Who Art Thou Lord?
By T.J. Lighterness
Ann arrived at my London hotel three-quarters of an hour before Peter was due. We exchanged family news and then Ann said to me:
“I have a problem in my prayer life. I don’t know whether you have it, too, but I find I pray to Jesus, then I feel I should pray to the Father and then the Holy Spirit and I get all confused.”
I spent the next half an hour or so explaining why I did not have that problem.
Then Peter arrived and the three of us spent a delightful evening of fellowship together – but on a completely different tack from my discussions with Ann.
It was about eleven o’clock when we walked to a Swiss restaurant in Piccadilly for a snack. While we were waiting to be served Peter said:
“I find I have a problem in prayer. I start praying to Jesus, then I feel I should pray to the Father…”
Ann sat back and laughed. Peter looked rather hurt. Then Ann explained about our conversation earlier in the evening and said to me, “Tell him what you told me”. So I told Peter, too.
P.O. Box 69480,
Phone: 706-4017 Bryanston 2021,
Dear Ann and Peter,
When we discussed who Jesus really is that evening in London I said I would send you a few scriptures when I got back.
Look at what has happened! A whole book has emerged. As I went deeper into the scriptures I realised increasingly that the subject could not be dealt with superficially.
I suggest you read it through in a fairly leisurely way to get the complete picture first of all, then go through it slowly looking up the scriptures. Possibly some of the questions which will come to mind as you read the earlier chapters will be answered in the later ones so that if you do as I suggest you can go into your second reading without unanswered doubts nagging away in the back of your mind. Each chapter could form the basis of a bible-study group with some of your friends.
I have resisted all temptations to quote any authorities other than the scriptures. The reason for this is that many books have been written quoting early Church fathers, with a touch of magic to their ancient-sounding names, to prove a doctrine – baptism by immersion for example. Just as many have been written quoting equally magical names of early Christian teachers to prove the opposite doctrine – baptism by sprinkling in this case. So what is proven?
Does a tome quoting authorities from all periods of history who believed the world to be flat prove that the world is flat?
Christians believe that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine”.
God is absolute authority; His Word is absolute authority; so it is upon the authority of the Word and the Word alone that I have based this book.
I have quoted the scriptures so that you do not have to stop and look them up, but obviously there would be no point in quoting an entire passage (for example Exodus 4:1-15 in page one of Chapter Three) where only odd verses or phrases are relevant. I suggest that on your second reading you look up the entire passage in your Bible to satisfy yourself that the quotations are in context.
Delving deep into the Word is always a joy in itself. I hope the time I have spent is doubly rewarded by solving your problem and enriching your reading of the scriptures, too.
JEHOVAH IS BECOME MY JESUS
SEVEN HUNDRED years before Jesus was born Isaiah prophesied ‘unto us a child is born … His name shall be called … The Mighty God’.
When Jesus was on earth He Himself said “Before Abraham was I AM” and so took to Himself the Name of Jehovah-God. Thomas worshipped him as “My Lord and my God”.
Likewise after His death the apostles in their prayers as recorded in the book of Acts and in the teachings of the epistles declared Him to be God numerous times.
But if we are to see exactly who the scriptures reveal Jesus to be, let us plant a firm foundation under our feet and establish first of all the fact of His deity from the Word of God.
There are many themes we might take, some of which have been commented on by various writers on the subject, but one of the least known yet most blessed, revolves around the hidden name of Jesus in the Old Testament. Did you know that the name of Jesus is found numerous times in the Old Testament, often in the context of prophecies which the Lord Jesus quoted as referring to himself?
First we must go to the New Testament to pick up the clue.
In the final moments of his life Stephen accused Israel of slaying the prophets sent by God. In his speech there is a passage which, in the Authorized Version (King James Version), can be confusing on first reading. It is found in the book of Acts and runs
Acts 7:44, 45
Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.
Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;
Here we have a Jesus who lived after Moses, who went into the promised land which Israel occupied before ‘the days of David’! In the Revised Version and some other revisions you will find that ‘Joshua’ appears in place of ‘Jesus’. The context also shows clearly that this part of Stephen’s speech refers to the time in Israel’s history when Joshua led the nation into Canaan with the Tabernacle. So the ‘Jesus’ referred to is actually Joshua.
Hebrews 4:7-8 has a similar passage and there the Authorised Version has a note by ‘Jesus’ in the margin. It states simply, i.e. Joshua.
You are probably wondering what the explanation is for this Jesus – Joshua change in different versions of the scriptures. Well, the New Testament was written in Greek and Iesous, later Latinized as Jesus, is simply the Greek form of Joshua. A parallel in more recent times may be found in references to Joan of Arc in English history books. In fact there never was a girl called Joan of Arc; but France does boast
Jeanne d’Arc as one of its heroines. English writers naturally use the corresponding English name, Joan of Arc. In the same way the writers of the New Testament using Greek as their language referred to Isaiah as Esias, Judah as Judas and Joshua as Iesous or Jesus.
So these references in Acts and Hebrews have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus of Nazareth – except to provide a clue as to the derivation of His name. And this is the very point I want to take up – the derivation of the name of Jesus.
Names are of great significance in the scriptures as every Bible reader soon realizes. God often changed names on the happening of significant events. For example Abram and Sarai became Abraham and Sarah. Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor, became Paul after his conversion.
Joshua was given his name in a way which is described in some detail in the scriptures at the time he was sent forth into Canaan as one of the twelve spies of Israel. There is a very good reason for this detail as we will see.
We read in the book of Numbers chapters 13 and 14
13:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying Send thou men that they may search the land of Canaan …
13:8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun.
13:16 And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun, Jehoshua.
Oshea means Salvation and Moses said to Salvation, Your name must be more specific. It must be, Jehovah is Salvation – Jehovah Oshea, abbreviated to Jehoshua.
In the next chapter we read
14:6 And Joshua, the son of Nun … searched the land.
So Jehoshua is further shortened to Joshua. But, remember, it means Jehovah the Saviour, or Jehovah is Salvation – and as Jesus is the Greek/Latin form of Joshua, that is the meaning of the Name most precious to all who are saved by his grace – Jesus, Jehovah is Salvation.
Nearly a thousand years later this name appeared again in a slightly different form when Nehemiah wrote of ‘Jeshua, the son of Nun’ (Nehemiah 8:17). The phrase ‘the son of Nun’ (see Numbers 13:8 quoted above) and the context show that this is in fact the same Joshua. To be even more precise the word in Hebrew is Yeshua or Yeshuah, the final ‘h’ being optional. You may confirm this in the proper name section of a Young’s Analytical Concordance if you have one.
This is the name the angel would have used in addressing Joseph. He would not have said, Jesus, as it was later recorded in its Latinised Greek form in Matthew’s gospel. But he would have used the Aramaic “Thou shalt call his name Yeshuah: for he shall save’.
You may wonder why I am making so much of this point. But did you know that the Hebrew word translated Salvation numerous times in the Old Testament is actually – Yeshuah?
Yes, Jesus’ name as given by the angel to Joseph, Yeshuah, is found dozens of times in the Old Testament. This, too, you may check in any analytical concordance simply by looking up the word Salvation. You will see that the Hebrew is Yeshuah.
Yeshuah is used in some instances impersonally when it relates to God’s salvation or deliverance of Israel from her enemies. But when it is used personally it is clearly Yeshuah himself, Jesus. This is the case, too, with Yesha, a shortened form of Yeshuah, which is also translated Salvation.
In many cases Yeshuah and Yesha appear in Old Testament prophecies which the Lord Jesus quoted as relating to Himself. For example
Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed… Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation cometh; behold his reward is with him.
Salvation (Hebrew: Yesha) here is clearly a person for “his reward is with him”.
Jesus identifies Himself as this Salvation or Yesha of Isaiah’s prophecy when He says to the Apostle John
And behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me.
The marginal references in various Bibles link these two scriptures and there can be no denying that Jesus is relating this prophecy concerning Yesha with Himself.
Wonderful, isn’t it? And this is but one reference. A whole new and exciting aspect of the scriptures is opened to us by Jesus identifying Himself as the Yeshuah or Yesha of the Old Testament.Another passage in Isaiah which is enriched by Jesus’ revelation that he is Yesha or Salvation is
Isaiah 45:8 Revised Standard Version
Let the earth open, that salvation (Yesha) may sprout forth, and let it cause righteousness to spring up also.
When did “earth open … and salvation sprout forth” but when the angels said to the disciples of Jesus “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, he is risen”. This too was the time when righteousness sprang up, for Jesus was “made unto us righteousness”.
The earth brought forth salvation; the earth brought forth Yesha (Yeshuah); the earth brought forth Jesus – and righteousness sprang up! What priceless treasures lie hidden in the pages of the Old Testament.
Now let us look at some references to Yeshuah or Jesus in the Psalms:
Psalm 70:4 Let such as love thy Saluation say continually,Let God be magnified,
or Let such as love thy Yeshuah say continually,Let God be magnified,
or Let such as love thy Jesus say continually,Let God be magnified!
You cannot love salvation, as Yeshuah is translated in your Bible. You can experience it, appreciate it, rejoice in it – but not love it, for it is abstract. But you can love the Saviour, Yeshuah Jesus. Doesn’t that make this Psalm so much more blessed?
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him … With long life (Hebrew: length of days) will I satisfy him and shew him my Salvation (Hebrew: Yeshuah).
Simeon leaps to mind. Luke tells us in the second chapter of his gospel, verses 25 to 32, “There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and it was revealed to him that he should not see death (length of days) before he had seen the Lord’s Christ … and when the parents brought the child Jesus (Yeshuah) … he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, Lord now lettest thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy SALVATION.”
Simeon continued, “which thou hast prepared before the face of all people: A light to lighten (a) the gentiles, and the glory of (b) thy people Israel”.
Maybe he had Psalm 98 in mind, which is our next scripture
0 sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory. The Lord hath made known his Yeshuah: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of (a) the heathen. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth towards (b) the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the Yeshuah of our God.
The Lord hath made known his Yeshuah: his righteousness hath he openly shewed … His Yeshuah is his righteousness for in 1 Corinthians 1:30 Paul writes of “Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption.”
