Who is Jesus Christ? Is Yeshua (Hebrew for “Jesus”) really the promised Messiah of Israel (Hebrew for “Christ”) of the Old Testament?” Is Jesus Christ truly the Son of God … literally God Himself, the Divine living within human flesh? Were Jesus Christ’s claims that of a Liar or Lunatic … or is He really Lord of the universe?
Knowledgeable people will agree that Jesus Christ has made quite an impact on the world.One of the most important questions you will ever ask and answer in your life is: “Who is Jesus?”
Is Jesus just a teacher, a good man, a prophet? Or is he the “divine Christ” inside of all of us? Is he someone who just came to this earth to enact some moral laws and to make the world a better place, or is he the person the Bible claims that he is and who he himself claimed to be?
Do you question whether Jesus is, in fact, God, the second person of the Holy Trinity and the savior of the world? And did his death on the cross actually pay for the sins of all people for all time? Did he really say before everyone, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me”?
Many people have made the observation that Jesus’ teaching was so radical and His life so supernatural that he either was a liar, a lunatic, or exactly the person that he said he was.
So who do you think Jesus is?
Jesus’ distinct claims of being God eliminate the popular ploy of skeptics who regard Him as just a good moral man or a prophet who said a lot of profound things.
Jesus said, John 14:6(HCSB)6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Also, Jesus claimed to be God in flesh. If you compare what God said to Moses in Exodus 3:14(HCSB)14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” with what Jesus said in John 8:58(HCSB)58 Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.”, then you quickly see that Jesus was claiming to be God. In fact, others testified that He was divine as well:
John 20:28(HCSB)28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Colossians 2:9, (HCSB)9 For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ,
What do Jews believe about Jesus?
The short answer: Judaism does not consider Jesus to be a prophet, the messiah, or the son of God.
The belief that Jesus is God, the Son of God, or a person of the Trinity, is incompatible with Jewish theology. Jews believe Jesus did not fulfill messianic prophecies that establish the criteria for the coming of the messiah. Authoritative texts of Judaism reject Jesus as God, Divine Being, intermediary between humans and God, messiah or saint. Belief in the Trinity is also held to be incompatible with Judaism, as are a number of other tenets of Christianity.
Judaism generally views Jesus as one of a number of Jewish Messiah claimants who have appeared throughout history. Jesus is viewed as having been the most influential, and consequently the most damaging, of all false messiahs. However, since the mainstream Jewish belief is that the messiah has not yet come and the Messianic Age is not yet present, the total rejection of Jesus as either messiah or deity has never been a central issue for Judaism.
Judaism has never accepted any of the claimed fulfillments of prophecy that Christianity attributes to Jesus. Judaism also forbids the worship of a person as a form of idolatry, since the central belief of Judaism is the absolute unity and singularity of God. Jewish eschatology holds that the coming of the Messiah will be associated with a specific series of events that have not yet occurred, including the return of Jews to their homeland and the rebuilding of The Temple, a Messianic Age of peace and understanding during which “the knowledge of God” fills the earth, and since Jews believe that none of these events occurred during the lifetime of Jesus (nor have they occurred afterwards), he is not a candidate for messiah.
But the exact way Jews have spoken about Jesus has, throughout history, had a lot to do with the social and political contexts where they were living. Jews have often been subjects of Christian monarchies and governments, and the tenor of that experience often colored the way particular communities responded to the church as a whole and Jesus in particular.
In the Middle Ages, when many Jews in Europe were experiencing rampant persecution, Toledot Yeshu, a series of derogatory and inflammatory legends about Jesus’ life, became popular within some Jewish communities. Today, as Jews and Christians live in relative harmony, the attitude among most Jews towards Jesus is one of respect, but not religious reverence.
This attitude is reflected in Rabbi Irving Greenberg’s book, For The Sake Of Heaven And Earth: The New Encounter Between Judaism And Christianity , where he refers to Jesus as a “failed messiah,” instead of the usual term “false messiah.”
He explains, “A failed messiah is one who has the right values and upholds the covenant, but does not attain the final goal.” According to Rabbi Greenberg, the message Jesus brought was a good one, but he could not be the Jewish messiah because he did not shepherd in the redemption of the world that Judaism expects will occur in the messianic era.
