Who was Jesus Christ?
By W.T. Witherspoon
These are wonderful days in which we are living; days when men are striving for prominence in the different walks of life; days of marvelous achievement in politics, in science, in invention, in literature and arts; days when men and women accomplish unheard of things, amass fabulous fortunes, obtain marvelous results in invention that seem to give them power over the very forces of nature itself, develop talent for art, music, etc., and acquire speed, strength and endurance in the world of sports, until a hero-worshipping people pay them homage and cast fortunes at their feet, believing them all but gods.
In the midst of it all, we hear the prophet saying, “As in the days of Noah, so shall it be in days of the coming of the Son of Man,” and “There were giants in the land in those days.” and “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
One thing we are forced to admit about man, however, is that no matter what he accomplished here, “he is as grass, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven.” True we have here and there and few monuments to men whose lives have been of special benefit to humanity; a few holidays in which we asked to remember certain ones whose memory we should honor because of some special service to our country, but these moments are too often practically forgotten, and these days are too often days of revelry, with little thought of the hero.
In striking contrast to the above is one outstanding figure in history-Jesus Christ, who, though He lived nearly two thousand years ago, is today the most talked about person in all history, and is not because of what He did, but of what He was. His miracles have nearly all been done by other Bible characters; in fact, He himself said, “Greater works than these shall ye do.” And thousands of men have given their lives for a favored cause.
His works are not being denied so much, but a terrible conflict is being waged over the question-WHO IS HE? Some say He was the Son of God only; a “second person of the Trinity;” others, “that He was just a prophet;” others, “that He was not divine at all;” and still others, who wish to cater to both sides of the controversy, make the preposterous statement that “A belief in the virgin birth is not essential!”
In other words, it matters not whether the founder of Christianity was a legitimate of an illegitimate child! By the same token, we presume it would make no difference to those so-called ministers of the gospel, whether we spoke of their mothers with respect, or disrespect, or represented them as fallen women; and themselves as men worthy of respect, or as a product of sin, and their name and parentage an uncertainty.
Honor comes to some men for what they were; to some for what they seem destined to be in the future; but this man is the one “who was and is to come, the Almighty.” Was He divine? Yea, He was divinity itself. Was God His father? Yea, He could even say “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” and “I sand my Father are one.” He was God, not imitated nor represented, but MANIFESTED in the flesh. His name JESUS was the name of God, “for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” It is through His name only that we have remission of sins. (See Acts 2:38; Luke 24:47.)
The effect of the gospel in this age will not be to convert the world, but to “gather out a people for His name.” The NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19) is Lord Jesus Christ.
No wonder a terrible battle rages over Him and His name. The name Jesus is the saving name of God. There is remission of sins in no other name. God the Infinite Spirit, who in the beginning spoke the worlds into existence in the fullness of time spoken of by the prophets, gave His only begotten Son-that is, “the power of the Most High overshadowed Mary, and the Holy Ghost came upon here,” and the one that came forth was called EMMANUEL (God with us).
This one suffered and died, the Lamb of God, that we might have access to God through the efficacy of the blood-IN HIS NAME. The Spirit withdrew from that body when he cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” tasting eternal death for you and me. The soul departed as He gave up the ghost, and His lifeless body was laid in the ground. In due time, the Spirit came into this body again, raised Him up triumphant over death, and “God hath made him both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
Yes, He had a body taken from his mother like you and 1; a soul that came into existence when He first breathed the breadth of life; and a spirit which was the Eternal Spirit, His Father, the first and the last; so that He could rightly say to the astonished Jews, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
It was not enough that He should die and rise again. The next step was to make the benefits of this death and resurrection available for you and me. For this reason He told His disciples to tarry at Jerusalem, where, on the day of Pentecost, He opened up this dispensation by pouring our the Holy Ghost upon them; and just as His natural body comes into existence by the Holy Ghost coming upon Mary, so His
spiritual body comes into existence when men and women receive the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27).
This Bible way of getting into the true church has been set aside for other forms, but God recognizes none of them. “Except a man be born of
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
So many attempting to open up God’s Word, without the baptism of the Holy Ghost, has given rise to all kinds of unscriptural ideas and doctrines, such as “three persons in the Godhead; baptizing any way;
many roads to heaven; all going to the same place if we are honest,” etc. But God says, “One Lord, one faith and one baptism,” and “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there be that find
If we are truly baptized in the name of Jesus, and receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is always accompanied with speaking in other tongues (languages) as God’s witness, then we will have the same knowledge of Jesus as Stephen had when he looked up into heaven and “… calling on God, said, LORD JESUS, RECEIVE MY SPIRIT.”
Brother Witherspoon served as the General Chairman of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ until the time of the merger. He was then elected Assistant General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church. He passed away in 1947. This article was originally published in the Apostolic Herald for October 1926, reprinted in the Pentecostal Herald, March 1967 and again in the (Texas) Apostolic Sentinel, March 1994, and appears here as a tribute great men of truth.
WHO DID YOU SAY HE WAS?
Jesus Christ is God! You hear much about the Lordship of Jesus from those who have been salvaged from human wreckage. From the Holy Scriptures the full account of His life may be read. This same Jesus to whom we have been introduced is not a person invented in the mind of a writer.
Many men of fiction, always making a perfect ending and doing what is expected by the readers are figures of imaginations created for the delight of those who live in a world of fantasy. Jesus Christ is not a story, Jesus is history!
History tells us of His miracles…. of his compassion and His principles. He DID that which the Scriptures attribute to Him. He TAUGHT what the Bible says was contained in His sermons. Secular history records that it is true He was crucified and afterward His body was not found in the grave. The Bible says that He RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD! All that we read composes what we know about Jesus Christ and His life while He lived among humanity.
Jesus Christ was truly man! As a man He was hungry, He thirsted and grew weary in body. He experienced emotions like any other man. He was tempted as a man in every point by suffering a broken heart that resulted from loneliness and denial by His friends. He experienced anger, sadness, frustration, compassion, happiness, and disgust. He loved His own circle of friends and forgave those who had come in contact with His life and activity. BUT, through it all, privately as well as publicly, He stood in the midst of humanity without a spot…. nor guilt… Jesus Christ never committed sin. As a man He proved that God’s demands were reasonable and just. He did no sin!
JESUS CHRIST – GOD
Jesus was completely man. The body provided was flesh, but the Spirit that was veiled by that flesh was completely God. He calmed the tempest, bringing tranquillity to a lake violently thrashed by wind and waves. He multiplied a bit of bread and fish to satisfy 5,000 persons. And while we read of the account of this deed, we know without doubt that He could have done the same work without a crumb in His hand. Miraculously He spoke into existence, eyes, limbs, and hearing for people who had been born with a physical deficiency. With just a word or a touch of His hand a future of normality was given. He spoke, say the temple guards, as no other man. Not as the prophets saying, “Thus saith the Lord …,” but “Truly, Truly I say unto you.” He forgave sins and set at liberty those oppressed by the devil. As Nicodemus so beautifully put it, only God could do the things Jesus did. I don’t think we can improve upon his thinking.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE GOSPEL TIDINGS, JULY, 1994, PAGES 3, 10. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.