John tells us that he sees a rider on a white horse coming out of heaven (Revelation 19:11-12), which in the context of the Apocalypse simply means the Rider came out of the Most Holy Place of the Temple. In other words, the Rider came out of the place where God dwells, and from where he rules. As John observes this Rider, he says the Horseman’s eyes were as a flame of fire, which is also how John described Jesus earlier in the Apocalypse (Revelation 1:14; 2:18). So, the Rider seems to be Jesus, and this becomes clearer and incontrovertible, as we read on (Revelation 19:13-16). Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: YHWH
Probably John 1:1 is the most controversial verse in the Bible. I grew up Roman Catholic and never doubted that Jesus was God. When I grew up and entered the military, I found several people who not only didn’t believe Jesus was God, but didn’t care. And, it didn’t stop there. Later, I would be visited by people who appeared very sincere in their beliefs, but they believed Jesus was either a mere man chosen by God or that Jesus was a god, but not the God. I have several blogs on the theology of the first chapter of John, but, for now, I just want to talk about what is on my heart as it pertains to this idea. Read the rest of this entry »
If we would allow ourselves to try to understand what our relationship with God was like before the fall of man, what would we see? If we could see that any change God made to reality as it was then, I think we would have to agree that such change would make God vulnerable, in that, he quite naturally accepts responsibility for all that occurs for the things he did. Therefore, when creating mankind God became, or more accurately, God made himself responsible for us—his creation. I believe this is one of the many things that John reveals to us in the Prologue to his Gospel (John 1:1-18). Read the rest of this entry »
Given that the religious leaders of the day found Jesus guilty of blasphemy, this was nothing to Pilate. So, we must ask: for what charge was Jesus crucified? What did the Jewish authorities say to the Roman governor? First of all, they were vague. They wanted Pilate to kill Jesus just because they found him guilty in the Sanhedrin. They desired the Roman governor to rubber stamp their decision (John 18:29-30), but this didn’t work. Pilate told them to punish him themselves, but they wanted the death penalty, which only Pilate had authority to administer (John 18:31-32). But, before Pilate could leave they began shouting accusations of insurrection. Notice: Read the rest of this entry »
On what basis in Jewish law was Jesus convicted by the Sanhedrin? Matthew and Mark say the high priest accused Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65; Mark 14:63). Did Jesus commit blasphemy? If not, why did the high priest believe he did or at least was able to convince the other priests present that Jesus spoke blasphemy? Luke records the trial held by the Sanhedrin in the morning: Read the rest of this entry »
In Titus 2:13 we are presented with a controversy concerning who we shall one day see. According to some believers in God’s word, we await the appearance of the Father and our Savior Jesus. They take issue with how the KJV and other more modern translations render this verse and point out that other translations seem to show that both the Father and the Son are indicated by Paul. Notice: Read the rest of this entry »
Jesus is described the Firstborn in Colossians 1:18 and then again in Revelation 3:14. This Greek word is arche (G746). It is often used by some Christians who don’t believe Jesus is God to indicate that Jesus is a created being. The implication is Jesus is the “beginning of the creation by God,” (Revelation 3:14), or the first one that God created.
In 1Corinthians 15:45 we see Jesus described as our second and last Adam. He is referred to in Colossians 1:18 as the beginning the firstborn from the dead. In other words Jesus is the beginning of the new (spiritual) creation of God. By Jesus rising from the dead and requiring that we be born again in and through him in order to be saved, he became the Beginning of the (new) creation of God. As such, he is the Firstborn (from the dead) and, therefore. the Ruler of the new creation, just as Adam was the “firstborn” and “ruler” of the old creation. The same word (arche) is used in Revelation 3:14, but in Colossians we are able to see its meaning as applied to Jesus. It is in relationship to his being the Firstborn from the dead and, therefore, King of the Creation of God.
With regard to context, Colossians 1:13-18 shows that we, as Christians, have been transplanted from one authority to that of another. The whole context of these verses is one of authority and not one of origin. We were born into Adam’s race. He is the authority (power) of darkness, in as much as he defiled himself in Eden, and we all trace our roots ultimately to him. However, God has “transplanted us into the kingdom of the Son of his love…” (Colossians 1:13).
Adam was the ruler or beginner or leader of his race, and because of his fall into rebellion, we were all born into sin (power of darkness). Jesus is the last Adam (1Corinthians 15:45). In him the new creation has its source or beginning (2Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10). It is in this sense that the Greek word arche (G.746) is to be understood. Christ is the Beginning and therefore Leader, Lord, Governor or Ruler of the new creation.
The entire book of Revelation reveals an ongoing battle between the kingdom of darkness (Adam’s race) and the Kingdom of Light (those who are created in Christ). In the third chapter of Revelation, Christ is presented to the Church of Laodicea as the Faithful Witness in contrast to their unfaithful witness. Then he is said to be the Arche of the creation of God – the Leader or Governor of all creation – in contrast to their unwillingness to submit to his authority or Lordship. Making a quick survey of a few other texts where the word arche is used will show that this is the sense here in Colossians and Revelation:
- Romans 8:38 – arche — (rulerships or governments) are unable to separate Christians from the love of God
- Ephesians 1:21 – after Christ rose from the dead, his authority extended far above all arches (governments) etc.
