Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bibleís Secrets

The Nature Of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, One of the “Binity”

Part 2, Prequel to: Was Jesus Christ God in the Flesh?

Part 2 Preview: There have always existed two individual Immortal Beings (aside from those 3 days). Biblically, they are known as the Father (Yehovah) and as Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. Yet some claim that Yeshua has not always existed with His Father, but that He was at some point created by Yehovah our Father, claiming that Yeshua didnít 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 Nelteís articles are addressed to a “Church of God” audience.

Now Letís Look At Melchizedek

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JESUS CHRIST WAS MELCHIZEDEK: The Bible actually tells us very little about the individual called “Melchizedek”. There are exactly 3 verses in Genesis chapter 14 (i.e. Gen. 14:18-20) and one additional verse in Psalm 110 (i.e. Psalm 110:4) that deal with Melchizedek in the Old Testament. Two very brief references that amount to a total of four verses in the whole Old Testamentóthatís all we are told. There is no evidence or indication that Melchizedek ever dealt with anyone other than with Abraham. Claims that Melchizedek dealt with other people as well are only unsubstantiated lines of reasoning.

In the New Testament approximately seven times as many verses are devoted to discussing this individual “Melchizedek”óPaul devoted Hebrews 5:6-11 and Hebrews 6:20 and virtually the whole of chapter 7, and especially the first 22 verses of this chapter, to discussing Melchizedek. Clearly Paul wanted to explain to the Hebrews exactly who this Melchizedek was, since the information in the whole Old Testament is so scanty. Psalm 110:4 is the verse Paul repeatedly quotes to make his point.

So consider this. In the Book of Hebrews Paul explains Jesus Christís role to the Jewish Christians of his time. And Paul felt it to be very important to devote a great deal of space, seven times more than in the whole Old Testament, to discussing this individual Melchizedek. This fact by itself should already alert us to Paulís intentionsóto help Jewish Christians understand that Jesus Christ, the Savior, was the same individual who had dealt with Abraham. There is A REASON why Paul spends so much time discussing Melchizedek. IF JESUS CHRIST HAD NOT BEEN MELCHIZEDEK, then Paul would not even have made a single reference to Melchizedek in this letteróthere would have been no point to it.

The point Paul makes in Hebrews 5:6-11 is that today Jesus Christ is a High Priest after the rank, or, as we might say today, on the same level and with the same status as Melchizedek. But the previous verse, Hebrews 5:5, has already stated that Jesus Christ is also “the Son of God”.

So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, THOU ART MY SON, to day have I begotten thee. (Hebrews 5:5 AV)

Realize that someone who is higher cannot be in some position or office that belongs to someone who is lower. That is the principle of Hebrews 7:7:

AND WITHOUT ALL CONTRADICTION the less is blessed of the better. (Hebrews 7:7 AV)

This principle means that it is simply not possible that GOD, the resurrected Jesus Christ, would somehow fill the rank or status or position of A MORTAL MAN! The fact that the resurrected Jesus Christ now fills an office with the status and rank of Melchizedek means that Melchizedek must have been a member of he Godhead. There is no other possibility.

And that is precisely what Paul was explaining to the Hebrews. Notice how Paul explained this. In Hebrews 7:2 Melchizedek is identified as KING of righteousness and as KING of peace. No mortal human being could ever lay claim to these two godly attributesóit was Paul who quoted the Scripture that “the way of peace” has not been known to human beings (Romans 3:17). Paul followed this statement in Hebrews 7 with:

Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (Hebrews 7:3 AV)

So Paul explains that Melchizedek was NOT A HUMAN BEINGóhe had no parents and had never gone through the birth process. Melchizedek was WITHOUT BEGINNING OF DAYSóhe had existed for past eternity. He also has “no end of life”óso Melchizedek still existed at the time when Paul wrote this about 2000 years after the time of Abraham. And Melchizedek must also still exist TODAY! There must be TODAY an individual who is King of righteousness and also King of peaceóand that individual is clearly Jesus Christ. By saying that Melchizedek “abides a priest continually” Paul is saying that Melchizedek never stopped being a priest.

