Tuesday, October 10, 2017

1 Corinthians 2:8 – Lord Of Glory

When Paul wrote of Jesus as "Lord of glory" in 1 Corinthians 2:8, was he saying that Jesus is Jehovah?
For had they known it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory. — 1 Corinthians 2:8, World English.

The claim is sometimes made that 1 Corinthians 2:8 proves that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh), “the King of glory.” The way this allegedly prove is that 1 Corinthians 2:8 is crossed with the following scriptures, by which it is supposed that this proves that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh):

{Psalm 24:7} Lift up your heads, you gates! Be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in.
{Psalm 24:8} Who is the King of glory? Jehovah strong and mighty, Jehovah mighty in battle.
{Psalm 24:9} Lift up your heads, you gates; yes, lift them up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in.
{Psalm 24:10} Who is this King of glory? Jehovah of Armies is the King of glory! Selah. — RLIV.

At most, what we can see between the two scriptures is that both Jesus and His God have an attribute of “glory”. Nevertheless, any thought that this means that Jesus is Jehovah has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into the scriptures. And then to get trinity into the verses, one has to imagine and assume and add to the first assumption that Jesus is a person of Jehovah, and then add this and read this also into the scriptures.

Although many speak of Jesus as the “King of glory,” this expression, as such, is never used of Jesus in the Bible. It is only used of Jehovah (Yahweh), the God and Father of Jesus, whom Jesus spoke of as the “only true God” (Isaiah 61:1; John 17:1,3). As such, the expression, “King of glory” in Psalm 24 describes Jehovah’s glory as related to His being King, the ruler of all that he has created. This glory is not something that anyone has given to Him. It is innately His glory, and His right as Most High to be this “King of glory.”

This is not to say that Jesus is not a “king of glory.” Prophetically, Jesus, in speaking of his second appearing, said, “the Son of the Man [the son of the man, David] will sit on the throne of his glory.” (Matthew 19:28) “They will see the Son of the Man coming on clouds of the sky with power and glory.” (Matthew 24:30) “He comes in the glory of himself, of the Father, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26) Thus, at Jesus’ second appearing, his rulership at that time, the power and authority given to him by the only Most High, could be described as a “king of glory.” Unlike Jehovah, however, this kingship of Jesus is given to him by Jehovah, and Jesus’ kingship is that of lineage of David, who sat on the throne of Jehovah (Yahweh). (1 Chronicles 29:23) All the glory of his rulership is given to him by the only Most High, Jehovah, and reflects the glory of Jehovah, to praise of Jehovah. — Psalm 2:6-8; 45:7; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; 11:2; 42:1; 61:1-3; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14; Matthew 12:28; 28:28; Luke 1:32; 4:14,18; 5:17; John 3:34; 5:19,27,30; 10:18,36-38; Acts 2:22; 10:38; Romans 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:27; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Colossians 1:15,16; 2:10; Ephesians 1:17-22; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:2,4,6,9; 1 Peter 3:22.

Does what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:8 support the claim that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh), the “King of Glory?” Paul wrote: “which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory.” Jesus is here spoken of as the “Lord of glory.” “The Lord of glory” was crucified. Except in the sense that what was done to Jesus was also considered to be done to the God and Father of Jesus (John 15:23), Jehovah, the only Most High Himself was not crucified. Jesus was made “Lord” by Jehovah. (Isaiah 6:1; Acts 2:36) Jesus’ being made “Lord” and “Christ” by Jehovah does not mean that Jesus became Jehovah.

The trinitarian may say that it was not "God the Son" that was crucified, but that it was simply Jesus' manhood that was crucified. If so, it would seem to say that the fleshy body of Jesus is the "Lord of glory", and thus, one would wonder how such would mean that Jesus is Jehovah, the King of glory, who is not a man.

In reality, there is no scriptural reason to imagine, assume, add to, and read into 1 Corinthians 2:8 that Paul had any intent of saying that Jesus is Jehovah of Psalm 24. There is definitely nothing there that says that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is more than one person, or that Jesus is a person of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, etc.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Romans 10:13 – Whoever Will Call On The Name Of Jehovah

“For, `Whoever will call on the name of Jehovah will be saved [Joel 2:32].'” — Romans 10:13

Some try to prove that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh) by pointing to Romans 10:13 and Joel 2:32. The argument is made that Paul is here calling Jesus “Lord”. Since this is a reference to Joel 2:32, where it tells us that whoever calls on the name of Jehovah will be delivered, trinitarians as well as oneness believers claim that this means that Jesus is the same (sentient?) being (or person, in the case of our “oneness” neighbors) as Jehovah. Some translations render Romans 10:13 as calling upon Jehovah or Yahweh.

Certainly, Jesus is the means that Jehovah has provided for salvation (John 3:16,17), no one can come to Jehovah but through Jesus (John 14:6), and no other means has been given by Jehovah for salvation than the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:12) Jesus’ name means: “Jehovah saves” or “Jehovah is savior,” which ascribes the actual source of salvation to Jehovah, as all things are of Jehovah, through Jesus. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8,10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 15:57; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Titus 3:5,6; Hebrews 13:21; 1 John 4:9,10) Thus to properly call upon the name of Jesus as the spokesperson and one anointed by Jehovah (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19; Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:18,21; Acts 3:13-26), would essentially be the same as calling upon the name of Jehovah. (Matthew 10:14; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 13:20; Romans 1:8; 7:25; 14:26; Philippians 1:11; 2:11) But to ascertain whether Romans 10:13 is calling Jesus “Jehovah”, let us go through the tenth chapter of Romans briefly, to see exactly who Paul speaks of.

Romans 10:1: Brothers, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God is for Israel, that they may be saved.

