Is Jesus Really God?
Hi, my name is Terish and I am from India. Actually, I am a big fan of your website. Whenever I read The Holy Bible and have some doubt, I used to refer your website since it contains a detailed description of each verse.
Ever since I started reading Bible, I have a big doubt in my mind that whether Jesus Christ is the real God who incarnated as a human to earth? Is Jesus Christ and the God created this universe (we call him Yahweh) the same? Because Jesus never claimed that he is the God, and all the people should worship him.
Then why do we worship Jesus Christ as God?
Could you please clear my doubt on this matter?
- Thanks for the question: glad to have a user from India!
- Yes, Jesus is God, was God, and will always be God
- A remarkable teaching: that the Man Jesus of Nazareth was really God in human flesh
- He was also a man: For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5)
- Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, was truly God and truly Man; that at some point in time, the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, added humanity to His deity in an event we know as the incarnation.
- Now, to focus on the deity of Jesus
Jesus Christ Has All the Attributes of Deity
Jesus Christ possesses the five attributes that only God has: eternity, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and immutability.
(1) He is eternal. He was not only before Abraham (John 8:58), and before the world was created (John 17:5, 24), but he was in existence “in the beginning” (John 1:1; cf. 1 John 1:1), and, in fact, “from the days of eternity” (Mic. 5:2).
Jesus is Eternal: Micah 5:2
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
And as to the future, he continues forever (Isa. 9:6f.; Heb. 1:11f.; 13:8). The Father’s communication of life to him is an eternal process (John 5:26; cf. 1:4).
(2) He is omnipresent. He was in heaven while on earth (John 3:13) and is on earth while he is in heaven (Matt. 18:20; 28:20). He fills all (Eph. 1:23).
Jesus is Omnipresent: Ephesians 1:22-23
And He [God the Father] put all things under His [Jesus, God the Son] feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
(3) He is omniscient. Jesus knows all things (John 16:30; 21:17). In fact, in him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Several examples of his omniscience are given in the Gospels. He knew what was in man (John 2:24f.), and he knew the history of the Samaritan woman (John 4:29), the thoughts of men (Luke 6:8; 11:17), the time and manner of his exit out of this world (Matt. 16:21; John 12:33; 13:1), the one who would betray him (John 6:70f.), and the character and termination of the present age (Matt. 24, 25). He knew the Father as no mortal could (Matt. 11:27).
Jesus is Omniscient: Colossians 2:3
In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
(4) He is omnipotent (John 5:19). He is the mighty God (Isa. 9:6; cf. Rev. 1:8), he “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3), and all authority is given to him (Matt. 28:18).
Jesus is Omnipotent: John 5:19
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”
(Anything God the Father can do, God the Son also does.)
(5) He is immutable (Heb. 1:12; 13:8). This is true of his plans, promises, and person. God the Son has manifested or shown Himself is different ways, but His essential being and deity has never changed and will never change.
Jesus is Immutable: Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Jesus is the Creator: John 1:3
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Jesus Forgives Sins as God: Matthew 9:6
But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
Jesus Will Raise the Dead at the End of Time: John 5:25
Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
The New Testament takes specific Old Testament references to Yahweh and applies them to Jesus Christ. (in show notes)
- Yahweh is the Creator (Psalm 102:24-27); Jesus is the Creator (Hebrews 1:10-12)
- Isaiah saw Yahweh (Isaiah 6:1-4); Isaiah saw Jesus (John 12:41)
- Yahweh has a forerunner (Isaiah 40:3); Jesus had a forerunner (Matthew 3:3)
- Yahweh disciples His people (Numbers 21:6f); Jesus disciples His people (1 Corinthians 10:9)
- Yahweh is to be regard as holy (Isaiah 8:13); Jesus is to be regarded as holy (1 Peter 3:15)
- Yahweh leads captivity captive (Psalm 68:18); Jesus leads captivity captive (Ephesians 4:8)
- Yahweh is to be the object of faith (Joel 2:32); Jesus is to be the object of faith (Romans 10:9, 13)
Jesus Christ referred to Himself in words and phrases that belong to God alone (in show notes)
- Jesus said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven” (John 6:41)
- Jesus said, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved” (John 10:9)
- Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)
- Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13)
Jesus is God
- Jesus Christ Has All the Attributes of Deity
- Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things
- Jesus Christ has the authority to forgive all sins
- Jesus Christ will raise (and judge) the dead at the end of time
- The New Testament takes specific Old Testament references to Yahweh and applies them to Jesus Christ.
