Saturday, 6 August 2016

The REAL Jesus




Jesus

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

According to Strong’s, the word “word” in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word logos and is defined as:
something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (that is, Christ): - account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

In the beginning the Word already was which means the Word is eternal and existed before the beginning. Ten times in Genesis 1 we read “God said”. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made (Psalms 33:6). John sums these all up as the Word that created all things.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Notice that John (an apostle) is speaking in the past tense and he’s not referring to his own words or those of the other apostles or any other mere mortal. John is saying the Word dwelt among them, not inside them. Neither is he referring to his own flesh or that of the other apostles. Jesus is the only begotten of the Father and John was an eyewitness of Jesus the Messiah, whose name is called ‘The Word of God’ (Revelation 19:13). When John names the three that bear record in heaven, he calls Him ‘Word’ rather than ‘Son’ (1 John 5:7). Because Christ is the Word, it not only refers to the Father that begot Him but also to everything made by Him.

Jesus was miraculously conceived inside the virgin Mary in fulfilment of which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-35). Jesus’ birth was the result of the Holy Spirit working within Mary’s body. Some OAC members mock this point saying that they’ve never seen a woman conceive children without intercourse. Obviously that’s because there’s only ever been ONE Messiah born this way! Those who mock the virgin birth are usually also those who deny that God created everything from nothing and it makes me wonder if they have any belief or faith in prayer (Matthew 17:14-21).

Jesus received a physical body from Mary while at the same time being fully God with an eternal and sinless nature (Galatians 4:4-5, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 2:14-17, Hebrews 7:26). This is what some OAC members mockingly refer to as a “mixed salad” (natural plus spiritual). By His virgin birth the eternal God could become a perfect sinless man because He didn’t have a biological father (Romans 5:12, Romans 5:17, Romans 5:19).

A great deal is written about Jesus’ birth in the Bible. Then we read almost nothing about Him until the age of twelve. Then from the age of twelve upwards we read nothing about Him until He was about thirty years of age and started His public ministry. What was Jesus doing in between? Considering that Jesus was a Jew, we can get quite a good idea of what Jewish boys and adolescents during the time of Jesus were doing at each stage of their growth and development from Jewish sources (Avos 5:22 & Pirkei Avot 5:24).

At five years old they were ready to study Scriptures, at ten they studied Mishnah, at thirteen the commandments and observing the mitzvot (bar mitzvah), at fifteen the Talmud, at eighteen they were ready for marriage, at twenty they pursued a livelihood and at thirty they had strength and authority.

Each synagogue had its own “primary” and “highschool. Learning was memorization by constant repetition because writing materials were costly and scarce. Repetition of the passages was done by chanting them out loud to keep them from forgetting. The Rabbis believed repetition was the key to learning, because “one who repeats his lesson a hundred times is not like him who repeats it a hundred and one times” (Chagigah 9b). Lessons took place on every day of the week and would mostly consist of repeating earlier lessons.

We can gain a lot of insight as to what Jesus was doing during His early childhood and adolescence. He along with His peers were studying and committing vast quantities of information to memory such as Scriptures, Mishnah, Midrash, Halakah and all the available sacred literature of that time. Most Jews in those days had the whole Old Testament committed to memory.

By the time Jesus started His public ministry He was no ordinary Jew, He was a Rabbi and teacher well versed in the Scriptures and religious literature of that time (Matthew 4:23, Matthew 9:35, Matthew 13:54, Matthew 19:16, Matthew 22:16, Matthew 22:23-24, Mark 1:39, Luke 4:15-16, Luke 7:40, Luke 10:25, Luke 12:13, Luke 13:10, Luke 18:18, Luke 19:39, Luke 20:21, Luke 20:27-28, John 1:38, John 1:49, John 3:2, John 6:25). Rabbis of that time walked the land, taught in parables, debated, interpreted Scriptures and taught disciples. Rabbis told parables (they still do to this day) which would include characters representing God such as a king, shepherd or farmer with a vineyard.

According to Strong’s, the word “Rabbi” in the New Testament originated from the Hebrew word rhabbi and is defined as:
my master, that is, Rabbi, as an official title of honor: - Master, Rabbi.

There were also other famous Rabbis from Galilee who were known for their rabbinic literature (Johanan ben Zakkai, Hanina ben Dosa, Abba Jose ben Hanin, Zadok, Halafta, Hananiah ben Teradion). The level of learning and education in Galilee at the time of Jesus seems to have exceeded that of Judaea.

John 1:4-5 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Note that it doesn’t say the Word was light, but that the life was the light.
  • Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12, John 9:5)
  • Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)

The manifestation of the Word is the light of the world, namely Jesus.

