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Mike's Origins Resources: A PhD Creationist's view of science, origins, and the future hope of the human race; by looking at Creation Science, Biblical Evidence, and Prophecy What is the Trinity? Does the Trinity exist? Who is Jesus and where did He come from?
What is the Trinity? Does the Trinity exist? Is God the Father sharing His throne?
What is the Trinity? Does the Trinity exist? What is the Spirit of God?
Who is Michael the Archangel? Why does Michael take on activities that God should be doing?

why I became a scientist who is a creationist

Is Jesus Divine like God?
Or is Jesus a Created Being?


Is Jesus Christ Just a Created Being or is Jesus Divine and Equal with
God Because of His Inheritance as the Only Begotten Son of God?


Fourth in the Trinity Series

 


From the first three parts of this trinity series, we have seen that there is nothing in the Bible that teaches the trinity doctrine. Nothing at all! The doctrine is actually derived from pagan sources, not the Bible. Certain Scripture is interpreted as fitting the trinity doctrine understanding. However, these are certainly not proofs of the trinity since the very same Scripture also fits with the actual truth as taught in the Bible.

If you have not seen the Biblical evidence on who God and His Son are, you might want to look at the previous parts of the trinity series. You can click on the appropriate icon at the top of the page. The first in the series is: The Nature of Christ and the Trinity

There are others, like me, who do not believe in the trinity. However, many of them are also saying that Jesus is just a created being and not Divine from the beginning. They believe that God the Father first created Jesus who then created everything else in the created Universe. Is that what happened? Is that what the Bible teaches? Who is Jesus? Does the Bible say that He was created?

On this fourth part of the trinity series, we will explore what the Bible actually teaches, so we can answer these questions.

Is Jesus Created?

Colossians 1:15 is sometimes used, by some, to say that Jesus was just the first born in the creation process; That God created Jesus, then Jesus created everything else.

  1. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: Colossians 1:15 KJV

However with this meaning, Colossians 1 would not even make sense with itself. Here is the verse in the NKJV which gives it a different meaning:

  1. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
  2. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
  3. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Colossians 1:15-17. NKJV

In verse 16, it says that all things were created by Jesus. This would mean that Jesus Himself is not created because He certainly did not create Himself!

The three statements in verses 16 and 17 are these: All things were created by Him. All things were created through Him and for Him. In Him all things consist. Paul also says that Jesus existed before all things!

So if Jesus existed before all things that were created, then we know that when it says all things were created by Jesus, we then must understand that Jesus had a special part to play in the creation of all things.

John also explicitly spells out who created all things, but John goes one step further, he also says that nothing else was ever created!

  1. All things were made through Him [Jesus], and without Him nothing was made that was made. John 1:3

Because of what John 1:3 says, we can now say the same things as before but with added assurance, because John not only says that all things were made by Jesus, but John then says that there was nothing made that He did not have a part in making.

Is there anything in these Scripture which say that God first created Jesus, then Jesus created everything else? No, it does not! Jesus did not create everything else. He created all things and without Him nothing was made that was made! So, there is nothing that was created that Jesus did not have a part in creating.

God the Father did not create Jesus because John 1:3 says that nothing was made that was made without Jesus!

Now, let us again look at Colossians 1:15 with verses 16 and 17:

  1. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
  2. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
  3. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Colossians 1:15-17. NKJV

The idea that Jesus could be the first created being, in verse 15, just does not fit with the thought in verse 16. Does this make sense? Jesus was the first to be created because all things were created by Him. No, the two thoughts clash. How can Jesus be the first to be created when all things were created by Him! Also, there is no progression of thought. There is nothing that the second sentence can add to the first sentence, in its meaning, because they clash.

But now, does this make much better sense? Jesus rules over all creation because all things were created by Him. Yes, it does make better sense! Verse 16 answers why the statement in verse 15 is true: Now why is it that Jesus rules over all creation? It is because all things were created by Him. This is good progression of thought where the second and third verse builds upon the first verse.

So, within the context of verses 16 and 17, Jesus is the image of the invisible God, He is the firstborn over all creation because He is the one who created everything. He is over creation, He is not part of the creation.

There is also an added meaning in the Jewish mind with the concept of being the firstborn. The first born is the one who gets the coveted birthright. He is the heir! So, when they read that the Son is the firstborn, the birthright is part of the package. It is part of their thinking. So, the Son of God would be the heir of all creation. Thus the sentence is probably saying that the Son of God is the possessor of all created things, of all creation; Not that He is the first created being to be born.

So the verses could be saying: "He is the image of the invisible God, the heir of all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth . . . All things were created through Him and for Him and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." Thus He would be the firstborn over all creation and the fact that all things were created through Him is the reason why He is the firstborn and heir!

There are many translations of the Bible that say Jesus was firstborn over all creation, probably because of the context of verses 16 and 17 and possibly because of the Jewish understanding of firstborn.

New King James Version New International Version New English Bible The Revised English Bible New Century Version Phillips Goodspeed
15.  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15
15.  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15
15.  He is the image of the invisible God; his is the primacy over all created things. Colossians 1:15
15.  He is the image of the invisible God; his is the primacy over all creation. Colossians 1:15
15.  No one can see God, but Jesus Christ is exactly like him. He ranks higher than everything that has been made. Colossians 1:15
15.  Now Christ is the visible expression of the invisible God. He existed before creation began. Colossians 1:15
15.  He is a likeness of the unseen God, born before any creature, Colossians 1:15

The idea that God created Jesus just does not agree with the Bible. Jesus was not created by God because all things were made through Jesus and there was nothing made that He didn't have a part in making. Thus, Jesus is the firstborn over all creation, the heir of all creation.

Jesus is the Actual Son of God,
Not a Created Being

So, if Jesus was not created, and yet we understand He had a beginning, we must ask the question: Where did Jesus come from?

The answer is found in probably the most well known verse in the Bible:

  1. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Note: If you have questions on whether "only begotten" is correctly translated, please look at the answer to the second question at the bottom of this page in the Question/Answer section at the end.

If Jesus was begotten, then it should be obvious that He has a beginning. But John 3:16 does not stop with that thought, it goes far beyond.

In Titus 1:2, we find that it is "God, who cannot lie". In Hebrews 6:18 as well, we find that "it is impossible for God to lie". John 3:16 specifically says that the Son of God is the begotten Son of God. So, He is begotten not created.

If God says He has a Son, His own only begotten Son, and God says He loves us so much that He is willing to give us His only begotten Son to us, the Son that is so dear to Him, that whoever believes in His Son will be saved and live forever; What is God really saying?

God is saying that He really does have a Son, He is not lying. God cannot lie! It is His only begotten Son. That part has to be a given. In addition, God describes His love by that very same gift; It is the gift of His only begotten Son, to us, which shows that God really does love us. That must also be a given and His Son is our evidence of His love!

The very central core of God's message, to us, demands that God has a very dear Son, His only begotten Son; The only one that has come out of God. It also demands that He gives Him, to us, that we may be saved and live with the both of them for eternity.

  1. "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
  2. Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both."' Zechariah 6:12-13

Most everybody agrees that "The BRANCH" is the Son of God. God and His Son will sit and rule. Notice the last part of verse 13: "And the counsel of peace shall be between them both". The original for "both" is the Hebrew plural for exactly two; Not three or more, but a pair! There is no room for a trinity in this Scripture. Only the Father and His Only begotten Son.

  1. Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know? Proverbs 30:4

Jesus, the Son of God, was brought forth from the Father. They experienced a special delight together in creating all things.

