Sunday, October 23, 2016

Isaiah 42:8 - Does God Share His Glory as Most High With Jesus?

I am Yahweh, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to engraved images. Isaiah 42:8 - World English Bible Translation
For my own sake, for my own sake, will I do it; for how should [my name] be profaned? and my glory I will not give to another. -- Isaiah 48:11, World English Bible.
Many often point to these scriptures as proof that Jesus is Yahweh, with the claim that Jesus has the glory of Yahweh, therefore he is Yahweh. But is such reasoning correct?

The scriptures show that in giving a glorious position to Jesus that Yahweh does not abdicate his glorious position for anyone, not even Jesus, nor does Jesus or anyone else share in the glory of the unique position of Most High over the universe. (1 Corinthians 15:27) In contrast, Jesus invites the saints to share his glory in joint-heirship. (See Romans 6:3-6; 8:17, 18; Col. 3:4; 1 John 3:2) Rather than finding the position of glory that Yahweh gives to Jesus as proof that Jesus is Yahweh, it rather proves that Jesus is not Yahweh.

The scripture in John 17:5 is usually presented as proof that Jesus had the same glorious position as his Father before coming to the earth. However, is that what Jesus said? "Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed." Read it again. No, there is nothing here about Jesus having the same or equal glory to the Father before coming to the earth. Rather, he does mention a glory he enjoyed when he was with his father before the world existed. He asks of the only true God that this glory be returned to him, which shows that (1) he did not have that glory while was in days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7); (2) the Father of Jesus is the source of the glory, which harmonizes with what Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 8:6.

We need to point out that the word glory carries various shades of meaning, and even the expression "glory of God" as shared with others does not necessarily mean equivalency with God. God does share his glory with creation in harmony with him in the sense of being in his likeness and image -- mankind fell short pf this glory when Adam sinned (Psalm 8:5; Romans 3:23; 5:12-19); yet there is nothing in the scriptures that says that Jesus shares God's exclusive glory as far as His Supremacy as the only Most High.

If one will just reason a little on John 17:5, we will see that what Jesus says here in no way could mean that Jesus is Yahweh, or that he is part of trinity. Whatever is meant by "glory" here, it should be apparent that Jesus did not possess this glory at the time that he spoke this prayer. If he possessed it at the time, then why did he need to ask for it to be restored to him? Yet our trinitarian neighbors would have us believe that Jesus held two levels of glory at once, that of God Almighty and that of a perfect human. This scripture contradicts that, for at the time Jesus said this, Jesus shows that he did not have the level of glory that he had before coming to the earth.

This brings up the different levels of glory. What would such a glory be that he did not have it at the time? The holy spirit reveals the answer to through Paul, when Paul speaks of two different kinds of glory in reference to the what kind of body the saints are raised with, one heavenly, spiritual, the other earthly, physical. (1 Corinthians 15:35-48) In general, Paul, speaking of the bodies we receive in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:35-38), mentions that there are two major classifications of bodies: heavenly and earthly. (1 Corinthians 15:40) And in the heavenly bodies, there are different degrees of glory, which he likens to the glory of the sun, moon and stars. (1 Corinthians 15:41) When may not know for sure that Paul had in mind in any application of the various degrees of glory that he mentions, such as the glory of the sun, moon, and each star differing in glory. More than likely, he is just illustrating that heavenly beings have bodies of differing glories, not that we should look for an application of each thing mentioned as applied to the bodies of spirit beings. Nevertheless, we could let the Sun represent the glorious body of Yahweh, and the moon to represent the glory of Jesus and his joint-heirs, and the stars to represent the glory of the angels, and possibly the seraphs and cherbus (assuming that these are indeed orders of spirit beings). Using this application, we can see that three shades of glory in the heavenly realm. But then he says that the stars also differ from each other in glory, showing that there are different levels of glory amongst these other spirit beings. 
Nevertheless, the earthly "glory of God" was enjoyed by the first man, before he sinned. Adam was not created with sin, so he did not fall short of this glory, not until he actually sinned. (Romans 3:23) The scriptures tell us that he was "crowned with glory." (Psalm 8:5) After sin entered the picture, all men condemned in Adam fall short of this glory (Romans 3:23) -- except that it was typically counted to them by faith -- until Jesus came. The whole human race was condemned in the sin of Adam, thus all fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 5:15-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) But, while this is called "glory of God", it is glory of a human body, on the earthly plane of existence.

