Were Jesus Christ and the Bible just for the people, locality, or time period back when Jesus lived in Bible days? And have there been new prophets of God and new revelations from God for other peoples in other eras and/or locations since the Bible was written? Let’s see.
Both Matthew 24:35 and Mark 13:31 say, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” Drs. Charles Pfeiffer and Everett Harrison in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 973, say, “The truth of Christ’s predictions will not experience the slightest alteration.” Dr. William Hendriksen in The Gospel of Matthew, page 869, says, “Christ’s message is of an abiding character; it will happen, it’s not transient.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Vol. 3, page 207, says, “The word of Christ is more sure and lasting than heaven and earth.”
Then, in Jude 1:3 of the Bible, it says, “…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Drs. John Walvoord and Roy Zuck in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 919, say that, “The phrase ‘the faith’ means the body of truths taught by the apostles. See also Gal. 1:23 and 1 Tim. 4:1 where ‘the faith’ refers to the things believed.” Dr. Ronald Ward in his Epistles of John and Jude, pages 77, 78, confirms this when he states, “the faith” is “that objective body of Christian doctrine. And the phrase ‘was once for all delivered to the saints’ means that the Christian doctrine is fixed, expressing finality.” Michael Green in his The Second Epistle of Peter and the Epistle of Jude, page 159, agrees when he says, “once for all” (Greek word is “hapax”) meaning “once and for all”. “The faith” is “a body of belief” meaning “the apostolic teaching and preaching which was regulative upon the Church.”
Likewise, Drs. Robert Jamieson, A. Fausset, and David Brown concur in their Commentary on the Whole Bible, page 1518, when they say, “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” means that “no other faith or revelation is to supersede what was given all Christians.” So we see that the New Testament writing, God’s Word, is fixed for all time and ages and is not to be changed or added to as Dr. John MacArthur concludes from Jude 1:3 when he says, “‘contend earnestly’ means to fight with intensity, to strenuously defend the ‘once for all’ time (Gk. “hapax”) with lasting results, never needing repetition and never needing addition delivered to the saints faith. ‘The faith’ is the total content of Scripture.”
Revelation 22:18-19 says, “I (the apostle John) testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”
G. Lang, in his The Revelation of Jesus Christ, pages 384, 385, states, “Revelation of truth is complete, for nothing can lie beyond the eternal state. While in the strict letter the threats of this terrible warning apply to the ‘Revelation’, yet inasmuch as this portion of the Book of God is rooted in, interwoven with, and is the completion of all the Word of God, it becomes impossible to tamper with this final book without maltreating what had been given of God before.” Likewise, Dr. Walvoord in his The Revelation of Jesus Christ, page 338, says, “No one can dare add to the Word of God except in blatant unbelief and denial that the Word is indeed God’s own message to man.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Vol. 3, page 1417, states, “this sanction (Rev. 22:18-19) is like a flaming sword, to guard the canon of the scripture (the Bible) from profane hands… assuring us that it is a book of the most sacred nature, divine authority, and of the last importance…” And Dr. John MacArthur (President of The Master’s College and senior minister at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, CA), who knows New Testament Greek very well, has this to say, “The book of Revelation is the last book in the Bible, so if you add to the Bible you’ve added to the book of Revelation, since the book of Revelation was the last book written in the Bible.”
So, we see that the Bible is God’s written revelation to mankind for all time and is not to be added to or superseded since its completion by the end of the first century A.D.
Is Jesus Christ just the prophet for the Christians?
First of all, Jesus is more than a prophet. He is God the Son; God in a physical body. Jesus states in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” The Greek word (ev) for “one” here means “one in essence, nature, and will” states Drs. Walvoord and Zuck in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 1096. Dr. Hendriksen in The Gospel of John, page 126, says, “‘I and the Father are’ clearly speaks of two persons. … Though two persons, the two are one substance or essence. … Thus in this passage Jesus affirms his complete equality with the Father.”
Even the unbelieving Jews living at that moment understood Jesus to mean this because it says in John 10:33, “The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy and because You, being a man make Yourself out to be God’.”
Jesus states in John 14:9, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” Drs. Walvoord and Zuck state in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 323, that the disciples of Jesus “by seeing Jesus they were seeing the Father;” Drs. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown in their Commentary on the Whole Bible, page 1060, agree when they say, “…the Son (Jesus) is the ordained and perfect manifestation of the Father (God), that His (Jesus’) own word for this ought to His disciples to be enough.” Hebrews 1:3 expresses this further when it says, “And He (Jesus) is the radiance of His glory (God the Father’s) and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.” Homer Kent in his The Epistle to the Hebrews, page 37, says, “As the rays of light are related to the sun, and neither exists without the other, so Christ is the effulgence of the divine glory. They are essentially one; that is, both are God. As the imprint of the die perfectly represents the original design, so in Christ there is the display for those who have eyes to see of God’s very essence.”
