How constantly grateful I am to know as certainty that Jesus God’s Son–and through him, God Almighty–has been here and experienced everything we as humans experience, in person, himself. He knows all our trials and tribulations, our triumphs and joys.
I lived most of my life in that exact part of the US where the recent mass gun slaughter occurred in what was considered by all a “safe place.” The very next day, while grief and shock were still stabbing hearts, vicious and ferocious fires broke out. My heart and mind have been with dear friends and family in that area all this past week. In the gun slaying and fires we see both evil and love at work.
When people kill other people because of hatred based upon their appearance or beliefs of any kind, that is evil. “Judge not,” the Bible teaches, “so that you will not be judged (condemned.)” Humankind’s first sin was siding with God’s enemy. The second sin was brother killing brother. All humans are brother/sister one with another. We are not to kill our brothers and sisters because we do not like them or because we disagree with them.
God knows the evil in the human heart. He’s always known everything that lies in our collective hearts. Yet he chooses to love us anyway, laying his own life as incarnated human on the line. God knows firsthand the effects of evil. Apart from whether or not you believe in Christ as the Son of God, the facts of his life as recorded in the Book show him as a good and loving man, someone who went around doing only good for others. His enemies killed him mainly out of jealousy. It’s not about race. It’s about what lies in every human heart.
God also knows firsthand what it is to love others. He loved others in Jesus his Son, when he sent him to us in the first place. Jesus voluntarily lay his life down for all humanity. He died a painful death, the innocent for the undeserving.
In the gun slaying, we saw a police officer who lay his life down for strangers. In the recent fires, and in every fire, we see firemen and other public servants laying their own lives down for people they haven’t met; they do this because these are human beings. Firefighters sometimes die. They know the dangers before they go out, yet they go out anyway. A huge thank you to all of these. “John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (NKJ)
In this post, post-modern world we live in, it is time to get back to calling evil, evil. It is wrong to kill another human being out of jealousy or hatred for who they are or what they represent. Both vengeance and judgment belong to God alone.
In Psalm 17, the psalmist, whom I read as the prophetic voice of the incarnated God–by that I mean Jesus–this psalmist cries out to God for help from his enemies, who are extremely powerful and who have marked him for death. The fact of history is that Jesus did die. We might say, “He died anyway, even though he prayed for God’s help.” The other fact of history is that he rose from the dead. Notice Jesus’ faith in his resurrection in verse 15–
And I–in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. (NIV)
One of the very best things about believing in Jesus as God’s anointed, his Son, is that his resurrection from death into life produces a resurrection from death into life for all who believe. Often we pray for a trial to go away or to not happen in the first place. Often it happens anyway–God alone knows why. Bottom line, there is a resurrection into life eternal. This life will end, and eternal life in Christ will last forever. God’s love has triumphed over all the evil this world and its people can possibly throw at us. Blessed are those who choose the side of love.
Psalm 17:1 A prayer of David. Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer–it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.
3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.
4 As for the deeds of men–by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.
5 My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.
10 They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching in cover.
13 Rise up, O LORD, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword.
14 O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children.
15 And I–in righteousness I shall see your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with seeing your likeness. (NIV, 1984)
You write “In Psalm 17, the psalmist, whom I read as the prophetic voice of the incarnated God–by that I mean Jesus–this psalmist cries out to God for help from his enemies, who are extremely powerful and who have marked him for death. ”
When you would read the Bible without the false human doctrines you would see how God His Word tells us that God is an eternal all-knowing Spirit Being no man can see. There is no such thing as an “incarnated God” – by what you mean Jesus – The psalmist does not cry out to Jesus, but to the God of Israel, Who is Only One God (and not two or three) and Who is also the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples.
You should know God is an eternal Spirit being, having no beginning (no birth) and no end (no death). You rightly write: “The fact of history is that Jesus did die. ” Yes Jesus asked God that not his will(Jesus’will) but God His will would be done, and gave himself as a ransom offering to his heavenly Father. You further remark: “We might say, “He died anyway, even though he prayed for God’s help.”” and then points to another fact of history ” The other fact of history is that he rose from the dead. ” In case Jesus would have been God having come to earth to fake his temptation and torturing as well as a so-called death and resurrection, we as human beings have no hope at all in that resurrection, because than we do not have a proof that a human being can step out of the dead. Not only do we then have no proof of there existing an end to the curse of death. We then can only see a god telling lies more than once and as such becoming a figure we can not trust.
