Monday, February 20, 2017

Ephesians 1:23 - Is Jesus the Fullness of Him Who Fills All?

Ephesians 1:23 is sometimes offered as proof that Jesus is the Supreme Being with the assertion that Jesus Christ is the fullness of him who fills all. In some vague manner it is thought that this assertion means that Jesus is God Almighty. Actually, Ephesians 1:23 does not say that Jesus is the fullness of him who fills all, although if one should read it that way, it still would not mean that Jesus is the Supreme Being.

Ephesians 1:22 - He [the God and Father of Jesus -- Ephesians 1:3,17] put all things in subjection under his [Jesus'] feet, and [the God and Father of jesus] gave him [Jesus] to be head over all things to the assembly [the church, the saints],
Jesus did not call himself to the position of headship of the Church but was appointed to it by God. "No man takes this honor on himself." -- Hebrews 5:4.

Ephesians 1:23 - which is his [Jesus'] body, the fullness [completeness, plenitude] of him who fills [accomplishes] all in all.
This could be read several different ways.

"Which" is referring back to the church [the saints]; "his" refers to Jesus. The body of Jesus is made up of the church.

"The fullness" could be seen as referring to the church; "of him" could be referring to Jesus (or God).

"The fullness" could be referring to either Jesus' fullness or God's fullness, although this would hardly fit the context.

Nevertheless, Christ is the bond of unity to his Church -- Christ is in each individual, and each individual in Christ. Each member has been grafted into the true Vine, though in different places. Each member has some function in the mystical Body. All were reckoned in Jesus when he died, and rose, and entered the Father's presence. In him each member has access into the grace wherein they stand. The gift of Christ, on the other hand, has been made to each one of these, that he might realize himself through all the experiences of his members. God provided four Gospels to reveal to the church (not to the world in this age) who and what Jesus Christ is; nevertheless,all believers are required to set forth and exemplify to the world all the excelling glories of Emmanuel. It is for this reason that we are told that the Church is his Body, "the fulness [completeness, full development, plenitude, Greek pleroma, Strong's #4138] of him who fills [brings to completion, consumates, accomplishes, Greek, pleero, Strong's #4137] all in all." -- Ephesians 1:23.

It was Jesus himself who said: "The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one." (John 17:22,23) Due to the covering of Jesus' righteous blood, in such radiance the Church already now stands before God. He sees her essential unity. Its denial does not disintegrate it. Its obscuration does not impair it. The very members of the Church that compose the unity may be unaware of it, and may denounce each other; but even so, the twelve stones are in the same breastplate and the twelve loaves stand side by side on the same table. The members of a large family of boys and girls may dispute with each other, and may be scattered far and wide over the world, but to the mother, in her daily and nightly prayer, there is but one family, and to her they seem sheltered still under the wings of her brooding love.

Jesus himself gives us an illustration: "Most assuredly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24) The "much fruit" owes all its prospects to that one grain of wheat. Possibilities of bread inherent in the one grain of wheat. That one grain of wheat is not of itself a harvest. The "much fruit", is the full development of that grain of wheat, and indispensable if it would realize its possibilities. So also with Christ. The church's all is in him, as he declared, "apart from me (or severed from me) you can do nothing." (John 12:24) The hand is of no use severed from the body; it will simply corrupt. Jesus illustrated this well in his picture of the vine; "Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me." (John 15:4) "If a man doesn't remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered." (John 15:6) The life is in the vine, and only in the vital union with the vine can the branch bear fruit. And yet in this same picture we have a seed thought for the Apostle's other declaration that the Church is the full development of the Christ. It is the branches that bear the fruit. True, the fruit is not their own, but the fruit of the vine, for the life in the branches is the life of the vine, yet in order that the vine may express its life fully in fruit bearing, the branches have their part to play. The branch is only a channel for the expressing of the one life, not a life of its own; but the life of the vine. And the member of the Body of Christ is only a channel for the expressing of the one life, not a life of his own that he is living in the power of the spirit, as Paul said of himself: "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me." So it is of the Christ, it is not because of any inherent value in any member. It is simply the extended operation of the Christ life that makes the Church, which is his Body, "the full development of him who accomplishes all [these things, Greek panta] in all [Greek, pansin]."

What we do not find in Ephesians 1 is any thought that Jesus is the Supreme Being; indeed, throughout, Jesus is distinguished from God. Additionally, God is not exalted to higher position of power by another, but it is God who exalts Jesus to such great power.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jeremiah 23:6 - Our Righteousness

Lo, days are coming -- an affirmation of Jehovah, And I have raised to David a righteous shoot, And a king hath reigned and acted wisely, And done judgment and righteousness in the earth. In his days is Judah saved, and Israel dwelleth confidently, And this his name that Jehovah proclaimeth him, `Our Righteousness.' -- Young's Literal Translation

Jeremiah 23:5- Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and act wisely, and He shall do justice and righteousness in the earth.
Jeremiah 23:6 - In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. And this is His name by which He shall be called, Jehovah our Righteousness. -- .Green's Literal translation.
Many quote the above scripture to support the claim that Jesus is Jehovah. The claim is that Jesus is being called "Jehovah (Jehovah) in Jeremiah 23:6, thus Jesus must be Jehovah.
We have shown elsewhere that Jesus is the Son of the unipersonal God, he was sent by Jehovah, he spoke for Jehovah, etc.
See:
Jesus is Not Jehovah
But let us examine how Young renders Jeremiah 23:5,6:

Lo, days are coming -- an affirmation of Jehovah, And I have raised to David a righteous shoot, And a king hath reigned and acted wisely, And done judgment and righteousness in the earth. In his days is Judah saved, and Israel dwelleth confidently, And this his name that Jehovah proclaimeth him, `Our Righteousness.' -- Young's Literal Translation
We should note that verse 5 definitely tells us that it is Jehovah who raises to David a righteous shoot. This, in itself, should tell us that the "righteous shoot" of David is not Jehovh. In answer our trinitarian neighbors explain call up the spirit of human imagination so as to read into the scriptures that Jehovah is more than one person, thus one person of Jehovah raises another person of Jehovah as the "righteous shoot of David." They do not seem to realize that this explanation has to be added to the scriptures, since the Bible no where speaks of Jehovah as being more than one person.
Nevertheless, notice that Young renders the the expression: "this is the name that Jehovah proclaimeth him, 'Our Righteousness.'" This translation does away with any thought that Jesus is being called Jehovah.
Regarding Jeremiah 23:6, Paul S. L. Johnson states (Books of the Bible expanded to full name):

