Two lines of interpretation of the Christian faith – Did Jesus exist before he came to earth? – Has Jesus gone to earth from heaven – Is Jesus God, or is Jesus a man? – Jesus, a man – Jesus, the only mediator – Jesus suffered and died to redeem mankind from the slavery of sin – Atonement requires blood sacrifice – Why did salvation claim that Jesus had to suffer and die? – When Christ was perfected… – The suffering of the chosen people – Are we children of God? – We are children of God and brothers of Christ – God’s plan before the foundation of the world
Two lines of interpretation of the Christian faith
The working title of this paper was, “Why are 99% of believers wrong?” It is instructive to study the history of faith, from apostolic times to modern ecumenism. That is what I say right from the start that I am not condemning anyone for damnation because of false faith. Jesus also said emphatically, “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free.” (Luk 6:37). However, the Bible also calls for: “Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don’t receive of her plagues.” The right doctrine must be sought, and the Bible encourages it and says:
“Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:2).
However, the lines of faith have long been formed. Peoples’ own beliefs are adhered to, and members of their Church are also bound by accepted doctrine. When I kicked against these commitments, and I wanted to accept nothing but the truth, I noticed how difficult it is; The Bible is the book of thousands of interpretations. Therefore, I have tried to find the ‘anchor words’ or ‘anchor phrases’.
By that, I mean words and phrases that are as clear as possible and free from interpretations. For example, “We have only one God, the Father.” Or Jesus’ saying, “The Father is greater than me.” In such, you can anchor God’s word and interpretations. A good anchor word or phrase will, in difficult cases, determine the interpretation in the direction of the anchor. In the Bible, there are too many figurative expressions and sentences that are difficult to interpret.
In this article, I rely on phrases such as:
1 Cor 8:6 “Yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we live through him.”
This passage in Corinthians is significant in that it takes a stand on four crucial points of faith: First, it assures us that we have only one God. Second, it shows that this God is the Father, Jehovah. Third, it confirms that everything comes from him and that we have been created to be with him. And fourth, besides God the Father, we have his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, including us.
1 Tim 2:5 “ For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
It sometimes seems that this Bible passage is also written in invisible ink. Either people do not see or see it but do not understand. I’ve never heard a priest quote this Bible verse! Again, this is probably offered as a comment that it refers to Jesus’ second inherent essence on earth and that he is God in heaven. Why, however, Paul writes that the mediator is the man Christ Jesus. And by that time, Jesus had already ascended to heaven.
If we can believe this anchor statement, we can trust that Jesus was “just” a man on earth and will also be in heaven after he ascended. This does not mean that we cannot believe that God has given Jesus the same power, which he has himself. Jesus has the power of God, but that does not mean that he is God himself as his father is. If this anchor statement is credible, we can reasonably ask, why God the Father needed to give his son all authority? If Jesus was God before he came down to earth, wouldn’t he just have resurrected back to his earlier position in heaven – as God.
I also believe in the Holy Spirit and the fact that these three work together, or ‘are one.’
Joh 14:28 “If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I said ‘I am going to my Father;’ for the Father is greater than I am.”
This statement of Christ positions him with God the Father. Again, somebody brings up the interpretation card and says that Jesus meant himself here as a man to the Almighty God. My counterargument to the above is that the anchor statement proves Jesus was a man. And why not, the Bible says Jesus was and is a man!
The subset of anchor sentences is “blind readers’ sentences.” These are sentences read by readers without realizing their shocking significance. I take an example: Joh 5:26, “For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself.” This does not mean that Jehovah recognizes Jesus as his son, but that God says he has given Jesus eternal life! The meaning of the phrase is that if we believe this to be true, Jesus did not have immortality before because he was human. By fully following the will of God, the man Jesus received the gift of eternal life from God.
What about the conclusion? If Jesus had been God, it would not have been necessary to give him eternal life! God has it already!
Second conclusion: It was not until two millennia ago that Jesus was born that the Holy spirit of God “overshadowed” a young Jewish girl and made her pregnant. Jesus was mortal until our Lord Jehovah gave him eternal life. The Bible accounts of Jesus being born eternally are figurative stories and predictions of the future.
Jesus has been described as the Word of God. “And the Word was God.” Here I have found a word order error. God was the Word, is the right phrase. CLV translation: In the beginning was the word, and the word was toward God, and God was the word.
