Thursday, June 15, 2017

Luke 2:11 – Jesus – “Christ The Lord”

Did the angel declare Jesus to be Jehovah in Luke 2:11?

Luke 2:11- For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the World English Bible version.

Luke 2:11 is often referred to as proof that Jesus is Jehovah, since, as through misunderstanding, or distortion, of certain scriptures such as Deuteronomy 6:4; Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13 and 1 Corinthians 8:6, they falsely conclude that the word  “Lord” applied to Jesus must mean that Jesus is Jehovah. We have addressed this kind of argument in other studies, and will not address them again here.

See our studies:

Luke 2:11 is often also cited as proof that Jesus is a savior, with the false assumption that if Jesus is our savior, then Jesus must be Jehovah, since, according to their reasoning, as they use scriptures such as Isaiah 45:12 and Hosea 13:14, they evidently conclude that Jehovah cannot possibly send a savior who is not Himself, although the scriptures speak of many saviors whom Jehovah did send who are not Himself. Again, this has been discussed in other studies, so we will not go into this in this study.

See our study:

One, in presenting what he believes to be a refutation of the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, presents a detailed discussion of how the NWT was not consistent in using the Hebrew translations of the New Testament for restoring God’s name to the NT. He argues that according the Appendix of the NWT, 1984 edition, “The use of the definite article ha before the title `A-dhohn’ limits the application of this title exclusively to Jehovah God.’ We have a pdf of the 1984 edition, and we did a digital search,  but could not find this statement in its Appendix. We did find the statement on the website. The online quote appears to be in reference to the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Old Testament.

We are not with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and are not necessarily wishing to defend that translation. Evidently, however, the quote is being applied to various Hebrew translations of the New Testament. I see nothing in the statement, however, that is presented as a rule for restoring the Holy Name in the New Testament using Hebrew translations of the New Testament. Our purpose here is not to defend the New World Translation, but something that attracted our attention was the conclusion that the author reaches for what the New World Translation should have read in Luke 2:11 if they had followed this alleged rule: “Because there was born to YOU today a Savior, who is Christ Jehovah, in David’s city.” Since the author presented this as support of the trinity, this line of argument, although presented in a round-about manner, would end up claiming that the Greek CHRISTOS KURIOS should mean “Christ Jehovah”, thereby making it appear that Jesus is Jehovah. Therefore some have thought that in Luke 2:11 Jesus is somehow being called “Jehovah/Yahweh”. 

The claim is made:

Translations of the Greek Scriptures have been made into Hebrew. The Watchtower Society is well aware of these translations. It uses them to determine where to place the Hebrew name for God, ... in the Greek Scriptures of the New World Translation. When the Hebrew for God's name YHWH appears in these translations, the New World Translation uses the word "Jehovah". The Society has used the word "Jehovah" 237 times and slavishly followed these Hebrew translations....
There are at least 72 places where the word ha-Adhohn is found in the Hebrew translations within the Greek Scriptures where, instead of saying "Jehovah" the *New World Translation* translates the word merely as "the Lord." -- *What the Watchtower Society Doesn't Want You to Know*, by Wilbur Lingle.

We have studied very closely what the translators of the New World Translation have stated regarding their attempts to restore the Holy Name in the New Testament, and one should realize that Mr. Lingle's statement does not actually reflect the methods used for the translators of the New World Translation.  I have not found any place where they claim to follow the Hebrew translations of the New Testament. Indeed, most of those translations were made by trinitarians for the very purpose of promoting the trinity to Jews. They cannot be used as a guide for where God's name appears, and certainly cannot be used as a guide regarding their usage of "ha Adhohn". It seems to take a statement made about the Masoretic Hebrew Text and claim it as being the rule of the NWT for determining where to place "Jehovah" in the New Testament, based on translations of the New Testament into Hebrew. While I am aware that the NW translators did make use of such Hebrew translations as supportive of many places where it is apparent that the Holy Name was changed in the New Testament, this does not mean that they were using such translations as a guide for determining where the name should be restored, and the quote given does not present any rule by which they were following for determining where the Holy Name should be restored.

While it is possible that KURIOS in Luke 2:11 is replacing God’s Holy Name, Jehovah — such would not based on how some Hebrew translators have rendered it into Hebrew, but it could be reasoned to have been replaced in this instance because of the Greek expression itself; nevertheless, rather than calling Jesus “Jehovah”, it would designate Jesus as the Christ [Anointed One] of Jehovah, as designated in Psalm 2:6; 45:7; and Isaiah 61:1. Jehovah gave Jesus as the son who is to sit upon the throne of David, and thus he is the Anointed of Jehovah. — Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32,33.

Someone has stated, in effect, that Acts 2:36 does not mean that there was a time when Jesus became “Lord”, since, according to what is being claimed, Jesus has always been Lord, and that there was never a time when he was not Lord. It is claimed that he was already “Lord” after his human birth. Luke 2:11 is one of the scriptures given to support this assumption. This one has also claimed that there cannot be two Lords/Masters, and therefore when Jesus is called “Lord”, this means that he and his Father are one God.

In the study linked to above, we have shown that in the scriptures, the Greek word for “Lord” is used of many different ones and with many different shades of meaning, even when it is used of Jesus.

Of course, even if Jesus had already been made “Lord” before becoming human, this does not mean that there never was a time when he was not Lord. Jesus was indeed in a sense “anointed” from the time of the Garden of Eden, destined to become the seed of the woman. (Genesis 3:15) He was later anointed, preordained, to be the seed of Abraham, and the seed of David. The fulfillment of the ordination has took place in phases. Jesus was born into this world as the Anointed King who was to sit on the throne of David forever (Luke 1:32,33); thus he could be called “Christ [Anointed] the Lord”, having been anointed as “Lord” in the sense of having been anointed as the promised King from before the time of his conception in the womb of Mary.

The scriptures indicate that Jesus, before he became Jesus, had already been lord, ruler, prince, of the host of God’s angels. — Joshua 5:14.

