Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

Was Jesus Christ God in the Flesh?

Part 2, Sequel to: The Nature Of Jesus Christ

Clay Vessel

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 didn’t 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.



Were There Men Before Adam?

Scientists find bones and skeletons and fossils and then claim that human beings existed long before the time of Adam, who lived approximately 6000 years ago. What is the truth here?

If you have understood the things I have explained thus far, the answer to this question should be easy.

A man, a human being, is defined NOT by the form and shape of his body, but by the presence of A MIND, which is imparted to the individual by what we know as “the spirit in man”.

I realize that there are enormous unjustified claims out there about the supposed antiquity of human beings. I realize that the claims and assertions for the antiquity of human beings can all be flawed simply by considering all the facts. But even apart from that, the criterion is not whether or not some fossil “LOOKS LIKE A HUMAN BEING”. The real and the ONLY criterion for establishing the existence of human life is to prove that the beings whose bones are being examined by scientists actually had THE SPIRIT IN MAN! And that is something no scientist has ever been able to prove.

So people can argue about whether some bone fragment is 4000 years old or whether it is 50 000 years old, and they can try to argue their point of view, but they can never prove that their bone fragment belonged to a being that had the spirit in man. And without proving the presence of the spirit in man it is impossible to prove “human status”.

To be totally clear: EVEN IF the person whose bones are being examined had “looked” as human as king Nebuchadnezzar, WITHOUT the spirit in man that being would NOT have been “a human being”. Understand that for 7 years Nebuchadnezzar was NOT a human being, no matter how “human” he looked during those 7 years. For those 7 years Nebuchadnezzar was nothing more than a wild animal. When Nebuchadnezzar says that at the end of 7 years he lifted up his eyes unto heaven and HIS UNDERSTANDING RETURNED TO HIM (Daniel 4:34), he is saying that at the end of 7 years God RESTORED the spirit in man to him and he was once again capable of functioning as a human being.

So whether really old bones and skeletons “look human” or not is avoiding the real issue. Without the spirit in man any physical creature is not a human being. Is it any wonder that Satan is out to destroy THE MINDS of people in any and every way that he possibly can? Because THAT is the way to destroy the real human potential.

Adam is called “the first man” in 1.Corinthians 15:45, and so irrespective of whether or not some “human looking bone” predates Adam, no creature before Adam possessed the spirit in man, and thus there were no human beings before Adam. A human being is identified by the presence of the spirit in man, not by the outward form and shape of the body.

Let’s now examine one other aspect.

Only God is to be Worshiped!

It is a very powerful experience for a man to be visited by an angel from God. (Comment: This is my surmising and I am NOT speaking from personal experience. I have NOT had any dreams or visions! I say this lest someone reads a wrong deduction into this statement.) And so we see that at times such men were moved to the point of wanting to worship these spirit beings who had visited them. For example, the Apostle John wrote...

And I fell at his feet TO WORSHIP HIM. And he said unto me, SEE THOU DO IT NOT: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: WORSHIP GOD: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Re 19:10 AV)

Now consider: John had a very great deal of understanding. He had seen a vision with both, God the Father and also Jesus Christ in it. Yet here he was so moved by the whole experience that he was ready to worship this angel. The angel tells him VERY CLEARLY to not do this.

Yet a short while later he felt moved to try to do the same thing again. Notice:

And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down TO WORSHIP BEFORE THE FEET OF THE ANGEL which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, SEE THOU DO IT NOT: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD. (Re 22:8-9 AV)

Notice the slight difference here. John had obviously learned something. And so NOW he wants to worship GOD, but before the feet of this angel. And again the angel states very clearly: SEE THAT YOU DO IT NOT! The point is that we are not to worship God before the feet of any other person or individual—not before the feet of any man and not before the feet of any angel.

No servant of God and no righteous angel of God will allow anyone to worship them, or even to worship God before their feet. Only God is to be worshiped.