What conclusions could the ‘Word was God’ lead to? Its second meaning is: Jesus was the Word, and consequently, Jesus was God. That is certainly what some people are trying to achieve. What I mean is: God created the world in his Word. The Bible states that God created the world alone. Alone.
When I began reading and studying the Bible more than ten years ago, I understood nothing other than what it said on the surface. I started writing these articles in Bibleconcealed.com about five years ago when the Bible, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, began to open up to me.
Is Christianity’s belief in the God of the Bible unanimous? History tells us about coercion and violence, even the wars of religion and the persecution of non-believers. We will never agree on the doctrines of faith unless we find commonly accepted anchor statements, essential points of faith upon which we can bind our faith. A shared vision of faith is indeed a beautiful idea.
I do not want to be so exigent that I would require unanimity on all matters. About fifteen years ago, I was about to join a smaller denomination. I flunked the interview with the elders. The reason was that I said I understand the families who, at least for the sake of the children, think they can celebrate Christmas with gifts and the time spent with the family. And that was not O.K.
By common faith, I do not want to pursue Catholic ecumenism. God has called in the Bible to leave the false religion of the world, that we should not be partakers of her sins.
The doctrine of Christ’s two natures
God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit form a triune deity. According to one version, all three are equal in deity. Others think that God the Father is supreme, and Jesus is after him. While on earth, Jesus was both a full God and a full complete human being. God sent him from heaven to earth to atone for the sins of humankind and thus save humanity.
The fact that Jesus is said to be a full God and a full man means that Jesus was perfect. After all, God cannot be imperfect. It is God’s definition that God has always been and has been perfect.
The doctrine of Christ’s two natures, hypostatic union, describes the union of Christ’s humanity and divinity, was developed in the 300’s and 400’s when it was necessary to justify how God might die. They also had to answer the question of whether Jesus, as God, raised himself from the dead, or, if he was a man, whether God raised him on the third day. The explanation understood by ordinary people was, and is, that Jesus is “God in the human body.” Jesus, as God, did not need God the Father to save himself from the dead.
In Chalcedon AD 451, the definition of Christ was expanded:
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
The doctrine defined in Chalcedon is thoroughly Catholic. Perhaps its most important feature is the fact that Jesus is at the same time true God and perfectly human. Criticism against this principle is directed against the fact that God cannot die. Later scholars have come up with the most astonishing explanations for how it is possible that God can die.
The Chalcedonian Creed that Jesus is perfect in divinity and the same time perfect in humanity, true God and the perfect human being (doctrine of dual nature of Christ), is against the Philippine letter.
However, the Bible proves that God raised Jesus from the dead: Act 4:10 “be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in him does this man stand here before you whole.”
When Jesus was crucified, did he really die? The question seemed to me to be senseless, but there is a good reason to present it. Namely, if one believes that Jesus was God in heaven and on earth when he was both God and man at the same time.
God cannot die. If you believe this, you cannot believe that God would have died on the cross. This leads to the discovery of an account of the death of Jesus; It is explained that Jesus died “in his human nature,” and only “experiencing” what it is like to die, because the real Jesus / God cannot die.
Rom 4:24 “but for our sake also, to whom it will be accounted, who believe in him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead. Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” – When Paul tells how God raised Jesus from the dead, he also talks about how God will bring to life also the people in whose bodies the Spirit of God dwells.
The doctrine of Christ’s two natures was defined in its final form by the Chalcedon Ecclesiastical Council in 451. In the 17th century, the doctrine of the Kenosis was added to explain how Jesus, when he came down from the glory of heaven and was born human, gave up the form of God.
Phl 2:6 [Jesus] “who, existing in the form of God, didn’t consider it robbery to be equal with God,”
I have examined the divinity of Jesus from the perspective that in order to be Almighty God, Jesus must have existed always. He certainly existed in God’s plans “before the dawn of the ages”, but not as a concrete person, because God the Father has created/conceived him. Almighty God has always been and is immortal. Therefore, the good question is: why is the Father God said to be the only one who is immortal, and secondly, why would he have to give life to Jesus if he has always been the Almighty God? Joh 5:26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he has granted the Son to have life in himself.