This trinitarian doctrine contradicts the fact that in the Bible God's Name, Jehovah, applies to the Father alone, and is never used as the personal name of the Son, who repeatedly in contrasted passages is shown not to be Jehovah; for He is in them distinguished from the Father, who by contrast is alone called Jehovah. In Isaiah 42:6-8, not only is the name Jehovah applied to the Supreme Being as His exclusive name; but as Jehovah he is shown not to be the Son, who is here represented as being called, held, kept, given by Jehovah, which is the Hebrew word used in the text always where we have the word LORD written entirely in capitals in the A. V., as is the case with the word LORD used in Isaiah 42:6-8. Jeremiah 23:6, when properly translated, markedly distinguishes between God as Jehovah exclusively, and Christ. Trinitarians have grossly mistranslated and miscapitalized this passage to read their trinitarianism into it, as they have done in other cases. The proper translation shows that Christ is not Jehovah: "This is the name which Jehovah shall call Him [Christ], Our Righteousness." Please compare this with 1 Corinthians 1:30. Thus He is Jehovah's appointed Savior for the world, not Jehovah Himself. See the literal translation of Dr. Young, who, though a trinitarian, translates it substantially as we do. While mistranslating Jeremiah 33:16, they have not miscapitalized it, and that because they doubtless feared the same kind of capitalization would suggest that the Church was also Jehovah, which their translation actually makes of her, if their procedure in Jeremiah 23:5,6, be allowed to rule as a parallel case. Here the proper translation is: This is the name that Jehovah shall her, Our Righteousness. The following are the violations of grammar committed in almost all trinitarian translations in rendering these two closely resembling passages: They have rendered an active verb, shall call, as a passive verb -- shall be called; they have made the subject of this active verb, Jehovah, an attributive object, hence one of its objects, and they have made the object of this verb, him, its subject, he shall be called; so greatly did their error on the trinity blind the translators to these elementary matters of Hebrew syntax. Rightly translated, the first passage proves that Jesus is not Jehovah, while the false translation of both passages makes Jesus and the Church, Jehovah, which on trinitarian principles would give us 144,003 in one! Rightly translated, how clearly Jeremiah 23:6 distinguishes between Jehovah and Christ, and Jeremiah 33:16 between Jehovah and the Church!
--- from "Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures",Vol. I - God, (by Paul S. L. Johnson) pages, 478,9.
Another suggested way of translating the Hebrew phrase is "Our righteousness of Jehovah".
The following is a quote from the book, The Lord Our God is One. We have expanded scriptural references to the full name of the Bible books.

We are told that in Jeremiah 23:5,6, our Lord Jesus is called Jehovah, for that prophecy respecting Messiah reads, "And this is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jehovah-Tsidkenu)."

They fail to point out, however, that in Jeremiah 33:16 the church, pictured by Jerusalem, is called by the same name: "and this is his name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness (Jehovah-Tsidkenu)."

Certainly the church is not a part of or persons of Jehovah. To bolster their prejudice, the translators had the words printed in capitals in the first instance, but tucked it away with small letters in the second. Jehovah-Tsidkenu could more properly be translated, "Our Righteousness of Jehovah" —a fitting title for our Lord Jesus, who in execution of the Father’s will has become the source of justification for believers in his name. The title is appropriate also for the church, to whom is committed the ministry of reconciliation, the great commission of bringing sinners back into harmony with God. —- 2 Corinthians 5:20; Revelation 22:17*

*For other examples of the use of Jehovah in a compound word, see Genesis 22:14; Exodus 17:15; Judges 6:23.24.
Notwithstanding, even if we allow for the translation as it appears in the World English Bible translation: "Yahweh our righteousness," or as it appears in the New Revised Standard Version: "The Lord is our righteousness", it does not follow that this means that Jesus is Jehovah, it would only mean that this is a title given to him, similar to the titles given in Genesis 22:14, Exodus 17:15, and Judges 6:23,24. The title given to the altar by Moses, "Jehovah our Banner", does not mean that the altar is Jehovah. (Exodus 17:15) Nor does the title given to the altar by Gideon, "Jehovah is peace", mean that that altar was Jehovah. Nor should we think that the title given to the seed of David in Jeremiah 23:6 would mean that the promised one was actually Jehovah himself. We need to remember that the same title is given to Jerusalem (antitypically the church). (Jeremiah 23:16) If it means that Jesus is Jehovah, then it would also mean that the church (Jerusalem) is Jehovah. In truth, there is nothing in Jeremiah 23:16 that shows that Jesus is Jehovah.
Objection

In Samson Levey's The Messiah, An Aramaic Interpretation, in giving rabbinic parallels to the targum on Jer 23:1-8, we read (page 70):

'What is the name of the King Messiah? R. Abba b. Kahana said: His name is "the Lord"; as it is stated. And this is the name whereby he shall be called. The Lord is our righteousness (Jer 23:6)' Lamentations Rabbah 1:51.
Isn't this proof that this scripture means that Jesus is Jehovah?

Actually, no, for this is only someone's opinion. We should not place our trust in Jewish tradition, which is often wrong. -- Matthew 12:1-8; 15:2-20; Mark 7:3-9; Luke 6:1-11; Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 1:4; 4:7; Titus 1:14; 1 Peter 1:16,18.

We do not have a copy of the "Lamentation Rabba", or "Lamentations Rabbah" so that we are not fully able to evaluate what is said there, but the online nationmater.com encyclopedia, under "Midrash", states concerning this: "Eicha Rabba, Lamentations Rabbah (seventh century) Lamentations Rabbah has been transmitted in two versions. One edition is represented by the 1st printed edition, 1519 Pesaro; the other is the Buber edition, based on manuscript J.I.4 from the Biblioteca Casanata in Rome. This latter version (i.e. Buber) is quoted by the Shulkhan Arukh, as well as medieval Jewish authorities. It was probably redacted sometime in the 5th century."
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Midrash also online at:
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Midrash
At any rate, this Jewish literature is not the source for a basis of how Jeremiah 23:6 should be viewed. The scriptures themselves gives us the proper viewpoint when taken as a whole, as demonstrated above.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Revelation 2:8 - The First and the Last Was Dead

Revelation 2:8 -To the angel of the assembly in Smyrna write: "The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life says these things: " -- World English Bible translation
According to many trinitarians, the phrase "the first and the last" applied to Jesus in Revelation 1:17 and Revelation 2:8 offers proof that Jesus is Yahweh (Jehovah), since Yahweh speaks of himself as first and last. (Isaiah 44:1; 44:6; 48:12) In reality, the most straight-foward scriptural conclusion would not be that Jesus is Yahweh, but that both Jesus and his God are in some way respectively first and last. Nevertheless, many have claimed that there can only be one first and last, and thus they further claim this phrase shows that the one who is speaking in Revelation 2:8 is Yahweh, the Most High. Their reasoning is that when similar usage of used of Yahweh, it means that He is without beginning or end -- eternal past and eternal future. Thus, they claim is that it means the same thing when applied to Jesus, and therefore, they reason that Jesus is Yahweh.  The point we should note is that most trinitarians would seem to read into the phrase "the first and the last" in Revelation 2:8 some meaning of eternity, which, to the trinitarian, would mean that Jesus either exists outside of all time, or that he has always existed from the infinite eternity past with an uninterrupted continued existence into the infinite future.  And this is where the paradox of Revelation 2:8 comes in as the trinitarian seeks to apply such a thought to this verse.

