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ONE GOD plus ONE LORD

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A study of the relationship of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son of God, using Bible verses from throughout the Bible only, without the influence of the doctrines of any church denomination



as researched by Wayne Bettin



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ONE GOD plus ONE LORD

Click for:

*Introduction

*Chapter One - God's Plan for Jesus

*Chapter Two - Bible Contradictions?

*Chapter Three - Who is God?

*Chapter Four - Who is Jesus?

*Chapter Five - The Key to Mystery!

 

INTRODUCTION - - - - Click to *Return

Since the early centuries after the time of Christ, there were devout Christians who strove for a thorough understanding of the Bible. Understandings by prominent theologians from centuries past have been adopted by various church denominations and have been tenaciously held to for centuries without questioning the accuracy of their content. Also, unfortunately, human reason, philosophy and politics greatly influenced the church doctrine accepted by the churches. Today, there is a great resistance to any change in established church doctrine and rather than searching for proof of what the scriptures say, most of the effort is used to defend the already accepted beliefs and to "bend" any Bible verses that may tend to disagree with already established church doctrine by symbolizing or spiritualizing those verses to make them "fit" into already accepted beliefs.

The vast majority of Christians would rather rely on the leaders in their church to decide the understanding of the Bible and not to question the accuracy of church doctrine. This can be proven simply by observing the many church denominations and the loyalty of the church members to the accepted beliefs. Each new generation is taught by the former generation in the "ways of the church" and the separate beliefs of the many different church denominations continue onward.

We are all familiar with how often known, accepted "facts" have been proven wrong whether they be in health, medicine, science or technology. New findings and new "proofs" arise about any particular subject and cause the old "facts" to be cast aside. When new findings occur in religious doctrines we have a very different reaction. Admitting to an error in what we believe, when it was sincerely taught to us by our own parents or respected teachers, forces us to admit that not only we have been wrong but our own parents and teachers were wrong as well. That isn’t easy and comfortable to do, especially when we have had those beliefs for a lifetime. Quite naturally, our own pride is involved as well.

The challenge for the serious Bible student is to keep his mind open to what the Bible truly says without first passing it through the sieve of what appeals to human reason or of what one has believed in the past.

The approach used in this writing is not from any allegiance to a particular church denomination, but only from a bold determination to learn the truth of what the Bible says, without regard to the limitations imposed on the human mind by what it would only like to accept. The only source book for this work is the Holy Bible so as not to be influenced by the foregone conclusions of others.

A thorough understanding of any subject in the Bible is dependent upon an understanding of other verses in the Bible that relate to that subject. Preconceived ideas and misunderstandings of other parts of the Bible can only lead to confusion and a misunderstanding of the subject.

The reader of this writing is urged to explore the entire area of that portion of the Bible in which any verse is referred. The goal of this writing is that the reader will discover the truth of what the Bible says and any different viewpoint that the reader may acquire will be from his own personal investigation of the Bible and not from any direct influence of this writing.

In this writing a direct quote from the Bible is in italicized type. Bold type is used for those words or phrases in the quoted verse that relate to the subject being discussed. Also bold type may be used for special emphasis on words within a discussion that relate to a verse under consideration.

If a quoted verse begins or ends with a hyphen (for example " - and then etc." ), part of the quoted verse is not pertinent to the discussion and is not included in the quote. The reader is encouraged to look up each quoted verse to eliminate any feeling the verse is "being taken out of context."

All Bible verses quoted in this writing are from the original King James Version of the Bible.

 

CHAPTER ONE - GOD'S PLAN FOR JESUS - - - - Click to *Return

From before the creation of the earth and mankind, God had a plan that would include the necessity of a savior for mankind and that Savior would be Jesus Christ. This was indicated in I Pet.1:20, "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,." Jesus spoke of that time before creation in John 17:5, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."

God gave man a free will to make his own decisions so that man would be more like himself, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:." Gen.1:26. God knew that man would not use the "free will" that God gave him as perfectly as he desired, so God provided a means to offset the effect of man's sin of disobedience. This is a major part of the plan of God and involves the life and death of the Savior Jesus Christ.

To test the free will of man, God had introduced a simple law, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Gen.2:16-17. If man were to disobey this command of God, from the day that he disobeyed this command, the destiny of man would include a phenomenon that was unknown to him then, that of death.

Since all of mankind have sinned (except Jesus) it is required that all must die. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;." Rom.3:23. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die - ." Ezek.18:20. Since all men sin, all are condemned to die. However, if an innocent sinless person were to die voluntarily, the chain of death would be broken and although all must still die, then all would be resurrected. Those that accept this person's atonement would be resurrected to an eternal life. "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." I Cor.15:21-22. Jesus himself said, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28-29.

The role of Jesus in the plan of God for mankind existed before the creation of man but was not recognized by mankind until after the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. There are prophecies of a savior in the Old Testament but they were understood to mean a savior from the enemies of Israel and not as a savior from the effect of the sin of mankind. Even those men who were with Jesus before his death and resurrection, his own disciples, did not understand the significance of the actions of Jesus. One of the first questions they asked Jesus after they joyfully greeted him after his resurrection we learn in Acts 1:6, "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" This was in keeping with what the angel had said to Mary a few years earlier, "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:31-33. The disciples still believed Jesus would be a great leader, similar to Israel's King David, who would save them from their earthly enemies, the present one being the Romans who at that time occupied Israel.

Obviously Satan himself was not aware of the purpose of the death of Jesus or he would not have desired to have Jesus killed, knowing that his own doom would be sealed if the innocent Jesus were to die. The effect of the death of Jesus on the devil is told us in I John 3:8, "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." Again in Heb.2:14 we are told, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;." However, the devil thought it to be to his great benefit to be rid of Jesus and he prompted Judas to betray Jesus to be killed on the cross. We are told that the devil entered into Judas in Luke 22:3-4, "Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them." We also read in John 13:2, "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;."

It was not until after the day of Pentecost and the disciples received the Holy Ghost that we can read of the true reason for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then the concept of a savior from the effects of the sins of mankind became apparent. There were then many statements made by the apostles that spoke of Jesus Christ, our Savior. We are then very clearly told, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Acts 5:31. In the book of Galatians we read, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Gal.4:4-5. The reason for the death of Jesus is told us again in Col.1:20, "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

Peter referred to the fulfillment of prophecies accomplished through the death of Jesus in I Pet.1:10-11, "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." We are told that even the prophets that foretold of the saving grace that would come from the Christ did not realize nor understand the significance of what they were prophesying.

Jesus spoke of the prophecies concerning him and the necessity of their fulfillment in Luke 24:44, "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." In Acts 3:22,24 we read that there were many prophecies that foretold of Jesus, "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days." The prophecy from Moses was from Deut.18:15, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;."

In the many prophecies concerning the first coming of Jesus, it is easy to understand the confusion the people had of these prophecies. Most of these prophecies refer either to a prophet, a great ruler or the sufferings of that person. We must remember that the Israelites often sinned grievously and were punished for their neglect of God. So when the people read that someone would "bear their iniquities" or there would be a "saviour in time of trouble" it is easy to understand how they would relate that to their present condition and the hope of someone to deliver them from their enemies that were a result of their disobedience to God.

It would appear that in the plan of God, he did not intend that the people of Old Testament times, and even during the time of Jesus before his death, would realize the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until a later time.

There is an indication of this mystery that only later the disciples and apostles would understand as stated in Eph.1:9-10, "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:."

The plan of God, a mystery throughout the Old Testament times, was in operation although mankind was not aware of it. Paul again refers to this mystery in Rom.16:25-26, "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, - ."

This plan of God that involved the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was not recognized by mankind until after the resurrection of Jesus, and is therefore often referred to as a mystery. It is referred to as such in Eph.3:9,11, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: - According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:."