Jesus was certainly made lord and christ [anointed one] by means this anointing from Jehovah, and the original anointing certainly took place at some time. God, of course, foreknew his purposes before he began the creation of the world of mankind, thus the original anointing could be said to have been long before the world of mankind was made. Jesus indicates that he was sanctified for this purpose before being born into this world. (John 10:36) Any other times that he is appointed would be the carrying out of the original ordination.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Philippians 2:5-11 — The Unipersonal God Exalted Jesus

Philippians 2:5
touto phroneite en humin ho kai en christw
3778_2 5426 1722 4771_6 3739 2532 1722 5547
Philippians 2:6
hos en morphee theou huparchwn ouch harpagmon
3739 1722 3444 2316 5224 5225 3756 0725
heegeesato to einai isa thew
2233 3588 1511 2470 2316
Philippians 2:7
alla heauton ekenwsen morpheen doulou labwn en
0235 1438 2758 3444 1401 2983 1722
homoiwmati anthrwpwn genomenos
3667 0444 1096
Philippians 2:8
kai scheemati heuretheis hws anthrwpos etapeinwsen
2532 4976 2147 5613 0444 5013
heauton genomenos hupeekoos mechri thanatou
1438 1096 5255 3360 2288
thanatou de staurou
2288 1161 4716
Philippians 2:9
dio kai ho theos auton huperupswsen kai
1352 2532 3588 2316 0846_7 5251 2532
echarisato autw to onoma to huper pan onoma
5483 0846_5 3588 3686 3588 5228 3956 3686
Philippians 2:10
hina en tw onomati ieesou pan gonu kampsee
2443 1722 3588 3686 2424 3956 1119 2578
epouraniwn kai epigeiwn kai
2032 2532 1919 2532
Philippians 2:11
kai pasa glwssa exomologeeseetai hoti kurios
2532 3956 1100 1843 3754 2962
ieesous christos eis doxan theou patros
2424 5547 1519 1391 2316 3962
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD.
The straightforward and most simple reasoning from the above is that Jesus was in a form [external appearance] of God, but that he was not God.

In Philippians 2:6, we do read that Jesus was existing in the form (external appearance) of God (assuming that Paul actually meant the word transliterated as THEOS to mean "God", Supreme Being, and not "a god" -- a mighty being, as the angels -- Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7]. Before he became flesh (John 1:14), Jesus had a celestial glory that was in the likeness of his God. — John 17:1,3,5; 1 Corinthians 15:40.

Unlike the one spoken of in Isaiah 14:14, however, Jesus did not seek to be equal to God; rather, he “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.” — Philippians 2:6, New American Standard.

The word “God” — throughout Paul’s letter to the Philippians — refers to only one person, as can be seen from Philippians 2:9,11, and even in latter part of Philippians 2:6.

Some believe that in Philippians 2:6, the first instance of “God” may not actually refer to “God”, but rather to mightiness in general, using the Hebraic meaning for the word for “God”.

However, the use of the Greek word transliterated as morphe (meaning “external appearance”), indicates that the first instance of “God” actually refers to the God and Father of Jesus.

Jesus was existing in the external appearance, in the likeness of, his God, but he was not his God, nor did he seek to be equal to his God.

Instead, he became in the likeness of men of sinful flesh, externally appearing as a bondservant of corruption, although he was not really such.

The word “morphe” is being used in Philippians 2:7 in parallel with two other words, all of which carry similar meanings.

There is nothing Philippians 2:5-11 that means that Jesus was God Most High anymore than it means that Jesus was actually a bond-servant of sin in likeness of men. —  Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; 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; 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.

Philippians 2:6-11 is discussing how Jesus left the form (Morphe — external appearance) of God, that is, the glory he had with his God and Father (Ephesians 1:3) before coming into the world (John 17:5), and took on the form (Morphe — external appearance) of a bondservant. — Philippians 2:7.

Jesus was already a servant of God before coming to the earth, so Philippians 2:7 cannot be referring to his becoming a servant of God, as some have claimed. — John 3:16,17; 5:30,36; 6:38,44; 8:29,38,42; 10:36; 17:3; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 10:5; 1 John 4:9,10.

Thus, this relates to the purpose for which Jesus came to earth, that is, to give his human soul, his human body, his human blood, his human flesh, once for all time as a ransom for many — for all. — Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Luke 22:19; John 6:51; 1 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Timothy 1:15; 2:5,6; Hebrews 2:9; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 4:9,10,14.

The human race came to be in bondage to corruption, sin and death due to Adam’s sin. — Genesis 3:17-19; Ecclesiastes 1:2,13-18; 7:13; Romans 5:15-19; 8:15,20-22; Galatians 4:3; Corinthians 15:21,22.

Was Jesus in bondage to sin and corruption as the rest of the human race? Obviously not. Jesus had no sin, but he did come in the likeness — the appearance — of sinful flesh to be sin on our behalf. — John 8:46; 1 Peter 2:2; Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15.

Although he was born of a woman, he was begotten as a human by means of God’s holy spirit. — Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35; Galatians 4:4.

It was God, by means of his Holy Spirit. who prepared the body of Jesus; thus, he was born sinless, without any bondage of corruption as is common to mankind under condemnation in Adam. — Romans 5:12-19; 8:21; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Hebrews 10:5.

Nevertheless, Jesus, as a human, did have a “form” of that bondage, the external appearance, so to speak, of that bondage, since he suffered and paid the price for sin. — 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 4:1.

God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh in order to condemn sin in the flesh. — Romans 8:3.

Jesus suffered the consequences of sin in order to pay the price of sin — death — for the human race, although he himself was not sinful.

Therefore, just as Jesus had the external appearance of being a sinner, so likewise, Jesus in his prehuman existence, had the external appearance of God, being even then the image of his God.

Regardless, there is nothing in these verses that say anything about Jesus’ being a “person of God”. The idea has to be added to and read into what Paul said.

Nor is there anything that says that Jesus has two “natures” at once, that of being the Most High and also that that of being a human, a little lower than the angels.

On the other hand, Paul shows that Jesus did not consider equality with God to be something for him to grasp, and Jesus is exalted by the unipersonal God. — Philippians 2:9.

Consequently, Paul shows that Jesus is not God who exalted him, and that his exaltation results in “the glory of God, the Father.” (Philippians 2:11), the God and Father of Jesus, the only true God. — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.