Hello Marcus, Thank you for writing in response to my article. Just two short points:
1) When you write, “The psalmist does not cry out to Jesus, but to the God of Israel…,” it causes me to think that you missed the main idea of my article and of its title and of Psalm 17, namely, that the first person voice we hear in Psalm 17 IS the voice of Jesus, speaking prophetically by means of this psalm. So when the psalmist cries out to God, of course he is crying to God the Father, not to himself. This psalm teaches that Messiah will suffer. When Messiah Jesus did incarnate, he did indeed suffer, as the New Testament teaches.
2) I readily admit that I have always had difficulty trying to find the right words to describe the person of Christ in his incarnation. I believe, and Scripture teaches, that the Messiah is the Son of God, that is, very God of very God himself. And yet, he incarnated as a complete man without relinquishing his divine nature. This is unique in all human history. What noun do we use to describe this amazing fact succinctly? I came up with Incarnated God. The amazing thing about Christianity is that the Gospel teaches that God, whom you rightly say is Spirit, did come to earth as a human being who is also fully divine. Scripture distinguishes between God the Father and God the Son. There are not two Gods, but one God, who manifests in three Persons–the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. This is the reason why Christianity boldly announces the Trinity. “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son…” If you have a better noun phrase than “Incarnated God” to describe God’s Son Jesus the Messiah, I would love to hear and consider it. You rightly say that God the Father never became flesh and never died. God the Son did become human flesh without ceasing to be God, and as a man, he did die, and as a man he was resurrected. And while all this was happening, he never ceased being fully God. How the creator God who is Spirit could simultaneously become human flesh is indeed a mystery. One more reason to worship him–God is truly amazing. Our finite human minds are too limited to be able to fully grasp and understand the amazing fact of God the Son’s incarnation. Thanks again for writing.
You say “I believe, and Scripture teaches, that the Messiah is the Son of God, that is, very God of very God himself. ” Though I have to disappoint you by saying nowhere Scripture teaches that the Messiah would be “very God of very God himself”. God Himself declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son.
“ but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” (Ga 4:4 ASV)
“16 And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; 17 and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mt 3:16-17 ASV)
“10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens rent asunder, and the Spirit as a dove descending upon him: 11 And a voice came out of the heavens, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.” (Mr 1:10-11 ASV)
“21 Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that, Jesus also having been baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. 23 And Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,” (Lu 3:21-23 ASV)
Scripture tells us also God is not a god of lies, and as such He would always tell the Truth. As such we do have to be very careful how to handle the Word of God, not coming in a situation where we would give others the opportunity to think God is a liar.
From the Bible, which we consider the infallible Word of God, we also do know God is an eternal Spirit Being no man can see, but Jesus was seen by many. We also know from Scripture that Jesus was without fault, and as such never told lies. The Bible tells us God is an all-knowing Being Who is everywhere at once, though Jesus could not be everywhere and as such missed even the death of his beloved friend Lazarus. Jesus also very well knew his position (first lower than angels – though God was+is+always shall be higher than angels) and Jesus told himself God is greater than him and knows those things even he (Jesus) can not know (in case Jesus would be God he naturally as all-knowing God would have known those matters and would have been lying.).
“ God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and will he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and will he not make it good?” (Nu 23:19 ASV)
“ that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us:” (Heb 6:18 ASV)
“ God forbid: yea, let God be found true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy words, And mightest prevail when thou comest into judgment.” (Ro 3:4 ASV)
“27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. 28 ¶ Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe. 30 I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me; 31 but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” (Joh 14:27-31 ASV)
“17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work. 18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only brake the sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and greater works than these will he show him, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raiseth the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son also giveth life to whom he will. 22 For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment unto the Son; 23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself: 27 and he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 29 and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment. 30 I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 31 ¶ If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 32 It is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye have sent unto John, and he hath borne witness unto the truth. 34 But the witness which I receive is not from man: howbeit I say these things, that ye may be saved. 35 He was the lamp that burneth and shineth; and ye were willing to rejoice for a season in his light. 36 But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” (Joh 5:17-36 ASV)
“ Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me.” (Joh 8:42 ASV)
Therefore, we should believe Jesus is the sent one from God, the authorised one from God, the highpriest of God and which is very important for mankind the Lamb of God, the payer of the ransom and as such our saviour, plus because he was made higher by God, made to come to sit next to God (and not on the throne of God) Jesus is now the mediator between God and man.