Now since Melchizedek never stopped being a High Priest and since today Jesus Christ is a High Priest with the rank and status of Melchizedek, there are only two possibilities: EITHER there are now TWO High Priests (Melchizedek and Jesus Christ) with identical status OR these two names (Melchizedek and Jesus Christ) apply to the one and same individual.

It is Paulís whole point in Hebrews chapter 7 to explain that the High Priest Melchizedek who dealt with Abraham was the same individual who later became Jesus Christ. This was correctly explained to us many years ago by Mr. Armstrong, and that is as correct today as it was back then. Nothing has really changed in this regard. The idea that Shem was Melchizedek, as one man proposed, is preposterous. That idea implies that Jesus Christ has been demoted to filling the rank or status of some sinful mortal man ... if Shem had indeed been Melchizedek.

That line of reasoning also requires Paul to not really have meant what he wrote in Hebrews 7:3. These verses tells us that Melchizedek in Old Testament times had the following things apply to him:

1) he was without father and without mother;
2) he was without any line of descent;
3) he had no beginning of days;
4) he has never had any end of life;
5) he was LIKE the Son of God;
6) he is STILL a priest of God;
7) he is the king of righteousness;
8) he is the king of peace.

With all of these statements Paul meant EXACTLY what he said. And these statements simply donít fit ANY human being who has ever lived, other than Jesus Christ. In a moment weíll examine the English translation that reads “made like unto the Son of God”, because some people have read unwarranted deductions into this English rendition of “made”, as if this shows that Melchizedek and/or Jesus Christ were somehow “made” by the Father.

So Jesus Christ was with God the Father as God for past eternity. In Genesis chapter 1 Jesus Christ was “the God” who created by speaking. Later, in the days of Abraham, Jesus Christ acted as the intercessor (i.e. as a priest) between God the Father and Abraham. This was in the role of being the King of righteousness and also the King of peace (i.e. Melchizedek). At the start of the New Testament He gave up that position and existence in order to take upon Himself the form and nature of a human being, in order to make possible the forgiveness of human sins and transgressions. Upon the successful completion of His ministry and His role as our Savior, God the Father again restored to Him the glory He had before His life as a human being, and ALSO to the exact same role He had filled earlier under the name “Melchizedek”. And so now Christ sits at the right hand of God the Father, because they are “one”.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, WHERE CHRIST SITTETH ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. (Colossians 3:1 AV)

Letís now examine the expression “made like ...” in Hebrews 7:3 more closely.

Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; BUT MADE LIKE UNTO THE SON OF GOD; abideth a priest continually. (Hebrews 7:3 AV)

The English word “make” has a great range of meanings, which include things like: to construct, create, form, bring about, compel a person to do something, proceed with an action, achieve a rank (like “made general in 5 years”), make a fool of, make a point, etc.. In New Testament Greek the verb that means what we mostly understand by the word “make” is “poieo”. This Greek word refers to actually making something.

BUT THIS WORD IS NOT USED IN Hebrews 7:3!

The expression “but made like unto the Son of God” is a translation of the Greek text “aphomoiomenos de to huio tou theou”. The key word here is “aphomoiomenos”, the perfect passive participle of the verb “aphomoioo”. Hebrews 7:3 is the only place in the whole New Testament where this word is used. This all by itself makes it difficult to interpret, since we have no other usages where THE CONTEXT might make the meaning obvious. That is why many translations of this verse are inadequate.

However, here are some translations of this particular phrase in Hebrews 7:3, which donít use the English verb “made”: Philips Translation = “... being like the Son of God”. RSV = “... but resembling the Son of God”. Douay Translation = “... but likened unto the Son of God”. Darby Translation = “... but assimilated to the Son of God”. 1851 Murdoch Translation of the N.T. = “... after the likeness of the Son of God”. Lutherís German Translation = “... er ist aber verglichen dem Sohn Gottes”, which is German for “but COMPARED TO the Son of God”. Two other German translations also make this point of “COMPARED TO the Son of God”.

All of these translations have been careful to avoid using the word “MAKE”. The point of all these various translations is simply this: it is well-known that the Greek text is not really speaking about Melchizedek BEING MADE OR CREATED in this particular verse, and it is not justified to read any significance into the English translations that use words like “MADE like unto” to refer to Melchizedek.