  1. "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
  2. I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
  3. When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water.
  4. Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth;
  5. While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primeval dust of the world.
  6. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
  7. When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
  8. When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
  9. Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Proverbs 8:22-30

In Ephesians, we see that this team effort is called the fellowship of the mystery. It is something that is hidden in God the way all things were created. All we have is the description in Proverbs above.

  1. and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; Ephesians 3:9

There are Other Sons of God

We will look more into the Sonship of Jesus, but first we need to clear up a small issue. Because there are other sons of God.

The angels in heaven are created by God (Hebrews 1:7), yet they are also called the sons of God:

  1. When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:7

Adam, the first man, was created on the sixth day of creation on earth (Genesis 1:26-27). He was made out of the created dust of the ground, unlike Jesus who came out of God. Yet, Adam is also called the son of God:

  1. the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Luke 3:38

Now, in spite of the fact that we have sinned against God, we can also be a son of God through adoption:

  1. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
  2. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:14-15

So there are many sons of God. We can say that Adam and the angels are sons of God because they were created. We can also say that we are sons of God because we are adopted into God's family.

Jesus is the Only Begotten Son

Yet with all these sons of God, we find that there is something special about Jesus. He is called the only begotten Son of God. So He is the only one that came from God Himself.

The angels in heaven are not even included in this sentence. Jesus is the only one! He is the only one that is actually born from God!

  1. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9

Some say that Jesus is called begotten because He was born on earth. However, it is clear from these texts that Jesus already was begotten before He came to the earth as a man! God gave us something that He already had and His love for us was shown in that act of giving.

This is not some esoteric point in Scripture, This is the central issue God makes with us in the Bible! God loved us so much that He gave us His most prized possession. It was His only begotten Son that He gave us. So Jesus, the actual Son of God, is the central pillar of God's message. Since God does not lie we must accept as fact that Jesus is the actual Son of God and that God gave Him to us because He loves us!

God uses His Son to show the intensity of His love and Jesus is the object that shows the extent of His love. He is our evidence of God's love.

  1. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. John 1:18

There is a closeness and a bond found nowhere else. Jesus is God's own "flesh and blood" except they are not composed of flesh.

Jesus Came Forth Out of God

What I am trying to say is that Jesus is the Son of God by birth. Jesus came forth out of God! This is not a creative act but it is some kind of a birthing process because the Son of God came out of God Himself. So now Jesus lives in the bosom of His Father.

  1. "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;
  2. "for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
  3. "I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father." John 16:26-28

The phrase "came forth" is translated from the Greek word: ("exerchomai" Strongs # 1831) which means to "issued forth" or to have "issued from". Jesus issued forth from the Father. In the next verse, "proceeded forth" also comes from the same Greek word.

The next Scripture is very interesting. In verse 41, the leaders decided to push their point by saying that they were not illegitimate like Jesus was. Thus they were saying Jesus was Illegitimate!

In response, Jesus expanded His message by telling them where He actually came from. So, Jesus told them that He was not illegitimate at all. He proceeded forth from God! Christ told them: If God were their father, they would love Him because He came out of the Father, and He came from God, who sent Him into the world.

Jesus was speaking very plainly, telling them where He came from, yet it was as if they had not heard Him:

  1. "You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father--God."
  2. Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
  3. "Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. John 8:42-43

Jesus said He came forth from God when He was accused of being illegitimate. So it is clear that Jesus was speaking of His original birth from the Creator. Jesus is not illegitimate!

In this and the next Scripture we find that Jesus spoke of two different events. 1) He proceeded forth or He came forth from God and, 2) He came into the world (God sent Him).

The text is not just a fancy way to describe His coming to the earth twice. But rather, Jesus was saying that He proceeded forth from God and He also came from God who sent Him to the earth.

  1. "Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.
  2. "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. John 17:7-8

Christ's followers knew that Jesus came forth from God and they also believed that God had sent Him to the earth.

Since He was the only begotten Son of God, Jesus was actually composed out of the "stuff" of God! He was in the form of God!

  1. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
  2. who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, Philippians 2:5-6

Jesus came forth from His Father in the form of God. So Jesus is equal with His Father.

  1. But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."
  2. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. John 5:17-18.

I see no evidence anywhere in the Bible that to be the only begotten Son is the same as being created. But rather we have found that Jesus is the Son of God because He came forth from the Father. He is in the form of God and except for coming from His Father, He is equal with Him.

  1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.

Many believe that John 1:1 is saying that the Word is God along with the Father as part of the trinity. Others have suggested that the verse is supporting the idea that Jesus was created. What does it really say?

When we look at the last part of the verse in the original Greek we find two interesting surprises.

1) The word order is changed. It does not read like our English Bibles. "God" is mentioned first than at the end we find "The Word". This does not follow the pattern of what we find in the middle of the verse. Yet this difference is not indicated in our English Bibles either. What did John mean by reversing the order of the words?

In English, the subject almost always comes first. However, Greek is actually quite flexible and the order of the words are made for purposes of emphasis rather than for strict grammatical reasons. Those knowledgeable in Greek say, since God is mentioned first, that John is actually stressing the essence or quality of God on "The Word". Thus the word order shows that "The Word" actually has all the divine attributes that the Father has.

2) God does not have a definite article. A definite article is the word "the". The verse does not say: "the God" but only "God"; Why?   Greeks use the article a little differently than the way we use it. Since there is no article (definite article) before God, it means that we cannot identify the Word and the Father as being the same thing or entity.

After my own study, I have come to the conclusion that both the word order and the fact that there is no article before "God", they both help me to conclude that John is emphasizing the essence or quality of God rather than saying that Jesus is God. So, the verse is really saying that "The Word" has the essence or quality of God. Thus "The Word" actually has all the divine attributes that the Father has. The Son is fully divine!

I have been looking at as many version of the Bible that I have been able to find in order to see how John 1:1 is translated. While most of the Bible versions seem to have the same translation with only small little variations; But there are two that try to get this closer meaning of the original:

  1. Bereshis (in the Beginning) was the Dvar Hashem, and the Dvar Hashem was agav Hashem, and the Dvar Hashem was nothing less, by nature, than Elohim! John 1:1 Orthodox Jewish Bible

This version was hard for me to read but I was interested in the last part: [the Word] was nothing less, by nature, than God! It has the same idea that I see in the text. Namely, that "The Word" has the very same nature as God the Father!

I do not know where the next version comes from; William D. Mounce, in his textbook on Basic Greek, gives only the last part of the verse as part of his discussion on John 1:1 and he does not identify the source of the text. But here is what I have:

  1. . . . "What God was, the Word was." John 1:1 (last part) Unknown version.

This version also has the same idea, that the Word has all the divine attributes that the Father has.

If I were translating this verse, I might do something like the following:

  1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with [the] God, and the Word was fully divine. John 1:1. My version

If the Son of God, the Word, has all the divine attributes that the Father has, then the Son would be fully divine like the Father. His nature would be the same as that of God the Father.

If we read the first two verses together, we can easily see that the Word and God are two different individuals:

  1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  2. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2 NKJV

In John's description, he says that the Word was with God. Also, in verse two we see that the Word was in the beginning with God. So, we should safely conclude that they are two different individuals.

In the last part of verse 1, John must be saying that Jesus is in the form of God or that He is fully Divine like His Father. The way John wrote it suggests that very thing, that what God was, the Word was! The Word had the essence of God within Him.