“All the ends of the earth have seen the Yeshuah of our God”-and John writes in Revelation 1:7 “Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him.”
In Psalm 118 Yeshuah appears three times, once in each of verses 14, 15 and 21.
Psalm 118:14, 15
The Lord is my strength and my song and is become my Yeshuah. The voice of rejoicing and Yeshuah is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted: The right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.
The first point that attracts our attention with our new-found truth is that Jehovah has become Yeshuah! We will go into that more fully when we consider Isaiah 12. Then we see that Yeshuah, or Salvation, has a voice and that it is heard in the tabernacle of the righteous. The church is God’s present-day tabernacle or dwelling place and its members are righteous through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Hebrews 2 tells us of Jesus “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee”.
Immediately after the declarations the psalmist goes on to extol the “right hand of the Lord”.
Jesus is undoubtedly the right hand of the Lord. Psalm 98:1-3 which we have just looked at makes that clear. Also Psalm 80:17 “Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself’. Who is this but Jesus? There are many other references in the Psalms and Isaiah which you can check.
Continuing in Psalm 118 we have another clear proof that this Yeshuah, translated Salvation, is in fact Jesus.
Psalm 118:21, 22
I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my Yeshuah. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
Matthew (21:33-46 esp. 42), Mark (12:1-12 esp 10) and Luke (20:918 esp. 17) all record the parable of the vineyard which is let out to certain men. The owner sends his servants to collect the rent, but they are murdered. He then sends his son and heir, who is similarly dealt with. But Jesus quotes the above scripture in relation to Himself, God’s son and heir. “Did you never read in the scriptures” he asks “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes?”
In the Old Testament Yeshuah is the corner (head) stone; in the New Testament the corner stone is Jesus; Yeshuah is Jesus. Clearly, once again, Jesus identifies himself as Yeshuah, the stone the builders were to refuse or reject.
Now that we have seen that Jesus has established by His own recorded words that He Himself is in fact the Yeshuah of the Old Testament we are in a position to savour to the full one of the richest chapters of the scriptures, the twelfth chapter of Isaiah. It is in this chapter that the deity of Yeshuah – Jesus stands out with absolute clarity:
Isaiah 12 was known as the Great Hallel (Praise) and was sung by the priest at the Feast of Tabernacles on the last day of the feast as he poured out water from the mountain stream.
Behold, God is my Yeshuah; I will trust and not be afraid:
How wonderful! God is my Salvation. God is my Yeshuah. God is my Jesus.
for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my Yeshuah.
What has the eternal God ever become? He is the great I AM. He said to Moses at the burning bush I AM THAT I AM. He is the eternal one. “I am the LORD and change not”. What he is he always has been – with one exception: He became man: He became Jesus.
Under the inspiration of the Spirit Isaiah says, The LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my Yeshuah – he also is become my Jesus. Jehovah has become Jesus!
But read on
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of Yeshuah.
This portion of scripture was sung every year on the last day of the feast – but one year it was different. John tells us about it. Remember, the LORD JEHOVAH is become Yeshuah and they are to draw water (to drink) from the wells of Yeshuah.
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus (Hebrew: Yeshuah) stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst let him come unto ME and drink.
Is he not identifying Himself as Salvation, as the Yeshuah of Isaiah 12? More, is He not saying, I am the LORD JEHOVAH? Isaiah prophesied, The LORD JEHOVAH is become my Yeshuah and the people are to drink from the wells of Yeshuah. Jesus says “come unto ME and drink”.
“Many people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ”. Why such a reaction? Because this young man named Yeshuah had identified Himself as Jehovah who had become their salvation.
Then there was ‘division among the people because of him’. But what does Isaiah say that they, the inhabitants of Zion, or Jerusalem, should have done when that scripture was fulfilled? Back to Isaiah 12.
And in THAT day … Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
The One in their midst, Yeshuah – Jesus, was none other than the Holy One of Israel, the LORD JEHOVAH.
Surely every Christian’s heart is thrilled and cries out with praise at the glory of that revelation.
I will leave to you the thrill of looking up the other Salvation Yeshuah -Jesus references for yourself in a Strong’s or Young’s concordance. (If you do not possess one, go out and buy one! It is worth the price just to look up these references.)
But there is just one more verse containing a Yeshuah that I should like to point out. It is a link with Chapter Three where we will go into some more wonderful aspects of the Name of Jesus, but before quoting it I should explain that a form of Hebrew poetry is the repetition of a thought couched in slightly different words. Scholars refer to this as parallelism. Psalm 51 is a good example.
You will see that each verse has a particular thought stated, then
Psalm 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity.And cleanse me from my sin.3 For I acknowledge my transgressions;And my sin is ever before me.5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity;And in sin did my mother conceive me.
As C.S. Lewis points out, the rhythmic beauty of this form is not affected by translation, the undoubted provision of God for these divine hymns or psalms which were to be translated into many tongues. This poetic feature is found in the last Yeshuah verse I want to quote, Psalm 20:5 where the Psalmist declares:
We will rejoice in thy Yeshuah,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners.
Does this mean that Yeshuah is the Name of our God? The New Testament
gives the answer which we will consider in Chapter Three.
I AM JEHOVAH, AND BESIDE ME THERE IS NO SAVIOUR
BEFORE FOLLOWING the theme of Jesus’ name in Chapter Three and while we are in the book of Isaiah, it will be worthwhile reinforcing our faith in the deity of Jesus from another viewpoint. The greatest single source of proofs of Jesus’ deity that I know of is the series of prophecies found in the latter part of Isaiah’s prophecies.
The book of the prophet Isaiah has been called ‘The Bible within the Bible’.
Although the division of books into chapters is arbitrary, and not necessarily inspired, it is interesting to note that the Bible has 66 books and Isaiah has 66 chapters. Furthermore, the Bible is in two parts and Isaiah is in two parts. These parts are so clearly defined that scholars have referred to them as Ist Isaiah and 2nd Isaiah.
The Bible’s first part (Old Testament) is 39 books; Isaiah’s first part is 39 chapters. The Bible’s second part (New Testament) is 27 books; Isaiah’s second part is 27 chapters. The Bible’s gospel is in the 2nd part; Isaiah’s gospel is in the 2nd part. Read the end of Isaiah – you could he reading the book of Revelation!
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy”.
Perhaps the best way of relishing the treasures of the fifth evangelist, as Isaiah is sometimes called, is to list some of the prophecies and their fulfilments.
We will look at just ten of these prophecies, proclaimed about seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth, in chapters 40 to 45 of Isaiah. At the same time we will refer to their New Testament counterparts.
1. Isaiah 40:3
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Matthew 3:3, 11, 13
This is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness,Prepare ye the way of the Lord … Then cometh Jesus.
Isaiah foretells of a voice crying in the wilderness, preparing the way of the LORD, or Jehovah, who is also our God. John the Baptist refused to identify himself by any name when the pharisees wanted to know who he was. He claimed only to be the voice crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord … then cometh Jesus. So Jesus is clearly the LORD, Jehovah, our God. In case there were any vestige of doubt Matthew specifically identifies John, the voice, as “he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah,”.
Mark, too, is explicit. He starts his gospel:
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets,
Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the widerness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
“Jesus Christ … thy face … thy way … before thee.” Whose way did Isaiah say should be prepared? Whose paths were to be made straight? “Prepare ye the way of the LORD (Jehovah) … make straight a highway for our God”.
Luke is just as clear and continues his prophecy with “All flesh shall see the salvation of God”. Remember Salvation – Yeshuah from the previous chapter?
2. Isaiah 40:5
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
John 1:14 and Revelation 1:7
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory … and every eye shall see him and they also which pierced him.
In the same fortieth chapter of Isaiah, just two verses later, the prophet refers to this one who is to come as “the glory of the LORD”. When Saul of Tarsus was blinded by the glory on the road to Damascus he cried, “Who art thou, Lord”. “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” came the reply. Later Ananias said to Saul “Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee” (Acts 9:17 and 26:13). God’s glory is not something or someone apart from God. “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.” (Isaiah 42:8). The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews starts by describing Jesus as the “brightness of his glory” or “outraying of his glory”. God is invisible and “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath revealed him”. (John 1:18).
3. Isaiah 40:10
Behold the Lord GOD (literally) will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold his reward is with him and his work before him-
Revelation 22:12, 16, 20
Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according to his work … I Jesus … He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.
The similarity of the phraseology in Isaiah’s prophecy and the vision given to John on Patmos seven centuries later leave one in no doubt that they refer to the same person. So Jesus is the LORD GOD, too.
Link these scriptures with Isaiah 62:1 1, quoted in Chapter One, and you have a further proof that the Lord GOD is Salvation (Yesha) or Jesus.
4. Isaiah 43:3, 11, 12
For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour… 1, even 1, am the LORD and beside me there is no Saviour… therefore ye are my witnesses saith the LORD, that I am God.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
The LORD, Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, says “Beside me there is no Saviour”. Jesus is declared to be the Saviour in Luke 2:11 and numerous other New Testament scriptures. So Jesus must be Jehovah.
So far, then, Jesus is … the LORD … Our God … the Lord GOD … the Holy One of Israel.
5. Isaiah 43:15
I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.
(They) took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
In Isaiah Jehovah is the King of Israel; but in John’s gospel Jesus is the King of Israel. Zechariah says (14:9) “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD and his name One.” King Jesus must be King Jehovah.
6. Isaiah 44:6
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of ohosts; I am the first and I am the last: and beside me there is no god.
These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
Revelation 1:8, 18
1 am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, which was, and which is to come, the Almighty … I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore.
In the first part of the verse Jehovah declares that he is riot only the King but also the Redeemer of Israel. Looking back to our previous reference, John 12:13, we remember that Jesus is the King of Israel. Redeemer is an Old Testament word but there is no doubt of whom Job was speaking when he said “I know that my Redeemer liveth and that he shall o stand at the latter day upon the earth.” Jesus lives and is coming again.