When asked how the Eternal One who is from everlasting to everlasting was dead, the trinitarian almost always will state that it was not the "God" nature of Jesus that was dead, but rather that it was the "human nature" of Jesus. The claim is that Jesus is 100% God Almighty and at the same 100% human being.  Many of them refer to this assumption as the "dual nature" or "hypostatic union" of Jesus. Thus, in order to apply this hypothesis to Revelation, the trinitarian or anyone who believes in the alleged "dual natures" of Christ, has to split the sentence stated by Jesus up into two parts so as to apply the phrase "the first and the last" to the idea of Jesus as God to that phrase, and then the latter part of the sentence, "who was dead", they would have to claim applies only to the human "nature" of Jesus, and not "the first and the last." The title "the frst and the last", they would claim, applies only to the "God" nature of Jesus, and most of the trinitarians do not believe that the God "nature" or "being" of Jesus died, but rather that it was only his human "nature" or "being" died. Thus, this idea, applied to this scripture, would have it that "the first and the last" did not die, but rather that it wa the human body into which "the first and the last"  was "incarnated" that died.

We are sure that most trinitarians do not consciously reckon with this scripture as we have presented, but, in effect, this is what they have to do in order to get the sentence to appear to support their trinitarian dogma, and their "hypostatic union" assumption. However, it is also true that, in effect, such an application to Revelation 2:8 actually denies that it was "the first and the last" who died. In actuality, what Jesus said was: "The first and the last, who was dead."  He declares that "the first and the last" was dead. He did not say, as the trinitarian would seem to have him say: "I am the first and the last who did not die, but who as a human being, was dead." In other words, the trinitarian, as well as any others who would see the dualistic view into this verse, actually end up denying what Jesus said, that the "first and the last" "was dead".

Jesus, of course, was the first and the last, the only one, whom God directly brought forth from death by means of His holy spirit, never to die again. (Acts 2:24,32,26; 3:15; 4:10; 10:40; 13:30,33,37; 17:31; Romans 4:24; 8:11; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:15; Galatians 1:1; Colossians 2:11,12; 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10; 1 Peter 1:21; 3:18) All the rest who are brought forth to life in the last day will be brought forth through Jesus as the Agent of Yahweh. (John 5:21,22,25,27,28,29;  6:39,40,44,54; 11:24; 12:47,48; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16) Jesus is thus, also, the first and the last of God's firstborn from the dead, for there will never be another who will be the firstborn of the dead. (Colossians 1:8; Revelation 1:5) Indeed, since, in the context, Jesus describes himself as the firstborn of the dead, then the most direct application of "the first and the last" as applied to he who "was dead and has come to life" is that Jesus is the first and the last of the firsborn of the dead.

There is nothing in any of this, however, to support the idea that Jesus is Yahweh, or the formulated dogma of dual "natures" of Jesus, hypostatic union, trinity, Jesus is Jehovah, oneness doctrine, etc. Like all of the scriptures presented to allegedly support the added-on doctrines, the dogma has to be assumed, added to, and read into what Jesus actually stated.
 Related Studies:

 Alpha and Omega, First and Last
Revelation 22:13 - I am Alpha and Omega
Revelation 1:8 - The God of Jesus Speaks
Revelation 1:1,8 and the Unipersonal God
The Lord God, Who Was, Is, and Is to Come

Revelation 1:8 - The Lord God, Who Was, Is, and Is to Come (Video Script)

Revelation 1:7
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation 1:8
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." -- World English Bible Version.
Should we assume that the "the Lord God" "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" in Revelation 1:8 is Jesus?

The most simple and straightforward scriptural conclusion is that in Revelation 1:8, “the Lord God” “who is and was and who is to come” is not Jesus, but rather the unipersonal “God” of Revelation 1:1,4.

However, many trinitarians and some others do not accept the simple and straightforward conclusion, but would imagine and assume  that in Revelation 1:8 Jesus himself claimed to be the Almighty.

The phrase “is to come” is often taken out of context of what is said in verse 8 and associated with the word “coming” in Revelation 7, thus giving the inference that both are speaking of the same “coming”.

It is often further claimed that since in verse 7 it is Jesus who is being referred to as “coming”, that it is Jesus who is being quoted in verse 8 who states that he “is to come”..
Yes, the words in Revelation 1:7 are indeed the words of Jesus.

Nevertheless, in Revelation 1:8, John begins to quote the God and Father of Jesus (Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 3:5,12): “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." -- World English.

All through the Revelation given to John, Jesus is distinguished from “God”.

All through the Revelation, Jesus is distinguished from 'he who is, was and is to come'.
Revelation 1:1
This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John. -- World English Bible version.
We find that, in Revelation 1:1, “God” is clearly distinguished from “Jesus Christ”, as it should be.

It is “God” who gives the revelation to “Jesus Christ”. “Jesus Christ”, in turn gives the revelation to his servants by means of John. -- Revelation 1:1.

Revelation 1:1 speaks of Jesus with the title “Christ”, that is: “Jesus Christ”. “Christ” means “Anointed”.

Who anointed Jesus?
Isaiah 61: 1 - The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is on me; because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good news to the humble; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening [of the prison] to those who are bound. -- World English.
The Messiah is prophetically quoted as saying: “Yahweh has anointed me.” -- Isaiah 61:1, World English.

Thus, the Anointed One -- the Christ -- recognizes “Yahweh” (Jehovah) as the one who anointed him.

In the words recorded as Luke 4:14-23, Jesus identified himself as the one whom Yahweh anointed as spoken of in Isaiah 61:1.

This means that “God” in Psalm 45:7; Acts 2:36; 10:38; and Hebrews 1:9 is “Yahweh”.
It also means that the unipersonal “God” of Revelation 1:1,2,4,6,8,9 is not Jesus, but the “Lord Yahweh” of Isaiah 61:1 who anointed Jesus, thus making him “Jesus Christ” of Revelation 1:1.