That Jesus was a part of the mystery of this plan of God from the beginning is revealed to us in I Pet.1:19-20, "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,." The verse that tells us that God made Jesus a part of his plan for the redemption of mankind is summed up in that familiar John 3:16 verse, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The plan of God from the beginning, that Jesus was a part of this plan, what the death of Jesus accomplished, and that it was a mystery, is all told us in II Tim.1:8-10, " - according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:."

There are other mysteries in the Bible and the one mystery that has caused confusion and disagreement among Christians is that of the relationship of God the Father, of Jesus the Son of God, and of the Holy Spirit of God. This has led to the formation of some very basic church doctrines and the development of a number of church creeds to try to state those doctrinal beliefs. This mystery is recognized in Col.2:2-3, "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

The mystery of the relationship of God and Jesus is referred to in I Tim.3:16, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." That this mystery was hid in God but is now available for men to see is revealed in Eph.3:9, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:." However, Jesus told us in Mat.11:27 that only those selected will understand this mystery, "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."

 

CHAPTER TWO - BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS? - - - - Click to *Return

It has been said that "the Bible contradicts itself" and is most often said by those who prefer not to believe the Bible and are opting for a way to discredit the Bible and cast a doubt on its authenticity. When the Bible seems to contradict itself, it can be due to an awkward translation of the original language which leads to a misreading and therefore a misunderstanding of the verse in question.

There are also verses in the Bible that appear to be very obvious contradictions to other verses in the Bible because they are not in agreement with established church doctrine that has been firmly established for so many centuries that no thought is given to the possibility that the church doctrine could be in error. These contradictions are not present when the Bible student understands the true relationship between God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the remainder of this section we will refer to some of the questions that arise and the verses that cause confusion but we will not at this time explain the true meaning of these verses. As we continue through this writing, many of these questions will be answered and it would be wise for the reader to return to this section later for a total elimination of any confusion that they may cause.

When Jesus is referred to in the New Testament, he is usually called the Son of God; why is he not usually called the Son of the Father? With Jesus as God, can he be the father of himself? We often read in the Bible the expression "God the Father" but we never read of "God the Son" or "God the Holy Ghost," and the expression often used in churches of "In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost" never occurs in the Bible.

The Bible tells us that no one has ever seen God, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John 1:18. There were multitudes that saw and heard Jesus, "And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children." Mat.14:19-21.

We know for certain, from what the Bible repeatedly tells us, that Jesus died for the redemption of mankind. Is it possible for God to die? We are told by theologians that God was in a state of "humiliation" and did not possess all the power and characteristics of God while here on earth, yet in Mal.3:6 God tells us, "For I am the LORD, I change not;."

We are often told that the Father and Jesus are equal, yet Jesus plainly said, " - I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." John 14:28. Also in I Cor.11:3 the same thought is expressed, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." We are told that Christ is in a lower position than God and the Father. In the Old Testament we read, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." Is.42:1. In the verses that follow this 42:1, Christ is clearly identified and the one speaking this verse as God the LORD. Christ is here called a servant of God, again a position of lower authority.

When James and John requested that they might sit on the right hand and on the left hand of Jesus in his glory, Jesus in his answer states, "But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared." Mark 10:40. Jesus does not have the authority to make this decision. Also, Jesus does not know the time of his second coming, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Mark 13:32.

When a person is lower in authority than a person who is in the highest position, it is expected that the person of lower authority will be told to do the will of the higher authority. Jesus spoke very clearly that his words and actions were not his but rather that of the Father. Jesus stated in John 12:49, "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." A total disclaimer is given by Jesus in John 5:30, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." Jesus speaks further in John 5:19, "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." Again in John 6:38 Jesus said, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."

Jesus was "sent" into this world by God the Father. "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God: neither came I of myself, but he sent me." John 8:42. "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." John 5:37 "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." John 4:34. Jesus said to the Father, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:3. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:." John 6:44. Apparently, God will send Jesus the second time also, "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:20-21. In the plan of God of which Jesus was a vital part, Jesus was sent by God to do the Father's will. He came willingly, but he apparently did not come of his own volition.

We also read in a number of verses where Jesus was given his abilities and powers from God the Father. If a person is given something, it is by definition that the person receiving it did not previously have that which is being given him. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Mat.28:18. "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." John 3:34-35. "All things are delivered unto me of my Father:." Mat.11:27. "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." John 17:2. "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;." John 13:3. Jesus said, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." John 17:4. There were apparently many significant things that Jesus did not have previous to when they were given him.

In addition to the fact that God sent Jesus into this world to do the atoning work for mankind, and that God gave Jesus the power to accomplish what he was to do, God also appointed and exalted Jesus above all others. "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;." Philip.2:9-10. "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour,." Acts 5:31. In Acts 17:31 the "he" is referring to God when it says, "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Heb.1:9. "God - Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things,." Heb.1:1-2. "And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Heb.1:6.

Although God hath highly exalted him, and given Jesus a name which is above every name, God is still the highest authority as we read of the position of Jesus in Heb.12:2, " - is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." God is on the throne with Jesus at the right hand of the throne.

In Heb.10:9 we read, "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, 0 God." Jesus not only called God, his Father, but he also called him, his God. Jesus clearly said this to Mary after his resurrection, "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." John 20:17. We are familiar with the cry of Jesus from the cross when in great agony he declares, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Mark 15:34. Note that Jesus does not say, "My Father, my Father." In Revelation 3:12 Jesus speaks of "my God" four times. The entire seventeenth chapter of John is a prayer of Jesus to God the Father. Remember how Jesus prayed fervently to the Father in the place called Gethsemane. Mat.26:36-42.

Jesus was certainly setting a good example when he prayed to God the Father before his followers, but Jesus prayed privately, by himself; "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." Mat.14:23. Jesus spent much time in prayer, "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12.

After the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension into heaven, we read of the apostles statements regarding the God of Jesus in their epistles. In Eph.1:17 Paul states, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:." Peter stated in I Pet.1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,." Paul greeted the Ephesians with, "Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,." Eph.1:2-3.

We read in I Cor.15:24-28 that when Jesus reigns in power and glory in the end times, he is still under the authority of God, "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (Note that the Bible is careful to point out that although all things are put under the feet of Jesus, that God is excepted, because he is the one that put all things under the feet of Jesus) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." "God, even the Father" is still the supreme authority.

 

CHAPTER THREE - WHO IS GOD? - - - - Click to *Return

To try to define who or what God is, truly is an exercise in futility. Attempts using philosophical thinking have tried to describe God but usually produce as many different results as there are attempts. Without a total reliance on what the Bible says about God it is pointless to try to understand God beyond what the Bible reveals to us.

Isaiah described how hopeless it is for mankind to try to understand God by comparing the work from a potter's clay as trying to understand the potter who made the work. "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." Is.64:8. This thought is more completely described in Is.29:16, "Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?"

The best thinking and ways of mankind pale into insignificance when compared to God's thinking and ways, as God himself tells us in Is.55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

To accurately know and completely understand the Father and the Son would be most unusual as Jesus tells us in Luke 10:22, "All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him."

That God has always, and will always, exist is told us in Ps.90:2, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." Although the original word "owlam" here twice translated "everlasting" can mean "antiquity" or "ancient time" as well as "forever" or "perpetual," since the same word is used to describe the extent of God's existence from the past and into the future, it is quite clear that the Psalmist is telling us God's existence is from eternity past to eternity future. That God is always the same is plainly told us in Mal.3:6 by God himself, "For I am the LORD, I change not; - ."

All of creation came from God as is told us in the first verse of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Gen.1:1. More details of creation are given us, as well as a further identity of "God" as was used in that first verse, in the verse of Ex.20:11, "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." The original word for "God" as used in the first verse can have other meanings but "LORD" as used in the second example verse can only mean what we recognize as "Jehovah," the one true God. More will be said about these two names in later paragraphs.