- Jesus Christ referred to Himself in words and phrases that belong to God alone.
When Jesus performed miracles, why did He tell some people not to talk about it, but told others to go and tell people?
To us today, it seems a little bit strange that Jesus would say such a thing. Why wouldn’t Jesus tell everybody, “Let it be known as widely as possible who I am, and about all the miracles I performed.” But we have to understand that there was a very important and specific timing to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus was in constant dependence upon his Father. He said, “I don’t do anything except the Father tells me to do it.” So Jesus was in a position of constant dependence upon God the Father. He very deliberately knew that he had to do everything within the timing of God the Father, and was so zealous to keep that proper timing in all things. Jesus says, “I’m going to do things in the timing.” Now, what does that have to do with when he would reveal these things? Because Jesus knew that there was a specific timing when he would be revealed as the Messiah to the people of God, to the community, and he did not want the Messianic fervor to get ahead of itself. So it was in order to respect the timing and to not allow the Messianic excitement, the Messianic fervor around the presence of Jesus, to make this something far beyond what it should have been, or getting ahead of the timing that God had for him.
Before I answer the next question, I do just want to give another welcome and a greeting to our audience from the TRW360 website. TRW Trans World Radio is a remarkable ministry that for decades has been doing God’s work, getting the word of God and great biblical teaching out to the ends of the earth, literally through shortwave radio and other means, and they also have an impressive and growing online ministry. We’re very happy that this YouTube program is being done in partnership and sharing the platform of TRW360. So, God bless you, and all of our listeners and viewers coming to us from TRW.
How would you answer claims that Jesus is only “the Messenger” of God?
I have a manager at work who’s a practicing Muslim that claims Jesus is not God, but the Messenger of God. I tried to talk to him a couple of times as he is struggling with generational curses. What would you share with him regarding his position?
That’s a great question, and I answered a lot of it in today’s first question. But let me just say this: if Jesus was only a messenger of God, if that were to be true — which is not true — Jesus tells us himself, he’s far more than a messenger of God: He is God Himself. But if Jesus were only a messenger from God, then he spoke blasphemy. Because all the messengers of God directed people towards God; they directed people to trust in God Himself. Jesus directed people to trust in Him, which is a remarkable thing to do. Jesus told everybody that they needed to abide in him. Can you imagine such a thing? Jesus said, “You have to abide in me if you’re going to find salvation.” Now, again, the great prophets or messengers of God never spoke in such a way. They spoke in a way that always pointed the attention and the focus of people towards the coming work of God, that coming greater messenger of God, or the greater Messiah of God to come. If Jesus was only a messenger, then he was wrong to tell people to trust in Him, to abide in Him, to have their confidence in him. So this is a very important point, that Jesus himself told people that they had to put their trust in Him. The Bible exalts Jesus far, far above any way in which it ever lifts up a mere messenger of God. Okay, so that’s one way that you can explain to your manager at work.
Regarding your manager’s generational curses: don’t be shy about telling your manager at work that Jesus Christ can free him from these generational curses, that such curses have no power before the authority of Jesus Christ, who is God’s Messiah and the Son of God. He can be set free from such things in Jesus.
How can we know about God the Father? Are there any specific verses to read?
Well, I would say that’s a very good question. If you want to know more about God the Father, then the simple way to do that is to say, “I’m going to study Jesus’s relationship with God.” Specifically, of course, God the Father, because God the Father is the one aspect of God that Jesus Himself dealt with. So it’s good, it’s valid. It’s important for us to say, “If I want to know more about God the Father, then let me see how Jesus spoke to, related to, received from the Father.” Start reading carefully through the Gospels and taking a look at how Jesus responded to and dealt with God the Father. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind as a way that you can learn more about God the Father in his specific person and attributes. Study closely the relationship that Jesus had with his God and Father.