See also:
Philippians 2:5-11 – Humility of Mind

Jesus is Not Yahweh (Jehovah)


Regarding the “name” in Philippians 2:9, it has been stated that “for a Pharisaic Jew there was only one name that could possibly be described in that way, and it was the name of God.” One comments: “That Philippians passage was a typical way an ANE Jew would say, “Jesus is Yahweh“. They just didn’t talk like we do.”

The unipersonal “God” of Philippians 2:9 did not give to God the name of God to be above every name that God has given, for such would mean that God would have exalted God from being a little lower than the angels to being a higher than the angels. (Hebrews 1:4; 2:9; 1 Peter 3:22) It would further mean that God did not have this name until God exalted God.

Nor did Jehovah give to Jehovah the appellative name of Jehovah to be above every name that Jehovah has given; such an idea would mean that Jehovah exalted Jehovah from being lower than the angels to a position greater than the angels, and that Jehovah did not have the name Jehovah until Jehovah exalted Jehovah. – Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 1:4; 2:9; 1 Peter 3:22.

Nor did Jesus receive either the appellation “Jesus” or “Jehovah”/"Yahweh" at the time when the unipersonal “God” exalted Jesus. The Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32,35) already had the appellation “Jesus” before he was exalted. – Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31.

It should be apparent that when the Most High — the unipersonal “God” — exalted His Son (Luke 1:32,35; Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:3,17-23), that the unipersonal “God” gave to Jesus the name (office, position of glory) that is above every name, with the evident exception of that of Jehovah, the only the Most High. — 1 Corinthians 15:27.

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.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Hebrews 7:3 - Melchizedek and Jesus' Priesthood

Hebrews 7:3: without father or mother, without lineage, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest in perpetuity. (Montgomery)

Some, in reading the above scripture, see something in it that is not there, that Jesus has neither beginning of days, nor end of life. They do not seem to notice that when saying that he has neither beginning of days, Paul is speaking, not of Jesus, but of Melchizedek (also often spelled Melchizedec), and not literally, but figuratively, to show the difference between the priesthood of Jesus and the Aaronic priesthood. If one reads this literally then we must believe that Mechizedek was always a priest from eterity past and that he is still now a priest. Jesus, of course, did begin his priesthood, but not with a lineage or beginning of days here on earth, but in heaven. There is no earthly lineage, no earthly beginning, from which his priesthood is attached. There is nothing here that says that Jesus existed for eternity past; such has to be read into the text.

Paul says that Melchizedek resembles the Son of God. Yes, Jesus is Son of God [He is not the God of whom is Son], and yes, Jesus does live forever, having been given such power from his God, although this is not what is being spoken of in the verse, for it is concerning the priesthood that Paul is speaking, not existence. Paul is not saying that Jesus exists “from eternity”; this has to be imagined, assumed, and read into what he said. The only reason we can see for reading such an idea into the text is to promote the idea that Jesus is Jehovah.

What Paul did say is that Melchizedek is without father or mother or genealogy and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God Melchizedek continues to be a priest for ever.

Very few believe that Melchizedek is God Almighty himself, having lived for eternity past, having no beginning, no ending, etc. Very few believe that Melchizedek literally continues to be a priest even to this day and forever. And, of course, we know that Jesus had a father. But Jesus had no earthly father from which he obtained a priesthood. To take the view that Paul is speaking literally would make Melchizedek Jehovah, and not our Lord Jesus, who is called the “only-begotten” (John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; Hebrews 11:17; 1 John 4:9), “the Son of God” (Mark 1:1; Luke 1:32,35; John 1:34; 3:18; 5:25; 6:27; 9:35; 10:36; 11:4; 20:31; Acts 9:20, etc.), “the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:15), “the beginning of the creation of God.” (Revelation 3:14) We believe that Jesus had an existence before he came into the world, that it was in glory, and that he left the celestial glory which He had with the Father “before the world was” to partake of another glory, a the crown of terrestrial, fleshly, human glory. (John 17:1,3,5; 1 Corinthians 15:27,39-41; Hebrews 2:9) We believe the Word to teach that since “his obedience unto death, even the death of the stauros,” “God (Jehovah) has highly exalted Him (Psalm 110:1), and given Him a name above every name,” etc. (Philippians 2:9); that now “all power in heaven and earth is given unto him” by Jehovah, his God. (Matthew 28:18; Daniel 7:14) We believe that ‘of His government there is no end,’ (Isaiah 9:7) and that his kingdom is an “everlasting kingdom.” (Daniel 7:27) But we cannot suppose that he, as the firstborn creature (Colossians 1:15), never had a beginning, since it is positively stated that he was “the beginning of the creation” (Revelation 3:14), the firstborn of every creature (Colossians 1:15). This, of course, involves the idea that the Heavenly Father and Son are no more one being than any earthly father and son could be one in being. There is a oneness, however, a unity, existing between them, the oneness of will, aim, etc., as it was written of Jesus, “Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:7,9) We remember further that Jesus prayed for us, his followers, that we might have the same kind of unity; not unity of person, but unity of purpose, aim, and interest. He prays “That they all may be ONE, even as Thou, Father, and I are one.” (John 17:11,21,22) This shows us clearly the kind of oneness existing between our Father and our Lord. If, then, the text, “without beginning of days, nor end of years,” as applied to Melchizedek, means that he never had a beginning nor end of life, it would prove not that he was Jesus (as some have assumed), but rather the God and Father of Jesus, Jehovah the Almighty.

It would scarcely be necessary to show that Christ was not without a Father. Call to mind his words: “Father forgive them;” (Luke 23:34) “Father, glorify Thou me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” (John 17:5) It could not then refer to Christ in His pre-human state, nor can it apply to Him as “the man, Christ Jesus,” for Jesus was “born of a woman.” Wakefield’s version renders this (Hebrews 7:3) “Of whose father, mother, pedigree, birth, and death, we have no account.” There was a strict record kept of parentage, birth, death, &c., of every Levite, so that any one claiming to be a priest or Levite could prove it by the records.