A few paragraphs previously we referred to the weak thinking and reasoning of mankind in the verse from Isaiah, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Is.55:8-9. Yet mankind tries to use his own philosophical reasoning to imagine how the earth came into being, that of beginning just by chance. The infinite details of creation and the awesome interdependence of all living matter upon each other is simply stated in Ps.19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." God did not create the heaven and the earth out of a substance that already existed but created everything from absolutely nothing as is told us in Heb.11:3, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." This infinite power of God that is able to create everything from nothing, is referred to again in Rom.1:20, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:." Paul again refers to this great power of God in Eph.1:19, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,."

We mentioned before the two words "God" and "LORD" with respect to creation; we now observe them being used together in the same verse in Is.45:18 and also are introduced to a new fact about God, "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else." There is only one God as told us by the LORD in a number of other Bible verses as well, "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:." Is.45:5. We read again in Is.44:6, "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." Also in Deut.4:35 we are told, "Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him."

Although God made creation to contain visible material things made of substances of various kinds, God is not visible because he is a spirit as is told us in John 4:24, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." That God is eternal and not visible, just as a spirit is not visible to human beings, is told us in I Tim.1:17, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen." The invisibility of God is referred to when describing Jesus, the Son of God, in Col.1:15, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:." Since God is invisible, "No man hath seen God at any time." I John 4:12 which is repeated in John 1:18, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

To the mind of mankind, every person and every thing has a location where it exists at any given time. The Bible seems to indicate that although God is a spirit (John 4:24) there is a location for God also. Yet there are verses that say God is everywhere.

In the prayer that Jesus gave his disciples he began the prayer by telling the location of God, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." Mat.6:9. Other verses that indicate the same are, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." Mat.6:1 and "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Mat.18:10. There are also verses that indicate the location of the throne of God, "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:" Is.66:1 and in the book of Revelation John is invited to experience a vision of God's throne, "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne." Rev.4:1-2.

A few verses that would indicate that God is everywhere are first this one as spoken by God himself, "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD." Jer.23:24. In a similar verse it is stated, "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." Prov.15:3. When Solomon dedicated the temple he had built, he exclaimed, "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?" I Kings 8:27.

The verse that can give us insight to solving this apparent contradiction that God is on his throne in heaven, yet is everywhere is found in Ps.139:7-8, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." Mankind cannot understand the nature of a spirit nor is it anywhere told us how a spirit exists, but this verse would tell us that it is God's spirit and his presence that is everywhere. This solves the problem of a seeming contradiction as to God's location.

We read previously from Gen.1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." and again in Is.45:18, "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it;" and yet we read in Gen.1:2, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." From these verses and from other verses in the Bible it is readily apparent that the Spirit of God is an intrinsic part of God himself. In the New Testament we also read about God's Spirit, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Eph.4:30, and again in Rom.8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

The Spirit of God and God Almighty are referred to together in the book of Job, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Job 33:4. In this Old Testament verse, "The Spirit" is from the original Hebrew word "ruwach" and means "a wind, breath, a mind, a spirit" and later in this same verse, "the breath" is from the original "neshamah" and has the similar meaning of "the breath, the spirit." This verse is an excellent example of a common practice in the Old Testament where the same statement is repeated, using different words but saying the same thing for clarity and emphasis. It is therefore apparent in this verse that the "Spirit of God" and the "Almighty" are both referring to God. This also solves any problem that might be presented from verses in the previous paragraph that referred to the actions of creation being performed by God, by the LORD, or by the Spirit of God.

In the New Testament we read in Mat.12:28 where Jesus said, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." In this verse the word "Spirit" is from the original Greek word "pneuma" and means "a movement of air, a spirit." This same Greek word "pneuma" is the original for "Ghost" and for "Spirit" as used in "Holy Ghost" and "Holy Spirit" as found in the New Testament.

From these verses and original Hebrew and Greek words it is clearly evident that the "Spirit of God" in the Old Testament is the same as the "Spirit of God," "Holy Spirit," and "Holy Ghost" of the New Testament.

A small insight into what the "Spirit of God" is to God can be found by a comparison the Bible uses of what the "spirit of man" is to man. In Gen.1:26-27 we read that God created man to be similar to himself with a will and similar feelings and the ability to reason and to think, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." The power and ability of mankind is certainly only a very faint reflection of the power and ability of God, however in studying the actions and words of God we see great similarities to mankind, except in God we see unlimited power and glory as expressed in I Chr.29:11, "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Yet in I Cor.2:11 we read of one instance of a comparison of the spirit of man with the spirit of God, "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." Harbored within each of us is a spirit that has thoughts, opinions and knowledge that are hidden from any of those with whom we associate. Can any man completely define and understand his own spirit that is within him? If not, then how can he expect to understand the Spirit of God that is within God. Trying to understand the Spirit of God can only be based upon the Bible, and the information therein given is limited, not only by the amount of information therein given but limited by the ability of mankind to understand the information that is provided.

However we can easily observe that the spirit of man is an intrinsic part of his personal being and not a separate entity. In a like manner we can expect the Spirit of God to be an intrinsic part of God and not a separate entity. By the very nature of the words used to describe the "spirit of man" and the "Spirit of God" the indication is that the spirit is a part "of" and not separate from man nor from God. We see this done in Eph.4:30, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." We read of God referring to his own spirit in Acts 2:18, "And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:." There are many verses where God speaks of "his spirit" in the Old Testament as well as the New, as in Ezek.36:27, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.," and in I Thess.4:8, "He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.," and again in Is.63:11, "Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?"

We are all familiar with how the spirit of a man can have a great influence upon those around him whether it be in the work place, in the political realm, or in one's own family. Even after that person has died his spiritual influence still affects those remaining. We are told where the spirit of a man goes upon his death in Eccl.12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." However the effect of the man's spirit is still felt by those who were near to him.

This spiritual power of a man is negligible when compared to the infinite power of the Spirit of God. This power of the Spirit is referred to in Rom.15:13, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.," and again in Rom.15:19, "Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."

We read of how the Spirit of God can affect the thinking and abilities of a man in Ex.35:31, "And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;." We read of these attributes of the Spirit in Is.11:2, "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;." The word "spirit" here used is from the same original word "ruwach" as is used in the "Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" of Gen.1:2. The King James Version of the Bible (KJV) sometimes capitalizes Spirit and sometimes does not, even though the original word is the same.

The Spirit of God can come upon a person and cause him to prophesy as we read in I Sam.10:10, "And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them." The Spirit of God can cause groups of people to prophesy, "And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease." Num.11:25. There will be a time when the God will pour out his spirit upon all people as is foretold in Joel 2:28, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:." The Spirit of the LORD spoke through David in the Psalms as David clearly explained in II Sam.23:1-2, "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue."

In the New Testament the receiving of the Spirit of God could at times be associated with baptism as said by Peter, in Acts.2:38, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." We read of other times in the New Testament where a person or a group of people were filled with the Holy Ghost and the effect thereby as in Luke 1:67, "And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, - ," and in Acts 2:4, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.," and also in Acts 4:31, "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

How being filled with the Spirit of God can affect a person is told us in Eph.5:18-19, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;."

It is possible to be filled with the Holy Ghost even from birth as it was for John the Baptist as was foretold in Luke 1:13,15, "Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. - For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb."

The sincere Christian can rely on the Holy Ghost to provide him with the words to answer when called in question by earthly powers, "And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." Luke 12:11-12.