What does the Bible say about people who say that they are anointed? Is it right to tell other people that we are anointed?
I think that that is a tremendous question. Are we anointed? I think that the answer to that question is very simple. Yes, you better believe that we are anointed. The Bible tells us in 1 John 2:20 that, “You have an anointing.” John writes to us by the inspiration of Holy Spirit, and he tells us that we have an anointing from God. Every Christian has an anointing. We shouldn’t think that there are some Christians who have an anointing and some who don’t, in the way that Christians kind of commonly use that phrase, “the anointing.” They refer to it as some special, individualistic thing that only some Christians have, and that some don’t. They give the impression like, “You should give me some special honor or respect or deference because I have the anointing and you don’t.” Listen, don’t think that way about the anointing of God. The Bible tells us that every Christian has an anointing. And I’m happy to tell you that if you are born again, by God’s Spirit, you have an anointing.
Now, you could say that God gives different gifts to his people. That’s absolutely true. I don’t know what your spiritual gifts are. I know that some of my spiritual gifts are the gift of teaching, the gift of preaching, and other sort of gifts that God gives me, like the gift of encouragement, maybe. But I just want you to know, that you have spiritual gifts. Every believer has an anointing. Just look up that passage in 1 John, where he says to God’s people that you have an anointing— this is true for all of the people of God. The next time somebody comes to you, and tries to impress you or somebody else talking about their anointing, you can say, “Hey, I’ve got an anointing; to all of us as God’s children, we have an anointing.”
There’s a balance that we need to walk in the Christian life. And it is true, that Bible says that teachers, preachers, and leaders in God’s church are worthy of respect. They’re worthy of honor. Sometimes Paul even uses the phrase “double honor.” That’s true. But there are not two classes in the Christian world, such as “Some believers are better than others before God.” No, no— the ground is level at the foot of the cross. And we thank God for that.
How can health workers share the Gospel appropriately in a work setting?
Can you give me some tips on how to share the gospel as a nurse at the hospital, especially when your patients have to be the one to bring up the subject before you can talk about it?
This is a little bit difficult, because I don’t know the specific rules at your hospital or in the medical world in general. I understand that, on a professional basis, they don’t want you to talk about religious things, unless your patients bring it up first. But I’m wondering if it would be permitted for you to say to your patients, “Hey, I just want you to know that I’m praying for you as well.” I don’t know if that’s crossing the line. But it may be a general enough statement to be permitted. And I think that would be a great introduction, for you to mention to your patients that you are a person that has a spiritual sense, that you have a concern and care for spiritual things, and that you pray. And that might open the door for them to respond. I would maybe run that by your hospital’s professional Code of Conduct for a nurse at the hospital. But I would think that that might be a basic enough introduction to get something started.
Now, whether or not they say you can say that you are praying for your patients, do pray for your patients! Pray for them, that God would bring healing and strength to their life; pray for them, that God would save them and bring them to Jesus Christ; and pray that God would open a door for them to initiate conversation.
But check on that. And I would be interested to know whether or not that’s permitted for you, to just say something as simple as, “Hey, I want you to know that I’m praying for you.”
I believe Jesus was God incarnate. But does someone have to believe that Jesus is God to be saved? What if someone believes that Jesus was just the Son of God?
Is it enough? No. Must a person believe that Jesus is God in order to be saved? This question is a little complicated. A person can have an incomplete knowledge of Jesus and be saved. So in order to be saved, someone must believe that Jesus is the Savior, the Messiah, the one who saves them— I regard that to be absolute minimum. And someone could believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, perhaps without immediately knowing that he is also God. So a person can have an incomplete knowledge of Jesus and be saved. By the way, every one of us has to some degree and incomplete knowledge of Jesus. So maybe this person knows that Jesus is Messiah, and they know Jesus is the Savior, but they don’t yet know that Jesus is God; that person could be saved. A person does not have to have a perfectly correct understanding of God to be saved, or of Jesus to be saved.