But in the New Testament we see JESUS CHRIST repeatedly allowing people to worship Him without in any way trying to stop them from doing so. Such worshiping of Jesus Christ is only justified by the fact that Jesus Christ was indeed God while He was here on earth.

Notice these verses:

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and ARE COME TO WORSHIP HIM. (Mt 2:2 AV)

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and FELL DOWN, AND WORSHIPED HIM: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Mt 2:11 AV)

The wise men very clearly stated their intentions. And they WORSHIPED the young child. This was clearly acceptable to God, as we see no rebuke of any kind in this context. So FROM BIRTH Jesus Christ was worthy of being worshiped. That was only possible because He was GOD at that very same time.

Later, at age 30 years, Jesus Christ Himself said:

Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, and HIM ONLY shalt thou serve. (Mt 4:10 AV)

Now did Jesus Christ here mean that only God the Father is to be worshiped? For a start, Jesus Christ was basically quoting from Deuteronomy 6:13. Back at the time when Moses wrote Deuteronomy, Israel did not even realize that there were two distinct members in the God Family. And THE INTENT of that verse was to command Israel to worship the God with whom they had contact, who was Jesus Christ.

Now while the primary intent when Moses wrote this verse was to command Israel to worship Jesus Christ, the only God they knew and had any contact with, THE PRINCIPLE obviously also applies to any other God who is over Jesus Christ (i.e. God the Father). But they couldn’t really worship God the Father until after Jesus Christ had come TO REVEAL the Father to them.

The fact that we see examples of people worshiping Jesus Christ later in His ministry makes clear that the intent of the statement in Matthew 4:10 is that we are to only worship those who are “God”. At this time that means both, God the Father and also Jesus Christ. After the time of the first resurrection, this will also include worshiping all those who will become sons and daughters of God at the first resurrection. As we are told in Revelation 3:9:

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come AND WORSHIP BEFORE THY FEET, and to know that I have loved thee. (Re 3:9 AV)

That’s the identical thing which John was told NOT to do before the feet of the angel in Revelation 22. Yet such worship will be perfectly acceptable before the feet of those in the first resurrection.

People may argue that the worship spoken of in Revelation 3:9 is directed at God the Father and is only being carried out “before the feet” of those in the first resurrection. But the point is this: ANY worshipING, even when it is directed towards God the Father, INEVITABLY reflects TO SOME DEGREE upon those before whose feet it is being expressed! You cannot worship God before the feet of Satan, because if you did so (as is the case in various of this world’s churches) SOME OF THAT WORSHIP would reflect on Satan. In plain English: a pagan cathedral is simply NOT the place for you to get down on your knees to worship the true God, because the spirit that inhabits that cathedral is not of God!

Furthermore, notice that Jesus Christ said that HE HIMSELF WILL MAKE PEOPLE DO THIS—He Himself will make people worship before the feet of those in the first resurrection. If the intent is that particular worshiping be directed towards God the Father, then WHY would Jesus Christ insist that it be done before the feet of those who will be in the first resurrection—WHY would Jesus Christ select that particular setting for directing worship towards God the Father—WHY not just direct people to worship before His own (i.e. Christ’s) feet?

Irrespective of how we may look at this statement, when Jesus Christ states in Rev. 3:9 that people will worship before the feet of those in the first resurrection, then a certain amount of that worship INEVITABLY reflects on those before whose feet that worshiping will take place.

Here are some examples of Christ being worshiped during His earthly ministry.

And, behold, there came a leper AND worshiped HIM, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (Mt 8:2 AV)

While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, AND worshiped HIM, saying, my daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. (Mt 9:18 AV)

Then they that were in the ship came AND worshiped HIM, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God. (Mt 14:33 AV)

Then came she AND worshiped HIM, saying, Lord, help me. (Mt 15:25 AV)

Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipING HIM, and desiring a certain thing of him. (Mt 20:20 AV)

These verses prove that Jesus Christ had to be God at that point in time in order to be eligible to being worshiped. They also show that Jesus Christ is included in the intent of Matthew 4:10.