- Ephesians 3:10 – the arches (governments) are taught wisdom through God’s dealings with Christians
- Colossians 2:10, 15 – Christ is the head of arches (government) and authority, and displayed rulership over them in his resurrection, for they sentenced him to die! he brought their authority to naught by rising from the dead.
- Titus 3:1 – as Christians we are to subject ourselves and obey arches , (governments) authorities, and rulers.
That Jesus is eternal is testified in Scripture very clearly:
1 John 1:1-2 KJV That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (2) (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
If we would break the verse down into its parts, we would have:
The Word of Life is
- which was from the beginning
- which we have heard
- which we have seen with our eyes
- which we have looked upon
- and our hands have handled
“Eternal Life was made manifest”
- we have seen it (him)
- and bear witness (of him)
- and shew (i.e. speak) unto you (about him)
In other words Jesus, the Word of Life, is Eternal Life or the Eternal (Being). He came from our Father to be seen and known of men. This is emphasized again at the close of John’s letter,
1 John 5:19-20 NASB We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (20) And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
These two verses stand in contrast to one another. What we know in verse-19 is contrasted with what we know in verse-20. We know the whole world lies in the evil one, or Adam. All that we are and have become is found in him. He rebelled from God and this whole world is a product of that rebellion. All that is contrary to God has its source in Adam. In verse-20 we know that the Son of God has arrived (i.e. the Messiah or second Adam). He has given us understanding that we may know what is true. We are in what is true (or the true One), that is, in his (God’s, verse-19) Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the true One in contrast to the wicked one in verse-19. He is the second Adam in verse-20 in contrast to the first Adam in verse-19 (i.e. the wicked one). We, who have been given understanding by the Son of God are in him, which is in contrast to the whole world being in the wicked one in verse-19. John concludes by saying that this one (Jesus) is the true God and everlasting life.
The pronoun, this (is the true God) in verse-20, refers to its immediate noun, which in this case is “Jesus Christ,” but even if it should modify “the true One” as some commentators claim, this still refers to Jesus Christ who is the true One in contrast with the wicked one in verse-19.
In his Gospel, John describes the Word (Jesus) as the Light that gives life to every man (John 1:4, 6). John began his first letter by saying that “Everlasting Life,” who was with the Father, was manifest to him and the other apostles. They handled Life, looked at him and listened to him (1John 1:1-2). John ends his letter by describing the “Everlasting Life,” who was made manifest to them, as the true God.
To summarize, we have found testified in the Scriptures that Jesus is the Creator of all there is (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17); yet he was not created by anyone (Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:10-11). He has been with God from the beginning, and is himself called God (John 1:1; 1John 5:20). We can, therefore, say that Jesus and our Father are One – Creator and God (John 10:30; Hebrews 3:4). That Jesus and our Father are One can be further attested in that, after his resurrection, Jesus commanded the disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). They went out just as he commanded them (Mark 16:20), and baptized all in the name of Jesus. In the Greek the name Jesus is Iesous (G2424); and means “Jehovah is salvation.” Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14) and with the presence of Father (2Corinthians 5:19). God was One in Christ in saving mankind. Jesus, meaning “Jehovah saves,” is the name (singular in Matthew 28:19) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48 and 19:5)! There is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:9-12). Therefore, Jesus is Jehovah! It has already been brought out in previous studies that the Angel of the LORD (YHWH) is Jehovah. Furthermore, we have seen that Jesus is Jehovah. (YHWH) God and therefore the Angel of the LORD so often figured in the Old Testament.
On numerous occasions I have had the pleasure of discussing the issue of whether or not Jesus is God with people who either do not believe Jesus is God or believe he is something divine, but not “the” God. I have had these discussions either in my home or on a discussion forum over the Internet. According to John 1:3, Jesus is the Creator of all things,
John 1:3 NET. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. (emphasis, mine)
With this in mind, it is difficult to understand how some Christians could conclude that Jesus is a created being. Some Christians I have spoken with describe Jesus as the Firstborn of God and interpreting this to mean that Jesus is a created being. Indeed, Jesus is called the Firstborn in Scripture, but is the Biblical meaning of this term limited to Webster’s definition of the word firstborn, i.e. the first child born into a family? What is the Biblical definition of the word firstborn, and is it different from Webster’s definition? Notice how Paul puts it in Colossians and compare it with John 1:3 above:
Colossians 1:15-17 NET. (15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, (16) for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him — all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers — all things were created through him and for him. (17) He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.
In addition to Webster’s definition of eldest or the child born first, the word of God includes the terms authority and birthright to clarify the full meaning of the word firstborn. This definition is not taken from the Greek or Hebrew dictionaries but is shown within the Biblical text.