Let’s put it that specifically. It is possible for someone to make some mistake in some of the technicalities of who Jesus is. For example, there has been debate in church history about how the two natures of the person of Jesus — Him being truly God and truly man — how do those two natures exist and coexist in Jesus? I mean, there is a correct biblical understanding on that. But if somebody is confused or incorrect about it, does that mean they’re not saved? Well, not necessarily.
But let me put it this way: a person cannot deny the truth about Jesus. So if a person denies that Jesus is God, I don’t think they can be saved. And let me tell you why. It’s not because getting to Heaven is a matter of passing a theology test. Oh, aren’t we grateful for that? As if we’re all in God’s seminary, and we’re all given a great big exam; if you got the section of Jesus wrong in the exam, would you be going to hell? No, it’s not because God gives us a great big theological test as a prerequisite for us going to heaven, and if we miss one certain wrong answer then we’re for sure going to hell. That’s not why someone who denies that Jesus is God cannot be saved. It’s because of this: a person who denies that Jesus is God doesn’t know and put their trust in the biblical Jesus for their salvation. The only Jesus who can save is the Jesus who is revealed to us in God’s word. If somebody denies, in some form or fundamental way, that Jesus who is revealed to us in the Bible, then they’re putting their trust in an imaginary Jesus, a Jesus who does not exist; and an imaginary Jesus cannot save you.
So, a person cannot deny the truth of the deity of Jesus. Maybe they are not yet informed about that truth and they can be saved. But a person cannot deny the truth about Jesus that he is God. I hope that makes it clear to you. There is a difference between ignorance and denial. There’s a difference between confusion and denial. But certainly if a person denies that Jesus Christ is God, any relationship with Jesus they claim to have is actually a relationship with an imaginary Jesus.
What is a good Bible Dictionary? Is there a difference between Vine’s Dictionary and Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary?
The Bible dictionary that I have enjoyed the most is Tyndale’s New Bible Dictionary. But there are a lot of good Bible dictionaries out there. I don’t know if I would say there is a real difference. Between Nelson’s Bible Dictionary and Vine’s Dictionary, I’m more familiar with Vine’s Topical Bible. Most of the standard ones out there are good. Again, I’ve had a preference for the New Bible Dictionary from Tyndale.
Most people are looking up this information online. But there’s something great about looking it up in a physical book. What this does is it takes people and books of the Bible and objects. Here’s a diagram of different things that you can just look at in the New Bible Dictionary. It takes words and ideas and books of the Bible and just gives them a dictionary explanation and definition from the scriptures. That’s the one I recommend most readily, the one that I have found most useful in my own study of God’s Word.
Are there plans to translate Enduring Word into Dutch?
Well, that is a great question. I have to be very straightforward with you. That is not in our plans, as of now. And let me explain to you why we are prioritizing the most spoken languages in the world. It’s pretty simple: you just take a look at what are the most spoken languages in the world. Among these are English, Chinese, Arabic, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French. We’re beginning translation projects in Hindi; we just got back my commentary on the Gospel of Luke translated into Hindi. And hopefully before too long, we’ll have that up on our website.
We’re trying to be very strategic in prioritizing the work in the most spoken languages. However, if there are people who on a volunteer basis would like to help with the work of translating and proofreading my commentary into the Dutch language, I would be thrilled!
Listen, there’s no language that I don’t want to have my commentary translated in. But we have to wisely and prayerfully allocate resources. So here’s our priority for resources in the most spoken languages of the world, as I’ve just mentioned, and certain strategic languages. Here are two strategic languages that we’re putting some focus on right now in translation: Farsi, and the Kurdish languages. God is doing a remarkable work among Persian believers, those who speak Farsi, and God is also doing remarkable work among Kurdish speaking peoples right now. We see the great work of God happening among them. That sort of gets our attention; so we say, let’s work on translating our resources into those languages as well. I hope that helps you and God bless you. We have many friends in the Netherlands, and those who come from Dutch heritage. It’s remarkable to think of the great heritage that Dutch speaking people have up for the kingdom of God. And I’m excited to see what God is doing in the Netherlands. So thank you for that question.
