Now that we’ve defined "god," it becomes apparent that our original question is inadequate. It is now clear that we are asking more than whether Jesus is a "god." We want to know if Jesus is YAHWEH! We must determine whether Jesus and Yahweh are two beings, or only one being. That is the crux of the whole body of arguments surrounding this issue.
The word "god" is not a proper name. It’s a title. It is generic and can refer to ANY god. Therefore, in order to help keep this issue clear as we study it, we’ll need to use the proper names whenever possible so we’ll know which "god" we are talking about at that moment.
The name of the Creator God of Israel is Yahweh. The name of our Savior is Jesus. So for the sake of clarity, we should use their proper names, rather than their titles, as much as possible.
Now, let’s consider some of the identifying characteristics of both Jesus and Yahweh. Are they the same, or different?
1. One is the Father and one is the Son
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
I Corinthians 8:
4b. …an idol is nothing in the world, and there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But, to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him: AND one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.
Many similar scriptures clearly delineate between Father and Son – identifying them as two, separate, distinct personalities. By definition, sons issue forth from fathers. Fathers precede their sons, necessarily. Otherwise, a father is not a father, and a son is not a son. A son cannot be his own father, nor can a father be his own son. Such an absurdity would nullify the meaning of the terms "father" and "son" and render the language useless.
2. One is the Creator; the other is a Creation (a creature)
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has 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.
This says that Jesus was created. He is "the firstborn" (greatest) of all creatures (i.e. things created). If Jesus was created then it had to be Yahweh who created Him. If Yahweh created Jesus, then Jesus cannot be Yahweh. The Created is not the Creator. The logic is simple.
Of course, someone might argue, "But, doesn’t this scripture go on to tell us that Jesus created all things that are in heaven and earth? That must mean that Jesus was the Creator!"
Verse 16 reads:
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 him, and for him:
"All things created" (i.e. this universe, if you will) were created ultimately for the Son who was to inherit all things. This verse has been used in the past to suggest that Jesus was the Creator in Genesis.
But what does it really say? Yahweh created all things for Jesus the Son – inheritor of all things. They were created in Him and for Him. Dominions, principalities, thrones, powers – all things are IN him.
3. One knows all: the other doesn’t
3. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him (Jesus) privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy presence (judgment), and of the end of the age (fall of Jerusalem)?
The disciples were asking about the coming judgment and destruction upon Jerusalem. They wanted to know when to expect the prophesied judgment. Jesus’ answer was interesting. In verses 3-36, He gave them some detail as to what they should watch for. Then, He finally answers their question directly in verse 36:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only.
His Father knew, but Jesus didn’t.
4. One was visible; the other wasn’t
John 1:See the document John Chapter One corrected!
In the beginning was the logos (i.e. the communication), and the logos was for (not "with") God, and God was the logos (i.e. the communication expressed the person of God). And the logos (the communication) was made flesh, (Yahweh’s logos was manifested in a man) and dwelt among us, and we beheld (looked upon) his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Men beheld Jesus: the Logos of God. They saw Him and touched Him. However, no man has seen Yahweh.
No man hath seen Yahweh at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
I John 1:
That which was from the beginning (i.e. Yahweh’s logos), which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hand have handled, of the logos of life; For the life (i.e. the logos) was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that *eonian life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; ("eonian life" = the spiritual awakening given during this New Covenant age).
In John 5:37, Jesus stood before his disciples and said:
37. And the Father himself, which has sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
I John 4:
No man hath seen God at any time… Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
No man has seen or heard the actual form or voice of the Father at any time. But, Jesus was both seen and heard. We are never directed to confess that Jesus is the Father. We are commanded to confess that Jesus is THE SON!
5. One "exists" eternally; the other doesn’t
The name "Yahweh" stems from a Hebrew verb meaning "TO BE," or "self-existence," from a prime root "to exist," or "to be," in the sense of non-ending. His nature, as well as his self-proclaimed name, clearly shows the impossibility of his ceasing to exist – even for a few hours. Yahweh cannot die unless He is a fraud! His name declares it! His Word declares it! He simply cannot cease to be! Jesus, on the other hand, died and ceased to exist for several hours. That establishes a big difference between Yahweh and Jesus.
It is a basic premise of scripture that Yahweh cannot die.
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shall thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
And God said unto Moses, I am the One that exists. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, He who exists has sent me unto you.
Yahweh EXISTS! He cannot stop existing. He is Yahweh!
I Corinthians 15:
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.
6. One became hungry; the other doesn’t
Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.
Of course, hunger is just one of the common needs of a flesh-and-blood mortal. It’s an interesting point when comparing the difference between Yahweh and man.
7. One was tempted; the other cannot be tempted
Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when the tempter came to him, (when He was hungry) he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
In Hebrews, we find the reason it was necessary for Him to be tempted.