In Colossians 1:15-17 the intent or meaning of the word firstborn is shown in the context. The intent there is to reveal Christ as the ultimate authority. For example, consider 1Chronicles 5:1 where it plainly states that Reuben had the firstborn status among the sons of Jacob, because he was born first, just as Webster’s dictionary would define the word firstborn. Yet, because he defiled his father’s bed, Reuben lost his birthright to Joseph (compare: Jeremiah 31:9 where Joseph’s son Ephraim is used for all Israel) and rulership or authority to Judah (cp. Genesis 49:1-4, 8-12). So, the problem with using only Webster’s definition is that, according to Scripture, the firstborn status can go to a younger son, so the son who is born first can lose his status or rights as the firstborn in his family.
Another example of the meaning that Scripture attaches to the word firstborn is found in the covenant God made with David in Psalms 89:20-37. This covenant concerns the blessing that both his seed and his throne would endure forever. Note one verse in particular:
Psalm 89:27 KJV “Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth”.
We find in this Scripture not only a reference to Jesus, the Messiah, but also God’s definition of the word firstborn as it applies to Jesus. Firstborn is defined as the one who is greater in authority than all kings (or rulers) of the earth. One more comparison from the Scriptures ought to put this argument to rest. Notice Revelation 1:5 where the New Testament makes an obvious reference to Psalm 89:27:
Revelation 1:5 NET. and from Jesus Christ — the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood (emphasis mine)
The term firstborn in Scripture is definitely richer in meaning than what Webster ascribes to the word in our modern dictionary. We must be particularly careful not to place present day definitions upon words having a peculiar significance in the Biblical record. There may be times when Webster will do a good job in defining something for us in the Bible. However, if Webster contradicts or falls short in interpreting the full meaning that the Scriptures place upon a word, such as firstborn, we should let Webster on the shelf and go with God! May the Lord open our eyes to the truth of his word.
It is not my intention to debate whether God’s name should be pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah or even if vowels should be inserted at all in the Hebrew YHWH. In the last instance God’s name would be unpronounceable. If one tried to pronounce the sound of the Hebrew YHWH only the exhaling of breadth would occur. I know certain groups prefer one of the above references to God over the others. I am comfortable with any of these references when speaking of God. Read the rest of this entry »
Some Christians believe Jesus is a created god, while others conclude he is divine, but only a man. None of those who hold a low view of Jesus believe he is God Almighty or Jehovah / YHWH or of the same essence as his Father. Read the rest of this entry »
In Revelation 4 John is taken up in the Spirit to see where he saw One seated on a throne. Hebrews 1:3, 8:1; 10:12 and 12:2 all say that Jesus is seated on the throne of God, at the right hand of the Father (or in the executive position). In other words, it is Jesus who carries out the determinant will of God. All that God chooses to do is done through his Son, Jesus. So, does John see Jesus or the Father, because the text reveals only one who is seated on the throne? Read the rest of this entry »
I have been told by those who hold a low view of Jesus that he is never once called Almighty God or God Almighty in the Bible. One may search the Bible from cover to cover and never once find the words, “Jesus is Almighty God.” While this is true, neither will one find the words,“The Father is Almighty God.” One can search the Scriptures from cover to cover and the words just aren’t there. Why is this so? I believe that the Lord wishes us to search for him. Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is God’s glory to conceal things.” he hides things about himself within his word. The same verse continues, “It is the glory of kings to search things out.” That is, God created us to enjoy uncovering the unknown or to solve a mystery. It is our honor to search the Scriptures and find what God has hidden about himself. I like the way the Message paraphrases this, Read the rest of this entry »
The identity of the Angel of the LORD can be viewed through the eyes of Jacob to give us an astonishing perspective. Consider Moses’ first encounter with the Angel of YHWH at the burning bush (Who Appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush?). Remember that it was the Angel of the LORD who appeared to Moses, but the Scripture identifies him as God. As the Angel spoke, he identified himself as Jehovah God or the LORD God (see above, Exodus 3:2, 4-6). As the Angel continued to speak to Moses, he revealed a little more about himself, Read the rest of this entry »
In Exodus we find the story of Moses, his birth, how and where he grew up and the reason he fled for his life to the land of Midian (Exodus 2:11-15). During his exile, Moses married the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian. One day, while tending his father-in-law’s sheep, Moses saw a burning bush on a mountain near the place he had taken the flock, yet the bush was not consumed. Although the text says it was the Angel of the LORD that appeared to Moses in the flame (Exodus 3:2), it was the LORD who called out to Moses when he turned aside to see the bush that was not consumed by the fire: Read the rest of this entry »
“HEAR, O ISRAEL: THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE” [Deuteronomy 6:4 – JPS].
This Scripture down to the ninth verse is what is called the Sh’ma by the Jews. It is the first of the sections of Scripture that were put in their phylacteries. It was recited twice per day, in the evening when they would lie down and in the morning when they would rise up, according to the command in Deuteronomy 6:7. It is repeated even today, “Sh’ma Yisrael, HaShem our G-d, HaShem, the One and only!” Read the rest of this entry »