It is testified of Melchizedek that he had no end of years, yet we do not see him living today; and it is testified of Christ that he did die, but he was made alive. This same Paul could say of Christ: “Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9) We conclude, then, that as Christ, in the days of his flesh, had a Father existing on the spiritual plane, and a mother who exsited on the earthly plane. Jesus did die for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:30, “even the death of the cross [stauros]” (Philippians 2:8), therefore we have to conclude that Paul is not speaking literally about either the lack of father, birth or death of either Melchizedek or Jesus in a literal sense, but rather he is illustrating the lack of genealogy of the order of the Christ’s priesthood as shown by the account of Melchizedek, and thus Jesus’ priesthood is after the order of Mechizedek, not being of Aaronic genealogy, not having any earthly beginning or end.

When is Jesus made priest after the order of Melchizedek? Has he always been such a priest? No, but while this priesthood has no earthly beginning — the scripture tells us that he could not even have been such a priest while on earth, while in the days of his flesh, nor did Jesus have an earthly father from whom he could claim a priesthood — he was made such a priest after his return to heaven. (Hebrews 8:1-4; 9:11; 10:11-12) Thus like Melchizedek, Jesus’ priesthood does have a beginning in the heavens, but it is not seen on earth, nor is it given as a result of any earthly inheritance of the law and its priesthood. Like Mechizedek, Jesus does not literally have “no beginning of days”, but his heavenly priesthood has no beginning of days on earth, but more importantly, his priesthood cannot be accounted for by human descent.

Likewise, the fact that Jesus is not made a priest after the order of Melchizedek until after his ascension proves that Melchizedek of old was not what many call a “Christophy”, an alleged appearance of Christ in the flesh in the Old Testament. (Hebrews 8:1-4; 9:11; 10:11,12) The very fact that Jesus is spoken of as having become such a High Priest after his ascension shows that he was not such a high priest from all eternity past, and thus he was not such a priest in the days of Abraham. (Hebrews 5:9,10; 6:20; 8:4) The fact that Jesus “arises” after the Old Law Covenant as a priest after the manner of Melchizedek further shows that Melchizedek of old is not a “Christophy”. (Hebrews 5:7-10; 7:15) It is only after Jesus possesses endless life so that he will never die again, that he becomes a priest after the manner of Melchizedek for all eternity; he was never such a priest back in the days of Abraham. — Romans 6:9; Hebrews 7:8,16,24,25; Revelation 1:18.

To interject a meaning into Hebrews 7:3 that Jesus is God Almighty because of the description given to Melchizedek is to derive such a meaning out of context, and detract from what Paul was actually saying.

Nor did Jesus glorify himself as priest, for we read: “Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest.” (Hebrews 5:5) It is Jehovah himself that speaks to the Messiah saying: “You are a priest forever according the order (manner, Hebrew Dibrah, Strong’s Hebrew #1700) of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4) Thus Paul says that Jesus is “named by God a high priest after the order (fashion, Greek, Taxis, Strong’s Greek #5010) of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:11,17,21) And it is Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus, who speaks to the Messiah, saying: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” — Psalm 110:1

Thus there is nothing in Hebrews 7:3 that proves that Jesus is Jehovah, who only has existed for all eternity past.

Objection 1

It has been claimed that we are ignoring the context of Hebrews 7:3 in our treatment as presented above, and it is further claimed that Hebrews 7:3 presents “undeniable” testimony to Christ’s eternity.

There is nothing at all anywhere in Hebrews 7:3 that is an undeniable testimony to Christ’s eternity, as the term is defined by trinitarians. Such an idea has to be read into what Paul says, as we have already shown.

However, it does in context speak of Jesus as being made by God Almighty (Hebrews 7:15,16) a perpetual priest (Hebrews 7:21), thus this, while it relates a beginning of Jesus’ priesthood, could also be seen as proof his eternal future. Even as Jesus is made a perpetual priest, Melchizedek is made by Jehovah in the prophecy of Psalm 110:4 (Hebrews 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:11,15.21) like the Son of God pertaining to the priesthood of the Son of God, so that Jesus becomes a priest after the likeness of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 7:15,21) It does not prove anything, however, about the definition that trinitarians would like to give to eternity (as having no beginning), for Jesus has not always been such a priest, and as the scriptures show, he certainly was not Melchizedek of old, since Jesus was not made a priest until after he ascended.

Objection 2

It has been claimed that our conclusion is not supported by the text which plainly states that Melchisedec was *like* [in type only] the Son of God Who had neither beginning of days or end of life.

Actually, the above turns the text around to make it say what is does not say. It does not say that Melchizedek was like the Son of God who had neither beginning of day or end of life, but the expression “having neither beginning of days nor end of life” applies directly to Mechizedek (the type, the shadow), not Jesus (antitype, the reality). If this is read to mean that mean that Jesus (the antitype) had no beginning, that it would most certainly also mean that Melchizedek, who is the one directly being spoken of, would have no beginning. The fact that Melchizedek is made like the Son of God does not do away with the fact that it is of Melchizedek that Paul says that he is without beginning of days and or end of life.

As has already been shown, the point is that there is no genealogical record of Melchizedek, his priesthood had no genealogical record of its beginning of days and no record of its ending of life. Paul is, of course, speaking symbolically, and not literally. Nevertheless, this is how his priesthood is a type of the priesthood of Jesus. We know that Melchizedek’s priesthood actually did have a beginning, and we know that Melchizedek himself did have a beginning, even though we do not know who his father and mother were, nor when he was born, when his priesthood began, etc. Nevertheless, his priesthood was not one that had a heritage from a lineage of priests, and in this Melchizedek is like Jesus. This is Paul’s argument in Hebrews chapters 3 through 10. “After the likeness of Melchizedek there arises another priest” (Hebrews 7:15), a priesthood superior to that of the Aaronic priesthood; Jesus did not receive a lineage as a priest from Aaron. Thus Melchizedek — is made, rendered similar, by the expression of Jehovah (Psalm 110:4), to the priesthood of Jesus. In saying “another priest”, the scripture lets us know that Jesus was not Melchizedek of old. We also know that Jesus was not such a priest while on earth — thus he did not become a priest after the order of Melchizedek until after he was raised from the dead. He did not become a perpetual priest until after his ascension.

Although we do not necessarily agree with every statement in the studies linked to below, we recommend for further study:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who Is Jesus?