Also in Isaiah 61:1, note that the Messiah refers to his God as “the Lord Yahweh”.
Since we have identified "God' who anointed Jesus as as Christ (Revelation 1:1) as being "the Lord Yahweh", this further means that in Revelation 1:8, it is this same one -- "the Lord Yahweh" of Isaiah 61:1, who is referred to in the World English and many other translations as the “the Lord God”.

Thus, “the Lord God” of Revelation 1:8 in the World English Bible version is the Lord Yahweh of Isaiah 61:1, and is not Jesus, but rather the one who anointed Jesus, making him “Jesus Christ” as shown in Revelation 1:1.
Revelation 1:4
John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne;
Revelation 1:5
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;
Revelation 1:6
and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. -- World English Bible version.
Revelation 1:4,5 clearly distinguishes Jesus from he 'who is, was and is to come'. It is the unipersonal “God” of Revelation 1:1 who is identified in Revelation 1:4 as being “who is and who was and who is to come.”

Thus, in Revelation 1:8, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." is not Jesus, but rather the God of Jesus, “God” who has given the revelation to Jesus. -- Revelation 1:1.

Nor does “is to come” in Revelation 1:8 refer to the same thing as the “coming” in Revelation 1:7.

As far as we know, no one claims that when the Almighty says “who was”, that this means that He was coming from somewhere or that he was going to somewhere in the past.
Likewise, we know of no one who claims that when He says “who is”, that this means He is presently going somewhere or coming from somewhere.

In other words, the Almighty was not saying that he was coming from or to somewhere in the past, or that he is coming from or to somewhere in the present, and thus, He was likewise not saying that he will be coming from or coming to somewhere in the future.
Consequently, most Greek Bible scholars conclude that Revelation 1:8 speaks of God's being, his eternal existence, past, present and future, even if they believe that this verse is in reference to Jesus.

Nevertheless, the context (Revelation 1:1,4) tells us that, in Revelation 1:8, it is the Almighty Yahweh, the God and Father of Jesus who is speaking as the one who was, is and is to come.
Accordingly, the conclusion is that Jesus is not the one who was, is, and is to come in Revelation 1:8.

The peculiar phrase in Revelation 1:8 only belongs to Yahweh, not to Jesus.
Yahweh has existed from all eternity past, he exists now, and he exists for all time to come. This is basically what Yahweh is saying in Revelation 1:8.

“Is to come” simply extends the thought of God’s existence into the infinite future, just as “who was” is speaking of God’s past, and “is” is speaking his being in the present. Thus, it is all inclusive of past, present and future.

The summation is that the most direct scriptural conclusion is that “the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’” in Revelation 1:8 is "God" of Revelation 1:1,4, not Jesus, as has been demonstrated.

For further study, see:
Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last
http://godandson.reslight.net/?p=325
Revelation 1:4 – Who Is, Was, To Come – Jesus?
http://godandson.reslight.net/?p=1097
The video of the above is online at:
http://youtu.be/R8qRpSXDXbk

Revelation 1:17,18; 2:8 - The First and the Last

Revelation 1:17 - When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me, saying, "Don't be afraid. I am the first and the last,
Revelation 1:18 - and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. -- World English Bible translation
The thought trinitarians would like to read into this evidently is that when Jesus refers to himself as "the first and the last" that this somehow means that Jesus is Jehovah, who says in Isaiah 44:6: "I am the first, and I am the last." Additionally, the assumption is made that Jesus' reference to himself as "the first and the last" means that Jesus is, has always been and always will be.

What does Jesus himself indicate regarding his reference to himself? Did he say he has always been -- that he was uncreated, and that he could never cease to exist? No, he, as the first and the last, plainly says: "I was dead." Thus he is telling us of a time when he was not. By such Jesus is, in effect, denying that he is Jehovah, who cannot die. But Jesus says, in reference to his being brought out of the death condition, "I am alive forevermore."

This is reiterated in Revelation 2:8 where Jesus refers to himself as: "The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life." For him to come to life would mean that he, the first and the last, had no life while dead. If he was actually alive while dead then he never was actually dead.

Of course, our trinitarian neighbors would tear what Jesus said apart and have the expression "the first and the last" apply to the the alleged "God" nature of Jesus while they would separate the expression "who was dead" as not meaning "God" whom they allege Jesus is claiming to be in the expression "the first and the last", but rather only the body/flesh/humanity of Jesus. The First and the Last, they claim is God, who did not die, but rather it was the "man" Jesus who died. In effect, they would end up denying what Jesus actually said, that 'the first and the last' was indeed dead. In reality, there is no reason to divide this up so, except to satisfy the added on trinitarian concepts. It was Jesus himself who died, ceased to have sentiency, and it was Jesus himself who came back to life.

The contextual evidence is that Jesus is speaking about his being the first and last in some way concerning his being dead and brought back to life. How could this be?

Revelation 1:5 refers to Jesus as the "firstborn" of the dead. No one had been brought back to life directly by Jehovah never to die again, except Jesus. Jesus was the first. At the time of the writing of the Revelation, Jesus was also the last that had been actually brought back to life, never to die again, and he is certainly the last firstborn to be made alive. There will never be another firstborn from the dead. Believers are now "counted" or "reckoned" as justified and alive, but are not actually raised to life until the "last day" -- the day of the world's judgment. Jesus was also the "last" to be directly brought back to life by Jehovah, since God has given the authority of the resurrection and judgment to Jesus. -- John 5:19-30; 6:39,40,44,54; 11:24; 12:47,48; Acts 17:31.

Jehovah, of course, is the first and last EL/ELOHIM (strength, power, might) in the universe. (Isaiah 44:6) No one can have any power or might aside from him. Even the demons have to depend on Jehovah for any power they have (which power they misuse). They have no power (strength, might) of their own, except that they have received such power from God. Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus, is the only ultimate Supreme Being. Additionally, none of the idol-gods of men were formed before Him, since He had no beginning of existence, nor can any be formed after Him, since he has no ending of existence.

What we do not find in these verses is any thing that says that Jesus is a person of the Most High, or three persons in one God. The idea of "trinity" or that Jesus is Jehovah has to be imagined, assumed, added and placed over the scriptures in order to make the scriptures seem to support those ideas.
For more concerning this, see:

Russell on "He Who Was, Is, and Is to Come"

Many Bible Students believe that "him who is and who was and who is to come" in Revelation 1:4 is Jesus Christ, evidently mostly based on Brother Russell's statements concerning Revelation 1:8, which Brother Russell applied to Jesus.

Please be assured that what I am stating is in the spirit of love, and not to be contentious, but in a sincere desire to compare spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing in order to reach a conclusion in harmony with what God actually has revealed.