Colossians 1:15 supports this, when it says, “And He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God…” Jesus is the physical expression of God in bodily form.
In John 5:18 it says, “For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him (Jesus), because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” Dr. Hendriksen’s The Gospel of John, page 196, says, “When the Jewish authorities heard Jesus call God ‘His own Father’, …they immediately understood that Jesus claimed for Himself deity (being God) in the highest possible sense of that term.”
In Hebrews 1:8-9, God the Father is speaking, and says, “But of the Son He says, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy companions’.” Drs. Pfeiffer and Harrison in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 1409, state that, “Christ is addressed as God and as King or sovereign.” Drs. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown in their Commentary on the Whole Bible, page 1398, state that “Jerome, Augustine, and others translate Psalm 45:7, ‘O God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee’, whereby Christ is addressed as God. This is the true translation of the Hebrew there, and also of the Greek in the book of ‘Hebrews’ here; for it is likely that the Son is addressed, ‘O God’, as in Heb. 1:8.”
In Colossians 2:9, the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says, “For in Him (Jesus) all the fulness of Deity (God) dwells in bodily form.” Drs. Walvoord and Zuck’s The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 677, says, “The word for ‘Deity’ is “theotetos”, a strong word (used only here in the New Testament) for Christ’s essence as God. Paul affirmed here that Christ is both fully God and truly man.” Drs. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, page 1321, states, “The Greek (theotes) means the essence and nature of the Godhead, not merely the divine perfections and attributes of Divinity (theiotes). He (Jesus) as man, was not merely God-like, but in the fullest sense, God… bodily.”
The Bible also states that Jesus Christ was sinless (perfect) His entire earthly life. In Hebrews 4:15, it says that Jesus, “has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” 1 Peter 2:22 says regarding Jesus, “who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 1 John 3:5 says, “…in Him (Jesus) there is no sin.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “Him (Jesus) who knew no sin…” Even Jesus considered Himself sinless, because when He threw out the question to His closely observing enemies in John 8:6, none of them could find sin in Jesus. John 8:46 says, “Which one of you convicts Me of sin?”
Isaiah 9:6 predicts Jesus’ future birth and substantiates that He is God when it says, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Drs. Pfeiffer and Harrison’s The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 619, states, “Here we have set forth the character of the Immanuel (meaning, God with us – which is said of Jesus in Matthew 1:23) who will bring this deliverance. He will come into the world as a baby born to the Hebrew people,… He will be… as a person of two distinct natures – God and Man. As Mighty God (a term clearly applied to Jehovah in Deut. 10:17; Isa. 10:21), …and Father of Eternity, He (Jesus) will be not only Lord of eternity but the author of eternal life to the redeemed.”’
The Bible teaches that Jesus created the world in Colossians 1:15-16 when it says, “And He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God … For by Him (Jesus) all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible… all things have been created by Him and for Him.” And in Genesis 1:1, it says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” So again we see that Jesus Christ as Creator is God. Drs. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, page 17, says that, “God…, by its (the Hebrew word for God here is Elohim) use here in the plural form expresses a doctrine clearly revealed in other parts of the Bible, that though God is one, there is a plurality of persons in the Godhead – Father, Son, and Spirit, who were engaged in the creative work (Acts 17:24; Psa. 104:25, 30; Job 33:4; Col. 1:16; Jn. 1:3, 10).”
In Genesis 1:26-27, it says, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’… And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him…” Drs. Pfeiffer and Harrison’s The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 4, says, “The narrative presents God as calling on the heavenly court, or the other two members of the Trinity, to center all attention on this event (the creation of man). Dr. Herbert Leupold’s Exposition of Genesis, page 86, says, regarding the plurality of “Let Us make”, …this is to be explained in connection with the truth of the Holy Trinity…, this is the only view that can satisfy.” Whereas, Gen. 1:26 uses the plural “Us” and “Our”, Gen. 1:27 uses the singular “His”, thereby showing that God is both a plurality of persons, yet one. This is made even more clear in Matthew 28:19-20 where it says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit…” Josh McDowell in his Book, The Islam Debate, page 43, states, “Only one singular name of the three persons is referred to. In the Bible the word ‘name’ used in such a context refers to the nature and character of the thing so described. So Jesus speaks of only one name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – implying unity of essence but a plurality of persons. This verse is thoroughly Trinitarian in content and emphasis.”