There are many ideas about who Jesus was and is; sad to say, most ideas presented fall far short of who the real Jesus is as presented in the Scriptures. Almost every popular doctrinal stance embellishes on the revealed Word to make Jesus to be some one he never claimed to be. The apostle Paul spoke of some in his day who were, in effect, preaching another Jesus, that is, they were preaching Jesus, but not the truth about Jesus. Nor can we in this day when Satan and his demons are working miracles so as to deceive, if possible, the elect (Matthew 24:24; Revelation 13:14; 16:14; 19:20), expect that, simply because a miracle occurs, that we have found the true Jesus in the message of the worker of miracles who might be doing miracles in Jesus' name. (Matthew 7:22) Indeed, many heathen who do not believe in Jesus at all claim miracles performed in the name(s) of their gods or idols.

It is recorded that Jesus once asked his disciples: "Who do men say that I am?" He got a reply, that some thought him to be John the Baptist risen from the dead; that others considered him to be Elijah risen from the dead, and others thought of him as being perhaps one of the other Prophets. Then came the point of the question: "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus admitted the correctness of this, saying, "You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven." -- Matthew 16:13-17; Mark 8:27-30.

Afterwards, Jesus began to explain to the beloved Twelve the experiences that lay before him -- how the Kingdom would be formally proffered to the Jews, and how through their representatives, the Elders, the chief priests, they would reject Him; how he would be killed, and after three days rise again. This, of course, is not what the Jewish populace in general had expected of Messiah. So what would be the reactions of the disciples concerning this description of Jesus' own expectations concerning himself? -- Mark 8:31; Matthew 16:21.

He made the statement about His death very emphatic, and the disciples clearly understood it. Perhaps they were disappointed, considered it a disgrace upon the Messiah to take such a view of the future, and a disgrace also upon the apostles, because if Jesus had such expectations it would modify and regulate his course, and soon disaster would come to him, and the dashing of all their hopes which he had inculcated -- hopes of sitting with him in his throne, etc.

Doubtless all of the apostles were disappointed, but only Peter had the courage to express himself, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you." In effect, Peter was saying: You will, we all know, as the Messiah, attain the throne of Israel and thus eventually the throne of the world, and bring blessing to the whole human race; and as you have promised, we will be with you in your throne. -- Matthew 16:22; Mark 8:32.

In this course Peter was opposing the Divine will and plan, of which the death of Jesus was the very center or hub, from which would radiate all the fulfillments of all the various promises -- to the Church first, to Israel next, and finally to all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues. Jesus perceived that these influences were striving to hinder his consummation of his sacrifice, even as Satan tried to do in the beginning of his consecration. To make the matter very emphatic he said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men." Then He began to make clear to his followers what had not been "food in due season" to give them before, in such plain terms, namely, that whoever desired to be counted in with him in any part of his work must realize that it would cost him all that he possessed of an this world's affections; he must deny himself, take up his stauros and follow him.

The great question of nineteen centuries ago is the great question of today! Who is Jesus? If, as some claim, he was merely a good man, a most able teacher, then he was not the promised Messiah, for the promises concerning the Messiah showed that, although he was the embodiment of all the qualities of what man would consider to be "good man", he was more, much more. To be the Christ, He must have been "the man Christ Jesus," who gave Himself a ransom price for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5,6.) And this signifies that he must have been, not of ordinary birth, but extraordinary, born from above, because if born in the ordinary course of nature he would be like others of Adam's sons, subject to the sentence of death, and hence unable to save either himself or others. But Jesus was the Christ (which means Anointed One), the one sent by God, who left the glory he had with his God, the only true God (John 17:1,3,5), and was made flesh, with the glory of a sinless man, that he might "taste death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9) Thus, we see him as the great redeemer (deliverer, repurchaser) of the world, whose death was necessary as a ransom, or corresponding price, to secure the release of mankind from the death sentence and to make possible the resurrection of Adam and his race. -- Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.
Where can we go to find out the truth about who Jesus was and is? God has revealed his truths by means of his holy spirit through the apostles. God, by means of his holy spirit, especially led the apostles into all the truths concerning Christ and what he said. (John 14:26; 16:4-13; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:2) The truths revealed to the apostles and made available to us are recorded in the Bible itself. (Ephesians 3:3-12; Colossians 1:25,26; 1 John 4:6) Of course, without the holy spirit, these things that are recorded will still be a mystery to us. -- Mark 4:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10.

Part of the truth revealed by means of the holy spirit was that there was to be an apostasy, a "falling away" from the truth of God's Word, with strong delusions. (Matthew 13:24-30; Acts 20:29,30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3,4) This falling away had already begun in the first century. With some receiving a different spirit and preaching "another Jesus"; the apostasy was restrained for only a short while. (2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 2:18,19; 2 Corinthians 11:4) The apostasy spread rapidly after the death the apostles and developed into the great "Man of Sin", or more correctly "Lawless Man", or "Illegal Man", a great religious system, which claimed to have the authority to add to God's Word since their revelation was allegedly of God's Spirit. The central doctrine became the false teaching that Jesus had to be God Almighty in order to provide atonement for sins. With this spirit of error in mind, the writings of the apostles were totally reinterpreted to accommodate the error, and many of the Hellenic Jewish philosophies, as well as other pagan philosophies, were adapted and added to and blended in with the New Testament, even as the Jews had done with the Old Testament.

