Fulfilled Prophecies that Prove Christ is God

Fulfilled Prophecies that Prove Christ is God

Who is Jesus Christ? Is He God? Or was He just a man? When Jesus asked His disciples this same question,[1] He was met with Simon Peter’s earnest reply: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[2] There are many who would answer just as earnestly, but who define the terms “Christ” and “Son of God” very differently than Peter himself did. For some, “the Christ” is a way of thinking/being/relating to existence and “the divine cosmos;” for others, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other modern-day proponents of Arianism, “the Christ” was only a man when He was on the earth. The problem with all aberrant Christologies is that they ignore the simple fact that their denial of historical Christianity’s understanding of Christ as being both God and Man amounts to a denial of some of the most profound fulfilled prophecies recorded in the New Testament. More than this, it also amounts to a denial of the Biblical Christ, in whose place they set up an idol.

Beginning with the very first verses of the Gospel of Mark, we are given a pretty bold declaration of the Deity of Christ. Mark opens his Gospel account by combining two prophecies about the Messiah into one. We read:

The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets, “Behold I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way,The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.’”[3]

Note that it is God who, through the prophets, is speaking of Christ. God will send His messenger before Christ, John the Baptist, who will prepare the way of the Lord, Yahweh/the God of Israel. We know that John the Baptist prepared the way of the Christ, Jesus, since the very next words that follow are: “John [the Baptist] appeared…and he preached saying, ‘After me comes He who is mightier than I…”(vv.4-7). Christ, therefore, is “the Lord” whose way was prepared by John the Baptist – that is to say, Jesus is Yahweh/God. The significance of this prophecy cannot be overlooked; if the very coming of the Messiah included the fact that He would be Yahweh, then those who deny Christ’s Deity are denying that He fulfilled these two prophecies that Mark combines.[4] To deny that Christ is God is to deny Christ.

Matthew’s Gospel also teaches us that a denial of the Deity of Christ is a denial of Christ Himself. He writes: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).”[5] In these two small verses there is a ton to be learned about the Messiah. We learn (i.)that Christ fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14; (ii.)that Christ was conceived miraculously by the power of  the Holy Spirit; (iii.)that He will be the child of  a woman; and (iv.)that He will be God on earth. Matthew’s explanation of Christ’s fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 goes even farther back in time in the life of Jesus Christ, prior to even the beginning mentioned in Mark 1:1-3. Matthew records that Christ’s conception itself is a fulfilled prophecy, and that the prophecy contained a declaration of His Deity. Therefore, we can say with certainty that a denial of Christ’s Deity even at the moment of conception is a denial of Christ. Incidentally, contrary to what the Mormons teach about Christ – i.e. that He was only a man who achieved godhood – the Scriptures declare that He was God even at the time of His being conceived. Jesus Christ did not eventually become a god; rather, Jesus was, is, and will always be God Almighty.

Similarly, at the end of Christ’s earthly ministry we see that His Deity is also explicitly testified to, being part and parcel of His very Person and Work. Matthew 21:4-5 tells us that Christ’s riding into Jerusalem on a donkey was the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, which refers to Yahweh God as the One who rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. Therefore, in order for Christ to be the Christ, to fulfill that which was written of Him, which in this case is Zech 9:9, He must be God. Yet He must also be man, since Matthew goes on to record the fact that the people cried out: “Hosanna to the Son of David![6] Christ is Yahweh become flesh and the Son of David who is also David’s Lord.[7] The Deity of Christ, moreover, is evident in His understanding of Himself as Judge of the living and the dead. We can see this in Matthew 29-31, where we read:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

There are two allusions to the Old Testament that are made in this passage, both of which refer to Yahweh and which Jesus tells us are about Him. These two passages are Zechariah 12:10, in which Yahweh speaks of being pierced and mourned over, and Psalm 50:1-5 where Yahweh God calls His elect to Himself from the all over the planet in order to judge them, and condemns the hypocritical who pretend to be His children and falsely take His covenant upon their lips. If we believe that Jesus will return to judge the quick and the dead, which He prophesies of here, then we are required to believe that He is God.