In verse one, Paul says he prays to God for the salvation of Israel. Who is the God of Israel? This, of course, is Jehovah. (Exodus 3:14,15; 16:12; 20:2; 34:32) In the New Testament, we learn that the God of Israel — Jehovah — is the Father of Jesus. (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19; Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35; John 5:43; 8:54; 10:25; Hebrews 1:1,2) Paul thus recognizes Yahweh, the God of Israel as the source of salvation.

Romans 10:2: For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”
Romans 10:3: For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn’t subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”
Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

In these verses, Paul discusses Israel’s relationship with God — Jehovah. He says that they are ignorant of God’s righteousness (Romans 3:22), and sought to make themselves righteous by means of obedience to the Law. Then he reveals that the righteousness of God is in Christ, who is the end of the law [covenant] to everyone who believes.
How God’s Son Condemned Sin in the Flesh

Romans 10:5: For Moses writes about the righteousness of the law, “The one who does them will live by them.”

Paul is still speaking about the relationship of Israel with Jehovah, the God of Israel. Anyone who could keep the Law would be totally righteous, having the right to life thereby. If it were possible to do so, then righteousness and life would have come by the Law. — Galatians 3:21.

Romans 10:6: But the righteousness which is of faith says this, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down);
Romans 10:7: or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)”

Those who seek righteousness by faith are are, to the extent that God permits, hidden from the truth. It is not something far off in heaven or in the grave. Those of faith do not have go to heaven to find the Anointed One of Jehovah, nor do they have to go to the grave to try to bring him back from the dead. This thing is not hidden from the one of faith, neither is it afar off — difficult to understand. (See also: Deuteronomy 30:11-14; notice that Paul is not directly quoting Deuteronomy, but he does use similar phraseology.)

In this Paul is still writing about the relationship of Israel with the God of Israel, Jehovah. He is showing that the proper way to obtain the righteousness of God is through faith, which he goes on to show is through faith in the ransom sacrifice given by the one whom Jehovah has anointed and sent, that is, Jesus.

Romans 10:8: But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;” that is, the word of faith, which we preach:
Romans 10:9: that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Here Paul points out the way to Jehovah’s righteousness as provided through Jesus. (John 3:17; Romans 3:22-24; 5:1,9,10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Galatians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:9) We must remember that it is Jehovah who made Jesus “Lord” and “Christ” [Christ means “anointed one”] (Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 2:36) Many read this verse as though only Jesus is spoken of, but we note the context is about Jehovah, the God of Israel, and the salvation he provides through Jesus. “God” in Romans 10:9 refers to only one person, the same person Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 8:6 as being the source of all, He who is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of Exodus 3:14,15 and Acts 3:13-26.

Romans 10:10: For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:11: For the scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In Romans 10:11, Paul uses language similar to that of Isaiah 28:16: “So, the Lord Jehovah says this: Behold, I place in Zion a Stone for a foundation, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; he who believes shall not hasten.” (Green’s Literal) Here is it Jehovah who is the provider of the sure foundation, and then he tells us that he who believes in him, that is, in the foundation provided by Jehovah, shall not be in haste. The one of faith does not have to be anxious about trying to find any other source or any other way of salvation, for it is found in the sure foundation provided by Jehovah, nor does the one of faith in this sure foundation have any reason to have any hint of disappointment or shame in the foundation provided by Jehovah.

Romans 10:12: For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him.

Here the apostle joins the God of Israel — the God and Father of Jesus — with the believing Greeks (representing those outside the law covenant). Jehovah is the same Lord (the One spoken of as Adonay (or, Adonai) in Isaiah 28:16 just referenced) over all, and will richly bless all who call on him.

The “Lord of all” is here evidently referring, not to Jesus, but rather the Lord Jehovah of Isaiah 61:1, He who anointed Jesus, making Jesus both Christ and Lord. — Acts 2:36.

Romans 10:13: For, “Whoever will call on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”

This brings us to the scripture in question. Paul here makes reference to whoever will call upon the name of Jehovah will be saved. If we consider scriptures leading up to this scripture, it should be plain that Paul is making reference to Jehovah, the God of Israel, with whom both Jew and Gentile needs reconciliation. That reconciliation, however, as the apostle points out, is by faith, not by the keeping of the law. While we highly doubt that Paul substituted “Kurios” here for God’s name, even if he did it should be evident that he is referring to Jehovah for it is Jehovah with whom both Jew and Gentile needs to be reconciled (Romans 5:9,10), and it is from Jehovah, the Father, that a means for salvation has been provided, that is, through his Son, Jesus. — Acts 10:43; 20:21; John 3:17; 6:44; Hebrews 1:1,2.

Romans 10:14: How, then, shall they call on him whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And shall they hear without a preacher?

Again in verse 14 the thought is primarily of Jehovah, who sent his Son. No one can call upon Jehovah if they don’t believe in him through his Son, Jesus. (Romans 3:22-24; 5:1,11; 7:25; 14:26) The vast majority have never come to Jehovah, he who provided the “ransom for all”, which will be testified, made known, in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5,6) Thus, in due time, all heathen will hear, and they will all be brought to a knowledge of Jehovah and his Son Christ Jesus in the age to come. — Isaiah 2:2-4.
Mankind’s Course to the Day of Judgment

What we do not find in Romans 10, or anywhere else in the Bible, is the concept of a triune God. No such God is ever revealed in the Bible. Nor, does Romans 10 reveal the concept that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of Exodus 3:14,15, as many read into several scriptures. If Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who spoke through Moses and the prophets, then, to be consistent, one would have to reason that it is Jesus in Hebrews 1:1,2 who speaks through his son, which of course, is not true.

Ronald R. Day, Senior -- Restoration Light (ResLight; RlBible) Bible Study Services

Above was originally published July 12, 2013; Edited and republished: May 13, 2015; September 5, 2107.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Jeremiah 31:9 – Ephraim As Jehovah’s Firstborn

They shall come with weeping; and with petitions will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. — Jeremiah 31:9, World English.

