Part 1 Preview: There have always existed two individual Supernatural Beings, whom we know as the Father and as Yeshua (Jesus). Yet some claim that Yeshua has not always existed with the Father, but that Yeshua was at some point created by Elohim (God) the Father, claiming that Yeshua did not exist until His birth as a baby to Mary. These teachings date back to 4th century Arianism and are based on rejecting clear Biblical statements. This article will clear the air! Frank Nelte’s articles are addressed to a “Church of God” audience.
The Church of God has traditionally understood that there have always existed two individual God Beings, whom we know as God the Father and as Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ we have understood to be the One who was used by the Father to do all the creating, and Christ is also the One who dealt with people in Old Testament times. We have also understood that Melchizedek who met with Abraham was the One who later became Jesus Christ
In recent times a number of people have put forward various ideas that challenge this traditional understanding. Some have claimed that Jesus Christ has not always existed with God the Father, but that Jesus Christ was at some point created by God the Father. Others claim that Jesus Christ did not exist prior to His birth as a human baby to Mary. Others have put forward ideas that a human being like Shem was Melchizedek at Abraham’s time.
There is one basic point with all of these teachings that we need to understand. And that is this: All of these ideas and new teachings are based on rejecting clear biblical statements. They all require clear biblical statements to be INTERPRETED TO NOT MEAN WHAT THOSE STATEMENTS ACTUALLY SAY IN VERY CLEAR AND UNMISTAKABLE TERMS!
In any examination of the Scriptures we need to first establish that we are indeed dealing with a correct translation into English. When we have done that, when we know that the text we are reading is correct, THEN we need to be very careful when people tell us that this Scripture doesn’t supposedly mean what it clearly says. It is the clear and obvious statements that should help us to understand statements that could perhaps be ambiguous, and not the other way around. Let’s start off by examining some clear basic Scriptures, in which God means to convey exactly what He tells us.
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that HE WAS COME FROM GOD, and went to God; (John 13:3 AV)
The Greek here translated as “come from God” (i.e. “apo theou exelthen”) literally means “HAD GONE OUT FROM GOD”. This verse shows that Jesus Christ had been with God the Father BEFORE His birth as a human being.
I CAME FORTH FROM THE FATHER, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. (John 16:28 AV)
Here the Greek text for “I came forth from the Father” (i.e. “exelthon para tou patros”) again literally means the same thing ... that Jesus Christ had GONE OUT from the Father in order to be born as a human being. Christ had existed with the Father BEFORE He came to this earth as a human being, and He was going back to where He had been before.
THESE VERSES LEAVE NO OTHER OPTION BUT THAT CHRIST HAD EXISTED BEFORE HIS BIRTH AS A HUMAN BEING!
And now, O Father, GLORIFY thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE THE WORLD WAS. (John17:5 AV)
With the word “glorify” Jesus Christ is here referring to “change Me back into a GOD Being”. ALL glory belongs to God. There are different levels of “glory”. The highest level of glory is to be a God Being with God the Father.
The Greek verb translated as “glorify” in John 17:5 above is “doxazo”. This verb is formed from the noun “doxa”, which means “glory”. And this Greek noun “doxa” is in turn formed from the base of the Greek verb “dokeo”, which means “TO THINK, TO BE OF THE OPINION”. In other words, the basis for the concept of “glory” and for “to glorify” has to do with HOW SOMEONE THINKS!
Specifically, “glory” has to do with THE ABILITY to think on a certain level. And that “level” (for lack of a better word) is controlled by God the Father! That “level” is independent of a person’s intellect and IQ.
So while we today may think of “glory” as renown and fame and honour and adoring praise and brightness, the concept really has to first and foremost do with a way of thinking, with the ability to think on a certain level.
As far as spiritual discernment and spiritual understanding are concerned, it is God the Father who controls the level on which any human being is able to think. And that level is intimately tied to the concept of glory. In this regard the lowest level of glory refers to when someone has just had his mind opened by God to understand some basic truths of God. The highest level of glory refers to when an individual is changed into a God Being and is then able to think in exactly the same way as God the Father thinks.
