The Divine Nature
Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
(Deuteronomy 6: 4-5)
There is only one God. However, the Bible describes Him as three persons.
It often uses a plural word to describe God. For example, Elohim.
The Bible states that all three were involved in creation.
Although the Bible says God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4) it does not attempt to solve the puzzle of how three can be one.
We know the distinction exists not only because of the use of plural words but because Jesus
addresses the Father and the Holy Spirit as separate beings.
Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit could not come until He left.
As He was dying He cried out to the father "why have You forsaken me".
In the Lord's Prayer He addresses the Father.
To understand this relationship, there are several possibilities, none of which might be the real one.
Neither can we properly define Him, since this knowledge is beyond our comprehension.
Are they three physically, mentally or spiritually? Are they one physically, mentally or spiritually?
Do we have words or familiar concepts to even attempt to understand this?
In our realm of possibilities, these are possible explanations:
- A Reference For Us. God uses pictures familiar to us to define His nature based on roles familiar to us. A loving father, a devoted son, a family and a comforter. The physical reality may be quite different.
If I asked you to describe a new color it would be impossible because we need a comparable reference in order to describe a thing or an idea.
It is useless to say that it is half way between two other colors because such designations are pointless.
Green is half way between blue and yellow, yet there is nothing about it that is comparable or recognizable as being related to either yellow or blue.
We communicate meaning by analogies. Nouns, verbs and adjectives are standardized single word analogies with pre-determined meanings.
God as a family of three males describes a truth about God to us.
The analogy is incomplete because there is no mother.
So this comparison must show the love of family, not how a family is created.
Later we will explain what this exclusion teaches us and why God cannot be female. So even in symbolism God maintains the most accurate picture possible.
Symbolism has limits so God uses several analogies to paint the most understandable picture possible.
- A Prophecy For Us. God would physically come to us as a Father, as a Son and as a constant Companion-Friend.
- A Mental And Spiritual Oneness (Unity). They are three in one by the nature of their unique close relationship. They agree on all things and support each other. A committee. We find a similar picture in the marriage of two people who God says must become "one flesh" (Genesis 2: 24 and Ephesians 5: 31).
- A Physical Oneness. There is a physical reality we cannot understand because we rarely see examples of it in nature. Some species e.g. worms are two creatures in one body and conjoined twins share one body but have their own thoughts and personalities.
A rainbow is all colors wrapped up as white light. How could the darker blue, red and green create white?
- A Supernatural Oneness. Their relationship and physical structure is far removed from the mental, physical and spiritual realities we know. Conjoined triplets who can separate and unite themselves physically at will, and who have all other dimensions of their relationship in agreement and harmony.
Or separate beings who share their mental thoughts. They have mental, spiritual, psychological and social oneness.
- A Combination.
The fascinating description of the cherubim in Ezekiel 1 describes an unusual creature.
The cherubim is a created being that is four in one. In addition, a wheel beside them moves as if it is one with them because it "shares their spirit".
There is some sort of physical oneness with the four creatures.
There is mental oneness between the four creatures and between them and the wheel. They control it through their mind.
These are created beings yet they have an attribute that we struggle to understand about the Creator!
- The Power Of Three Dimensions.
When I think of a box (a 3 dimensional object) this structure makes sense.
A 1-D thin line can be stretched and pulled into a thin 2-D paper which can be folded into a 3-D box.
The process can be reversed.
Neither the line nor the paper is as powerful a construct as the three dimensional box.
Yet it is one object.
When I try to make sense of God this box helps me to see how one can be three and why the three are a more powerful configuration.
God is One who has organized Himself into a powerful One in Three.
- None Of The Above. We have no experience or ability in the current reality that could attempt to describe God.
Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
(Job 11: 8)
Can a worm know man? No. Apparently, we cannot know God. We are too puny. He is too complex.
So what is important is how we respond to God, not how we think He is constructed.
Characteristics Of God
Lacking a physical description and understanding of the nature of God, we are left with describing God through what He does.
Through His actions, God received many names and titles.
The nature of God is loving and powerful.
The power of God is able to overcome all the physical, mental and spiritual laws of nature.
- Love. He is all loving, generous, good, full of mercy and compassion.
Thus says the Lord, do not let a wise man boast of his wisdom,
and do not let the mighty man boast of his might, do not let a rich man boast of his riches;
but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that
I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth;
for I delight in these things says the Lord.
(Jeremiah 9: 23-24)
- Good. He is just, kind, faithful and hates evil. Every good thing given and every perfect thing is from above ... (James 1: 5)
- Omnipotent. He is all powerful. Philippians 4:13. ... with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19: 26)
- Omniscient. He knows all things. Psalm 139: 2,4. Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. (Matthew 6: 8)
- Omnipresent. He is everywhere at all times. Psalm 139: 7-12.
- Immutable. He does not change. James 1: 17. For I, the Lord, do not change. (Malachi 3: 6)
- Perfect and Holy. He always does the right thing. Hebrews 5: 9; Matthew 5: 48.
- Sinless. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4: 15)
- Eternal. He has always existed and always will. ... from everlasting to everlasting You are God. (Psalm 90: 2)
- Invisible. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God be honor and glory forever and ever (1 Timothy 1: 17)
- Immortal. Cannot die forever. Who alone possesses immortality ... (1 Timothy 6:16)
The actions of God are to give life.
- Gravity. He can float. ... He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. (Acts 1: 9)
- Physics. He can pass through solid objects or materialize out of thin air. John 20: 19, 26.
- Biology. He can instantly rewire every brain. He changed the global language in one day. (Genesis 11: 1-7)
- Resurrection. He can recreate a dead body with all its memories no matter where their atoms are scattered.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.
The Resurrection. He who believes in Me will live even if He dies.
The Life (Immortality). And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die". Do you believe this?
- Prophecy. He knows the future. Isaiah 48: 2-5. 2 Peter 1: 19-21.
- Read Minds. God can read your thoughts and dreams and give thoughts and dreams. (Daniel 2: 28-29)
The roles of God among humans are:
- The Creator. He created the universe in seven days and He can recreate any broken life. Genesis 1: 1. Exodus 20: 8-11.
- The Sacrifice. Jesus died for our sins.
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the whole world. (1 John 2: 2).
Greater Love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13).
- Life Giver. He maintains life in all His creation since none of us are immortal. Romans 6: 23.
- The Father. In this instance Jesus clearly refers to the Father as a separate being from Himself.
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
(John 12: 49)
- The Son. Hebrews 5: 5. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ... (John 3: 16)
- The Mother. He allows us to be born again through Him. Isaiah 49: 15. Luke 13: 34. He is like a mother hen (Matthew 23: 37)
Even though God uses several feminine attributes to describe His behavior, the feminine pronoun, "she" is never used to describe God. Why?
This was the perfect opportunity to describe the Holy Spirit as feminine.
Even though symbols are inadequate they cannot be inaccurate.
While humans need male and female to perpetuate the species, God demonstrated through Adam that females can be taken out of males.
However, the reverse is not true unless the female has a womb and a husband.
While it is possible to rent a womb or make and artificial one, it is infinitely less possible to make a "Y" chromosome.
Adam was first and he has XY chromosomes. It is genetically possible for him to father both genders.
If Eve was created first, Adam could not have been taken out of her because she only has the XX genes.
So if God is symbolized as the source of life, He can never be described in terms that suggest that He needs something else outside Himself to create.
So God has to be described in the masculine gender.
- The Comforter And Guide (Friend). Ezekiel 34: 11-12. John 16: 13. John 14: 16,26.
- Savior. The Redeemer and Savior of mankind. John 12: 47.
- The Human (Messiah) - The chief of all humans. John 1: 1-14. John 1: 41.
- The Archangel Michael - The chief of all Angels. This begs the question, if sin originated among the angels did God take a similar role for them in redeeming them?
- The Supporter.
For the eyes of the Lord move back and forth throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
(2 Chronicles 16: 9)
- The Advocate. ... And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2: 1).
- The Mediator. Hebrews 9: 15. Hebrews 12: 24.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5)
- The High Priest. He experienced our life so that He could represent us.
Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest
in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of people.
(Hebrews 2: 17)
- The King Of Kings. ... The Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings ... (Revelation 17: 14).
- The Judge And Warrior. Daniel 7: 9-10, 21-22. ... in righteousness He judges and wages war (Revelation 19: 11).
- The Reluctant Executioner. 2 Peter 3:9.
Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, declares the Lord, "Therefore, repent and live".
(Ezekiel 18: 31-32)
God - The Father
The Father is the creator, sovereign ruler, He maintains life, He is immortal, He is just, He is holy
He loves and cares deeply for His creation and is daily interested in speaking to us and hearing from us.
He has never abandoned us, but in fact has come searching for us when we abandoned Him.
He is jealous for our love and He draws us back to him not through fear or force but by gently pleading with us.
He is holy and law abiding, but in His grace and mercy has extended a great gift to us at enormous cost to Himself.
His role seems to be the administrative works of God.
He does what is necessary for God to reconcile us with His character and with the rest of the universe.
The Trinity (The Godhead Or Divine Nature)
This is a doctrine which says that God is a union of three separate personalities who are inseparable. There is never any disagreement or rivalry but one of harmonious coexistance united in the purest form of love.
There are many examples of this unique union in scripture of the written word and in the scripture of nature.
God claims that nature reveals His attributes and we have clear access to this knowledge.
The Nature Of God Revealed.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
(Romans 1: 19-20)
- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This text proves the Trinity in heaven.
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
(1 John 5: 7-8)
There are also three witneses on earth that should also bear witness to God. Jesus is the Word of God.
The Holy Ghost writes the Law in our heart, bearing witness to the washing by the blood and water.
Marriage, which was designed to be indestructible is the union of two who must be one (Genesis 2: 24).
The ten commandments are described as two laws, love God and love your neighbor. It can be described as even one law - love.
- Nature Observed (Macroscopic). Many examples observed in nature show us how many can be one. The rainbow shows us that white light is composed of several different colors of light. At a minimum, each of the three primary colors of light creates white. The white light would not exist if any of the primary colors were missing.
- Nature Revealed (Microscopic).
Even at the subatomic level there is more evidence that God is strongly united but distinguished by different functions.
- God The Son (The Strong Force). The strong force holds the nucleus together. The electromagnetic force holds the atom and electrons together. The "Z" force causes the sun to shine and allows radioactive particles to leave the nucleus.
Jesus mimics all the function of the strong and weak forces in His role as High Priest and Creator.
The Strong One.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together [endure, consist].
(Colossians 1: 15-17) NASB
The Door (Z Force).
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
(John 10: 9)
The Light Of The World.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
(John 8: 12)
- God The Holy Spirit (Mass Boson).
In the sanctuary model invisible things have meaning. The space called the Most Holy Place represents the work of the Spirit.
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4: 18)
In this room is the river of life and air or space. The Holy Spirit is represented as water and air!
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
(John 3: 8)
Science has not adequately understood this feature, and it is too complex to call it the Higgs Boson.
However, it is the source of mass and part of the system that glues the atom together internally.
- God The Father (The Ark Of The Covenant). He is source of the water, the light and the covenant of life.
Light (Shekinah Glory).
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
(1 John 1: 5)
Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
(Psalm 104: 2)
- Bible Texts. Beginning with the use of the plural word "Elohim" (Genesis 1: 26), several texts support the fact that God is plural, but nothing like the multiple gods of Paganism.
God could have been saying to the collective creatures who were made in His image, "let US". However Elohim is plural for "Gods", so the term "us" is the "Gods".
These could create or make man in their image so God could not be calling the other created beings to help Him create man.
"Us" - In "Our" Image.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
(Genesis 1: 26)
- Judgment At Babel. The plural Ones passed judgment on Babel and confused their language.
Judged Deliver Justice.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
(Genesis 11: 7)
- The Watchers And Holy Ones.
In the King James Version every reference to the "Holy One" refers to the Creator God of Israel.
The single reference to the "Holy Ones" is to one who passed judgment.
We can conclude that this may be another example of the Gods who come down to watch and pass judgment.
However, it could refer to the angels.
- The Mighty Gods. This was spoken by Pagan nations who believed in multiple gods, so their perspective is not as reliable but is still an example of plurality.
The Mighty Gods Of The Hebrews.
And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp.
And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore.
Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? These are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.
(1 Samuel 4: 6-8)
- The Son. He is clearly seen as part of the Trinity.
- God Has A Son. God is the designer who has a Son.
The Creator Has A Son.
Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in the garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know!
(Proverbs 30: 4)
- The Son Is God. God calls His Son "God".
The Righteous Son King.
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
(Hebrews 1: 8)
- The Son Is Humbled. The Son took the humble form of humanity.
The Humility Of Humanity.
Who is like the Lord our God Who dwells on high, Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and earth.
(Psalm 113: 5-6)
- The Son Is Worshipped.
Only God is to be worshipped. So if the Son is to be worshipped He is God.
Worship The Son.