Jeremiah 31:9 is often quoted as a scripture that is suggested to mean that firstborn means something other than the usual meaning of firstborn in reference to Colossians 1:15.

See Colossians 1:15 – Did Jesus Have a Beginning?

Concerning Jeremiah 31:9, John Gill wrote:

The allusion, perhaps, is to Joseph’s having the birthright, and whose younger son, Ephraim, was preferred to Manasseh the elder, (1 Chronicles 5:2) (Genesis 48:14 Genesis 48:20) . Ephraim intends the same as Israel, the ten tribes, and includes the whole body of the Jewish nation.

Some claim that one of the tribes of the northern kingdom is here called “firstborn”, evidently with the suggestion that this does not mean that there was a beginning related to this usage of firstborn, and thus the same idea should be applied to Colossians 1:15. We should note that Ephraim, as used here, stands for the entire northern kingdom of Israel, and not to the one tribe. (2 Chronicles 25:7; Jeremiah 7:15) Additionally, Israel is used here by extension to the very formation of the entire 12-tribed nation of Israel, whom Yahweh calls his firstborn. Israel was Yahweh’s firstborn son as a covenant nation. (Exodus 4:22; Hosea 11:1; Romans 9:4) There was a time when Israel did not exist, thus there is no suggestion here that firstborn is being used as without a beginning. Therefore, Israel was “brought forth” as God’s first son as a covenant nation. There is nothing in the language of Jeremiah 31:9 to warrant the conclusion that in Colossians 1:15 firstborn means anything other than the meaning of the word, first to be born or brought forth in the class being referred to.

Nevertheless, if the right of firstborn is taken from one and given to another (Genesis 25:31-34; Hebrews 12:16), this does not mean that the one who has been given the right of firstborn was not brought for into existence in the group being designated. Nor does it mean that the word firstborn itself is to be given the "preeminence". Preeminence in the Bible is given to whoever has the right of the firstborn, whether that person is actual firstborn or has has been designated as firstborn due to the right of firstborn has been taken away from the actual firstborn.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Who Really is the Power of God?

We have been asked the question, evidently with thought of finding support for the trinity dogma, "Who really is the power of God in the Scriptures?"

The expression "power of God" appears in the World English Bible version 12 times. (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24; Luke 22:69; Acts 8:10; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18,24; 2:5; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 13:4; 2 Timothy 1:8; 1 Peter 1:5) It is used in various ways and applied variously as to how it is represented. It is most often applied as "it", not a "who". Of course, God's power is mentioned many other times in the Bible, but I have only presented the exact expression as it appears in English as "power of God."

Matthew 22:29 - But Jesus answered them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God."

Mark 12:24 Jesus answered them, “Isn’t this because you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God?"

Here Jesus was speaking the Sadducees who tried to trick him regarding the resurrection. Jesus does not apply the expression "the power of God" as being a "who."

Some may claim that Jesus was speaking of himself as being the "power of God"; if this is so, then it would only mean that Jesus is the instrument of God's power, and it would further mean that he recognized God as being only one person. Such would harmonize with 1 Corinthians 8:6.

Luke 22:69 From now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

Here Jesus applies the expression "power of God", not as being a "who", but rather as related to his position relative to that power. Again, he does not represent "power of God" as being a "who." Additionally, it is obvious that Jesus believed "God" to be only one person, and that he was to sit at the right hand of power with that one person.

Acts 8:10 to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is that great power of God.”

Here the people of Samaria are quoted and they do apply the expression "power of God" to a man: Simon the sorcerer. It should be obvious, however, that they were using the Greek form transliterated as "estin" (Strong's #1510)  -- is -- in the sense of representation.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.

Paul here does not apply the expression to a "who" but to a "what", stating that the "Good News" is (Greek, transliterated, estin) the power of God, for a purpose, that is, for salvation. Again, it should be apparent that the Greek word "estin" is used in the sense of representation of God's power in what is being spoken of. It should also be obvious that Paul believed that "God" is only one person, and that "Christ" is the one anointed by that one person who is "God".

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.

Here Paul again uses the Greek word transliterated a "estin" in representative sense. "It" refers to the "word", which in turn is referring Paul's preaching concerning the cross (not the instrument, but the act of crucifixion that took place on the instrument).

Again, one may claim that the Word here is Jesus, although it is highly unlikely that Paul meant this. Obviously, Paul is using the term "word" to signify the message of Christ's dying on the cross, not that Jesus is the word itself.

Additionally, it should also be noted that Paul is using the term "word" as being the instrument of God's power, not that it literally is God's power.

1 Corinthians 1:23-24 - but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, [24] but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:23
heemeis de keerussomen christon estaurwmenon
1473_7 1161 2784 5547 4717
ioudaiois men skandalon ethnesin de mwrian
2453 3303 4625 1484 1161 3472

1 Corinthians 1:24
autois de tois kleetois ioudaiois te kai
0846_93 1161 3588 2822 2453 5037 2532
helleesin christon theou dunamin kai theou sophian
1672 5547 2316 1411 2532 2316 4678 -- Westcott & Hort Interlinear.

This is only place that one might consider a "who" as being referring to as the "power of God", although in the Greek it does not actually say that. Additionally, there is not a form of the Greek word "eimi" (is - Strong's 1510) in either 1 Corinthians 1:23 or 1 Corinthians 1:24, so translators add "is" where they believe it should be. Nevertheless, adding "is" into the verse in the way it appears in the World English (and many other translations) would be representative of the preaching of Christ, which is understood in verse 24 by what is said in verse 23. In other words, to those who believe, the preaching of Christ does not represent "foolishness" nor a "stumblingblock", but rather it represents the power of God and wisdom of God.