In John 17:5 quoted above Jesus Christ was asking God the Father to restore Him to that highest level of glory. The expression “which I had with you” means “which I had POSSESSED with You”. The time to which Jesus Christ is referring is here rendered as “before the world was”, where the Greek word “kosmos” is translated as “world”. The Greek word “kosmos” always refers to MANKIND, ALL HUMANITY, and not to this planet earth. So in this verse Jesus Christ is saying that He had shared this “glory” WITH GOD BEFORE THE CREATION OF DAM AND EVE.
When understood correctly, John 17:5 makes quite clear that Jesus Christ claimed to have existed BEFORE Adam was ever created! This verse does not allow for any other possibility. The only way someone could claim that Jesus Christ had not existed before the creation of Adam, is to claim that Jesus Christ was lying in John 17:5, since this verse is neither a mistranslation nor is it of spurious origin. But if we accept the testimony of Jesus Christ as true, then John 17:5 shows that Christ existed before the creation of Adam.
Jesus Christ made the same point in John 8:58, where He stated quite categorically that He had existed before Abraham was ever born.
Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS, I AM. (John 8:58)
This verse very clearly negates the idea that Christ only came into being when He was born as a baby to Mary.
But let’s go back to the concept of glory for a moment. Paul explained that there are different levels of glory. Notice 1.Corinthians chapter 15.
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is ONE GLORY of the sun, and ANOTHER GLORY of the moon, and ANOTHER GLORY of the stars: for one star DIFFERETH FROM ANOTHER STAR IN GLORY. (1 Corinthians 15:40-41 AV)
The Apostle Paul is here speaking about the resurrection to spirit life. And he is making the point that there are different levels of glory. Now notice something Jesus Christ said in prayer to God concerning His disciples.
And THE GLORY which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (John 17:22 AV)
In John chapter 17 and verse 5 Jesus Christ asks God the Father to GIVE Him the glory which He had previously possessed with the Father; and a few verses later (in verse 22) He says that He HAS GIVEN a certain glory to the apostles. But Christ obviously could not give the apostles something that He Himself had not yet received. So in verses 5 and 22 of John 17 Jesus Christ is clearly referring to two different levels of glory.
By the end of His ministry (i.e. John 17:22) exactly what had Jesus Christ GIVEN to the apostles? He had given them a certain amount of spiritual UNDERSTANDING! He had in fact given them THE LOWEST LEVEL OF GLORY!
And what was Jesus Christ asking God the Father for at that same time? He was asking the Father for THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF GLORY, to once again be a GOD Being.
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery TO BE EQUAL WITH GOD: But made himself of no reputation, and TOOK UPON HIM THE FORM OF A SERVANT, and was made in the likeness of men: (Philipptians 2:6-7 AV)
In John 17:5 Jesus Christ was asking God the Father to again make Him, Jesus Christ, EQUAL to the Father in the type of Being they are, though not equal in position or authority. This is what Paul addresses here in Philipptians 2:6. The whole context of Philipptians 2:6-7 also again shows that Christ had pre-existed as God with God the Father BEFORE He became a human being.
To be quite clear: by John 17:22 the disciples had NOT YET received the Holy Spirit, but nevertheless Jesus Christ HAD ALREADY given them some “glory”. So “the glory” Christ had given them was in this instance NOT a reference to the Holy Spirit, which they had not yet received. Christ had been teaching them God’s ways very intensely for three-and-one-half years, and THE UNDERSTANDING imparted to them through this teaching was a type of glory. God’s people TODAY receive that same type of glory through GOD’S SPIRIT opening our minds to understand the things of God. They were taught by Jesus Christ in person, and we today are taught by the Holy Spirit influencing our minds (see John 14:26). We should keep in mind that the concept of glory has to do with UNDERSTANDING. The glory we at this time receive from God is not the Holy Spirit per se, but THE EFFECTS (the effectual working) the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. As Paul explained:
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11 AV)
Regarding “glorying” Paul also wrote the following:
It is not expedient FOR ME doubtless TO GLORY. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. (2Co 12:1 AV)
Paul then continues to speak about the understanding that he was given in visions by Jesus Christ. Glory has to do with a level of understanding. And spiritual understanding and discernment are imparted to us through God’s Spirit, and that represents the first step in receiving glory from God. Anyway, as far as the nature of Jesus Christ is concerned, John 17:5 makes clear that Jesus Christ has possessed “glory with God” before Adam was ever created. Therefore Jesus Christ clearly must have existed before the creation of Adam.