Emily Soloff, the Midwest area director of the American Jewish Committee, for her thoughts about Jesus, she responded: “Jesus was definitely a historical figure…a charismatic community leader who was deeply troubled by what he saw as the failures of his society and spoke eloquently about those failures in the hope of change.”
A lot of interfaith work likes to emphasize what we all have in common, and certainly there are many things that the world’s major faiths do share. But where Jews draw the line is at calling Jesus a prophet or messiah. That’s the point of departure.
What do Oneness Pentecostals believe about Jesus?
An Appreciation of God’s Identity
The beautiful message of Scripture is that our Creator became our Savior. The God against whom we sinned is the One who forgives us. God loved us so much that He came in flesh to save us. He gave of Himself; He did not send someone else. Moreover, our Creator-Savior is also the indwelling Spirit who is ever-present to help us. God told us how to live and then came to live among us. He showed us how to live in the flesh and laid down His human life to purchase our salvation. Now He abides within us and enables us to live according to His will.
Jesus Christ is the one God incarnate, and in Him we have everything we need: healing, deliverance, victory, and salvation. By recognizing the almighty God in Jesus Christ, we restore correct biblical belief and experience apostolic power.
Oneness Pentecostal theology affirms that there exists only one God in all the universe. It affirms the deity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. However, Oneness theology denies the Trinity. The Trinity is the doctrine that there is one God who exists as three distinct, simultaneous persons. The Trinity does not assert that there are three gods but only one. This is important because many groups who oppose orthodoxy will accuse Trinitarians of believing in three gods. But this is not so. The doctrine of the Trinity is that there is one God in three persons.
Oneness theology denies the Trinity and teaches that God is a single person who was “manifested as Father in creation and as the Father of the Son, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our regeneration.”1 Another way of looking at it is that God revealed Himself as Father in the Old Testament and as the Son in Jesus during Christ’s ministry on earth and now as the Holy Spirit after Christ’s ascension.
Oneness Pentecostals declare that the Godhead consists of only one Person and deny the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. They maintain that the only real “person” in the Godhead is Jesus. Thus, they are often referred to as the “Jesus Only” Movement. They maintain that God exists in two modes, as the Father in heaven, and as Jesus the Son on earth. Nevertheless, they are the same person, not two separate persons. The Holy Spirit is not regarded as a person at all, merely a manifestation of Jesus’ power or a synonym for Him. Several verses are quoted to establish this view, such as Colossians 2:9 (NKJV), “For in Him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Oneness theologians would argue that if the Father and the Son were separate, then the Godhead could not fully dwell in Christ. Matthew 28:19 also affirms their views that Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize in the “name” (singular) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is said to have two natures: human and divine. Thus, when He died, only His human nature died. Also, when Jesus prayed, it was His human nature praying to His divine nature-not to a separate Father in heaven.
This teaching of the Jesus Only / Oneness Pentecostals has been around for centuries, in one form or another, as modalism. Modalism teaches that God operated in different forms or modes at different times—sometimes as the Father, sometimes as the Son, and sometimes as the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 3:16-17(HCSB)16 After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. 17 And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!, But passages like where all three Persons of the Godhead are present, contradict the modalistic view. Modalism was condemned as heretical as early as the second century A.D. The early church strongly contended against the view that God is strictly a singular person who acted in different forms at different times. They argued from Scripture that the tri-unity of God is evident in that more than one Person of the Godhead is often seen simultaneously, and they often interact with one another.
Genesis 1:26(HCSB)26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” Matthew 28:19(HCSB)19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
John 14:16(HCSB)16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.
Conclusion is that the Oneness Pentecostalism / Jesus Only doctrine is unbiblical because it has a distorted view of who Jesus is..
What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?
Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him). They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary). The Quran describes the birth of Jesus as follows:
(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God). He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be). God creates what He wills. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Quran, 3:45-47
Jesus was born miraculously by the command of God, the same command that had brought Adam into being with neither a father nor a mother. God has said:
The case of Jesus with God is like the case of Adam. He created him from dust, and then He said to him, “Be!” and he came into being. (Quran, 3:59)
During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. God tells us that Jesus said:
“I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I make for you the shape of a bird out of clay, I breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s permission. I heal the blind from birth and the leper. And I bring the dead to life by God’s permission. And I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses….” (Quran, 3:49)
Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified. It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies to crucify him, but God saved him and raised him up to Him. And the likeness of Jesus was put over another man. Jesus’ enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus. God has said:
…They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)… (Quran, 4:157)
Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God, brought by earlier prophets, but rather to confirm and renew it.