Again, it is obvious that Paul believed "God" to be one person, and that Christ is the one anointed by that one person who is God.

2 Corinthians 13:4 For he was crucified through weakness, yet he lives through the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we will live with him through the power of God toward you.

In this verse, Jesus is said to living through (out of) the power of God, and also the saints are spoken of living through (out of) the same power of God. In this verse Jesus is not spoken of as being the power of God, and certainly not as being "God", but rather Jesus' being alive is due to the power of God. Indeed, it should be very obvious here that Paul believed that "God" is one person, and that Jesus' life is dependent on the power of that one person who is God.

2 Timothy 1:7-9 World English Bible (WEB)

7 For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. 8 Therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in [Strong's 1722, instrumental, "by means of"] Christ Jesus before times eternal.

Here we find salvation connected to the expression "power of God". "God" in this expression is referring not to Jesus, but rather to only one person: the God and Father of Jesus, since Jesus is distinguished from "God" in verse 9.

1 Peter 1:5 who by [instrumental Strong's #1722, by means of] the power of God are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Here Peter does not apply the expression "power of God" as "who" but simply refers to it as the instrument the saints use for protection through faith.

Of course, what we do not find in any of these verses (or anywhere else in the entire Bible) is any idea that God is more than one person, or that Jesus is a person of God; indeed, throughout these verses God is only one person.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Psalm 110:1 – The “Lord” Of David

Psalms 110:1 - Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

 -- American Standard Version.

It is claimed by many trinitarians and some others that Jesus had to be a person of Jehovah, since David spoke to him in Psalm 110:1. Some claim that one person of Jehovah speaks to another person of himself as David’s Lord, and that since the New Testament identifies Jesus as David’s Lord, then Jesus is Jehovah (some prefer "Yahweh").

Since the scriptures do show that Jesus was in existence before the world of mankind was made (John 1:1-3; 17:5), we can say that David could have spoken to Jesus. However, Psalm 110:1 offers no evidence of such, and even if David were speaking to the pre-human Jesus at that time, it would still not mean that David’s Lord is Jehovah.

David spoke prophetically in Psalm 110:1, just as he does in many of the Psalms.

When did Jesus sit at Jehovah’s right hand, as this speaks of? The Bible tells us that it was after he was raised from the dead.

Mark 16:19 – So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

Peter says:

Acts 2:34 For David didn’t ascend into the heavens, but he says himself, 'Jehovah said to my Lord, “Sit by my right hand,
Acts 2:35 Until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.”'
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.”

This certainly lets us know that David is speaking prophetically, just as he was speaking in Psalms 16:8-11. See Acts 2:22-33.

Paul tells us:

Ephesians 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him;Ephesians 1:18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,Ephesians 1:19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his mightEphesians 1:20 which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,Ephesians 1:21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.

Hebrews 1:3 tell us that Jesus,

when he had by himself made purification for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

1 Peter 3:22
who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.

Jesus was exalted to Jehovah’s right hand when he ascended to his God.

Jesus raised the question of who David’s “Lord” was in Matthew 22:42-45:

Matthew 22:42-45 (New King James Version) saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ‘? “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”

See also Mark 12:35-37 and Luke 20:41-44.

Jesus said: “I am the root *and* the offspring of David.” (Revelation 22:16) How so? Because the promised Son of David, David’s offspring, also in his resurrection became the “life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:25), and as such, the ruler of and restorer of life to the human race, which includes David. “For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” (Romans 14:9) Thus when David is raised to life again by Jesus, Jesus will be David’s Lord.

But it is also well to remember that angels in olden times, sent to bear messages to mankind, were addressed by men as Lord — that is, superior or master. In a similar sense Jesus before he became a man was man’s superior; and when a man he was sinless, since his body of flesh was prepared by his God (Hebrews 10:5), and hence -- in his regard -- was superior to those about him; and in addition to this as the agent or messenger of Jehovah, he was a Lord, a master, a teacher, among men.

Thus he said to his disciples, “You call me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am.” (John 13:13.) But he was not then Lord in the sense which David’s prophecy of Psalm 110:1 implied, and to which our Lord’s question referred, except in a reckoned sense, until he had finished his trial and sacrifice, and was raised from the dead, and sat at Jehovah’s right hand in heaven. — Romans 14:9

The sense in which it is used is made clear by Revelation 22:16, “I am the root of David,” that is, the father or progenitor of David in the coming day of regeneration, when he will sit on his throne of glory (thus, as David’s Lord) with his disciples. — Matthew 19:28.

The Lord Said to My Lord

Most translations have the Holy Name of God changed to “The Lord” in Psalm 110:1, making it appear that two “Lords” are being spoken of. Being ignorant themselves of the fact that the translators have changed the Holy Name to “the Lord”, or else preying on the ignorance of the reader regarding this, some trinitarians and others thus make much ado about there being two who are both addressed as “Lord” in Psalm 110:1, and they falsely claim  that the two are both the one only true God. Having a good translation of the verse helps to clarifiy this, and it also helps to realize that Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:14,15), is being depicted, not as three persons, but as only one person, and that the one that David speaks of as “my lord” is depicted as separate and distinct from the unipersonal Jehovah.

We quoted the American Standard Version above. Some other translations that show some English form for the Holy Name in Psalm 110:1:

Jehovah said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put thine enemies [as] footstool of thy feet. — Darby Translation

The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord: `Sit at My right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.’ — Young’s Literal

A declaration of Jehovah to my Lord: Sit at My right hand, until I place Your enemies as Your footstool. — Green’s Literal

The declaration of Yahweh to my Lord - Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
 — Rotherham’s Emphasized

Yahweh says to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, Until I make your enemies your footstool for your feet." 
-- World English.

See also our study:

Was David  Speaking of Himself as “Lord”?