But there is one other important point to note about John 17:22. In this verse Jesus Christ states THE REASON WHY He gave His disciples this glory. It was for the purpose of MAKING IT POSSIBLE for them to become one with one another. Can you see this?
In other words: UNLESS Jesus Christ had given those disciples this glory common to all of them, this level of understanding, it would not have been possible for them to become one. Let’s look at this verse again more closely because it reveals something about the oneness of God the Father and Jesus Christ to us.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE: (John 17:22 AV)
The Greek conjunction “hina” here translated as “that” means “IN ORDER HAT” or “SO THAT”, stating a purpose for the preceding statement. So Christ is here stating THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE for which He had given glory to His disciples, and for which God today gives glory to us ... TO MAKE ONENESS.
And then Christ applies this degree of oneness that a common understanding makes possible to His own relationship with God the Father. He said: ... EVEN AS we“ (the Father and Christ) are one”! Do you grasp the monumental significance of this brief 5-word statement “even as we are one”?
The Greek adverb “kathos” here translated as “even as” means: “JUST AS, IN THE DEGREE THAT, ACCORDING AS”. It is a word that COMPARES two different things and puts them on the same level.
Here is the point: It is A GLORY, A LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING, COMMON TO BOTH OF THEM, THAT MAKES GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST “ONE”!
God the Father and Jesus Christ being “one” has nothing to do with how many individual beings they happen to be (they are TWO distinct individual beings), in exactly the same way that us being “one” with other members of God’s Church has nothing to do with how many individual beings make up that one church body (there are many more than two beings involved here). And UNLESS God the Father was going to restore that glory to Jesus Christ (as per His request in John 17:5), Christ could not have remained “one” with the Father.... He knew He was about to die. During His earthly ministry Christ still had THE UNDERSTANDING He had previously possessed, and that is why even during His ministry He could unequivocally state that He was “one” with God the Father In all things pertaining to life He had the identical understanding to God the Father ... and THAT made Him “one” with the Father.
The “oneness of God” has to do with a common and identical understanding, a common mind and a common way of thinking, between different individuals, rather than with how many individuals are involved! THIS IS HOW GOD USES THE WORD “ONE” IN THE BIBLE! And we need to beware of imposing OUR VIEW OF WHAT “ONE” MEANS ON THE STATEMENTS GOD MAKES IN THE SCRIPTURES!
It is foolish to argue about what “one” means to you and to me in English. It is easy for us to apply our understanding of “one” to scriptural statements that were never intended by God to have OUR concept of “one” applied to them. When Christ prayed that we in God’s Church might all be “one”, He was obviously not speaking in mathematical terms! And when He said that He was “one” with the Father, that also was obviously not a mathematical statement.
As far as a common understanding making oneness possible is concerned, the same point is made in slightly different terms in the Book of Amos. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Am 3:3 AV) To become one with other individuals, in biblical terms we have to be able to “walk with them”, and that requires agreement. Put another way, Amos 3:3 tells us that two cannot become one unless they have a common understanding.
John 17:22 shows us in very clear terms how God uses the word “one” even when clearly two or more individuals are involved. We simply don’t have that level of “oneness” anywhere on earth ... we have never experienced it at any time and it is utterly foreign to us, because we are ALWAYS, to some degree or other, motivated by self-interest. We have never experienced that level of oneness in any marriage, and we have never had it in the Church on any major scale! The Holy Spirit makes such oneness POTENTIALLY possible, but we have ALWAYS fallen short of achieving that ultimate potential. And so the only way WE understand “one” is to do a head-count ... and when that tells us that there are more heads than one, THEN WE WOULD NOT READILY USE THE WORD “ONE”!
But God simply does not approach statements that involve relationships from that perspective. And all the statements about God being one are statements about a relationship and NOT statements about individual identities!
This brings us to the next Scripture.
I and my Father are one. (John 10:30 AV)
Think about the ramifications of this statement. It would be presumptuous to the extreme for any of us to make such a claim ... that we are ALREADY NOW “one with God the Father”. We are all still sinful and we all still fall short time and again. And none of us view everything from God’s point of view. For us in God’s Church it is an achievement if we can at least view SOME things here and there from God’s perspective ... like seeing a few things here and there vaguely through a dark glass (the principle of 1 Cor 12:13). Our ways and our thoughts are vastly inferior to God’s ways and thoughts. And in this life we will never be able to make the statement that we are “one with God”, even if we were to attain unto the level of “Noah, Daniel or Job” (to apply a point from Ezekiel chapter 14).