Deut. 6:4 says that, “the Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” And Mark 12:29 says, “The Lord our God is one Lord.” Ephesians 4:5-6 says that there is “one Lord… one God and Father of all…” Yet in Jude 1:4, Jesus is called “…our only Master and Lord.” And Acts 10:36 says that “…Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all).”
Isaiah 43:1, 3, 11-13 says, “…thus says the Lord, your creator… I am the Lord your God, your Savior… there is no savior besides Me…” Yet Luke 1:47 and Luke 2:11 say, Mary speaking, “…my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior… there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” It becomes apparent that Jesus is God.
One can see the Godhead functioning together in verses such as 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:16-17, 26; 1 Peter 1:2; and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17.
In Dr. Kenneth Wuest’s Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, vol. 3, pages 31-33, he says, “The New Testament in its English translation plainly teaches that Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Triune God, possessing the same essence as God the Father. It is interesting to know that a rule of Greek grammar brings out the same truth. The rule is as follows: When two nouns in the same case are connected by the Greek word ‘and’ and the first noun is preceded by the article ‘the’, and the second noun is not preceded by the article, the second noun refers to the same person or thing to which the first noun refers, and is a further description of it. In 2 Peter 1:1 the expression, ‘God and our Savior Jesus Christ’, is found, while in 2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:18 the phrase ‘Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’ is in the same Greek construction where this grammar rule applies. This speaks of the deity of Jesus because the Greek word translated ‘Lord’ was used as a name of Deity. And in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, it was used to translate the title of God, ‘Jehovah’.” So we again see that Jesus is more than just a prophet; He is God. But was He the God for the Christians only? Well, since there is only one God, Jesus Christ is God for all people and for all time, whether they want to recognize Him as such or not.
Jesus said in John 14:6, “…I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
In 1 Timothy 2:5, it says, “For there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
In Acts 4:12, it says, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name (but Jesus Christ) under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
Galatians 1:6-9 says, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-6, it says, “Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now…”
In 1 Peter 3:18, it says, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.”
Acts 10:43 says, “Of Him (Jesus) all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14 say, “By this will (Jesus’ coming to die for the penalty of man’s sin) we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all… but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,… For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”
Mark 16:15 says, “And He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples), ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’”
Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Jesus spoke this to His disciples.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells His disciples, “but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
From all of the above Bible passages, it’s easy to see that no one can come to God the Father in heaven apart from Jesus Christ; that faith in Jesus Christ as Savior is the only way a person can be saved (be forgiven of his sins and go to heaven); that there is no other gospel message to be given to mankind in future generations since the time of Christ; that the gospel is that Jesus died for mankind’s sins once-for-all-time, generations, peoples, and localities, and that faith in this fact gains an individual forgiveness and eternal life in heaven; and that this gospel message is to be spread throughout the whole world to all future generations to the end of time.
Drs. Walvoord and Zuck state in their The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 322, “Jesus stressed that salvation, contrary to what many people think, is not obtainable through many ways. Only one Way exists (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus is the only access to the Father…”
Drs. Pfeiffer and Harrison in their The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 1285, state, “there is not another, a second gospel which one may choose and still have the divine message of eternal salvation.”
And Homer Kent, in his The Epistle to the Hebrews, page 193, says, “Christ’s one offering was sufficient for all time.”
Well, were Jesus and the Bible just for the people, locality, and period of time back in Bible days? It should be obvious by now to those with an unbiased mind that the answer is an emphatic, “No”.
- Dr. Charles Pfeiffer was Professor of Old Testament at Gordon Divinity School.
- Dr. Everett Harrison was Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary.
- Dr. John Walvoord was President and Professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary.
- Dr. Roy Zuck is Associate Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary.
- Dr. Robert Jamieson was Professor of Theology in Aberdeen, Scotland.
- Rev. A. Fausset is a minister at St. Cuthbert in York,England.
- Dr. David Brown is a minister from St. Paul’s in Glasgow,Scotland.
- Dr. William Hendriksen was Professor of New Testament Literature at Calvin Seminary.
- Homer Kent is Dean of the Seminary and Professor of New Testament and Greek at Grace Theological Seminary.
- Dr. Herbert Leupold was Professor of Old Testament at Capitol University Seminary.