What is the dispensation of the Holy Spirit?
I was told that we are in the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. What does that mean? So who do we pray for?
The idea of there being a dispensation of the Holy Spirit really depends on how you define it. Because that could be understood in a very wrong way, let me give you the wrong way that that’s been understood and explained. And I even say that the following is a heretical way. There is a teaching out there among some people, which some people call “the Oneness teaching.” It’s also called by other names throughout church history. “Modalism” is another teaching that God has existed in different modes; in other words, that there’s not a trinity of one God in three persons that exists together at the same time. But rather, they say this: first God was manifested in the mode of God the Father, then second, he was manifested in the mode of God the Son, and now he has manifested in the mode of God, the Holy Spirit, but never has God existed, either in the past, or now, in all three persons at the same time. However, the teaching of the Trinity tells us that there’s one God— don’t miss that! There are not three Gods, there’s one God in three persons, simultaneously.
Now, if someone means by the dispensation of the Spirit, that God is no longer God the Father, that’s not what the Bible teaches. If someone means by the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, that God is no longer God the Son, that’s not what the Bible teaches. If someone means it like that, in that sense, we say: No, no, no — stay away from it.
But if by the dispensation of the Holy Spirit they mean that God’s presence and work on Earth at the present time is primarily and most pointedly focused on the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the midst of us, since Jesus has ascended to heaven, yes; that is a sense in which it could be said that we are in a dispensation of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is not bodily present on Earth. But rather, when he ascended to heaven, as he promised he would do, he sent the Holy Spirit to work in and through the people of God; that’s the presence of the Holy Spirit. If that’s what someone means by that, then we can understand: Yes, we are in the dispensation of the Holy Spirit.
Now, who do we pray for? Well, since God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit exist eternally and at the present time, then it’s very easy for us just to say this, we fundamentally we pray to God the Father, through the mediation and access and entry given to us by God the Son, with the inspiration and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. That is the primary means of prayer, but we shouldn’t think that it’s wrong to worship or pray to God the Son, Jesus Christ, or that it’s wrong to worship and pray to God the Holy Spirit.
Again, this is a matter of emphasis, primarily the pattern for prayer given to us in the word that we pray to God the Father, through the mediation of God the Son through the inspiration and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Yet, that isn’t an absolute law. It’s just more of an emphasis given to us in the Scriptures.
Is speaking in tongues the evidence of the Spirit in one’s life? If not, what’s your proof?
No, it is not the evidence of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. Now, it is true that there are a few times in the book of Acts where the fact that someone spoke with the gift of tongues was an evidence that they were filled with Holy Spirit. So I’m not trying to say that there is no connection between evidence of the Holy Spirit, or being filled with Holy Spirit, and speaking in tongues. There’s some evidence.
What I would strongly protest is the idea that it is the evidence of someone being filled with Holy Spirit. That is something that the Bible does not teach. And I think that is a teaching which has done considerable damage among God’s people.
Let me explain you what I mean. If we regard speaking in tongues as the evidence of being filled with the Spirit, how do I know I’m filled all the way? The only way I could know for sure would be if I spoke in tongues. That is a dangerous and a damaging doctrine, because of the practical effect that it has. It has a very bad practical effect, and I’ll explain why: it leads people to seek the gift of tongues to prove something. It’s like saying, “Either I need to prove to myself that I’m really filled with Holy Spirit,” or “I need to prove to other people who are praying for me that I’m really filled with Holy Spirit.” Because of this desire to prove something to somebody, it compels people to oftentimes fake the gift of tongues. Now, I’ll have you know, even though there are many dear, valuable brothers and sisters in the body of Christ today who disagree with me on this, I do believe that the gift of tongues is for today. And I’m not trying to get into a debate about that specific thing here now.
But even though I believe that the gift of tongues is for today, I also believe that it can be faked, that it can be presented in a false way. It can be counterfeited, so to speak. And that is something that we should endeavor with all our heart to avoid. So we never want to put somebody in a position where they feel compelled in any way to fake the gift of tongues, in order to prove something to somebody, themselves or somebody else.