John is not saying that the Word was the God; But rather, he is saying "God was the Word" or "Divine was the Word". So, Jesus is in the form of God! This idea easily matches with the next text:

Jesus is in The Form of God Having
His Father's Name Through Inheritance

Jesus is in the form of God:

  1. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
  2. who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, Philippians 2:5-6

Jesus is in the form of God and is equal with God. So, saying that "Jesus was with God" and "Divine was the Word" would make a lot of sense.

  1. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
  2. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; Colossians 2:8-9.

We can see that Jesus is not created because He is in the form of God. The fullness of the Godhead, which is divinity or deity, dwells in Christ. Jesus is the Son of God.

So it should not surprise us that Jesus is Divine, or that He is in the form of God and thus equal with God, because of His inheritance:

  1. having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:4

As the Son of the self-existent God, He has by nature all the attributes of Deity.

Jesus has become so much better than the angels because He has obtained a more excellent name then they by inheritance. He has to the same name as the Father because of His inheritance. I am reminded of, in the book of Exodus, where the Angel of God actually has God's name in Him:

  1. Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.
  2. Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. Exodus 23:20-21

This Angel has God's name. He has the name of Jehovah or Yahweh (YHWH) because God's name is in Him. How could He obtain God's name?

Paul gives us a clue by telling us who this Angel is:

  1. Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
  2. all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
  3. all ate the same spiritual food,
  4. and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.

It is Jesus who possess the name of God because He is the only begotten Son of God's bosom! He has acquired God's name by inheritance because He came forth out of God the Father.

  1. having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:4

It is by inheritance that Jesus has a more excellent name than the angels. Now to worship a creature would be blasphemy:

  1. But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." Hebrews 1:4-6

But it must be remembered that at the very beginning of Hebrews we find that God created the worlds through Christ. The Father appointed His Son to be the active agent in the creation process and He appointed His Son as heir of all things:

  1. has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; Hebrews 1:2

God also desired that the fullness of His Divinity be in Him:

  1. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, Colossians 1:19

In addition, Jesus was granted to have life in Himself just like the Father:

  1. "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, John 5:26

Jesus has life in Himself just like the Father, who has life in Himself. All because it pleased the Father that in Him, all the fullness should dwell in Him. So, Jesus possesses by nature all the attributes of Divinity or Deity.

This mention of having life in themselves is more than saying they are living. They both possess the fullness of the Godhead, meaning they are fully divine, and they exist on their own. So they are not made out of created atoms that are dependent on some other source like we are. Moment by moment, we exist because energy flows from the throne of God to sustain us. But both the Father and Son are entirely Divine.

Jesus is the heir of all things and through Him all things were created. All this is because He is the Son of God. He proceeded forth from God and is in the form of God. He clearly is not created, but He is equal with God and He has life in Him because it pleased the Father that He be that way.

Jesus is the Image of the Invisible God
And He is a Son Over His Own House

Often we will speak of a son who looks like his dad and we might call him the "spitting image" of His father. In the Bible, special mention is made of Jesus in respect to His Father:

  1. He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15

Yes, Jesus is the image of the invisible God, His Father! In Genesis, Moses speaks of both the Father and Son as having the same image:

  1. Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Genesis 1:26

In the next verse we find that this Special Son of God is virtually identical to His Father. Everything about Him speaks of His inheritance of a divine nature because He is like His Father:

  1. who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3

Jesus is the brightness of His Father's glory, the express image of His Father's person, and the word of His Father's power. He has been appointed heir of all things and after He purged our sins, He sat down at the right hand of His Father on high.

Jesus is the Son of God not because He was elevated to that level, but it is His right. Moses was faithful in all the house of God, as a servant, but Christ, was a Son over His own house because He is the Son of God:

  1. For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.
  2. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.
  3. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward,
  4. but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Hebrews 3:3-6

Thus, Jesus is a Son over His own house:

Lucifer Attacked God

Some time ago, Lucifer attacked the house of God! There was war in Heaven!

  1. And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
  2. but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. Revelation 12:7-8 New King James Version

In this war, Lucifer, who is now called Satan, attacked God saying that He wanted to rule like the Most High.

  1. How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
  2. For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
  3. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.
  4. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (hell), To the lowest depths of the Pit. Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV

So, Satan the great dragon became jealous. When Satan says: "I will be like the Most High"; It almost sounds like Satan wanted to take the place of Jesus. Because, Jesus is the one who is like the Most High!

  1. . . . Christ Jesus,
  2. who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, Philippians 2:5-6

Jesus is equal with God and He is in the form of God. He is the express image of God's person, the brightness of His glory!

  1. who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3

That is exactly what Satan wanted to be. He was jealous of Jesus!

Satan and his evil angels actually started a war in heaven! This is an amazing thing when we consider that neither Satan nor his wicked angels are able to create nor are they able to fight on an equal par against God nor Jesus the Son.

  1. But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.
  2. Thus you shall say to them: "The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens."
  3. He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. Jeremiah 10:10-12.

However, the demons very quickly became aware, if they didn't know already, that they could not match God's power nor His wisdom:

  1. saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!" Luke 4:34

They knew exactly who Jesus was, He is the Holy One of God; The Son of God!

  1. And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" Matthew 8:29

The demons know that their time is coming and it is very obvious from their responses that they tremble over the thought of the final judgement.

God Revealed Why Satan Could Not
be Like the Most High God

Is there a basic underlying reason why Satan could not take the place of Jesus? If there is, then the Universe would need to know why. If the answer involves the nature of Christ, then the Universe would need to know about it.

It is clear that Satan and the demons were too weak to takeover Heaven. In addition we now find that the demons tremble at the thought of God:

  1. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19.

Is this the reason why Satan cannot take the place of Jesus, because he is too weak?

That might be part of the answer, but God, at some time, needed to show why Jesus had His position because it was His right to posses it.

So, in response to the attack on the House of God, The Father began to make it very clear what it was about Jesus that made Him different than all other beings. It is true that all other beings were created and Jesus was begotten. But why does that make a difference?

God revealed Himself and His Son
with His Creation of Mankind

When God created mankind, He made them in the image of God. It is not just the form of man that reflects God's form. But as we start looking at the parallels between Adam and Eve against The Father and His Son; we start seeing that there is a lot more to our image than just our form. The way Adam and Eve were created and the positions they held are all significant and important. Even the discovery of loneliness can be seen as a clarification of the attributes of God.

So, what God did was to create man in his own world and the earth became a microcosm of the universe.

  1. In this world, Adam was made in the image of God and he was put in the same position on earth that God has in heaven. Adam was to rule over all the earth just as God rules over the universe.
    1. Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Genesis 1:26

    (As a result of man's fall, Satan had obtained authority over the whole earth!)

    1. "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
    2. "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." John 12:31-32

     

  2. While Adam did not create all things, He did name all things. Thus there is an ownership that helped set up Adam as ruler over all the earth.
    1. From the ground God formed all the animals of the field and all the birds of the sky, and He brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that became its name.
    2. And the man gave names to all the tame animals, and to the birds of the sky, and to all the wild animals. . . . Genesis 2:19-20 (part) Brown Bible

     

  3. God then directed Adam's attention to the fact that each animal had a mate. He did this by creating the animals before Adams eyes. Each animal was created as a pair, a male and female. Yet Adam was alone. There was no helpmate for him. Adam was made to realize his need for someone like himself. So before Adam was given a mate, he was made to realize that He was lonely.
  4. I think that the concept of being lonely was introduced to Adam and also to the Universe. Because of the way God did it, it is obviously a planed introduction that made the answer to loneliness understandable and good.

    Was God telling the Universe that He could also be lonely?

