Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD


Friday, December 01, 2017

HAVE YOU HEARD? By Juan Baixeras (Part 2)

(Part 1)


Q. Didn’t Jesus’ Spirit go to be with God when he died?

This question comes from an incorrect Hellenistic (Greek philosophy) interpretation of Luke 23:46:
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit, and when he had said this he breathed his last."

There are two ways to interpret this verse. The first is the way that most of us have been taught, which is the Hellenistic interpretation. The second is if we use the Jewish meaning of the word "spirit," this is the meaning that was intended by its Jewish author. Let's review what the word "spirit" means to both a Greek philosopher and to a Jew. First, the Greek philosophical definition. To a Greek philosopher, spirit and soul are interchangeable.

Platonism – Believed that we must be capable of existing apart from our bodies. The flesh is evil. The body is a prison. It is bad for the soul (i.e. spirit) to be in the body. Platonism suggests the immortality of the soul, and the soul then becoming incarnate.
This idea of souls separating from our bodies was unknown to the Hebrews.
The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible states:
"The ancient Hebrews knew nothing of the Greek concept of salvation by flight from the body and the world of which man is a part of."

This understanding of "spirit" will lead us to many false conclusions. It has problems right away with other passages in the Bible.

First, only God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
Second, I do not know of anyone that would dispute that judgement happens at the return of Christ. So how can your spirit or soul go to heaven or hell if it has not been judged? This should be a clue that something is wrong with this definition of "spirit."

Using this definition of "spirit" we arrive at the conclusion that when Jesus died, his spirit went to heaven to be with God. This has a few major problems. First, if Jesus went to be with the Father and then came back to appear before the Apostles, and then plans to return again on the day of judgement, then his return will be the third coming of Christ instead of the second. 1+1+1=3. But the biggest problem with this interpretation is that it forms a huge contradiction with John 20:27:
"Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father."

Jesus says this to Mary of Magdala after he has resurrected, three days after he commended his spirit to God. He is clearly stating that he has not been to the Father.
If he is has not been with the Father, where has he been? John 12:32 and Matthew 12:40 provide us with the answer:
"And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself."

"so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights."
Jesus has been in Sheol, a.k.a. the pit, the grave, the earth, for the last three days. Jesus himself tells us he has not been to heaven.

These are the sort of problems that arise when you use definitions that are different from the ones that the writers used.
Now lets see what "spirit" means to a Jew:

Spirit (ruah & pneuma) – Breath of life. The vital principle by which the body is animated.
In other words, it is the life force that God gives to people and animals, which animates their bodies, which gives them life. When He takes it away, they die.

  • "When you take away their breath (ruah), they perish and return to the dust from which they came. When you send forth your breath (ruah), they are created" (Psalm 104:29:30).
  • "When his spirit (ruah) departs he returns to his earth; on that day his plans perish"
    (Psalm 146:4).
  • "And when the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the life breath (ruah) returns to God who gave it(Ecclesiastes 12:7).

With the proper definition of "spirit" we can now interpret this verse correctly:
Jesus commends his spirit (breath of life) to God. God takes his breath of life and Jesus breathes his last (he died).
This is the intended Jewish meaning of this verse. This interpretation is in agreement with the Jewish definition of "spirit" and with the psalms that are quoted above. It also does not contradict John 20:17.

Q. What about the thief on the cross, wasn’t he with Jesus in paradise that same day?

This question arises from the verse in Luke 23:43: It states:
"Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me in your kingdom.’ He replied to him, ‘Amen, I say to you today you will be with me in paradise."

This verse will take two entirely different meanings depending on where you put the comma.
In Greek there are no commas, so when the Bible is translated into English the translator puts the comma where he thinks it should go. But if the translator believes in Greek type spirits that leave your body at death, he is going to put the comma after "you" before "today." The other place it can go, the correct place is after "today."

There are many examples of people saying "I tell you something today (right now)." It was a common way of speaking. Here are a few examples:

  • "Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today" (Deuteronomy 6:6).
  • "besides setting up on Mount Ebal these stones concerning which I commanded you today" (Deuteronomy 27:4).
  • "Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men" (Acts 20:26).

