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Text — Hebrews 13:8

One of the purposes of the book of Hebrews was to declare the surpassing greatness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Early in the book, in chapter 1, we are told that God Himself is speaking to us in these last days “in Son” —i.e., through and by the manifestation of the Word in the flesh! (See John 1:1-14) Throughout the rest of the book of Hebrews the superlative nature of Christ is spelled out for us over and over again. And at the end of the book, as the final words are being written, we are told in plain, unmistakable language that Jesus Christ is indeed the great I AM, the Eternal, self-existent One who inhabits eternity:

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

One of the most awesome messages of the Bible is the fact that Jesus Christ is indeed the Mighty God, not merely one of three or any other plurality of so-called “divine persons.” This unequivocal fact is spelled out for us in Hebrews 13:8 with a force that cannot be gainsaid. First of all, let us examine the term “the same.” This term is also used of Jesus Christ (“the Son”) in the first chapter of Hebrews, verse 12. Notice the context beginning in verse 8:

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”

It is clear that this passage is being quoted from the Old Testament. One of the places referred to is found in Psalm 102:25-27:

“Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”

Carefully consider this quote taken from The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible concerning the phrase “thou art the same” in Psalm 102:27—

“…or ‘thou art he’, the everlasting I AM, the unchangeable Jehovah; immutable in his nature and perfections; in his love and affections to his people; in his power to protect and keep them; in his wisdom to guide and direct them; in his righteousness to clothe them, and render them acceptable to God; in his blood to cleanse them, and speak peace and pardon to them; in his fulness to supply them, and in his intercession for them…”

The Hebrew word translated “the same” in Psalm 102:27 is used in other places in scripture as a term by which God identifies Himself as the Great I AM, the Eternal, self-existent one. Consider Isaiah 48:12-13:

“Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.”

In conjunction with this also notice Isaiah 41:4:

“Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.”

And finally, consider Isaiah 43:10-13:

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?”

In each of these three passages in Isaiah the same Hebrew term is used that was used in Psalm 102. In Isaiah the translation is “I am he;” in Psalm 102 the translation is “thou art the same.”

When the inspired New Testament writer declared that Jesus Christ is “the same,” he was telling us that Jesus Christ is Yahweh (Jehovah), the I AM, the self-existent Eternal One.* The words that follow “the same” —yesterday, today and forever— correspond exactly to the meaning of God’s sacred covenant name as revealed to Moses (“I AM that I AM”): I always have been (the same as) what I now am and (the same as) that which I ever shall be. (See Ex. 3:14.)

Notice how this precisely parallels the testimony of Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:1-18:

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ… I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: … And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. … And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

Hebrews 13:8 is one of the most emphatic theological assertions of the absolute deity of Jesus Christ in the Bible, actually linguistically linking the OT Sacred Covenant Name to the NT Sacred Covenant Name!

JESUS CHRIST
(Yeshua “Yahweh who has brought Salvation” the Messiah “the anointed of YAH”)

THE SAME
(“The I AM that I AM”)

YESTERDAY
(Who always has been in eternity and ages past)

TODAY
(the Same as what He is in the present age)

FOREVER
(as well as the Same as what He ever will be in ages and eternity future)

No wonder the name of Jesus is proclaimed to be “above every name” in Eph. 1:21 and Phil. 2:9! THE NAME OF JESUS CONTAINS ALL THE ESSENCE OF GOD IN ETERNITY DISTILLED IN TIME. Every compound name of Jehovah God in the OT is invoked when we call on Jesus; indeed, all power in heaven and in earth inheres in the name of Jesus (Matt. 28:18). Jesus even promised us in Matt. 18:20 that “…where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” There is forgiveness and remission of sins only in the name of Jesus (Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38 and Acts 10:43). The miracles, signs and wonders that inevitably follow true believers are wrought, according to Jesus in Mark 16:17-18, “in my name.”

The revelation of the name of Jesus Christ is the fundamental basis upon which all other divine truths stand and around which all divine purposes revolve. “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col. 1:17). When Peter declared by divine revelation that Jesus Christ was the Son of the living God (or, in plain English, the personification of God in a human body for the purpose of redemption of humanity), he was replying to Christ’s query: “Whom say ye that I am?” Jesus responded to Peter’s inspired assertion by proclaiming (Matt. 16:16-18): “Upon this rock I will build my church.” In other words, I will build my church upon the revelation of who I really am! The Apostle Paul emphatically informs us in Eph. 2:20 that we “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.”

Ultimately, the meaning of life and the purpose for the existence of heaven and earth hinge upon the recognition and acknowledgement of who Jesus is. Please ponder the following passage from Phil. 2:9-11:

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The Apostle Peter’s words to the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:10-12 cannot be overemphasized, as they portray the true Apostolic teaching concerning the importance of the name of Jesus:

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The great and mighty power in the name of Jesus derives from His identity. His name is powerful because He is the Mighty God of Isaiah 9:6; indeed, He is God Almighty – El Shaddai who existed “before Abraham was!” Furthermore, in Hebrews 13:8 we have a divine promise that Jesus Christ’s identity will always be what it is today and what it has been forever. May we ever cherish the knowledge that we have concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, lest we fail to love the truth and as a result receive from God a strong delusion.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:3-6).

___________________
*The very name “Jesus” derives from the OT sacred name “Yahweh” (or “Jehovah”) in combination with the OT term for salvation. In other words, “Jesus” means “Yahweh our Savior” or “Yahweh has saved” or “Yahweh brings salvation.” In the God-breathed words of the Messianic Psalm 118:14, the name of Jesus is prophetically pronounced as “The LORD … is become my salvation.”

Rev. Tim D. Cormier
July 23, 2003

(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.

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Comments on: "JESUS CHRIST, THE SAME — Yesterday, Today and Forever" (1)

  1. I love this quote “The great and mighty power in the name of Jesus derives from His identity.”

    Great article Bro. Cormier! I am going to post it to my Facebook wall.

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