Thursday, March 8, 2018

Galatians 3:20 - Is God the Mediator?

Galatians 3:20 - Now a mediator is not between one, but God is one.

Some evidently see in this verse that God is being said to be the mediator, and that, since Jesus is the mediator, they evidently are reading into that the Jesus is God. 

Actually, "God" here is presented as being only one person, the same one person who is the "one God" in 1 Corinthians 8:6. "God" in Galatians 3:20 is the same one person who is the "only true God" in John 17:1,3. It is the same one person who is the "the Lord Jehovah" of Isaiah 61:1, who anointed and sent the Messiah. 
"God" in Galatians 3:20 is the same one person who is "God" in 1 Timothy 2:5,6:

{1 Timothy 2:5} For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men. It was the man Christ Jesus 
{1 Timothy 2:6} who gave himself as a ransom for all to be witnessed in its own times

The "one mediator" is Jesus, who came as a man in order to sacrifice his humanity as the ransom (offsetting, corresponding price) on behalf of all mankind. Jesus is not the "one God" of whom are all, but Jesus, being a sinless, fully obedient human being, had the price necessary to satisfy God's justice, which sacrificed to buy back what Adam lost for himself and for all his offspring. -- Romans 3:23-27; 5:10-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 2 Corinthians 5:18,19; 1 John 2:1,2; 4:9,10.

God is thus not the mediator between Himself and man, but God is the one to whom man is reconciled by means of a mediator. Man is not reconciled to Jesus, but rather to the God and Father of Jesus.

Some related studies:
Did Jesus Have to be Both God and Man in Order to be the Mediator?

The man Jesus - Still a Man?
The Price of Redemption -- God or Man?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jeremiah 17:10; Revelation 2:23 - Jesus' Ability to Search Men's Hearts

Jeremiah 17:10 - I, Jehovah, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. -- Green's Literal.

Revelation 2:23 - I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

The above two scriptures have been placed together with the claim this proves that Jesus is Jehovah of Jeremiah 17:10. Is this true?

Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus, is the "one God" who is the source of all. (1 Corinthians 8:6) It is the God and Father of Jesus who has made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Ezekiel 34:23,24; Isaiah 61:1,2; Acts 2:36), and has exalted him to the highest position in the universe, far above the angels, next to the only Most High.-- Acts 2:33,36; 5:31; Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:3,17-23; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Hebrews 1:4,6; 1 Peter 3:22.

It the "one God" of 1 Corinthians 8:6 who has given to His Anointed One His Spirit in a special way, giving him the power to "not judge by the sight of his eyes, nor decide by the hearing of his ears." (Isaiah 11:1-4) Of Jesus, it is prohesied:"He shall stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of Jehovah His God. And they shall sit, for now He is great to the ends of the earth." (Micah 5:4, Green's Literal) Thus, his power to judge men's hearts is because he stands in the strength of Jehovah, his God.

Jehovah comes to judge through -- by means of -- His son. -- Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Isaiah 40:10; 62:11; Luke 1:32,35; John 5:22,23; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 22:12.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob now speaks to us through His Son. -- Acts 3:13-26; Hebrews 1:1,2.

Nothing in this means that we need to imagine, assume, add to, and read into, the scriptures that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Monday, November 20, 2017

1 Peter 2:3 – Tasted That The Lord Is Gracious

1 Peter 2:3 – If you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
1 Peter 2:4 – To whom we are approaching. He is a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God chosen, precious.
1 Peter 2:5 –  You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. — World English.
Psalm 34:8 – Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. — World English.

The above verses are often placed together in effort to prove that Jesus is Jehovah. Many assume that when Peter wrote “the Lord is gracious” that he was quoting Psalm 34:8, “Jehovah is good”, and that therefore by “the Lord” in 1 Peter 2:3, Peter meant Jehovah. The following verse applies “the Lord” to Jesus, and therefore Jesus is assumed to be Jehovah, and thus it would have to be further assumed that Jehovah is the stone that Jehovah chose, and that Jehovah is Jehovah that laid the stone (Jehovah) in Zion. (1 Peter 2:6) To keep this from being self-contradictory, the trinitarian then has to call upon human imagination so as to imagine, assume and add to the scriptures that Jehovah is more than oneperson, so that it would mean that there is one person who is Jehovah who laid the stone, who is another person of Jehovah. But it woud have to be then further assumed and read into the scriptures that these two who are both Jehovah are not two different Jehovahs, but that they are both the one same Jehovah, etc.

The trinitarian would, in effect, by use of the spirit of human imagination and formed assumptions that have to added to, and read into, the scriptures, have the verses understood as:

1 Peter 2:3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord [the alleged second person of the triune Jehovah] is gracious:
1 Peter 2:4 coming to him [the alleged second person of the triune Yahweh], a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God [not the triune Jehovah, but rather only the first person of the triune Jehovah], precious.
1 Peter 2:5 You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God [not the allged triune God, but only the alleged first person of the triune God] through Jesus Christ [the allged second person of the triune God].
1 Peter 2:6 Because it is contained in Scripture, “Behold, I [not the alleged triune Jehovah, but rather only the alleged first person of the triune Jehoah] lay in Zion a chief cornerstone [the alleged second person of the triune Jehovah], elect, precious: He who believes in him [the alleged second person of the triune Jehovah] will not be put to shame.”

Of course, in reality, we have no scriptural reason to use the spirit of human imagination so assume, add, and read all of the above into the scriptures as shown.

If Peter had Psalm 34:8 in mind when he wrote the words of 1 Peter 2:3, at most one might assume it to be an indirect reference, since Peter did not use the word “good”, and since what Peter stated is not in the same structure as stated in Psalm 34:8. Rather than assume all that the trinitarian would assume, one would best assume in line with what is revealed in the Bible, that Peter is speaking of Jesus as the one who speaks and represents Jehovah.  — — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 22:32; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; 12:26; Luke 13:35; 20:37; John 3:2,17,32-35; 4:34; 5:19,30,36,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; 20:17; Acts 2:22,34-36; 3:13-26; 5:30; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 8:6; 11:31; Colossians 1:3,15; 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:1.

Whether Peter had Psalm 34:8 in mind or not, the context, however, would indicate that Peter, by use of “the Lord” in 1 Peter 2:3, did not mean that as stating that Jesus is Jehovah. Such a claim that Peter was stating that Jesus is Jehovah in 1 Peter 2:3 would make the context totally confusing, to say the least, and even self-contradictory.

Some points we might consider: As all the Bible writers do, Peter depicts “God” — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:14,15) — as one person, and not as more than one person, and he distinguishes “God” from Jesus. “God” is depicted in 1 Peter 1:3 as “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”. In Acts 3:13-26, Peter depicts the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as one person who raised up Jesus as a prophet like Moses. In 1 Peter 1:21, “God” is depicted as having raised Jesus from the dead, and having giving glory to Jesus. In 1 Peter 2:4, “God” is depicted as one person who chose Jesus. In 1 Peter 2:5, the sacrifices of the church are acceptable to “God” through Jesus, and thus Jesus is not included in “God”. In 1 Peter 3:18, “Christ” is distinguished from “God”, as Jesus is depicted as the one who brings us to “God”. In 1 Peter 3:22, we find that Jesus is at the right hand of “God”, is thus being excluding from being “God”. Indeed, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is depicted as only one person throughout Peter’s letter, as we find to be true throughout the entire Bible.

If we belong to the Lord Jesus, we taste of his graciousness. We can say: “His fruit was sweet to my taste.” (Song of Solomon 2:3) As we come to Jesus and sit down under his shadow with great delight, we hear his words as recorded in the Bible, and learn of his sacrifice and of his resurrection. Nevertheless, to taste of this graciousness of Jesus is same as tasting of the goodness of his God and Father, since it is through Jesus that one can gain access to the Father. (John 14:6) Jesus has declared his God to us. (John 1:18) Jesus has given us the words of His God. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 3:34; 14:10) Jesus, in the days of his flesh, demonstrated the goodness of his God and Father, and he has shown that goodness to those who believe on him; and will yet show that goodness to the world in the coming age when the glory of Yahweh will fill the earth.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Acts 20:28 – Whose Blood?

Does what is stated in Acts 20:28 give reason to imagine and assume that Jesus is God Almighty, or that God is more than one person?
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. – Acts 20:28, King James Version.
Many of our trinitarian neighbors (and some others) would have us believe that this text means that the Almighty God himself died for the church. If so, then, the Almighty God himself died, which of course, scripturally is totally impossible. If God Almighty had flesh and blood, this would make him lower than the angels. — Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7.

We first want to point out that it was the only true God (John 17:1,3) who prepared the body of flesh and blood for Jesus by means His Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18,20; Hebrews 10:5) Since Jesus, while in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), was directly the Son of God, the blood running through the veins of Jesus' flesh was indeed the blood of his God and Father, for that blood came from him. This, however, does not mean that we need to imagine that Jesus is God Almighty, etc.

We might note that the Alexandrine manuscript as well as some other manuscripts read as “to shepherd the church of the Lord which…” Thus the New English Bible renders this verse: “Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has given you charge, as shepherds of the church of the Lord, which we won for himself by his own blood.” The Antigua Version de Casidoro De Reina, Revisada por Cipriano de Valera (1602), Revision de 1960, reads “iglesia del Senior”, that is, “church of the Lord” instead of “iglesia de Dios” (Church of God).

However, let us look at how several other translations render this verse:

Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. — New Revised Standard Version.
Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. — Revised Standard
So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, {F32 } which he made his own through the blood of his Son. {F33} — Today’s English
F32: God; [some manuscripts have] the Lord.
F33: through the blood of his Son; [or] through the sacrificial death of his Son; [or] through his own blood.
Be careful for yourselves and for all the people the Holy Spirit has given to you to care for. You must be like shepherds to the church of God, which he bought with the death of his own son. — New Century Version
Take heed, therefore, to yourselves and to all the flock, in which you the Spirit Holy placed overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased through the own blood. — Jay Green’s Interlinear.
Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased F184 with the blood of his own. F185
F184: Middle voice; reflexive: see Note e, Heb. 1.3.
F185: I am fully satisfied that this is the right translation of ver. 28. To make it a question of the divinity of Christ (which I hold to be of the foundation of Christianity) is absurd. It has been questioned whether ‘of his own’ can be used thus absolutely in the singular. But we have it in John 15.19, and in the neuter singular for material things, Acts 4.32. The torturing of the passage by copyists arose, I believe, from not seeing, the real sense of it; a touching expression of the love of God. — Darby Translation
Thus Darby, although believing that Jesus is God Almighty, realizes that it is “absurd” to look to this scripture as proof of the trinity doctrine, although we know many do so.

Regarding this, Mark Miller states on his website:

The Greek words tou i·di’ou follow the phrase “with the blood.” The entire expression could be translated “with the blood of his own.” A noun in the singular number would be understood after “his own,” most likely God’s closest relative, his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ. On this point J. H. Moulton in A Grammar of New Testament Greek, Vol. 1 (Prolegomena), 1930 ed., p. 90, says: “Before leaving [i’di·os] something should be said about the use of [ho i’di·os] without a noun expressed. This occurs in Jn 1.11; 13.1; Ac 4.23; 24.23. In the papyri we find the singular used thus as a term of endearment to near relations . . . . In Expos. VI. iii. 277 I ventured to cite this as a possible encouragement to those (including B. Weiss) who would translate Acts 2028 ‘the blood of one who was his own.'”
Alternately, in The New Testament in the Original Greek, by Westcott and Hort, Vol., 2, London, 1881, pp. 99, 100 of the Appendix, Hort stated: “it is by no means impossible that [hui·ou’, “of the Son”] dropped out after tou i·di’ou, “of his own”] at some very early transcription affecting all existing documents. Its insertion leaves the whole passage free from difficulty of any kind.”
Regarding the above choices which would agree with 1 John 1.7: ‘The blood of Jesus (God’s) Son cleanses us from all sin.’ (See Re 1.4-6l Jn 3.16)

If it was actually the blood of God rather than the blood of the man Jesus Christ, then there has been no ransom, for it is the blood of one lower than the angels — a human — that was needed to make satisfaction for the sin of Adam. (Of course, I realize the trinitarians claim that Jesus was both a spirit being in nature and a human being in nature at the same time, and thy style this the “dual nature” of Christ, but no scripture says such a thing.) Jesus, being our high priest appointed by the only true Supreme Being, offers his own blood to the only true Supreme Being; he is not the the only true Supreme Being who receives the sacrifice. — Psalm 8:5; John 17:1,3; Hebrews 2:9; 3:1,2; 9:14.

Nevertheless, in reality, God Almighty is a spiritual being and does not have flesh and blood. (John 3:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17) Jesus was made a spiritual being in his resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:45) He was not a spiritual being while he was a human being. — 1 Corinthians 15:38.

Yet many claim that if one applies the dual natures of Jesus to Acts 20:28, one could see that the verse is referring to Jesus as God (Supreme Being). This would assume that "the blood" refers the God's blood. Of course, as pointed out, the Supreme Being, who is spirit, does not have blood. So how does one actually apply the idea of dual natures to the verse?  Many, although in some vague way they try to apply their "dual natures" (or, hypostatic union) of Jesus to this verse, never really try to reason as to how it could be applied and make sense. Evidently one would have assume that  "God" in the verse refers to the alleged Supreme Being Jesus. But as Jesus, the Supreme Being, Jesus would not have any blood. How does one get from the Supreme Being Jesus to the blood of the human being Jesus? If it is referring to the blood of the human Jesus, then it is not the blood of the alleged God being Jesus, since the alleged God being Jesus never had any blood.

The Greek wording, however, indicates that the verse does not refer directly to the blood of the Supreme Being (who, being a spirit being, has no blood), but rather to the blood of the human being Jesus, who is God's own (son, servant, prophet, etc.). Being that God provided the blood to his son, it is his own blood. Similarly, we often may hear it be said that a son has the blood of his father running through his veins. This does not make a son the same human being as his father.

Nothing in the verse says that Jesus is God Almighty. There is definitely nothing in the verse about three persons in one being or three persons in God Almighty, or that God is more than one person, or that Jesus exists on two levels of consciousness at the same time, etc.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Colossians 1:15 – Firstborn Of The New Creation?

The claim is being made concerning “firstborn” in Colossians 1:15 that God placed Jesus (Yeshua) as firstborn, and as his first born (of mankind) FROM DEATH …. to eternal life: The firstfruits of the NEW CREATION of mankind who will live here on the earth as KING reigning for God (YHWH) the Most High and Father and God of ALL men on earth. This appears to be similar to both Unitarian and some Oneness claims. This claim usually carries the belief that Jesus is still to this day a human being, that Jesus was raised in his human body, similar to the claims of trinitarians, thereby cancelling out the ransom sacrifice of Jesus.
We first will say that simple common usage of the word firstborn all through the scriptures show that “firstborn” is never used to designate one who is not brought forth into existence, as trinitarians claim. The very term “firstborn” therefore, means one who is first to brought forth into existence. One might argue that the rights of the firstborn may be given to another, but this still does not mean that the person who receives the right of firstborn was never brought forth into existence. However, if this was the meaning of “firstborn” as applied to Jesus in Colossians 1:15, one might wonder “who” was the original “firstborn” from whom Jesus received the right of firstborn. Nevertheless, in no wise does “firstborn” in the Bible ever used to refer to one who was not brought forth into existence. Indeed, the idea that firstborn as applied to Jesus in Colossians 1:15 has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into what the scripture actually says.
See our studies:
Nevertheless, if we assume that firstborn in Colossians 1:15 is not referring to the firstborn of the creation of all life, but only of the human “new creation,,” and that this new creation will live here on earth, this would seem to exclude the invisible dominion of the angels from being in that creation. However, Colossians 1:16 refers to dominions visible and invisible, in heaven and one earth.
We believe that Jesus was begotten/born/brought forth three times.
(1) as the firstborn creature, which would mean that he was also the firstborn of the “sons of God” written about in Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. — Colossians 1:15; Proverbs 8:22-25.
(2) as a human. — Matthew 1:20; Hebrews 10:5.
(3) from the dead when raised from the dead. — Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5.
It was when Jesus was begotten of God’s holy spirit into the world (Matthew 1:20), but not of the world (John 8:23), that Jesus was the firstborn of the human “new” creation. His was a new human creation in that he was not born of the old “whole creation” — whole human creation — that is now crooked, subjected to futility, in bondage of corruption [that which is not straight], groaning and travailing in pain as a result of Adam’s sin. — Ecclesiastes 1:2,14,15; 7:13; 12:8; Romans 8:19-22.
If Jesus had been born of this world, of this crooked generation through Adam (Philippians 2:15), he would have been in the same boat as everyone else, and could not have been made straight, made incorrupt, justified, not even by keeping the Law, for he would have been like everyone else under the law, for “by the works of the law, no flesh [having been made crooked] will be justified [made straight, incorrupt] in his sight” (Romans 3:20); “a man is not justified [made straight, incorrupt] by the works of the law” (Galatians 2:6); “no man is justified [made straight, incorrupt] by the law before God” (Galatians 3:11); “if there had been a law given which could make alive, most assuredly righteousness would have been of the law.” (Galatians 3:21); “For what the law couldn’t do, in that it was weak through the flesh [made sinful through Adam — Romans 5:19], God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” — Romans 8:3.
Jesus, therefore, when begotten of the holy spirit as a human fetus, was indeed of a new creation, not of the creation that Paul speaks of as the “whole creation” which is now under a bondage of corruption, under subjection to vanity/futility from which it is unable to free itself. The old human creation, the whole creation that Paul speaks of in Roman 8:19-22, is now under that bondage of corruption [a corrupted, crooked condition, a condition that is not straight] that is in the world through Adam, from which it cannot free itself. (Romans 5:12; 2 Peter 4:4) Thus, Jesus had to be a new human creation in the womb of Mary, not under the present sun of crookedness and vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:14; 2:11,17; 3:16; 4:7), unrighteousness, unstraightness, through Adam, but Jesus was born as though a new sun of righteousness, incorrupt, straight, just. (Micah 4:2) Unlike Adam, however, Jesus brought his incorrupt life to a condition of being incorruptible, thereby he brought life and incorrption (righteousness, straighteness) to light by the good news of his obedience to his God. — 2 Timothy 1:10.
Nevertheless, Jesus suffered as though he were a sinner, “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), “in the likeness of men” under the bondage as slaves, that he might pay the wages of sin so that he might free mankind — the whole creation of Romans 8:22 — now enslaved under that bondage. (Philippians 2:7,15; Romans 5:12-19; 6:23; 8:19-21) Again, this he could only do if he were born outside of that bondage, else he would have been just like the rest of mankind, unable to free himself from that bondage.
Jesus, however, sacrificed that incorrupt human life so as to pay the price, not only for what Adam lost, but also for what Adam could have been had Adam proved himself incorruptible. Jesus died once for all time, in the flesh, for sin. He no longer has any need of that flesh, for it has served its purpose, for he came in the flesh to sacrifice that flesh for mankind. Jesus gave his humanity — including his body of flesh — as an offsetting price, which sacrifice he formally presented as priest after his ascension. – 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 8:4; 9:24-26; 10:10.
Jesus gave his blood in sacrifice.
Matthew 26:28 – for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
Mark 14:24 – He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.
Luke 22:20 – He took the cup in like manner after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which is poured out for you.
Acts 20:28 – Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. – Revised Standard Version.
Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.
Ephesians 1:7 – in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
However, what does blood represent? Jesus’ human soul, which he also gave in sacrifice.
Leviticus 17:11 – For the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul] of the flesh is in the blood.
Deuteronomy 12:23 – The blood is the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul].
The human soul consists of the body made from the dust of the ground and the neshamah, activated by spirit of life as received from God. — Genesis 2:7.
Yes, Jesus did sacrifice his human body:
Hebrews 10:10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:11 Every priest indeed stands day by day ministering and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins,
Hebrews 10:12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Hebrews 10:13 henceforth expecting until his enemies to be made the footstool of his feet.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.
Luke 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is *my body which is given [as an offering in sacrifice to God – Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14] for you*. Do this in memory of me.”
Jesus sacrificed his flesh:
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
Jesus sacrificed his human soul:
Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life [soul] as a ransom [price to offset] for many.
Isaiah 53:12 He *poured out his soul* to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
He died; he was totally dead, ceased to be sentient, else there has been no ransom. His body was given in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10; Luke 22:19) Jesus’ soul — his sentiency — was given in sacrifice (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and went into sheol, where there is no work, device, knowledge or wisdom, and wherein one cannot give thanks to, or praise to, Yahweh. (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18) Jesus’ human blood — which represents his human soul/being (Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23) — was given in sacrifice. (Mark 14:24; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:14) Thus his soul — his being — as raised, made alive, from the oblivious condition of sheol was no longer human, but spirit.
When he was raised from death, he was begotten, brought forth, from death, not in the flesh (he had sacrificed his fleshly once for all time to pay the debt of sin), but with the glory of a celestial, spiritual, body (1 Corinthians 15:40,44), in the spirit (1 Peter 3:18), having the glory that he had with his God before the world of mankind was made (John 17:5), yet exalted with greater mightiness (theotes) bodily — in his celestial body given in his resurrection. — Colossians 2:9.
See our studies:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Acts 17:31 - The Man That God Ordained

{Acts 17:31} Because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by means of a man whom he has ordained, of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead." -- RLIV.

This scripture is often presented by trinitarians and others as proof that Jesus is still a man; and many also offered this scripture as proof of the claim that Jesus has two natures, one nature alleged to be that of the Supreme Being, and and another nature being that of a human being.

We should first note that "he" who appointed the day, ordained Jesus, and raised Jesus from the dead, is identified in context as being "God" -- only one person -- in harmony with John 17:1,3 and 1 Corinthians 8:6. The Greek words meaning God and "Godhead" (King James Version - Acts 17:29) of Acts 17 are therefore referring to only one person, and it is this same unipersonal "God" who has appointed a day in which the world is to judged, and who who gives that guarantee to all men of that judgment by raising the one whom He ordained out of death.

Jesus, of course, sacrificed his body of flesh to pay for our sins. (Luke 22:19; John 6:51; Hebrews 10:10) The scriptures thus speak of the days of his flesh as being in the past. (Hebrews 5:7) He is no longer a human being (man) which is defined in the Bible as being "a little lower than the angels." (Psalm 8:4,5; Hebrews 2:6-8) Jesus, however, has been exalted far above the angels; he is no longer "a little lower than the angels". If Jesus still has his body of flesh and bones in heaven, then Jesus never completed his sacrifice for our sins, or else he took back his sacrifice, and we have no redeemer.

See our studies:
What Did Jesus Sacrifice?
Is Jesus Still A Little Lower Than the Angels?
Jesus Has Come in the Flesh
Jesus' Appearances in the Locked Room

Since a man, as meaning a human being, is a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:4,5; Hebrews 2:5-8), this does not describe Jesus as he is now, for he has been highly exalted far above all dominion, including that of the angels. (Ephesians 1:3,17-23; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Colossians 2:9,10; 1 Peter 3:22) Furthermore, Hebrews 5:7 lets us know that Jesus is no longer in the days of his flesh. Indeed, since Jesus came to give his flesh for the life of the world (John 6:51), he no longer has any need to be a human being of flesh. Indeed, since the condemnation upon Adam would have been eternal had it not been for Jesus' sacrifice, Jesus, as a human being must remain dead for all eternity in order to be the satisfaction of paying the wages of sin. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12-19; 6:23) Thus, Peter wrote: "Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God." (1 Peter 3:18) And then Peter says that Jesus had been "put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit." Jesus did indeed give his body of flesh and its blood on our behalf (Luke 22:19; Hebrews 10:10). Since there is no more sacrifice for sin, as we said, Jesus has no need now to be a man, flesh, earthly, with body which is sustained by blood. (Leviticus 17:11,14) It was not just Jesus' blood that was sacrificed, but it also his body of flesh.

Thus, whatever Paul meant by the word "man" as applied to Jesus in Acts 17:31, we can be certain that Paul was not saying that Jesus is still a human being in heaven. Indeed, elsewhere, Paul kept the glory of a celestial body and the glory of a terrestrial body separate from each other (1 Corinthians 15:39-41); the glory of the fleshly he associated only with the terrestrial glory. He never associated the glory of the fleshly body with the celestial glory; thus the crown of glory (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7) that belongs to "man" is the terrestrial glory, not the celestial glory. This was indeed the crown of glory that Jesus had when he became flesh (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:9), which fleshly glory Jesus sacrificed in death so that he "tasted death for every man".

The word "man" [Greek transliterated, Aner, Strong's #435] does not always mean human being. In Luke 24:4, two angels are referred as "men". This word also describes the church as becoming a "full grown man". (Ephesians 4:13) Thus, some claim that by "man" in Acts 17:31, Paul was referring to the whole man of Jesus, that is, Jesus as head and the church as body. While this may be, more than likely, however, Paul was simply being accommodating in Acts 17:31, using "man" in the sense of a person, not that he had meant to say that Jesus is still a human being, with some kind spiritualized, invisible, body of flesh in heaven. The Bible never speaks of such.

See my study:

Jesus Died A Human Being - Raised a Spirit Being

Son of Man and Son of God

What is Son of Man mean as related to "Son of God? Do these two expressions mean that Jesus has two natures of existence at the same time, one of being God (Supreme Being) and the other of being man (human being)?

The study below, written by Benjamin Wilson, is believed to be in the public domain. Our comments may seen after Wilson’s short study.

In what sense was Christ the son of man?

There is no doubt whatever as to Christ being “the Son of Man” — but in what sense it is asked. Did this phrase mean that he was simply a man — one of human kind; or did it imply something more than this? I think more is comprehended in the phrase. Jesus very frequently spoke of himself as the Son of Man, and must have meant something beyond the idea that some have advanced, that he was the son of the man Joseph, the husband of his mother Mary. I will give a few references for the reader to examine, where Jesus calls himself the Son of Man. (Matthew 20:18; 18:11; 16:13-16; 12:8; 20:18,19; 25:31; 26:64) These are all from Matthew’s testimony. They prove that the Son of Man was the anointed one, and are to be so understood. The Jews also understood the term as synonymous with Messiah. What other conclusion could they or we arrive at after reading Daniel 7:13,14? Let the reader turn to this reference, and see if it does not refer to the Messiah. But why is he called the Son of Man? Surely not in the same sense that I am the son of a man, because begotten by him; nor as the term is so frequently applied to Ezekiel the prophet; nor as used by David in the eighth Psalm, and as quoted by Paul in Hebrews 2:6. The phrase as used by Jesus is always in the emphatic form, though our English versions do not show it. The Greek is–ho whyos tou anthropou, “the Son of the Man.” This definite form of expression implies that Christ was the son of some particular man. Shall we say the son of Joseph, the carpenter? Did Jesus mean this every time, when he used this emphatic form of expression? I trow not. Then whose son was he? I answer, “the son of David.” The Messiah was to be the seed of David, according to the Prophets, and the genealogical records as given by Matthew and Luke, prove that Jesus was the Son of David, with whom Jehovah made an everlasting covenant, saying, “His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me,” (Psalm 89:36). The genealogical records prove him to be the Son of David. The prophets foretold that the Messiah who should sit on David’s throne, and order his kingdom, was to be the Son of Jesse and David. (Isaiah 9:6,7; 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Psalm 132:11) The apostles believed that Jesus was the Messiah and the son of David. Peter, in his discourse on the day of Pentecost, tells the Jews that Jesus, according to the flesh, was from the loins of David; and Paul says that he was “made of the seed of David according to the flesh,” (Acts 2:30; Romans 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:8). And the glorified Jesus himself declares: “I am the root and offspring of David,” (Revelation 22:16). From these testimonies I conclude that Jesus the Christ was the Son of Man, not in the sense of simply being a man, but because he was the son of the man David, with whom Jehovah made an everlasting covenant, that the throne and kingdom of Israel should belong to him and his seed forever.

In what sense was Christ the son of God?

He was called the son of God while in the flesh. But it is asked in what sense? I answer, because he was God’s son, in the sense of being begotten by him. Christ called God his Father, and God acknowledged him as his son. (See Matthew 3:17; 17:5) If Christ was the Son of God only as we are sons of God, then he was not the son of God, but a son; nor would there be any more reason in confessing him to be the Son of the living God, as Peter and all the apostles did, than in confessing some other believer to be God’s son. But Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and consequently the Messiah. He also required his disciples to believe this truth. (See John 9:35-37; 10:36) The belief that Jesus, the Son of Man, was also the Christ, the Son of the living God, lies at the very foundation of Christianity — on it the Church was to be built. (Matthew 16:16-18) Jesus was more than an adopted son by faith–was more than a begotten son by the word of truth; he was “the only begotten of the Father,” (John 1:14; 3:16; 1 John 4:9). The Father with audible voice, proclaimed him as his beloved Son, (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). Paul calls him God’s own Son, and his dear son, (Galatians 4:4-5; Colossians 1:13).

Our Responses

Son of Man = Human

One objects that the term “son of man” was a common title used by Jews that meant that the person was a simply a human. According to this reasoning, Jesus was both “son of man” — a human being, and “Son of God” — alleged to mean that he was also the Supreme Being. The argument is usually vaguely put forth, yet sometimes declared to “clearly” show that Jesus was both man and the Supreme Being. We have never seen any attempt to explain how Jesus was and is supposedly still two “beings” at once: the Supreme Being as well as a human being.

Of course, we do believe that the Greek anarthrous expression “son of man” does in a general way refer to an offspring of a human being. Nevertheless, there is scriptural proof that in the Greek the definite expression “son of the man” refers to a certain offspring of a certain man, that is, it refers to[ the long waited for Messiah, who was to a son of a man in a special way, that is, the son of the man, David. In the Messianic sense as related to the promises, “son of man”, “Son of God”, as well as “Son of David”, are expressions that are used almost interchangeable.

Once Jesus asked his disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of  [the ] Man is?” (Matthew 16:13, New American Standard — NAS) Notice how the title is used. It is not used as though it were speaking of any son of any man, but it is used as though it was being understood as referring to a specific son of a certain man. Thus, we can see that this title was indeed being used by the Jews in a specific way, that is, as referring to promises related to one who was to come as the son of a specific man, that is, the Son of David.

The disciples responded: “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:14, NAS) From this we can see that the Jews did have a specific application of the term “the Son of Man” in mind, that is, the promised Messiah. They were not expecting the Messiah to be the Supreme Being and also a human being.

Jesus then asked them: “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15) Peter answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16) From his answer we determine that the expression “Son of the Man” was being considered as related to the promises concerning the Messiah and “Son of the Living God.” In other words, “the Son of the Man” is made equal to “Son of the Living God”. It was evidently an expression being used by the Jews in general as denoting the promised one, the promised Messiah, the Son of David.

Brother Wilson in the article above gave a list of scriptures that shows that the title was a messianic title. An examination of some of the references above prove that the expression “Son of Man” was indeed synonymous with Messiah (Christ), the one promised to come as the son of the man, David, the Anointed of Jehovah. — Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 20:18; 18:11; 16:13-16; 12:8; 20:18,19; 25:31; 26:64.

Seed of David

John 5:27

Another objection is that Wilson stated: “The phrase as used by Jesus is always in the emphatic form, though our English versions do not show it.” Yet John 5:27 are the words of Jesus, but in this place the expression is anarthrous, and could be rendered “son of a man”. Doesn’t this show that Jesus was being given the judgment because, not only was he the Supreme Being, but he was also a son of a man, that is, human?

John 5:27 states: “He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man.” (World English Bible translation) We answer that yes, Wilson evidently did overlook that this instance Jesus did not use the definite article. Jesus several times refers to himself as “Son” and to the only true Supreme Being (John 17:1,3) as his Father in the context of John 5:27. Nothing in the context shows that Jesus is being referred as Supreme Being. Nevertheless, our trinitarian neighbors wish to read into the two expressions that somehow this makes Jesus a hypostatic union — both the Supreme Being and human being. In reality, there is no need to read such into what Jesus said. The statement is that God, the only true Supreme Being, the God and Father of Jesus, gave to the Son the authority to execute judgment “because” he is a son of man. We are left wondering why there would be any merit of Jesus’ simply being the son of any man that would be the “cause” that he would receive authority to execute judgment. The point seems to be that as pointed out in Hebrews 2:17; 5:8, he was made like his brothers, and, his sufferings  while his full obedience qualified him to be given the authority to judge. Nevertheless, this was not simply “because” Jesus was the son of any man, such as Joseph, his “foster” father, for if he had been, he would have been a sinner just as Joseph; rather Jesus was counted as the promised Son of David, to whom the promises belong, having been given a special body untainted by the sin of Adam. (Romans 5:12-19; Hebrews 10:5) Thus, we have no reason to believe that Jesus intended the expression “Son of Man” in John 5:27 to mean that he was simply of a son of any man, for such a generalization would additionally make him a sinner as all men.  It is to the Son of David the promises are made concerning authority and judgment. — Psalm 2:6-9; 132:11; Isaiah 9:6,7; 11:1; Jeremiah 22:30; 23:5; Matthew 9:6; 12:8; 25:31; Matthew 26:64; 28:18; Mark 2:10,28; 13:26; 14:52; Luke 1:32; 5:24; 6:5; 21:27; 22:69; John 5:27; 3:13; Acts 13:34; Ephesians 1:15-23; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:2.

Son of Adam?

Some say that the expression “Son of Man” simply means that Jesus was the Son of Adam, basing this on the idea that the Hebrew word for “Adam” means “man”, as used in Daniel 8:17. Others claim that Jesus spoke in Hebrew and used the exact term as recorded in Daniel 8:17. While we might consider that Jesus was indeed counted, or reckoned, as a son of Adam, due to the lineage of his foster father, and his mother, from the usage of the phrase in the New Testament, we highly doubt that this is what Jesus had in mind by the expression, “Son of Man”, as he applied this to himself. There are some who go off into even greater extremes, and claim that this title means that Jesus was actually an reincarnation of Adam. How this phrase should show that Jesus is an reincarnation of Adam is vaguely argued, to say the least, for how can stating that one is the son of a person mean that the son is the one of whom he is the son? At any rate, we believe it best to simply stay by the scriptures, rather than add all this extra-Biblical philosophy to the scriptures.

Nevertheless, we need to bear out that if Jesus had been the son of Adam in the sense that all mankind is, this would have made him also a sinner as all of us. Jesus actually had no father on earth, and thus was not contaminated with Adamic sin that pervades mankind. (Romans 5:12-19) Adam lost the dominion for man because of his sin, so that now we do not yet see all things in subjection to man. (Hebrews 2:8) Jesus did come as human, a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory, and provided the redemption price to restore this glory and dominion to man (not to angels). — Hebrews 2:9.

Although Jesus was not actually under the condemnation through Adam (in him was life — John 1:4), he did willingly submit to undergoing the penalty of the condemnation in order to take the condemnation off Adam and the race in Adam’s loins. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 2:9) It is in this manner that he who knew no sin was sin for us. — 1 Corinthians 5:21.

Thus the term, the Son of the Man, is not being used to represent one in condemnation, which would be the case had Jesus actually been born simply as a “son of Adam” just as the rest of the human race, for the human race are children of Adam, and through Adam are sinful flesh, dying (1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-19 – See New American Standard), since through Adam the many — the whole human race descended from Adam — are made sinners. Had Jesus been of such sinful stock, he could not have had life (John 1:4), nor could he have died for our sins.  As the son of  the man, having received a specially prepared body from God (Hebrews 10:5), Jesus in the days of his flesh was indeed, the Son of God, as was Adam before Adam sinned, the sinless Adam being a type of the Messiah. (Luke 3:38;  Romans 5:14) Nevertheless, the title, the Son of the Man, refers more especially to the inheritance of the higher dominion that is to restore man’s glory and dominion over the animal kingdom. — Daniel 2:35,44; Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:6-9; Matthew 1:1; 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 16:13,27; 20:30,31; 21:29,15; 22:42; Mark 10:47,48; 12:35; Luke 1:32; 18:38,39; Romans 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:8; Revelation 5:5; 20:1-5.

Jesus was counted, or reckoned, as the seed of David because of his parents, having been born of woman under the Law, even though Jesus’ actual father was God in heaven. Jesus was therefore that antitype of Adam, who, before he sinned, had God as his Father, (Luke 3:38; Romans 5:12) Jesus’ human soul, including his body and his blood, was not tainted by the sin of Adam, as are the rest of mankind. How did Jesus’ body come down from heaven? Does this mean that Jesus was a human with a body of flesh before coming to into the world? We know that Jesus’ body was formed in the womb of Mary, but the conception of the flesh was from the God of Jesus by means of the holy spirit. (Matthew 1:20) This does not mean that the flesh that was conceived  — begotten — was God Almighty, but rather, the scripture says that Jesus’ body was prepared for him by his God (Hebrews 10:5), for the purpose of its being an offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:10; John 6:51) Jesus spoke of his body, his flesh, in John 6:32 as symbolically the “bread of life” that was from the only true God, his Father, who sent Jesus. “My Father gives you the true bread out of heaven.” (John 17:1,3) Thus, while his body was formed in the womb of Mary, the God of Jesus was the one who prepared his body. His body was not tainted by the sinful flesh of mankind. (Romans 8:3) Jesus was without sin, he never fell short of the glory of God, as those who are dying “in Adam”. (Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5) He was not ‘by nature a child of wrath’ as mankind in general, due to the sin of Adam. (Ephesians 2:3) Having no sin, the was the “bread of life”. In him was life, a sinless life, equal ot that of Adam’s before Adam sinned, which he could offer in sacrifice for the world of mankind dying in Adam — the just for the unjust. (John 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18) He could offer his flesh — his humanity — as a sacrifice for sin, and thus by our symbolically eating and partaking of his flesh, through faith in him, we can have life.

Matthew 16:13-16

Matthew 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
Matthew 16:14 They said, “Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
Matthew 16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

The thought is presented that these scriptures present Jesus’ alleged dual natures above, one “nature” being that of a human being, “the Son of Man”, and another nature being that of the God being, represented in the expression “the Son of the living God.” What is being imagined is that “Son of Man” means his humanity, while “Son of God” means that he is the Most High.

Actually, there is nothing at all in the verses given that give us any reason to think Jesus possesses two levels of sentiency at once, one alleged to be that of the only Most High, while the other would be that of a human being, confined to a body of flesh.

The expression “Son of Man”, as already shown, should actually be “the son of the man”; the expression represents Jesus as the promised son of the man, David, who was to be the one Anointed by the only true God.

Peter stated to Jesus: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  “The Christ” — the Anointed One — obviously refers to an event that is performed by “the [unipersonal] living God”, and Peter’s later statement agrees with this:

Acts 2:36 — “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Was Jesus “made … Christ” in his humanity, or was he made Christ in his alleged being as the Most High? The trinitarian, if he agrees that it was in his humanity that Jesus was “made Christ”, logically, would have further bring human imagination so as to separate Peter’s expression “You are the Christ” from “the Son of the Living God” as to apply “You are the Christ” to his humanity and then apply “the Son of the Living God” to his alleged Supreme God being. If he claims that it was the alleged Supreme Being Jesus who was anointed, then he has to add to the scriptures his imagination that it was one person of the Supreme Being who anointed another person of the Supreme Being as “the Christ”.

Actually, Peter does not say that Jesus is “God”, but rather that Jesus is “the Son of the Living God”.  The word “God” here refers to only person, and “the Son” is excluded from being “the Living God” who is referred to. Jesus is not “the Living God” of whom he is the Son.

Daniel 7:13,14

Some claim that in Daniel 7:13,14, the anarthrous “son of a man” is applied to Jesus’ return in the “clouds”.  We have given attention of this in our study “Ancient of Days“, which please see. Suffice it to say that the most scriptural conclusion is that ‘a son of a man’ in Daniel 7:13 simply refers symbolically of Jesus’ being the likeness of a son of a man, having obtained from his past human experience characteristics of man which enable him to sympathize with humans, not that he actually would be a son of a man. We know that Jesus gave his human existence in sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18); Jesus is no longer a son of a man, for he is, then he would still be a little lower than the angels, rather than exalted high above the angels. — Psalm 8:4,5; Acts 2:33; 5:31; Ephesians 1:3,17-23; Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 1:6; 2:6,7,9; 1 Peter 3:22.

The idea that Jesus has two “natures”, or levels of being, at once, has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into, what is stated in Daniel 7:13 or any other scripture.