The second part, read with the scriptures quoted from Revelation, shows Jehovah as the first and the last – and Jesus as the first and the last. There cannot be two firsts and lasts!
Further, He is the Almighty. In Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is the Mighty God to which the so-called Jehovah’s Witnesses (Watchtower) say “Ah, Mighty, yes; but not Almighty”. Jeremiah clears this point up in Chapter 32 verse 18, “the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts is his name”. Jesus is The Mighty God and The Mighty God is Jehovah, the LORD of hosts.
Now we can add to the list, the LORD, the King of Israel, his (Israel’s) redeemer, the LORD of hosts, the ALMIGHTY!
7. Isaiah 44:24
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth forth the earth by myself. (Also 45:18)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.
Jehovah-Jesus is the Creator-God. See also Isaiah 40:28. Any one of these scriptures is proof that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. Collectively, the evidence is overwhelming.
8. Isaiah 45:15
Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself,0 God of Israel, the Saviour.
To the only wise God our Saviour be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and ever.
Refer back to paragraph 4 above on Isaiah 43:3, 11, 12. Of Jesus it is said “beside me there is no Saviour.” Then he is the God of Israel.
9. Isaiah 45:25
In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory.
I Corinthians 1:3
Christ Jesus … who is made unto us … righteousness that, according as it is written, He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord.
In Jehovah shall Israel be justified. Israel’s justification is Jesus. Justified Israel are to glory in Jehovah according to Isaiah’s prophecy. Paul’s letter to Corinth says the just are to glory in the Lord Jesus! What could be plainer?Now, the best wine till last
10. Isaiah 45:21-23
… there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me. Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else
Now look at what this “just God and a SAVIOUR” says concerning Himself:
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Philippians 2:10 – a direct quotation by Paul
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jehovah says every knee shall bow to Him and every tongue confess Him. Inspired scripture in the New Testament says every knee shall bow at the name of Jesus and confess Him as Lord. All marginal references link these two scriptures. There can be no doubt whatsoever that Paul was quoting Isaiah’s prophecy. So that proves the point conclusively: Jesus is Jehovah, “a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me”.
One further point of interest on that last quotation is that the Greek translation of the Old Testament in use in Paul’s time was the Septuagint, translated in the third century B.C., and that the word for LORD or Jehovah throughout the Septuagint is Kyrios. The word in the Greek for ‘Lord’ in Philippians 2 is the very same ‘Kyrios’. Although Kyrios is used for ‘Lord’ in other ways, Paul was very familiar with the Septuagint from which most of his Old Testament quotations were taken, and undoubtedly realised the full implication of the phrase ‘that Jesus Christ is Kyrios’. He knew that his readers would understand him to be declaring that Jesus was, in fact, Jehovah.
A slight digression from Jehovah-Jesus in Isaiah but a point I am sure you will find to be of interest and on the same subject, is found in the book of Zechariah. The LORD (Jehovah) says:
And they shall look upon ME whom they have pierced and shall mourn for HIM as one mourneth for his only son.
Jehovah looks down through the centuries to Calvary’s cross and sees the one pierced, that is nailed to the cross as both ME and HIM. So Jesus the crucified is both the eternal God and the man born at Bethlehem.
The message that is repeated dozens of times in the Old Testament prophecies and in the verses we have looked at in this chapter, in particular, is: Jesus is God and Jesus is man, He is the Jehovah of the Old testament humbling Himself to visit his creation as man. More, he was born to die for sinful man. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself’. May we never take this wonderful, wonderful truth for granted.
THE NAME THAT IS ABOVE EVERY NAME
IN CHAPTER ONE we looked at the name of Jesus from the point of view of its Hebrew form Yeshuah being rendered Salvation, and being prophetic of the Saviour in the Psalms and Isaiah.
Now let us go back to the T junction and branch off in another direction. The stem of the T was the theme that Jesus is the Greek or New Testament form of Joshua, who was Jehoshua or Jehovah Oshea, Jehovah is Salvation.
Jesus, then, is a Greek form of a shortened name of Jehovah. So his name is God’s name, just as Jehovah said it would be.
Further light on this theme of Jehovah-Jesus’ Name is revealed when Jehovah warned Israel in the wilderness of an Angel whom they were to obey or be lost. Moses had learned at the burning bush that the Angel of the LORD was a manifestation of Jehovah.
Exodus 3:3-15 (read the whole passage)
The angel of the LORD appeared unto him (Moses) in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush… God called unto him out of the midst of the bush … And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look upon God … (Moses said). The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob appeared unto me.”
The angel of the LORD appeared to him -the LORD God appeared to him. The angel of the LORD was therefore a manifestation of the invisible LORD God. (Similarly in Judges 13 we read that the angel of the LORD appeared to Samson’s parents (verse 3) and they said (verse 22) “We shall surely die for we have seen God”).
During the encounter at the burning bush God also said “I AM THAT I AM … this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” We have already seen in Chapter Two that Jehovah said
through Isaiah “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory I will not give to another”. (Isaiah 42:8). God alone is Jehovah: and Jehovah is his name and his memorial – and his alone. Furthermore, God alone can forgive sins for sin is transgression against God and God only (Psalm 51:4). But this Jehovah-God warns of the coming of his Angel, that is one who will be God-manifest, and says
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.
In Deuteronomy 18:15 this one is referred to again as the prophet to whom Israel must hearken. He is identified as Jesus in Acts 2:22-26 “every soul which shall not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people … unto you (Israel) first God, having raised up his son Jesus sent him to bless you, in turning every one of you away from his iniquities”. The Angel of Exodus who, as we have seen, was a manifestation of Jehovah, and The Prophet of Deuteronomy are thus identified as Jesus, and Jehovah says, MY NAME IS IN HIM.
This is confirmed in
Jeremiah 23:5, 6
Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch (see Isaiah II) his name whereby he shall be called … and this is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (margin, Jehovah-Tsidkenu).
The Branch or offspring of David must be a man. But his name is to be Jehovah. When the angel tells Joseph the name of Mary’s child he says, ‘Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he SHALL save his people from their sins.’ It is God’s name given in trust to the child in whom, 33 years into the future, Jehovah-God is to accomplish His great plan for the salvation of the world.
Jesus accepts it as such and prays the night before His crucifixion
I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest me out of the world
I have declared unto them Thy name
This is as it was prophesied of the Messiah in Psalm 22:22 “I will declare Thy name unto my brethren” and Psalm 102: “to declare the name of the Lord in Zion”.
Jesus, Jehovah-Oshea, is the name of the Lord (Jehovah) and there is no scriptural record of His having declared any other name. He taught his disciples that God could be their father, but father is not a name it is a relationship. I am a father because I am the male parent of my children. But father is not my name.
Verse 11 of John 17 is rather vague in the Authorised Version. The impression is conveyed that the disciples were kept in God’s name. In the 1881 Revised Version (RV), Revised Standard Version (RSV) and New American Standard Bible (NASB) a completely different picture is presented. I regard these revisions, which were translated by groups of men, as the most sound and accurate translations (as opposed to modern paraphrases and individual interpretations) available today, and therefore the safest and most reliable grounds for finding what God’s Word actually teaches.
The RV and RSV render this verse
Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me.
The Nestle and other generally accepted Greek texts support this translation. My favourite Bible, the NASB, goes farther and supplies the words “the name” to make this verse absolutely clear. It reads:
Holy Father, keep them in thy name, the name which thou hast given Me.
The next verse is equally clear in these revised versions
While I was with them I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me.
So twice in these two verses we have confirmation in the words of the Lord Jesus himself that His name is the name of the One He was addressing, the Father: “THY NAME WHICH THOU HAST GIVEN ME”. The angel or messenger of God told Joseph “Thou shalt call his name Jesus”. God never gave his Son any other name. His Son’s name is his own name. Jesus is the New Covenant name of Jehovah-Salvation “for he shall save”.
Have you noticed that in Jesus’ prayer it is still “Thy name” not “our name”? Why? Because Jesus had not at that time accomplished the all-glorious redemption for which He had come – His name shall be called Jesus for he shall save. But in Philippians, written after Calvary, we read
Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow …
How unfortunate that the Authorised (King James) version says ‘a name’. It should be, The Name, as the revisions have it. God’s own name, Jehovah-Oshea or Jesus, became the right of the man Christ Jesus with whom He had shared and accomplished victory over sin and death. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself’. Wherefore, because He humbled Himself unto the death which was necessary for salvation, God exalted His Son and shared with Him His very own Name.
Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:21-26, which we look at in more detail in Chapter Six, that by Adam the man came death but by Christ the man came resurrection and that he, the man, must reign “till he hath put all enemies under his feet” then he, the man, would hand the Kingdom to “God, even the Father”.
So in this age and in the millenium Jesus, who is man and God, exercises his resurrection power which he gained as man to overcome all enemies. This is the background to the letters of Revelation 3 which relate to this, the Church age:
Him that overcometh … I will write upon him the name of my God … and I will write upon him my new name
Jesus, the reconciling man, promises to write on the overcomer God’s name and His new name. There is an interesting change from John 17 where he referred to “thy name”‘. Now, since his resurrection and the accomplishment of salvation it is also, “my new name”. But think a moment. How many names will the overcomer have written on him, one name or two? The name of my God … and my new name: one name or two? Let us go on.
Revelation 14:1 – Revised Version (And other versions, except AV)
And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him one hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Name and The Name of His Father written on their foreheads.
His Name and His Father’s Name. Again, one name or two?
But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Note the singular throughout. One throne – of God and the Lamb. But we do not read. Their servants shall serve them … see their faces … their name, etc. His servants shall serve him … his face … his name – one master, one face, ONE NAME. Why? Because Jesus is God and Jesus is the Lamb. And the Name in the forehead of his servants is the Name of God, and, the name of the man who partnered him in salvation – Jehovah-Oshea, Jesus, the Name of the Father and of the Son.
This explains the Lord’s instruction concerning baptism.
Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Name, is in the singular as it was in Revelation 22.