When two or more individuals are or become “ONE” it presupposes that they are EQUALS! Equals in the type of beings they are, though not necessarily equals in the positions or the status they have. In fact, THE ONLY WAY ONENESS IS POSSIBLE BETWEEN TWO OR MORE INDIVIDUALS IS IF THEY HOLD DIFFERENT POSITIONS AND HAVE A DIFFERENT STATUS WITHIN THAT ONENESS!
Think about that statement. When two individuals continue to hold identical positions and an identical status, then they can never become “ONE”! With identical status and identical positions they will unavoidably always remain separate and divided! Oneness between two or more individuals is only possible if one of them is higher in authority than all the others that are a part of that oneness. Yet at the very same time all the beings involved in this oneness must also be EQUALS!
It would be impossible to have ONE body if every member of that body was an eye or an ear or a nose or a mouth. Oneness in the body is only possible because there are DIVERSE MEMBERS (eyes, toes, fingers, lungs, bones, muscles, etc.) that make up that ONE body. Yet ALL these members are equals in as far as they are all members of the human body.
By Jesus Christ telling us that He is ONE with the Father, it absolutely requires that one of the two of them has authority over the other. Otherwise oneness would not be possible. But at the same time it ALSO requires that they are equals in the type of beings they are. This may be a difficult concept to grasp? And it is not essential that everyone fully understand it, though a good understanding in this regard is certainly very helpful.
Thus a man and a woman can become “one” in marriage because before God we are EQUAL. But at the same time we MUST hold different positions with different degrees of authority within that oneness ... oneness will not be possible.
Similarly, we in God’s Church can potentially become “one” with other members of the Church because before God we are EQUALS. Yet we ALSO must within that oneness hold different positions and different levels of authority ... or oneness will be impossible, never mind it being elusive.
ONLY EQUALS CAN BECOME ONE! Beings that are not equals also cannot become one!
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, AS WE ARE. (John 17:11 AV)
We in God’s Church are to become one with one another, even as Christ is one with God the Father. But we are not yet one with God, and nor are we one with all other people in God’s Church. Revelation 14:1-4 shows when that oneness with all other members of God’s Church will be achieved when 144,000 different individuals are raised at one time to function as one bride for Jesus Christ.
[Lon’s note concerning the above peripheral paragraph: I believe that the 144,000 of Revelation 7 are the same 144,000 as Revelation 14. Both reference a group of physical Israelites who will serve a very special purpose as the captivity of Israel is ending. Secondly, the “bride”, including the “firstfruits” of Revelation 14:4, are references to the time when God will remarry Israel—not His church. Isaiah 14:1, Jeremiah 3:14, see Who is the Bride of Christ?]
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, THAT THEY ALSO MAY BE ONE IN US: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE: (John 17:21-22 AV)
With references to oneness God describes RELATIONSHIPS and not the totals resulting from mathematical calculations.
What will make us “one” with one another is the fact that we are all “in God” through the Holy Spirit dwelling in each converted member of God’s Church. We who have God’s Spirit dwelling in us are equal with all other people who also possess God’s Spirit, and equals before God can become “one”. Anyone who claims to be one with someone else is claiming to be EQUAL to that other person, yet not necessarily in the status or the authority they hold
Getting back to Jesus Christ: IF Jesus Christ had indeed been created by God the Father, He would not have been able to say “I and my Father are one”. If One (God the Father) has always existed, while the Other (Jesus Christ) was created by the Father at some point, then they are most emphatically NOT “equals” and they could not really be “one”.
Think about this very carefully. We human beings are equal in the sense that we were all created by God. That puts us all on the same level, which enables us to (potentially) become one “IN GOD”, but one with one another rather than with God. God the Father and Jesus Christ are different from us, but they are on the same level with one another, and that enables them to be one with one another. God the Father and Jesus Christ had ALREADY been “one” before Christ’s ministry here on earth, and Christ was able to say this BEFORE He died and was resurrected by the Father.
However, by Jesus Christ having gone through the experience of a mortal human life, thereby making Him equal to us human beings (though not in status or authority), THAT enables Christ to be on OUR level, and THAT makes it possible for Him to become ONE with us human beings. And Christ will indeed become one with 144,000 human individuals at the time of the first resurrection. Christ is the link between God the Father and us human beings…Christ is already one with God the Father and He will become one with human beings at the first resurrection.