    1. Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable helper who is like him."
    2. From the ground God formed all the animals of the field and all the birds of the sky, and He brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that became its name.
    3. And the man gave names to all the tame animals, and to the birds of the sky, and to all the wild animals, But Adam noticed that there was no helper that was like him.
    4. So the Lord God caused the man to sleep very deeply, and while he slept, God removed one of his ribs, then closed up the place with flesh.
    5. The Lord God then used the rib from the man and built and formed it into a woman, and then he brought her to the man.
    6. And the man said: "finally, this is someone whose bones came from my bones, whose body came from my body. I will call her 'woman', because she was taken out of man," Genesis 2:18-23 Brown Bible

     

  5. In addition to the idea of loneliness, God had Adam realize that the presence of the animals did not solve the absence of an equal companion for him. Adam would be lonely even in the presence of all the animals. This relates to the situation in heaven; Even in the presence of all the angels and the beings of other worlds; Could God the Father have been lonely without the presence of the Son of God?
    1. But Adam noticed that there was no helper that was like him. Genesis 2:20 (Part)

    1. Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Proverbs 8:30

     

  6. The Two had to have the very same nature in order to fully appreciate each other. Without that special companionship, what does it matter if you are surrounded by beautiful scenes and delightful work. The garden of eden would not have provided any happiness to either Adam nor Eve without the other. There would be no one to love and be loved! No one to talk over their happiness of their surroundings and of each other. Having a dog would not have made it fully enjoyable!
  7. Is it possible that the Universe might not provide any happiness to God nor His Son without the other? When God expresses Himself concerning His Son in this way: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17 Does it show from God a special sense of love or devotion?

    1. "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
    2. I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
    3. When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water.
    4. Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth;
    5. While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primeval dust of the world.
    6. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
    7. When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
    8. When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
    9. Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Proverbs 8:22-30

    1. and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; Ephesians 3:9

    In the same way that animals cannot understand or even appreciate the complex thoughts that we often exchange between each other; God and His Son must interact in ways that go far beyond our understanding of complexity and closeness.

     

  8. God made Eve from a part of Adam, representing the non-created "begotten-ness" aspect of Christ. So Just as Eve came from Adam, The Son of God came from God the Father without being created. Jesus is not a created being, very different from us created beings. Eve is also special since she is made from the rib of Adam. She is made from the stuff that made Adam just as the Son of God is made of the stuff of God. Thus the Son has the same nature as the Father. They are both divine.
    1. having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:4

    1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and (God was the Word).
    2. He was in the beginning with God.
    3. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
    4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4.

    1. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
    2. who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, Philippians 2:5-6

     

  9. Eve was equal to Adam in every respect, except for patriarchy, thus Adam and Eve are a model or an example of what the Father and the Son are in the Universe.
  10. The Son is equal to the Father in every respect, except for the fact that the Father alone is God and that the Son came out of the Father.

    1. . . . He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
    2. who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:15-16

     

  11. While Eve was equal to Adam in every respect except for patriarchy, there is one other area where Eve was different. The sexes are different. In today's world, females are the physically weaker sex. Eve was most likely weaker than Adam.
  12. Jesus said many times, when He was on earth, that His Father was greater than He is. Many suppose that Jesus was speaking of His experience as a man. However, it is possible that the Father is greater because of patriarchy. Only the Father is the ancient of days and He alone has immortality.

    1. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3

    1. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. John 10:29

    1. "You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I. John 14:28

     

  13. God made two of them, Adam and Eve. Not three. We do not have a three-fold union like a Trinity. We have a two-fold union, husband and wife. This represents God the Father and His Son.
    1. yet for 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 through whom we live. 1 Corinthians 8:6

     

God revealed something about Himself when He created mankind. The fact that animals can not share with us the complex ideas we have concerning love, feelings, creative acts, and taking part in human-level activities; show us that Adam needed Eve to fully experience the type of interactions he needed to be happy. The same can be said for Eve. Eve needed Adam and Adam needed Eve. Eve was the only one that was able to fully interact with Adam.

If we are in a place, all by our selves, with just a dog or some other animal, it gets old very fast. We can talk to it but we cannot get the same satisfaction we get from talking to an equal. Someone who thinks and talks like we do.

The Fellowship of the Mystery

In the same way, there is some indication in the Bible that God the Father needs His only begotten Son in the same way that Adam needed Eve. With the two of them, they can fully share in each other's company. Jesus, the Son of God, was and is the only one who can fully take part in the creative process of making worlds with God His Father.

  1. "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
  2. I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
  3. When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water.
  4. Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth;
  5. While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primeval dust of the world.
  6. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
  7. When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
  8. When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
  9. Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Proverbs 8:22-30

In Proverbs 8, it is easy to see that this very personal joint participation, between God and the Son of God in the creative process, is a delightful association that causes a rejoicing between the Two. The fellowship of the mystery could mean that it is a hidden thing of fellowship or association that is not obvious to our understanding.

  1. and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; Ephesians 3:9

Something special must happen between Them when They create things. Evidently the Father and His Son are able to share in this process of designing and building things to such a level of satisfaction and depth that no created being is able to experience or share.

From Proverbs 8, we can see that they took extreme pleasure in creating things. This work of creating must be a great delight to God. In addition, we can see that God takes extreme pleasure in having a companion that He can share His whole experience with, someone who knows as He knows.

When we look at the things that God has made, we are actually looking at the very heart and soul of God. Delight and rejoicing are heard when They are together creating things. Throughout scripture we can see glimpses that God enjoyed what He did. Just look at the language that God Himself uses when He created this world:

  1. "And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:31.

If we read the whole first chapter we can see that He says this repeatedly. They are creating things together and they obviously enjoy commenting to each other about the joys that they find in the world they had just created. Also, when we read in between the lines in Colossions we can begin to see additional reasons why God creates:

  1. "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him." Colossians 1:16.

God makes things for Himself. This is a clue that God literally enjoys His creations. He made them so He could enjoy them.

Now, why is it that Satan cannot share in the things of God while Jesus is fully allowed to interact with His Father.

This is now a simple thing to answer: Satan is not able to understand the things of God nor can he create things. He is not able to work or to even understand the hidden things of God. Satan is only a created being. He is completely unable to take part in the Divine activities of the Father and Son just like animals who are unable to completely take part in the human activities on earth.

  1. But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.
  2. Thus you shall say to them: "The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens."
  3. He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. Jeremiah 10:10-12.

These verses easily show that Satan and his evil angels are not able to create nor are they able to fight against God. They are completely unable to take part in the Divine activities of the Father and Son. They are not equals with God and His Son at all.

We, as humans are in the same condition. The intricacies of God's creations are beyond our understanding. We don't even know what matter is, which is the basic created stuff that we are made out of. We are created beings and we are limited in our abilities. None of us can begin to understand or even think of sharing in this process of creating as God creates.

Long ago Lucifer wanted to be included in the creation process. God, however, did not invite him to help with the creation of this world. In this situation God probably had to tell him that he had nothing to contribute. Lucifer was limited in his abilities just as we are limited in the things of God. He could not create but he so blinded himself with jealousy against Jesus that he just would not listen.

When Satan rebelled against God, The other angels of heaven must have been in danger of thinking that Satan could be right, that it was an injustice against Satan to be denied while Jesus was allowed to have the supremacy.

However, with the creation of man, God was able to teach the universe who Jesus really is. Jesus the Son of God, was and is the only one who can fully take part in the creative process of making worlds with that of God because He is fully divine like His Father.

