Evidence of the Deity of Christ

Matthew’s Messiah  Part 1

Evidence of the Deity of Christ

Introduction:

How do we know that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, the Son of God?  We might simply say that the Bible tells us so and that would be true. But Jesus is not the only one in history to lay claim to being a messiah, a son of God, or even God himself.  How do we “prove” that Jesus is who he claimed to be, that he, of all the hundreds or perhaps thousands of people throughout history to claim to be of deity, is “the real thing?”

“One of the authenticating proofs for the inspiration of the Bible, which at the same time authenticate the claims of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the only Savior of the world, are the many fulfilled prophecies which find their fulfillment in the person and life of Christ, Jesus of Nazareth. We have in the Bible an array of prophecies which extend over hundreds of years and yet find their complete fulfillment in the short 30-year life span of one person, Jesus of Nazareth, many being fulfilled in one day. These prophecies truly accomplish the purposes of the Gospel writers as they carefully pointed to the person, words, and works of Christ.”  (J. Hampton
Keithley III, bible.org)

The Nature of Prophets of God

“In Hebrew, the word נָבִיא (navi), “spokesperson”, traditionally translates as “prophet.” The meaning of navi is perhaps described in Deuteronomy 18:18, where God said, “…and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” Thus, the navi was thought to be the “mouth” of God. The English word prophet comes from the Greek word προφήτης (profétés), meaning advocate.” (Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Encyclopedia)

In Deuteronomy 18:15-22 and Deuteronomy 13:1-5 God listed five certifying signs by which a true prophet of God could be recognized:

(1) a prophet must be an Israelite, “from among [his] own brothers” (Deut 18:15 ) (2) he must speak in the name of the Lord (“If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name” [ Deut 18:19 ]);

(3) he must be able to predict the near as well as the distant future (“If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken” [ Deut 18:22 ]);

(4) he must be able to predict signs and wonders ( Deut 13:2 ); and 

(5) his words must conform to the previous revelation that God has given ( Deut 13:2-3 ).

(Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Prophet, Prophetess, Prophecy entry in “Evangelical Dictionary of Theology,” 1997.)

The acid test for identifying a prophet of God is recorded by Moses in Deut. 18:21-22. God’s prophets, as distinct from any other prophet, are 100% accurate in their predictions. There is NO room for error. There have been and continue to be people in the world who seek to predict the future. Some are better than others but none are 100% accurate. That fact alone sets the prophecies in the Bible apart from all others. Deut. 18:22 says that if a prophecy does not come true then it is not a true prophecy from God. (Dr. Hugh Ross, Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible, Pasadena, CA)

Exodus 7:1-2 (cf. Exod. 4:15-16) demonstrates the usage of this term and its meaning in the biblical texts. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh.” A prophet is one who receives a word from God, just as Moses acted in the place of God in passing on the divine revelations he received from the Lord to his brother Aaron, now functioning as a prophet. Moreover, a prophet is authorized to communicate this divine message to another. Thus, Aaron was to function as Moses’ mouthpiece.

 Clearly, then, a prophet is an authorized spokesperson for God with a message that originated with God and was communicated to that prophet in a number of ways. In the vast majority of cases the prophet receives his message when “the Word of the Lord came . . . ,” a term that implies very clearly that the Old Testament prophets were inspired by the Holy Spirit (Num. 24:2; Ezek. 11:5; II Pet. 1:21). When God’s word came to these spokespersons, they had no choice but to deliver that word to those to whom God directed (Amos 3:8; Jer. 20:7).

 

Lee Henry
Baker Heights Member
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