According to this doctrine, Jesus was both man and God at the same time. Did he always change his appearance as needed? If a miracle had to be done, even if someone seriously ill was healed, did Jesus do it as a man or as God? And when he preached the doctrines of the kingdom of God, who was he then? Again, Jesus was a man all the time. After all, Jesus himself said that he would not do or say anything of his own accord, but he would do and say what God gave him to do.
Joh 14:10 “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”
Jesus talked about being in God and God living in him. The Holy Spirit of God had already taught Jesus as a little boy. When Jesus began his public ministry at about thirty years of age, God gave his spirit to dwell in his Son, and by the power of this spirit Jesus performed his miracles. Jesus was in constant contact with the Father in prayer.
Joh 5:36 “But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me.”
Joh 8:28 Jesus therefore said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things.”
Joh 10:37 “If I don’t do the works of my Father, don’t believe me. 38 But if I do them, though you don’t believe me, believe the works; that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
14:12 “Truly, truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father.”
– Jesus spoke of the ability of man to do great works by the power of faith, even to moves mountains (Mat 17:20). It would only take the faith of a mustard seed to do this. What if there is a lot of faith? What deeds could a man do? After the final judgment, when people dwell in God’s paradise in New Jerusalem, they are by no means lying lazy on the edge of the cloud; they are God’s co-workers. 1 Cor 3:9 “For we are God’s co-workers. You are God’s farmland and God’s building.” – The Bible testifies of God working diligently; Joh 5:17 “But Jesus answered them, My Father has been working until now, and I, too, am working.”
Did Jesus exist before he came to earth?
No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven. (Joh 3:13).
Prov 8:22 “Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his work, Before his deeds of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, Before the earth existed.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth, When there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled in place, Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, Nor the beginning of the dust of the world. 27 When he established the heavens, I was there; When he set a circle on the surface of the deep,
28 When he established the clouds above, When the springs of the deep became strong,
29 When he gave to the sea its boundary, That the waters should not violate his commandment, When he marked out the foundations of the earth;
30 Then I was the craftsman (or his nursling, or as one brought up with him) by his side. I was a delight day by day, Always rejoicing before him,
31 Rejoicing in his whole world. My delight was with the sons of men.”
Prov 30:4 Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if you know?”
Has Jesus gone to earth from heaven?
The above Proverbs verses are commonly used to testify of Jesus’ presence in heaven with God. However, they are challenging, figurative expressions that are hard to translate and difficult to interpret. However, there is an account of Jesus in the Bible which appears to be literal: Joh 8:38 “I say the things which I have seen with my Father; and you also do the things which you have seen with your father.” And John adds: Joh 6:62 “Then what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?”
Does this prove that Jesus said in John 8:38, that he was in heaven with God the Father? John 6:62 is also a message of Jesus Himself.
Jesus said several times that “the Father has sent me.” (Gospel of John: 5:24, 5:30, 5,36, 5:37, 6:38, 6:44, 6:57, 7:16, 7:28, 7:29, 7:33, 8: 16, 8:26, 8:29, 8:42, etc.) These do not directly prove that Jesus was in heaven. The Father has sent his Son from heaven, who may have already been on earth when he received the command from his Father to publicly proclaim the kingdom of God.
What does it mean, and what does it lead to if we make an anchor statement in John 8:38 and 6:62? It means that Jesus was in heaven before he was born on earth. Was he a man or God in heaven? Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was Archangel Michael before he became the Son of God. This opinion has not received support elsewhere. Would Jesus have been a man in heaven? However, the Bible says that the first man was Adam and not Jesus or heaven. This also does not sound right.
There would be left only the option that Jesus was God, the Son of God, the Father in heaven. Where does this idea lead? Well, because God cannot die, Jesus had to be both God and man on earth. It would mean that the doctrine of Jesus’ two natures I briefly referred to above, would be correct. Could it be possible, that the Bible does not say a word about such central truth, but that people should have come up with this doctrine after many sages as a result of work of several hundred years.
Or was he in heaven just as John was? In the Spirit?
What does the original Greek say? Let’s take a closer look at John 8:38. The word ‘see’ is horaō
1. to see with the ὁράω G3708: eyes 2. to see with the mind, to perceive, know.
You can ‘see’ in ways other than healthy eyes. You can see ’in mind.’ The Greek preposition for ‘παρά’ pará, as in the phrase ‘with the Father’: properly, near; i.e. (with genitive case) from beside (literally or figuratively). – Also, in that sentence, the preposition ‘pará with’ may also be associated with a figurative expression.