Jesus Has the Right to the Title of "God"

Long before Jesus came to this earth Isaiah spoke these words:

  1. For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

The Hebrew word for "wonderful" (Strong index number is 6382) means incomprehensible, beyond our understanding, or wonderful.

So Jesus' name is wonderful, it is incomprehensible and beyond our understanding. He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.

In many places in the Bible, Jesus is actually called God. He is called the Jehovah God!

  1. The Mighty One, God the LORD [Jehovah], Has spoken and called the earth From the rising of the sun to its going down.
  2. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.
  3. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; A fire shall devour before Him, And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.
  4. He shall call to the heavens from above, And to the earth, that He may judge His people:
  5. "Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."
  6. Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is Judge. Selah Psalm 50:1-6

We know this passage refers to Christ because all judgment has been committed to the Son:

  1. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18

So, no one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ!

  1. Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

The second reason why we can know that Psalm 50:1-6 refers to Christ is because it is describing the 2nd coming of Christ where Jesus will send His angels to gather together His elect from the four winds.

  1. "Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." Psalm 50:5

In Psalm 50, it is the mighty God, God the LORD that calls the saints together. But in Matthew, Jesus is the one to have the saints gathered together. This is obviously the same event and in Psalm 50, Jesus is called LORD or Jehovah.

  1. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:31
  1. Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 Thessalonians 2:1

Jesus the Lord, will descend from heaven:

  1. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thessalonians 2:1

But in Psalm 50:3, it is described in what manner Jesus will appear in the last days:

  1. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; A fire shall devour before Him, And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him. Psalm 50:3

Paul describes the same flaming tempestuous fire when Jesus comes because He is there to judge the people of the world. Remember, Jesus has been given all powers of judgement!

  1. in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:8

So we know that the LORD (Jehovah) described in Psalm 50:1-6, is a vivid description of the second coming of Christ for the salvation of His people. When He comes it will be as "the mighty God."

In Psalm 45 God's throne will last forever and ever:

  1. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. Psalm 45:6

But it is in Hebrews, that we find out the particulars of who is speaking and what the event actually was. It is the Father who is speaking! God is addressing His Son and He calls Him God before all the angels in heaven. God Himself has called His Son God!

  1. But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. Hebrews 1:8

Jesus has Been Appointed Heir of All Things

The Father has given Jesus His authority in both heaven and earth:

  1. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18

In the next verse we see that not only all authority has been given to Jesus, but that all things have been delivered to Him as well by the Father.

  1. "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Matthew 11:27

So, It should not surprise us that God has appointed His Son to be heir of all things and He has placed everything in His hands.

  1. God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
  2. has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2.

God also said that Jesus will have His throne which will stand forever and ever!

  1. But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. Hebrews 1:8 (Quoting Psalm 45:6)

We see in the book of Revelation that there are two thrones that will be in heaven and later on the earth!

  1. "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21.

In the world made new, the throne of God and of the Lamb will be the source of life!

  1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1.

There will be no curse and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in that place.

  1. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. Revelation 22:3.

There is no evidence at all that there is a third throne for the Holy Spirit. There are only two thrones in that place not three. The Holy Spirit is not even mentioned in these verses or anywhere else in the world made new!

  1. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
  2. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. Revelation 21:22-23

Because there is no longer any sin there is no need for a temple but we are assured that the presence of God and the Lamb are its temple. The light from God and the Lamb will illuminate the city.

  1. "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
  2. Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both."' Zechariah 6:12-13

As we have already seen before, that the counsel of peace will be between both Jesus and the Father; However, when Jesus delivers the kingdom to His Father, it is the Father who will rule over all things and Jesus will rule under Him.

  1. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
  2. For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
  3. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

When God put everything into Christ's hand, it turns out that the Father was excepted. The Son will always be subject to the Father because it was He who had put all things under Jesus.


Difficult Bible Passages About Jesus being divine like God and not a created being.

 

The first question:

You were very adamant in your statements that Jesus accepted 'worship' while on earth; I firmly disagree w/you!

Verb, 4352, proskuneo - "to make obeisance, do reverence to" (from pros, "towards," and kuneo, "to kiss"), is the most frequent word rendered "to worship." It is used of an act of homage or reverence to God, to Christ, to a man, to the Dragon by men, to the Beast his human instrument, the image of the Beast, to demons, to idols.

One must consider the context. Obeisance, reverence, homage, may be shown to other entities beside GOD; and yet worship would not be understood nor implied. One knows that The Dragon (satan), The Beast, demons and men etc... are not God; so using the words that infer worship to describe an action by an individual toward an entity does not make that entity--GOD; Jesus included!!

 

To start answering your questions, I want to start with an Old Testament example even though we are really talking about the meaning of a Greek word.

In the Bible we have many examples of obeisance, like a servant who pleads for mercy or whatever. In the book of Daniel, we find it common for various people to pay respect to the king. They payed obeisance to the king.

They did not bow down to worship their master as God or in a religious sense, but they were paying respect and honor to their master the king. Here are obvious examples that I have found:

  1. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. Daniel 2:4
  1. They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. Daniel 3:9
  1. Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: Daniel 5:10
  1. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. Daniel 6:6

We even find Daniel doing the same thing!

  1. Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. Daniel 6:21

Daniel is obviously not worshipping the king, he is paying respect to his master the king.

However, one day something very different happened on the plain of Dura. An image of gold sixty cubits high was made and Nebuchadnezzar had all the officials gather around for the dedication of the image.

  1. "that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;
  2. "and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace." Daniel 3:5-6

They were being told to bow down and worship the image in a religious sense, as a God.

  1. "There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up."
  2. Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.
  3. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Daniel 3:12-14

Daniel's three friends were probably forced to be present but they understood the difference between paying respect and worship very clearly. They would not worship the image even if it meant their lives, because they worshipped the true God who created all things.

And so, God honored their decision in a dramatic way. Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into a fiery furnace but the fire did not hurt them at all. In addition, everyone saw a fourth individual who looked like the Son of God! He was in the fire with them!

This is a wonderful story showing how God had blessed their faithfulness in worshipping God and God only. Now in Revelation 14 we see the opposite. We see how God responds to those who worship something other than God. These people will experience the wrath of God unmixed with mercy:

  1. Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,
  2. "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
  3. "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Revelation 14:9-11

God sees the worshiping of anything other than Himself as a very serious act against Him. The people who choose to worship the Beast, for instance, will receive God's wrath without any mercy at all.

From the 10 Commandments we can see that God does not want any other god period:

  1. "You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
  3. you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
  4. but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20:3-6

New Testament Examples

Now as we move to the New Testament, we can see that in addition to not bowing down to images, we are not to bow down to people either.

Actually the idea is already in the Old Testament but Jesus made it very clear when He was tempted by Satan:

  1. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
  2. Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'" Matthew 4:9-10

Jesus said this in response to Satan who wanted Jesus to worship him! "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve".

A good story that illustrates how wrong it is to worship anyone else but God is found in Acts. In this example Barnabas and Paul are mistaken to be gods and the people want to worship them. In response, Barnabas and Paul tore their clothes and cried out "why are you doing these things? We are men just like you!

  1. And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked.
  2. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed,
  3. said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked.
  4. Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"
  5. And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.
  6. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.
  7. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out
  8. and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, Acts 14:8-14

The people in Lystra were pagans and they thought nothing of worshiping various gods. But Barnabas and Paul tore their clothes at the thought of what they were doing and stopped the people. We can see that they were struck with horror at the thought of being worshiped as gods.