John the son of Zebedee and also one of the twelve apostles was an original eyewitness of the life of Jesus (Mark 1:19-20, Mark 3:17, John 21:2). John’s purpose for writing the book is best described in his own words below.

John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Jesus did really exist as a physically tangible person here on earth, He did physically ascend to heaven and He will physically appear at the second coming. This is in stark contrast to what the OAC believe today.

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 27 (pages 62-63):
“Has Christ already come, or do we still expect him?” (Sic)
Ans. (a) Because the world expects that Christ will come on a natural cloud, they still look forward to his coming. From Matt. 16 v. 28, it is however clear, that Christ must already have come…”
Ans. (b) From 2 Tim. 4 v. 7-8 it is clear that Christ must already have come during Apostle Paul’s life on earth…”
Ans. (c) For us Christ has come, and we see Him, because it is revealed to us through the Holy Spirit and is our life…”

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 31 (page 65):
“On which clouds will Christ appear?”
Ans. We must not confuse these clouds with natural clouds... It is the cloud of witnessesIt is the same cloud under which the flock of God was led out of Egypt…”

OAC members believe their church is Christ

The OAC Sealing document under the heading ‘THE REBIRTH: SECONDLY BY THE BLOOD states: “...through the sacrificing of his blood today for me through his anointed officers who labored, sacrificed themselves for me by doing so were my transgressions blotted out I was reconciled onto God...”

The OAC Sealing document under the heading ‘THE REBIRTH: THIRDLY BY THE SPIRIT’ states: “...I am not the apostle but merely a servant of the Apostle (Hebrews 3 declares (“Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our Profession Christ Jesus) which is the entire church...”

When OAC members refer to “Jesus Christ”, then they’re referring to themselves. The “Jesus Christ” that the OAC believe in is not the same historical and Biblical Jesus Christ that Christians believe in.

Compare the statements above to what’s written in the Bible:
Luke 24:50-51 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

These people that saw Him ascend to heaven were His own disciples and apostles as recorded in the epistles. This contradicts the OAC’s doctrine.

OAC Confession of Faith: Jesus Christ: “...Appearance Nobody unto whom Jesus appeared after His resurrection recognised Him. The body in which He was resurrected, differs in appearance from the body that He had until His death. This “new” body is a “glorified body”. It is a spiritual body and appears externally like anyone that houses and reveals the Spirit of God; it can be an individual or a group of people; [I COR 12:12 &27 and 15:44-49 ]...”

What nonsense! Imagine for a moment that you witnessed a loved one being publicly tortured to death. Take a moment and let that thought sink in for a while. How would you react if you saw them walking around three days later (Luke 24:36-48)? Would you ask them about the weather as if nothing had happened, business as usual? Wouldn’t you also be in shocked disbelief and maybe think it’s someone else or perhaps a ghost? There’s only one Jesus, He didn’t become a group of people after 1926.

I remember how, as an active member in the OAC we would often mock Christians’ belief that they were still waiting for Jesus to return on a cloud because we (OAC) believed the OAC is Jesus. I remember one “apostle” service how the “apostle” joked that other churches would rather believe that God is up there somewhere because they don’t want Him so uncomfortably close. But that was ignorance on our part, we only read what we wanted to in the Bible, we never read the whole Bible, and the verses that we did read were not read in context.

2 Peter 3:3-7 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Members from the OAC will be quick to point out that the Bible is a “spiritual” book and needs to be understood “spiritually”. The OAC definition for “spiritual” is reading single verses out of context and ignoring everything else in between. A word is given a “spiritual” interpretation and then used throughout the Bible to mean the same thing despite the context in which the specific word is used. Popular words used out of context are “earth”, “light”, “water” and “kingdom”.  The word “earth” for example is defined as the “understanding of man” and “water” is defined as the “spoken word” (gnosis) uttered from the mouth of a mere mortal. Some OAC members believe that the secret to understanding the Bible is that the Bible must be interpreted as one big parable (Gnosticism). Some OAC members eventually take it to the point that Jesus becomes a parable that spoke parables to His parables!

If the Bible is “spiritual” according to the OAC definition, then other books by definition must be “natural” according to the OAC definition. The OAC definition of “natural” or “carnal” is any interpretation which could be understood literally.

With regards to Jesus’ existence as a physical person, there are also non-Biblical references to Him. That means that Jesus is not some kind of a parable, “HE is for REAL”, quite literally!

Outside of the Bible there are non-Christian Greco-Roman and Jewish references to Jesus (Thallos, Mara bar Serapion, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Lucian of Samosata, Celsus, Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200, the Talmud [baraitha Sanhedrin 43a-b]).
From these non-Christian references we read the following:
  • His name Jesus
  • His public ministry during Pontius Pilate’s governorship
  • His mother Mary
  • His controversial birth
  • His brother James
  • His fame as a teacher
  • His fame as a miracle-worker/sorcerer
  • His title of ‘Messiah/Christ’
  • His kingly status
  • His execution by crucifixion around the Passover festival
  • His death which involved both the Roman and Jewish leadership
  • His crucifixion which coincided with an eclipse
  • His appearances to His followers after His death
  • The growth of Christianity and the worship of Jesus after His death
These are obviously non-Christian references outside of the Bible written by people who never knew Jesus personally. His personal bibliography is recorded for us in the Bible.

This same Jesus IS the Christ (Messiah):
John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

This same Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

This same Jesus was still a FLESH and BONES person after He was crucified and resurrected:
Luke 24:39-40 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

John 20:24-29 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Acts 1:2-3 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

At this point OAC members will be quick to point out that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God by quoting 1 Corinthians 15:50 out of context. By this they will try to imply that Jesus could not have physically ascended into heaven. That specific verse is not referring to the physical body of Jesus and needs to be read in context. By reading that verse with the subsequent verses (1 Corinthians 15:51-54) the context becomes very clear. At the last trumpet the dead shall be raised incorruptible and the mortal must put on immortality (Isaiah 25:8-9, Luke 20:34-38, Romans 6:7-12, Romans 8:9-11, 2 Corinthians 4:10-12, Hebrews 2:13-15, Revelation 20:12-15, Revelation 21:1-4). Jesus however is neither mortal nor corruptible because He had no sin (1 Peter 2:22-24, 1 John 3:5).

The days of the Son of man will be as visible as the lightning and as loud as the sound of trumpets. There’s nothing invisible or inaudible about the days of the Son of man. This is in stark contrast to what the OAC believe today.

Catechism of the Old Apostolic Church of Africa…Part 2; Question 4 (page 49):
“How will the Kingdom of God come?”
Ans. The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they (the world) say, Lo here: or Lo there: for behold, the kingdom of God is within you (the disciples). Luke 17 v. 21.)…”

This question implies that Jesus has already returned and no further explanation is given to the quoted verse or the subsequent verses. Compare the context as a single verse above to what’s written in the Bible with the subsequent verses:

Luke 17:20-30 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Notice that the Pharisees asked WHEN the kingdom of God should come and Jesus answered that it doesn’t come with observation. In other words it will be too sudden for them (the Pharisees), just like it was for the people in the days of Noah’s flood and the city of Sodom. Those people didn’t see what hit them till it was too late.

Jesus was in their presence when the Pharisees questioned Him, but they were too blind to see Him as the Son of God. They were unaware of how close the kingdom of God had come to them. See also Matthew 12:28 and Luke 10:8-11. In a spiritual sense the kingdom of God is in us because it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).

Matthew 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

False apostles and false prophets cannot forge or counterfeit the coming of the Son of man; the only way they can try is by attempting to deceive people with false interpretations. Jesus warns us not to follow them because they will say “Lo here” and then try convincing people that they (false prophets and false churches) are Christ.

Matthew 24:23-28 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Only by the Holy Ghost can someone say that Jesus is the Lord. It is that simple, there is no other Jesus. If anyone preaches any other gospel, let him be accursed (1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, Galatians 1:6-10).

Since the KJV Bible mentions Jesus 983 times, many believe His real name is actually Jesus. The name Jesus is the English transliteration of the Greek name Iēsous (Iησοῦς) which is the transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua (יֵשׁוּעַ). Remember that the KJV Bible is translated from Greek.

The pronunciation of Yeshua has no exact equivalent in Greek because the Greek alphabet has no “y” or “sh” sound. Therefore the “Ye” of Yeshua became “Iē” and the “sh” became “s”. Greek also didn’t allow a male name to end with an “ah” sound and the solution was to add an “s” to the end of the name, hence Yeshua in Hebrew became Iēsous in Greek.

The proper Hebrew name for Jesus is Yeshua (יֵשׁוּעַ) which means salvation. Yeshua is a shortened form of the Hebrew name Yehoshua (יהושוע) which means the Lord saves, the Lord is salvation or the Lord will save.

Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In Scripture, a person’s name is synonymous to the person’s character, nature and essence. Yeshua means salvation and that is the exact essence of who Yeshua/Jesus is. To call on the name or person of Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah is to call on salvation. Everyone who sincerely loves and follows the Jewish Messiah will receive salvation, irrespective of how they pronounce His name. In any language His name still means the same thing.

For example: In Afrikaans the word for Scripture is “Skrif”, in Zulu it becomes “Umbhalo” and in Xhosa it becomes “I Sibhalo”. The language and pronunciation may change but the object still remains the same.

Salvation comes through grace (Ephesians 2:8). Salvation is connected to believing in the character, reputation and essence of the person behind Yeshua/Jesus, who He is and what He did.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?


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