Let’s look at one verse that people frequently misunderstand, because they read something into this verse that is neither implied nor intended. That verse is Matthew 19:17.

Matthew 19:17 Explained

And he said unto him, WHY callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Mt 19:17 AV)

It always amazes me to see the totally unwarranted deductions some people read into this verse. Let’s examine it.

1) Did Christ say: DON’T call me “good”? NO, HE DID NOT SAY THIS!

2) Did Christ then at least INSINUATE that He should not be called “good”? NO, He did not at all insinuate this!

3) So what was Christ actually doing in this verse? HE WAS ASKING THE MAN A QUESTION! He was NOT giving the man AN INSTRUCTION regarding how the man was to address Him! He simply asked the man a question.

4) What else did Christ do in this verse? HE EXPLAINED to whom the word “good” may be correctly applied! The word “good” may only be CORRECTLY applied to God! It follows that whenever we call any man “good”, we are elevating that man to the level of God.

5) ONLY THEN did Christ answer the man’s question from the previous verse. To have access to eternal life we must keep the commandments of God.

So let’s summarize this verse:

This young man very flippantly used the word “good” in addressing Jesus Christ, without really considering the full implications inherent in applying that word ‘good’ to any man. So Jesus Christ ASKED HIM: “Do you realize what you are actually saying when you address Me with the word ‘good’...that you are in effect calling Me “God”? The young man had OBVIOUSLY not really considered the ramifications of his use of the word ‘good’. So Christ was pointing out to the man: “DO YOU ACTUALLY REALIZE that you are calling Me GOD when you use the word ‘good’ in addressing Me? I am not saying that you should not call Me ‘GOOD Master’, but I want you to be aware of what you are saying, instead of just engaging in meaningless flattery.”

To call someone “GOOD” is really another form of worship! Now when people would fall down before the feet of an individual, they themselves obviously knew that they were engaging in the act of worshiping. But when they didn’t fall down before a person, and merely used the flattering form of address “GOOD Master” to speak to the person, they themselves would usually not have thought that they were worshiping the person they were addressing as “good Master”. Those two are actually the same thing—BOTH are expressions of worship.

I suspect that IF this young man had actually fallen down before Jesus Christ to worship Him AND THEN used the words “good Master”, that Jesus Christ would not have asked him this question—because saying “good Master” to someone and kneeling in worship before that person go together—they are two different ways of expressing the same feelings. But we have to correctly understand to whom the word “good” may be applied.

Next, when Jesus Christ said: “there is none good but one, that is God”, He was not speaking about the number of individuals that are good. He was speaking about a group or category of individuals—only those who are “God”. During Old Testament times Israel was only aware of ONE Being in this category; since Christ came to reveal the Father we today know that there are currently TWO Beings in this category; at the time of the first resurrection another 144 000 individuals will join this category, and eventually multiple millions more will join this category. All those who will be “God” will also be “good”.

[Lon’s note: My understanding is that the 144,000 of both Revelation 7 and 14 are references to one group of human beings being portrayed at two different times, rather than two separate “groups” of 144,000, with the further assumption that one of the “groups” is already resurrected. Secondly, I don’t believe that everyone given eternal life will be on the same level as the parable of Luke 19:11-27 alludes to.]

Let’s compare the wording in the following two verses:

The wording in Matthew 4:10 reads: you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.

The wording of Matthew 19:17 reads: there is none good but one, that is God.

These statements run along the same vein with “HIM ONLY” in Matthew 4:10 and with “NONE GOOD BUT ONE” in Matthew 19:17. The subsequent statements in Matthew’s gospel that we have already looked at make clear that “HIM ONLY” includes Jesus Christ ALSO being worshiped; and likewise “NONE GOOD BUT ONE” includes Jesus Christ ALSO being in this category of “good”.