Some others claim that “lord” in the phrase “my lord” in Psalm 110:1 refers to David himself, which really makes no sense. It would mean that the David was saying that he was the “lord” of himself. However, some Jewish authors claim that David wrote this to be sung by the “Levitical singers.” From this it seems that their reasoning is they assume that “my” in the phrase “my lord” would apply to each singer individually as saying “my lord” to David. This would mean that David was sitting at God’s right hand.

Psalm 110, however, never mentions the Levitical singers, nor is there anything in the context that would indicate that “my” in the phrase “my lord” is referring to anyone other than David, and thus our conclusion is that David refers to a “lord” over himself, who is not himself. Furthermore, David died. How could David be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4) if David is dead? Why would the Levites wish to call a dead priest “my lord”? It should be evident that the one who was to become priest after the order of Melchizedek must be one who is not dead, but alive. David, however, speaks prophetically in Psalm; he is not speaking of what was actually the present, for Jesus is not such a priest until after his ascension, for he is not such a priest while in the days of his flesh on earth. (Hebrews 6:20; 8:4) Jesus fits this role, for since he has been raised from the dead, he dies no more. — Romans 6:9. 

David wrote of God speaking to his — David’s — lord, there is no indication that David was speaking of himself as the lord of someone else.

How thankful we should be for further revelation of who this is, that David was speaking prophetically of the coming Messiah, who, now living forever, has an eternal inheritance of the throne of David, by means of which he will soon bring the promised blessings to the whole earth to all peoples of all nations!– Genesis 3:15; 2:18; 2 Samuel 7:11-13; Psalm 2:6-8; 110:1-4; Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:6,7; 11:1-9; 16:5; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Ezekiel 34:23; 37:25; Daniel 7:27; Luke 1:32,33; 2:14; 20:41-44; Acts 2:22-36; 3:13-26; 13:32-39; Ephesians 1:20-22; Hebrews 1:3,5,13; 5:5,6; 6:20; 7:28; 8:4; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 22:16.

Yes, we have no reason to think that “my” in the phrase “my lord” means any other than David. David wrote of Jehovah as speaking to the Lord of David. It is David’s Lord who becomes the firstborn son from the dead to live forever, and who is thus the one who becomes a priest after the manner of Melchizedek. David is not now alive, and has certainly not been serving as the everlasting priest of the Levites for the past 3,000 years or so, so that these priests would call him “my lord”.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Acts 2:17-21 – Did Peter Apply God’s Holy Name To Jesus?