Eph 4:9 Now this, “He ascended,” what is it but that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?”
2 Tim 1:9 He having saved us and having called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before eternal times (or before the times of the ages)
Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love;
The prevailing notion is that Jesus is part of the Triune God. God, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are the other two. They are all equal in deity according to the Athanasian creed: “In this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He, therefore, that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity… For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance [Essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Substance [Essence] of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.”
It is God’s definition that God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and eternal; that is, God has always existed. He has neither beginning nor end. By this definition, Jesus should have ever existed.
This is the way most Christians believe, perhaps as much as 99 percent. That is, those who generally have even some idea. How does the missing 1 percent believe? How could this small minority be right? That is what I will write about in this article.
Is Jesus God, or is Jesus a man?
Yes, the supporters of the prevailing truth answer. In their view, the Bible shows that Jesus has been the word of God from the beginning of the world, at the bosom of God, the heavenly Father. Jehovah instructed his son in heaven to come to earth to save humanity and redeem its debt of sin by sacrificing his own life and blood.
Jesus died on the cross and thus redeemed the debt of all mankind with his blood, so that everyone who believes in him will be saved. Jesus was a perfect man on earth and a perfect God. The doctrine was developed over several centuries and finalized by the Catholic Council of Chalcedon in 451. The Protestant churches have also preserved this doctrine. Why did it take to shape the doctrine several centuries? Well, of course, because there is nothing in the Bible about such doctrine.
Jesus – a man
Important knowledge about Jesus as a human being
Jesus is a man, but his father is God, Jehovah, who by the Holy spirit, conceived the Virgin Mary. Jesus had a constant relationship with His Father in heaven from a very young age. He was wise and received instructions from God when he began preaching the Kingdom of God in his thirties. Jesus said that everything came from God, not his invention.
God gave Jesus eternal life (Joh 5:26)
“For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself.” – By definition, God has always had eternal life, and you cannot give it to God.
God gave him all power in heaven and on earth
Mat 28:18 “Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
Again, in this writing, I study the Bible based on the essence of Jesus, God, or man or both? God gave Jesus eternal life. God gave Jesus all power. Gave! When it is claimed that Jesus was God in heaven before he came to earth, let us think of Jesus returning to heaven; would he not have returned to heaven as a God which he had been before? I guess it seems logical. Then, God the Father would not have a) needed to give Jesus eternal life, because God already has it, and b) not had to have all power; God has it too.
Jesus has not yet exercised all the power given to him. This is what he does when he comes to earth a second time and establishes the Millennial kingdom. Jesus Christ is King of the whole world and reigns with the Saints for a thousand years. Then there is the second resurrection, the resurrection of judgment. When judgments are given, there are only faithful servants of God left on the earth. Then Jesus gives power back to God.
Jesus, the only mediator between God and man
The Man Jesus is the only mediator between man and God. 1 Tim 2: 5 says that “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” – The Catholic Church has, by its own decision, promoted as the mediator Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is perhaps more important to the Catholics than Jesus. Jesus’ position is based on the Word of the Bible, Mary’s place on the decision of the Catholic Church. Which weighs more? The author of this epistle, Paul, “met” Christ after his ascension to heaven; Paul was a fierce persecutor of Christians and was turned by Christ on the way to Damascus. When Paul writes that the man Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and men, Paul has been fully aware of Christ’s ascension to heaven.
Paul testifies that Jesus is the mediator between God and men in heaven. And above all, Paul claims; this mediator Jesus is man. Jesus suffered and died to redeem humanity from the slavery of sin.
Jesus suffered and died to redeem mankind from the slavery of sin
Why is it important that Jesus was a human?
Heb 2:17 says: “Therefore he was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.” When man Adam fell into sin, another but perfect man (Jesus) had to atone for this fall.
When man (Adam) fell into sin, another but perfect man (Jesus) had to atone for this fall. This is proved by 1 Cor 15:21: “For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man.”
Heb 5:8 though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered.
Heb 5:9 “Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation,”
“Having been made perfect.” Believers in the divinity of Jesus try to prove that Jesus was perfect all the time; he was a perfect God in heaven and a perfect man on earth. Heb 5: 9, however, says that “having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation.” The previous verse further states that “though being a Son, he learned obedience from what He suffered.” Jesus indeed lived a sinless life. Something was still missing to be perfect. He had to suffer and learn from suffering. Jesus Christ knew this, but he also knew that after suffering, he would be glorified immeasurably: 1 Pet 1:11 “searching for who or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that would follow them.”