Jesus Christ did NOT say to the man: don’t call Me good. This is simply an unjustified deduction that many people have read into this verse. What Christ was really getting at was: Don’t use empty flattery when you talk to Me. When you call Me “good”, you need to understand what you are actually saying, that you are in effect calling Me “God”. Is that what you really mean or is it just empty flattery?

Consider the alternative for those who believe that Christ meant to tell this man to not call Him good. Notice what Jesus told His disciples in John 13:13:

Ye call me Master and Lord: AND YE SAY WELL; for so I am. (John 13:13 AV)

And at another occasion:

Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Of a truth THOU ART THE SON OF GOD. (Mt 14:33 AV)

So it was perfectly acceptable and even desirable for people to address Jesus Christ as “Master” and as “Lord” and as “the Son of God”, just so long as they didn’t use the word “good”, because that would have been going too far, right? I speak as a fool!

What kind of “Master” do you think Jesus Christ was—a bad one or a good one? What kind of “Lord” do you think Jesus Christ was—a bad one or a good one? What kind of “Son of God” was Jesus Christ—a bad one or a good one? If it is desirable to call Christ “Master” and “Lord” and “the Son of God”, why would it be wrong to call Him “GOOD Master”?

Can you see the utter absurdity of trying to withhold the word “good” from also applying to Jesus Christ when such titles as “Lord” and “Master” and “Son of God” so very obviously applied to Him? On what grounds could the word “good” possibly be withheld from also applying to Jesus Christ? Was there ANYTHING about Jesus Christ and His character that was “not good”?

In Matthew 19:17 Jesus Christ was NOT saying “don’t call me good”. Christ was really saying: “don’t use empty flattery, because when you call any man ‘good’ you are in effect calling him ‘God’. Yes, I am indeed ‘a GOOD Master’ because I am the Son of God. But you need to understand what you are saying.” And we today should NOT use the expression “my good man”, which you can hear fairly commonly used by people in England in ordinary conversations—it is just a very flippant use of the word “good”.

Now let’s examine one more area, and that is the importance of faith in any relationship with God.

Why Faith is so Important to God

Earlier I mentioned that God accomplishes things by THINKING the right thoughts. We human beings accomplish by acting on our thoughts—our thoughts alone are not enough.

So God’s whole way of life depends on FAITH. God accomplishes things through faith—God thinks the right thoughts and the right things take place as a result of God thinking those right thoughts. Understand that in Genesis chapter 1 God SPOKE THOSE THOUGHTS for our benefit—had God simply THOUGHT “let the earth bring forth grass ...” (see Genesis 1:11) without actually speaking those words then the earth would ALSO have brought forth grass and all the other plants. It is not the speaking that accomplished the creation but THE THOUGHT PROCESSES underlying that speaking that produced the creation. And that whole process embodies the essence of faith.

Now on our part that faith is manifested when our “faithful thoughts” are accompanied by SPEAKING those thoughts out loud, because such speaking represents a commitment on a higher level than mere “wishful thinking”—we are not yet “Gods”! (as in John 10:34)

Notice what Jesus Christ explained to His disciples:


There is far more in this statement by Jesus Christ than most of us tend to realize. For a start, what does the phrase “NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO YOU” mean to you? Isn’t this just another way of saying: EVERYTHING can be accomplished through faith? WHY did Christ say this? And did Christ really mean that it only takes THE MINUTEST QUANTITY of real faith (represented by a grain of mustard seed) to accomplish EVERYTHING? What about someone like God who has AN ENORMOUS QUANTITY OF FAITH at His disposal, trillions upon trillions of times the quantity represented by a mustard seed—what will such faith enable GOD to accomplish?

