Thy Word is Truth: encouraging serious study of the word of God Welcome friends. Thankyou for visiting this web site. I have always loved to teach the Word. Too many of God's people let their pastor or teacher do all their studying for them. But if the Bible is the Word of God, shouldn't you take a serious look at it yourself? To study and discover things on your own is both faith building and spiritually rewarding. It is exciting to discover the treasures of God's Word. Studying the Bible doesn't have to be a chore, it can be a most thrilling adventure. I hope to stimulate thought by this web site, provoke you to want to dig into the scriptures yourself, and honor the God of Israel, and our Saviour, the Messiah our soon coming King.

by Alon Ronk

If you ask people, who is Jesus, you will hear a number of answers. The answers are according to private conceptions that people have of who they think Jesus is. But are these conceptions true? I heard it said that, in the beginning God created man in His own image. Now man is returning the favor. There seems to be a very imbalanced idea of who Jesus is. My aim here is to present a more balanced view of Jesus.

Today, Jesus is known as a prophet, a great teacher, or even a charlatan. He was accused of being possessed, and crazy by those who hated Him; not unlike how it is today in our time. John 10:21-22, “And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” There seems to be an even more irrational obsession with Him in our day. Those who hate Jesus seem to foam at the mouth like a rabid dog in their obsessed, vitriolic attacks on Him and they think their so smart for doing so. They like to point out the faults of those who associate themselves with Jesus to legitimize their arguments. But you can’t judge God by the actions of man you must judge man by the Word of God.

Those who accuse Jesus, and Christians of being bigoted and intolerant are themselves bigoted and intolerant. They have declared open season on Jesus, His Word, and His followers. John 15:18-25 says, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” As Jesus said again in John 8:19, “Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” Scholars, politicians, liberal theologians, and general know-it-alls constantly run their mouths against a God they do not know. Jesus and His Word is accused of all sorts of stuff.

Why do people reject Jesus? John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” So if a person was in a dark room doing something they did not wish to be seen doing, and one came and turned the light on, instead of changing their behavior they would blame you for turning the light on and want it turned back off. Do they really, honestly believe they will get away with their rebellion against God in the end? They do. They really do. But Ecclesiastes 8:11 says, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” But don’t be deceived, for it is written again in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” And again in Romans 2:5, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;”

Some people love Him, respect Him, revere Him, hate Him but almost no one fears Him. Fears Him? Why would anyone fear Him? Why should anyone fear Him. Mankind does not seem to fear God’s judgment and goes on living their lives in sin as though God didn’t exist. Isn’t Jesus the one who preached peace and love? Surely He’s too good to hurt anyone and certainly wouldn’t send anyone to hell. If you think that way there is a side of Jesus you don’t know. Jesus is not to be trifled with.

To those who knew Him personally, there was something about Jesus that transcended human comprehension. Like in our day, there were those also who knew Jesus, that is, knew who He was, but did not really know Him. Jesus repeatedly demonstrated a supernatural power that was unique to Him: raising the dead, walking on the water, stilling a raging storm are just some of them. There are many today who claim to be able to do miracles but what sets Jesus apart is He proved His miracles to be real miracles by doing those things that nobody else could do; or even fake. John 15:24, “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.”

Those close to Him who had seen these works saw a side of Jesus that defied human understanding and predictably, they responded to Him in fear. Let’s look at some examples.

Mark 4:35-41, “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

The words “feared exceedingly” in Greek are actually related to the same word: fobew.  Phobeo (“feared“) means to put to flight, to terrify, frighten. fobov  phobos; (“exceedingly”) (to be put to flight); panic flight, fear, the causing of fear, terror. It is the same word we get our word phobia from. In this passage of scripture it denotes dread and terror to the point of panic. As a raging storm just stopped at his word their minds raced for some explanation. It was spooky. There was no explanation. Their response was interesting as well. They did not ask among themselves WHO is this? notice they were too afraid to ask Jesus, they asked amongst themselves WHAT is He? “What manner of man is this?”

Surely, they must have been familiar with Psalm 107:23-30; “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.” Here, this psalm is being fulfilled right before their very eyes. The psalm says it was the LORD, in all capital letters which in the Hebrew is YHWH. They may well have thought, have we been in the very presence of God and not known it? It is no wonder they were so scared. I must add at this point, however, Jesus calmed their fear. The disciples did not need to walk in constant fear of Jesus because they knew He was for them. It was not His intention to hurt them and they knew it. They loved Him and knew He loved them. Nevertheless, they would never forget those experiences and would never disrespect Him.

We continue with the story of the demoniac in Luke the 8th chapter. Here, in the stilling of the storm, another word is used to describe their reaction. The word is  yaumazw (Thaumazo) which means wonder, amazement, astonishment. The word “afraid, “and they being afraid wondered…” is the same word Mark used: phobeo. Interestingly enough they appeared to be more frightened of Him than they were of the storm. The storm, even if they had sunk in it, was at least something they could understand. But this! This was something that defied understanding.

Luke 8:22-37, “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.”  

The Gadarenes’ response to Jesus was not unlike that of the disciples in the ship. First of all, the eyewitnesses were so terrified the Bible says, “they fled.” As they fled into the nearby city and surrounding countryside they told everyone what had happened. No doubt, the fear in their voices really peaked the people’s curiosity and they came from everywhere to see what happened. The demoniac was not unknown to them. He had a reputation for being strong and fierce. When they came to Jesus and pieced together everything that happened the Bible says, “they were taken with great fear.” The word, “taken” here, also means to be gripped or seized. Then we have the words, “great fear.” The word “great” here, is from the Greek word megav (megas). It’s not hard to see that we get our word mega from this Greek word. The word “fear” here, again is from the Greek word phobos. The implication is that they were struck or seized with mega terror; so much so, they wanted Jesus to leave.

