According to Dan Brown, in his New York Times Best Seller, The Da Vinci Code, Jesus Christ was considered by His disciples and followers for the first three hundred years to be a prophet and a great man, maybe even the greatest man to ever live.
Jesus Christ was a historical figure of staggering influence, perhaps the most enigmatic and inspiration leader the world has ever seen. . . . My dear. . . until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet. . . a great powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal… Jesus establishment as ‘the Son of God’ was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea . . . a relatively close vote at that. (251-253).
Apparently, Jesus was never considered to be the Son of God until a very close vote of those in attendance at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD declared Jesus Christ to be the divine Son of God.
Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson, archaeological researchers and prolific writers, adamantly declare Christianity, as the world has known it for the last fifteen hundred years, is a perverted form of the Christian faith espoused by none other than the Apostle Paul.
According to their book, The Lost Gospel, true Christianity was vouchsafed to Mary Magdalene, the wife of Jesus.
Jesus was a godly man, maybe even a divine man, the Son of God, but the full humanity of Jesus is revealed in His marriage to Mary Magdalene and their children.
They teach Mary Magdalene is the “feminine principle” of Jesus’ theology and she was the leader of the Gentile church in the first century.
The humanizing of Jesus is certainly not a new phenomenon.
The Gnostic gospel has been around since at least the second century AD. It is believed the manuscripts found near Nag Hammadi in Egypt were written during the second century.
These codices contained thirteen leather bound volumes including The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Phillip, The Gospel of Truth, and Apocryphon of John (The Secret Revelation of John).
Many people think the error of such teaching is so obvious it does not warrant attention.
That is part of the issue.
It is not clearly obvious to the overwhelming majority of people.
Even in churches where the Gospel is preached, you will hear atements like, “Jesus is the greatest man to ever live.” “Jesus was a perfect man.” Bumper stickers and “t” shirts proclaim, “Jesus is my best friend.”
You will even hear preachers proclaim, “Jesus did those miracles as a man in a right relationship with God.”
All of these statements have a measure of truth and may seem perfectly innocent. The problem is they soften the true image of Jesus Christ.
There is a reason the Apostle Paul wrote extensively regarding the divinity of our Lord.
There were those challenging the belief that Jesus was more than a man, even in the first century AD. That was the major accusation by the high priests and the Sanhedrin.
The Apostle challenged this false teaching time and again in his epistles to the early churches. None of Paul’s writings provide a clearer image of Jesus’s deity than his letter to the Church of the Colossians written around 61 AD.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross (1:15-20).
Then, the Apostle gave this serious warning.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power (2:6-10).
Apostolic Father, Irenaeus, is one of the most prolific writers against the doctrine of Gnosticism.
His classic volume addressing the heresies of this doctrine, Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies) was written between 182 and 188 AD, a century after the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
Irenaeus specifically addressed those volumes found in the codices of Nag Hammadi writing, “an indescribable number of secret and illegitimate writings, which they themselves have forged, to bewilder the minds of foolish people, who are ignorant of the true scriptures.”
That is the significant battle being waged in this generation.
Few of those who claim to be born again and attend church at least twice a month open their Bibles Monday through Saturday.
Their knowledge of the Word of God is deplorably and dangerously little, leaving them extremely vulnerable to error and deception.
When this ignorance of truth is combined with the prolific writings, movies, and television specials rooted in Gnosticism, and Gospel preachers softening the true image of Jesus Christ the believers are at great risk.
There has been a covert war from the powers of darkness, since time of Genesis 3:14, to undermine the true identity of Jesus Christ.
Lucifer must stop the “seed of woman” or his kingdom is lost.
Indeed, his kingdom was defeated at the hands of Jesus Christ, the only person who is one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man; the one who is the very image of the invisible God by whom and for whom all things are created; the one in whom all the fullness of the godhead dwells. Jesus Christ took from him the keys of death, hell, and the grave.
Jesus then placed in the hands of His Church the keys of the Kingdom of God, imparting to them the power and authority to destroy the kingdom of darkness.
Lucifer had to turn his war against the Church. He must stop the disciples of Jesus Christ from extending the Kingdom of God.
Thus, for centuries he has been sowing the deception that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God and never claimed to be deity.
It has found new traction in the last several years.
In addition to false teaching about the identity of Jesus Christ, Lucifer is putting great pressure on the church through political correctness and cultural values that are embracing the Islamic doctrine.
A doctrine that demands the name of Jesus Christ is not to be named in public.
There are translations of the Holy Scriptures that no longer refer to Him as the Son of God. There are many who are now declaring Jesus Christ and Allah are equal.
Let’s look at the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.
When the crowds asked, “Who are you,” Jesus answered them according to the Old Testament Scriptures.
“You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23).
“Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).
When the high priest asked, “Are you the Son of God” Jesus answered him before the Sanhedrin, “You rightly say that I am” (Luke 22:70).
Pilate, Roman governor, asked Jesus, “Are You the King of the Jews” He responded, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice… You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin” (John 18:36-37; 19:11).
Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
Notice, Jesus is acknowledging His humanity and recognizes everyone is willing to acknowledge His humanity.
But, what personal knowledge did the disciples possess that others might not?
They first acknowledge the people thought He was a prophet, maybe even one come back from the dead. Then the Apostle Peter spoke for all of them, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Jesus did not rebuke him or correct him. Rather, Jesus blessed him for speaking the truth. Then the Lord declared, it was upon this truth, Jesus Christ is divinity; Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, that He would build His church.
Jesus Christ is the Son of Man. He came as a man to take upon Himself the sin of mankind and to pay the ransom price for sin.
Jesus Christ is the Son of David. He is the rightful heir to the throne of King David, as the King of Israel, and to be the ruler of all mankind.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the third person of the trinity. He was before all things and by His word and power everything is held together.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
This is the real Jesus.
He is our Lord.
He is our Savior.
He is eternal God!
We humble ourselves before Him and acknowledge that He alone is worthy of worship.