Seven Men Named Jesus
recent poll claimed that about half of all professing Christians donít believe
that Jesus is God, or that the Holy Spirit and Satan even exist.
Smaller but still significant percentages donít believe that Jesus lived
a sin free life or that He is the only way to salvation.
This has prompted questions about whether this means they arenít really
saved. I remembered an article on
this subject that I wrote a number of years ago and in response to these
questions I have updated and expanded it.
I believe it will explain what you have to believe about Jesus to be
saved. Letís read it.
suspect while talking with someone that you may have a mutual friend? Then as
you get further into the conversation you realize that you are describing two
different people who happen to have the same name? So it is with discussions of
Jesus. The nameís the same but the descriptions vary widely. Over the years Iíve
collected numerous descriptions of men named Jesus. Which one do you know?
First thereís the Jesus of Judaism. Heís known in Jewish writings as the
illegitimate son of Miriam (Mary). He lived in the first century CE (they donít
use AD) and led people away from main stream Judaism into a cult. His followers
were first called Netzerim (people of the branch) and later Christians. In his
name Jews have been persecuted unmercifully over the centuries.
Jews who admit to believing He was their Messiah are often considered
dead to their families. Jews donít believe in a second coming because they donít
believe thereís been a first one.
you have the Jesus of Islam. He was
a prophet and teacher on a par with Mohammed. His role was to help prepare
people for the great leader from Allah coming at the end of time to judge the
world. He was born of a
virgin but was not the son of God because the Quran says ďGod begets not, nor is
he begotten.Ē He didnít die for the
sins of the people because in Islam salvation comes from good works.
Neither was he resurrected. Instead, in a time of confusion God took him
live into heaven and someone else was crucified.
He will return at the end of the age to defeat the anti-Christ, call
everyone to Islam, and prepare the world for judgment.
Jesus of Mormonism is the spirit brother of Lucifer.
Both are sons of a god who was once a man and one of his many wives.
This Jesus became a human as the result of a sexual union between the
Mormon god and an unmarried Jewish girl named Mary. Heís often called the Savior
but never Lord, because although heís one of godís sons, heís not god.
If he determines that youíve done everything you possibly can to earn
your own salvation and are still short, heíll graciously make up the difference.
Heíll return at the End of the Age, having protected his saints through
the time of Great Tribulation, to
set up his kingdom.
The Jehovahís Witnesses have a Jesus too. Heís a son of Jehovah, but Heís
not God. Rather, he was a perfect man just like Adam originally was.
Before he became a man he was the Archangel Michael, who The Witnesses
believe to be Jehovahís first
created being. Just believing in
Jesus is not enough to save us. we also have to become a Jehovahís Witness, be
baptized, and obey Godís laws all of our life to prove ourselves worthy.
Their Jesus wasnít physically resurrected, but came back to life in
Spirit form. He returned to Earth
in Spirit form in 1914 and will become a physical being again at Armageddon.
thereís the Jesus of the liberal denominations. Heís a first century man who
lived an exemplary life of such gentleness and grace that it was almost as if he
was God. Heíll see that everyone who joins their denominations gets accepted
into heaven whether theyíre born again or not. Some proponents of liberal
theology claim that heíll also see that everyone who was sincere in whatever
other religion they practiced will get to heaven too. For the most part, liberal
denominations donít believe in the literal fulfillment of End Time events.
For many, the 2nd Coming happened to each person when they first believed
New Age Jesus is really one of the oldest. He originally appeared in first
century Gnosticism. This Jesus was a man who like 40 other ďascended mastersĒ
holds the key to knowledge (gnosis) that when learned will bring about the next
phase of human evolution, a spiritual growth that will finally make peace on
earth possible. He didnít die for our sins because thereís no need for us to be
Youíll find variations on these six themes in nearly every major religion and
cult around today. It seems every body wants you to think they know a man named
Jesus, even if they have to redefine him to suit their beliefs.
The Real Jesus
there is one more man named Jesus.
He is not a created being. On the
contrary He is our Creator. As Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16,
By him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible
and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things
were created by him and for him. Heís not an angel and heís not a mere man,
because He created both. The
archangel Michael might be the first created being, but if he is, Jesus is the
one who created him. And Lucifer
may have many brothers, but if he does, Jesus created them all.
is the Jesus of the Bible. He claimed to be God in the form of man (John 10:30
and 14:9). Men who knew Him agreed. Paul taught the Deity of Jesus in Colossians
1:15-16. So did John (John 1:1-3). The writer of the Book of Hebrews also agreed
(Hebr 1:3) and included a quote from Psalm 45:6-7 that shows God Himself
addressing Jesus as God (Hebr 1:8). And this is not just a New Testament idea.
In his prophecy of the Messiahís birthplace, Micah said He was an eternal
being whose goings forth were from days of eternity.
Literally from before time and perpetual. (Micah 5:2) He is the eternal
Hereís where your knowledge of Scripture becomes really important, because in
order to be all the Bible claims, Jesus has to be both 100% man and 100% God. If
He isnít a man He couldnít have been made like us in every way and suffered our
temptations as Hebr. 2:17-18 claim; he couldnít be our High Priest as Hebr.
4:14-15 assert; and he canít be our redeemer because he wouldnít be our next of
kin as required by Lev. 25:47-48 and explained in Rom 5:18-19.
If He isnít God He couldnít be King Davidís Lord (Matt 22:41-45) He
couldnít be sinless (Rom 3:20) and He couldnít be our Savior (Mark 2:6-12 and 1
Ptr 1: 18-21).
Is This a Cult?
Three things distinguish Christian cult beliefs from orthodox theology. The
cults deny the doctrine of salvation by grace alone. You have to earn at least
part of the salvation they offer. They also deny the notion of eternal
punishment for sin. Everyone goes to some kind of Heaven. And most importantly,
they deny the deity of Jesus. They portray Him as a great man and role model; a
great teacher, a prophet, even a social revolutionary, but certainly not God.
truth Jesus was all of that. But He was also much more. He was God in the form
of man; the Father dwelling in the Son (Col
1:19). To think of Jesus as anyone other than God is to reject the truth
concerning Him revealed through out His Word, and to put yourself at risk of
trusting in the wrong Jesus for your eternal destiny. The Jesus of the Bible is
the only one of the seven men named Jesus who is able to save you.