Then we have the transfiguration of Jesus.

Matthew 17:1-6, “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.”

The disciples had seen a side of Jesus that they had not seen before. I don’t claim to know how He did it, whether He set aside His flesh for a moment, or just radiated through it, whatever He did He manifested Himself to them in His true glory. 1 Timothy 6:14-16 says, “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

As the people who walked with Him and saw Him while here on earth, all they saw was the earthly tabernacle that veiled His glory. That is until the transfiguration when Peter, James, and John saw Him shining as the sun accompanied by a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son…” And how did they react to that? “They fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” The word “afraid” here, is from the Greek word phobeo. However, this time it is accompanied by the word, “sore.” The word “sore” is from the Greek word sfodra (sphodra) meaning excessive or extreme. Excessive or extreme fear.

Peter never forgot that day. He thought about it often. He even recalled it in his epistle. Peter knew that he would soon be put to death and as he wrote to believers he made mention of the day he was up on the mountain with Jesus. As Moses had his mountain top experience with God so too did Peter, James, and John. Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:13-18, “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” Peter is saying, I did not read about it in a book, I did not hear it from another, I myself was there and heard it with my own ears and saw it with my own eyes. He is God the Son, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and you can bet your life on it.

One last example that I will mention is found in the 5th chapter of Luke.

Luke 5:17-26, “And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,)I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.”

The Bible says, first of all, that, “they were all amazed.” The word “amazed” here, is an interesting word. It has a different meaning in addition to the one we are all familiar with. The Greek word is, ekstasiv (ekstasis). Yes, it’s the word we get our English word ecstasy from. We think of ecstasy as great euphoria but it also has another meaning that we are not so familiar with.  It means a displacement (of the mind), i.e. bewilderment. My Microsoft Works dictionary gives a further definition of, “2. intense feeling or activity: a feeling or activity characterized by its extreme intensity… 4. psychology loss of self-control: a mental state, usually caused by intense religious experience, sexual pleasure, or drugs, in which somebody is so dominated by an emotion that self-control and sometimes consciousness are lost….[14th century. Via French < Greek ekstasis < existanai "displace, drive out (of your mind)" < histanai "put"].”

Next, we find the word, “filled.” “They were filled with fear.” The word “filled” here, is from the Greek word  pimplhmi (pimplemi). This word in Luke’s writings i.e. the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts means to come under the control of something which effects one’s response and therefore behavior. Note the following examples:

Luke 4:28-29,“And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.”

Luke 6:11, “And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.”

Acts 3:10, “And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.”

Acts 5:17, “Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.”

Acts 13:45, “But when the Jews (Jewish leadership i.e.  the priests etc.) saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.”

Acts 19:29, “And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.”

In these instances, people were filled with wrath, madness, wonder, indignation, and confusion and responded accordingly. In Luke 5 the Bible says they were filled with fear, or under the control of fear.  The word “fear” here is phobos. Here was a people who were completely surrendered to fear. It would not do disservice to the text to say were utterly terrified. They had to suspend their acceptance of physical laws and reality when faced with something they could not deny and clearly defied a natural explanation. The Bible says they said, “we have seen strange things this day.” The word for “strange things” in the Greek is the same word we get our English word paradox from. Wikipedia says, “A paradox is a true statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction or a situation which defies logic and or intuition….”

These are recorded instances yet there are many things which Jesus did and said that have not been recorded. John 21:25, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” These were certainly not the only occasions where people were afraid of Him. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the days are coming in which people will flee in panic from Him but shall not escape. This is the other side of Jesus that most people are not familiar with. But as the Bible says in Romans 1:19-20, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” The side of Jesus people are unfamiliar with has not been hidden from us but has been repeatedly emphasized in the scriptures. There are no encrypted codes or vague allusions, it is right out there in plain sight in no uncertain terms.

Consider the following scripture references:

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Revelation 6:14-17, “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

Revelation 19:11-16, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Notice the words that the Bible uses to describe Jesus:

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,”

“Punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord,”

“Hide us from…the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

“In righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire,”

“He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:”

“Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:”

“He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

Is this the same Jesus that is supposedly too good to hurt anyone?  John 2:13-17, “And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” Jesus fashioned the scourge Himself and I’m sure He used it. He drove those making lucrative profits off of God out of the temple along with their animals. He threw their tables over spilling their merchandise across the floor, the dove’s cages breaking open, the doves flying free, and dumped their money out as coins went rolling everywhere.

Is this the same Jesus who is supposedly too good to send anyone to hell? Think again. Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

All of these things sound incredibly similar to Deuteronomy 32:39-42, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.”

God is not trying to win a popularity contest and is not at all concerned with offending you. If you reject the Lord you lose: period. Nevertheless, there is also the side of Jesus that when you come to know Him as your Savior you love Him and willingly follow Him and would not trade anything in the world for your salvation. You love His goodness, His care and thoughtful compassion, His true love for us from His heart. Yes, He is good, kind, gentle, and compassionate. We who love Him know Him like that. Yet He is also the Judge and does not cease to be one for the other. As the Bible says in Romans 11:22,  “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God…” Those who hate Him do not really know Him at all and unfortunately, do not want to.

The book of Revelation as a whole, is full of impending doom, Armageddon, a whole list of unimaginable catastrophes, wars, demons, death, the tribulation, the antichrist: all of this is the revelation of none other than, Revelation 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” And to those who believe not, to those who reject Him, do you still think you know Him?

There is a side of Jesus you may not know to your own peril. He will either be your Savior or your Judge. Jesus is coming again and when He does, will it be a glorious appearing as in Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” or will it be a day of fear and darkness as in Zephaniah 1:15, “That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.”