Isaiah, in prophesying concerning the stone of stumbling (Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:23) to both the houses of Israel (Romans 9:6,31; 11:7; 1 Corinthians 10:18; Galatians 6:16), warns us: "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20, New King James Version) The "law", of course, is what we call the Old Testament; the "testimony" of this prophecy is the testimony of the apostles, as given in the New Testament. This the way to test the spirits. (1 John 4:1) It is to these and through these scriptures that the holy spirit today gives true direction, and anything not in agreement with these scriptures is not of the light of the day. (John 11:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:5) The distortion of who Jesus truly was and is -- who while on earth before his death was only human, and yet he was a human who had never fallen short of the glory of God. Having the sinless glory of a human he was a little lower than the angels, the man gave his flesh for the life of the world. The teaching that Jesus is the Supreme Being, however, is one of the greatest stumblingblocks to understanding the true Gospel revealed in scripture. Thus Jesus becomes a stumbling stone, not only to the house according the flesh which was corrupted from true doctrine (Israel after the flesh -- Luke 13:25-28; Romans 9:30-33), but also the house which claims Jesus, which has also become corrupted from true doctrine through spiritual fornication. -- Matthew 27:21-23; Revelation 2:13-15,20-24.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Yahweh (Jehovah) is the only true God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. Jesus has One who is the Supreme Being over him; we find nothing in the Scriptures where any Bible writer claimed that Jesus was the only true Supreme Being. We do find that Jesus worshiped, prayed to, and and was sent by this only true Supreme Being, and whose will he carried out in willful obedience. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is the firstborn creature, existing with his God and Father (whom he identifies as "the only true God") before the world of mankind was made. -- John 1:1,10; 6:62; 17:1,3,5; Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus was sent by Yahweh, speaks for Yahweh, represents Yahweh, and was raised and glorified by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus never claimed to be, nor do the scriptures present Jesus as, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The scriptures presents Jesus as being sent by and representing the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. -- 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; 3:13,22; 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.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus receives his inheritance and dominion (power) from Yahweh. His power and authority is given to him by his God, his Supreme Being. His God and Father, the only true God, is the One who gives him this dominion, all authority and power (with the evident exception of the only true God himself -- 1 Corinthians 15:27), yet the exercise of this power and authority by Jesus is all to the praise of Yahweh, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. The Bible writers never claimed that Jesus is the ultimate "source" of his own power. -- 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.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is anointed [made christ, the anointed one] by Yahweh, the only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel. Jesus never claimed to be his God and Father, Yahweh, the only true God, who sanctified and who sent Jesus into the world of mankind. -- Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; John 10:36; 17:1,3,5; Acts 2:36; 4:27; 10:38.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is son of the only Most High, Yahweh. Jesus is never spoken of as the "Most High"; he is not the only Most High Yahweh of whom he is the son. -- Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is given the power of life in himself from Yahweh. Jesus is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who gave him this power. -- 1 Samuel 2:6; Psalm 36:9; John 5:21,25-29.

God, by means of his holy spirit, through the scriptures reveals that Jesus is the servant of Yahweh, and was such before he was sanctified and sent into the world of mankind; he is not Yahweh whom he serves. -- Isaiah 42:1; 53:11; Matthew 12:18; John 1:10; 3:16,17; 5:30,36; 6:38,44; 8:29,38,42; 10:36; 13:16; 17:3; Acts 4:27,30; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 10:5; 1 John 4:9,10.

God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals that Yahweh has made Jesus to sit at the right hand of Yahweh, the only true God, after God raised and exalted Jesus. -- Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-40; Luke 20:39-47; Acts 2:34; Ephesians 1:20-22; Hebrews 1:3,13; 10:12,13; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22.

The scriptural conclusion is that God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, through his holy spirit, is telling us that Jesus is not Yahweh whom Jesus worships (serves as a servant, prays to) as his God. -- Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20; Isaiah 42:1; 53:11; Matthew 4:10; 12:18; 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 4:8; John 13:16; 17:1,3; 20:27; Acts 4:27,30; Hebrews 1:9; Revelation 2:7; 3:12.

Jesus is never described as the father of Jesus, and Yahweh is never described as the son of Yahweh. The term "everlasting father" in Isaiah 9:6, if this should be applied to Jesus, does describe Jesus' role toward mankind that he purchased, and of whom he has become father as the second or "last Adam." (Romans 5:15-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22,45,47; Psalm 45:16) Jesus came in the name of Yahweh his God and Father. (Deuteronomy 18:15,18; 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) Yahweh never came in the name of any other than himself; thus, since there is none higher, he swore by himself. -- Hebrews 6:13.

The name given to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 is probably describing the God and Father of Jesus, not Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus can be referred to as Mighty EL in the sense of the the power and authority given to him by the Mighty EL that is mightier than he, the only true Supreme Being, Yahweh. The plural of the Hebrew phrase translated "Mighty God" in most translations in Isaiah 9:6 is used in Ezekiel 32:21, where it is used of earthly rulers, not God Almighty. -- Psalm 2:2,7,8; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; 61:1; Luke 1:32; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14; John 17:1,3; Acts 2:36; Hebrews 1:2,6.

In some cases, it is true that the Hebrew words EL and ELOHIM are used in the sense of divine being exclusively as spirit beings, as in Psalm 8:5 (see footnote of the RSV), and also we believe in John 1:1, THEOS is used to designate the kind of being that the LOGOS 'was' before coming into the world of mankind, that is a divine, a mighty being. Many do not realize, however, that the Hebrews used the words designating divinity in a sense of special mightiness, even of humans. Therefore, Moses was made, not a divine being, but divine, mighty, toward Pharaoh of Egypt, and also toward Aaron, whom Yahweh spoke of as Moses' prophet, or spokesperson (Exodus 4:16; 7:1), thus Moses could be referred to as divine (in the sense of having special might as received from God) although a human. The term Ha Elohim is applied to the judges of Israel, as a body of men, not as spirit beings (Exodus 21:6; 22:8,9,28 [See Acts 23:5]), thus these men could be referred to as "divine" (in the sense of having special authority given to them by God), although men. Furthermore, in Psalm 82, the terms EL and ELOHIM are being applied to human sons of God, thus they could be referred to as divine (in the sense of the special powers given to them by God), although human. In each of these instances those humans could be referred to as "divine" because of special powers, mightiness, or authority, given to them by God, not because they are the Supreme Being.

No scripture says that Jesus was God Almighty in the flesh, although possessing the mighty power that he received from Yahweh as did Moses, Jesus could be referred to as 'a god', "a mighty one", (ELOHIM, THEOS) in a manner similar to Moses. (Exodus 7:1; Deuteronomy 18:15,18; Acts 3:18-22) Neither in the case of Moses nor Jesus does this make either of them into God Almighty who gives them their power and authority.

As to the God innate, that is, the Power, Might, Innate, "the Supreme Being," there is only one God, who is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus who sent Jesus. -- John 17:1,3.