To get back to the Greek text for this verse, this Greek verb is formed from the preposition “APO” joined with the verb “HOMOIOO”. The word “apo” can refer both, to separation and to origin. The verb “homoioo” means “to liken, to resemble”. But it does not really refer to MAKING SOMETHINGófor that meaning biblical Greek used the verb “poieo”.

Now what was Paul telling us in Hebrews 7:3? After having ALREADY just said that this Melchizedek did NOT have any “beginning of days”, is Paul now, a few words later, trying to INFER that Melchizedek “WAS MADE” or created by God the Father? If so, then WHY would Paul possibly have just said that Melchizedek had “no beginning of days”?

We need to recognize that we are here dealing with an awkward translation into English, and we can certainly not read OUR UNDERSTANDING of the verb “to make” into this verse ... when the Greek text doesnít even use the verb for “to make”.

Here is what Paul is telling us in Hebrews 7:3. With the first 5 phrases (i.e. “without father ... nor end of life”) Paul is VERY CLEARLY telling us that Melchizedek was not a mortal human being. Having established that Melchizedek was not a mortal man, Paul then introduces THE CONTRAST with the conjunction “BUT”. Where the KJV reads “but made like unto the Son of God”, Paul is basically saying that rather than thinking of Melchizedek as a mortal human being, we should think of Melchizedek as RESEMBLING THE SON OF GOD (or LIKE UNTO THE SON OF GOD).

We need to get away from any use of the word “make” in Hebrews 7:3, because the Greek text does not use the word “make”, and even though our English word “make” has a vast range of meanings, it is far too easy to attach the wrong meaning of “make” to this expression in Hebrews 7:3. The words “resembling” and “like unto” remove the unjustified inference of “making” from this verse. Letís now consider one more point about Melchizedek.

Paul tells us that Melchizedek was KING of righteousness and KING of peace. Now until the days of Samuel GOD was the only king over all those who would live by His laws. As God (i.e. Jesus Christ in Old Testament times) told Samuel:

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but THEY HAVE REJECTED ME, THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM. (1Sa 8:7 AV)

Until the days of Samuel GOD was king. So who was “king of righteousness and of peace” in the days of Abraham? ONLY GOD could have been that king. A king RULESóand the One who RULES over righteousness and over peace is obviously THE KING of righteousness and of peace. There is no other possibility. The nations who were cut off from God had their own kings, but until the days of Samuel there had never been a human king with any kind of authority over the people of God (obviously excluding the foreign kings that may have reigned over them at some point).

So once again it emerges that Melchizedek was the same individual who later became Jesus Christ, the One who was King until Israel rejected Him, and who in the future will again be KING!

Letís now examine another Scripture.

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; WHO ONLY HATH IMMORTALITY, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Ti 6:15- 6 AV)

Notice that the words “who is” are in italics, showing that they are not a part of the actual text. So Paul is here speaking about “the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 14), the blessed and ONLY Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (verse 15). And about THIS INDIVIDUAL Paul writes “WHO ONLY HAS IMMORTALITY”.

Who is Paul speaking aboutóGod the Father or Jesus Christ? Revelation 19:16 identifies Jesus Christ with these identical titles.

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Re 19:16 AV)

In Revelation 19:16 Jesus Christ is VERY CLEARLY identified with these titles, and these titles amount to being “the only Potentate”. So is Paul saying that JESUS CHRIST is the One who ONLY has immortality?

YES, THAT IS WHAT PAUL IS SAYING!

But WHY does Paul say this? Does Paul imply that God the Father somehow does NOT ALSO have immortality? No, Paul is not implying that at all. That is simply something some people may choose to read into this passage.

We must keep in mind Paulís reference points! Paul is speaking specifically about those who are or have been MORTAL human beings! He is not thinking of the angels who are also immortal. [I would disagree on even the angels, and for that matter Satan and the demons being “immortal”óSee Satan's Second Death] Nor was Paul thinking of the spirit elders and the living creatures around God's throne who are also immortal. And neither was Paul thinking of God the Father, who obviously is also immortal. Paul reveals the principle of how he reasoned in 1.Corinthians chapter 15. There he wrote:

For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, IT IS MANIFEST THAT HE IS EXCEPTED, which did put all things under him. (1 Co 15:27 AV)

When Paul makes a statement like ALL THINGS are put under Christís control, it goes without saying that Paul assumes we understand that this OBVIOUSLY excludes God the Father, who is still in authority over Jesus Christ.