Act 17:3 “explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”
1 Piet 2:19 “For this is a grace, if because of conscience toward God anyone bears grief, suffering unjustly.”
20 “For what glory is it if you patiently endure while sinning and being buffeted? But if you are suffering while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a grace from God.”
21 “For you were called to this, for even Christ suffered on our behalf, leaving behind an example for us, that you should follow His steps;”
1 Pet 3:18 “Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;”
4:1 “Therefore, Christ having suffered for us in the flesh, also you arm yourselves with the same thought, that he suffering in the flesh has been made to rest from sin.”
Each of us has sinned and thus violated God’s law. Jesus, however, was sinless and fulfilled all the requirements of the law while living. He was, therefore, free from the judgment of the law. To atone for the sins of humankind, Jesus himself had to be human. Jesus was able to offer God the perfect sacrifice to free all humanity from the wages of sin, from death. Jesus was able to offer God the ideal sacrifice to free all humanity from the wages of sin, from death.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to flesh, but according to Spirit.” (Rom 8:1).
At the time of Jesus’ death, the veil of the temple at Jerusalem was torn from top to bottom; Mat 27:50 “ Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit. 51 Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.” – The wall of sin that separates the holy God and the sinful man is now gone.
Heb 10:19 “Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 which He consecrated for us, a new and living way through the veil; that is, His flesh.” – The curtain in the most sacred part of the temple, was accessible only to the high priest once a year. It was now replaced by the body of Jesus Christ and his blood.
1 Cor 15:20 “But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He became the firstfruit of those having fallen asleep.
21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming.”
Joh 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.
45 It has been written in the Prophets, They “shall” all “be taught of God.” So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me; ”
Not that everyone comes to Christ, but everyone who has heard and learned from the Father.
46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who is from God. He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life.
Verse 46 brings comments like that, because no ordinary person is from God and Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, and he says he has seen God, Jesus must be God. Did Jesus have to be in heaven to see God? This is, of course, the first option that comes to mind. It is also possible that Jesus has seen God in the spirit. The dialogue between Jesus and God may have included God’s appearing to His Son. Nothing in the Bible confirms this, so it is purely speculation on my part.
Many do not believe in any testimony that Jesus is God and has atoned for the sins of the world. Jesus has atoned for the sins of the world; it is true. However, Jesus was a man when he was crucified. When Jesus rose from the dead raised by God, he did it as a human being but in the spirit body. In such a body, other people will be resurrected for the final judgment. Participants in the first resurrection do not rise to judgment but are rulers and priests with Christ.
Christ ascended to heaven as a human being and is also a human being in heaven, the only Mediator between God and men. Thus the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2: 5. Why wouldn’t Jesus Christ be God? Doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus is God? Does not say! He is the Son of God, to whom God gave eternal life and all power in heaven and on earth. Yes, we could say for good reason about Christ that he has divine power, the same power as the Father.
Was Jesus a man or God when redeeming the human debt of humankind? Some say he had to be God to do this job. Others say that he had to be an utterly sinless man to save mankind from the sin that the first people committed. What does the Bible say?
Already 700 years ago, the prophet Isaiah said, prophesying:
Isa 53:3 “He was despised, and rejected by men; a man of suffering, and acquainted with disease: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we didn’t respect him.
4 Surely he has borne our sickness, and carried our suffering; yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; everyone has turned to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah said Jesus was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: With the death of Jesus, the curse of the law ceased to be valid: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8:1).
The Lord God laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Atonement requires blood sacrifice
In the Old Testament times, God allowed people to have their sins forgiven: Once a year, the High Priest went to the tabernacle, which is called the Holiest of all, to offer a carefully chosen, perfect animal sacrifice, the blood of which atoned for the people of Israel. Through the pure blood of the sacrifice, the debt of sin was paid. It was not about the blood itself; Leviticus 17:11 explains why blood was essential in the Atonement: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life. 12 Therefore I have said to the children of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who lives as a foreigner among you eat blood.” – The following verse commands to bleed on the ground the blood of the animal slaughtered. When food regulations were relaxed in Jesus’ time, this prohibition continued.