Now, you ask a very good question: then what is the evidence of being filled with Holy Spirit? Very plainly, it’s the fruit of the Spirit. Look up in the New Testament the passages in which it describes the fruit of the Holy Spirit; rather that is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. But again, that is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, whether or not the fruit of the Spirit is evident in your life.
Brothers and sisters, we need to realize that if we want to look for true evidence of God’s filling and God’s work in our life, we would be far better giving attention to the fruit of the Spirit than we would be giving attention to gifts of the Spirit or, spectacular things of the Spirit. No, the real evidence to look for is the fruit of the Spirit.
Why did Jesus fulfill the desire of Legion when he asked to enter the body of pigs?
That’s a very good question. Why did Jesus fulfill the desire of Legion? What you’re speaking of, of course, is the occasion in the gospels having to do with a person that we normally call the Gadarene demoniac. It was a person who was severely possessed by a demon, or demons; they could have been multiple. He was out of his right mind. He was violent to himself and towards others. He was, as a song I enjoy, calls him, “the man of the tombs.” He was chained, he was bound, he was out of his right mind.
When Jesus came and confronted this demonic entity, or entities, Jesus was determined to cast the demon or demons out of the man. And the demons begged that they would not be sent to the abyss, and that they would still be permitted to be on earth, inhabiting some kind of thing. They said, “Cast us into these pigs,” and Jesus did.
Your question is, “Why did Jesus do that to those poor pigs?” Well, I’ve got a suggestion for you. Jesus did that because the Jewish people who were keeping those pigs were doing so against God’s law. Pigs, of course, are not kosher. Those Jewish people should have been keeping kosher, and they weren’t, because they were keeping pigs. And Jesus did this to kind of solve two problems. The one problem was freeing the Gadarene demoniac of the demon or demons that he had. And the second solution was to bring a correction to this community of Jewish people that was not observing God’s kosher dietary laws, and to drive out the pigs. So, I believe Jesus was addressing two problems with that. There may have been no doubt many other reasons for that, that I can’t put my finger on. But in the wisdom of Jesus Christ, which is the wisdom of God, he actually put those demons in those pigs and the pigs rushed off a cliff and drowned themselves in the sea.
Is the COVID vaccine the mark of the beast?
Let me just simply say: No. I can answer that very straightforwardly. No, the COVID vaccine is not the mark of the beast. And I can tell you the reason why. When we take a look at the book of Revelation, and what it has to say about the mark of the beast, we know that, number one, no one can buy or sell without that mark. And, to this time, of course, there has been no link connecting economic activity to the vaccine, not in any direct way.Of course, in a dreadful way, some people say that if people don’t take the vaccine, economies won’t get back on track, but there is no direct way.
But more importantly than that, the book of Revelation also connects the receiving of the mark of the beast together with worship of the beast, the Antichrist, a charismatic and successful world ruler of the very last days. That world ruler will demand worship and the mark of that worship, the mark that someone has worshiped the beast, will be receiving the mark of the beast. There is no such connection between the vaccine and that.
Now, I will say this: there are people who suggest that the mark is the current vaccine, that people are required to receive it. Well, where I live, in the United States, the vaccine is not required. It’s recommended, but it’s not required. But there is no connection, whether between the worship of an individual or the government, or of a requirement for economic activity. Some people are saying that the current vaccine that people are recommended to receive is actually a preparation for a later mark of the beast. That might be the case, and so people should be aware of that. People should be aware that something like this, but in a greater and more severe degree, will come later or can come later. I say “can come” because it may or may not be in our own day, but the Bible says it will come eventually. So we could say that the vaccine that people receive in the whole vaccine regime is preparation before that, but I do not think that it is the mark of the beast at all.
After reading 1 Timothy 2:11-15, I understand that women are not to be pastors of churches. Is that correct?
Well, Amanda, that is my understanding of that passage in 1 Timothy 2. I believe that it’s saying there that women should not be in positions of doctrinal or teaching authority over men. And I believe that that would exclude women from the position of being lead pastor, preaching pastor, or even ruling elders at a church.
