Our Sermon Section
By Chip - 26 Aug 2011
In Reference to: 11 September 1988 - ALL OF HELL WITNESSED JESUS CHRIST’S VICTORY
I must confess, your sermon left me dumbfounded. I am baffled how two people can read the same scriptures and get two diametrically differing interpretations as to the nature of God.
It seems you pick and choose scriptures supporting a preconceived opinion of God and Jesus, rather than a reasoned conclusion. I don’t mean to be blunt, but your “editing” of scripture is shocking. Consider please a line by line examination of your text:
1 Peter 4:12 is contrasting Jesus (a man in the flesh) with those first century elders of the congregation. They, like Jesus, were to transform their behavior to conform with his exemplary life. To no longer live for the carnal flesh, but for God. If Jesus were God incarnate, as you suggest, the comparison would not fit. God cannot sin. God (Jesus on earth, as you claim) would not be proving anything about man’s ability to conquer sin, if it were impossible for him to sin. Jesus could not be God or the challenge would be illegitimate.
Deut 6:4 is a scripture in the OT dealing with Israel. The ancient Israelites knew nothing of Jesus. Their God was Yahweh in Hebrew, Jehovah in most other languages. The Jews were and still are monotheistic, not Trinitarian. Quoting that verse to prove a trinity is to take the rest of the OT out of the equation. Besides, even if it did, at some level, prove a sharing of godship it would only prove a duality of gods, not three-in-one. Neither the word Lord or God is a name. They are Titles and proper pronouns, similar to King, President, Master, etc. In both Hebrew and Greek the term is used to reference not only Jehovah (Deut 6:4) and Jesus (Matt 7:21 KJV), but also elders, (Rev. 7:13,14 NWT) angels, (Gen. 19:1,2 RSV) several men, (King David for one at 1 Sam 25:24 NIV, Sarah honored Abraham at Gen. 18: 12) even false dieties were referred to as lords. ! Cor. 8: 5) So dear reader, please know, the term lord or god does not always denote the Almighty.
God has a personal name, as does his son. They are Jehovah and Jesus respectively. The word “lord” in the KJV is used to replace God’s personal name, due to superstition as to its sanctity. And I believe to obscure the true identity and Nature of God. In the older KJV you will find the name Jehovah or I AM, in at least four locations, Psa. 83:18; Exo. 6:2,3; Exo. 3: 14, 15; and Isa. 42:8. The vast majority of times it was replaced with LORD in capital letters. Lord written in lower case is a standard pronoun denoting men with honor or authority. If the name Yahweh or Jehovah is NOT in these locations in your Bible, they have been edited out. In KJ Bibles printed in the 19th century it was there; but Satan and his minions are doing a great job in obscuring and diluting the Most Sacred Name. Someone will pay for the blasphemy on His name; Deut. 4:2 makes it clear. You cite Deut 6:4 as proof the Lord and God are one. They are. Jehovah is LORD and GOD, he is ONE. Jesus is Lord and god, he is another.
To assume otherwise, one would have to discount dozens of other scriptures that most definitely show they are NOT the same entity. For instance: Phil 2:5 makes it clear that Christians should have the same attitude as Christ and not presume equality with God. The NIV, RSV and NWT make it clear Jesus “did not consider equality with God;” “ did not count equality with God;” or “gave no consideration…he should be equal to God.” The KJV uses archaic and ambiguous terms here that reveal the translators bias to Trinitarian beliefs. But, the context of the scripture makes the meaning clear. See also John 1:18, “No man has seen God at any time…” If Jesus were God that statement would be false. John 4: 34, Jesus said “my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” One cannot be sent by someone nor complete the senders will if he were the sender, it makes no sense. Still doubtful? John 5: 30 Jesus himself clarifies “I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative; just as I hear, I judge…because I seek not my will, but the will of the one that sent me.” Again, Jesus was sent. He didn’t just get a notion one day and leave heaven on his own. The sender (God) remained in heaven, never came to earth, can’t come to earth. Why, you ask? Verses 19 through 24 show Jesus does all the judging of mankind and he does “only what he beholds the Father doing.” He wasn’t beholding himself was he? Jehovah can’t or won’t come to earth for several reasons; One, “no man can see God and live,” (Exo. 33:20), it wouldn’t be an act of love to cause the death of anyone looking upon His splendor. Secondly, he has no need to. He sent Jesus to get His house in order. Again, Jehovah designated Jesus as a Ransom for sinful men. The ransom is to be paid to God, by Jesus’ blood.
As to John 1:1, that is perhaps the most misinterpreted scripture in the Bible. One needs to compare the whole body of evidence in the NT and see the context. For instance, 1 Cor. 8: 4-6 makes it clear there are many gods and lords in heaven and on earth, but verse six is clear, “But to us there is but one God, the Father…and one Lord Jesus Christ…” Clearly delineating God the Father of Jesus from his created son. Yes, Jesus was the “firstborn of all creation” according to Colo.1:15-17 “and the creator of all other things.” His father allowed him to participate in the creative process and likely this brought great pride and happiness to Jehovah, as he is spoken of as the “son of His love’ and through him “all things came to be.” The word Logos, meaning “word” shows Jesus acted as God’s spokesman to mankind and we follow his direction still. There are books dealing with this verse from language scholars and reading those would be helpful. I can offer a bibliography should you be interested.
As to Hebrews 2:9, of course it speaks of Jesus coming to earth as a redeemer; but not as God. My God is guiding Jesus, his Son, to do his will. Why would the Almighty deign to become a man? Adam wasn’t God on earth. How could there be an equal ransom if God Almighty in Heaven gave up the throne to walk among earth’s sinners. Would that not be a victory for Satan? Would not humbling God to be “less than a man” (as Jesus was) prove Satan’s plan of humiliating God successful? What would his heavenly hosts, his “morning stars” (angels) think of their God manipulated to earth to endure torture for three and a half years? It makes no sense. Sorry. I can’t buy into your sermon.