Hebrews 9:22 also says “According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.” – Jesus Christ sacrificed his blood, or his life, for the permanent redemption of mankind. There is no need to renew that sacrifice because the victim was perfectly pure and sinless.
Joh 3:16 “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
17 For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.
18 He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.”
Why did salvation claim that Jesus had to suffer and die?
According to God’s law “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23) Couldn’t God just cancel the death sentence on humanity, especially when His Son Jesus Christ came to earth and formed the New Covenant? What does this Bible verse really mean? We all die, even the righteous. Here ‘death’ probably means “the second death.” What about sin, what kind of sin is meant? All sins are forgiven if you repent and ask for forgiveness. The small sins that everyone has committed are probably not those cause the “second death.” Couldn’t God just forgive sins? God told Adam that the punishment for eating from the forbidden tree was that “the day you eat of it, you will surely die.” (Gen 2:17)
God expelled Adam and Eve from Paradise. God’s punishment of death passed on to their posterity and, slowly the humanity began to die. That was the meaning of the phrase in the Romans, “The wages of sin is death.” However, the sentence goes on: “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.””
Although sinful people deserve the death penalty, God showed them mercy: Eph 1:7 “in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”
Jesus was the Son of God, but he (Phl 2:7) “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.” Mat 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.”
Isaiah sees Jesus coming his the prophecy: Isa 53:2 “For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” – Our image of Jesus is primarily made up of Jesus, depicted on altars and other works of art. They present Jesus as a tall, long-haired Caucasian character. Isaiah’s picture is different. Jesus was like any man of that time. Paul also thinks a man shouldn’t be long-haired unless he has made a Nazarite promise.
When Christ was perfected…
Heb 2:10 “For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many children to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
Heb 5:7 “ He, in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and petitions with strong crying and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear,
8 though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered,
9 Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation,
10 named by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.”
“When Christ was perfected.” The great churches are trying to prove that Jesus was perfect all the time. He was the perfect God in heaven and perfect man on earth. Heb 5:9, however, says that” and having been made perfect, he did become to all those obeying him a cause of salvation age-during.
What is obedience? ὑπακοή hypakoḗ, from G5219; attentive hearkening, i.e. (by implication) compliance or submission:—obedience, (make) obedient, obey(-ing).
Christ was a perfect man in the sense that he was totally sinless. Why does the Bible say that “when he was perfected”? What was missing from ideal perfection? He still had to learn obedience. This he achieved through his suffering. So he became, as the Hebrews says: 2:10 in bringing many children to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. KJV: to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Author, captain: ἀρχηγός archēgos; the chief leader, prince.
Heb 2:17 “ Therefore he was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.”
Heb 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest not being able to sympathize with our weaknesses but One having been tried in all respects according to our likeness, apart from sin.”
Jesus learned obedience because he a human being had a mind of his own, or the sin in the flesh, and he was tempted. He learned to deny himself, to “take up his cross,” and to take it to the death. He became perfect through learning obedience and suffering.
Mat 27:46 “About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Not only did he die a physical death, but he felt the despair, the doubt that God had abandoned him when he hung on the cross.”
When Jesus died on the cross, he cried out, “It is finished!” the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Tearing the temple veil is an allegory that God no longer needed animal sacrifices. Christ Jesus had forever offered sufficient sacrifice for all sinners. Jesus had defeated Satan, who used to be the Lord of death. God raised Jesus from the dead after three days and three nights.
During the OT, the high priest sacrificed an animal once a year for the forgiveness of the people’s sins. Christ gave his innocent blood as a sacrifice, and no animal sacrifice is needed anymore. That redemption offering is valid all the time, every day.
The purpose of Jesus was the atonement of all human sins. He gave his disciples a mission command to receive more disciples to follow him. “He said to all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross,] and follow me.” (Luk 9:23). Following Jesus’ example, we can become partakers of Christ’s body’. 1 Cor 12:12 “For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit.”
1 Pet 4:1-2 “Forasmuch then as Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind; for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; 2 that you no longer should live the rest of your time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.”
Gal 5:24 “Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit. Rom 8:13 For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
Heb 2:10 “For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many [God’s] children to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
The suffering of the chosen people
The chosen ones: 1 Kor 11:32 “But when we are judged, we are punished by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” – This is a translation failure: “When we are judged,”
κρίνω krínō (G2919):
- to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose
A better translation could be: “When we are chosen (κρίνω), God chastens (παιδεύω) us, that we may not be condemned with the world.”