Until that time when our Lord returns, however, He is seated in high heavenly places, for “it says, ‘When He ascended on high He led a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.’”[8] Christ, according to the apostle, has fulfilled this Word found in Psalm 68:18 by His descent to earth in His incarnation, ascension back to His throne after His resurrection from the dead, and His giving of spiritual gifts to His church.[9] What is problematic for the Arian is the simple fact that Psalm 68 is about Yahweh God, opening with the triumphant words: “God shall arise” (v.1). Paul does not quote from this Psalm haphazardly either, for we can see that there are numerous themes within it that correspond to those found throughout the epistle to the Ephesians.[10] I would personally go so far as to say that Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians is almost a sermonic exposition of Psalm 68 in light of the Lord Jesus’ life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension. To deny that Christ is God, then, is to also deny His ascension to the throne, His giving of spiritual gifts to His people, and His working of all things according to the counsel of His own will.

Conclusion

To deny that Christ is God is to deny that (i.)He fulfilled Isaiah 7:14 in being conceived by the Holy Spirit, (ii.)He fulfilled Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 in His entrance into ministry, (iii.)He fulfilled Zechariah 9:9 in His entrance into Jerusalem toward the end of His ministry, (iv.)He was wrong to apply passages about Yahweh to Himself in referencing His return (cf. Ps 50 & Zech 12:10), and (v.)the apostle Paul, although under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, misinterpreted Psalm 68. These conclusions are detrimental to the Arian’s belief that Christ was merely a Man who fulfilled all of the above prophecies (in the case of (i.), (ii.), (iii.), and (iv.)); it is also detrimental to the Arian’s belief that Scripture is the inerrant and infallible Word of God (in the case of (v.)). The Arian is obligated to either affirm that Christ is the Messiah who is, therefore, God Incarnate, and affirm that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God, or the Arian can continue to cling to his heretical ideas about Christ and deny that He ever fulfilled any of the above prophecies about Him, and further deny that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God.

-h.


[1] Cf. Matt 16:13-15

[2] Matt 16:16

[3] Mark 1:1-3

[4] Respectively, the two prophecies are taken from Malachi 3:1 & Isaiah 40:3.

[5] Matt 1:22-23

[6] Matt 21:9

[7] Cf. Matt 22:41-46

[8] Eph 4:8

[9] Cf. Eph 4:9-10

[10]

Psalm 68 Ephesians
God will arise (vv.1, 18)He will put His enemies to shame by His victorious ascension (vv.1-2, 20 [which is itself a further allusion to Genesis 3:15 which prophesies of the coming Messiah])

Jew and Gentile would be united in worshiping Him (vv.32-35)

He will “bear up” His people (v.19)

He will give His people the gift of salvation and the blessing of being His people (vv.4-6, 26-35)

He restored His “inheritance” (vv.7-10)

Jesus Christ has arisen (1:20, 2:6)Christ has made known God’s Wisdom to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places (3:8-10)

 

 

Jew and Gentile are united in worshiping Christ (2:11-22)

 

Believers in Christ have been “raised” with Him (2:6)

Christ has given us the gift of salvation and the blessing of being His people (1:3-14, 4:1-16)

He has a “glorious inheritance in the saints” (1:18)

 

About Hiram Diaz

Hiram Diaz has written 18 post in this blog.

Hiram Diaz is a New York native currently residing in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children. His interests are philosophy and presuppositional & exegetical apologetics. He maintains Involuted Speculations, a blog about pretty much anything that pops into his head and can't find its way out until it's written down.

1 Responses to Fulfilled Prophecies that Prove Christ is God

  1. Razor Swift says:

    “He was met with Simon Peter’s earnest reply: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
    >>>

    I usually cite Peter and Thomas to a JW when we talk the deity of Christ. Both men learned by revelation who Jesus really was. Sometimes no matter how good our apologetic argument is, these may fall short and take a back seat to revelation. Great article.

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