On the day of Pentecost Peter preached an inspired sermon quoting the fulfillment of numerous scriptures under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He ended by saying
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of JesusChrist
The scripture says Peter stood up “with the eleven”, so Matthew was
present. It was only a few weeks since Jesus had said baptism was to be in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, but quite a few years before Matthew was to record these words in his gospel. Nevertheless Matthew could not have considered there was anything amiss or that Peter needed correction when he commanded baptism in the name of Jesus Christ because later at Cornelius’ house Peter again
Acts 10:8 – Revised Version
… commanded them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ.
Philip, too, baptised his Samarian converts “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:16) and Paul, who says the “gospel which was preached of me is not after man … For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ”, did the same.
When they heard this they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.
If comparing things spiritual with things spiritual and scripture with scripture is the only sound basis of interpretation we cannot but conclude that to Peter, to Matthew and the other ten apostles, and to Philip and to Paul, the name of Jesus was the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
This may not be what is commonly taught but it is in perfect accord with the whole teaching of scripture and with the theme we followed in the first part of this chapter.
How else does one reconcile the clear, clear command of the Lord Jesus to baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (see Chapter Eight on the Holy Ghost), the actions of Peter, Philip and Paul, and the recording of Jesus’ words without any further explanation of comment by Matthew many years later?
So for the link from Psalm 20 with which, you may remember, we ended Chapter Two, to Matthew 28.
We will rejoice in thy YESHUAH (JESUS) and in THE NAME OF OUR GOD we will set up our banners.
Yes. Jesus is the Name of our God. It is the New Testament Name of God come in the flesh – Emmanuel, God with us, Jehovah-Oshea, Jehoshua, Joshua – JESUS. Therefore there is no conflict in stating in Philippians 2:8 that Jesus is The Name that is above every name. Some might ask, “Is it then above the name of Jehovah?” Of course not. It IS the name of Jehovah, but amplified – Jehovah the Saviour or Jehovah Salvation.
Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord – even Jesus.
SON OF GOD AND SON OF MAN
I GAVE a lift to a Jewish schoolteacher some years ago. We got on to the subject of Christianity and he asked, “Who do you Christians say Jesus is – God, or the Son of God?” At that time I was not able to answer him clearly. Today I could, for I have since seen that Jesus is both God and the Son of God.
We have looked at a number of scriptures proving the deity of Jesus, so now let us look at the phrase, Son of God, and other terms relating to His Sonship.
A concordance shows that the word ‘Son’ in relation to the Lord Jesus appears as follows:
Son of Man 70 times
Son of God 45 times
God the Son 0 times
The phrases, Son of Abraham, Son of David, Son of the living God, Son of the Highest, Son of the Father and Son of Joseph, (mistakenly of course) are also used.
But let us look at the first three in that order.
Son of man 70 times
Jesus was the son of man because he had a hu-man mother, Mary.
In fact, the same term, son of man, is used 93 times by God in addressing Ezekiel, who was in no sense divine.
I do not think anyone would deny that this phrase relates to the humanity of Jesus, of whom Paul wrote “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same”-
But what of the phrase Son of God? Just as Jesus was the son of man because as a man he was the offspring or son of a (hu)man, He is the Son of God because as a man he was also the offspring or Son of God. God was the male parent of Mary’s child.
Jesus is the Son … of… God and the phrase means just what it says, God’s offspring. As such it can only refer to Jesus’ humanity.
With one apparent exception, which we will look at later in the chapter, the context in which the phrase Son of God is used, confirms that it refers to Jesus’ humanity.
A few examples are:
1. Luke 1:35
The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: THEREFORE also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
The unborn babe was to be the Son of God because God was his father.
2. Romans 1:1-4
Paul … separated unto the gospel of God … concerning his (God’s) Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God … by the resurrection from the dead.
Paul here declares, firstly, that God’s Son (the Son of God) was made
according to the flesh and, secondly, that he was declared or demonstrated to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead. That the Son of God was a term relating to the flesh clearly indicates humanity. Furthermore, we read in I Corinthians 15:21 “For since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” This passage teaches that it was Jesus the man who rose. So if Jesus is declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection, then the phrase ‘Son of God’ must refer to his humanity. Here again we have confirmation that the term Son of God refers to Jesus’ humanity on the paternal side twice in one short passage.
3. John 5:26
For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.
Jesus is God, but if as the Son He were God, that is if He were God the Son, He would not need the Father to give to Him to have life in Himself. Clearly His sonship is His humanity.
4. Neither, if he were a co-equal God the Son, could the Father have sent him, whereas the scripture declares
I John 4:14
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the son to be the Savior of the world.
The use of the word, sent, may be misleading at first, but it is also used in John 1:6 where we read “There was a man sent from God whose name was John”. The man Jesus was sent of God, just as John was sent of God. Apostle, means, Sent one. Peter was sent of God, Paul was sent to God, John the baptist was sent of God and, in the same way, Christ Jesus was sent of God. There are certainly no grounds for pre-existence in this verse. Rather, it is clear that sonship cannot be co-equality if the Father can send the son. But this presents no difficulty when we see that the word ‘son’ refers to the man Christ Jesus who did “always those things that please the Father”.
5. John 17:1-5
These words spake Jesus and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, 0 Father, glorify thou me and thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
That last part can be interpreted as pre-existence – until we look at the whole passage. Very clearly the Man is praying. Jesus says “That they may know thee the only true God”. So even someone believing in a plural-God cannot maintain that Jesus is God the Son here. God cannot pray to God; and the God being addressed is the only true God. All must agree that he-is praying as man. He refers to himself as “thy son” and addresses God as Father. So Jesus’ sonship is again proven to be his humanity.
What then of the glory? It cannot refer to supposed pre-existent glory of a God the Son because Jesus is addressing the only God. We must read verse 5 in the light of the fact that the man is praying.
… Whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world? Literally speaking he was not. In I Peter 1:20 we read that he was “foreordained before the foundation of the world.” But in the plan of God he was slain, raised up and glorified before Adam was created. In the prayer of John 17 the man Christ Jesus, who is about to go to Calvary in a few hours, reminds God that he had (all but) finished his work of redemption and claims the glory as one with God which God had planned for him when he rose. Likewise the praying man says (verse 24): thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
If there are two possible interpretations of scripture we must take the one which is indicated by the passage in which it is found and the whole tenor of scripture. Verse 3 settles the point in that Jesus, the man, is praying to “the only true God”.
6. Hebrews 1:1-5
God … has spoken to us by (literally: in) his Son … by whom also he made the worlds.
I have chosen this first passage in Hebrews so that we can deal with the apparent exception I referred to, at the same time adding weight to our point.
Whenever there is a single scripture in which there is a term of which the apparent meaning does not conform with usage in the rest of scripture, one must prayerfully seek an explanation.
When one does this one finds invariably that the Spirit gives light which brings the scripture into harmony and so strengthens one’s faith in the infallibility of the Word of God. God’s Word is one entity and, as Jesus said, “the scripture cannot be broken”.
So let us examine Hebrews 1:2, our apparent odd man out. Ablessing is in store for us.
Why should the ever-logical Paul refer first to Jesus as “whom he hath appointed heir of all things” and immediately after that add “by whom also he made the worlds”? Is that not rather getting things back to front? Surely, the reverse order would have been more sequential, more logical, more Pauline.
Looking again at the second phrase we find “worlds” to be the plural form of the Greek aion, which Young’s Concordance lists as Age, indefinite time, dispensation. This is, of course, the word from which
we get the English word eon or aeon meaning, according to the Concise Oxford dictionary, an age of the universe. Many of the stricter revisions translate this verse as “through whom also he made the ages”. Let us be clear, this verse has nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of the physical world as recorded in Genesis and is a completely different word from that translated “world” in verse 6, “When he bringeth the first begotten into the world”. There, “world,” is oikoumene, described in Young’s Concordance as Habitable earth or land.
‘Made’ can also be translated, ‘established’. So a more literal reading is, By whom he established the ages.
Where and when did Christ establish the ages?
Rev. 5:4, 5
And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
To Adam was delivered dominion over creation. He obeyed Satan and so yielded himself and his dominion to Satan. Satan became known in scripture as the god of this world, the prince of the powers of the air, and we read that the whole world lieth in the evil one. But by His glorious death and resurrection Christ redeemed creation. The passage quoted above from Revelation tells us that Christ prevailed and
that He now has the right to loose the seven seals. These seals are world history or the ages, some of which are still to be fulfilled. The devil has a part in them – but only under Christ’s control. Read
Revelation 9:2 and 11. Satan is allowed out of the bottomless pit by the angel who has the key and only by this means has he any power in the earth. Jesus has all power, and that must include Satan’s power if all is all.
But back to the point: Hebrews 1:2 has nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of this world or the earth on which we live. The literal Greek will not permit that. Paul is saying that Jesus the Son is appointed heir of all things because the ages were established by him, and Revelation 5 shews that they were established when as man he “prevailed” that is he wrested the lordship of the universe and future ages from Satan by tasting death “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”.
A glorious facet of scripture is revealed in itself. But, further, it shews that a correct translation of Hebrews 1:2 is in perfect harmony with the truth that the term Son of God refers to the humanity of the Lord Jesus. God has spoken to us in His Son whom He hath appointed heir of all things through whom He established the ages (at Calvary).
If any further proof is needed to establish that Jesus’ sonship must be confined to his humanity, the verses in Hebrews I which follow provide it
For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
He is God’s son because on a certain day He was begotten of God. If one thinks about it, the phrase, God the Son, is a contradiction within itself. God is eternal and has no beginning; by definition a son is an offspring or issue. If God were a plurality of coequal persons I should think the very last term he would use for one of the “persons” would be “son” as it immediately implies the pre-existence and superiority of a father. This destroys the concept of co-existence and co-eternal persons. The Son of God was begotten. God is eternal without beginning or ending and was not begotten, therefore the Son of God must be the man Christ Jesus.
By all means check every other reference to Son of God from a Concordance if you wish. Collectively they establish the point made in this chapter conclusively.