One has claimed that my presentations make no sense; I believe that the presentations I have given on my website make perfect sense if one actually considers the evidence, but it may take some time to complete such a study. I did not arrive at the conclusions presented overnight -- it took me several weeks of diligent and prayerful study to see that those brothers who have taken the position that Jesus is not the Alpha and Omega are correct.
Since it is vague to me as to how what I presented makes no sense, I will address why it makes sense to me, and why to think that Jesus is he who is, was and is to come, does not make sense. At present, I will address Revelation 1:4 and its context, to show why it does not make sense to claim that Jesus is he who is, was and is to come.

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is , and which was , and which is to come ; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, -- King James Version.

The World English adds the word "God" into verse 4:
Revelation 1:4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne;
Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;

I know that some, like Brother Anton Frey, contend that "and from Jesus Christ" in Revelation 1:5 is added only for emphasis, so as to have it that "him which is" in verse 4 to be applied to Jesus. This overlooks that between "him which is" and "and from Jesus Christ" is "and from the seven spirits". Brother Frey, however, separates this phrase and states the seven spirits is "a symbolism, no doubt, of the one holy Spirit of God." This would make the verses mean the following:

Revelation 1:4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Jesus, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the [Holy Spirit] before his throne;
Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood.

Therefore, if one views the word "and" as "even" in verse 5, as Brother Frey suggests, this would mean that Jesus is the Holy Spirit, not that he is the one "who is and who was and who is to come." In other words, the meaning would be "and from the [Holy Spirit] before his throne, even from Jesus Christ". I do not find such a contradictory mixture of application to be very likely. It should be obvious that "and from" in both cases, adds to the the original one who is described as "who is and who was and who is to come", and is not "even from" in either case.

At any rate, after making a thorough examine of the scriptures, it is the claim that Jesus is the one "who is and who was and who is to come", the Alpha and Omega, the Lord God and the Almighty, that, to me, makes no sense.

In addition to my studies on this, if you have the Bible Students DVD Library, you can see that some have reached the same or similar conclusions. For instance, see the studies presented by the Southern Wisconsin Bible Students, in their book, "Revelation Notes"; study the scriptural presentations especially related to he who is, was and is to come, and that study in the Appendix, entitled "The Alpha and Omega".

If you do not have this book or the DVD, I have placed it online temporarily at:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B08gXMP6W4r6LVR5OEloMDlnODA/view?usp=sharing
See also Brother Richard Evans:
http://www.heraldmag.org/1998/98nd_7.htm
(I do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by others.)

In the first part, I gave some reasons why “and from” – “kai apo” – related to the seven spirits and “Jesus Christ” cannot mean that Jesus Christ is He who is, was and is to come, not unless one would also believe that Jesus Christ is also the “seven spirits”. Nevertheless, even the latter could not be true, since the Greek does not just use the word “kai” (“and”), but it uses the expression “kai apo” (“and from”).

Nor could one apply the Hebraism of beginning a sentence or statement with “kai” to Revelation 1:4,5, since “kai apo” in either instance in Revelation 1:4,5 does NOT begin a new sentence, nor a new statement, but in both instances “and from” is relating back to the greetings, and adds more to who it is that the greetings are “from”.
The greetings, stated as “Grace to you and peace”, are distributive as being from three different sources; therefore,

(1) apo – from – “him who is and who was and who is to come”,...
(2) and (kai) the same greetings are from – apo – the seven spirits in the sight of the throne of “him who is and who was and who is coming” (who is depicted throughout Revelation as sitting on the throne); therefore the “seven spirits of God” (Revelation 1:6) are not him “who is and who was and who is to come” who sits on the throne.
(3) and (kai) the greetings are also from – apo – Jesus Christ, who also is not Him who is sitting on the throne, since Jesus is also depicted as the Lamb who was slain in Revelation 5:1,5-7 who takes the scroll from the right hand of him who sits on the throne.
\
“HIS THRONE”

Now, to look at the expression “his throne” in Revelation 1:4.
Revelation 1:4
iwanees tais hepta ekkleesiais tais en tee asia
JOHN TO THE SEVEN ECCLESIAS THE IN THE ASIA;
2491_2 3588 2033 1577 3588 1722 3588 0773
charis humin kai eireenee apo ho wn
UNDESERVED KINDNESS TO YOU AND PEACE FROM THE (ONE) BEING
5485 4771_6 2532 1515 0575 3588 1511_1
1511_2
kai ho een kai ho erchomenos kai apo twn
AND THE (ONE) WAS AND THE (ONE) COMING, AND FROM THE
2532 3588 1511_3 2532 3588 2064 2532 0575 3588
hepta pneumatwn ha enwpion tou thronou autou
SEVEN SPIRITS WHICH IN SIGHT OF THE THRONE OF HIM,
2033 4151 3739 1799 3588 2362 0846_3
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD

Who is “HIM” in the phrase “the throne of him”? Is it not referring back to the one who is, was and is coming? Notice the the “seven spirits” are in the sight of the One who is on the throne.

Now notice Revelation 5:1:

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, close sealed with seven seals. – American Standard Version.

Now notice verse six:

Revelation 1:6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures ) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. – New American Standard.

Again, the seven spirits of God are mentioned. Who does Brother Russell identify as the One who sits on the throne in Revelation 5:1?
But, as the Master declared, these things the Father had kept in His own power--in His own hand. He divulged them not to the angels, nor even to His dearly beloved "Only Begotten Son." We have seen how this Divine secret, Divine purpose, was symbolically represented in the scroll in the hands of Jehovah, as pictured in Revelation 5:1.
Nevertheless the scroll of Divine purpose was still sealed and in the hand of Jehovah, up to the time that the Lamb had been slain.
In this picture He beheld Jehovah sitting upon a Throne and holding in His right hand a Scroll written within and without and sealed with seven seals.
Brother Russell, therefore, recognizes that He who sits on the throne in Revelation 5:1 is indeed Jehovah, to which I agree, and to which, I believe, most Bible Students would also agree. However, since the scriptures reveal that he who sits on the throne is also he who is, was and is coming, this would not be in harmony with his conclusion that he who is, was and is coming (of Revelation 1:8) is Jesus. Revelation 5:6 shows that the “seven spirits of God” are in the sight of the throne of Jehovah, and by this we can see that He who is, was, and is coming, in Revelation 1:4, is also Jehovah, and thus he who is, was and is coming is not Jesus.

Further, we should note that Revelation 5:1,5-7 distinguishes Jesus from He who sits on the throne (who is, was and is to come) as well as from being “the seven spirits of God” that that are in the sight of the throne, since the Lamb (Jesus) takes from the scroll from the right hand of the One who sits on the throne. Some of our trinitarian neighbors have claimed that Jesus is both the lamb and that he is also he who sits on the throne, and thereby claim that Jesus is Jehovah. Actually, to claim that Jesus is He who is, was and is coming, and at the same time claim that He who sits on the throne is not Jesus, but Jehovah, does not harmonize the scriptures, but makes the scriptures appear to be self-contradictory. Additionally, it would mean, if followed to its logical conclusion, that Jesus himself would be two persons.