Here is another interesting example. While in vision, John twice tried to worship an angel instead of God:

  1. And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Revelation 19:10
  1. Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
  2. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God." Revelation 22:8-9

Both times when John fell down to worship the angel, that had told him the things of heaven, the angel stopped him. It is clear from reading the text that John is overwhelmed. John did not determine to go against God and to worship this angel, but rather, he was overwhelmed by what he saw and was probably overcome with emotion.

But both times, the angel stopped him immediately. Because John was either confused or overcome with emotion, the angel only gently rebuked him, saying that we were to worship God.

It is interesting that both Paul and the angel used the same kind of argument. Paul said: "we also are men with the same nature as you" The angel's rebuke is similar: "I am your fellow servant"

Now here is another interesting story where Cornelius did the same thing that John did, but this time it was in a worldly setting:

  1. As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.
  2. But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself am also a man." Acts 10:25-26

The same thing is happening here as happened with John in Revelation. Cornelius was overwhelmed. He actually had an angel come to his house. That alone was amazing, but the angel had a message. He was to get Peter to come to his home. Now Peter had actually come. All this because of the angel.

So, Cornelius falls down to worship Peter. But Peter stops him immediately and tells him to stand up, because he was only a man just like he was.

Cornelius might have even been confused about what or who Peter was, or he might have been confused about what to worship. But it is clear that Cornelius is bowing down in a religious sense just as John did. The whole story is of a religious setting. Thus Peter stopped him using the same kind of argument that both the angel and Paul had used in the two previous examples: "Stand up; I myself am also a man."

Worshipping Christ

As we start looking at worship examples involving Christ, we will find that Jesus never stopped anyone from worshiping Him. Not even once! Yet these stories involving Jesus are very similar to what we have already studied. Jesus is being worshiped in the same religious sense as we saw in the previous stories. However, unlike with the other stories, the people were never rebuked by Jesus.

In all the examples we have seen up to now, the Bible presents the worshipping of people as being wrong and sinful. But now we will see that Jesus actually accepts this same kind of worship that is condemned in the Bible when it is directed toward a created being.

If Jesus was not allowed to have people worship Him; Then to have Him accept worship (we are referring to a religious sense of worship) Jesus then would have sinned and all of us would be lost. We would all be condemned because the Lamb of God would have had a defect. He would have sinned because He encouraged the sin of idolatry toward Himself.

In addition, Jesus would also have caused others to sin against God.

In this first story, we find that the disciples themselves worshipped Jesus. The actual story shows the context of their actions as being the same as John's and Cornelius' experience.

  1. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.
  2. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
  3. And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
  4. So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
  5. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
  6. And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
  7. And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
  8. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." Matthew 14:26-33

The disciples were having trouble believing. But when they saw Jesus walk on the water, and then to see the incident with Peter being saved, and then to watch the winds cease, they came to the realization that He really was the Son of God! Just as He had been saying all along. So, they came to Him and worshipped Him. It is clear that they were impressed in a religious sense and they worshipped Him.

Earlier, the disciples didn't know what to think concerning Jesus:

  1. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.
  2. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!"
  3. But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
  4. So the men marveled, saying, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" Matthew 8:24-27

Who can this man be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him? At that time the disciples were still unsure what it all meant. However by the time that Peter walked on the water, they knew! And so they worshiped Christ, knowing that He was indeed the Son of God!

Unlike the previous stories involving other people, Jesus did not stop them from worshiping Him. It is clear that they were right in worshipping Him. The next story is very similar:

  1. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
  2. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
  3. "He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
  4. "And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."
  5. So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
  6. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
  7. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me." Matthew 28:4-10

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb but there was a great earthquake. The guards shook with fear but the angel told both Marys about Christ rising from the dead and urged them to go in and see where He was laid. They were so excited from all this that they ran from the tomb to tell the others, but suddenly they met Jesus! They came to Him and held Him by His feet and worshipped Him.

The ladies were extremely excited, Jesus had actually risen and now they saw Jesus there in front of them. They had seen his death on the cross while they cried and wept over Him. But now their immediate response was to come over to Him and worship Him.

This was utter worship. They saw the hand of God in what they saw and they were so filled with the idea that they were unworthy that they only permitted themselves to take hold of his feet! Their worship of Christ was like that of both John's and Cornelius' worship, except that both John's and Cornellius' worship was directed toward the wrong person and they were stopped. Here we see that Jesus did not stop them from worshiping Him.

The last time the disciples saw Jesus, the disciples worshipped Him again:

  1. "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high."
  2. And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.
  3. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.
  4. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, Luke 24:49-52

The disciples saw Jesus many times after He rose from the dead. In Luke 24, we find that after Jesus had talked to them for a while, eating in front of them, and other things, Jesus then was carried up into heaven. So they worshipped Jesus. Never, not even one time, does Jesus ever say anywhere that they were not to worship Him. But rather, we see that their worshipping of Him was spontaneous and heart-felt.

This next story of the blind man is a favorite of mine. You can read the whole chapter 9 of John for the complete story, but here is a small part:

  1. The man answered and said to them, "Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!
  2. "Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.
  3. "Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.
  4. "If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing."
  5. They answered and said to him, "You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.
  6. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"
  7. He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"
  8. And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you."
  9. Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.
  10. And Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind." John 9:30-39

This man, having just been healed of his blindness was a man of faith. He even reproached the Pharisees and was thrown out of the temple. When Jesus approached Him, asking if he believed in the Son of God, this man not only said he believed, but He worshipped Him.

It is a serious thing to worship God. And also, to worship anything or anyone else is a sin. The Bible even says to stay away from even the appearance of evil:

  1. Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22

So, when Jesus accepted worship as the Son of God, and when Jesus said that God was His Father; In the eyes of the Jews, He was putting Himself at the same level as God! Thus, if it was wrong for Jesus to accept worship, Jesus would certainly have also sinned just by having the appearance of Evil?

  1. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
  2. "I and My Father are one."
  3. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.
  4. Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?"
  5. The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." John 10:29-33

By calling God His Father, He was making Himself God! That is a strong statement. Would Jesus say something like that if He didn't have the right to say such things?

  1. "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."
  2. Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"
  3. Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
  4. Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. John 8:56-59

Jesus even called Himself The I AM! That statement is even stronger. To stay away from the appearance of evil, or even to sin Himself; How could He make such a statement if He didn't have the right to say it?

  1. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. John 5:18

The specific reason why the Jews said they were to kill Jesus is that He made Himself to be equal with God! He made Himself the Son of God!

  1. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. John 19:7

Either Jesus is what He says He is, or He actually committed blasphemy!

Jesus did not Sin by Accepting Worship

We must remind ourselves of the seriousness of worshipping someone other than God. In the 10 Commandments we saw that God explicitly states not to worship any other gods. We also saw in the mark of the Beast example of worship that God will not give any mercy to those who worship the beast:

But Jesus did not sin when He accepted worship in the religious sense. We must remember that the Son of God was given the name of God by His Father. The Son of God inherited these things from His Father because He is His Son.

  1. having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
  2. For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"? Hebrews 1:4-5

To none of the angels did God say He had begotten them. Only to the Son of God. I am also reminded of Proverbs 30 where it is also clear that God does indeed has a special Son:

  1. Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know? Proverbs 30:4

The Son had the name of the Father:

  1. Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.
  2. Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. Exodus 23:20-21

He is literally God's only begotten Son and God declared Him as God and He said that His throne would stand for ever and ever. God even told the angels to worship the Son.

  1. But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him."
  1. But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.
  2. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions." Hebrews 1:6, 8-9

Jesus is not only called wonderful and counsellor, but He is also called the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!