I want you understand very carefully: I do believe that the Bible does not prohibit preaching, teaching, or evangelism from women. The whole matter is in what sphere they should exercise those gifts. If God has given a woman a gift of preaching or teaching, she should exercise that gift, but the sphere in which that should be exercised should be in obedience to God’s word, and it should not be over a congregation in general.
I have a teaching on this in some depth —we’ll include a link to that in the show notes— where I go through that 1 Timothy passage very carefully. But that’s my understanding.
I often get the question back from people, “Well, David, what are you saying then to women who have had those roles?” I understand that there are Christians from many different backgrounds, and some of them have no problem with a woman being in teaching authority, or a woman being a pastor. I have no doubt that I’m speaking to some of those people right now. Maybe you are a woman pastor over a congregation, or you attend a church that has a woman pastor over a congregation? And you say, “Well, David, what would you say to them?”
Here’s what I would say. I would say that, number one, I don’t believe that you’re doing as God’s word instructs. And that in the long term, it’s not good for the body of Christ to do this. It’s never good for God’s people to not obey what God says. However, I will say this in a secondary way. You’re not my enemy. Your obedience or disobedience in this matter is between you and God. So, again, I understand that not everyone in God’s family is persuaded to my understanding of the biblical texts. I think they should be, because I think I understand this correctly. But ultimately, you don’t answer to me; you answer to God. And you will answer to God for this.
I do think that what you’re doing, if you are a woman pastor of a congregation, that in the long term, it’s not good for the body of Christ, and it’s not obedient to God’s word. But ultimately, you’re not my enemy. I’m not your opponent in that sense. You stand or fall before God. And you should just take that to God, and think about it, and listen to the message that I did, and linked in the show notes.
You should at least deal with good arguments that are held by those who disagree with you. I’ve tried to do that to the very best of my understanding and these matters. And I think every Christian should do so.
How do you deal with a boss who does not like you because you believe in Jesus?
First of all, you have all my sympathy. That’s a tough situation to be in. But please understand this that if you are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, then the Bible says the first thing you should do is rejoice, because you’re being faithful to God. And you are following in the footsteps of many godly people in the world today and, of course, in centuries past.
Now, I said that you’re enduring this disfavor from your boss as persecution. Some people might object to that. And let me just explain carefully what I mean. I do believe that if you have disfavor from your boss because you are a Christian, you are being persecuted, but it’s a very mild form of persecution. Thank the Lord that you’re not being persecuted more severe ways. Many of our brothers and sisters all over the world are being persecuted in severe and difficult ways, and they have been throughout history. Our hearts go out to them, and our prayers go out for them.
But we shouldn’t think that just because persecution is mild, that it’s not persecution. It is persecution, but it’s mild persecution. The disfavor of a boss for the sake of Christ is persecution— mild, but real. So rejoice, number one.
Secondly, do your very best to ensure that this persecution is coming truly because you’re representing Jesus Christ. Peter, in his letter, speaks of those who aren’t being persecuted because they’re doing wrong, but because they’re doing right. Make sure you’re not being persecuted because you’re doing wrong.
Let’s just make a hypothetical situation. Let’s think of a hypothetical situation about someone who isn’t doing their work, but spends all day at their desk reading their Bible when they should be doing their work. And then when their boss gets on them for it, they say, “Oh, I’m being persecuted.” Well, you know what God would say to that believer. “Why don’t you put your Bible away and read it on your own time and give your employer an honest day’s work?” So, any Christian who’s experiencing disfavor from their boss needs to first of all, rejoice. Secondly, be diligent to make sure that you’re not enduring this because you’re not working well. Try to be the best worker you can be.
Then, number three: pray for your boss or supervisor. Jesus told us that we should pray for those who persecute us and spitefully use us. So bring those prayers before God, pray for their conversion, pray for their soul. Pray that God would use your faithfulness and joy, even in the midst of a season of persecution, to be a real demonstration of God’s love and God’s power.