Consequently, since Jesus -- as the lamb that was slain -- takes the scroll from he who sits on the throne, Jesus is not He who sits on the throne, nor is Jesus “the seven spirits of God” that are in the sight of the throne of him who is, was and is to come, and therefore Jesus is not “him” to whom the throne belongs in Revelation 1:4.

I will next consider the matter of calling Jesus "the Almighty" -- ho pantokratwr - in verse eight.
egw eimi to alpha kai to w legei kurios ho
I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, IS SAYING LORD, THE
1473 1510 3588 0255_5 2532 3588 5598 3004 2962 3588
theos ho wn kai ho een kai ho erchomenos
GOD, THE (ONE) BEING AND THE (ONE) WAS AND THE (ONE) COMING,
2316 3588 1511_1 2532 3588 1511_3 2532 3588 2064
1511_2
ho pantokratwr
THE ALMIGHTY.
3588 3841
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD.
Brother Russell stated:
Now we are prepared to understand the words of Jesus to John on Patmos. (Rev. 1:8,11,18.) "I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty"-- Almighty since Jehovah had given to him all power in heaven and in earth.
Although Brother Russell quoted the scripture as "the Almighty", his explanation drops the definite article to make it simply "Almighty". The Greek, however, is not simply "Almighty", but rather it has the definite article: "ho pantokratwr".

Brother Russell elsewhere did present Jesus as being “the Almighty”.
THE ALMIGHTY
But although our Redeemer had always occupied the place of honor in the heavenly courts, it was not until his faithful obedience to the Father had been tested to the extent of his changing nature to that of man, and then giving himself as fallen man's ransom, that he received his present unexcellable glory and honor. It is since his resurrection that the message has gone forth – "All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me." (Matt. 28:18.) Consequently it is only since then that he could be called the Almighty (as in Rev. 1:8). The Heavenly Father has always been almighty, and this all-power or all-might was never given to him, but was his eternal possession. But now that he has given the same power to his Only-begotten and well-pleasing Son, our Saviour, both we and angels delight to know it, and delight to honor him whom the Father has so highly honored, and whom he has instructed us to honor, saying: "That all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father."-- John 5:23.
Brother Russell also cited Matthew 28:18 in this regard:

Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying , All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Does this make Jesus "the Almighty"? Obviously not, since the the Most High is excepted in the "all power" that the only Most High gives to Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:27) While one could say that the "all power" that the Most High gave to Jesus makes Jesus one who is "almighty" in that power that was given to Jesus, this does not make Jesus "the Almighty" "Lord God".
Jesus is no where in the Bible said to be "the Almighty", which, in effect, actually describes He Who is the source of all might (1 Corinthians 8:6), nor is Jesus ever said to be "the Most High". Jesus is indeed "mighty", in that his God and Father has given to him might that is above all might except that of the Most High. It is highly unlikely that Jesus would be called "the Almighty" and the "Lord God" in the book of Revelation.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?q=almighty&c=&t=web&ps=100&s=Bibles
http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?q=%22most+high%22&c=&t=web&ps=100&s=Bibles

Brother Russell also wrote concerning the expression “Alpha and Omega”:
In no other way can we understand Jesus to be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, as he claims in his revelation to John (Rev. 1:8; 3:14; 21:6; 22:13), than as the Scriptures harmoniously teach, that as Jehovah's agent he is the beginner and finisher of the wondrous plan, though not its author. In a word, he was the only direct creation of Jehovah – born "from the womb of the morning," as the Psalmist expresses it (110:3), – all other creations being through him, as Jehovah's agent, or representative; as we read: "To us there is one God – the Father – of whom are all things and we in him; and one Lord – Jesus Christ – by whom are all things, and we by him." (1 Cor. 8:6.) He is the first born of every creature [born before all creation]; for by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is [also] the head of the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead--that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. – Col. 1:15-18. 
Our Lord's pre-human condition, we have thus seen, was one of mighty power, as the chief of all Jehovah's creation, and his agent in all subsequent creations. He was the first and the last direct creation of Jehovah. Hence with the proper conception of the meaning of the word God, as used in the Scriptures, namely, a mighty, a powerful being (See, Nov. '87 TOWER), we see the propriety of applying the name God (which in Scripture is applied to angels and to some great men) to this great being, who was and is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, of Jehovah's creation. -- Watch Tower, August 1888, page 7.

No doubt, Brother Russell, at that time, did not see any other way to harmonize the scriptures, as he evidently never thought that the words uttered in Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13, could have not been Jesus’ words, but rather the words of Jehovah himself. Indeed, the trinitarian influence promoted that idea in order to make it appear that Jesus is Jehovah. Nevertheless, although Brother Russell sought to harmonize the scriptures, a close examination shows that the effect would be to bring disharmonization of the scriptures, since, if it should be thought that in Revelation 1:4 that “his throne” is the throne of Jesus, then to be consistent, one would have to say that Jesus is both the one on the throne in Revelation 5:1, and that he is also the lamb who takes the scroll from the hand of the One who is on the throne in Revelation 5:6,7. However, the “Expanded Comments” shows that Russell believed that the One who sits on the throne in Revelation 5: 1 is:
Of him -- The Heavenly Father, the Ancient of Days, Jehovah. E36; R2208:5, 2156:1; SM488:2; OV7:1
And, regarding the one on the throne at Revelation 4:2,
And one sat -- This is the Father, the "Ancient of days." (Dan. 7:9)
This means that he who is, was and is coming in Revelation 4:8 is not Jesus, but rather Jehovah.
This cannot be harmonized with the claim that it is Jesus’ throne spoken of in Revelation 1:4, since it is obvious that both scriptures are speaking of the same one.

It is claimed that Brother Russell quoted many translations. Yes, Brother Russell did indeed frequently quote many different Bible translations. I haven't found anything in Brother Russell's writings, however, where he addresses the Greek related to Revelation 1:8, the expression "Lord God" of Revelation 1:8, nor of the application of he who was, is, and is coming, and his throne, of Revelation 1:4.

I do agree with Brother Russell that Jesus was the first and last only direct Son of God that Jehovah brought into existence.

http://www.mostholyfaith.com/beta/bible/reprints/Z1888FEB.asp#R1005:8

In context,in Revelation 1:17,18 and Revelation 2:8, however, "the first and the last" appears to be more related to Jesus' having been dead, and the only firstborn from the dead. -- Revelation 1:5.