The ultimate, final goal of God’s whole plan is to create ONE Family in which we will all in some regards become one with God. And Christ’s role is central to achieving that plan. That oneness with God will express a relationship with God.
At that point the whole plan of salvation will have been completed. But we human beings are certainly not one with God the Father at this present stage in the development of God’s plan. Yet Christ was ALREADY one with the Father during His ministry, because He has always existed with the Father.
Jesus Christ’s statement of “I and my Father are one” leaves no room for Jesus Christ to not have always existed with God the Father.
Next, consider the following hypothetical point.
IF God the Father had actually created Jesus Christ at some point, THEN God the Father would have become Christ’s “Father” at that very instant ... that’s what the word “father” means ... to cause another being to come into existence. So God would ALWAYS, since Christ’s supposed creation, have been Christ’s “Father”. Why would God then possibly want to go through the whole process AGAIN ... by having Jesus Christ give up that existence as a spirit being and be born as a human being to Mary, to become God’s “Son” a second time around? If God’s “creation” of Jesus Christ as a spirit being “Son” had in fact been successful, why would God risk that successful creation of a Son by having that Son go through ANOTHER period of testing and trying as a human being? Would God do that with the archangel Michael ... have him cease being the archangel to become a human being where he would be tempted to sin and thus risk his very existence, when right now he is very secure in the existence he has been given by God? That doesn’t make sense.
If Christ was supposedly created by God the Father, how would Christ differ from other beings that God created, like Satan and Michael and Gabriel? Specifically, Michael and Gabriel have always been, from all we are given to understand, faithful to God, yet they have never made a claim like “God the Father and I are one”. Why would such faithful created beings not be one with God, if another Being (i.e. Jesus Christ) who was also supposedly created by the Father, could boldly make such a claim even before He had completed His ministry here on earth? Keep in mind that oneness is only possible between beings that are equals.
Let’s look at another statement by the Apostle John.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 AV)
By “the Word” John is very clearly referring to Jesus Christ, as shown by verse 14.
AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 AV)
For more see:The Genesis Creation—What and When Was the “beginning” of Genesis 1:1?
So in John 1:1 we are told that Jesus Christ (i.e. “the Word”) existed “IN THE BEGINNING”, or “in beginning”, since the Greek text does not contain the definite article here. We are also told that Jesus Christ was WITH God, implying the existence of God the Father, and that Jesus Christ also WAS God. This is clearly a reference to a time before Jesus Christ was born as a human being. This verse does not say or infer that in the beginning (or in a beginning) God “created” the Word; no, here Jesus Christ is ALREADY “God”, the characteristic that enables Him to be “one with the other God Being”.
This Scripture states very plainly that in the beginning THE WORD WAS GOD! Beware of anyone trying to explain away this clear statement in John 1:1.
Let’s examine some more Scriptures.
He was in the world, and THE WORLD WAS MADE BY HIM, and the world knew him not. (John 1:10 AV)
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in GOD, WHO CREATED ALL THINGS BY JESUS CHRIST: (Ephestians 3:9 AV)
FOR BY 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 BY HIM, and for him: (Colossians 1:16 AV)
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by HIS SON, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS; (Hebrews 1:2 AV)
These four verses make one and the same point, showing that the point expressed here is not an isolated statement. The only possibility is that Jesus Christ is the God Being who in Genesis chapter 1 created the universe and all life on this planet earth BY SPEAKING, which explains why He is also known as “the Word”, or “the Speaker” of the Godhead.
Again, people who reject that Christ has ALWAYS existed must explain these clear statements away, to somehow not really mean what they say.
One man claims that in all four of these verses all the translators MIS-TRANSLATED THE GREEK PREPOSITION “DIA”! But this claim is very easily disproved! Here are the facts.
Without going into great details: the Greek preposition “dia” governs TWO cases: the genitive (or possessive) case and the accusative case (the direct object). The meanings of “dia” are strictly controlled by these two cases, as is well-known by all the translators. Thus:
A) When “dia” is used with the genitive case, then it has the general sense of through, as though dividing a surface into two by an intersecting line. It includes the idea of proceeding from and passing out. Compare to the word “diameter”. “Dia” is typically rendered into English as “by” when it is used with the genitive case.