All others who are legitimately called "gods" (el, elohim, theos, mighty, mighty ones) in the Bible are not the one true God, including Jesus, because these all receive their power and authority from the one true God. Thus they are called EL, ELOHIM, THEOS, (the Hebrew and Greek words for "god", "mighty, might", etc.), in a different manner than of innate Godship, which only belongs the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. If one honestly studies the usage of the words for God in the Hebrew and Greek, it becomes solidly plain that this is so, for like many other words, there is an exclusive usage that is applied to Yahweh, and relative usages that are applied to others, including Jesus.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Isaiah 6:8 - Who Will Go For Us?

Isaiah 6:8 - And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said: "Here am I; send me."

A trinitarian argues from the above the scripture that Isaiah heard the voice of Yahweh [in eternity past], and is referring to himself as more than one person.

Obviously, there is nothing here about these words being said in "eternity past". Such an idea has to be added to and read into what Isaiah said. If one would be consistent in following such reasoning, one would conclude that Isaiah himself had been hearing these words in "eternity past", and thus that Isaiah himself had existed in "eternity past" so as to be hearing these words in "eternity past".

We believe that Isaiah himself is playing a part in the prophetic role, depicting the church of Jesus who was yet to be. Each believer is depicted as hearing the voice of the Lord, asking, "Whom shall I send", and thus is depicted as responding: "Here am I."

The Masoretic text has "Adonai" (transliterated) where "the Lord" appears in most translations. The claim is made by some that this is one of the places copyists replaced Jehovah (Yahweh) with Adonai, and thus some translations have the Holy Name in the scripture. Nevertheless, the Great Isaiah Scroll does not have the holy name in Isaiah 6:8, but rather the Hebrew characters representing Adoni [transliterated, meaning "my Lord"] or Adonai [Literally, my Lords, used singularly, however, it means superlative or superior "Lord"].

At any rate, it is probable that Isaiah originally meant this to be "my Lord" [adoni], referring to the coming Lord of Isaiah [representing the believer]. From the New Testament, the coming "lord" is shown to be Jesus, the promised Messiah. In such a case, the words in question, who will go for us, appears to be those of Jesus directed toward his God, Jehovah. If so, the "us" refers to both Yahweh and Jesus. The one to "go" for them would be Isaiah (picturing the church individually). The fulfillment of the prophecy supports that ADNY (transliterated) in Isaiah 6:8 is not Jehovah, but Jesus.

This is in harmony with what Jesus said, for he recognized that no one could come to him except that his God and Father should draw such an one to Jesus.

John 6:44 - No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.

John 6:45 - Everyone who hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to me.

John 6:65 - No one can come to me, unless it is given to him by my Father.

The "us" would be both Jehovah and Jesus. The one to "go" for them would be represented by Isaiah, individually those who learn of Jehovah and come to Jesus.

However, the Great Isaiah Scroll does have the Hebrew word of God's name in Isaiah 6:11 -- not Adoni or Adonai. Thus it is possible that "the Lord" in Isaiah 6:8 is referring to Jehovah. Assuming that "the Lord" here is Jehovah, then this would only mean that Jehovah is simply speaking to Jesus, saying who will go for us?

Regardless, "us" would still be Yahweh and Jesus, and in no wise would mean that Jesus is Yahweh. If Tom says to his son, "Who will represent us in court?", is Tom saying he and his son are one sentient being?

See also:

Isaiah Saw His Glory

Genesis 1:26 - Let Us and Elohim

By Ronald R. Day

Genesis 1:26 - God [ELOHIM] said [singular verb], "Let us make [plural] man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Our trinitarian neighbors see this scripture as a reference to their trinitarian dogma. It is claimed that ELOHIM, being plural in form, means that their idea of "Godhead" has three persons, and that the plurality of "let us" means that one person of God is speaking to another person of God, using the plural form "us". Some modalists and oneness believers also cite this scripture as proof of an alleged "plurality" in their Godhead consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Obviously, God here is speaking to someone. Normally, if a person says to his friend, "Let us do this or that according to our plans," we do not think that the person who is speaking is speaking to another person of himself. Likewise, in those instances where God says "let us", "we", etc., God is not speaking to another person of Himself, but he is speaking to someone else who is not Himself. Indeed, the default reasoning should be that Jehovah is speaking to someone else who is not Himself.
The truth is that the idea that God is here speaking to Himself (allegedly as two different persons of Himself) has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into what the scripture actually says, and such has to be assumed only to conform to preconceived doctrine, which also has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into, each and every scripture that is used to allegedly support the extra-Biblical doctrine.

The plurality of ELOHIM means "gods", not "persons" or "attributes"; thus, to apply this word to the Creator in plural terms would mean that Jehovah is gods [plural], not persons in one God. Nevertheless, the word in its meaning contains the attribute of mightiness, but this is one attribute, not attributes (plural).

Nevertheless, the scriptures do not apply ELOHIM to Jehovah with plurality, anymore than Jehovah Himself applies ELOHIM to Moses with plurality. (Exodus 7:1) Indeed, if ELOHIM used of Jehovah means that Jehovah is more than one person, then to be consistent, the one making such a claim should also claim that God made Moses more than one person to Pharaoh. When Jesus quoted Exodus 6:3, as recorded in Matthew 22:32, Jesus did not use a plural form of the word THEOS; he uses the singular form.

In reality, like several other Hebrew words, the plural forms of EL can be used in singular contexts to denote what we in English might call the superior or superlative degree. Regarding this usage in Biblical Hebrew (as well as some other ancient languages), scholars often call this the "plural intensive" usage, where a plural form of a word is used in a singular context and thus the plural form is viewed as singular, but is intensified in meaning (similar to the English superior or superlative degree). In other words, the plural form of a word is treated as though it were singular, but only intensified in meaning. In English we do this by adding "er" or "est" to many words, such as high, higher, highest, or we might add "more" or "most" before words. (However, in English, especially in its archaic forms, the plural is often employed as a plural intensive when addressing majesty, a judge, etc., as in "your Majesty", and "your Honour", instead of "thy Majesty" or "thy honour.") Therefore, in Exodus 7:1, Jehovah stated that He was making Moses, not persons, to Pharaoh, but rather one person of superior might (ELOHIM) to Pharaoh.