“ He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in him: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he hath not believed in the witness that God hath borne concerning his Son.” (1Jo 5:10 ASV)
You write “The amazing thing about Christianity is that the Gospel teaches that God, whom you rightly say is Spirit, did come to earth as a human being who is also fully divine. ” But you refer to teachings of Christendom and not of Christianity. Real Christians, and as such all those who belong to Christianity, believe in Only One True God, Who is One and not two or three, and Who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples.
“ God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Joh 4:24 ASV)
“ Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (De 5:7 ASV)
“ Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah:” (De 6:4 ASV)
“ That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth.” (Ps 83:18 ASV)
“ I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images.” (Isa 42:8 ASV)
“ And Jehovah shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall Jehovah be one, and his name one.” (Zec 14:9 ASV)
“ Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:” (Mr 12:29 ASV)
“ yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.” (1Co 8:6 ASV)
“ Jesus saith to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.” (Joh 20:17 ASV)
You agree with me that “that God the Father never became flesh and never died.” but then start talking form a “God the Son” which is never mentioned in the Bible. There is a huge difference between “the son of God” and the false teaching of a “god the son” or a/the pagan “god son” figure. Nowhere in the Bible you shall be able to find that God came down to earth to “become human flesh without ceasing to be God”, and as a man, he did die, though God cannot die and man can do nothing to God. You also say God would have been “as a man … resurrected”, but what would be the help or proof for us, when God brought such incredible performance him playing a man who would be tempted, though God cannot be tempted? When Jesus would be God and saying he even does not know who would be seated next to hhim in the Kingdom of God or when he would be coming back, something which concerns himself and which is very very important for mankind, than he not only would have told lies, but would also have done a miserable unloving act, the same as when he would have waited such a long time (millennia) before doing something against that curse of death and having so-called saved mankind Him letting us wait and suffer so much for such a long time. Know also that the suffering is not yet done, and we shall still have to face the Third World war or Armageddon and then an other 1000 years. That idea of that acting God, him being so-called the incarnated God in a god son, makes of Him a ruel and terrible being, also when as so many in christendom preach about an eternal hellfire where people would be torture until eternity. No wounder that those Trinitarians of Christendom get so many people away from the Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, Who is the Only One God of Israel, the Jews, Jeshuaists, real Christians and Muslims, Who worship Him as One and not a threegodhead.
You end ” Our finite human minds are too limited to be able to fully grasp and understand the amazing fact of God the Son’s incarnation. ” But God is a god of clarity and order, according to the Scriptures. He does not make it so difficutl for human beings to comprehend His Being and His acting. His Words say it all and are clear for all those who want to listen to them and want to open their eyes and ears for the godly truth and not adhering to false human doctrines.
People do not have to have gone to university or theological college to understand God. Again such an idea would make God into an unloving and cruel god, only protecting and loving those who have enough brains and have studied enough. No, also a simple human being shall be able to understand God’s Word, if he or she is willing to listen to it and to open his or her mind to the call of that Only One True God, Creator of heaven and earth.
That This heavenly God may give you insight and bless you on your way of coming closer to Him and on the path Jesus laid open in front of us, to enter the small gate of God’s Kingdom.
Wishing you all the best fro 2020,Witk kind regards,
Again, Marcus, thank you for writing. I appreciate all genuine feedback. The question of how to express the nature of Christ absorbed church scholars for many centuries after the events of Christ’s life. I believe it to be academically impossible to satisfy anyone with arguments. Belief comes not from the mind, but from the heart and experience. Those who experience the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit know that he is the great “I AM,” an Old Testament term for Yahweh God. I appreciate your gentle writing and courtesy, and I respond in kind. For those who have eyes to see, the Psalms declare the voice of Jesus Christ in his incarnated being, fully announced. As to his divine nature, I will simply refer you to John 20:28, “Thomas answered him [Jesus], “My Lord and my God!” I say Amen to Thomas–Jesus is my Lord and my God. God the Father is my God and God the Holy Spirit is my God, who is the revelation of Christ in my heart. There is One God from all eternity, who from our viewing place as created beings, has three manifestations–God the Father, whom no one has ever seen, God the Son, whom hundreds of people saw after his resurrection from the dead, and God the Holy Spirit, sent by Father and Son to light up our hearts with the knowledge of Christ. Many blessings of peace and joy upon you in this New Year of 2020. Thanks again for taking the time and care to write.