The affirmation below is made by most Bible Students:
I. We affirm the humanity of Jesus and the deity of Christ. (Reprints 4955)
Most Bible Students would say that Jesus is divine, but most Bible Students generally limit the term “divine” as applied to Jesus only after his resurrection, for they blend the meaning of “divine” with “immortality” in the spirit realm. We believe, however, the scriptures indicate that a broader usage of the terms “deity” and “divine” can be applied.
The question has been raised, was Jesus, as a human being, “divine”, or “deity”? Most Bible Students would probably answer “no”, for they generally view the term “divine” to be equivalent with “spirit being”, without consideration of any broader usage of the term. Additionally, to say, as a human, that Jesus was divine, implies agreement the trinitarian alleged dual nature of Jesus, in their claim that he was God in the flesh. But we believe that there is a scriptural sense in which Jesus, as a human, could be said to be divine.
In some cases, it is true that the Hebrew words EL and ELOHIM are used in the sense of divine being exclusively as spirit beings, as in Psalm 8:5, and also I believe in John 1:1, THEOS is used to designate the kind of being that the LOGOS ‘was’ before coming into the world of mankind. However, the Hebrews also used the words designating divinity in a sense of special mightiness, even of humans. Therefore, Moses was made, not a divine being, but divine, mighty, toward Pharaoh of Egypt, and also toward Aaron, whom Yahweh spoke of as Moses’ prophet, or spokesperson (Exodus 4:16; 7:1), thus Moses could be referred to as divine although a human. The term Ha Elohim is applied to the judges of Israel, as a body of men, not as spirit beings (Exodus 21:6; 22:8,9,28 [See Acts 23:5]), thus these men could be referred to as “divine”, although men. Furthermore, in Psalm 82, the terms EL and ELOHIM are being applied to human sons of God, thus they could be referred to as divine, although human. In each of these instances those humans could be referred to as “divine” because of special powers and mightiness given to them by God.
Likewise, Jesus, as a human, was given special powers or mightiness by his God to perform various works and miracles, and to speak for the only true God. Therefore, in this sense, Jesus could also be referred to as divine, a mighty one, even as a human being, similar to the way the Moses, the judges of Israel, and the sons of God, as humans with God-given power or might, are also referred to as EL and ELOHIM.
Of course, after his exaltation (Acts 2:33; 5:31; Philippians 2:9), he is now a divine spirit being (1 Corinthians 15:45), higher than the angels (Hebrews 1:4,6), who are also called *elohim* — divine beings. — Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7.
Before coming to the earth, Jesus, as the Logos, was also a divine spirit being with a glory of a heavenly body (1 Corinthians 15:40) alongside his God and Father, but he was not so highly exalted as he now is. — John 1:1; 17:1,3,5.
Did Jesus have the divine nature while as a human? Not in the trinitarian sense. Scripturally, Jesus was a partaker of the divine nature while a human because he was never corrupted as the world is. (2 Peter 1:4) This does not mean that Jesus was was God Almighty in the flesh, as trinitarians and some others claim. It simply means that he was never morally corrupted. He was born into the world without corruption, thus unlike believers, he did not have to “escape” the corruption that is in the world through desire, but he did have to overcome any temptation, which, if he succumbed to, would cause him to become corrupted, and thus no longer incorrupt.
Jesus did indeed exist before he came down from his God in heaven (John 17:5), and in coming into the world of mankind, God specially prepared his body (Hebrews 10:5) so that in his humanity was life (John 1:4), a life not under any condemnation of death as common to all mankind dying in Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:15-19) He was not made a sinner, as all mankind has been through Adam (Romans 5:19), nor was he ever made crooked (corrupt) as God has with mankind through Adam. (Ecclesiastes 1:15) Jesus was never corrupted, even though he suffered as though under the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:23), in likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3) — although his flesh was not sinful. He died, the just for the unjust. (1 Peter 3:18) Thus, only Jesus, if he remained obedient, could offer to the Most High a sacrifice for sin. (Romans 8:3; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14; 0:10,12,14,18) Jesus did prove himself incorruptible by his perfect obedience, and thus he brought life and incorruption to light through this good news. (2 Timothy 1:10) This is the basis for belief in Jesus, and thus the basis for true Christianity.
If, on the other hand, he was the Most High in the flesh, as many claim, then no ransom has been provided, and God, instead of being seen as justified (Romans 3:26), would be condemned, and sin in the flesh, rather than being condemned (Romans 8:3), would be justified. In other words, his life would have proven that only God could obey God’s laws for man, that thus, God Himself was unjust in giving man a law or command that the human could not obey, and then condemning all mankind for not obeying the law.