The Holy Ghost is sometimes referred to as the Comforter as Jesus did in John 14:26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Notice that the pronoun "he" is used in referring to the "Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost." This might tend to indicate the Holy Ghost is a separate entity from God the Father. The KJV (King James Version, as well as the other versions) translators took the liberty of using "he" although the meaning of the original word, which is "ekeinos," is "that one, or thing." Even the KJV in other places in the New Testament will translate "ekeinos" as "those, them or that." The Comforter is again mentioned a chapter later in John 15:26, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:." The KJV again translates "ekeinos" as "he" as noted.

Another verse that takes great liberty in translating words referring to the Comforter (here defined as the Spirit of truth) as "he" or "him" is John 14:16-17, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." The three uses of the word "him" are each from the original word "autos" and means "himself, herself, themselves, itself, he, she, it." The phrase "he may abide" is from the one original word "eimi" and means "to be, to exist, to happen, to be present" without any indication as to who or what is so. In a similar way the phrase "he dwelleth" is from the one original word "meno" and means "to remain, abide" and again without any indication as to who or what is so.

We read previously in Luke 12:12, "For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." The Spirit acts in a somewhat similar way by interceding for us in our prayers when we cannot express with words the feelings within us, as is told us in Rom.8:26, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Blaspheming the Holy Ghost is in effect blasphemy against the Almighty God and the seriousness of this is told us in Mat.12:31-32, "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." This is often referred to as "the unforgivable sin" and a discussion of this subject is beyond the intent of this writing; however for those interested in the subject, they can also refer to Heb.6:4-6;10:26-39 and II Peter 2:20-21.

The futility of finding out and fully understanding God is told us in Rom.11:33, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" This fact is again told us in Job 11:7, "Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?"

The name that is used for God, especially as used in the Old Testament, can lead to some confusion. Previously we read in Gen.1:1 that creation is attributed to "God." This word is translated from "elohiym" (el-o-heem) and is almost always translated to mean "the one true God." In a few places it is translated to mean "other gods" and in at least one instance it is translated to mean "the judge." However, the word translated LORD (and capitalized thus as used in the KJV) is from the original word "Yehovah" and is defined by Bible dictionaries to mean "Jehovah (Yahweh) the existing One; the proper name of the one true God." There are a number of instances where the two forms are used together as in Gen.2:7, "And the LORD God ( Yehovah Elohiym) formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The American Standard Version of the Bible translates the original word "Yehovah" as "Jehovah" throughout the entire Old Testament instead of "LORD" as is done by the King James Version.. Even the KJV is forced to use what is closer to the original word in Ex.6:3, "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH (Yehovah) was I not known to them." It does again in Ps.83:18, "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH (Yehovah), art the most high over all the earth." Yet, although in a similar statement in Is.42:8, the word is still translated LORD, "I am the LORD (Yehovah): that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images."

There is another original word for the true God which is "Yahh" (pronounced "yaw") which is a contraction of the word "Yehovah" but is still almost always translated "LORD" in the KJV. One exception is in Ps.68:4, "Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH (Yahh), and rejoice before him."

'There is another word or expression used that might seem to, but does not come from an original word used for the true God, the use of which we read in Ex.3:14, "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." However, the original word for "I AM" as used in this verse is "hayah" which means simply "to be, to become, to come to pass, to exist, to happen" and is similar to the way we would define the expression "I am" in our language today. God used this simple expression to identify himself as the true God to the children of Israel through Moses, but is not an expression that in itself indicates deity.

Using the knowledge gained in the previous paragraphs and knowing that the King James Version of the Bible (as well as most all other versions) uses the capitalized word LORD to translate "Yehovah" which is now more usually referred to as "JEHOVAH", we will expand on the number of verses that show that there is but one God and that is "JEHOVAH" (LORD.) "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:." Deut.6:4. "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else." Deut.4:39. "For the LORD shall judge his people - See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me:." Deut.32:36,39. "Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD, even thou only." Is.37:20. "But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation." Jer.10:10.

There is a variation of the original word "Yehovah" (yeh-ho-vaw') and that is "Yehovih" (yeh-ho-vee') which has the same meaning and is also usually translated "LORD." However, in a few books, specially in Ezekiel and Amos it is translated "GOD" (capitalized) when it is used with the original word "Adonay" (which means "Lord") as a prefix to "Yehovih" which results in "Lord GOD" (otherwise it would result in the awkward "Lord LORD.")

In the New Testament the original word "theos" almost always refers to "God the Father" but is not as definite as is the O.T. word "Yehovah" that always refers to the one true God, JEHOVAH. In the N.T. "theos" has a few exceptions, although it almost always refers to the one true God. In the following verses "theos" is translated "God" and is used to show there is only one true God as does "Yehovah" in the Old Testament. " - and that there is none other God but one." I Cor.8:4. "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." I Cor.8:6. "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Eph.4:6. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;." I Tim.2:5.

Two exceptions to the use of "theos" when it is not used to mean "the one true God" is when it is used to mean quite the opposite, as in this one instance to describe the devil in II Cor.4:4, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not," and also in its use in referring to the goddess Diana in Acts 19:37, "For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess." It must be emphasized that these are rare exceptions and that the word "theos" is almost exclusively used to refer to "God the Father."

 

CHAPTER FOUR - WHO IS JESUS? - - - - Click to *Return

From a physical, human viewpoint, if we were to make a study of the person of Jesus, we would find him to be a typical human being with the characteristics of a human body as he was accepted to be by the majority of those around him; specially in his preadult and early manhood years. In his later years when he was beginning to be accepted as the promised Christ, we read of the reaction of those who knew him as a youth, "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?" Mat.13:55-56. Their surprise at the sayings of Jesus is revealed in John 6:42, "And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?"

To say that Jesus began his earthly life just as any other person did, would be a great misstatement. Although his mother Mary was an earthly woman, the Father of Jesus was God himself. We are told how the husband of Mary, Joseph, was informed in a dream, "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Mat.1:20. That Jesus would be a person and a descendant from David we are told in Rom.1:3, "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;." That as any human being Jesus would be susceptible to physical injury and even death is proven to us as he was being crucified as told in John 19:33-34, "But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."

Jesus had all the feelings of any human being and was tempted to sin as are all humans, yet Jesus never yielded to temptation as we learn in Heb.4:15, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." We are again told in other verses that Jesus was without sin, "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin." I John 3:5 and also in I Pet.2:22, "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:," and again in II Cor.5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

Early in his ministry it was suspected by some that Jesus was the promised Messiah as is told in John 1:45, "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

Although not realized by the people of his day, Jesus was to play a very vital role in the plan of God for mankind. God had decreed, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezek.18:20, and it is not possible that a person can make payment for his sins by dying and yet remain alive. However by having a perfectly innocent, sin free person die voluntarily in the stead of mankind, it became possible for God to give mankind a new life, one that would be eternal. Jesus was chosen by God to be that person and Jesus accepted the role of being the Savior of mankind from the effects of the sins of mankind.

Jesus was sent by God and came from God as Jesus clearly said in John 8:42, "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me." Being sent from God, Jesus was commanded by God to only speak those things that God had instructed him to speak, "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." John 12:49. With Jesus being filled entirely with the Spirit of God, and with the firm resolve of Jesus to do the will of God as he was commanded to do, the actions and words of Jesus are as if God himself were present in the body of Jesus. Verses that attest to this are, "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." John 3:34, and "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." John 6:38, and "But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do." John 14:31, and "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." John 4:34. Jesus assured his followers that they would eventually understand that the Father was always with Jesus and that he did nothing of himself but only that which the Father told him, "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." John 8:28-29.

Jesus was careful to make it known that what he said and did was not of his own doing but that of the Father's as he boldly announced in John 5:30, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.," and again in John 5:19, "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."

God had foretold this to Moses in Deut.18:18, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."