Now for the third commonly used phrase
God the Son 0 times
I find that Christians are astounded to learn that the phrase God the Son is not to be found in the scriptures. It is the product of man’s reasoning. Any doctrine which cannot be expressed in scriptural terms must be suspect. In all probability man is trying to express what he thinks the scripture says. If he needs words and terms which none of the New Testament writers found necessary, the chances are that his reasoning and consequent doctrine are erroneous. Certainly it cannot be the basis of doctrine for any Bible-loving Christian.
If Jesus did not refer to Himself as God the Son, and the eight writers of the twenty seven books of the New Testament did not find it necessary or desirable to use that phrase once, do we have the courage to discard it? If we are to find the truth of who Jesus is we must clear our minds of human terminology and discard all terms not found in the scriptures.
Paul tells Timothy
2 Tim. 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works
Scripture, and scripture alone, we are told, is profitable for doctrine. And scripture is given that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished, or fully equipped.
Truths which Christians now hold as precious were obscured for centuries by man’s fine sounding but unscriptural phraseology. We are poor propounders of our faith indeed if we cannot set forth the Author and Finisher of our faith in scriptural terms.
My answer to the Jewish schoolteacher today would be, “Jesus is both God and the Son of God. Jehovah-God moved on the womb of Mary and a Son was born – the Son of Mary, and the Son of God. But Jehovah-God dwelt in His Son, so Jesus is God in the Son of God.”
Do I hear you ask, If the sonship of Jesus relates solely to His humanity, and he is not God the Son, who exactly is He as to His deity? For, as we saw in the first two chapters, Jesus is undoubtedly God, I AM, Jehovah.
Let us look into the Word for our answer where we will surely find it.
ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL
REGARDING God, Paul writes to the Corinthian Christians
I Corinthians 8:4-6 Revised Version
There is no God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth; as there be gods many and lords many; yet to us there is ONE GOD, THE FATHER, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and ONE LORD, JESUS CHRIST, through whom are all things and we through him.
This scripture was once quoted to me to prove that God, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are two distinct beings. After discussion, the person quoting it came to accept that it actually confirmed the opposite and rejoiced in the revelation of the fulness of God in Christ.
But let us recognize that there are in fact two possible interpretations of this passage. They depend on whether you take the one God and one Lord to be two beings, or the same being. Read the passage again and think about these alternative interpretations.
If there are two beings it means that Jesus is not God for “there is one God, the Father”. Similarly, the Father cannot be “Lord”, for there is “one Lord, Jesus Christ”. This conclusion is, of course, very much the standpoint of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But it is, nevertheless, contrary to the whole teaching of scripture. Thomas called Jesus, “My Lord and my God” and the Old Testament constantly refers to the Lord God. Also, when Elijah called fire from heaven the people said, The Lord he is God. The early Church prayed, Lord Thou art God. God is Lord; and the Lord is God. But that Jesus is not God, and the Father is not Lord is, nevertheless, the only logical consequence of taking the one God (the Father) and one Lord (Jesus) as being separate persons. What is Paul trying to convey in this passage? What is the purpose. of his writing it? The fact is he is emphasising the glorious truth that “There is no God but one” in contrast to the “gods many and lords many” of the heathen. He certainly is not teaching that Jesus is not God. But the only alternative understanding of his teaching is that the Lord Jesus Christ is also God the Father – the one God! A revolutionary thought, certainly, but let us look at some other scriptures:
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all.
Paul again knows one God and Father of all. And Jesus is certainly God.
1 Corinthians 15:24
Then cometh the end, when he (Christ the man) shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father … then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that God may be all in all.
Here the Son cannot be God as such as he is subject to “God even the Father”. This reinforces our findings on the Son in Chapter Four. The Son is the man Christ Jesus and he is subject to “God, even the Father”. As in I Corinthians 8 above and Ephesians 4 ONLY THE FATHER IS GOD.
1 Corinthians 8:6 to us there is one God, the Father
One God and Father of us all
I Corinthians 15:24
to God, even the Father
These are all Paul’s words, but they are inspired scripture, nevertheless. But what does Jesus Himself have to say about His deity? He deals with it clearly in the longest single passage on the subject in the New Testament. Let us take it slowly and carefully.
We eavesdrop on Jesus talking to His disciples generally and to Thomas and Philip in particular. They had been with Him for over three years and were present when Peter exclaimed “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. But Jesus says to them
If ye had known me ye should have known my Father also:
The man Jesus that they knew as the Christ, the Son of the living God, is here telling them that they did not know Him – that must mean know Him fully. If they had, they should have known Him not only as the carpenter, miracle worker, prophet and “the Christ the Son of the living God” as man but as the “one God, the Father”.
and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him
Jesus told them that they knew and had seen the Father. Where? Where else but in Jesus? From that moment there was the fuller revelation, and they should have known Jesus as the Father and seeing Jesus should have realized that they were beholding the one God, the Father, in the flesh. But we may be thankful that Philip was as slow as some of us to grasp what Jesus was getting at!
For more teaching from the lips of Jesus follows
Philip saith unto him, Lord shew us the Father and it sufficeth us.
Here we have a simple, honest but maybe slow-thinking disciple seeking a simple, honest answer to a simple, honest problem. “Just shew us the Father, Lord, and it’s enough”. May we expect the compassionate Lord Jesus to be likewise simple, honest and straightforward – or devious
and confusing in his answer? See Jesus looking Philip straight in the eyes and saying
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known ME,
To an honest man that can have only one meaning. Of course Philip had known him – but not as the Father. Jesus goes on:
He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Some say “Oh yes, but God the Son was so like God the Father that if you had seen the Son you had as good as seen the Father, too”. But now comes Jesus’ clear declaration regarding His deity.
Believest thou not that I AM IN THE FATHER, AND THE FATHER IN ME?
God in Christ was the one God, the Father. Jesus said so. Neither Jesus, the apostles, nor other New Testament writers said God the Son was in Jesus. But Jesus Himself said the Father was in Him.
It is incredible that even after this clear, clear lesson from the lips of Jesus himself, Christians in the twentieth century insist on looking away from Jesus to find the Father, instead of at him. Probably various creeds written after the New Testament have confused genuine Christians with such unscriptural phrases as “a Father who is not the Son”. If the words of Jesus mean anything, the only place we will ever see the invisible God, the Father, is in the face of Jesus Christ. Blessed be his name.
The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me he doeth the works.
That the Father was in Jesus may not be orthodox theology, but it is the unequivocal statement of the Lord Jesus Himself.
People have ridiculed this explanation by saying that Jesus prayed to Himself if he were the Father. Such ridicule is blasphemous folly, for it ridicules the Lord Jesus. It is an indisputable fact that Jesus said the Father was in heaven and that Jesus said that the Father was in Him.
Of course, the fact that the “one God, the Father” was manifest in Jesus does not prevent Him from filling the universe at the same time. God is infinite.
The scriptures plainly state that the Father did speak from heaven at Jesus’ baptism; the Father in heaven did reveal that Jesus was the Christ to Peter; Jesus the man did pray to the Father in heaven. But none of this changes the fact that Jesus told Philip “the Father is in me … the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself, the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me.”
Jesus says “Believe me”. Well, will we believe him? Or do we cling to orthodox theology with its unscriptural “God the Son” teaching?
One instance where the words that Jesus spoke were those of the Father was at the temple
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up … he spake of the temple of his body.
Jesus the man, the Son of God, was the temple. The one God, the Father, dwelt in His temple. He challenged the Jews to destroy or kill His Son in whom He dwelt and said He would raise Him up. The Jews did kill the man Christ Jesus and we read in Galatians 1:1 of “God the Father, who raised him from the dead”. But Jesus had said, I will raise it up. So the “I” speaking in John 2:19 was the Father in his Son.
Jesus is again referred to as the Father in John’s first epistle
1 John 3:1
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed uponus, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not … when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.
To whom do the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘him’ refer? I ask. It is a basic rule of English that one cannot use a pronoun until the noun has been used and that the pronoun then refers to that noun. If there is any possibility of ambiguity the noun must be used again. The noun here is the Father, and yet the context of the pronouns is undoubtedly the first and then the second advents of the Lord Jesus. Here, Jesus is the Father.
Jesus, speaking as man, told His disciples, “I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter” and again later referred to “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send” (John 14:16 and 26). The Risen Christ commanded these same disciples “that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptised with water; but yet shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
The Son prays to the Father, the Father sends the Holy Ghost, the baptism with the Holy Ghost being the promise of the Father.
But what do we read that John the Baptist said of Jesus?
1 indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than 1, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND FIRE
Of course! For the Jesus announced by John the Baptist was, as we saw in Chapter Two when considering Isaiah 40:3, “the LORD” (Jehovah) and “our God” – and there is one God, the Father.
To conclude, the scriptural teaching as to whom Jesus is, or better Jesus’ teaching as to who he is, is clear and simple. It cuts right across orthodox theology with its extra-scriptural, nay, antiscriptural terminology and states that God in the man, Jesus, was the Father in the Son.
This fits perfectly the revelation of the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit as studied in Chapter Three. Just as one might expect.
Also, it brings into perfect harmony the scriptures where Jesus said as the man about to die, rise up and be exalted “I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28) and yet “I and my Father are one”. Jesus was both Father and Son, God in his Son, but the Son, being man, was subject to the Father.
Matthew writes (11:27) “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” As Jesus said: “Believe Me, I am in the Father and the Father in me”.
THE SON OF THE FATHER
THERE WERE times when Jesus spoke as man and times when He spoke as God. He was not a mixture of God and man, but He was absolutely God and absolutely man.
Indisputably Jesus the man prayed to God. Indisputably Jesus received worship as God from Thomas who called Him “My Lord and my God”, or “Ho Kyrios (=Jehovah) of me Ho Theos (=Elohim) of me”.
He told the woman at the well “who drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” and yet gasped on the cross “I thirst”.
He told his disciples “the poor ye have always with you; but me ye have not always” and also “Lo I am with you always”.
These and numerous other apparent contradictions can only be satisfied, and yet are perfectly satisfied, by the realization that Jesus is man and Jesus is God.
He was not merely God dwelling in flesh; nor was He a man filled with God. He was man and He was God.