Forasmuch then as the children have shared of flesh and blood, he (Jesus) also himself likewise shared of the same; (He was flesh and blood, the same as his brothers) that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he is not somewhere ministering to angels, but he is ministering to the seed of Abraham (corrected translation according to the Greek). Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in all things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.
Jesus was tempted! He was mortal. He didn’t sin, however. Temptation, in itself is not sin. "Sin" is when we give in to temptation.
Now turn to James 1:13:
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God (Yahweh): for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.
Yahweh cannot be tempted! He could not have been Jesus!
8. One slept; the other doesn’t
And when he (Jesus) was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him, And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he (Jesus) was asleep.
Jesus must have been pretty tired to fall asleep in one of those little boats being tossed about in a storm on the sea of Galilee. He became weary and He slept. Yahweh doesn’t have that problem.
4. Behold, he (Yahweh) that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, Yahweh, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?
9. One prayed to the other
And he (Jesus) came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Jesus prayed to his Father for help. He also acknowledged two sets of wills:
a. His will, and
b. His Father’s will.
10. One increased; the other doesn’t change
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
If Jesus could increase, or learn something, it meant that He was not omniscient (all-knowing). In order to increase in wisdom Jesus could not have been Yahweh.
5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (unlimited).
Yahweh does not increase! Yahweh is omniscient (all knowing).
11. One was a man; the other wasn’t
But now ye seek to kill me (Jesus), a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God.
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.
Some have said to me, "If you say that Jesus was a man, then you’re worshipping just a man."
However, it was Jesus himself who said He was a man. He also prevented men from worshipping Him while He was mortal, telling them to "worship God." However, after He was raised to immortality, He was no more a natural man. When I worship the risen, immortal Jesus I am not worshipping "just a man."
Yahweh is not a man that he could lie, neither the son of man, that he should repent…
Yahweh is not a man, nor the son of man. On the other hand, Jesus WAS "a man," and "the Son of man."
12. One has authority; the other has power
There is an important difference between the two.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All authority (not "power") is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Jesus was given authority ["exousia" – Gk]. Authority comes only from a higher source. It must be delegated. Authority cannot exist unless there is a higher source in which it can be based. Like links in a chain, positions of authority are completely dependent upon the higher links. Cut one of the higher links and all support is cut off for any links below.
Soldiers understand authority and rank. Each rank, or position of authority, rests upon the ranks above it. Authority always comes from above. Jesus was given authority. Jesus could not have been given authority unless there was someone higher to give it to Him. That higher source was Yahweh.
Now, some Bible translators have confused "authority" with "power." The King James Version translators were some of the worst offenders in this. The KJV translators indiscriminately used both words interchangeably! But they are clearly NOT interchangeable, and subsequent translators have corrected that error.
As I pointed out, "authority" comes from the Greek "exousia." Power, on the other hand, is altogether different. It comes from the Greek word, "dunamis," from which we get our English word, "dynamite." If you know how dynamite works, you know how power works. Dynamite doesn’t need authority – it is simply raw force: power.
Ultimate "power" means Yahweh God. He has all power. He doesn’t need authority. A "power" holds control by virtue of his own strength. There is no one above Yahweh to delegate authority down to Him.
Yahweh is the ultimate power. He has more muscle than anyone else. No one is big enough to overpower Yahweh. There’s no group, nor anything, anywhere, than can unseat Yahweh.
A "power" is someone whose superior strength keeps them in control. There are lesser powers, and greater powers. Yahweh is the ultimate power. As long as a power can hold his position and protect his realm, he can delegate authority down to other people under him.
Understanding the difference between power and authority will help you also to understand Romans 13:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher authorities. For there is no authority but of God: the authorities that be are ordained of God.
We recognize all higher authorities. But remember, there is no viable authority except under Yahweh. That is just common sense. If Yahweh is the ultimate power, then He must delegate all authority. All authority must come from Him.
Can any lawful authority exist except under Yahweh? No! It is impossible!
If Yahweh has vested Jesus with "all authority in heaven and earth," can there exist any viable authority but in and under Jesus? No! It is impossible!
Some men say they get their authority from the State of Oregon, or from the Federal Government, or from the Constitution, or from the Soviet Politburo, or from the United Nations or some other source. But, if they’re not under Jesus, their "authority" is bogus. It is not true authority! It is counterfeit because no authority can exist unless it is aligned under Yahweh and his Son. The only way that authority can work is if a "power" delegates it. An authority must be ordained of God in order to be viable. If they aren’t ordained (authorized) of God, they are fake and we should not honor them.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee: As thou has given him authority over all flesh, that he should give eonian life to as many as thou has given him. And this is eonian life: that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (Here is the Bible definition of "eonian life" – usually translated "eternal life").
As thou (Father) hath sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them (the disciples) into the world.
Yahweh sent (authorized) "Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ then sent (authorized) the disciples. This is the correct perspective on the order of authority: the order of rank.
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