There is a common misconception that Jesus died so that it might be possible for us to be forgiven of our sins, but there is more to it than that. There was already forgiveness of sins in the Old Testament through sacrifices for those sins. David was forgiven the sins of adultery and murder, but he was not pardoned from the punishment for those sins, and therein lies the clue that reveals the full reason for the death of Jesus "for our sins."

It is not just the forgiveness of sins that we receive through the death of Jesus but a pardon from the eternal death that would result from those sins. This is stated in Col.1:14, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:," and again in I John 2:25, "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life." There are a number of times when Jesus forgave sins to people before his crucifixion which would not have been possible if his prior death was required for "the forgiveness of sins."

Jesus gave his life for the sake of mankind and that information is given to us in many verses in the Bible. We read in Heb.2:9, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Again we read in Gal.1:4, "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:," and again in Heb.10:10, "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." A more detailed summary is given in the book of Philippians, "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:." Philip.2:7-9.

More verses that tell of Jesus giving his life for mankind are, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Mark 10:45, and, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." I Tim.2:5-6. The suffering of Jesus in the stead of mankind was foretold in Is.53:5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Verses that speak more of Jesus as a savior are as just prior to his birth, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Mat.1:21. The title of Saviour is used in a number of verses as in Luke 2:11, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.," and in I John 4:14, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.," and again in Acts 5:31, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."

In the Old Testament the blood of animals was offered in sacrifice to God, but Jesus offered his own blood as a sacrifice for us as Peter describes in I Pet.1:18-20, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,." The blood sacrifice of Jesus is mentioned again in I John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

It was already foretold in the Old Testament by Isaiah that God would be pleased with the one he would elect to be his servant on whom he would put his Spirit, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." Is.42:1. We read of the fulfillment of this prophecy that took place immediately after Jesus was baptized, "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." Luke 3:22. Although many people were given a measure of the Holy Spirit when they were baptized and even to the extent it is said they were "filled with the Holy Ghost," Jesus was given the Holy Ghost without measure, "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." John 3:34. We read about Jesus using the Holy Spirit in his ministry, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." Mat.12:28. We read of a reference to God giving Jesus the Holy Ghost in Acts 2:33, "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."

It is observed in Acts 10:37-38, " - after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Having received the Holy Ghost and the power thereof, we read what Jesus says in Mat.28:18, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."

The association of "the anointing of Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power" and the power of the "word of God" is of great importance. The first three verses of the first chapter of the book of Hebrews refers to a number of important subjects, one of which refers to "upholding all things by the word of his power." We read, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;." Heb.1:1-3.

The words "by the word of his power" contain much more meaning than the casual reader might imagine. God created the worlds from absolutely nothing and by just simply speaking the "word." We read in Heb.11:3, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." In a similar way we are told in Ps.33:6, "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." At the very beginning of the Bible we learn of this awesome power of God whereby he spoke and creation happened. In Gen.1:3-20 we repeatedly read, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. - And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, - And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together - And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, - And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven - And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature - ."

Though many refuse to believe this infinite power of God, it is this same power of the word of God that keeps the worlds preserved and on course in the universe as is told us in II Pet.3:5-7, "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."

The expression the word of God is used often in the Bible and can refer to scripture, or a message, or to the power of God, as it is used in the expression "by the word of his power." Consider also Heb.6:5, "And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, - ."

It is difficult or impossible for the human mind to comprehend this awesome power of God that is a part of God, or with God, or that is actually God himself. John 1:1 states it clearly, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Again considering the phrase of Heb.1:3, upholding all things by the word of his (God's) power and the other verses referred to previously that associate Jesus with the Holy Ghost and this power of God, we can now more readily understand the next verse that follows John 1:1 that says, "The same was in the beginning with God." John 1:2. This verse, although what is at first, that which seems to be a redundant verse that only repeats what was said in the first verse, now takes on a new meaning when we learn that this same is definitely Jesus as he is clearly described in the next three verses that follow this second verse.

It is clear that Jesus is the same of John 1:2 as the word, that is, the power of God of John 1:1. We can now determine this from other Bible verses that indicate just when it was that Jesus became this "Word of God" or "power of God." Although we read of very little about Jesus during the first thirty years of his life and nothing that pertains to any great power that he had during that time, there was a dramatic change after the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Immediately after Jesus was baptized, we read in Mat.3:16-17, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

The extent to which Jesus received the Spirit of God we referred to previously and is indicated to be without limit, as we read in John 3:34-35, "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." Where we read the heavens were opened unto him could easily mean what Jesus referred to when he said All power is given unto me. This would be in keeping with what was said about Jesus in regard to his baptism in Acts 10:37-38, "That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

For the first time, a limitless measure of the Holy Ghost and the power of God, which was called the Word of God, now rested on a visible, living, human being we recognize as Jesus. Now John 1:14 becomes a reality as we read, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." This would also make it easy to understand why, after the baptism of Jesus and from that point on, we see Jesus as the powerful Son of God, performing miracles, preaching and teaching with great authority as God empowered him to do.

God's awesome power called the Word in John 1:1 and Jesus in John 1:2 unite at the baptism of Jesus in John 1:14 when the Word becomes flesh and thereafter Jesus is rightly called the Word of God!

Today Jesus is "set down at the right hand of the throne of God" Heb.12:2, until that time that is spoken of, "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Mat.26:64, "and his name is called The Word of God." Rev.19:13.

This power of Jesus, the Word of God, will be recognized throughout the earth when the following two verses are fulfilled, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth." Micah 5:2,4 and also, "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Dan.7:13-14.

Tradition has attempted to ascribe the use of "word" as it is used in John 1:1 to mean "Jesus" as translated from the original Greek word "logos." However, the Greek "logos" occurs over 300 times in the New Testament and most always is translated correctly from its original meaning which is "something said including the thought, such as word, sayings, of speech etc." II Pet.3:5 links the speaking of God with the power of God as used during creation when it says, " - that by the word ("logos") of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:." Other associations of the word ("logos") with the power of God is as it is used in Heb.4:12, "For the word ("logos") of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, - " and in Mat.8:16, " - they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word ("logos"), and healed all that were sick:." Refer also to the many example verses used previously where "word" is used as the power of God.

Some typical examples of how the Greek word "logos" is used hundreds of times in the New Testament, in its more pure form of meaning words related to speech, is found in Mat.12:37 where Jesus is speaking to men, "For by thy words ("logos") thou shalt be justified, and by thy words ("logos") thou shalt be condemned." and in John 21:23, "Then went this saying ("logos") abroad among the brethren, - ." and in Acts 11:22, "Then tidings ("logos") of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem:" and again in Mat.7:28, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings ("logos"), the people were astonished at his doctrine:." and also in John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words ("logos"): and my Father will love him, - ."

There are two very small words that probably go unnoticed by most Bible students and they are the words "of" and "by" when referring to God and Jesus. Although they may seem insignificant, they take on great importance when identifying and describing God and Jesus. We read in I Cor.8:6, "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." We are told numerous times in verses that all things are of God but by Jesus Christ, "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;." II Cor.5:18. Again we read in Acts 2:22, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:."

Some other verses that use the "of" and "by" relationship are, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." I Pet.5:10 and "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;." I Cor.1:4. Many of the acts of God are brought to fruition by Jesus. We read in the first chapter of Hebrews, "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;." Heb.1:2.

We know that God created the world but we are reminded a number of times that he did so by Jesus Christ, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:." Eph.3:9. How complete in its entirety was the work of Jesus is told us in John 1:3, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." A more detailed account of these "all things" is given us in Col.1:16-17, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."