See my studies:

THE LORD GOD

I will now consider the expression “the Lord God” in Revelation 1:8.

My reasoning is that “The Lord” replaces "Jehovah" as in "Jehovah God" in the Old Testament.


Revelation 1:8
egw eimi to alpha kai to w legei kurios ho
I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, IS SAYING LORD, THE
1473 1510 3588 0255_5 2532 3588 5598 3004 2962 3588
theos ho wn kai ho een kai ho erchomenos
GOD, THE (ONE) BEING AND THE (ONE) WAS AND THE (ONE) COMING,
2316 3588 1511_1 2532 3588 1511_3 2532 3588 2064
1511_2
ho pantokratwr
THE ALMIGHTY.
3588 3841

Revelation 1:8, Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as found on the Bible Students DVD.
(Please note that the punctuation given is added: such does not actually appear in the ancient Koine Greek)

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." -- New American Standard.

"The Lord" in the expression "Lord God" is an evident replacement for the Holy Name. In the Old Testament, the expression "Lord God" can only be found once, that is, at Daniel 9:3.


The expression used in Daniel 9:3, as transliterated from the Masoretic text, is often given as 'Adonay 'Elohiym. Christian David Ginsburg, however, provides evidence that the Jewish Sopherim changed the Holy Name in this verse to a form of ADONI, 'my lord'. Thus, it should be apparent that the Holy Name was replaced by a form of ADON in Daniel 9:3, and consequently that it was originally what is often rendered into English as "Jehovah God" or "Yahweh God". The Masoretes, added the vowel point to make the form ADONAI.

See my study on:


Nevertheless, there is no scripture in the extant NT manuscripts, nor in the Septuagint, where a form of this expession "Kurios Ho Theos" – The Lord God – is ever once applied to Jesus. It should be evident that, in Revelation 1:8, someone has replaced the expression "Jehovah God" as found in the Old Testament with "Kurios Ho Theos" "the Lord God". Further evidence that this is so is found in the Septuagint which uses "kurios ho theos" when it replaces the Hebrew for "Jehovah God"; thus, the most logical conclusion is that the expression in Revelation 1:8 applies to the God and Father of Jesus, not to Jesus.

"Jehovah God"

We should also notice that Brother Russell applies forms of the same expression, THE LORD GOD [KURIOS HO THEOS], as it appears in Revelation 4:8, 11:17; 15:3; 21:22, not to Jesus, but to Jehovah, the Heavenly Father.

I could not find any definite statement by Russell concerning “the Lord God” as it appears in Revelation 16:7; 18:8. Nevertheless, it is Jehovah God Himself who comes to judge the world by means of the one whom he has ordained. –  Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Luke 1:32,35; John 5:22,23; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:5.


I will now look at John 1:1. Does “God” as applied to the Logos in John 1:1, provide a basis for calling Jesus “the Lord God” in Revelation 1:8?

No, John 1:1 does not use the expression used in Revelation 1:8, nor does it say that Jesus is "the Almighty". Likewise, in the expressions in which Jesus is referred as "lord", not once do we find him being spoken of with the expression used in Revelation 1:8. It was “Jehovah God”  -- the Lord Jehovah (Isaiah 61:1) -- who made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Anointed One), as shown by the expression “Jesus Christ” in Revelation 1:5. 

The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me. -- Isaiah 61:1, American Standard Version.

Acts 2:36 ASV
Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.






Friday, January 27, 2017

John 6:62; 17:5 - Jesus' Return to Where He Was Before

What if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? -- John 6:62, World English
In various statements in our studies on the Restoration Light website, references are made to Jesus' returning to where he was before. An argument has been forwarded that Jesus never used the word "return" and that the usage of the word "return" is misleading. This argument is presented in order to counter our argument that John 6:62 shows that Jesus was existing with his Father before he became a man.

In the context of John 6:62, Jesus had shown "where" he had been, when he said, "I have come down from heaven." (John 6:38) Recognizing Jesus as the son of the carpenter, the Jews asked, "How then does he say, 'I have come down out of heaven?'" (John 6:42) Jesus was talking about going back to where he came from, that is, "from above", heaven, where his God and Father is. (Matthew 10:32; 12:50; 18:10; John 6:62; 8:23; 17:1,3,5) We do indeed believe that Jesus was with his God and Father before he left that glory and came to earth, and he spoke of returning to "where" he was before, that is, with his God and Father. While on earth until he died and and was raised, he did not have the glory of the heavenly (spiritual) body that he had before coming to the earth, but that of the earthly. Not having the glory of the heavenly, he prayed for that glory to be returned to him by his God and Father in the resurrection. However, in the resurrection he received in greater reward, in that he "became a life-giving spirit". -- John 1:1; 6:62; 17:1,3,5,13; 1 Corinthians 15:38,40,44,45.

We believe the act of returning is shown in Jesus' statement as recorded in John 6:62, even though he did not use the word "return". By placing the emphasis the non-usage of the word "return", however, attention is displaced from the point made, that Jesus was indeed "where" he was before; that Jesus existed in a "where" -- a place -- before he came into the world of mankind. He was indeed with his God and Father, the only true God who sent him into the world of mankind. -- John 1:1,2; 17:1,3,5.
Several scriptures have been given concerning Jesus' "going" to bolster the claim that Jesus was not saying that he was returning to God, but simply going to God:

John 14:2
John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I GO TO [not return to] prepare a place for you.
Jesus, of course, was still on the earth when he spoke this. His use of the present tense would have to refer to his future event of going to "where" he was before. Similarly, we might say "I am going to the store," with reference to the act of going to the store that is yet future.

John 16:10


John 16:10 ...because I GO TO my Father, and ye see me no more;

The argument is made that Jesus said "I go to", not I "return" to.

And yet "where" Jesus was before he came into the world of mankind was indeed with his God and Father. -- John 1:1,2,9,10; 16:28; 17:1,3,5.

This is "where" he said he would go to in his ascension, thus the thought of returning to where he was before the world of mankind was made, even though Jesus does not use the word "return".

John 20:17
John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
The argument is made that he says nothing of "returning."

And yet this does not do away with the fact that "where" Jesus was is the same "where" to which Jesus ascended, as referred to in Jesus' words of John 6:62.