Then when Jesus left the glory he had with his Father, Paul says that Jesus divested himself, emptied himself, of the form of theos [might, power] that he had before coming to the earth, and took on the form of a bond-servant in the likeness of mankind, who was condemned in Adam.(Philippians 2:6,7; Romans 5:16,18; 8:3) Not that Jesus was sinful like the rest of mankind, but that he suffered like the rest of mankind, thus taking the condemnation of Adam [and the human race through Adam] upon himself that justice may be satisfied. -- Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; 1 John 2:2.

God did impregnate Mary by means of holy spirit with the life of his Son, who willingly left the glory he had with his God in order take on the human glory that was originally given to Adam, but which was lost due to sin. -- John 17:5; Psalm 8:5; Romans 3:23; 5:12-19; Hebrews 2:9.

Jesus' human body, however, was not prepared in the usual way, since the scriptures say that God prepared the body of Jesus, crowned with glory, so that he could be offered up in sacrifice. (Hebrews 2:9; 10:5,10) Jesus, therefore did not share in the condemnation that was upon Adam, so that he did not fall short of the glory of God. He remained sinless even under severe trial, by which he condemned sin in the flesh.

Having been offered up in sacrifice, Jesus is no longer in the days of his flesh -- with the human glory (Hebrews 5:7), but has been highly exalted far above the angels, he "became a life-giving spirit" (1 Corinthians 15:45), possessing not the earthly glory, but the heavenly glory.

In Matthew 16:27, Jesus refers to the Son of man coming "in the glory of his Father". (See also Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26) Many of our trinitarian neighbors would like for us to believe that he is Yahweh, since he comes in the glory of his Father. However, if taken in this manner, the expression would tend to make Jesus his own Father, something which trinitarians disclaim. However, like Jesus came in the name of Yahweh, his Father, coming in the glory of Yahweh his Father does not make him to be Yahweh. -- Deuteronomy 18:18,19; Matthew 21:9; 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; 19:38; John 5:43; 12:13; Please see 1 Samuel 25:9; Ezra 5:1; Esther 2:22; Micah 4:5; Jeremiah 20:9; 26:20; 44:16; Acts 4:18; 5:40; 9:27,28; James 5:10 for examples of others who spoke in the name of someone else.

We add here that the Bible does indicate that Adam had the glory of God also. This is implied in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." Additionally we read in 1 Corinthians 11:7 "For a man indeed ought not to have his head covered, because he is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man." This also implies that the perfect man does have the glory of God. This glory, however, is on the earthly plane, not the glory of a heavenly body. (1 Corinthians 15:40) It is this glory that is referred to in Psalm 8:5: "For you have made him a little lower than God, And crowned him with glory and honor." Since Adam sinned, mankind has ever since fallen short of this glory. This is why in Hebrews 2:7 Paul tells us that mankind has not yet received the dominion as was originally given to man. (Genesis 1:28) However, Paul does tell us that we see that Jesus did come, being crowned with human glory, a little lower than the angels, that he might taste death for all. (Hebrews 2:9; see 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:15-19) Thus while Jesus was on earth, he did not have the glory he had when he was with his Father before the world existed, but he did have the glory of God in a human body. -- 1 Corinthians 15:40.

We should also note that Jesus is never referred to in the Bible as the "Most High", and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is ALWAYS presented as one person, and never as more than one person.

We therefore see nothing in the argument that Jesus shares the glorious position that only belongs to Yahweh. There is no reason from any of the scriptures presented to assume and add to the scriptures the trinitarian story about three persons all who are one God, or that Jesus is Yahweh.

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