It is interesting to note that all things were created by him, and for him. Not only did God create all things "by" Jesus but they were also created "for" Jesus. We are told this again in Heb.2:10, "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." This may give us insight into the confusing verse, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb.12:2. Some have claimed that it gave Jesus great joy to die for mankind, and it certainly is true that Jesus must have received much satisfaction to be the one chosen by God to be the Savior of the world. However, the agony of the cross can hardly be looked upon as anything very joyful. Other words in this verse may reveal the answer we are looking for and those are "that was set before him" and "set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

The reward given to Jesus by God is explained somewhat in Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. A further description of the reward given to Jesus by God is in Philip.2:9-10, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;." The highest honor that could be bestowed upon Jesus is for him to be honored equally with the Father. This is commanded in John 5:23, "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him." We are told where Jesus placed the most value on the honor that he was given by his Father, "Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:." John 8:54. This honor from God to Jesus was also clearly shown in II Pet.1:17, "For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

For Jesus, the joy "that was set before him" also included being "set down at the right hand of the throne of God." There are a number of verses that refer to this honor bestowed upon Jesus by God the Father. When Jesus ascended back into heaven we are told, "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God." Mark 16:19, and again in Eph.1:20, "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,." It is not only this position of Jesus relative to the Father, but the authority that Jesus was also given as we read in I Pet.3:22, "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." There is evidence of the further reward that Jesus will be given in the future, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." Heb.10:12-13.

A more complete description of the reward given to Jesus is shown us in the prophecy given to Daniel of the kingdom to be given to Jesus, "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Dan.7:13-14. Also there is the verse we referred to previously but at that time the emphasis was on being "a Saviour" but now note what is also said, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Acts 5:31. This is even more clearly defined in I Tim.6:14-15, "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;." In the book that shows us the future, the book of Revelation, we read in the first chapter, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth." Rev.1:5, and more emphatically we read, "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." Rev.17:14.

Jesus himself hinted of his coming kingdom when he was before Pilate in John 18:37, "Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." This can all be summed up in one verse, "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever." Rom.11:36.

By Jesus dying for the redemption of mankind, the path to God for mankind was reopened through Jesus. This is stated in I Pet.3:18, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:." Jesus stated this in John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." By the death of Jesus for mankind, Jesus is now empowered to intercede for mankind, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Heb.7:25. We read this again in Rom 8:34, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." One who intercedes for a person can also be known as a mediator between the two parties involved. Jesus is that mediator between man and God, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;." I Tim.2:5. Jesus is that third being who is the mediator between the first being who is God and the second being who is man. The Bible defines this in Gal.3:20, "Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one." Jesus is in a position to be a mediator between God and man because, although he does not sit directly on the throne of God, he does now sit at the right hand of the throne of God.

Although there are a number of times of which we read in the Old as well as in the New Testament where persons that have died have been brought back to life, Jesus is the first person to be truly resurrected to a life without end. Those who were brought back to life eventually died a normal death. That Christ was the first to rise from the dead and become the firstfruits of those who had died is told us in Acts 26:23, "That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.," and in I Cor.15:20, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." The book of Revelation gives us more of a description of Jesus, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,." Rev.1:5. More information is given us in Col 1:18, "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." We are reminded that it was God who raised Jesus from the dead as is stated in Acts 13:30, "But God raised him from the dead:," and also in Acts 3:15, "And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."

A popular thought that is heard today, even among conservative theologians, is that the "angel of the LORD" of the Old Testament is actually Jesus. The book of Revelation indicates there are millions of angels and it is questionable whether every time an "angel of the LORD" is mentioned in the Old Testament it is referring to Jesus. However, the concept that Jesus is or has appeared as an angel can be shown a number of times in the Bible, specially if related verses are linked together. We will use the name "Jesus" to identify him even before his appearance on this earth even though he did not receive the name of Jesus until at the time of his birth.

There is a convincing indication that the "angel" that God chose to lead the Israelites through the wilderness was Jesus. When Moses led the Israelites on their way to the promised land, there was much dissatisfaction and rebellion among the people against God. When God threatened to destroy all the people, Moses intervened and pleaded for the people. God relented and told Moses in Ex.33:2-3, "And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way."

There are a number of Bible verses from the Old Testament that identify this angel that God sent to lead the Israelites in the wilderness. God told Moses in Ex.23:20-23, "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. - For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites,." Isaiah had foretold that the name of God would be in Jesus, as was just referred to by "my name is in him," when Isaiah said, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Is.9:6.

Considering the statements God made about "mine Angel" and "I send an Angel" and "my name is in him," there are two verses that now become more understandable, "In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old." Is.63:9, "And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." Ex.33:14.

The verses in the New Testament that show us the identity of this Angel that led the Israelites under God’s command, are in I Cor.10:1-4, "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

Another set of verses that suggest Jesus as being the one that led the Israelites is in the expression "arm of the LORD" as used in the Old Testament, "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.- Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?" Is.51:9-10. This is a clear picture of the Israelites, ransomed by God from Egypt, passing through the Red Sea, and led by the arm of the LORD.

The identity of the "arm of the LORD" is indicated later in the same book, that of Isaiah, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? - Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Is.53:1,12; an obvious reference to the Savior Jesus Christ.

The further proof of this is shown in the book of John in the New Testament when John is speaking of Jesus and refers back to this Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah, "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? - These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him." John 12:37-38,41. Therefore John identifies Jesus as the arm of the LORD and Isaiah identifies the arm of the LORD as the one that led the Israelites in the wilderness.

Jesus is also seen as an angel in the last book of the Bible. In the book of Revelation, John sees a "mighty angel" that is quite clearly the one that is Jesus. We read in Rev.10:1-3, "And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices." When comparing these descriptions of the "mighty angel" with other descriptions given in the book of Revelation of one who is obviously Jesus, it becomes readily apparent that this "mighty angel" that John sees is Jesus. There are other sets of verses in the book of Revelation that also link Jesus to his appearance as an angel.

There are verses that indicate Michael the archangel was the angel that led the Israelites when God said he would send his angel to lead the people.

God showed Moses the promised land from mount Nebo and Moses then died in the mount. We read in Deut.34:5-6, "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."

If the Israelites had known where Moses was buried, they probably would have sought to worship his grave or his body. The Devil would have been pleased to keep the body of Moses in their presence so that the worship of Moses would detract from the worship of God. The Israelites had a history of worshipping an object that had been given unusual powers. When the Israelites were being bitten by serpents, God instructed Moses to make a serpent of brass for those bitten to look upon and they would be healed, "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Num.21:9. Hundreds of years later, the Israelites were still using that serpent of brass as an object of worship. King Hezekiah, in his quest to restore true worship to the Israelites, did as we read in II Kings 18:4, "He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan."

God had buried Moses where "no man knoweth of his sepulchre" and we read of the dispute between Michael and the devil over the body of Moses, "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." Jude 1:9. Michael the archangel prevented the devil from revealing the location of the body of Moses to the Israelites. Therefore, Michael was obviously present during this time of the death of Moses and could very well have been the angel that had been appointed by God to lead the Israelites.

The word "archangel" which is from the Greek "archaggelos" can take on the meaning of "the very highest angel" or "one of the highest forms of angels" depending on which dictionary and definition is used.

One Greek dictionary defines it as "a chief angel" while another as "archangel, or chief of the angels." The Greek "archaggelos" is combined from two Greek words, "archo" which is a primary verb; to be first (in political rank or power) and "aggelos" a messenger, an envoy, one who was sent, an angel, a messenger from God.

In the book of Daniel, Michael is mentioned and referred to as a prince, and possibly as the very highest chief of the princes, which in the context of that book is referring to the angels. We read in Dan.10:21, "But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." Again in Dan.10:13 we read, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me;."

We read of Michael and of his work and identity further in the book of Revelation, "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Rev.12:7-9. Michael the archangel, being the highest angel, would be in authority over many angels.

We read of a time to be soon after the time mentioned in the previous verse, and the events that will follow, "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Dan.12:1-2. One cannot ignore the strong parallel between Michael the Archangel and Jesus the Son of God.