John 17:5


Regarding John 17:5, the argument is made that nothing is said of "returning" his glory to him. The claim is made that such an idea has to be be read into Jesus' words. The claim is made that Jesus existed in God's "foreknowledge" from the very beginning, and that Jesus is simply confirming that.
Actually, at that time when Jesus prayed those words, it is evident that Jesus did not have this glory, and he says that he had that glory before the world of mankind was made, and he prays that this glory be given to him again. What else could this be but asking for this glory to be returned to him? The default understanding would be that Jesus had a glory with the only true God before the world of mankind was made, that he did not have that glory when he was praying, and that he was asking that this glory be returned to him. Any idea that Jesus was speaking of having a glory with his God and Father only in the "foreknowledge" of his God and Father whom he was with only allegedly in the foreknowledge of his God and Father has to be added to and read into what Jesus said. Additionally, such an idea would mean that when Jesus said that he was to ascend to "where" he was before would mean that Jesus would ascend to being with his God and Father in the foreknowledge of his God and Father, if that was "where" he was before.

Some claim that Jesus was only speaking of his glory as having existed before the world of mankind existed, but the Jesus did not say that he himself existed before the world of mankind existed. Thus, according to this reasonining, Jesus himself never actually "had" this glory, but was asking for this glory in the prayer as recorded in John 17:5.
John 17:5
kai nun doxason me su pater para seautw tee
AND NOW GLORIFY ME YOU, FATHER, BESIDE TO YOURSELF TO THE
2532 3568 3569 1392 1473_6 4771 3962 3844 4572 3588
doxee hee eichon pro tou ton kosmon einai
GLORY WHICH I WAS HAVING BEFORE OF THE THE WORLD TO BE
1391 3739 2192 4253 3588 3588 2889 1511
para soi
BESIDE YOU.
3844 4771_2
Westcotty & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD
And, now, glorify me - thou, Father! with thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world's existence, with thee. - (John 17:5, Rotherham)
It would take some imagination to assume that Jesus was not indeed saying that he was there with his God and Father and yet that he who did not exist at that time "had" a glory "with" only true God when (as it is claimed) he did not have an existence with the only true God. The fact of his asking for this former glory that he "had" "with" the only true God certainly shows that he was there "with" the only true God when he "had" that glory. We have no reason to think otherwise. It DOES show that Jesus did not have that glorty that he "had" at the time of the prayer, and thus was asking for that glory to be returned to him. It would be incongruous with the statements to think that he "had" that glory (allegedly) "in the mind of God," but that at the time of the prayer he would not have had that glory "in the mind of God." Yet he did not say "the glory that I have", but rather the "glory that I had". In saying "I", however, along with "with", Jesus was certainly declaring that he had been with the only true God and that he had once had a glory when he had been with the only true God.

Jesus did have a glory while he was in days of his flesh (John 17:22; 1 Corinthians 15:39-41; Hebrews 2:9; 5:7), which was a human glory that did not fall short of the glory of God due to sin. (Romans 3:23) This, however, was NOT the the glory that he was praying for in John 17:5, for Jesus, while in the days of his flesh, did not have the glory for which he prayed as written in John 17:5. The conclusion, by comparing spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing (1 Corintians 2:13), is that, by his words recorded in John 17:5, Jesus is referring to the celestial glory that Paul writes of in 1 Corinthians 15:39-41, which is contrasted with the terestrial glory of fleshly beings. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:39-41, is writing in response to the questions: "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?" (1 Corinthians 15:35) Thus he is speaking of two different kinds of bodies as related to this question, one that has the glory of the celestial, and another that has the glory of the terrestrial. Paul likens the new creature to a seed or grain, and states that God gives (assigns) to this seed or grain a body as it pleases him. He goes on to explain that the body first assigned to the seed is not the celestial, heavenly, spiritual body, but rather it is the terrestrial, earthly body, which is likened to the sinless body that Adam had before Adam sinned. This was the same glory that Jesus had while he was the days of his flesh, which glory he offered in sacrifice for our sins. This is the glory that is first given -- assigned -- to the justified "seed" of the new creature, which is earthly, terrestrial, not the spiritual, heavenly, bodily glory that Jesus now has. The latter -- the spiritual, heavenly, celestial, bodily glory -- has to be attained by putting on the incorruptibility as did Jesus.

Nevertheless, in that God had chosen his Son before the foundation of the world, in choosing his Son, he was also choosing his church in, or by means of, his Son. In other words, by electing, or choosing Jesus before the foundation of the world, through such an election, he was also choosing that their would be believers in Christ. This does not mean that the individual members of the church had already been chosen before foundation of the world. It certainly does not mean that the individual members of the church had glory with the only true God before the foundation of the world, so that they could ask for such glory to be returned to them.

If the glory that Jesus had before the world of mankind only existed in the mind of God, then Jesus would have been praying for that glory that existed in the mind of God to to be returned to him. In effect, this would make the "where" that he had been before the world had been made through him to only be in the mind of God, and thus he would be expecting to ascend the where he had been before, the mind of God. -- John 6:62.

See our studies related to this:
With What Kind of Body Will We Be Raised?
http://reslight.net/?p=1006
Glory (Notes)
http://jesus-rlbible.com/?p=6251
The Manner of the Resurrection
http://reslight.net/?p=1

Ephesians 1:4
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; - (Ephesians 1:4, World English)
This scripture is often quoted by Unitarians and some others in an effort to prove that the glory that Jesus "had" before the world had been made was a glory that only existed in God's mind. In other words, it is claimed that in John 17:5 Jesus was simply speaking of the glory as having existed, not that he himself actually existed before the world of mankind existed.

Paul, however, by what he wrote in Ephesians 1:4, did not declare the saints to have had a glory when they had been with the only true God before the foundation of the world, as Jesus spoke of in John 17:5, thus this scripture is not as "similar" as it is being supposed. Paul does speak of God's choosing the saints "in him", in -- by means of -- His Son. None of the saints can, as did Jesus, declare himself to have come down from heaven, or to have had a glory with the only true God before the world existed. Nor can any of the saints request for such a glory to be returned to him, as did Jesus.

Jehovah knew before the foundation of the world made through the Logos (John 1:10), that the world would come under a condemnation, and that there would be a need of a savior to deliver man out of that condemnation. Thus, before the foundation of the world, he had already chosen His son to be that savior, and in choosing His son, he was also choosing those would become sons of God who would be also with Jesus, members of a seed of promise, which seed would would blessing all the families of the earth. -- Genesis 12:3; 28:14; Acts 13:23; Romans 9:8; Galatians 3:16,19,29.

None of the saints would ever say that because God had such foreknowledge, that he as a saint had came down from out of heaven, or that he had a glory with God before the world existed, nor would any of the believers ever think of requesting for such a glory to returned to them, as did Jesus in John 17:5.

Thus, there is nothing in Ephesians 1:4 that would mean that Jesus did not have an existence when he "had" a glory "with" the only true God as he spoke of in John 17:5.




Related RL Studies
Much of the above was originally written before 2011; additions added; republished: 12/12/2014