A similar statement is found in Philipptians 2:9-10:

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is ABOVE EVERY NAME: That at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, OF THINGS IN HEAVEN, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Php 2:9-10 AV)

Taken to the absolute, these verses would imply that Christís name is exalted even above the name of God the bow at the name of Jesusóand that is obviously absurd! These statements are not intended to be taken out of context and viewed in isolation. OBVIOUSLY God the Father, who has exalted Christ to this position, is still over Jesus Christ in authority. Philipptians 2:9-10 and 1 Corinthians 15:27 make clear that for certain things he wrote Paul ASSUMED that certain premises were clearly understood and taken for granted.

Likewise, when Paul is speaking about those who will eventually attain unto immortality, and he then mentions that the King of kings and the Lord of lords is THE ONLY ONE who has immortality at this point in time, he is OBVIOUSLY saying this in reference to all of us human beings who are STILL mortal, and he OBVIOUSLY is not thinking in terms of God the Father and the angels and the other spirit beings. We need to understand in reference to whom Paul uses the word “ONLY”. It is specifically in reference to those who are and who have been (i.e. they have died) mortal.

It is only in the second part of verse 16 that Paul starts to focus on God the Father. Notice:

Who only hath immortality, DWELLING IN THE LIGHT which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Ti 6:16 AV)

With “who only has immortality” Paul is still speaking about Jesus Christ. But then he states that Jesus Christ DWELLS WITH GOD THE FATHER, which is what he means by “dwelling in the light which no (mortal) man can approach unto”. Paul then further identifies God the Father with the expressions “whom no man has seen nor can see”. And it is to God the Father to whom be honour and power everlasting. Paul clearly speaks about BOTH, God the Father and also Jesus Christ, in verses 15-16.

IF Paul had intended the phrase in question to refer to God the Father, THEN most certainly not have used this phrase “WHO ONLY HAS IMMORTALITY”. That should be immediately apparent. If that phrase was intended to refer to the Father, then it would immediately bring Jesus Christ, as well as all the righteous angels and also the demons, into the equation. And it was most assuredly not Paulís intention to infer that Jesus Christ and all the angels are somehow mortal. In his next letter to Timothy Paul made quite clear that he understands that Jesus Christ is also IMMORTAL. There he wrote:

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath ABOLISHED DEATH, AND HATH BROUGHT LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT through the gospel: (2Ti 1:10 AV)

If Christ has abolished death and if He has brought immortality to light, it follows that Jesus Christ Himself must also be immortal. So irrespective of how we read 1 Timothy 6:16, Jesus Christ also MUST have immortality. But 2 Timothy 1:10 again illustrates Paulís reference pointsówhen Christ has “abolished death” and when He has brought “immortality to light” Paul is OBVIOUSLY not thinking about God the Father and about the immortal angels. He is only thinking in terms of those who are and who have been mortalóhuman beings!

It is unfortunate when people treat some of Paulís statements as if they were clinically scientific and universally absolute statements. When Paul wrote, he had an audience in mind and he wanted to convey specific information. We all at times communicate in such ways. I can recall occasions when Mr. Armstrong would make some specific statements in the context of a specific sermon. When people then later asked Mr. Armstrong: “Did you mean that as an absolute statement that is applicable under all circumstances?” Mr. Armstrong would reply with something like: “Oh no, when I said that, I had this specific context in mind. But I was not thinking of it as an absolute statement for all circumstances”. Paul at times communicated in the same way ... by making statements that apply to specific contexts without being universal.

Look, it should be obvious that Paul himself was convinced that God the Father and Jesus Christ and all the holy angels are all immortal beings. Paul himself had experienced VISIONS involving these immortal beings “in the third heaven” (see 2 Corinthians 12:2-4). THE ONLY POSSIBILITY for Paulís statement in 1 Timothy 6:16 is that Paul meant this statement from a very specific perspective ... that being the perspective of all who are or have been mortal. Those whose existence has ALWAYS been immortal are simply not included in Paulís line of reasoning in this statement.