What do Mormons believe about Jesus?
Mormon leaders have taught that Jesus’ incarnation was the result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115; Mormon Doctrine, p. 547). Mormons believe Jesus is a god, but that any human can also become a god (Doctrine and Covenants 132:20; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345–354). Mormonism teaches that salvation can be earned by a combination of faith and good works (LDS Bible Dictionary, p. 697).
Mormon prophets have taught that Jesus was conceived by sexual intercourse (physical union) between God the Father and Mary:
Brigham Young taught: “The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father as we were of our fathers” (Journal of Discourses vol.8, p.115); and “when the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness [flesh and blood]. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost” (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, p.50).
Brigham Young insisted: “I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, and also my Savior Jesus Christ…he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it” (Journal of Discourses vol.8, p.211); “Now remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost” (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, p.51).
Orson Pratt (LDS apostle) taught: “the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife…as God was the first husband to her, it may be that He only gave her to be the wife of Joseph while in this mortal state, and that He intended after the resurrection to again take her as one of his own wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity” (The Seer. p.158, 1853).
Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “The birth of the Savior was a natural occurrence unattended by any degree of mysticism, and the Father God was the literal parent of Jesus in the flesh as well as in the spirit” (Religious Truths Defined, p.44)
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ was the first “spirit child” born to God the Heavenly Father with one of his many wives. Instead of acknowledging Jesus as the one true God, they believe He became God, just as they will one day become gods. According to Mormon doctrine, as the first of the “spirit children” of God, Jesus had preeminence over Satan or Lucifer, who was the second “son of God” and the “spirit brother” of Jesus. It is ironic that they will use Colossians 1:15(HCSB)He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. as one of their “proof texts,” because it says that “[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Yet they ignore
Colossians 1:16(HCSB)For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him., where we see that “By [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth. Visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. ALL THINGS were created through Him and for Him.” All things—thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers—includes Satan and his demons.
In order to believe that Satan and Jesus are “spiritual brothers,” one must deny the clear teaching of Scripture. Scripture says that it was Jesus Christ who created all things and that, as the second Person of the triune Godhead, Christ is fully and uniquely God. Jesus claimed to be God in many passages of Scripture. In Jesus said, John 10:30(HCSB)“I and the Father are one.” Jesus was not claiming to be another, lesser god. He was declaring that He was fully God. In John 1:1–5(HCSB)In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. it is clear that Jesus was not a created being and that He Himself created all things. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). How much clearer can it get? “All things” means what it says, and it includes Satan, who as an angel was himself a created being just like the other angels and demons are. Scripture reveals Satan to be a fallen angel who rebelled against God and Jesus to be God. The only relationship that exists between Satan and Jesus is that of creation and Creator; of the sinful created being, Satan, and the righteous Judge, Jesus Christ.
Mormons believe that, not only were Jesus and Lucifer “spirit children of Elohim,” but that humans are spiritual children, as well. In other words, they believe that “God, angels, and men are all of the same species, one race, one great family.” This is why they believe that they themselves will one day become as much of a god as Jesus or even God the Father. Rather than seeing the clear distinction in Scripture between God and His creation, they believe that one day they will be a gods themselves. Of course, this is the same old lie Satan has been telling us since the Garden of Eden. Apparently, the desire to usurp the throne of God is embedded in the hearts of men.
What do Jehovah’s Witnesses think about Jesus?
Taken from http://www.jw.org
We follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and honor him as our Savior and as the Son of God. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 5:31) Thus, we are Christians. (Acts 11:26) However, we have learned from the Bible that Jesus is not Almighty God and that there is no Scriptural basis for the Trinity doctrine.—John 14:28.
Jesus’ Prehuman Existence
The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus Christ was the first created being of Jehovah God. Jehovah God created Jesus as a divine-like spirit at some point in ancient, pre-creation time. “This means that he was created before all the other spirit sons of God, and that he is the only one who was directly created by God” (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth [Live] [Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1982], p. 58).
In His preexistence, Jesus was known as “the Word” (John 1:3,10,14) because He was God’s spokesman, according to the Watchtower Society. He is also identified by Jehovah’s Witnesses with Michael the archangel. “Reasonably, then, the archangel Michael is Jesus Christ. So the evidence indicates that the Son of God (Jesus) was known as Michael before he came to earth” (Reasoning from the Scriptures [Reasoning] [Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1985], p. 218).