It is being claimed that Peter, as recorded in Acts 2:17-21, makes several appeals to “YHWH” texts in the Hebrew Bible and applies them to Jesus. In reading Acts 2:17-21, however, we find that such a thought has to actually read into what Peter stated.
Acts 2:14-36World English Bible translation, with our notations added:
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke out to them, “You men of Judea, and all you who dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
Acts 2:15 For these aren’t drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is only the third hour of the day.
Acts 2:16 But this is what has been spoken through the prophet Joel:
Acts 2:17 ‘It will be in the last days, says God [The Greek Theos has probably been substituted for the holy name, Yahweh/Jehovah (Joel 2:19); Jehovah is the God and Father of Jesus (1 Peter 1:3), He who sent Jesus — Isaiah 61:1], I will pour forth of my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams. (Joel 2:28)
Acts 2:18 Yes, and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days, I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy. (Joel 2:29)
Acts 2:19 I will show wonders in the the sky above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and billows of smoke. (Joel 2:30)
Acts 2:20 The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] comes. (Joel 2:31)
Acts 2:21 It will be, that whoever will call on the name of the Lord [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] will be saved.’ (Joel 2:32)
Acts 2:22 “You men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] did by him in the midst of you, even as you yourselves know,
Acts 2:23 him, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus], you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed;
Acts 2:24 whom God [Jehovah, the God of Jesus] raised up, having freed him from the agony of death [not eternal suffering], because it was not possible that he should be held by it.
Acts 2:25 For David says concerning him, ‘I [Jesus] saw the Lord [Jehovah] always before my face, For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. (Jesus is depicted, not as being Jehovah, but as having Jehovah as his right hand.)
Acts 2:26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced. Moreover my [Jesus’] flesh also will dwell [reside] in hope;
Acts 2:27 Because you [Jehovah] will not leave my [Jesus’] soul in Hades [death, not eternal suffering], Neither will you allow your Holy One to see decay.
Acts 2:28 You [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] made known to me [Jesus] the ways of life. You [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
Acts 2:29 “Brothers, I may tell you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
Acts 2:30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] had sworn with an oath to him [David] that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, he [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,
Acts 2:31 he [David] foreseeing this spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was his soul left in Hades [Jesus’ soul is not now suffering for eternity in hades/sheol to pay the wages of sinJesus died for our sins] , nor did his flesh see decay [His flesh was to be paid to God in heaven as the offering for sin].
Acts 2:32 This Jesus God [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Acts 2:33 [Jesus] Being therefore exalted by the right hand of God [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus], and having received from the Father [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] the promise of the Holy Spirit [the Holy Spirit is received by Jesus from Jehovah, the only true God, the God and Father of Jesus — Luke 24:29; John 14:16,26; 15:26], he [Jesus, acting for his God] has poured forth this, which you now see and hear.
Acts 2:34 For David didn’t ascend into the heavens, but he says himself, ‘The Lord [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] said to my Lord [Jesus], “Sit by my [Jehovah’s] right hand, [rather than identifying Jesus as Jehovah, the reference Peter makes to Psalm 110:1 actually distinguishes Jesus from Jehovah.]
Acts 2:35 Until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.”‘
Acts 2:36 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God [Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus] has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” [Again, rather than identifying Jesus as being Jehovah, Peter distinguishes Jesus from Jehovah.]
Jesus is not his God, and there is nothing in these verses that depicts Jesus as his God. Indeed, the God and Father of Jesus is depicted as being different from Jesus all throughout these verses. However, Jesus, having been sent by the only true God, performs the works of his God. What the one sent by Jehovah does in performing the works of Jehovah is claimed by Jehovah as being performed by him. (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; and many more scriptures could be provided.) If Jesus’ performance of the works of Jehovah, his God, means that Jesus is Jehovah, then, if one would be consistent in such reasoning, one would also have to conclude many of the Old Testament judges and prophets are all Jehovah.
Nevertheless, some questions have been raised by another: Doesn’t Acts 2:22-36 show that “the Lord” spoken of in Acts 2:21 is none other than Jesus? Isn’t Peter reminding these people that this man Jesus was the Messiah, and that he was the Lord of verse 21? Then, since Acts 2:17-21 are actually being quoted from Joel 2:28-32, does this mean that that Jesus is Yahweh/Jehovah?
Actually verses 22-36 show that Jehovah worked through Jesus, just as many other scriptures show. — Matthew 6:9; 21:9; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; 19:38; John 5:43; 10:25; 12:13,28; 17:6,11,12,26; Acts 15:14,17.
(Quotes from New American Standard Version):
“A man [Jesus] attested to you by God [Jehovah] with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst.”– Acts 2:22
“This Man [Jesus], delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God [Jehovah].” — Acts 2:23
Peter here clearly testifies that Jesus was a man. Additionally, he declares that Jesus was attested to by God. If Jesus is Jehovah, surely this would have been a very good place for Peter to have so stated; but instead he tells that Jesus was attested to by God, thus demonstrating that Jesus is not God.
“God [Jehovah] raised Him [Jesus] up again.” — Acts 2:24
“I [Jesus] was always beholding [Jehovah] in my presence.” — Acts 2:25.
“Thou [Jehovah] wilt not abandon my [Jesus’] soul to Hades.” — Acts 2:27.
“Thou [Jehovah] hast made known to me [Jesus] the ways of life.” — Acts 2:28.
“Thou [Jehovah] wilt make me [Jesus] full of gladness.” — Acts 2:28.
“This Jesus God [Jehovah] raised up again.” — Acts 2:32.
” having been exalted [by Jehovah — Acts 5:31; Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:3,17-23] to the right hand of God [Jehovah –Psalm 110:1], and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit [Jesus was NOT the Holy Spirit, as some claim, but the promise was that Jesus would receive the Holy Spirit as being put under Jesus’ authority], He [Jesus] has poured forth this [the Holy Spirit, which he had received from his God and Father] which you both see and hear.” — Acts 2:33.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God [Jehovah] has made Him [Jesus] both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.” — verse 36.
Verses 17-21 are quoted from Joel 2:28-32. In Joel 2:28-32 the Hebrew Masoretic text has the tetragrammaton of the Holy Name three times in verse 32; it also appears in verse 27.
Joel 2:32 (American Standard Version) “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as Jehovah hath said, and among the remnant those whom Jehovah doth call.”
The last days as quoted in this text in its final application refers to the time of blessing of all the families of the earth, all flesh, thereby allowing all flesh to see the glory of Jehovah. (See God’s Hidden Glory to be Revealed) The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in 33 CE was but a foreshadow, a token (earnest) of the Millennial inheritance of the church and outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all peoples. — 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:14.
However, the prophecy in Joel does not use the term “last days.” It is Peter who uses the phrase “last days”. (Acts 2:17) Like most quotations in the New Testament, Peter is probably making an indirect quotation. While Joel quotes Jehovah as saying “afterwards”, Peter, using indirect quotation, tells us that Jehovah was saying that “in the last days” he would pour forth his spirit. Nevertheless, John Gill states:
“R. David Kimchi, a celebrated commentator with the Jews, observes, that “afterwards” is the same “as in the last days”, and which design the times of the Messiah; for according to a rule given by the same writer on (Isaiah 2:2) wherever the last days are mentioned, the days of the Messiah are intended.
Noting Peter’s reference to the “last days” in 2 Peter 3:3 and also Paul’s reference to the “last days” (2 Timothy 3:1), some have suggested that Peter may have been referring to the “last days” as a period of time just before the destruction of Satan’s empire, and from this conclude that there may be another similar outpouring of the holy spirit again in the last days of Satan’s world, but we highly doubt this to be what Peter meant. If so, it would still be but a token fulfillment of the time coming after Christ’s return during the Millennial age.
Others suggest that Peter was referring to the “last days” of the Jewish age of favor, which most Bible Students believe ended in 70 A.D. or 73 A.D., or some time around this. This would certainly fit the application for the pouring out of God’s spirit in the first century.
Another possibility is that Peter was referring to a period of 3,000-years as the “last days” — three millennial days, If applied as beginning when Jesus died (in 33 CE) they would end in 3033. Such an application would include, not just the Gospel Age of this present evil age, but also for the entire Kingdom Millennial age — the age to come — as well.
Regardless, “the Lord” in Acts 2:21 refers, not to Jesus, but to the God of Jesus (Matthew 27:46: Mark 15:34; John 20:17; Romans 1:7; 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12) — to the eternal Supreme Being. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus has always been. In other words Jehovah has always been Jehovah. Yet Peter does not say that Jesus is Jehovah but rather that the God and Father of Jesus made Jesus “Lord”. (Acts 2:36; Hebrews 1:9) Jesus was not made “Jehovah” — this would be pure nonsense; no, but he was made “Lord” and “Messiah” by his God, Jehovah. — Acts 2:36; see also: Isaiah 61:1; Acts 5:31; 10:38; Matthew 28:18; John 3:35.
However, Paul wrote to Christians in Corinth: “to the assembly of God which is at Corinth; those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours.” We note here that he speaks of the Christians “who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Does this mean that we are to call upon Jehovah (Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32) and also the name of Jesus? Yes, for as Jesus said: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) “No one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) If we remember that the name Jesus means “Jehovah saves” or “Jehovah is savior”, then to call upon the name of Jesus also acknowledges the name of his God. Additionally, Jesus said: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44) Thus we need both the God of Jesus, the Father, as well as the Son of Jehovah. This is what John says: “Whoever transgresses and doesn’t remain in the teaching of Christ, doesn’t have God. He who remains in the teaching, the same has both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:19) This also agrees with Jesus’ statements in John 17:1-3.
There is nothing in any of this, however, that should give one the idea that Jesus is Jehovah. Jesus was sent by Jehovah, speaks for Jehovah, represents Jehovah. Jesus is not Jehovah whom he represents and speaks for. — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; John 3:2,17; 5:19,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; Hebrews 1:1,2; Revelation 1:1.