His absolute humanity was shown at Calvary when “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” and he cried “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” These were the words of “the man Christ Jesus who gave his life a ransom for all”.
His absolute deity is shown in the fact that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and yet of Jesus it is written “all things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.” He used God’s name, Before Abraham was I AM.”
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.
The child was to be called the Mighty God;The Son was to be called The Everlasting Father.His Name is Jesus. The Father in His Son.
This realization makes sense of scriptures which ministers holding the orthodox view have told me they do not understand. Their flocks do not understand them either, and cannot be helped by them. So they fall prey to the misnamed Jehovah’s Witnesses or Watchtower canvassers.
But of that day and of that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
In what sense at all can the Son be co-equal with the Father when the Father knows the day of the Second Coming and the Son does not? If there were a God the Father and God the Son, then in terms of this passage they would be two gods. In no sense could they be one substance if one knew something the other one did not know.
And what about the Holy Spirit? Does he know? And in what sense is God one, if part of him knows and part does not? One can sympathize with Christians who are confused.
The simple fact is that the word “but” is two words in the original and these two words are as common in their usage and as plain in their meaning in Greek as they are in English. The literal translation of these two words “ei me” is “if not “!Reference to any Greek text will confirm this. Because of their preconceived ideas the translators could not, of course, translate them in this way but the literal translation of the end of the verse is “neither the Son, if not the Father”. Jesus was saying I, as man, would not know it if I were not also God.
This is also a confirmation of our point that the sonship of Jesus relates to His humanity. Truth ever confirms itself from the Word.
And what about
1 Corinthians 15:24-28
Then cometh the end when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father … then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him that God may be all in all.
How many proselytes have the Watchtower movement ensnared with this passage.
Christ (man) delivers up the Kingdom to God, even the Father … the Son is then subject to God. If the Son is subject to God He cannot be God, as the Son. The Son is Jesus as to His humanity. God begat a Son for the purpose of redeeming as man what the first man, Adam, had lost. When it is redeemed and death is destroyed He reigns as God.
Verses 25 and 26 of the above quotation read: For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
So the last enemy to be destroyed by the man Christ Jesus, on the grounds of his atonement, is death. John writes
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire
Jesus has accomplished the redemption for which He became man and the Kingdom can be handed to God. We read in the following chapter
And he said unto me, It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I WILL BE HIS GOD, AND HE SHALL BE MY SON.
The Alpha and Omega is Jesus. Revelation 1:8, 18 and 2:8 make that abundantly clear as we saw in Chapter Two when looking at Isaiah 44:6. On the Cross Jesus said, It is finished. But it takes many centuries to work out the redemption of the Cross and only when death is destroyed does Jesus say in Revelation, It is done. Then He reigns as God, and the overcomers are His sons. If we are His sons then we can look the Lord Jesus full in His wonderful face and say “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, even Jesus, the Name of the Father and of the Son.” This is the solution to your prayer problem. Glorious, isn’t it?
The vestigial remnants of man’s confusion hang on for some time. But once the light of truth has removed all darkness and one can worship Jesus as the true and living God then never-ending glory fills one’s soul.
This sequence from the book of Revelation also explains the passage above from 1 Corinthians 15. Christ, the Son, redeems and hands over to God, even the Father. But He is also God, even the Father. He is God and the Lamb of Revelation 22:1-4 as we saw in Chapter Three. He is the Father in the Son and once the work of redemption for which He became man is complete He reigns as God. This is clear and glorious. But oh the confusion and distortions one is subject to when one listens to an explanation in terms of a co-equal, co-eternal God the Son.
Most of the greetings in Paul’s epistles are from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some hold this to be separate persons of a plural God. But what of Paul’s first epistle to Timothy? In I Timothy 1:1 we read “by commandment of God our Saviour and the Lord Jesus Christ.” This is not two persons and can only mean Jesus our eternal God and Jesus the man who saved us. The other greetings mean exactly the same: God the Father and his human son – together Jesus.
The epistle to Titus starts with a combination of both forms, “… from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour”.
In 2 John 3 it is put rather well. “Grace be with you, mercy and peace, from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father.” Not two persons of a plural God, but the one God, the Father, and the Son of the Father, the man in whom the Father dwells.
There are two more scriptures in Revelation where Jesus is seen to be the Father in his Son. The first is a fulfillment of a prophecy in Daniel
Daniel 7:9, 13, 14
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire … 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 peoples, 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.
The whole chapter is prophetic. Here Daniel has a vision of the Ancient of Days in an event six centuries later and sees God portrayed. The son of man, the Messiah, comes to him to receive power and dominion. Re-read the description of the Ancient of Days carefully and then turn to
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks: and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.
The description is that of Daniel’s Ancient of Days: but he iscalled the son of man! Then he speaks
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore.
Yes, it is the risen Lord Jesus – The Ancient of Days and the son of man, the Father in the son.
Right at the end of Revelation the Lord speaks again as God and man.
1 Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches. I am the root and the offspring of David.
As God he is the root of David, the Source of creation. As man, the Son of God, he is the offspring of David, or the Branch of Isaiah 11:1 and Jeremiah 23:5. The Root and the Branch: God and the man.
Once you have seen this in the scriptures you will find it cropping up in the Old Testament prophecies and New Testament teaching. The verse I quoted at the end of Chapter Two is an example: “They shall look upon ME whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for HIM”.
One point which has emerged from all we have looked at so far in this chapter is that it is all-important to see that Jesus as man was completely man – and as God was the one true and living God appearing in his human Son.
It is essential to a clear understanding of who Jesus really is to see him as human and divine, and not a mixture, or a secondary god and superman.
Many Christians have admitted after seeing the revelation of Jesus as set out in these pages that they did not previously, in their heart of hearts, regard Jesus (then God the Son as they supposed) as absolutely co-equal and co-eternal with the Father which the various creeds declare. One encyclopaedia I read recently posed the question, If all three are exactly alike, of the same substance, the same rank and they share the same eternal existence, how do you tell one from the other? A good question. But of course this is not how Christians see a plural-person God. Somehow the first person is loftier, less approachable and, frankly, superior in rank to the second person. And of course the Eastern and Western Orthodox Churches have been arguing for centuries as to whether the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son or from the Father only!
This is one reason for writing this book. Any doctrine which does not proclaim Jesus as the one true God, Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, Who appeared to Moses as “I AM THAT I AM – the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob” which Jesus Himself claimed to be, detracts from His glory and majesty. “He is Lord of all”.
THE SON OF MY RIGHT HAND
IF JESUS is Who he said He was, the Father in the Son, what of the numerous references to His being at the right hand of God?
I find that many Christians have a mental image, even if a rather sketchy one, of three thrones in heaven with God the Father in the middle, the Son on His right and the Holy Spirit on the left. Some, I find, are rather hazy about the Holy Spirit being there as a definite person. But that broadly describes the picture with minor variations from individual to individual.
We will deal more specifically with the Holy Spirit in the next chapter. But what of the three on their thrones and Jesus on the right hand of the Father?
Firstly, thrones (in the plural) is never mentioned in the scriptures in relation to God. Of the kings and kingdoms of the earth, yes; but not of God. In the book of Revelation, throne (singular) is used in reference to God and the Lamb 32 times, in other New Testament references another 8 times. Thrones, plural, is mentioned in Revelation 3:21 relating to the throne of heaven and the throne on earth, i.e. the throne of His father David on which Jesus shall reign over the house of Israel. There is one God and therefore one throne in heaven.
Revelation 7:15, 17
15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
There is one throne, the throne of God and the Lamb. The Lamb refers, of course, to “the man Christ Jesus who gave Himself a ransom for all”, or “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”. And He, the Lamb, is in the midst of the throne of God according to the scriptures. I repeat, He is not on a throne on the right but he is in the midst of the one throne of God.
Note that this throne is referred to as the throne of God, and the one sitting on the throne is alternately referred to in this passage as God … the Lamb … God.
Of course. He is the Jesus of Revelation Chapter One: The Ancient of Days and the son of man. The Father in the Son. God in the Lamb.
We looked at Revelation 22 in Chapter Three. It is worth considering again in this context as our conclusions begin to fit into one another.
Revelation 22:1, 3, 4
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it: and His servants shall serve Him:
And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.
One throne, of God and of the Lamb. Clearly, there is one occupant of the throne-His servants…His face … His name – and that one is Jesus, God and the Lamb.
Secondly, God is Spirit.
David declared “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” (Psalm 139).
His son Solomon prayed “the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee.”
God is everywhere. He is not a person confined to one place, although He exercises His godhead in Jesus.
It is unfortunate that the Authorized Version (King James Version) uses the word, person, in reference to God once each in Job and Hebrews. The Revisions do not make that mistake. God is not a person; He is Spirit.
God on the throne is God in the Lamb, the Lord Jesus. But as when Jesus was on earth, the fact that lie is in the risen man does not mean that He ceases to fill the universe.
What then of the right hand?
In the New Testament Jesus is said to be on or at the right hand of God/power/the majesty seventeen times.
But in each case the context is clear that the one at the right hand is Christ the man, exalted because of His glorious victory over Satan, sin and death.
Hebrews 10:12 is typical
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.
Jesus, we have seen, is the Lamb in the midst of the throne of God. In Hebrews He is also the triumphant man at God’s right hand.
How can this be? Again we turn to the poetry of parallelism in the Psalms which I referred to in Chapter One. Remember? The same thought expressed in two different, harmonious phrases.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life.
You will have recognised this glorious Messianic prophecy which was quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost when he preached the first salvation sermon on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Note, too, the examples of parallelism. But the Psalmist has not quite finished. After he has dealt with the death and resurrection of Christ, he goes on further to the point we are studying, Jesus’ exaltation to the right hand of God:
In Thy presence is fulness of joy;At Thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more.
The right hand of God is the presence of God. Does this not accord beautifully with Revelation 7 – the Lamb in the midst of the Throne of God?
Now read verse 8 of the same Messianic psalm for confirmation
I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand.
Here the Messiah, the Christ, says Jehovah is at His right hand – not He is at Jehovah’s right hand! The two terms mean the same: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in me?”