παιδεύω paideúō, from G3816; to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication), discipline (by punishment):—chasten(-ise), instruct, learn, teach.
Why should people suffer too? Is it not enough for Christ to suffer and die for us? Rom 8:17 “And if children, also heirs; truly heirs of God, and joint-heirs of Christ, if indeed we suffer together, that we may also be glorified together.” 1 Pet. 4:13 “But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory also you may rejoice with exceeding joy.” Phl 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” – Thus wrote the apostles, most of whom suffered death similar to that of Christ. After them, believers were persecuted and killed, and according to the Bible, this will happen in the future. However, the followers of Jesus experience God’s discipline, in particular, not persecution. God chastens his own away from sin, 1 Cor 11:32 … that we may not be condemned with the world. – ’With the world’ means the last resurrection, when the whole world will be judged. Those who have not been guided away from sin through God’s discipline may be lost. Those whom God has loved and whom he had already chosen when he was planning the creation of the world, he has also disciplined, thus ensuring that they are also worthy of the first resurrection and reign with Christ.
Jesus was also believed to be king of Israel, although he gave no reason to think he had such aspirations (John 1:49). The apostles sustained such hopes for a secular king who would drive away the Roman conquerors. After Christ’s resurrection, near His ascension, Jesus urged them to wait in Jerusalem. Act 1:4 “Being assembled together with them, he charged them, “Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. 1:6 “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?” – “The kingdom to Israel,” said the disciples to him. Did they still not realize that the kingdom of God belonged to all nations?
Are we children of God?
Joh 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name.”
Gal 3:26 “For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Gal 4:6 “And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father!”
1 Joh 3:1 “Behold, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him.”
Believers are God’s children, whom Christ calls his brothers. Heb 2:11 “For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers [and sisters].”
As children of God and as brothers of Christ, people by faith await a great future in God’s paradise as God’s co-workers. What kinds of tasks God gives remains to be seen. However, human beings have enormous powers at their disposal, as Christ demonstrated when he told about the power of faith. Mat 17:20 He said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For most assuredly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. And also Luk 17:6 The Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
We are children of God … and brothers of Christ
Many Bible verses testify that all believers are children of God. Jesus, too, is a child of God, even though he was born as a son of God, after “the power of the Highest had overshadowed” Virgin Mary. Many verses also testify that Jesus also calls believers as his brothers and sisters.
Luk 20:35 “but those accounted worthy to obtain that age, and the rising again that is out of the dead, neither marry, nor are they given in marriage. 36 For they can’t die any more, for they are like the angels, and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.”
Joh 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them he [Christ] gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name.”
1 Joh 3:1 “Behold, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.”
Rom “8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God.
15 For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba!”
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God;
17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.
19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.”
… and brothers of Christ.
Believers are God’s children, whom Christ calls his brothers. Heb 2:11 “For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers. Mat 12:50 confirms the same: ”For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
We become brothers of Jesus in the resurrection, and we share in the divine nature!
2 Piet 1:2-4 “Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue; 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
As children of God and as brothers of Christ, people by faith await a great future in God’s paradise as God’s co-workers. What kind of work God will give his co-workers remains to be seen. However, human beings have enormous powers at their disposal, as Christ demonstrated when he told about the power of faith. Mat 17:20 And he said unto them, “He said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For most assuredly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Also Luk 17:6 The Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
By his death, he reconciled those who believe in him and God. By overcoming sin, Jesus defeated death. Satan is no longer the master of death. Through his life and death, he gave us the opportunity for eternal life. He who follows him, he is not ashamed to call his brother!
Did God fail in human creation? Man was not perfect in a sustainable way because Satan could easily destroy the relationship between God and man? What if God had wiped out evil or Satan as soon as his wickedness was revealed? Why has God allowed the time pass without eradicating evil? What was needed was a sacrifice that only the Son of God was adequate. People also must suffer and learn to obey. The first to benefit from the sacrifice of Jesus are those elected of the first resurrection. What is the fate of other people, those who have sinned? Is the solution God’s purifying fire treatment. Or annihilation for the great sinners?