Monday, July 31, 2017

1 Peter 3:15 – Sanctify Christ As Lord

Isaiah 8:12,13 – Ye shall not say – A confederacy! of everything of which this people may say. A confederacy! And their fear, shall ye not fear or regard as awful: Yahweh of hosts, him, shall ye hallow, – And let, him, be your fear, and let, him inspire you with awe. — Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible translation.
1 Peter 3:14,15 – But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you. — New Revised Standard Version
Many of our trinitarian neighbors would like for us to believe that Peter is calling Jesus “Jehovah” in 2 Peter 3:14,15. They evidently compare this scripture with Isaiah 8:12,13, and conclude that since Isaiah is speaking about Jehovah (Yahweh), then Jesus must be Jehovah.

Peter does not directly quote anything from Isaiah 8:12,13, but his language is similar, and it may be that Peter is using the language of Isaiah 8:12,13 as the background of what he speaking, although it appears more probable that he is not. We agree that in Isaiah 8:12 the context shows that Jehovah is being spoken of. (See also Isaiah 41:10) Does it follow that in 1 Peter 3:15, that Peter’s intent was to claim that Jesus is Jehovah? No. All that is said is that we are to sanctify — set apart — the Christ as Lord in our hearts. Should this lead us to believe that Peter meant that we are sanctify the Christ as Jehovah? Such an idea has to be read into what Peter said, and we have no reason to believe that Peter meant this to be read in such a manner as to lead one to believe that Jesus is Jehovah. The only cause to think this would mean that Peter meant to have this say that Jesus is Jehovah is to support the idea that Jesus is Jehovah.

Peter had already made a distinction between the Father, who Jesus identified as the “the only true God” (John 17:1,3), and Jesus. (1 Peter 1:3) The default reasoning concerning what God is revealing to us by means of the holy spirit should be that Jesus is not the only true God who sent him.

Christians are to sanctify, or set apart, Jesus as their Lord in their hearts. Of course, we cannot consecrate, or set apart Jesus to God, but we can consecrate, or set him apart, in our hearts in recognition of God’s own consecration, or sanctification, of Jesus, and Jesus’ own sanctification of himself. (John 10:36; 17:19) By doing this, one also sanctifies, or sets apart, Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus, as the homage given to Jesus is to the glory of his God. (Matthew 10:32; 27:46; Mark 15:34; John 15:23; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Cortinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; 1:17; Philippians 2:11; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:23,24; 2 John 1:3,9; Revelation 3:5) It is the God and Father of Jesus who anointed Jesus and made Jesus both Lord and Christ [anointed one]. The only way to come to Jehovah is through Jesus, and any homage given to Jesus as the One highly exalted by Jehovah is to the glory of the God and Father of Jesus. (John 5:23; 13:31; 14:6,23; 17:1; Acts 4:12; 1 John 2:23; 2 John 1:9; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Peter 1:21) We certainly would not want to count the blood of Christ as something ordinary. — Hebrews 10:29

While we are discussing these two scriptures, it might be helpful to get an idea of what is being spoken of. It is particularly to the one whom we hold so dear in our hearts, and his sanctified blood which was offered on our behalf, that we should always be ready to give an answer concerning to any who inquires of the hope that is in us, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) Having given a sacred place for Christ in our hearts, we do not fear as the world does.

Today many in the churches are fearful of many things. Instead of waiting for God through Jesus to settle matters, they feel they must rectify Satan’s world now, to make Satan’s world a better place for Christians to live in. Indeed, many of their efforts through such fears have been noble, and while they have to some extent done good in this world, often it has been accomplished, not by remaining separate from Satan’s world, but by joining hands with the world’s politicians and ruling powers.

Especially since 1914, the world has been in one turmoil after another. Not only do we have local problems to contend with in our homes, neighborhoods, and cities, but we constantly kept informed of threats to world security. Today what happens on the other side of the earth can have a bearing on our life within minutes. Never before in history has knowledge of trouble world-wide become so prevalent as to day. When the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001, within minutes pictures were being shown of this attack, not just in the U.S., but nations all over the earth.

The prophecy of Isaiah seems to link the fears of the world with the formation of confederacies. A confederacy is a league or covenant, a compact or alliance for mutual support or common action. “In union there is strength,” is everywhere the expressed sentiment of to-day. A kind of security is often felt in such confederacies. Confederacy — Union — is the watchword in civil, social, and religious circles. This sentiment now so common, has grown out of the felt necessities of the times, and the fear of coming trouble and danger.

The prince of this world (John 12:31) sees the approaching storm. He believes and trembles at the sure word of prophecy which indicates the overthrow of his power; but with characteristic genius, energy and presumption, he arrays himself to oppose, and if possible to thwart the plans of the Almighty. At present and for some time past he has been actively engaged in planning, organizing and arranging his unconscious forces. We are glad in one sense to say unconscious, for to be the conscious and willing servants of Satan would imply a fearful state of depravity. And yet we would that men were not so blinded as to be unconsciously led by their wily and deceptive foe.