This previous verse very much sounds like Jesus the prince, appearing in the clouds and coming for his church as he is identified in Rev.1:5, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth." We have read before how God appointed Jesus to this position, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, - ." Acts 5:31.

The verse that links the previous discussion and verse references together is in I Thess.4:16, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:."

It is interesting to note that the word "archangel" occurs only twice in the entire Bible. The one time is in the Jude 1:9 verse where the archangel is identified as Michael. The second time is in this I Thess.4:16 verse where Jesus comes with the voice of the archangel.

We read of angels from the earliest times mentioned in the Bible. The Bible indicates that the angels were created before the heavens and earth. In the book of Job we read of God speaking to Job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Job 38:4,7. In the Old Testament the expression "sons of God" is only mentioned in the book of Genesis and in the book of Job. In the book of Genesis (Gen.6:2-4), many churches believe the expression refers to angels. In the book of Job the expression "sons of God" is more obvious when we read in Job 1:6, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." This would indicate the "sons of God" in this verse were angels, specially when we consider that Satan, a fallen angel, was among them.

The question then is that if the angels were present at creation, how did they begin to exist? The answer is given us in Ps.148:2-5, "Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created." Also, in speaking of the angel, called the "anointed cherub," in Ezekiel 28, who we better know now as Satan, we read in Ezek.28:13-15, "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, - the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."

Therefore, with the angels being created before the earth and mankind, and with Jesus being referred to as the "angel of the Lord," a question arises as to whether Jesus was created as were the other angels. This may be answered when Jesus is again referred to as the "faithful and true witness" in Rev.3:14, "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;." This identity of Jesus is from Rev.1:5, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth." This may also be the reason for what is said in the verse from Heb.13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Although "for ever" refers to an infinite future period of time, "yesterday" refers to a finite period of time and not "from eternity."

The angels now are all subject unto Jesus as we read in I Pet 3:21-22, " - by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." The angels are commanded to worship Jesus as we read in Heb.1:6, "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." It is interesting to note that in the first chapter of Hebrews, half the verses compare Jesus with the angels and in the 9th verse we read, "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Heb.1:9

In the previous study of God the Father it was shown that almost without exception in the New Testament the original Greek word translated "God" is "theos" and refers to God the Father. In a like manner the original word "kurios" (koo'-ree-os) which means "supreme in authority" is almost without exception translated "Lord" and refers to Jesus Christ. There are a few rare exceptions when "kurios" is used for a person who is a lord (kurios) or a master (kurios) over his servants.

At times we read verses in the New Testament where "theos" and "kurios" are used in the same verse when referring to God and Jesus. We read in I Cor.8:6, "But to us there is but one God (theos), the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord (kurios) Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.," and again in Philip.2:11, "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (kurios), to the glory of God (theos) the Father."

There is a greeting that begins many of the epistles of the New Testament and is almost the same in each book as it speaks of God the Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ. A typical example is I Cor.1:3, "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God (theos) our Father, and from the Lord (kurios) Jesus Christ." Almost identical greetings are found in Rom.1:7, II Cor.1:2, Eph.1:2, Philip.1:2, Col.1:2, I Thess.1:1, II Thess.1:2, I Tim.1:2, II Tim.1:2, Titus 1:4, and II John 1:3-4.

Verses that speak of God not only being the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ but also the God of our Lord Jesus Christ are I Pet.1:3, "Blessed be the God (theos) and Father of our Lord (kurios) Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," and II Cor.11:31, "The God (theos) and Father of our Lord (kurios) Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not." This should not be surprising because Jesus made this very clear when he told Mary Magdalene after his death and resurrection for the salvation of mankind, "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." John 20:17.

There are three verses in the New Testament that define Jesus and are of critical importance in understanding the relationship between Jesus and God and they are, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:" Col.1:15, and, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" Heb.1:3, and also, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." II Cor.4:4. These verses will be discussed extensively in the next portion of this writing.

 

CHAPTER FIVE - THE KEY TO MYSTERY! - - - - Click to *Return

When a problem is encountered in life, be it in business, in family relations, in a repair attempt, or even in something as simple as a puzzle, there are usually a few key elements that, when discovered, lead to a rapid solution of the problem. A jigsaw puzzle may be worked on with sections of the puzzle being completed, but not until one or a few key pieces are discovered is the puzzle rapidly completed and the final picture realized.

In much the same way a study of the Bible can lead to an understanding of sections that seem to be readily understood but may seem to be in conflict with other sections of the Bible. As in assembling a puzzle, a section may at first appear to be something quite different from what it is when the puzzle is completed. So it is in studying the Bible, specially when there are sections that we have accepted as being understood a certain way over the centuries and the effort is made to conform any new material to accepted doctrines.

The relationship between God and Jesus has been assumed to be understood by Christians for centuries. When studying the Bible with this assumed understanding, many questions surface in a Bible class that can only be attempted to be explained by using excuses for the apparent contradictions of what Jesus has said and what theologians have claimed. Answers are offered that have been formed by spiritualizing or symbolizing verses, or as a last resort, by simply saying, "That is something we cannot understand." Yet the Bible tells us, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." I Cor.14:33.

There are three KEY verses that introduce us to the true relationship of God to Jesus. We are told in a multitude of verses that Jesus is the Son of God and it is certainly not necessary to repeat any of those verses. The problem arises when there is an attempt made to prove that Jesus himself is God.

The three verses that explain Jesus are found in II Cor.4:4, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.," and Heb.1:3, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;," and Col.1:15, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:."

Jesus is the "image" of God. This is the KEY that unlocks the truth to understanding God and Jesus.

When a person looks in a mirror he will see an exact image of himself, but the image in the mirror is not he himself, but an image of himself. In a similar way Jesus is an exact image of the Almighty God but Jesus is not God himself, but the image of God. Jesus never claimed to be God.

Jesus is exactly the same as God being present with us but in bodily form (Col.2:9)*. It is as if Jesus, after becoming a man, gave up his own personality and will, and took on the exact image of the person of God (Heb.1:3)* and in that sense was in the form of God (Philip.2:5-6)* with all the power (Mat.28:18)* and all the Spirit (John 3:34)* of God . This totally unique relationship is suggested in a number of verses, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, - ." I Tim.3:16, and "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;" Col.1:19, and "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, - ." II Cor.5:19.

*The verses referred to in the previous paragraph and in parentheses are these (Col 2:9) "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." and (Heb.1:3) "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" and (Philip.2:5-6) "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:" and (Mat.28:18) "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." and (John 3:34) "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."

The power of God and the Spirit of God are expressed through Jesus. We read in John 3:35, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." Jesus is fully aware of this as we determine from John 13:3, "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;."

An awareness of this relationship between God and Jesus will lead to a better and more full understanding of the Bible and a treasure of knowledge that will solve the mysteries involved in the often supposed contradictions found in the Bible. "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Col.2:2-3. This understanding will lead to a greater respect, honor, love and reverence for Jesus for what he has accomplished for us, is accomplishing now, and will accomplish for us in the future

Apparently God the Father Almighty, in his infinite wisdom, saw the need to have a direct contact with mankind in a way even more intimate than was possible in the way he did with Moses, "And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." Ex.33:11. This he accomplished through the person of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Not only was Jesus the means by which we were reconciled to God by his death on the cross, but Jesus is the very image of God so that any relationship or communication with Jesus is precisely as if it is directly with the Almighty God himself. Jesus truly became the "express image," that is the exact image of God. At the baptism of Jesus when the Spirit and power of God came upon Jesus, we experience a new and direct relationship of God with man, that of a visible image of God with mankind. We read in Acts 10:37-38, " - after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." From that moment onward, everything that Jesus said or did was exactly the same as if God himself was speaking or acting. Jesus clearly explained this in John 14:10, "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."