Eternity of God: I imagine eternal time as a circle with no beginning and no end. God is moving back and forth in it. Otherwise, I find it difficult to understand eternity.
God’s plan before the foundation of the world
Modern science estimates the world to be about 14 billion years old. According to the Bible, God alone created everything according to His plan. Because God is omniscient, it means that God knew beforehand what was going to happen in creation. He decided that his son should save mankind and lead his Millennial kingdom on earth with his helpers. The ‘saints’ had been pre-selected by God.
Micah 5: 2 already told in the Old Testament about the coming and birth of his own son in Bethlehem: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Being small among the clans of Judah, Out of you one will come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” – God saw his son as the King of the world to come and of the Millennial kingdom, the Lord of the whole world. Therefore, it is right to say that the glory of Jesus was in the Father’s mind and plans even before the foundation of the world. That’s what John says 17:5 “Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.” CLV: And now glorify Thou Me, Father, with Thyself, with the glory which I had before the world is with Thee.”
Eph 1:4 “even as he [God] chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we [Paul and believers in Ephesus] would be holy and without blemish before him in love;”
The Bible verses written by Paul above show that before the foundation of the world, God had chosen Paul and the believing saints in Ephesus. It is clear from the letter to Timothy that God has saved and called by holy calling according to His grace, “which was given unto us in Christ before eternal time’.”
“Before the foundation of the world” and “before the eternal times” are the same sayings used about Jesus Christ and which testify that Jesus Christ was with God before the foundation of the world. We all understand that Paul and the believers in Ephesus did not exist before the foundation of the world. They were, just as the Son of God, Jesus Christ, existed in God’s mind and plan even before God had created the world.
Joh 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world.” CLV: Father, those whom Thou hast given Me, I will that, where I am, they also may be with Me, that they may be beholding My glory which Thou has given Me, for Thou lovest Me before the disruption of the world.”
Rom 8:29 “For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers; 30 whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified.”
Eph 5:27 “that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Col 1:22 “yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and blameless before him.”
2 Tes 2:13 “But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth;”
2 Tim 1:9 YLT: “who [God] did save us, and did call with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, that was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the times of the ages,” (or before eternal times). CLV: Who saves us and calls us with a holy calling, not in accord with our acts, but in accord with His own purpose and the grace which is given to us in Christ Jesus before times eonian,
Rom 8:30 “Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified. CLV: Now whom He designates beforehand, these He calls also, and whom He calls, these He justifies also; now whom He justifies, these He glorifies also.”
1 Cor 2:7 “ But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory.” (or before the ages) CLV: but we are speaking God’s wisdom in a secret, wisdom which has been concealed, which God designates before the eons, for our glory,
This is the manifestation of God’s preconceived plan that God made before the times of the world and concealed it until the coming of Jesus.
The Bible speaks of preconception (preordination) concerning the time before the foundation of the world. Christ is said to have been glorified with God even before the world existed. Glory means Jesus questioning the royal majesty of the Messiah, which God is said to have given to Christ. John 17: 5, though, says that Christ said he already had glory with God before the world was.
This majestic glory does not fit well with the description of the translations, when Jesus, as a little child, was playing with God in heaven. Prov 8:30 “Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,” Another translation option is God’s master workman. You will probably notice the translation difficulties we encounter in old texts.
First, you should know how to distinguish a figurative expression from a literal one. I think these are, to a great extent, figurative expressions – Jesus saying: “ And how happy I was with the world he created; how I rejoiced with the human family!” CLV: Prov 8:30-31 Then I was beside Him as His foster child, And I was filled with bliss day by day, Gamboling before Him all the time, Gamboling in the habitance of His earth, And my bliss was in the sons of humanity.”
Strong’s also adds to the definition of the state of the future of the people, the glory that believers will attain at the Second Coming of Christ. Dan 12:3 Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever. Matthew, in turn, describes it as follows: 13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
1:20 “who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake, 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God. CLV: foreknown, indeed, before the disruption of the world, yet manifested in the last times because of you, who through Him are believing in God,”
17:5 “Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.” CLV: And now glorify Thou Me, Father, with Thyself, with the glory which I had before the world is with Thee.”
Jesus says he had glory; a thing belonging to Christ, According to Strong’s:
- the kingly majesty of the Messiah
- the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty
a most glorious condition, most exalted state
- of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
- the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven