Now, Let’s start with John 17:And this is eonian life, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. ("eonian life" = the spiritual awakening given during this New Covenant age).
That "eonian life" is described as an ability to "know the only true God (Yahweh), AND Jesus Christ, whom Yahweh sent." Now, keep that point squarely in your mind.I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (KJV)
On the face of this one, it may appear to be saying that Jesus lived WITH (along side) Yahweh before the earth was created. However, if that were the case, this verse would also do great violence to the theory that Jesus and Yahweh are one and the same. It would be saying that Jesus and Yahweh were two beings.
But, as we unweave the confusion of this verse, and translate it correctly, we see its actual meaning.
5. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with (in addition to) your glory which I am sharing with you before (in front of) the world. (corrected according to the Greek).
What Yahweh had already accomplished through Jesus had been glorious. Now, Jesus was praying for a greater glory to be accomplished in his death and rising to immortality.
This verse does not say what the KJV translators insinuated. When you read it correctly, it fits with the text much better.
What did Jesus say?
Yahweh was glorified in Jesus as a witness before all the world. Jesus had completed the work that He, as a mortal, was created to do, and Jesus was now looking forward to a greater glory (i.e. the expected glory of being raised to immortal life and ascending the throne).
We are a word-controlled people. People can be changed just by changing the meanings of words they use. If we allow our words to be controlled, then we will be controlled.
The Bible is a very old document. Even the English translation of the Bible is very old. To understand this old document we must be very careful that we do not misuse its words. We can’t ignore them, nor can we assume that others have been honest with them. The WORDS are more important than gold! We should be at least as protective and responsible over these words of life as we would that much gold. This requires more than just casual reading from one of the many English versions.
In this case, just as in many others, the sensible and logical conclusion is the right one, and we can dispense with the so-called mystery.
John 1:No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Jesus declared Yahweh to men. But, NO MAN has seen Yahweh. Now, don’t miss this important point.
Has any man seen Jesus? Yes, of course.
Has any man seen Yahweh? No!
What, then, was Jesus? Was He Yahweh? No, because men saw Jesus.
What was He then? John says He was THE DECLARATION OF GOD (i.e. the LOGOS)!
John 17:I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Jesus refers to Yahweh as "Thee" and "Thou" – obviously not referring to himself. Jesus says He had manifested the Father’s name (i.e. He displayed Yahweh’s "name"; his "authority"). His Father gave Him authority to represent Him. The representative cannot be the one being represented!
The next passage in question is John 14:
6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
We just read that no one had seen the Father. Is this a contradiction?
If we accept the premise that Jesus does not contradict himself, then He must be telling us something else.Philip saith unto him, Lord show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet has thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
Is Jesus contradicting himself? Is He saying that men really HAVE seen Yahweh?
Now understand, I’m saying that we can’t throw out any of these scriptures. If there appears to be a contradiction, we must have enough faith in God’s Word to believe that the error comes from man – not from Jesus. We must believe that the scriptures make sense when we don’t misuse them. Therefore, contradictions come from erroneous translations and/or interpretations – not from Jesus, nor the inspired Word of God. So, we only need to find, and correct, the error that men have inserted. Furthermore, to interpret the scriptures correctly, we should read them in context. So, let’s see what else is said in this passage.
Notice verse 10:Believest thou not that I am in the Father, …
Now wait a minute! Which is it? Is He the Father? Or is He IN the Father? Obviously, being "in the Father" is not the same as "being the Father." If Jesus WAS the Father, wouldn’t he have said "I AM THE FATHER" rather than saying "I am IN the Father"? If He was the Father, He missed a perfect opportunity to clearly tell them who He was.
10. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak NOT OF MYSELF: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
When He spoke of the Father He spoke NOT OF HIMSELF! That’s what verse ten says! Now, that is not hard to understand.
Again, in John 7, Jesus makes a distinction between himself and Yahweh:…My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Jesus’ doctrine was not his! What did He mean by that? If Jesus was Yahweh, then He would have been saying that the doctrine was not Yahweh’s! Whose, then, would it have been? Not Jesus’! Not Yahweh’s! Could it have been, perhaps, Baal’s doctrine; or maybe the serpent’s doctrine? Whose? Where might this impossible scenario take them? I’ll tell you where it will lead the gullible. It’ll lead them right into Judeo-Christianity (Jewish Christianity).
However, if Jesus was Yahweh’s Son, then it all makes perfect sense. The Son got his doctrine from the Father. The works and the words that flowed from Jesus were manifested words and works of Yahweh. They were done in the Father’s name. They "declared" Yahweh unto the world. They were the works and the words of the Father – manifested through Jesus. That’s not to say that Jesus was the Father. Keep that straight! The Father was in Jesus! Remember, no one has seen God. But, men did see Jesus. Jesus was visible. They could touch Him. Many people saw Jesus. But, the Father is invisible to man.
When Philip looked upon Jesus, he was looking at AN IMAGE of the Father. An image…not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense. Yahweh cannot be described in the physical sense because He is not physical.
If God looked physically like Jesus, then men could have looked upon Yahweh just as easily as they looked upon Jesus. But they couldn’t! Jesus was the image of Yahweh in greater, different ways than physical ways. Just remember: an image of a thing is not the thing itself. Jesus was the image – not the Father himself.
Next, Hebrews 1:God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, through whom he also arranged the ages. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Jesus was "the express image" of his Father. An image of a thing is not the thing itself. It is a reflection of the thing itself. Jesus reflected Yahweh.
II Corinthians 4:
3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this age hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (Jesus = image).
Colossians 1:Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (Invisible means incapable of being seen by the eye. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God). For in him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created through (on account of) him, and for him:
Again, the image of a thing is NOT the thing itself.
Also, we must remember that Adam shared the same status – that of being the image of God. For that matter, WE TOO share that status, as sons of God. Obviously, "being in the image of God" does not equate to "being God."
"All things created" (i.e. this universe, if you will) were created ultimately for the Son who was to inherit all things. Yahweh created all things for Jesus so the Son would inherit all things. (For a more detailed explanation of "in the Father," "in him" and "through him" see section titled "IN THE NAME" – heading after next.)
Now read verse 17:And he is preeminent in all things (referring to status, not time), and in him all things consist. And He is the head of the body who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
It pleased the Father to place all fullness in the person of Jesus. Jesus was like a vessel filled to the very top. But you see, no matter how great an imagination you may have, you cannot imagine a vessel large enough to contain all of Yahweh. Jesus could not contain Him; Yahweh cannot be limited and contained in a vessel. The Father is limitless and un-containable. Yet, all fullness was in Jesus.
Chapter 2:For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of Godship bodily (not "Godhead").
I Kings 8:27; II Chronicles 6:18
But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!
If heaven and earth cannot contain Yahweh, then neither can the mortal body of a man. Jesus was filled with Godship. However, the contents of a vessel is not the vessel itself. Jesus was the vessel and the contents was of the godship of the Father. The word, "Godhead," indicating a plurality of gods as rendered by the KJV translators, is another misnomer – possibly a prejudice held over from the pagan Roman concept of a "Forum of gods."
In I Timothy 3, we find a related scripture which is often quoted to support the idea of a mysterious "Godhead." I quote it below, correctly from the Greek:And without question, great is the wonder of godliness which (The KJV wrongly inserts "God" here) was manifest in the flesh, justified in spirit, witnessed by messengers, preached in nations, believed in the world and received in glory."
This is not talking about God, or a so-called "godhead." It is talking about "godliness" or "holiness." Godliness was manifest in the flesh. The KJV translators wrongly inserted "God" in the place of "which." They completely perverted the meaning of this scripture. Translational anomalies like this only serve to further confuse people. Translators should be more responsible.
What is "The mystery (wonder) of godliness?" It is the miracle of a man receiving inspiration from God. The implanted desire to be godly is unnatural to man. It is a miracle when God causes a man to desire godliness. This miracle, or "mystery," is manifest in flesh when a man’s nature is turned – from depravity, to godliness. In 2 Peter 1:3-4 we are told that we acquire the "divine nature" (godliness) through gaining "the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
This is the wonder of godliness among men.
Just remember these basic premises:
An image of a thing is not the thing itself.
The contents of a vessel is not the vessel itself.
A "full" vessel shows the limit of the vessel – not the limit of that which fills the vessel.
The Creator is not the creation.
The Infinite is not finite.
The Eternal does not cease to exist.
The Father is not the Son.