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
(Hebrews 1: 6)
Jesus Christ - The Messiah (The Son Of God)
Jesus is God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
|The Prayers of Jesus
Jesus said many beautiful prayers. Here are a few of the most notable.
|Before He came to Earth |
(Hebrews 10: 5-7)
Therefore, when He comes into the world He says,
sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me;
In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, look I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of Me)
to do Your will, O God.
|The Lord's Prayer |
(Matthew 6: 9-13)
Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come,
Your will be be done, on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.
|The Unity Prayer |
After the last supper, He prayed for the unity of the church.
It is also a confirmation of the completion of the mission stated in His prayer before He came to earth. (Hebrews 10: 5-7)
Now the world can be reconciled to God in a unity that is as strong as the unity between Him and the Father. Mission accomplished!
|In the Garden of Gethsemane |
(Matthew 26: 39)
In agony, sweating blood instead of water, He surrendered His will to God for our sake.
My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as You will
|During The Crucifixion|
He prayed for His enemies.
Father, forgive then for they do not know what they are doing .
He grieved over the separation from God.
'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani' which is translated, My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?
(Mark 15: 34).
|His Eternal Intercession |
(Hebrews 7: 25)
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him,
since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Jesus is the Creator. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that came into being.
Jesus became a Man. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1: 1-3,14)
He called himself God - equal to the Father. "I and the Father are one". He is not merely a good man or another great prophet.
He existed before the world. While all the members of the Trinity were present at the creation, John refers to Him as the one who actively created the earth.
Jesus spoke the world into existence.
He is our savior and recreator.
He is our advocate and our judge.
He is God's Gift to us. Through His death God is able to satisfy the legal claims of the law and bring us back to him.
He was crucified for our sins. We are all guilty of his death.
He conquered death and will share His victory with anyone who wants it.
He is Michael, the Archangel (Chief of Angels).
All these roles tend to demonstrate that He is the executive arm of God, as far as the plan of salvation is concerned.
He gets the job done. He does what is necessary for God to help us.
He was fully God and fully man, to be the Messiah
Jesus voluntarily "emptied himself" of His divine powers while He was a human.
This means He chose not to exercise them.
To demonstrate the magnitude of His sacrifice you would have to conceive of Superman
voluntarily becoming a quadriplegic, homeless and with severe memory loss.
Although many say that Jesus was human and "tempted like us" I believe many do not really believe it.
Because they do not believe that we can overcome sin.
Most people think He had some special help which we cannot access. Either through His hidden powers, or
extra favor from God or a superior mental capacity. Be He had something special.
This gives us an excuse to sin. An excuse to deny victory over sin.
But His own birth demonstrated that God did not want to have any special favors.
He was born with every conceivable limitation stacked against Him.
He was dirt poor.
He was born under the cloud of illegitimacy. Historical records indicate that the Jews said that Mary was a prostitute.
In His adult life, the people taunted Him about not knowing who His father was.
The Old Testament indicates that He was not handsome. So that people would not come to Him because of His beauty.
He had to win the hearts and minds of people through the Word of God because that Word is the only tangible
testimony that we will always have about God.
What Jesus had was a good mother who taught Him early that He was special. He was the Son of God.
With that the little boy must have tried in human ways to communicate with His Father. And God responded.
Psalms indicates that God woke Him up every morning - to teach Him. And Jesus responded.
This is also what we also have access to.
See our section on the Messianic prophecies.
Christ The Paradox.
Christ presents a paradox that proved that everything is possible with God.
He is God, yet He became a man.
God is immortal, yet He died. He is the only image that can be worshipped without breaking the second commandment.
God can create Himself and resurrect Himself from the dead.
The Creator. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things have been created through Him and for Him.
(Colossians 1: 15)
Since He is the creator, He is the one who introduced Himself as God in the ten commandments.
It also means that He is the one who liberated Israel from Egypt and followed them in the desert for forty years.
The Law Giver. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
... But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.
... For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth.
(Exodus 20: 2,3,10-11)
King Of Kings
For He must reign until He had put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
For He must put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says "All things are put in subjection", it is evident that He expected to put all things in subjection to Him.
When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
(1 Corinthians 15: 25-28)
Jesus rules as King over all principalities and powers from His resurrection until death is destroyed after the millennium.
The Rock. For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea;
and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
and all ate the same spiritual food;
and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
(1 Corinthians 10: 1-4)
Spiritual means "from God". Since the spiritual food was real, then the Rock was real.
Creator And Recreator.
Jesus was the creator in the beginning. As the Messiah, He takes the role to recreate us into new creatures according to the plan of salvation.
The Father Sends the Son.
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?
The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
(John 14: 10)
|The Creative Roles
The Humble God Became Human.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as a thing to be grasped,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
For this reason also, God has highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.
He will be Worshipped as God.
So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2: 5-8)
|Day ||Creation ||Salvation |
|1 ||Light ||He is the Light of the World (John 8: 12) |
|2 ||Heaven, Waters ||He gives living waters (John 4: 10, 14) |
|3 ||Earth, Sea, Trees ||He is the Bread of Life (John 6: 35). |
He is the vine (John 15: 1,5)
|4 ||Sun, moon, stars ||He is the bright morning star (Revelation 22: 16). |
He holds the stars (church) (Revelation 1: 16,20)
|5 ||Fish and birds ||He makes us fishers of men (Mark 1: 17) |
|6 ||Man and Animals ||He is the Lamb of God (John 1: 29) |
He is the Son of Man (Matthew 20: 28).
|7 ||Sabbath ||He gives rest from sin (Matthew 11: 28) |
Brother And Son.
Jesus was the son of Mary and brother to several half brothers and sisters.
Some want to believe that these were older children of Joseph from a different marriage, but the bible does not support that.
There is more evidence in favor of the fact that these were Mary's children.
- Not A Perpetual Virgin. Mary was not a virgin for the rest of her life. She was a virgin until she had the baby.
And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife.
But he kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a son, and he called his name Jesus.
(Matthew 1: 24-25)
This clearly teaches that after she gave birth, Joseph started having sexual relations with her.
The word "until" signifies that when the statement that follows the word is true then the previous statement is no longer true.
The word virgin means "never having a sexual relationship", it does not mean "before having a child".
The words "barren" or "childless" defines the old status. The word "mother" defines that new status.
So the text is not saying "Joseph kept her childless until she had her son". The statement does not even make sense.
It is saying "Joseph did not have sexual relationship with her until she had her son".
- Three Go To Egypt And Three Return To Israel. This is a minor point. It does not prove that there were no adult children or other younger children, but it at least demonstrates that when they fled to Egypt that the family consisted of three people.
So Joseph had no other children, yet.
... an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.
... So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
(Matthew 2: 13,21)
- Four Brothers And Some Sisters. Several verses show that he had many brothers and sisters.
Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where did this man get all these things?
(Matthew 13: 55-56; Mark 6: 13).