B) When “dia” is used with the accusative case, then it has the sense of on; account of, or because of, indicating both the exciting cause, the impulsive cause or the prospective cause. With the accusative case “dia” is typically translated into English as “on account of” or “by reason of”.
TWO DIFFERENT SETS OF MEANINGS. Now in order to do away with what these verses actually say, it is asserted that in all four verses the meanings conveyed by the ACCUSATIVE CASE are intended by God, even though the translators have always applied the meanings conveyed by the genitive case to their translations of these four verses.
John 1:10 = (the world was made) BY Him; Greek = DI AUTOU PH. 3:9 = (all things) BY Jesus Christ; Greek = DIA IESOU CHRISTOU OL. 1:16 = (all things were created) BY Him; Greek = DI AUTOU
HEB. 1:2 = BY whom (He also made the worlds); Greek = DI OU (Comment: When “dia” is used before a word that starts with certain vowels, hen the “a” is dropped. Thus “di” in Col. 1:16 and in John 1:10 and in Heb. 1:2 is he same as “dia”.)
Now in all four of the above verses “dia” is followed by THE GENITIVE CASE! Iesou Christou “is the genitive case for” Jesus Christ”; “autou” is the genitive case of the pronoun “autos”, meaning “he”; “ou” is the genitive case of the pronoun “hos”, meaning “who” or “which”.
THIS EVIDENCE IS QUITE CLEAR! So the KJV translators have translated these verses CORRECTLY. In each case “dia” is correctly translated into English as “BY”, and in none of these four verses does it mean “on account of Jesus Christ”! People who claim otherwise simply o not understand that you cannot assign the meaning that goes with the accusative case to any passage where “dia” is actually followed by the genitive case! You simply cannot pick and choose amongst the potential meanings any Greek word may have and select the meaning that appeals to you. So Eph. 3:9 and John 1:10 and Col. 1:16 and Heb. 1:2 are in agreement that ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY JESUS CHRIST! Attempts to do away with his clear meaning are easily disproved by the grammatical facts involved.
This point that Jesus Christ did the creating is also repeated in Hebrews 11:3.
Through faith we understand that THE WORLDS WERE FRAMED BY THE WORD OF GOD, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:3 AV)
The expression “the word of God” in this verse does not use the Greek word “logos”, but rather the word “rhema”, which literally means “the worlds were framed by the SAYING or the SPEAKING of God”. That is precisely what Genesis chapter 1 tells us.
AND GOD SAID, let there be light ... (Genesis 1:3 AV) ... 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 AV)
The One doing the speaking in Genesis 1:26 is clearly speaking for more than one person, as indicated by the use of the pronouns “us” and “our”. The words “us” and “our” also ALREADY show that the individuals included in these pronouns are ONE, where the “image” and the “likeness” of the One Being was the same as for the Other Being. Understand that the pronouns “US” and “OUR” only attain validity when they are used by two or more beings who are EQUALS, and thus have the ability to speak as “one”. The word “we” conveys a common course of action or thinking for two or more individuals ... two or more individuals speaking as ONE!
Regarding Genesis 1:26, Jesus Christ also later indicated to Philip the following:
Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? HE THAT HATH SEEN ME HATH SEEN THE FATHER; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (John 14:9 AV)
To assume that Jesus Christ was at some point created by God the Father, would imply that God the Father decided to create ONE other being in His own image and likeness, who looked like He, God the Father, looks. And that without any assurance that Christ would not turn out to be an adversary, like Satan turned out to be? How could God possibly have taken that kind of risk, without some mechanism in place to deal with undesirable conduct by this created being ... like we human beings find it impossible to not sin, and without the mechanism of appealing for forgiveness and claiming Christ’s sacrifice to cover our transgressions we would all be lost?
And to continue, after supposedly having created this ONE being (i.e. Jesus Christ) in His own image and likeness, why would God the Father THEN have turned the entire creation process over to this created being, as per John 1:10 and Eph. 3:9 and Col. 1:16 and Heb. 1:2? What could possibly have qualified this created being to bring about God the Father’s plans and wishes, which are manifestations of the Father’s inherent nature, that nature being “love”? God the Father would in effect have turned His own future destiny and circumstances of existence over to this created being ... John 1:10 and Heb. 1:2 and Col. 1:16 and Eph. 3:9 are powerful verses with very far-reaching implications.