Through the works that the Father did through him, Jesus desired that the people would recognize God the Father in the actions of himself and would realize the indwelling of the Father in the Son as he requested in John 10:38, " - though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him." This closeness of the Father in the Son in revealed again in John 12:44-45, "Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me." This seeing the Father in Jesus was proven when Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father and we read, "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" John 14:9. With the Father being in the Son, any honor given to the Son is also given to the Father, "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him." John 5:23. This closeness is shown also in I John 2:23, "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also."

In many verses, Jesus repeated this fact of the presence of God the Father being within him, and yet was careful to explain that it was God speaking and doing the works that Jesus did, and not Jesus himself. We read what Jesus explained in John 5:30, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.," and in John 5:19, "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.," and also in John 14:24, "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." The reason for Jesus being present here on earth was to fulfill the will of God as Jesus plainly said in Heb.10:9, "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.," and again in John 6:38, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.," and also in John 4:34, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." There are many verses that repeat this obedience of Jesus to the commands of the Father, "But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.," John 14:31, and in a similar verse, "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." John 12:49.

There is the indication that many of the people knew that God was working through Jesus when Jesus did miracles as is suggested in Acts 2:22, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:." This is further suggested in John 17:7, "Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee."

Jesus foretold that after his death on the cross the people would realize that he was sent from God and did only those things that were of God, "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." John 8:28-29.

Though Jesus had a very visible presence here on earth and was seen by thousands of people, yet the people were experiencing the very presence of the invisible God in the body of Jesus as the verse of Col.1:15 states, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:." The accuracy and truth of John 1:18 is maintained, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." Yet the separate persons of God the Father Almighty and Jesus the Son of God are noted by Jesus when he invited the disciples to believe in him, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." John 14:1. A condensed account of the life of Jesus while he was here on earth the first time and as the image of God is given in I Tim.3:16, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." With God being with us in the body of Jesus the verse of Mat.1:23 is more easy to understand, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

The mystery of Jesus as the Son of God and the reality of his atonement for mankind by his innocent death on the cross and also his functioning as the image of God is still not completely understood by most people, including many Christians. This mystery is alluded to in Rom.16:25-26, " - and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:." The indication is that only a select few will fully understand God the Father and Jesus the Son of God as Jesus himself stated in Mat.11:27, "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." Jesus did reveal much of this information to his own disciples as we read in Mat.13:11, "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given."

There is an often misunderstood verse and that is when Jesus was speaking of his relationship with the Father and said, "I and my Father are one." John 10:30. The desire is to read this as "I and my Father are one and the same." This is obviously not the intent of the words of Jesus as proven in the book of John a few chapters later when Jesus is praying to the Father and says, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." John 17:20-21. Jesus certainly was not praying that his disciples would be the same as he, the Son of God or the same as God the Father or that the relationship of the disciples with the Father and the Son would be the same as the close relationship of the Father and the Son. The relationship of the disciples with Jesus is referred to again in John 14:20, "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

Jesus never claimed to be God and even when addressed as "Good Master" he was quick to correct the one that called him such, " - there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." Mark 10:17-18. But to be called Master and Lord was agreeable to Jesus as he stated in John 13:13, "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am."

Earlier in this writing it was shown the reward that God gave Jesus for the atoning work of Jesus for mankind, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:36. By recognizing that Jesus was made to be Lord by God the Father, we are also thereby glorifying God the Father for doing so, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philip.2:9-11. The relationship of God to Jesus continues as we read in Mat.16:27 of when Jesus returns to this earth, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."

Much earlier in this writing it was noted in the Old Testament that the one God known as Jehovah and translated LORD (capitalized) in the KJV is the only true God. Now we learn that God (Jehovah) has made Jesus to be Lord. The word God in the New Testament is from "theos" as was discussed previously, and the word Lord is from "kurios."

There are many false gods, of course, and many false lords, but there is only one true God who is Jehovah the Father and there is only one true Lord who is Jesus Christ the Lord. This is clearly stated for us in I Cor.8:5-6, "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." This is referred to again in Eph.4:4-6, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." When Jesus prayed to God the Father in the seventeenth chapter of John, it was from his prayer that people could know the Father as the only true God and would accept himself Jesus as the Christ, the one sent from God, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:3.

The apostles were fully aware of the distinction between God and Jesus as revealed often in the greetings of their writings. Paul greets Timothy with this distinction, "To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." II Tim.1:2. John uses a similar greeting, "Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." II John 1:3. In both verses, "God" is from the Greek "theos" and "Lord" is from the Greek "kurios" as it is almost without exception in the New Testament. Apparently even "doubting Thomas" was aware of this distinction between God and Jesus as he exclaimed in a similar way, "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord (kurios) and my God (theos)." John 20:28.

Is it incorrect therefore to call Jesus "God" or even to call him "the Father" considering that Jesus is the image of God the Father? That this would be done was foretold already in the Old Testament in Is.9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Since Jesus is the exact image of God (Heb.1:3) and God the Father is in Jesus (John 14:10), it would be entirely appropriate to address the exact image of God by any name we would address God himself because, in effect, we are addressing God the Father as he is in Jesus.

With all the wonderful works of Jesus for mankind including his suffering and death, and realizing how God the Father has highly exalted Jesus to a position at the right hand of the throne of God the Father Almighty, we must not forget that God the Father is still supreme and he alone is the only true God. Jesus has had all things put in subjection under him by God the Father as we read what God has done for Jesus in Eph.1:19-23, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Yet the Bible is careful to point out that although when Jesus has had all things subdued unto him, this does not include God the Father which gave Jesus his power, because God is still supreme, "For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." I Cor.15:27-28. We are reminded again that God is over Jesus in I Cor.11:3, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." This is suggested again in I Tim.2:5 but we are also told of the vital role that Jesus plays for us in our stead, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;."

Should the foregoing discussion lead us to hold Jesus with less esteem than we did previously? Quite the opposite; by now knowing that Jesus was exposed to the same human feelings, temptations, pain and agony that are similar to what any person could be exposed to, we should have an even greater admiration and respect for, and want to honor and worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The great difference between what mankind might have to endure and what Jesus experienced is in the magnitude of the mental anguish and excruciating pain that Jesus endured.

Jesus didn't have to complete the work that he willingly came to do. He could have "backed out." In the midst of the mental anguish of realizing what was in store for him, Jesus prays to the Father, "Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:." Jesus was praying for any possibly easier way to accomplish his mission; but without flinching, he adds, "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Mat.26:39. We cannot imagine, as sinful mortals, the intense feeling of injustice of having to suffer such humiliation and anguish for the wickedness of others. But Jesus did so, and did it willingly. Jesus was completely committed to doing the will of God the Father. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philip.2:8.

Once we understand the true relationship between God the Father, and Jesus who is the exact image of and Son of God the Father, the many verses of the Bible that were so very difficult before to understand, now add a new dimension of excitement to the never ending search for the complete truth of the Bible.

In light of what has been revealed in this last section which we have called the "Key," this would be a good time to go back to the section on "Contradictions." You may find that in light of what we have just discussed, that all the confusion that may have been provoked then will now quickly disappear.

It is unlikely that the reader of this writing will readily accept what may seem like a new concept of the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father. Any person that could so quickly lay aside a previous doctrine that he has been taught from youth, might be suspected of being too easily swayed by anything new that is suggested. It might be wise to read this writing again but now only reading those words that are in italicized type, knowing that these words are the word of God as found in the Bible.

If the reader of this writing will keep the verses and thoughts of this writing in mind whenever reading the Bible, he will find so very many of the verses in the Bible that were heretofore very confusing, now to be clear in understanding because he now has the "Key" to solving the mystery which Paul spoke of, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Eph.3:9-11.

 

"At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." Mat.11:25-27

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