The Watchtower teaches that through the agency of the prehuman Christ, Jehovah created all other things in the universe. “He is also God’s ‘only-begotten’ Son in that he is the only one directly created by Jehovah God; all other things came into existence through him as God’s Chief Agent” (The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life [Truth] [Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract society of New York, 1968], p. 47).
This Agent, however, is not to be confused as being a Co-creator with God. “The Son’s share in the creative works, however, did not make him a Co-creator with the Father. Rather than a Co-creator, then, the Son was the Agent or instrumentality through whom Jehovah, the Creator worked” (Aid to Bible Understanding, [Aid] [Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1971, p. 918).
The Watchtower Society denies the deity and eternal preexistence of Jesus Christ. This contrasts sharply with historic Christian beliefs that Jesus was God the Son, the second member of the eternal Trinity.
The Watchtower Society’s position is similar to the fourth century Arian heresy, universally rejected by Christian churches at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. The Watchtower Society has made a number of interpretative errors and translation changes to conform Scripture to their presuppositions. For example, the Watchtower Society’s Bible, The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT), translates John 1:1: “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”
The Watchtower Society asserts that since the Greek language has no indefinite articles (a or an), the article can be used where needed in translating; thus they insert “a” before god to emphasize the Word’s (Christ’s) inferiority to God. This biased rendering cannot be justified grammatically and has been rejected by every reputable Greek scholar.
The Watchtower Society teaches that Michael the archangel disappeared from heaven and was conceived miraculously by (the Virgin) Mary. “Since actual conception took place, it appears that Jehovah God caused an ovum or egg cell in Mary’s womb to become fertile, accomplishing this by the transferal of the life of his firstborn Son from the spirit realm to the earth” (Aid, p. 920).
“Marvelously, Jehovah transferred the life-force and the personality pattern of his first-born heavenly Son to the womb of Mary. God’s own active force, his holy spirit, safeguarded the development of the child in Mary’s womb so that what was born was a perfect human” (Reasoning, p. 255).
Jesus’ Life and Death
The Watchtower Society teaches that after His birth Jesus became a perfect man who came to earth to bear witness to the truth of Jehovah God and to defeat Satan. Jesus received His messiahship at age 30, on the day of His baptism. “By pouring out his holy spirit on Jesus, Jehovah was anointing him or appointing him to be the King of his coming kingdom. Being thus anointed with the spirit, Jesus became the ‘Messiah,’ or the ‘Christ,’ which words in the Hebrew and Greek languages mean, ‘Anointed.’ Therefore, he became, in fact, Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Anointed” (Live, p. 60).
The Watchtower Society says that, since Adam was also a perfect man who sinned, only a perfect sacrifice of another perfect man could bring salvation. “By his disobedience the perfect man Adam lost perfect life on a paradise earth for himself and all his children. Jesus Christ gave his own perfect life to buy back what Adam lost. Yes, Jesus ‘gave himself a corresponding ransom for all'” (Live, p. 62).
Thus, the Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus’ ransom death at age 33 balanced the scales of justice between Adam’s sin and God’s perfect requirements. “Even now Jesus’ ransom sacrifice can benefit us. How? By exercising faith in it we can enjoy a clean standing before God and come under his loving and tender care. But we can freely seek forgiveness from God on the basis of the ransom, with confidence that he will hear us” (Live, p. 63).
The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus was crucified on a “torture stake” instead of a cross (Matt. 27:32, NWT). The Watchtower Society specifically dates Jesus’ death: “On Nisan 14 of the year 33 C.E. Jesus’ enemies put him to death on a torture stake” (Truth, p. 51).
Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is another radical departure from historic Christian teaching. The Watchtower Society maintains that the Lord’s resurrection was purely spiritual and only appeared as physical.
“Jehovah God did not leave his Son dead in the grave, but raised him to life on the third day. He was not given human life again, because that would have meant that he was taking back the ransom price. But he was ‘made alive in the spirit’ (1 Pet. 3:18, NWT). During a period of forty days after his resurrection he appeared visibly to his disciples a number of times, in materialized bodies, to prove that he really had been raised from the dead” (Truth, p. 52).