Leagues or confederated unions have formed all over the world. The governments of the world form alliances for mutual protection against the increasing independence and power of their subjects, against terrorism, etc., while terrorists secretly form confederacies in fear of what appears to them to be giant empires seeking to dominate them. In the U.S., there also militia confederacies that have formed out of fear of the great power of the Federal government and the threat of losing constitutional rights. Confederacies have been formed out of fear and in resistance to enthroned power for all kinds of reasons. Capitalists have formed alliances with each other to protect their interests, while the labor classes also have combined their forces for self-protection. Many look to the United Nations, one of the world’s largest confederacies, as man’s best hope of peace and security worldwide, while others form confederations to keep the United Nations from becoming too powerful.

In religious circles we see the same policy pursued. The two great classes most bitterly opposed to one another are so-called Orthodoxy and Infidelity. Each is struggling for supremacy and power. On the orthodox side are Papacy and Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestantism, while the non-religious world stands in opposition. All the various sects of Protestantism have formed several confederacies — “The Evangelical Alliance”, “The World Council of Churches”, as well as various national, regional and local councils — for mutual support and common action, agreeing to almost entirely ignore their differences in doctrine, and to preach simply the trinity and morality, and the necessity of union with them and acceptance of their triune God in order to be saved. Even friendly relations and proposals of union are beginning to be thought of between Papacy and Protestantism. It has become common for Papacy leadership to speak of itself as one of the Christian denominations, and of others as their “Methodist and Presbyterian friends, etc.,” while both agree and unite in branding as non-Christian all who oppose their system, no matter how firmly the others’ faith may be rooted and grounded in the word of God. Other religions, heathen, Jewish, Islamic, etc., have also banded together to protect themselves from their perceived threats or to promote the aims of the religion. Atheists and agnostics are also uniting by forming liberal leagues, “freethinkers” associations, and banding themselves together to resist superstition and enforced religion by the state, and to advocate morality and benevolence on a basis of common sense and expediency. While all this seems expedient and necessary to these various classes in the world, while human reason says, Surely in Union there is strength, shall we as Christians who are by no means less interested in the final issues than others, act contrary to such reason, and battle singly and alone with the mighty powers of darkness? In this as in all matters, we look to the Word of God for instruction. And that instruction is given plainly and clearly — “For,” says the Prophet, taking his standpoint down here in our time, “thus, spake Jehovah unto me like a firm grasp of the hand, – when he admonished me, not to walk in the way of this people, saying: Ye shall not say – A confederacy! of everything of which this people may say. A confederacy! And their fear, shall ye not fear or regard as awful: Yahweh [Jehovah] of hosts, him, shall ye hallow, – And let, him, be your fear, and let, him inspire you with awe.” (Isaiah 8:12,13, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible translation)

Thus instructed we should have nothing to do with these confederacies either civil, social or religious. We are to walk separate from all these, joined in union only to Jehovah by the means He provided, that is, through his Son, and loyal to the kingdom of God as yet unrecognized by the world. We are to have no confederacy, no union with any other, being no part of this world of which Satan is the god and deceiver. — John 5:23; 14:6,20,23; 15:4,19; 17:9,11,14,15,16,21,22,23; Romans 12:5,27; 15:5,6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 4:5,6; 5:19; Revelation 12:9.

The present conditions are foretold in the scriptures. Jesus referred to the present time as a time of “anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves,” and “men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:25,26) The “seas”, representing the masses of mankind out of harmony with God (Isaiah 57:20), are roaring today as never before. The Psalmist speaks of this also: “Their soul melts away because of trouble. They reel back and forth, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits’ end.” (Psalm 107:26,27) These are, indeed, fearful times, but the true worshiper does not share in the fears of the world, having set apart the sacredness of Jesus and his blood in their hearts.

Jehovah’s prophet speaks most emphatically concerning the outcome of all these confederacies. Thus we read (Isaiah 8:9,10, Third Millennium Bible translation) “Associate yourselves, O ye people, yet ye shall be broken in pieces! And give ear, all ye of far countries. Gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces! Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought;  speak the word, and it shall not stand.” How plain and forcible these expressions! They need no comment; and only the unbelief in the word of God — the spirit of infidelity — often found in the church nominal, prevents them from understanding their import.

Immanuel is our sanctuary, our defense, our advocate before Jehovah (1 John 2:1), and only by making Immanuel our sanctuary would we walk with Jehovah, and all who thus walk must walk separate from the world and its walk. (John 15:19; 17:14,16) Those who thus walk with Jehovah (Micah 6:8) are so led into the knowledge of his plans, that those things which cause fear and trembling to others, are to them but the indications of the development of God’s glorious plan. — 1 Corinthians 2:12.

“Behind his frowning providence They see his smiling face.” While Jesus is thus our defense and rejoicing, he is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel — Israel after the flesh and the nominal gospel church. (Isiah 8;14; Romans 9:32,33; 1 Peter 2:8) “Many shall stumble thereon, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” (Isaiah 8:15) They have stumbled and fallen over the truth in Jesus and are taken in the snare of the adversary, their faith is being shattered and broken; and the great flood of infidelity has been progressively engulfing the church nominal.

But the Prophet continues, “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” This is equivalent to Daniel’s prophecy, “those who are wise shall understand ” (Daniel 12:10); and David’s — “They walk in the light of your presence, Jehovah” (Psalm 89:15); and Paul’s — “you, brothers, aren’t in darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4) Yes, to those consecrated ones who walk with God separate from the world and worldly alliances and its organizations of men, the law and the testimony is precious — a constantly unfolding treasure-house of blessed promises, inspiring such with glorious and blessed hopes which dispel all fearful apprehensions. But it is bound up and sealed among these, and none of the unfaithful shall understand their glorious import.