  1. For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Jesus' name was also Emmanuel which means "God with us" or "with us is God". God dwelt with man!

  1. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
  1. "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

To have God dwell with man. We see this over and over. God was manifest in the flesh!

  1. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

We know that the Son of God was not called a son just because He came to our world but He was the Son of God from the beginning before He ever came here on earth as a man. He was always the Son of God because He was begotten by the Father. In fact we have this famous verse that tells us Gave His only begotten Son. So we see that God had something to give:

  1. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

God had a Son that He could give to us so that we could be saved. Thus we have had the Son of God living on earth. God was manifest in the flesh.

  1. And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35

That was the only begotten Son of God who dwelt among us because the Word was made flesh. Thus, God was manifest in the flesh.

  1. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

The Father who cannot lie (Titus 1:2) called Jesus His beloved Son!

  1. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17

He was God's own beloved Son, yet God gave Him to us that we might live. Paul also recognized this truth that Jesus was God's own Son, that He delivered him for us.

  1. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

In heaven, God shared His own glory with His Son:

  1. "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
  2. "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. John 17:5

We saw that God declared the Son to be God and that His scepter will stand for ever and ever. The Son is called the mighty God, the everlasting Father. He is called Immanuel - God with us. And thus Scripture says that the Son was God manifest in the flesh. Yet He is the Son of God, not the Father. Thus both will sit on the throne of God and the counsel of peace shall be between them both:

  1. "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
  2. Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both."' Zechariah 6:12-13

The counsel of peace shall be between the Father and His Son. Now, John specifically tells us that the Son came out of the Father. He issued forth from the Father:

  1. "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;
  2. "for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
  3. "I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father." John 16:26-28

There are two similar words that are really different from each other:

Strongs # 1831 exerchomai ex-er'-khom-ahee - exerchomai means to come out of something. Figuratively it can mean to physically arise from or to be born. Thus, it means to "issued forth" or to have "issued from". Jesus issued forth from the Father.
Strongs # 2064 erchomai er'-khom-ahee - but erchomai means to come from another place.

John 16:28 has both words: I came out of the Father and I have come into the world. The Son came out of the Father, He issued forth out of the Father and He came into the world.

The same thing is seen in John 8 except That a different word: Strongs # 2240 heko hay'-ko - is used for "came from". It means to arrive or to have come:

  1. "You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father--God."
  2. Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
  3. "Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. John 8:42-43

Here we have: I came out (proceeded forth) and came from God. Again, we have the Son, coming out of the Father. He proceeded forth, He issued forth. The word clearly has a figurative meaning of being born.

Jesus is not saying the same thing twice. He is saying that He came out of the Father and has come to us. He is not just saying that He came from the Father. We can know this because much of the discussion that Jesus gives relates to the fact that God is indeed His Father. It is the very point of many of these conversations. So the fact that He came out of the Father, does fit the thought in Scripture.

Here are bits and pieces of what Jesus said to the Jewish leaders about Himself:

  1. Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
  2. "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
  3. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
  1. "I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father."
  1. "But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.
  1. Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
  2. "Why do you not understand My speech? . . .
  1. "But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
  2. "Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?
  1. Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.
  1. Jesus answered, "If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.
  1. Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." John 8:34-36, 38,40,42-43, 45-46, 49, 54,58

These bits and pieces taken from John 8:31-58 show Jesus speaking plainly. He told them He told the truth, that God was His Father, that He proceeded forth and came from God.

A major point of the whole discussion is that Jesus was saying that God was His Father. Thus for Him to say that He proceeded forth out of God actually fits in with the rest of the discussion.

To say that Jesus was just saying that He just came from heaven, does not really fit the reason why He mentioned it.

You are espousing a half-truth. You know that the trinity is paganism and you know that the Son had a beginning so you say that the Son was created by God. But you ignore all the Scripture that tells us that God Himself had a Son, His only begotten Son;

You forget that the Son came out of God His Father, that the Son received His Father's name by inheritance, thus he received the Father's name and nature of God. God the Father also proclaimed that the angels worship Him. So, this Son received the Fathers name and the divine nature of God.

You also forget that God called Jesus God and proclaimed that the angels worship Him. Jesus is proclaimed to be the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. He is called Emmanuel or God with us. Jesus indeed was God manifested in the flesh.

 

The second question:

We also read numerous times in the New Testament that the Son of God is the only begotten of the Father meaning his only unique Son. This phrase is also used in the Old Testament to describe Isaac as being the only begotten of Abraham. Now, we know from Scripture that Abraham had more than one son, yet Isaac is called his "only begotten".

 

My favorite verse has this very phrase: "only begotten Son"

  1. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

But did God actually give us His only begotten Son, the Son of His Bosom, the Son that came out of God? Or did God just give us a unique Son that is not even begotten by Him and is just said to be His Son?

Did Abraham Have One Son or Two Sons?

The controversy has been raised because of Hebrews 11:17.

  1. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Hebrews 11:17

In Hebrews, Abraham is said to have offered up Isaac, his only begotten son. However some oppose this idea by asking: "Did Abraham only have one son or did he really have two sons: Isaac and Ishmael?"

If Abraham had two sons then Isaac cannot be Abraham's only begotten son. Isaac must only be Abraham's unique son since Isaac had a "half-brother".

The answer to this question is very simple and is found in the very next chapter of Hebrews:

  1. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
  2. But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Hebrews 12:7-8

In our walk with God we know that we are true sons of God when God deals with us to chasten us. Otherwise, we would wonder if we ourselves were really illegitimate and not a son of God.

This same question also relates to Ishmael. Isaac was the cherished son of Abraham, but was Ishmael also a son of Abraham or was he illegitimate? As it turns out, Ishmael was indeed illegitimate and was even banished from the home. So, following the logic of Hebrews 12:8, Ishmael is illegitimate and not Abraham's son.

In the next section, we will also see that God never calls Ishmael Abraham's son.

Isaac the Only Son of Abraham

Abraham's situation is the key since he is used in this argument to say that Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God. God promised Abraham a son but Abraham gave in to his wife when they thought the time was passing from them. So thinking they would help God, they used Hagar to obtain a son.

But now, Abraham had this problem. Sarah, his real wife, was now telling him to get rid of the bondwoman and her son.

  1. Therefore she [Sarah] said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac."
  2. And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's sight because of his son.
  3. But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.
  4. "Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed." Genesis 21:10-13

Look at verses 12 and 13. God Himself does not call Hagar Abraham's wife nor does He call Ishmael Abraham's son. Instead, He calls Hagar "your bondwoman" and He calls the boy "the son of the bondwoman"! So, there is no indication from God that the boy is actually part of Abraham's family; Rather, he is an outcast, he is clearly illegitimate from God's perspective.

What is really amazing to realize is that God actually went out of his way to describe Hagar as "your bondwoman" and the boy as "the son of the bondwoman" and not as Abraham's son! He could have easily called the boy his son. But God did not do that. God only indicated that the lad was "Abraham's seed".

Isaac is Abraham's only begotten son because he was the only son from his legitimate wife within the confines of marriage. So it was Isaac who was to be the heir of all that Abraham had, not Ishmael. Even though Ishmael was Abraham's seed, he was illegitimate and not counted as a son of Abraham by God. So he was forced to leave Abraham's camp with his mother. His mother was only a bondwoman, not Abraham's one and only wife.

If Ishmael was indeed to be counted as a son, he would then be heir of all things since he was born before Isaac. However, he is not even counted as being part of the family and is forced to leave. So, Isaac is the first born and he receives the birthright.

