think bad things happen because God made them happen. They think “Well, if it’s meant to be,” or “all things happen for a reason.” 5

The Word of God came to prove this was not true. He set aside his divinity and was born fully human, and in Jesus the exact nature of God was imprinted. God is not clearly revealed in the Old Testament; but God is clearly revealed in Jesus. 6

Jesus was the perfect imprint of God; when you look at Jesus you see the Father. 7

Jesus announced that he was God in the flesh on multiple occasions in ways his audience clearly understood, and he was executed for blasphemy (because it is blasphemy for a man to call himself God). 8 Jesus affirmed his declaration was truthful through many mighty miracles, such as healing the sick and casting out demons.

Jesus Scared Demons

Everywhere Jesus went, he announced that the Kingdom of God (where God rules perfectly) was breaking into the present reality to overturn the works of the devil. 9 Jesus then proved it by healing the sick (because sickness is rooted ultimately from the Satan) and casting out demons (because the demonic comes from the Satan). 10 Everywhere Jesus went, demons were cast out. In many cases, they cried out to him in terror, for they recognized his true identity (God). 11

Then, Jesus gave authority to the 12 disciples to do the same thing. 12 And then the 72 disciples. 13 And then to all the rest of his followers throughout time. 14

The Point of the Cross

At Creation, God had delegated stewardship to the planet to humans, who delegated it to Satan.To place stewardship back under humanity,  God became human, fulfilled the terms of the agreement between God and man, and established a new agreement between God the Father and God the Son. 15

The agreement states 4 things:

  1. God would not hold people’s sins against them
  2. God would give people a new heart of flesh, replacing their heart of stone.
  3. This heart would have the law on it
  4. God would dwell directly with his people, not relying on a mediator between him and them. Everyone would have access. 16

To join in this agreement between God and God, and God and Man, a human had to accept it by faith in Jesus, and believe in his or her heart that Jesus is the Son of God who became flesh, died on the cross, and rose again. 17

Jesus then sealed the new agreement by dieing on the Cross, unleashing the New Covenant to be accepted by faith. 18  And then God resurrected him from the dead, giving him a new immortal body. Jesus then went to heaven. Through faith, we too are made new creations with Jesus. 19

Jesus is God and Man

Jesus is a real, living entity; a real human being, whose mortal human body God the Father changed into an immortal human through the resurrecting power of the Holy Spirit.

Being God, Jesus is infinite.

Jesus is Life. True Life.

Jesus is also Absolute Truth.  Since He is truth, everything else is suspect.

Jesus is The Way, which means he’s the journey and the destination.  The Way to live an abundant life (and by abundant, I don’t mean money). Some people seek the way to nirvana. I seek the Way to Life. Do I know what all of that means? Not exactly, because I’m still on the Way.

Jesus bookends Time. He is the First and will be the Last. 20

Jesus is Love. 21

Jesus is Light.

Jesus is God, sharing the essence of God the Father, but a separate person. 22

Jesus is God whom humans can see. 23

Jesus is the unique Son of God, 24 one with the Father, who put aside his divinity, became a human, lived among humans to show the Way humans were designed to live all along – a way of truth and giving, of overturning the works of darkness and defeating demons, a way of serving the poor, and bringing equality among races and casts, between men and women, and between nations, of liberating captives from religion, sin, and judgement, and a way to order the world and our lives through love.

It turns out that Jesus meant to die all along in a manner to remove all guilt and shame from humans who believe and remove all power from the spirits that influence people and events from behind the scenes: this manner was the Cross.  Through Jesus’s actions on the Cross, believing humans can become the actual dwelling place of a holy and righteous God on earth. 25

No longer would a Holy God be some faraway entity living in heaven, unapproachable except through doing something in fear; God did the work and would now approach humans, bringing a taste of heaven to live in them through faith and pursuit of Jesus.

There are many counterfeits and many have added all sorts of things to the faith Jesus founded. But  there is only one Jesus the Son of God who died on the Cross and rose again; none of the counterfeits can claim that, and none of Jesus’ enemies will testify to that.

Accept this by faith.

Believe this in your heart and confess it with your mouth, and you too can have a personal encounter with this Jesus. 

My life’s goal is to walk all my remaining days with Jesus.

Do you want to learn more about this Jesus?’

Notes:

  1. See John 10:10a.
  2. John 10:10b.
  3. See especially Jeremiah 1, where the Word of the LORD is a physical, visible being, who physically touches Jeremiah with his hand. The Word appears many times in physical form in the Old Testament.
  4. John 1.
  5. Actually, if you really think about it, it’s impossible to trust or love a God who makes bad things happen to you. Jesus reveals that God is good and his goodness is simple and God is sovereign, and his sovereignty is complicated.
  6. Read Hebrews Chapter 1.
  7. John 10:30, and John Chapter 14.
  8. See Matthew 9:2-6, Mark 14:61-63, John 10:22-40, among many other places.
  9. Mark 1:14-15.
  10. Mark 1:21-45, and many other places.
  11. Mark 1:23-27.
  12. Matthew Chapter 10.
  13. Luke Chapter 10.
  14. Matthew 28:16-20, John 14:12
  15. See the Book of Hebrews.
  16. Hebrews 8:8-12, quoting from Jeremiah 31:31-34.
  17. Acts 16:30-31, Romans 10:9
  18. Hebrews again!
  19. Romans Chapters 6-8, Colossians Chapters 1-3, and many other places.
  20. Revelation 1:8
  21. 1 John
  22. John 1:1, 14
  23. John 1:14, Acts 4:20, 1 John 1:1
  24. John 3:16
  25. 1 Corinthians 1:19

Comments

  1. Dear Doug –
    In the interest of brevity I want to first say, Thank You for this awesome site & the contents…wisdom…I am listening to your interview with Patricia – excellent! Knowing the hard work of maintaining web sites, blogging and such, I just want you to know I really appreciate your efforts and knowing you have a busy life with your wife and children…and maintaining a strong walk with The Lord. So encouraging.
    If I may share here, the impact of your testimony…Jesus Himself must have led me to it as it “resonated” so much. I don’t want to bore you with a long story but just a bit of background: born & raised Roman Catholic (and, named after my mother’s favorite professor who was a nun) and on All Saints Day…I would joke with my understanding folks “they gave it their best shot”, but I came to the Lord in 1984. Fast forward to the last few years and why your testimony hit home: again, for brevity’s sake, I have been struggling deeply with chronic, intense back pain, serious thyroid issues and both impact all areas of life. I work very hard in spite of chronic pain but things are worsening and these issues, – that I keep to myself (my husband is very supportive) as everyone thinks of me as very upbeat and loving, and yes, a workaholic! but one who loves the Lord. Inside, I am in sad shape and full of despair. I am too embarrassed to share any of this with other believers and the last thing I want, is to be labeled a “crybaby” or loser, as our financial situation has been under so much strain and despite our best efforts, we can’t get ahead…am I crazy to think the enemy is at work, in a lot of this? Not all of it, as that would be infantile to believe, but I just feel this “pressure” that is working against us. I would appreciate your prayers and will be exploring your site for dealing with this ‘oppression’.
    Thank you for your time & will keep you all in prayer!!
    Carolyn

  2. Hi. I read your articles about “Jesus was a man who really existed” and “Filter for faith”, and I have to confirm that dogmatically and theologically they are completely correct. So I was very happy to read them. It makes me want to read some more articles. Thank you. Bert

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