Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Misuse of Similarities

The scriptures often use words and titles with a difference of meaning when applied in different ways. Many, with a desire to prove that Jesus is Jehovah, will often take these words and try to make them appear to mean something other than intended, that is, that Jesus is God. Let us look at one of these titles:

Isaiah 37:16: O Jehovah of hosts, ELOHIM of Israel, who dwells between the cherubs, you are the ELOHIM, you alone, of all the kingdom of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. — See also 2 Kings 19:15
Exodus 7:1 And Jehovah said to Moses, `See, I have made you ELOHIM to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother is your prophet

Does this mean that Moses is actually Jehovah, since Jehovah said that he made Moses ELOHIM to Pharaoh? Of course not! Yet such reasoning is often used of Jesus when he is a few times referred to by the Hebrew and Greek words that are often translated as “God”, such EL, ELOHIM and THEOS. In our study on Hebraic Usages*, we have demonstrated that the Bible often use these words in their more basic meaning of power, strength, might, rather than in exclusive manner that it is being used in Isaiah 37:16. Understanding this helps to realize that ELOHIM applied to Moses in Exodus 7:1 takes on a superior meaning of might. Thus Jehovah made Moses “mighty” to Pharaoh. And Jehovah gave Aaron to be Moses’ spokesperson. Likewise, with Jesus. Jesus will, in the Millennial Age, be called by the name “Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom”**. (Isaiah 9:6) Part of this name does contain the designation EL, and often rendered in conjunction with the word “gibbor”, by the term “Mighty God”. However, the usage of EL here is not regarding the exclusiveness of Jehovah’s godship, but rather of Jesus’ might and power that he will exercise in the age to come. And yet Isaiah 9:7 shows that it is Jehovah that will perform the carrying out of his promise concerning the Messiah; it is Jehovah, in other words, who gives to Jesus this designation, similar to the manner that Jehovah gave the designation ELOHIM to Pharaoh.
*See our discussion on the “Hebraic Usages of the Titles for God
*See our discussion of Isaiah 9:6 – The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father

Often in the scriptures we read of various servants of God who performed great acts on behalf of God. Nevertheless, at the same time the scriptures may refer to these acts as being performed by Jehovah (Jehovah) himself. So, now let us look at another set of scriptures:

Exodus 12:51 – It happened the same day, that Jehovah brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
Jehovah alone did lead him [Israel/Jacob – verse 9], There was no foreign god with him. — Deuteronomy 32:12.
Exodus 15:22: Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.

Does this mean that since both Moses and Jehovah both delivered the Isralites out of Egypt, that this must mean that Moses is Jehovah? No one seriously claims that Moses is Jehovah, yet according to the reasoning of those who wish to use similar arguments to prove that Jesus is Jehovah, it would seem that these scriptures should definitely prove that Moses is Jehovah. Of course, in reality, Jehovah often takes the credit for what his servants do in his name. (see scriptures below) Just because one scripture says Jehovah did this or that, and another scripture says that Moses, Gideon, Jesus, or another of God’s servants did the same, does not mean that any of these are Jehovah.

So how is it that it can be said that both Moses and Jehovah delivered Israel? Taking the Bible as a whole we learn:

Psalm 77:20: You [Jehovah] led your people like a flock, By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Hosea 12:13 – By a prophet Jehovah brought Israel up out of Egypt, And by a prophet he was preserved.

In this manner it could be said that both Jehovah and Moses brought Israel out of Egypt; it is likewise with the greater Moses, Jesus. — Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

How well this illustrates also how Jehovah, speaks and performs works by means of his Son, Jesus (John 1:17; 3:34; 5:36; 10:25,32; 14:10; Ephesians 3:9, KJV; Titus 3:6), and delivers the world from sin and death through Jesus, the one like Moses who is also sent by Jehovah. Thus both Jesus and the God of Jesus can be called savior, since Jesus, like Moses, is the one sent by Jehovah, and performs his works in Jehovah’s name.

The scriptures abound with cases where Jehovah uses various servants but is given the credit for their actions, since he was the directing force. — Exodus 3:10,12; 12:17; 18:10; Numbers 16:28; Judges 2:6,18; 3:9,10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:24,25; 14:6,19; 15:14,18; 16:20,28-30, 2 Kings 4:27; Isaiah 43:11, 45:1-6; etc.

1 Kings 1:48 – Also thus said the king [David], Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, my eyes even seeing it.
1 Kings 2:24 – Now therefore as Jehovah lives, who has established me [Solomon], and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death this day
1 Chronicles 29:23 – Then Solomon sat on the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.

Solomon sits on the throne of David — yet he sits on the throne of Jehovah. No one considers that this proves that David is Jehovah, yet many use the same kind of reasoning to try to prove that Jesus is the only true God who sent Jesus.

A similar usage is often demonstrated in the Hebrew and Greek words that are translated “worship”. Yet if one actually considers how these words are used, and claim that every time that these words are legitimately used of a person, that it proves that the person who receives such homage is Jehovah, one would have many human on earth who would be God. Let us briefly examine a few scriptures.

Matthew 4:10 “You must Worship Jehovah your God and you must serve him only.”
1 Chronicles 29:20: And David said to all the assembly, Now bless Jehovah your God. And all the assembly blessed Jehovah, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshiped Jehovah, and the king.”

Thus the King of Israel [whether David or Solomon is meant here is not clear] would appear to be worshiped along with Jehovah. According to our neighbors who wish to believe that similar scriptures such as these prove that Jesus is Jehovah, this would make the King of Israel also Jehovah.
Please see our study on “The Worship Due Jesus

Of course, context in all situations, even in the scriptures that are used to supposedly prove that Jesus is Jehovah, shows that there are circumstances where titles, descriptions, etc. are used in a relative sense.

We have no reason to believe, then, that when Jesus is used to carry out the will of Jehovah, and the work he does is elsewhere described as being done by Jehovah, that this is proof that Jesus is Jehovah, anymore than such is proof that Moses is Jehovah.

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