Isaac was also used to test Abraham's love for God over his most prized possession, that of his only begotten son:

  1. Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." Genesis 22:2

Since God did not consider Ishmael to be Abraham's son it makes sense that God would now call Isaac Abraham's only son. Not only is Isaac the first born, he is the only son born in the family. Abraham has no other son! His wife only had one boy.

So, Hagar was not counted Abraham's wife at all but only Abraham's bondwoman; And Ishmael was also not even counted as a son of Abraham and was actually forced to leave the family with his mother. What father would ever send his son and wife out into the wilderness possibly never to see them again? It was also an action that God said should happen:

  1. But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.
  2. "Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed." Genesis 21:12-13

It was to keep the integrity and peace of his actual family that Ishmael had to go. Ishmael obviously was not his son nor was he a part of the family so he did not receive the birthright that would normally be given to the first born son. So since God Himself called Isaac as Abraham's only son, Isaac's rightful position in the family was that of the only begotten son of Abraham and the first born.

God Recognized Isaac as Abraham's Only Son
so Paul Chose to Follow His Pronouncement

While the language that Moses wrote in Genesis indicates that Hagar was Abraham's second wife and that Ishmael was Abraham's other son. (Here are some examples:)

  1. Then Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. Genesis 16:3
  1. And his [Abraham] sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, Genesis 25:9
  1. Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maidservant, bore to Abraham. Genesis 25:12

God Himself never recognized either Hagar nor Ishmael as being part of the Abraham's family.

  1. But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.
  2. "Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed." Genesis 21:10-13

In addition to calling Ishmael "the son of the bondwoman", God later referred to Isaac as Abraham's only son:

  1. Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." Genesis 22:2
It is clear that God Himself recognized Isaac as being Abraham's only son. We also see that Paul chose to describe Isaac in the same way that God did. He did this by calling Isaac Abraham's only begotten son:
  1. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Hebrews 11:17

So, Paul means what he is saying. Paul describes Isaac as being Abraham's only begotten son because God Himself had pronounced the same thing long before. Ishmael was only an illegitimate seed and not a son.

This "unique" Argument is Only Made
to support the Trinity Doctrine

The example of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael is always brought up as the basis for the argument that Jesus cannot be the only-begotten Son of God. However, we have seen that God Himself never calls Ishmael Abraham's son. Instead, He calls Ishmael the son of the bondwoman but when God talks to Abraham, He calls Isaac Abraham's only son (Genesis 22:2).

The only reason for having the argument, that "only-begotten" means "unique" in the case of Jesus, is this: Theologians want to do away with the understanding that Jesus actually is the Son of God, that He came out of His Father, because it goes against the doctrine of the Trinity.

Since they argue that Isaac was not Abraham's only son, they then urge that Jesus cannot be God's only Son because the same Greek word is used to describe both Jesus and Isaac.

There is no reason to resort to changing an obvious meaning of a word. The most direct and obvious meaning of "monogene" is ONLY-generated, only-begotten, Only-born, the sole or only begotten child. as we discussed earlier. It does not mean "unique" at all. But it means "mono" = only and "gene" = generated or begotten.

There are other examples of the "only-begotten" word that is translated correctly and everyone agrees with the translation:

And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. Luke 7:12

for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. Luke 8:42

Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, "Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child". Luke 9:38

Since these examples describe normal family and human existence; The begotten aspect of how the child came to be is automatically assumed even by the reader. The "begotten" meaning is an actual part of the sentence whether the word is present or not. But in the case of Jesus, the begotten aspect had to be spelled out to make it clear how Jesus began, according to the actual meaning of the word.

In each of these three examples, it is an only-begotten son, daughter, or child. The argument is never made by these same theologians that it actually should be translated as a unique son, daughter, or child. Only when the word is used in connection with Jesus do they start to object!

So, the argument that Isaac is only a unique son, is definitely not strong enough to warrant a change in our understanding of a basic Greek word. The absurdity of this argument is especially obvious when we consider that even God considered Isaac to be Abraham's only son and He pronounced him as such. Paul was only saying what God had said long before!

The most obvious, direct, and simple meaning of the Greek text, using the actual meaning of the words, tells us that Jesus is indeed the only begotten Son of God! It is a very simple translation and there is an obvious meaning to the word! There is no mystery about it.

Their presupposition or assumption that the Trinity doctrine is correct has forced them to make this poor argument. It is only because of the Trinity doctrine that this debate is even tried as an argument. They simply do not want Jesus to be the only-begotten Son of God because He can not actually be begotten within the Trinity concept.

A Small Study into the Greek
Word for "Only Begotten"

Let's look at an interlinear Bible to begin our search:

(This wonderful online interlinear Bible is found at: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/joh3.pdf )

In the Online Interlinear Bible we see that "monogene" means ONLY-generated or only-begotten. So, we see that in the verse, Jesus is described as the only begotten Son of God. This is the most direct meaning of the text using the actual meaning of the word.

Let's look into the words a bit more deeply:

Strongs # 3439 monogene mon-og-en-ace - comes from Strongs # 3441 "Mono" and Strongs # 1096 "ginomai"

    "Mono" which is often translated "alone" or "only". The Scriptural use of this word is very obvious. "Mono" is the prefix for "one" or "only". English examples would be: monochrome (one color), monotone (one tone) and monogamy (one spouse at one time).

    "gene" comes from "ginomai" It is a prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; 'to cause to be' ("gen"-erate) i.e. reflexively to become (come into being)" (see The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, New Strong's Concise Dictionary of the words in the Greek Testament, page 19).

    So, "gene" can mean: come, become, made, fulfilled, be (come), be (brought to pass).

When we put the words together "monogene" means: "the only one that has come to pass" or, "the only one who has been brought to pass" or "the only one to come into being". "monogene" is also known to be associated within the context of a birth. So when we see Strongs definition it makes good sense:

In Strong's Concordance, #3439 "monogene" from 3441 and 1096; means Only-born, i.e. sole - only (begotten, child) (James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D., The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, New Strong's Concise Dictionary of the words in the Greek Testament, page 59)

In the Thayer's Lexicon, "monogene" means unigenitus, single of its kind, or only. It is used of only sons or daughters when viewed in relation to their parents. (Joseph Henry Thayer, D.D., The New Thayer's Greek - English Lexicon of the New Testament, page 417)

In the New Englishman's Greek Concordance, we can see where "monogene" is found in the Bible and how it is used. The New Englishman's Greek Concordance and Lexicon by Jay P. Green, Sr., page 579)

    Luke 7:12 - the only son of his mother,
    Luke 8:42 - For he had one only daughter,
    Luke 9:38 - for he is mine only child.
    Heb 11:17 - (Abraham) . . .offered up his only begotten (son)

    John 1:14 - as of the only begotten of the Father,
    John 1:18 - the only begotten Son, which is
    John 3:16 - his only begotten Son, that whosoever
    John 3:18 - of the only begotten Son of God
    1 John - 4:9 - God sent his only begotten Son

This agrees with what we saw from the Online Interlinear Bible: ONLY-generated or only-begotten

So, it is clear what "monogene" actually means. It follows what we found in both the Strongs Concordance and the interlinear Bible I have above: ONLY-generated, only-begotten, Only-born, the sole or only begotten child.

"monogene" is a well known Greek word. It is not rare and vague; There is a simple meaning to the word. In the example of Jesus, it is only because of the Trinity objection that this debate is even tried as an argument, throwing the word into question. As a result, they have tried to redefine the word to something that would agree with the trinity doctrine.

 

 


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Officially posted February 3, 2011
last revised November 18, 2014