The point, however, is that ELOHIM is used of the one Jehovah, the "one God" who is the Creator of His people. Jehovah is not more than one Jehovah, nor more than one god, nor is he more than one person, or individual, nor does a Supreme Being consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "Hear, Israel: Jehovah is our God; Jehovah is one." "Hasn't one God created us?" -- Deuteronomy 6:4; Malachi 2:10.

So who was Jehovah speaking to as recorded in Genesis 1:26? Although there are some hints in the Old Testament, we have to look to the New Testament for the answer to this. John 1:1,2 tells us that the one who became flesh was with God in the beginning that is spoken of there. That "beginning" is not the beginning of the entire universe, as many have assumed, but it is the "beginning" of the "world" (Greek, Kosmos) that God created through the one called "the Word." (John 1:10) All in this world was made through the one called "the Word". Not one thing (pertaining to the world that was made through the Word) was made without the Word. (John 1:3) This one titled "the Word" became flesh, and came into the world that was made through him, and that world did not recognize him. (John 1:1,2,10) Jesus identified himself as that one who was with the "only true God" before the world of mankind was made. (John 17:1,3,5) "God", whom the Word was with, refers to the One whom Jesus addressed as "the only true God", that is, his God and Father. Jesus was with the only true God, and thus John 1:3,10 is really speaking of Jesus as the one through whom "God" made the world of mankind. Therefore, by comparing spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing (1 Corinthians 2:10-12), we can see that the one whom "the only true God" was addressing in Genesis 1:27 is Jesus.
However, someone may object, doesn’t John 1:1 tell us that, not only was the Word with [or toward, in service of] God, but also that the Word was "God"? Doesn’t this prove the trinitarian idea that God is more than one person? No, it doesn't! It should be obvious, by comparing John 1:1,2 and John 17:1-5, that Jesus was with, or in service of, the only true God. Would John then say that Jesus "was" the only true God whom he was with? John twice states that the Word was with God, thus giving emphasis to this thought. The thought of two persons as the only true God is not inherent in the words of John 1:1,2, but the idea has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into what John wrote. One has to imagine and assume that John, in referring to "God" whom the Word was with, does not mean the alleged triune "God", but that it means the first person of the alleged trinity as the Father. We know it is true that "God" whom the Word was with, toward or in service of, is the God and Father of Jesus, because of Jesus’ words as recorded in John 17:1,3,5. However, the part about the Father being a person of a trinity has to be imagined, assumed, added to, and read into, what John wrote in John 1:1,2, and Jesus’ reference to the Father as the "only true God" in John 17:3 has to either be ignored, or in some manner be interpreted (again this is often done by imaginative assumptions being added to and read into what Jesus stated) in order make Jesus’ words still mean that Jesus is a person of the only true God. Likewise, the trinitarian has to imagine, assume, add to, and read into what John said that the Word is the alleged second person of the trinity.

So why would John say that the Word was "God", if we are not to imagine and assume he is a person of the only true God? Is there not only one God? Can Jesus be "God" who is not the only true God? And wouldn’t this mean that there is more than one true God? The answer again lies in comparing spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing (1 Corinthians 2:10-12), not by imagining, adding, and reading into the scripture a lot of assumptions that would make Jesus a person of his God. What is the true scriptural answer to why John would refer to Jesus as God?

It is obvious that John is not referring to Jesus as "God" in the same manner in which he speaks of "God" whom Jesus was with. In other words, it should be obvious that Jesus is not "God" whom he was with, and as mentioned before, John emphasized this by repeating it again in John 1:2. If Jesus is "God" who he was with, or in service of, then Jesus is the Father, since Jesus says that he with his Father, but trinitarians deny that Jesus is the Father.

The Greek word for God is usually transliterated as THEOS, and forms of this word are used twice in John 1:1. Forms of THEOS, in the New Testament, are used to translate forms of the Hebrew word that is often transliterated as EL; it should be apparent that the Hebrew writers of the New Testament were using THEOS in the same manner, and with same meaning, as the Hebrew writers of the Old Testament. In the words recorded at John 10:34,35, was Jesus saying that all the sons of the Most High are persons of the Most High, that they are all the only true God?

What many do not realize is that there is a scriptural Hebraic tradition that allows the usage of the words for "God" in a more general sense of might, power, authority, etc. Most translations of the Bible into English as well as other languages recognize this usage. We can use the most popular English translation — the King James Version — to illustrate such usage. This can be demonstrated in such verses where the KJV renders the word for "God" (forms of EL and ELOHIM in the Hebrew) so as to denote strength, power, might, rulership, etc., such as in the following verses: Genesis 23:6 (mighty); Genesis 30:8 (great); Genesis 31:29 (power); Deuteronomy 28:32 (might); 1 Samuel 14:15 (great); Nehemiah 5:5 (power); Psalm 8:5 (angels); Psalm 36:6 (great); Psalm 82:1 (mighty); Proverbs 3:27 (power); Psalm 29:1 (mighty); Ezekiel 32:21 (strong); Jonah 3:3 (exceeding). If one were to substitute "false god" in many of these verses, we would have some absurd statements. This proves that these words are used in a sense other than the only true God, or as "false god."

If such Hebraic usage is applied to Jesus (who was with the only true God -- John 17:1,3) in John 1:1, we would have "the Word was mighty," and all makes perfect sense without adding all of the imaginations and assumptions that would have to accompany viewing the scripture through the tint of the trinity doctrine, or the oneness doctrine. Jesus was indeed a mighty one with the only true MIGHT before the world of mankind was made. Thus, the scriptural conclusion is that it was this "mighty" one that the only true God addressed in Genesis 1:26, using the term "let us."

One may have many more questions which we have not discussed in this short study. For more study, we recommend:
Other studies may also be found on our sites and pages listed at:
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Written by Others
We do not necessarily agree with all given by the authors whose writings are linked to below.
Early Church's Understanding of Genesis 1:26 - This is evidently written by a trinitarian.
The following represents links to sites that present the idea that God speaks of Himself as "us" -- we do not agree with that, and recommend the above study: 1 * 2 * 3 *
Originally published April 12, 2009; Updated and Republished November 25, 2014; Republished May 17, 2017.