One man, in his attempt to reconcile these four verses with his idea that Jesus Christ was created by God the Father, claims that God the Father FIRST created Jesus Christ, and THEN turned the creating process over to this created being. But that doesn’t make sense and implies that God the Father “retired from creating” after He had created Jesus Christ.
The only ones qualified to do the creating referred to in these verses are those who are EQUALS, those who are ONE with God the Father. Being “qualified” to do something is extremely important to God! That’s the whole point of the question in Revelation chapter 5.... And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, WHO IS WORTHY to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? (Revelation 5:2 AV)
WHO IS WORTHY to do certain things? Nobody less than the having always existed Eternal God is “WORTHY” of having done the creating in Genesis chapter 1. Only a Being who could confidently say “OUR ...” and “let US ...” and “the Father and I are ONE” could be worthy of doing something so important as creating the whole universe and all the various life forms on this earth on behalf of God the Father.
ONE GOD: Let’s now examine another point. The Bible in a number of places makes the point that there is ONE God. And people have used such statements to assert that therefore there could not be TWO different Beings, both of whom are “God”. For example, Deuteronomy 6:4 tells us in the KJV:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (Deuteronomy 6:4 AV)
Rather than reading our meanings into any biblical statements, we need to try to understand exactly what it is that God is conveying. We have already seen that Christ claimed to have existed before Abraham was ever born. We have also seen in John 10:30 that Jesus Christ said that He and God the Father were NE. The New Testament shows Christ praying to God the Father, yet He also stated categorically that He was ONE with the Father. This again doesn’t agree with OUR CONCEPT of what “one” means, since Christ obviously did not pray to Himself. The only option is for us to try to view Christ’s (i.e. God’s!) usage of the word “one” from the perspective of how GOD could possibly mean “one”.
God tells us that in marriage a husband and his wife are to become “one”, yet these two people are obviously still two very distinct and different individuals, irrespective of how closely they coordinate their actions and their thinking. There being two distinct and different individuals does not in any way stop God from referring to a husband and his wife as “one”, with the wife’s fortune being in any cases inextricably tied to the things, both good and bad, that befall her husband.
So if God views the individuals involved in a marriage as “one”, WHY would God the Father not view Himself and Jesus Christ as “ONE” ... when that is precisely what Jesus Christ said, and when these two Beings have ALWAYS been of one mind in all their goals and intents and purposes? Specifically, it was not God’s intention in Old Testament times to even tell human beings that there were in fact TWO distinct individuals in the Godhead. Yes, certain individuals, like David, were given this kind of inside information, but it was not for Israel as a whole to know this. And so Jesus Christ came, amongst other things, TO REVEAL GOD THE FATHER to humanity.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; NEITHER KNOWETH ANY MAN THE FATHER, SAVE THE SON, AND HE TO WHOMSOEVER THE SON WILL REVEAL HIM. (Matthew 11:27 AV)
And THE FATHER himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. YE HAVE NEITHER HEARD HIS VOICE AT ANY TIME, NOR SEEN HIS SHAPE. (John 5:37 AV)
John 5:37 shows categorically that Adam and Eve had not seen God the Father, nor was it God the Father who spoke to Abraham and to Moses and to Joshua and to the prophets. The Old Testament makes clear that some people had direct verbal and/or visual contact with “GOD”, yet that “GOD” could according to John 5:37 not have been “God the Father”. It was the “GOD” we today know as Jesus Christ, with whom those people in Old Testament times had contact ... and a very few individuals (like David, as shown in Psalm 110:1) understood that there was another God Being in higher authority than the God with whom they had contact. But Israel as a whole did not understand this.
Since Jesus Christ came to “REVEAL” God the Father, therefore He also taught us to direct our prayers directly to God the Father“... AFTER THIS MANNER therefore pray ye: OUR FATHER which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9 AV) So back to Deuteronomy 6:4 ... at that point in time God the Father and Jesus Christ were already “ONE” as per John 10:30, and God the Father had no intention of explaining to Israel that there were TWO God Beings. No doubt there are lots of things about Himself that God has thus far not told us:
THE SECRET THINGS BELONG UNTO THE LORD OUR GOD: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 AV)
So what is the big concern about God telling us TO LISTEN TO ONLY ONE GOD, since the other God Being was not going to speak to or have any kind of contact with any human being at that stage? Israel had come out of a pagan Egyptian society with multiple “gods”, and in Deuteronomy 6:4 Jesus Christ, the God who dealt with Moses and with Israel, told them to listen to only ONE God. There is no verb “IS” in the text of Deuteronomy 6:4, as is also indicated in the KJV by the use of italics for “is”.