Now it is true that Jesus Christ has ALWAYS been an immortal spirit being, and that happens to be Paulís perspective in the Book of Hebrews. But in 1 Timothy 6:16 Paul was coming from a different perspective ... that of looking at the goal and purpose of our human existence to attain unto immortality, which at this point in time ONLY JESUS CHRIST has attained. That makes Christ the forerunner and the pioneer who sets out before us the way to be given immortality. It is precisely because Jesus Christ had gone through a mortal existence that Paul made the statement “who only has [achieved or been given] immortality” in 1 Timothy 6:16.

Letís look at another reference to Jesus Christ in Old Testament times, but quoted in the New Testament.

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST (1 Co 10:4 AV)

Paulís whole point to the Corinthian Christians was that Jesus Christ was the God who dealt with Israel when they came out of Egypt in the days of Moses. In Matthew 16:18 Christ had referred to Himself as “THIS ROCK”.

And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon THIS ROCK I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Mt 16:18 AV)

Thus 1.Corinthians 10:4 is another Scripture that makes plain that Jesus Christ was the God of the Old Testament who dealt with Moses and with Israel.

Now letís consider one more point.

CHRIST COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE A CREATED SPIRIT BEING. All the created spirit beings are sometimes listed as different categories. In addition to “angels” there are also “living creatures” or “cherubim”, “seraphim” and “elders”. However, when no distinctions are made between different types of created spirit beings, then they are typically all included in the category of “angels”.

Now Paul wanted to make very clear to the Hebrews that Jesus Christ was not, and never had been a created angel! He wanted them to understand that Jesus Christ was much higher than any created angel.

But once again we have an awkward translation into English that employs the word “MADE” with a meaning other than “created”. Notice Hebrews 1:4-5.

BEING MADE so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For UNTO WHICH OF THE ANGELS SAID HE AT ANY TIME, THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me Son? (Heb. 1:4-5 AV)

HAVING BECOME so much better than the angels, as he has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Heb 1:4 NKJV)

HAVING BECOME so much better than the messengers, as he did inherit a more excellent name than they. (Heb 1:4 YLT)

TAKING A PLACE by so much better than the angels, as he inherits a name more excellent than they. (Heb 1:4 DBY)

HAVING BECOME as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs. (Heb 1:4 RSV)

By so much BECOMING SUPERIOR to the messengers, by as much as, going beyond them, he hath inherited a more distinguished name. (Heb 1:4 Rotherham)

These should suffice.

The point is this: It is well-known that the Greek text in Hebrews 1:4 is NOT in any way referring to Jesus Christ having been “created” or “made”. Only a very narrow understanding of the English verb “to make” would lead one to such a conclusion, which is at any rate not supported by the Greek text.

After stating in the opening verses that Jesus Christ is the One who “MADE (the Greek verb here is “poieo” which really does mean “make”) the worlds” (verse 2), Paul in verse 3 refers to Christís sacrifice for our sins. In verse 4 Paul then refers to A CONSEQUENCE OF CHRISTíS SACRIFICE FOR US! It is a reference to the status to which Jesus Christ had come as a result of His earthly ministry. The Hebrews understood that there are created angels in existence, and it was Paulís point here to show that Jesus Christ is vastly superior to all those created spirit beings.

Now letís look at verse 5 again:

UNTO WHICH OF THE ANGELS SAID HE AT ANY TIME, THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE?

The intent of Paulís rhetorical question is that God the Father has NEVER AT ANY TIME offered ANY CREATED SPIRIT BEING the opportunity to become a begotten son (as opposed to a son by creation). It wasnít enough to quote the statement “you are My Son”, because in a sense the angels are also Godís sons (meaning God's creations). Paul also spelled out THE PROCESS BY WHICH CHRIST HAD BECOME GODíS SON! It was by the process of begettal, as opposed to the process of instant creation. It is THIS PROCESS that sets Christ apart from all the other spirit beings, which can at times be referred to as “the sons of God” (e.g. Job 1:6). All others are only sons by the process of creation, and NOT by begettal.