- His Mother's Sons. This Messianic prophecy clearly states that His brothers were the sons of His mother.
I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother's sons.
(Psalm 69: 8)
- Unbelieving Family. He was not supported by His family.
Therefore His brothers said to Him, Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples may also seek your works which you are doing.
For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
(John 7: 3,5)
» Insane. His own family called Him insane.
When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying "He has lost His senses".
Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him.
A crowd was sitting around Him and they said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You".
Answering them He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers ... for whoever does the will of God, He is My brother, and sister and mother".
(Mark 3: 21, 31-35)
See also Luke 8:19-21 and Matthew 12: 46.
- James The Apostle. The author of the book of James was the brother of Christ. He was an unbeliever until the resurrection.
But I did not see any of the apostles, except James, the Lord's brother.
(James 1: 19)
Was Jesus Christ God?
He was God on a unique mission sent in disguise beyond enemy lines to rescue His brothers and sisters.
- The Preexisting Jesus. He was no ordinary human.
We can prove that He preexisted, but was He God or a special created being?
- Existed Before Abraham (John 8: 58-59).
He not only claimed to exist before Abraham, but by using the title "I AM", He was claiming to be YHWH, the God who introduced Himself to Moses as "I AM". So they tried to stone Him for blasphemy.
'I tell you the truth', Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I Am!'
(John 8: 58)
- A Human Suit (Hebrews 10: 5).
He was given the form of a human to enter the toxic and radioactive world of sin to eradicate sin and take it away in His temporary hazmat suit.
Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME.
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
(Hebrews 10: 5, 7)
- The Human Jesus (The Son Of Man).
Many people quote Jesus' submission to the limitations of human beings to prove that He was human but not God.
I say that the point is moot.
He came to be a human, to live and die as a human to show a path to God that is possible for humans.
It is useless for Him to show us an example that we could not possibly follow because we are not divine.
So, He submitted His divinity and interacted with the Father with all the limitations of humanity.
So proving that He behaved and interacted with God and man as a human is pointless. This was what He was supposed to do.
So that nobody can claim that they cannot overcome sin because Christ conquered only because He was God and had special powers.
Jesus conquered Satan as a Human who was totally submitted to God.
What can you say about a loving God who found the most amazing way to demonstrate to us that He is on our side!
- He Surrendered His Divinity. He temporarily suspended all His divine attributes because His surrender and life must be authentic.
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
I can do nothing on My own initiative As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 5: 19, 30)
- No Omniscience (Matthew 24: 26). He did not know the future. He gave up omniscience.
He did not know when the Day of the Second Coming would occur.
As a human He knew only what humans knew through the process of learning.
And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
(Luke 2 :52)
The curses required that He should have no assurance of salvation as He suffered the wrath (Deuteronomy 28: 65-66).
- No Immortality (John 5: 26). Jesus received life from God and was subject to death.
- No Omnipotence (John 5: 19, 30). Jesus relied on God.
- No Omnipresence. He was bound to the earth and the limitations of human travel.
- He Became A Lower Creature.
It is wrong to assume that submission means that you are lower in status than the one under whom you put yourself in subjection.
Christ demonstrated this servant humility when He washed the feet of His disciples.
- The Father is Greater (John 14: 28).
This could point to a hierarchy among the members of the Trinity. It could also mean that while He was in the submissive human form, the Father was greater.
You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
(John 14: 28)
- Submits To The Father (1 Corinthians 15: 27-28). Everything is under Jesus Christ except God.
- The Only True God (John 17: 3).
This teaches that eternal life comes from Jesus and the Father.
It also shows the oneness of the Trinity which sent Jesus Christ, the Human ambassador.
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
(John 17: 3)
- Lower Than The Angels. He was under the submission of angels, even allowing Satan to test Him and to torture Him without resisting.
You have made Him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor, and have appointed Him over the works of your hands.
(Hebrews 2: 7)
- He Cloaked Himself In Humanity.
He submitted Himself to the limitations of humans, letting go of the power and priviledge of divinity (Philippians 2: 5-8).
So all these texts simply prove that He lived under the limitations of humanity.
But they do not prove that He was not God.
- Submission (Matthew 26: 39). Jesus submitted to the will of God as we should also do.
- Prayer (Matthew 6: 9). He did not pray to Himself but to God in heaven.
- The First Born of Creation (1 Corinthians 1: 15-17). He was a created being.
Isaiah 44: 24 says that YHWH created everything by Himself and this verse says that Jesus Christ created everything.
He is the Creator who created Himself! Wonderful!
The best you can say is that God was so great that he became the chicken, the egg and the Creator.
- An Ambassador For God (Hebrews 1: 3). He represents God. He is God.
- Perfection Through Submission (Hebrews 5: 7-9). Through faith and obedience He demonstrated the path to perfection.
Critics say He is not the source of salvation, He "became" the source of salvation after He became perfect.
The Gospel shows that only God could be the source of salvation and He did it by becoming a perfect human.
- Seeing The Face of God (Exodus 32: 20).
People saw the face of Jesus and did not die, therefore Jesus was not God because nobody can see the face of God and live.
This shows ignorance of the facts, you can see the face of God and live if God approves of you.
Jacob (Genesis 32), Moses and Abraham (Genesis 18) saw God and lived.
- Resisting Temptation (Hebrews 4: 15 and James 1: 13).
Some argue that the Bible says that God cannot be tempted.
Jesus was tempted but God cannot be tempted.
Therefore, since Christ was tempted He could not be God.
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
(James 1: 13)
Besides the fact that as a human He had to endure the experiences of humans, James is not teaching that nobody cannot try to tempt God.
We do it everyday when we deliberately sin and dare Him to strike back if He exists.
Instead, James is saying that nothing we do to test God will cause Him to react inappropriately and He does not use evil to test us.
Jesus fulfilled His mission on being the model on how to resist temptation. In fact, as the first perfect human being, He showed that He was connected to the power of God by resisting temptation.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
(Hebrews 4: 15)
- Human Emotions. As a human He must relate to God in the same way all humans do. Having surrendered omniscience, He was subject to all fearful human emotions.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
(Matthew 27: 46) and (Mark 15: 34)
Some assume that since He referred to the Father as "My God", then He was not God. However, in Hebrews 1: 8 God calls His Son "God".
- The Divine God.
Existing in a Trinity, God is able to do impossible things.
While He took on all the limitations of humanity in the form of Jesus Christ, He was able to carry on the duties of the deity.
He was still omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient through the Father and the Holy Spirit.
If you argue that Jesus was not God because He showed all those human qualities, then I say that He demonstrated that with God all things are truly possible (Mark 10: 27)!
Even dying and becoming human!
- Resurrection. Death could not hold Him because He was God and because He was not a sinner.
But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
(Acts 2: 24)
» The Fail Safe Restart Button.
Since God could not die forever, He had the power to resurrect Himself.
For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.
(John 5: 26)
- Mighty God And Prince Of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). A prediction about Jesus called Him God.
- One With The Father (John 10: 30-33). I and the Father are one. (John 10: 30)
- Creator (Colossians 1: 15-16).
Some use the designation of "first-born" to show that He was born like any other creature.
However, it teaches that as the Creator, He is the origin, the source and the reason why all created things and authorities exist.
In physics, He would be the equivalent of the Strong Force.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him.
(Colossians 1: 15-16)
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
(Colossians 1: 17-18)
- God In Human Form (Colossians 1: 2: 9). He rules everything.
For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
(Colossians 2: 9)
- Jesus Is God and Savior.
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus ...
(TItus 2: 13)
- Worshipped As God By The Disciples (John 20: 27-29, Matthew 28: 16-17). The disciples bowed to Him, called Him God and worshipped Him and Jesus did not prevent them.
- Equal To God (Philippians 2: 5-8). The God who was willing to become human and will be worshipped as God again.
- Will Be Worshipped (Revelation 5: 13-14). He will be worshipped as God by the entire universe when sin is eradicated.
The Holy Spirit, The Comforter
The Son Sends the Spirit.
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
(John 16: 7)
- Creator God. He was present at creation.
Was at the Creation.
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
(Genesis 1: 2)
He is God because it is possible to commit blasphemy against Him.
Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people,
but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
(Matthew 12: 31)
He seems to be the teacher, guide and public relations arm of God. He is Jehovah's Witness.
He is the rod and staff of God in the hands of the Good Shepherd.
He does what is necessary for us to know God.
Teacher and Guide.
But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own initiative,
but whatever He hears He will speak. And He will disclose to you what is to come.
He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
(John 16: 13,14)
- Companion. His function on earth is to bring us back to a point
where we can make a free informed decision about God. He leads us to truth.
He is our constant companion, who accompanies us everywhere.
He helps people by teaching them about God.
- Distributes The Gifts. He gives the church gifts to help us in this work of teaching mankind about God. (1 Corinthians 12: 11)
He prays for us and with us, interpreting our prayers to a heart felt, gut wrenching, agonizing cry that we cannot express.
He expresses our wishes and emotions in ways that we are too tired and beaten to express.
Sometimes we are so worn out and confused and at a loss for words He transforms our prayers
into words, feelings, actions because He knows our minds and thoughts and motives.
He Prays for Us.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should,
but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
(Romans 8: 26-27)
- Fulfills the Covenant. He gently speaks to everybody's conscience.
But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, " I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
(Jeremiah 31: 33; Hebrews 8: 10)
The Holy Spirit seals us according to the promise in the covenant.
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation - having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.
(Ephesians 1: 13)
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 4: 30)
Michael, The Archangel
Christ has many names and titles. He is the Son of God and the Son of man.
He is the Prince of peace, the Rock, the Lamb of God, the lion of Judah, the Messiah, the Anointed One,
God - the Son, the Creator, the Redeemer, the First born of the dead, the vine,
the Light of the World, the Bread of Life, king of kings,
and He is Michael the chief of angels.
He has taken a title among everything created. He has earned all these titles.
The word Michael means one who is as God.
An angel is a messenger from God.
The title Archangel means the greatest angel or chief angel or the greatest messenger. The book of Revelation suggests that God is His own Messenger,
because only one who is God can speak about God and represent God accurately.
In Revelation 12:7 the Dragon fought with Michael. We know Satan is at war with God. Michael is God.
The dragon is the symbolic name for Satan. Michael may also be a symbolic name for Christ.
- The Only Angel Who Was Worshipped.
In other places, when angels met humans they were told not to bow down in a posture of worship because they were also fellow brethren (created beings) like the angels.
Twice in Revelation, John was forbidden to fall at the feet of the angel (Revelation 19:10 and Revelation 22: 8-9).
However, when Joshua met the angelic general (Joshua 5:3-15), he was not forbidden from performing this act of worship.
Instead, just like the encounter of Moses with God at the burning bush, Joshua was told
to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.
This leader of the angels was God.
- The Angel Who Raises The Dead.
I Thessalonians 4:16 states that at the second coming the Lord shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel.
If he shouts with a voice it must be his voice. The Lord is the Archangel. Furthermore, this voice raises the dead and only God can raise the dead.
» His Voice Raises The Dead.
Since Christ has the voice of the Archangel at the second coming, then Christ is the leader of angels, the messenger from God.
God Himself brings His own message and He Himself is the message.
This term is made up of two Greek words Archos + Angelos which mean Ruler of the Angels.
Therefore Michael is the Ruler of the Angels.
The Hebrew word Michael is composed of three words:
Literally, it means Who is like God or Who is as God.
The very name Michael draws attention to His equality with God.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4: 16 (KJV) )
The Lord Jesus Christ will have the voice of the archangel. If He has the voice of the archangel, He must be the archangel. That means Jesus is the ruler of the angels.
Remember in Daniel 8, we learned the little horn power would magnify himself "even to the "Prince of the host." That means he would oppose Jesus Christ, the ruler of the angels.
» He Has Power Over Death.
In Daniel 12: 1-2, Michael is identified as prince of God's people who delivers God's people from the power of death. This passage parallels Daniel 10: 21 where Gabriel refers to his angelic associate as "Michael your prince".
Daniel also prophesies that Rome will destroy the "prince of the covenant (Daniel 11: 22).
» He Raises Moses.
But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you." (Jude 1: 9)
Michael claims the body of Moses. Moses was at the Mount of Transfiguration. He had obviously been resurrected by Michael.
- The Angel Who Is God.
In the Genesis chapter 22 account of Abraham being prepared to offer his only son Isaac to God, we also see the "Angel of the Lord" declaring that Abraham "fears God and has not withheld his son from me".
Abraham was offering Isaac to God.
Therefore, the angel was referring to Himself as God.
After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." ...
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
(Genesis 22: 1,2, 11,12)
Since Michael is the Old Testament name for Jesus Christ, that means that Michael is not a created being. He is the eternal Son of God.
If God disguised Himself among the angels in the way He disguised Himself among humans, it may explain why Satan thought he could become God.
But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall He come out to me, to be ruler in Israel; whose going out have been from of old, from everlasting.
(Micah 5: 2)
Jesus Christ = The Prince = Eternal God = Michael = The Archangel (Ruler of the Angels)
The key point is that the Jesus was active in the Old Testament times with His people as He is in New Testament times.
Michael is the Old Testament manifestation of Jesus Christ!
The Physical Appearance Of God
Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne,
like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.
Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it,
and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him.
As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
(Ezekiel 1: 26-28).
|Ezekiel's Vision of the Throne of God|
God Is The Fire
If we look at the elements of God in the vision of Ezekiel 1 we find the following description in which God describes His physical appearance
in terms of His abilities and what originates from Him.
- Fire. God is on fire from His feet to His waist. Fire, lightning and thunder come out of His throne (Daniel 7: 9-10 and Revelation 4:5).
- Rainbow. He is surrounded by a rainbow. Revelation 4:3 says that the rainbow is emerald green.
- Blue Expanse. His throne is on top of a blue expanse. Moses describes this as a blue stone from which the ten commandments were written (Exodus 24:10,12).
- Clouds. He is surrounded by clouds.
- Waters. The wings of the angels sound like rushing water. Revelation 22: 1 describes a river of the water of life that comes from the throne of God.
Psalms 29: 3 says that God sits on many waters.
- Light. He is surrounded by a brilliant white light (Psalm 104: 2).
- High Above. He is always described as sitting on top of the waters.
- Cherubim. There are creatures with four faces who look like angels below the throne.
The appearance describes God as all seeing and omnipresent. He sees everything and He goes in all directions.
The temple built by Solomon included creatures with four faces.
We even see knowledge of this description of heavenly creatures in pagan religions. The sphinx is one example.
However, the religions worship the creature rather than the creator.
Notice the accurate portrayal of His throne with what we know about atmospheric science.
Rainbows exist only where there is light and water.
He uses all the symbols of a gigantic weather system to describe His majesty.
Thunder, lightning, clouds, storm, whirlwind and rainbow.
Every picture of God shows that He lives in the middle of fire. And, He is able to keep His loving creatures alive in His fire.
- In Ezekiel's vision he saw God in the fire. God was like a burning torch from His feet to His waist. (Ezekiel 1: 26-28)
- The angels shine with the glory of God. (Luke 2: 9)
- Moses had the fire of God glowing on his face when he came from the mountain. (Deuteronomy 34: 29,35)
- God was in the fire with Shadrach, Meschach and Abednago. (Daniel 3: 24-25)
- The new heaven and new earth will be so bright that we will not need a sun, moon or stars! (Revelation 22: 5)
It is the wicked who cannot exist in the fiery presence of God.
All the evidence shows that God is a consuming fire by His nature, not just that He will become one simply to destroy the wicked.
Under His throne are four creatures with four faces accompanied by interconnecting wheels with eyes.
This clearly represents the omniscient and omnipresent nature of God.
It could also represent the fact that He uses angels as His messengers.
However, God describes Himself as His own messenger. This is the archangel Michael.
The four faces of the creatures represents animals that God used to describe Himself.
They represent the many phases of His work with humans; king, executioner, warrior and human like us.
» Covering Cherub.
They have the highest position of covering the glory of God at the throne. There are at least two of them.
They have two wings that cover their bodies and two wings that arch over the top and touch the wings of the other cherub. (Ezekiel 28: 12-19)
Ezekiel describes them in another vision. But he described other cherubs who walk among the stones of fire below the throne.
These creatures are described as being among the fires.
God describes similar creatures as those that He sends on the earth to execute judgment (Joel 2: 1-4; Zechariah 6).
The description in Ezekiel is of a creature with four faces (Ezekiel 1: 5-11).
- Man. The Son of man. Intelligence.
- Lion. The King of Kings. Majestic King. Fierceness. Revelation 5: 5 describes Christ as the "lion of the tribe of Judah".
- Ox. The Warrior. Strength and God's ability to conquer our enemies. Numbers 24: 8 and Deuteronomy 3: 17.
- Eagle. The Executioner. Swift flight, sight, judgment and carnage. Job 9: 26.
God At Creation (Water)
At creation there was a mysterious description of waters above and below the expanse called heaven.
From the picture we can see that the waters above the expanse came from the throne of God.
It is not merely the clouds in the sky.
The expanse itself was created as a copy of the expanse on which God's throne sits.
The waters below were the waters on the face of the earth after He separated water from Himself.
Ezekiel and Revelation describe the elements around God as being similar to the elements of the sky.
Therefore, it is easy to think of the elements of creation as being part of the created earth.
There are two theories about "the deep" that existed during the creation.
- Nothing. Nothing existed in the location of the creation called "the deep".
- Undeveloped property. The deep was the physical earth that never had life. It was covered with water.
It existed in a dark place in the universe.
|The Second Day of Creation|
If we examine the physical structure of God, then it is possible to see how the account of creation from nothingness is possible.
God was the source of the surface of the waters where the Spirit moved, not a primordial earth.
God simply carved out a space within the waters that were part of Himself and placed the heavens and the earth there.
No wonder He could say, "Heaven is My throne and earth is My foot stool".
Day 1 (Fire: Light Was Created).
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Day 2 (Water: God made An expanse In The middle Of His waters).
Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."
God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.
God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Day 3 (Earth: Land Created).
Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.
God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.
(Genesis 1: 10)
Day 6 (Air: Man Created).
Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the Breath of Life; and man became a living being.
(Genesis 2: 7)
God In Hell Fire
Hell is not a separate place that is always burning.
Hell is an event in a particular time and place.
After the judgment, fire comes out of God and destroys the wicked who are surrounding the
city of the New Jerusalem.
Then Isaiah 33: 14-17 will be fulfilled. While the fires from God are burning, the righteous people of God and the city are in the middle of the fire.
Only the wicked and the earth are burned up.
|The Fire From God|
- Isaiah 33: 14-17. God's people will not be destroyed in God's presence. Only the righteous can live in the fires of God. The wicked cannot.
- Isaiah 31: 9. God's "fire" is in Zion (the mountain of God - His Sanctuary) and his furnace is in Jerusalem (where the Temple is -- the Most Holy Place, where God's glory was seen)
- Isaiah 10: 16-19 . God's glory shall kindle a burning like a burning fire. It shall burn and devour ... in one day.
- Isaiah 30: 33. Tophet (a burning place) is prepared for the wicked. The breath or Spirit of the Lord kindles it like brimstone.
- Malachi 4: 1-3. Fire destroys evil, but it is healing for God's people.
- Hebrews 12: 29. Our God is a consuming fire.
- Daniel 3: 24-25. The three Hebrew boys survived the fires of Babylon while the Son of God stood with them.
Genesis 15: 17. When God appeared to Abraham as a smoking furnace.
Genesis 19: 24-28. God rained "fire and brimstone" (literally he rained "From" God, "out of" God)
Exodus 13: 21. God led the Israel in the Exodus in a cloud by day (smoke from a fire) and a pillar of fire by night.
Exodus 19: 18. God descended upon Mt. Zion as a smoking fiery furnace.
Exodus 24: 17. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
God In The Sanctuary And The Ark Of The Covenant
On earth, the Ark of the covenant represents the nature of God on a smaller scale.
|The Most Holy Place|
- High Above. He is always described as sitting on top.
- Fire. He covered Israel at night in a pillar of fire.
- Light. A brilliant white light proceeded from the air above the ark. It was called the shekinah glory.
- Waters. They were represented by a water ceremony on the feast of tabernacles.
- Rainbow. The primary colors were represented in the clothing of the priest and the curtains.
- Clouds. He covered Israel by day in a pillar of clouds. The priests filled the place with a cloud of incense.
- Blue Expanse. The ten commandments were carved on a blue stone and placed in the ark.
God was sitting on top of this blue stone on Sinai.
- Cherubim. Two angels were on top of the ark.
This basic pattern of a Holy place is repeated even in prophecy, the experience of Jesus and the church and the exodus.
God In Prophecy
In many of Daniel's visions, the vision occurs by a river and God appears symbolically as a man sitting on top of a river with two angels on each bank of the river.
This is a picture of the ark of the covenant.
- God and Two Holy Ones.
Then I, Daniel, looked and then, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river.
And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, " How long will it be until the end of these wonders?"
(Daniel 12: 5-6)
- Two Angels beside a River and a Man Above Them.
... I looked in the vision and I myself was beside the Ulai Canal.
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, " How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?"
When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it; and then, standing before me was one who looked like a man.
And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, " Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision."
(Daniel 8: 1, 13, 15-16)
- River of Fire. When God sits in judgment, the river of water becomes a river of fire.
"I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His clothes was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. 10 "A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.
(Daniel 7: 9)
Jesus On Earth
- The Resurrection Of Jesus. A Holy place is always created where God is.
and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet,
where the body of Jesus had been lying.
(John 20: 12)
- The Cross. As He suffered the curse of the wrath of God, Jesus experienced the negative throne of God.
Instead of praises, he was cursed and insulted.
At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right side and one on the left. And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads.
The robbers who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.
(Matthew 27: 38-39, 44.)
- The Church. We create an impromptu holy place when we meet to worship God.
For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there among them.
(Matthew 18: 20)
This fact sounds wonderful for families, but it seems terribly unfair to single homes.
So God Himself becomes the second person in the family through the Holy Spirit, our companion.
Principalities And Powers
We know that God's government includes many powers who have an authoritative role.
Even though God has all these powers, He appears to be very patient and democratic,
willing to do what His creatures want - within the law.
He probably does this to gain their trust.
Because, if He always exercised His will immediately, then someone might not understand.
- Cherubim. They are angelic creatures who are near the throne of God.
- Covering Cherubim. Ones who stand next to God on the throne.
- Angels. Messengers of God.
- 24 Elders. Sit around the throne. They are probably representatives from earth who went to heaven
by resurrection or without dying. We are not told their names because we would worship them.
But it appears that Moses and Elijah may be among them. Enoch might be a third one.
- Christ. He is God, the ruler of angels and the owner of this planet by His death and because He created it.
- Sons Of God Like Adam. These are beings who have dominion over their own planets.
When Adam sinned, he passed rulership of this planet to Satan.
When Christ died, He won back this right.
This position of leader of a planet allows you to go in the presence of God to represent your world.
We learn this from Job 1: 6).
- Friendly Principalities And Powers.
- Unfriendly Principalities And Powers.
They fight God to try to gain control of this world.
They are probably the ones who were thrown out after the war in heaven.
- Satan. He was once a covering cherub.
He stole this planet from Adam by enticing him to sin.
He is the representative of all who reject God.
Angels are created beings who should not be worshipped. They are messengers of God.
Angels Are Involved in the Plan of Salvation.
One interesting fact about angels should be explored.
They were apparently the authors of the temporary plan that was followed by the Jews.
This plan would be void when Christ came.
God approved this plan because He must enforce it.
Why would they be involved in the Plan of Salvation in such an important way?
This is only a guess. But it was probably because sin originated among them.
Just as God extends to us a very big role in the Plan of Salvation, He has also extended the same courtesy to the angels.
It is a way of helping to put right some of the wrong that we have caused.
It is a kinder and gentler plan than simply letting us stand by and watch.
- Angels Gave The Law.
They gave the ceremonial laws, not the ten commandments. Somehow, they participated in its contents or its approval.
This is why God says the blood of bulls and goats does not satisfy Him.
It may not have been His plan exclusively.
But Israel refused to go up to the mountain to meet God.
They chose to have someone stand between them and God.
Therefore, a plan with a human mediator was put in place until God came as His own mediator to people who know that they can approach His throne boldly.
» Angels Gave The Curses.
Since Satan may have been the legal representative of this planet and the wicked, he must have had some input into the plan to take away his possessions.
So angels may also have mediated the curses which Christ removed when He died.
So Christ became the human mediator who suffered the curses unjustly and implemented the perfect Plan of Salvation which is based on mercy.
So the righteous do not have to fear the curses. He paid the price.
- Curses. Satan must have mediated the most severe punishments for disobedience.
This is why He is finally judged with the same judgments that he tried to impose on us.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you give, it shall be measured to you again."
(Matthew 7: 1-2)
- Human Mediator. God wanted Israel to come up to the mountain but they chose a human mediator.
Then they said to Moses, speak to us yourself and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.
(Exodus 20: 19)
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.
(Colossians 2: 14)
- Law Was Given To Teach Righteousness.
I call this righteousness by education versus righteousness by faith.
Until the righteousness through Christ became a reality, the law was given to instruct people about righteousness.
Why the law then?
It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator;
Until the seed would come to whom the promise was made.
(Galatians 3: 19)
You men are stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit;
you are doing just as your fathers did.
You who received the law as ordained by angels, and did not keep it.
(Acts 7: 38, 51, 53)
- This Plan Must Be Enforced. God approved of this plan and allowed it. Therefore, it had the same authority as if it came from Him.
For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable,
and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,
How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
(Hebrews 2: 2-3)
True predestination is what God knows about your future destiny because of His power, not because of His interference with your free choice.
Some confuse the power of foreknowledge with the act of predestination.
Because God knows everything, some say that He has already determined what we will do.
Therefore it does not matter what we do because God has made us do it.
We cannot be saved if He does not want us to be saved.
God is responsible for everything that happens because He programmed us this way.
| All Names Are In The Book Of Life|
|God Calls Everyone|
|Accepts || Response ||Rejects |
|Mercy || Destiny ||Destruction |
|Names Kept In |
The Book Of Life
|Names Removed From |
The Book Of Life
What is the truth?
Does foreknowledge mean predestination or causation?
Does God's knowledge of the future mean that He is manipulating the players against their will?
The truth is that from the beginning God has called everyone.
Because of His foreknowledge, He knows who will respond and who will not.
As a result of this call, He has placed everyone in the book of life. This is His desire.
We are predestined for life.
However, our free choices will make Him remove our names at the end.
Our response to His call determines if we will be lost or saved.
The fact that He is aware of our choice does not mean that He has forced us to make this choice.
He Calls Everyone
- He Calls The World. This is His righteous intentions. So we are born with our names in the Book of Life.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3: 16)
- Whoever Wants it.
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come".
And let the one who hears say, "Come".
And let the one who is thirsty come;
and let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
(Revelation 22: 17)
He uses this knowledge about our choice to try to influence us and train us.
He has probably calculated the outcome of every possible scenario that He can use to convince the wicked to choose Him.
He makes sure that they have this optimum experience.
This is why it often appears that the wicked are more blessed than the righteous.
This is also why the wicked will have no excuse in the judgment.
- Called Before Birth.
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased
to reveal His son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles ...
(Galatians 5: 15-16)
- A Chosen Nation.
For you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him
who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.
(1 Peter 2: 9)
We have been chosen not from among the other humans, but from all His created people.
So He does not choose some humans and rejects others.
He calls all. Those who respond will be among the special group set apart from all His creation.
- God's Initiative.
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
(John 6: 44)
No one can ever boast that they first decided to make peace with God and came on their own. It is God who approaches us to make friends.
So this verse teaches that if God never approached us first, we would never come to Him.
He Has Called Jews And Gentiles.
What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known,
endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared before for glory.
Even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
(Romans 9: 22-24)
This is the most negative of all the statements so let us analyze it.
Since He is a merciful God it means that His foreknowledge of their choice propels Him to try ways to reason with them.
In fact, many are probably saved because they responded to the measures taken to reach them.
Look at Satan. He was so ambitious that he desired to be God even if he has to take it by force.
Yet God gave him the highest possible position to satisfy his desires. He would have been miserable being an ordinary angel, stepping on everyone to climb the angelic corporate ladder.
God fast-tracked him to the highest position, but not even God could not make him god and then abdicate His throne.
- Endured With Patience. Even though He knows the outcome, God has to patiently allow
the history to unfold.
He cannot terminate the process and judge us based on His knowledge of what we would have done.
That is because none of His created beings can prove it. And the issue in this rebellion is if we can trust God.
So He patiently endures those who insist on being rebellious.
- Vessels Of Wrath Prepared For Destruction. This description is based on their future free choice.
He knows who will reject Him, so He describes them in this manner.
He did not create them to be destroyed. He wants them to be saved.
In fact our existence is the result of the random choices of our parents.
So He has to prepare for their destruction. They chose wrath.
- Vessels Of Mercy.
Those who choose Him are saved only because they responded to His merciful offer. They chose mercy.
Those who became vessels of wrath will not respond no matter what God does.
He Has A Plan
He saw what He could do to make more people live and He made a plan.
Jesus accepted this plan to die, He was not forced.
In this plan we are predestined only in the sense that if, by our own free will, we choose
to follow His plan He knows that we will be saved.
The plan is like a map. If we follow it we will get to a certain destination.
But we are always free to turn back or go off on another road.
Jesus was Predestined to Die.
For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus,
whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel.
To do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.
(Acts 4: 27-28)
The plan required that Jesus should die. But Jesus submitted of His own free will.
It was predestined only in the sense that it was the plan that was prepared before the creation, if sin should occur.
Predestined to be Righteous like Christ.
For those whom he knew before, He predestined to become conformed to the image of His son,
so that He would be the first born among many brethren;
And those whom He predestined He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified;
and those whom He justified, He also glorified.
(Romans 8: 29-30)
The plan required that we become like Jesus. The Holy Spirit does this.
But we are not forced. Every day we have to choose to do the will of God.
Predestined for an Inheritance.
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined, according to His purpose
who works all things after the counsel of His will ...
(Ephesians 1: 11)
He has chosen to give us an inheritance. That is our planned destiny. If we choose it.
Predestination is the future God has planned for us, if we want it.
It is not the future that He is forcing on us.
Godhead: The Greek Translation
The words translated in the King James bible as "Godhead" appear in three places in the New Testament.
They are all derived from the Greek word "Theos" (God).
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead
(Divine Nature, Divine,
is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
(Acts 17: 29)
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and
(Divine Nature, Divinity,
so that they are without excuse:
(Romans 1: 20)
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead
(Colossians 2: 9)
The three Greek words are best translated as "divine", "divine nature", "divinity" or "deity".
The terms "Godhead" appeared in the thirteenth century with John Wycliffe. The word "Trinity" also appeared in this century.
At its inception the word Godhead, from the German "Gottheit", meant "deity" or what makes God "God".
Therefore, its use to convey the idea of one attribute of the divine nature as three persons in one is not as useful as the word Trinity.
This page contains many drawings that illustrate the description of God.
The second commandment says that "we should not make a likeness of anything in heaven and earth. And we should not worship them".
God allowed the temple to be decorated with pictures of angels and palm trees, the ark had a sculpture
of two angels, the laver in Solomon's temple was carried by four bulls.
Therefore, the conclusion is that the pictures are not the problem,
it is the appearance of worship and bowing before them that is wrong.
Since our tendency is towards idolatry, it is best that we minimize or eliminate the images in the places where we worship.
This is one reason why the ark was hidden and could only be seen by one person, one day each year.
I created these pictures to help me gain an understanding by looking at the colors, the background and the scenery.
Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2: 15
||Time: 90 minutes
Print: 18 pages
Updated : May 23, 2005
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)
Out of the blue, this image of God in the fire was posed to my mind by the Holy Spirit as the question, "Why is God in the fire"? The question was asked at a time when I was not studying anything or any situation related to that thought.
I said, "there goes my wacky brain again with these strange questions". But I looked up all the references I could find.
Within seven days, at a bible study on Wednesday night my pastor said, "Why is God in the fire?" This was the pivotal moment for me in believing that God was talking to me.
I remember saying, "my pastor is a male, he does not have menopause, therefore these strange religious questions that have been plaguing me for about a year may not be due to a wacky brain.
The same mind must be speaking to both of us! Eureka!"
The same thing happened on three other occasions within the next month.
What does "Godhead" mean? URL: http://www.timeandbeing.com/Application/Doctrine/Godhead/GodheadTerm.htm
Images created by Laverna Patterson for teachinghearts.