You have never moved a physical mountain and I have never moved a physical mountain. Now we can downplay the magnitude of such an event by saying that some things are even greater miracles (and that is usually presented as a cop-out because we know we can’t really move mountains ourselves), but the bottom line is this: IF someone would, by exercising faith, be able to move the Halfdome Rock from Yosemite National Park into San Francisco Bay, that would be AN ENORMOUS AND STAGGERING MIRACLE!

Have you ever wondered WHY it is impossible to please God without faith (see Hebrews 11:6)? In the presence of God we will not accomplish by working with our hands and our legs; in the presence of God we will accomplish things by using OUR MINDS! And FAITH will translate our right thinking into reality—good things will come to pass when we use our minds correctly and wisely, like God would use His mind. The faith at our disposal then will not be limited to the size of a grain of mustard seed; we will have access to enormous amounts of faith. And it is “on faith” that God is going to give us access to such enormous power—based on how we have conducted our lives, God is going to have “the faith” that when He changes us into spirit-born sons in His Family, we will ALWAYS use those powers only in full agreement with His wishes and desires.

Faith is the glue that will bind the Family of God together. WE must have absolute faith that God is always motivated by a desire to do whatever is best for us. And God has to have the faith that we will NEVER misuse the powers He is going to make available to us. The entire family structure of the Family of God will revolve around faith.

God had in good faith given Satan an enormous amount of power, together with certain responsibilities over one third of all the angels. When Satan rebelled against God, he destroyed the faith that God had previously placed in him. Satan destroyed a relationship between himself and God, which relationship had been based on faith. And that faith-based relationship can NEVER be reestablished. “In the presence of God all relationships will be based on faith.

Jesus Christ exercised that faith time and again when He performed miracles. Faith is one of the most important components of life with God. I realize that the following statement is an oxymoron, since there is no “blood” in the presence of God, but perhaps it can convey a clearer picture. It really boils down to this:

Faith is “the Lifeblood” of an Existence in the Presence of God!

In the Family of God faith is going to be a two-way street. We must have absolute faith in every judgment and decision that God the Father will make. And God has to have the faith that He can indeed trust us absolutely, because there will be no restraints on us then—God is not going to be keeping us on a leash to reel us in when we get out of line—God will have to have the faith that we will NEVER get out of line.

I doubt very much that we really grasp the absolutely enormous importance of FAITH in the relationships that God has mapped out for all future eternity! The statement that it is impossible to please God without faith only just barely scratches the surface of what is really at stake when we talk about what it is that God is really looking for in us.

To get back to Jesus Christ: not only did Jesus Christ obey God totally and completely during His ministry; but He also demonstrated that ABSOLUTE DEGREE of having faith in God the Father, which represents the target that we are to strive for. I don’t remotely have faith to the degree that Jesus Christ did, and very likely you don’t either? But Christ left us an example, a goal to aim for.

It is never a case of faith OR physical obedience to all of God’s laws. BOTH are important, and sincere and whole-hearted obedience to God’s laws is a way for us to demonstrate our faith. But of the two (i.e. faith and literal obedience) faith is by far the greater! Living in obedience to all of God’s laws represents the bottom rung of the ladder in establishing any relationship with God. But the rungs above that are LIVING BY FAITH!

Living by faith is practical training for later living within the Family of God. Living by faith goes far above and beyond obedience to the Ten Commandments. And living by faith will ultimately regulate the entire existence of all those in the eternal Family of God (i.e. for future eternity). Without absolute faith on the part of every participating member the relationship God has mapped out for all future eternity would not be possible. THAT is the vital role of faith in the plan God has devised.

And we need to have faith in God NOW. Jesus Christ is God right now; He was God during His ministry; and He was God before He became a human being; He has always been God together with God the Father. The Scriptures make this quite clear. And I rather doubt that God the Father will give a part in that future eternity to anyone who rejects Jesus Christ’s part in that relationship for all past eternity. Such rejection is an affront and an insult to Jesus Christ and to the sacrifice He brought on our behalf.

Frank W. Nelte
September 2003

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

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