And Paulís statement here is that God has never used this process of begettal for any created spirit being... God has NEVER said to any created angel “I have begotten you”. The only conclusion we can draw from Hebrews 1:5 is that Jesus Christ could not possibly have been a created spirit being before He became the Son of God.

The two processes are mutually exclusive as far as spirit beings are concerned:

Any spirit beings that exist as a result of the process of instant creation cannot possibly go through the process of begettal, because they have already been created. The process of the CREATION of a spirit being involves a certain finality as to the type of existence possible for that created spirit being.

Any spirit being that goes through the process of begettal could not possibly have been previously created as a spirit being. The process of BEGETTAL involves a considerable amount of flexibility as to what the final result of that begettal will beóanything between 100% success and total failure (the process is aborted) is potentially possible.

We human beings can go through the process of begettal TWICEóonce physically when we were begotten in our mothers' wombs, and again spiritually hen we receive Godís Spirit upon meeting Godís requirements for begettal (repentance, etc.). But when it comes to that second begettal process (i.e. to be begotten by Godís Spirit), then THAT PROCESS is also open to us ONLY ONCE! No human being can be begotten by Godís Spirit, then aborted for any number of reasons, and then be begotten againóthat is simply not possible.

Jesus Christ could be “begotten by God the Father” only because He had never been created by the Father. Christ had self-inherent life within Himself and not an existence that had been given to Him by the Father. That is why Christ was able to “EMPTY HIMSELF OF LIFE”, as it were. Notice:

But MADE HIMSELF OF NO REPUTATION, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (Php 2:7 AV)

The expression Paul used here for “made himself” is “eauton ekenosen”. Here “eauton” means “himself”, and “ekenosen” is the aorist active indicative of “kenoo”. This verb is formed from the adjective “kenos” which means “EMPTY”.

And so the RSV correctly readsóBUT EMPTIED HIMSELF, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Php 2:7 RSV)

IN SUMMARY:

1) Jesus Christ claimed to have existed with God the Father before His human life.

2) Jesus Christ claimed to have existed before Abraham and before Adam.

3) Four Scriptures plainly state that Jesus Christ created all things.

4) These four Scriptures are correctly translated in the KJV and also in other translations.

5) John 1:1 plainly states that in the beginning Christ, the Word, was God.

6) Christ claimed to be ONE with God the Father, and oneness is only possible between beings who are equals in the type of being they are.

7) Godís usage of the word “one” makes clear that God uses this word to describe RELATIONSHIPS, and not necessarily head-counts.

8) Melchizedek was clearly an immortal spirit being and could be none other than the One who later became Jesus Christ.

9) References like “who only has immortality” must always be viewed from the perspective from which they are made. That perspective will usually be evident from the preceding and following verses.

10) Jesus Christ was “the Rock” in the Old Testament, the God who spoke to Moses.

Jesus Christ was “the Rock” in the Old Testament, the God who spoke to Moses.

When these things are all taken into consideration, the only sound conclusion is that our traditional understanding on this matter, as was taught by Mr. Armstrong, is correctóthat Jesus Christ has always existed with God the Father, that in the days of Abraham He was the High Priest Melchizedek, and that in the days of Moses He was the God who led Israel out of Egypt. Probably the most helpful principles to keep in mind when examining these or any additional Scriptures regarding the nature of Jesus Christ are these two:

1) References to oneness are always references to A RELATIONSHIP rather than to a numeric value.

2) Some biblical statements are made from A SPECIFIC PERSPECTIVE, where the surrounding verses make clear that these statements are not intended to be universally applicable absolute statements. In Paulís wordís, “IT IS MANIFEST THAT THEY [these statements] ARE EXCEPTED” from an unqualified universal application (applying the thought of 1 Cor. 15:27).

The End
 
Frank W. Nelte
August 2003

For several years I have posted a selection of Frankís many articles, (naturally, the ones I really liked) that were only available to people on his own email list. Others posted some of his other articles. Since I believe early 2005, he has had his own web site. I always post links.

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