How can one prove that Jesus is God in the flesh?
In this interview, Dr. David Reagan and I discuss the end time prophetic significance of the increasing attacks on the character of Christ and some defenses against those attacks, later televised on our program Christ in Prophecy.
Fulfilled Prophecy as a Defense
Dr. Reagan: Talk about fulfilled prophecy for one. I point out for example that there are 109 specific prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in His First Coming. Some of those are prophecies that are well known to people, like in Micah 5:2 that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, which was written a whopping 500 years before His birth.
Nathan Jones: And it was a specific Bethlehem Micah was referencing, right?
Dr. Reagan: Yes, people don’t often realize that there were two Bethlehem’s — one up by the Sea of Galilee and one down near Jerusalem. The Bible says specifically that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah, which means it is the Bethlehem near Jerusalem.
There are many, many other prophecies like Micah 5:2. Psalm 22 says the Messiah would be crucified. Well, that is not the way the Jews executed people. They executed them by stoning them to death. Crucifixion was the way the Romans executed someone. And, by the way, the Psalm 22 prophecy was written 1,000 years before the Messiah was born.
In my new book Jesus the Lamb and the Lion I talk a lot about fulfilled prophecy. In fact, I have a whole chapter about probability and the fact that you cannot write these prophecies off as accidental, because that’d be beyond the realm of probability. I show the actual statistics where eight prophecies being fulfilled in the life of just one man is beyond the realm of probability to be fulfilled accidently.
In my book I also talk a lot about symbolic prophecy and how different symbols in the Bible pointed to Jesus, such as the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, and the feasts of Israel. They were all symbolic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
Witnesses as a Defense
Dr. Reagan: Proof that Jesus is God in the flesh can be found in the witnesses to the divinity of Jesus. There is the witness of the Trinity, and I give many examples of those from the Old Testament in my book. Old Testament scriptures show that God exists as three persons in one. God refers to Himself in the plural over and over again. I talk about the witness of God the Father in how He witnessed that Jesus was God in the flesh at His baptism and at His transfiguration.
I also talk about the witness of Jesus Himself. Do you know that one of the most famous teachers in Christendom recently said that Jesus never claimed to be Messiah? And yet, Jesus claimed over and over again and again to being the Messiah. He made specific statements that He was the Messiah. He said that before the Sanhedrin Council and to the Chief Priest. He used the term “Son of Man” to refer to Himself, which is a Messianic title from Daniel. Jesus used the term “Son of God” to refer to Himself. Jesus applied messianic prophecy to Himself. Jesus identified Himself with God the Father when He said, “If you have seen me you have seen God the Father” (Jn. 14:7,9). Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10:30).
Chapter 7 contains evidence of the divinity of Jesus Christ and it gives just one Scripture after another. When you read all of that, I tell you there is no way you can say Jesus was not God in the Flesh.
Another example I mention is the fact that Jesus went about forgiving sins and granting salvation, and only God can do that. Talk about Jesus’ miracles.
Talk about the witness of angels. Many times angels bore witness to Jesus being divine. For example, when He was born, Luke 2 tells us that the angels announced that “today in the city of David there has been born to you a Savior who is the Messiah the Lord.”
There is also the witness of fallen angels in that Satan and his demons recognized Jesus as God in the flesh. like when Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness. The demons identified Jesus as God one time when Jesus delivered a demon from a man in Capernaum and the demon cried out, “I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Lk. 4:34).
There is also the witness of the Apostles to Jesus’ divinity. We have many, many verses from the writings of Peter where he talks about how salvation is found in no one else under Heaven except the Lord Jesus Christ. There are also statements from the Apostle John and the Apostle Paul. We also have the witness from the book of Hebrews, though we don’t know for sure who wrote that book. Whoever wrote it said Jesus is, “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb. 1:3).
There are many other witnesses of the deity of Jesus. For example, many people think that Peter was the first one to confess Jesus as the Son of God, but no he wasn’t, Nathanael was. Nathanael said, “Rabbi you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel” (Jn. 1:49). The centurion at the cross looked up and said, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Mt. 27:54).
Jesus is God in the flesh and is not some Johnny-come-lately concept that was conjured up by a bunch of ignorant fisherman on the shores of Galilee long after He was dead. It was prophesied ahead of time. It was fulfilled in His life. It was demonstrated in His life.
Changed Lives as a Defense
Nathan Jones: I love the point that you made in your book that lives were changed because of encountering Jesus in one’s life. If Jesus wasn’t God in the flesh then lives wouldn’t change.
Dr. Reagan: That is the continuing, greatest evidence of all that Jesus was who He said He was. When people put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior and truly in Him personally, and not just become a cultural Christian but really put their faith in Him, then lives are transformed. You and I know that for sure. My life was transformed. Sometime the transformations are so radical, like my good friend Jack Hollingsworth who is a featured singer for the ministry. He lived on the streets homeless for 20 years. He tried to kill himself three different times. But, when he met the Lord Jesus Christ his life totally transformed. He formed a ministry which today goes all over the nation singing and teaching and focusing on the homeless and prisoners. This is the kind of thing that happens and is the greatest continuing evidence that Jesus was really was who He said He was.
In the next part of this series discussing the increasing attacks on Christianity and Christ, I’ll question Dr. Reagan whether he believes Jesus appeared in the Old Testament in preincarnate form.