Here is the 1902 Rotherham Bible translation of this verse. Hear, O Israel: Yahweh [actually Yehovah], is our God, Yahweh alone. (Deuteronomy 6:4 Rotherham)
While this translation has still included the verb “is”, it does nevertheless show that the second part of this verse can also be correctly rendered into English as “GOD ALONE”! The focus of this verse is WHO TO LISTEN TO, and not how many members there are in the Godhead. When we correctly omit the verb “is”, then we have a correct translation of the Hebrew text that reads: “HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE ETERNAL OUR GOD, THE ETERNAL ALONE”!
Rotherham’s 1902 translation of this verse, coupled with the correct omission of the verb “is”, shows that this verse has a totally different focus from what is conveyed by the KJV and by most other translations. On top of that we need to remember how Jesus Christ used the word “one” in reference to the Father and Himself. Christ freely spoke of the two God Beings (i.e. God the Father and Himself) as “one”.
Several years ago I wrote a short paper giving a more detailed explanation of Deuteronomy 6:4, which I feel I don’t need to repeat at this point. But that article on Deuteronomy 6:4 is still available for those seeking a fuller explanation.
Let’s examine another Scripture:
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3 AV)
With this verse we need to keep the context in mind. This was Christ’s last prayer before His crucifixion. In verse 1 He had asked God the Father to “glorify” Him, i.e. restore Him to being a spirit God Being. In verse 2 Christ showed that God the Father was going to make eternal life possible for human beings through the sacrifice Jesus Christ was about to bring. In verse 4 Christ stated that He had finished the commission God the Father had given Him. And in verse 5 Christ repeats His request to again be glorified with God the Father.
Verse 3 is in the middle of this context. Having stated in verse 2 that He had come to “GIVE ETERNAL LIFE” to those people that God the Father had called, in verse 3 Christ now explains WHAT HE MEANS BY “GIVING ETERNAL LIFE” ... since very obviously He had NOT YET literally given eternal life to any human being. So in verse 3 Christ explains that when He said He was giving eternal life to those people God had called, what He really meant was that He had given KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING to those people. He had imparted to them the knowledge about the TWO members of the Godhead ... God the Father and Jesus Christ. The wording Christ used here is simply a way of distinguishing between the two different beings in the Godhead.
Was Jesus Christ at that point in time ALREADY “the Son of God”? Yes, He was. Even Satan had acknowledged that indirectly in the questions he directed to Jesus Christ in Matthew 4 verses 3 and 6 (i.e. “if you are the Son of God”). The demons in Matthew 8:29 again acknowledged this fact, that Christ was already “the Son of God”. In Matthew 14:33 this was also acknowledged by His disciples, who then promptly worshiped Christ.
Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped HIM, saying, of a truth thou art THE SON OF GOD. (Matthew 14:33 AV)
Jesus Christ Himself stated the same thing in Matthew 26:63-64 in His trial before the high priest. And while He was dying on the stake the priests who passed by also acknowledged that Christ had indeed claimed to be the Son of God (see Matthew 27:43).
So we now have TWO distinct facts to consider: 1) Jesus Christ CLAIMED to have been the Son of God and He permitted people to worship Him even during His life as a human being; 2) Jesus Christ ALSO CLAIMED to have existed with God the Father before His human existence. Yes, Christ only became “the Son of God” from His birth as a human being onwards; but this in no way limits Christ’s existence to the time He was born as a human being.
Furthermore, Genesis chapter 1 makes quite clear that GOD did the creating. Yet we have seen four Scriptures that make equally clear that Jesus Christ is the One who did that creating (Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; John 1:10; Heb. 1:2). This again leaves us no other option but to conclude that Jesus Christ was “the God” who is recorded as speaking in Genesis chapter 1.
Part 2 of Frank Nelte’s article begins with commentary on Melchizedek on the button below. More from Frank Nelte is on his site