Let us look at a few more scriptural uses of the term “right hand” as used in the psalms.
Psalm 77:10, 11
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the LORD, surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.
The Psalmist remembers the fulfilment of God’s promise to Moses “My Presence shall go with thee” and the miracles which followed – the years of the right hand of the Most High, the years of the Presence of the God of Israel in his people.
Check in a Concordance references to God being called upon to save by His right hand. What were these calls but pleas for God to come Himself and save by His Presence.
The One in Whom he dwells and by Whom He saves, Emmanuel, God with us, is also referred to as His right hand
Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
0 sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
The LORD hath made known his Yeshuah: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
The voice of rejoicing and Yeshuah is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
Yeshuah is the right hand of the LORD for “in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily.”
In New Testament language John tells us that “no man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared (revealed) him.” Jesus the triumphant man is at the right hand of God, in the presence of God (Psalm 16), in the bosom of God (John 1).
A comparison of the two other New Testament figures of speech confirms that the right hand position is in fact within the glory of God. In Acts 2:33 we read that “This Jesus hath God raised up … being by the right hand of God exalted” and in Acts 5:31 “Him hath God exalted with his right hand”. Paul tells us in his epistle to the Romans (6:4) that “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father”.
Jesus was raised by the right hand of God – by the glory of the Father.
A better understanding of Jesus being at or on God’s right hand comes from considering those two prepositions (at and on) in the Greek. The right hand is referred to seventeen times and the prepositions used are en (eight times) and ek (nine times).
En appears 2 476 times in the New Testament, of which it is translated in 1 863 times, i.e. in over 75% of its occurrences.
Ek is found 859 times of which it is translated from, of or out of 715 times (83%).
In Revelation 1:16 we read that Jesus “had in his right hand seven stars” and again in 2:1 that He “holdeth the seven stars in his right hand”. In each case the preposition is en which the translators found no difficulty in rendering in. But when the same preposition en is used eight times with reference to Jesus being “en the right hand” it seems that for some reason they could not bring themselves to translate the phrase “in the right hand of God”.
Similarly in Revelation 5:7 Jesus “took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne”. The preposition, as you may have guessed, is ek. Again, the translators had no difficulty in rendering ek as out of. Why then, one might ask, is ek not translated out of in any of the nine occasions when Jesus is seen “ek the right hand of God”? A preconceived notion in the minds of the translators seems to be the only explanation.
Sixteen of the seventeen occurrences of the right hand are single verse references but the seventeenth is a longish passage in Acts 7:54-60. Apply the most common translations of en and ek and see how the picture clarifies.
But he (Stephen) being full of the Holy ghost looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God …
What did he see? He saw the glory of God. The glory of God, as we have seen above, is another phrase for the right hand of God, the presence of God.
…and Jesus standing ek (from or out of) the right band of God…
He saw the glory of God, or right hand of God, and Jesus emerge out of, or, from the right hand or glory of God.
And said, behold I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing
ek (from or out of) the right hand of God.
Let us be clear: Stephen did not see God as a person. God is Spirit. God is invisible “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see”. Stephen saw the glory of God and he saw the risen, glorified man Christ Jesus emerge from en = in the glory of God, the right hand position.
And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit
Here is further proof that he did not see God as a figure and Jesus on God’s physical right hand. Stephen called on God – and addressed him as “Lord Jesus”!
Beautiful once you see it, isn’t it?
(Note: some revisions omit God after calling on. But as the verb can only refer to prayer, which can only be made to God, the translators of the Authorised Version correctly supplied the word, God, which is inferred. In the circumstances Stephen would only have called on God to receive his spirit – and he addressed him as, Lord Jesus. Here, all versions agree.)
We can be so intent on studying scripture that we neglect to feed on it and nourish our souls. Let’s do this now.
Rachel travailed and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not: thou shalt have this son also. And it came to pass that as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni (Hebrew: the son of my sorrow): but his father called him Benjamin (Hebrew: the son of the right hand).
Many centuries later another mother in Israel looked up at a man hanging on a cross. At his birth it had been prophesied “Yea a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also”. He was the son of her sorrow for he was “the man of sorrows” of Isaiah’s prophecy. But His Father changed that and raised Him from the dead, dwelt in Him, gave Him His Name, and proclaimed “the son of my right hand”.
It is because Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, the triumphant son in whom God dwells, that He is known as the son of the right hand. He takes no second place; His is no inferior throne. He is the Lamb in the midst of the throne of God, the man in whom the invisible God dwells. John’s gospel tells us “No man hath seen God at any time. The Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared or revealed Him.” And this is Who Stephen saw when he looked upon Jesus: the Father in the son of man.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
IN ESTABLISHING the sonship of the Lord Jesus to be His humanity and finding from His own revelation of Himself that He is the one God, the Father, in the Son, we have put aside in all our studies so far the question of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. It must have been noticeable, too, in reading so far in this book how the Holy Spirit is “neglected” in the scriptures. The greetings in the epistles are, as we have seen, from the Father and the Son; regarding the Second Advent the Son does not know if not the Father. “No one knows the Father save the Son and he to whom he will reveal him” and John writes “Whosoever denieth the Son the same hath not the Father; but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” (1 John 2:23).
What, then, of the Holy Spirit? We saw in Chapter Three that Peter, Phillip, Paul and by implication Matthew and the other ten apostles on the day of Pentecost all accepted that Jesus was the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Let us again draw from the Word without any preconceptions.
Matthew 10:18, 19
And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak.
For it is not ye that speak but the SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER which speaketh in you;
Mark 13:9, 11
For they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do you premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak but the HOLY GHOST;
They shall lay hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake … Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer for I (JESUS) will give you a mouth and wisdom …
The only conclusion we can come to from a comparison of these three scriptures referring to identical circumstances, is that the Spirit of your Father is the Holy Ghost who is Jesus.
Nor are these scriptures unique. For example
2 Corinthians 3:18 – Revised VersionBut we all with unveiled face reflecting as in a mirror the glory of
the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. (Margin: Or, the Spirit which is the Lord).
The Lord to the early Church was undoubtedly Jesus. But the Lord is also the Spirit.
Acts 16:6, 7 – Revised Version
And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden of the HOLY GHOST to speak the word in Asia; and when they were come over against Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia; and the SPIRIT OF JESUS suffered them not.
One must surely accept that one Spirit was guiding Paul, in which case the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. And surely the Spirit of Jesus is not a separate person from Jesus.
Christians with whom I have discussed this aspect of the truth about Jesus are quick to say “but Jesus said the Father would send another Comforter”. Shall we read the whole passage and see what the Lord Jesus said to his disciples?
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:
So far so good, but then…but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.
Indeed! Whom did they know – but Jesus? Who but Jesus dwelt with them? And who do we, in hindsight, know was to be in them? The next verse settles all doubts.
I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.
Jesus is the Comforter. He said so. Jesus is the Spirit of Truth. He said so.
That the Holy Spirit is the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth none will deny. Then Jesus is the Holy Spirit. He said so.
Further on in John 14 Jesus said (verse 23) “If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
Who are the we who will make their abode. Jesus says I and my Father. We have seen that the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Jesus. In Romans 8:9 the Spirit of God is also referred to as the Spirit of Christ.
Does this mean we have the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of His Son, the man Christ Jesus, in our hearts? Yes, it does.
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,
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
The Son was “made of a woman, made under the law” which is further confirmation of our conclusion that the sonship of Jesus was His humanity. So “the Spirit of His Son” must be the Spirit of the man Christ Jesus. Jesus in heaven is God in the Lamb, the Father in His Son, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son – the Spirit of Jesus. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives John 14:23 is fulfilled; we have received the Spirit of the one Father-God and His Son in whom He dwells.
John confirms this in his second epistle
2 John 9
He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
If any more evidence were needed (it shouldn’t be!) the word translated, Comforter, four times in John 14 is the Greek word Parakletos. It is used just once more in the New Testament – by the same writer, John, but in his first epistle.
1 John 2:1
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Advocate is the translation of Parakletos.
Under the inspiration of the Spirit John used this word Parakletos five times. But the translators, steeped in orthodox teaching regarding a plural-person God, felt they had to use different English words for the same Greek word when it referred to the Holy Spirit and when it referred to the Lord Jesus. I wonder why. That makes the whole doctrine of a plural-person God suspect to me.
A further confirmation is found in Chapters I and 2 of the book of Revelation where the one who was dead and lives, Jesus, Ancient of Days and son of man, commands John to write epistles to the seven Churches of Asia and concludes all seven with the solemn injunction “He that hath an ear, let him hear what THE SPIRIT saith unto the Churches”.
He speaks as the Father; He speaks as the son; He speaks as the Spirit. He is the Father; He is the Son; He is the Spirit. HE said so. His Name, Jesus, is the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Now we know why Matthew and the early Church found no difficulty whatsoever in the baptismal formula. The name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost was the name of the one they knew and loved, Jesus.
There is One God who is Spirit: The Holy One who is the Holy … Spirit. The Holy Spirit is one of dozens of titles by which God is known. Usually it relates to a special visitation or issuing forth of the life, revelation, light or power of God.
Consider, too, the birth of the Lord Jesus. _Joseph is told by the angel
Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
So the Holy Ghost was the Father of Jesus. Whom then did Jesus address when he prayed as man “Father, glorify thy Son”? He prayed to the Holy Ghost; he prayed to the Father; he prayed to the one true God.
There is an interesting triple tie-up between Isaiah, John in his gospel, and Luke in Acts on this theme. It is rather technical but worth considering
Isaiah 6:1, 8, 9, 10
In the year that King Uzziah died I (Isaiah) saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne …
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send and who will go for us. Then said I, Here am 1; send me.
(The plural form used by God is dealt with in Chapter Nine) And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed but understand not; and see ye indeed but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
This passage is quoted in John’s gospel
But though he (Jesus) had done so many miracles before these, yet they believed not on him … (Isaiah 52 then quoted) … Esaias (Isaiah) said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted and I should heal them
These things said Esaias, when he saw his (Jesus) glory and spake of him.
John says that the Lord whom Isaiah saw and who blinded their eyes, etc. was the one who, when made flesh, performed “so many miracles” – God in Jesus. This we would expect in view of the conclusions we came to on Jesus’ deity in Chapters One and Two.
The same scripture is quoted in Acts.
Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people and say, Hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive. For the heart of this people is waxed gross …
John clearly says that not only was it the Holy Ghost in Isaiah giving the message but that the Holy Ghost instructed Isaiah, Go unto this people and say …
Who spoke to Isaiah? Isaiah says the Lord. John says Jesus. Luke says the Holy Ghost.
The conclusion is that the Spirit of your Father is the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of Jesus, is the Comforter, is the Spirit of Truth – is Jesus. This is in perfect harmony with our findings so far that Jesus is the one true and living God manifest in his Son.
I will stick to my principle of not quoting authorities, but from a purely devotional point of view I think Andrew Murray puts this theme most beautifully in “The Prayer Life”. He says,
God is an ever flowing fountain of pure love and blessedness,
Christ is the reservoir wherein the fulness of God was made visible,
The Holy Spirit is the stream of living water that flows from under the throne of God and of the Lamb.
ELOHIM AND THE WORD
SOME CHRISTIANS make much of the fact that the word for God in the Old Testament is the plural word, Elohim. “im” is a Hebrew ending more or less equivalent to the English “s”.
Elohim is found in the very first verse of the Bible.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27
In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth… And God (Elohim) said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness and let them have dominion … So God (Elohim) created man in his own image.
Because of the plural form of the word for God, this passage has been used to support the theory that God is a plurality of persons. However, many scholars who in fact believe God to be plural state that this cannot be used to support plurality.
What are the reasons for plural-God theologians discounting these scriptures as proof of their theory?
1 . The verb, created, is singular. If Elohim were intended to denote a plural subject the verb would agree with the subject and be plural. You do not say, They creates; He creates or they create -but not, they creates. But this is how the Hebrew reads.
2. God uses the plural noun in reference to himself but Moses immediately follows it with the singular. So God created man in His (not their) own image? Why? If plurality were intended by God how could Moses be so presumptious as to change it? But the Holy Spirit inspired Moses to use the singular.
A Jewish rabbi once told me that Jewry understood the plural form Elohim to be the principle of “pluralis majestatis” or the plural of majesty. Against this background they found no difficulty in Moses
using the singular in referring to Elohim after Elohim-God had spoken of Himself in the plural. Present day monarchs still use this form. Queen Elizabeth will always preface a proclamation by “We, Queen Elizabeth the Second… ” It is interesting to note, too, that, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, whose dynasty is said to have its origins in the biblical times of Solomon, used this form in 1973 when he stated “There is a crown prince and he will rule the country when We are no longer there. That is what We have decided and so it must be.”
3. The use of the plural form to denote that which is vast and measureless is common Hebrew usage. For example Shamayim is air 21 times, heaven 398 times. Ariphim likewise is heaven. Mayim is translated water 570 times of the 572 times it appears.
4. The New Testament quotation by the Lord Jesus of the Shema, Israel’s confession of faith, is in the singular in the Greek.
Hear, 0 Israel: The LORD our God (Elohim: plural) is one LORD
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is,Hear 0 Israel, The Lord our God (ho theos: singular) is one Lord.
This point alone should settle the issue for any genuine seeker after truth for obviously Jesus did not understand Elohim to convey plurality.
An interesting use of Elohim, obviously referring to the Lord Jesus and his second coming is found in Zechariah 14:5. The comment on the name in verse 9 is full of meaning, too, after our discoveries in Chapter Three.
Zechariah 14:5, 9
… and the LORD my God (Jehovah my Elohim) shall come, and all the saints with thee … And the LORD shall be king over all the earth; in that day there shall be one LORD, and his name one.
Jude writes (verse 14) of the second coming of Jesus in similar terms: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints”.
When Jesus shall come, the LORD my God shall come. Jesus is Jehovah my Elohim. Thomas certainly knew Him as such when he said “My Lord and my God”, or “My Jehovah and My Elohim “. And his name, as we have seen, IS one name – Jesus: the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
What, then, of the Word, who according to John was with God and was God?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life … And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
The Word, or Logos in Greek, does not have an exact English equivalent but the sense has perhaps best been conveyed by Phillips who paraphrases rather than translates the Greek as, “At the beginning God expressed himself.”
A word, written or spoken, is a means by which something abstract and intangible, a thought or emotion, is given a form. It is defined, expressed. I am expressing my thoughts now by writing words.
So the infinite God whom “the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain”, “whom no man hath seen, nor can see”, often expressed himself before He visited this world in His Son.
We touched on the revelation of God as the Angel of the Lord in Chapter Three. Constantly in the Old Testament he breaks through onto the scene, often as the angel or messenger of the LORD.
Exodus 3:2, 16
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him (Moses) in a flame of’ fire … And God said moreover unto Moses … Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, the LORD God of your Fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob appeared unto me.
The angel of’ the LORI) appeared; the LORI) GOD of your Fathers appeared.
Judges 13:21, 22
Then Manoah knew that he was the (not, an, as in AV) angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
God, in his naked glory, cannot be seen. But God-expressed, the Word, the angel of the LORD, was seen by many of the Old Testament prophets in addition to Manoah and his wife.
So John 1:1-3 might be loosely paraphrased “Right at the very beginning God-expressed already existed, and God-expressed was with(in) the infinite, invisible God: and of course God-expressed was none other than the infinite, invisible God (expressing himself).”
In fact, all the Greek texts I know actually show the passage translated as “And the Word was God” as “And God was the Word”. So our loose paraphrase would end “And the infinite, invisible God was none other than God-expressed”.
This is what John was saying and what his readers would have understood. He then went on to make his point that God-expressed had become flesh, If he were trying to establish a plural God he could have done so much more lucidly and it would have been necessary to have gone into far more detail on what would have been a completely new notion. There is one other point worth mentioning on the theme of the Word. I would not use it as proof in a debate but it is one of those many little confirmations you will find occurring right through the scriptures when you have found an aspect of the Truth
For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.
We looked at this scripture in Chapter Four and found that as it was necessary for the Father to glue to the son to have life, the sonship could not refer to the Deity. If Jesus were God the Son who had laid aside his deity he had but to take it up again. There was nothing the Father could give to a co-equal, co-eternal God the Son.
Look again at John 1:1 and 4In the beginning was the Word … In Him was life
The Father hath life in Himself. In the Word was life. The Word was the one God, the Father in whom was life, expressing himself. He, who later also became the Son, and who thus received life.A nice confirmation.
I should perhaps comment on the one passage in the Authorized Version where the Word might appear to be a member of a plural God.
I John 4:7
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.
Modern scholarship is unanimous that this passage was inserted by a scribe possibly as late as the fourth century AD and does not form part of inspired scripture. Most revisions and modern versions leave it out completely, often without so much as an explanation. It appears to be a desperate attempt by a translator to produce some evidence of a plural-God, for which doctrine there is no foundation in the whole of the Bible.
“Beware lest any man spoil You through Philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ,
FOR IN HIM DWELLETH ALL THE FULNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY”
(Colossians 2:8, 9)
P.O. Box 69480,
Phone: 706-4017 Bryanston, 2021,
Dear Ann and Peter,
Now that you have had an opportunity of considering the scriptures supporting what I told you in London I will be most interested to have your reactions – or those of any of your friends.
Why is it so important to be clear on who Jesus is?
Firstly, there was the problem you both had in prayer. That is solved now, I hope. But you also had another prayer problem you may not have known about! Jesus said
John 14:14 Revised Version (includes ‘ME’ as most Greek texts)
If ye shall ask Me anything in my name that will I do.
But soon after that Jesus also said
And in that day ye shall as Me nothing. Verily, verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye will ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
That’s just as clear. We will not ask the Jesus who was speaking for anything. We will ask the Father and the Father will grant us our request.
A blatant contradiction in the words of the Lord Jesus? Impossible. But that is how it looks against the background of orthodox teaching.
I hope that after reading this book you will have seen the simple harmony in the two statements. In John 14 Jesus had just told his disciples that they did not fully know him, and then introduced himself as the Father. “From henceforth ye have seen him and know him”. Then he said that the words he spoke were the words of the Father dwelling in him, the man, whom they had known for years. The scripture in John 14 is simply the Father speaking, and the verse in John 16 is the son speaking – “that the Father might be glorified in the son”.
Now try and reconcile these two verses from any other understanding of the scriptures.
An actual example of this kind of prayer is found in the book of Acts
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, LORD, THOU ART GOD, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is… And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
John tells us concerning Jesus, “All things were made by him” (John 1:3) so the disciples were praying to the Lord Jesus … and referred to the name of “thy holy child Jesus”.
They prayed to Jesus the Father and spoke of wonders to be done in the name of Jesus the Son.
It may take a while to get used to the new understanding, but scripture is scripture and our thinking must be in line with the. Word or it is wrong.
Secondly, it is so much easier to reach the Jews with this understanding. In a Saturday evening meeting in our home, of some 60 Christians present three were converted Jews. A converted Jew feels he can go to his friends with all confidence and relate the Messianic prophecies to the Lord Jesus against the Truth that Jesus was Jehovah in the flesh. A converted Jew holding the plural God doctrine does not have that boldness: he knows that to an orthodox Jew a plural god is an anathema. I have had talks with non-Christian Jews on this theme and they find it to be in perfect harmony with their knowledge of Jehovah.
Thirdly, it cuts the ground from under the feet of the Jehovah’s Witnesses-so-called or Watchtower canvassers. They can use Mark 13:32 or I Corinthians 15:24-28 and shatter Christians holding a conventional concept of God. But this truth confounds them. I went over some of the scriptures I have used in the first three chapters of this book with two of them recently and they were speechless. Margaret said they looked Punchdrunk!
Last, but not least, Truth is wonderful in itself. To see Jesus as the one, true, living God in his Son, the Lamb in the midst of the throne of God, inspires one to do as the psalmist said: Magnify the Lord with me”.God bless you,
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