All these are excellent examples, but the best is Paul’s statement, "I declare to you today." It is identical to Jesus’ statement.
I say to you today = I declare to you today

Jesus and Paul are saying. "I am telling you this moment, right now."
Let’s see the consequences of both. If we use the first interpretation that the thief was in paradise with Jesus that day, then we run into the same problems that we had with the spirit of Jesus going to the Father. Jesus tells us three days after his burial that he has not yet been to the Father (John 20:17). He also tells us that he has been in the earth, not in paradise (John 12:32). If Jesus has not been to the Father, then how can we expect the thief to be in paradise with Jesus that very same day?

Notice also that the thief asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom.
The kingdom of God = Paradise

The kingdom of God has obviously not come yet. After Jesus resurrected, he appeared to the Apostles and instructed them on the kingdom of God for forty days (Acts 1:3). They then asked him:
"Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6).
Even after the resurrection, the kingdom of God had still not come. So how could the thief have been in the kingdom on that very same day?
If we use the other way of interpreting this verse, it means that the thief asked Jesus to remember him when his kingdom comes. Jesus replies to him at that moment, that on that day, you will be with.
[I declare to you today, you shall be with me in Paradise AKA The Kingdom of God]

With this interpretation there are no contradictions and we do not have to throw away 20 to 30 verses on death that will also contradict the previous interpretation.

  Q. What about these two verses?

2 Corinthians 5:8 - "absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord"
Philippians 1:23 - "I long to depart this life and be with Christ."
People have taken these two verses to mean that when you die you are automatically taken to heaven to be with Christ. The question that we must ask ourselves is, what does Paul mean when he says, "with Christ?" When does Paul expect to be with Christ? Is it immediately after death, or is it during the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of Christ?

This is an easy question to answer if you know where to look, but first let’s takes a look at what a few sources say about this verse. The New American Bible states the following on 2 Corinthians chapter 5:
"Unlike the Greeks (philosophers), who found dissolution of the body desirable (cf Socrates), Paul has a Jewish horror of it."

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible states the following on 2 Corinthians 5:8:

"Paul’s pithy statement, to be "absent from the body and to be present with the Lord," a statement pregnant with hope for all Christians, is understood to reflect an immediacy of sequence in the consciousness of the individual only. When a Christian closes his eyes in death, the next moment, as far as he is concerned, he will be with the Lord, though countless millennia may have intervened. Thus the basic structure of the New Testament, which is death followed by resurrection is preserved; at the same time the postponement of the resurrection until the parousia, is maintained."
In other words, there is no sensation of time when you are dead. When you die, the next thing that you will experience is being with the Lord Jesus Christ on the day of his return, even though thousands of years have passed by.

Let us now go back and answer the question that we asked before, "When does Paul expect to be with the Lord?" The answer is in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 where Paul is speaking of the Second Coming of Christ:
"And the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord."
This is when Paul expects to be with the Lord, at the resurrection of the dead at the return of Christ, not before then. Let us see another wonderful example of when Paul plans to be with Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 2:1 states:
"We ask you, brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembly with him."
Again, we can see that Paul expects the Thessalonians and himself to assemble with Christ AT HIS COMING."

When you read the Bible you must always keep in mind who the writer was writing to and why. Paul in this example was not writing with the idea that his letter would become part of the New Testament for all to read for generations to come. He was writing to the church at Corinth and at Philippi that he had personally established. The churches at Corinth and Philippi were already familiar with the teachings of Paul on the return of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. This is why he did not mention the time period between death and the return of Christ. In the Bible, and when speaking with other Christians, many times we read or say that Jesus died and three days later he resurrected. Other times we say that Jesus died and resurrected. We do not mention the three days in between his death and resurrection because we both know what we are talking about. This is all that happened in these verses. Paul was writing to his churches, people whom he instructed personally, not to people that were unfamiliar with Christianity. They knew exactly what he was talking about. Here are a few examples:
"It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who intercedes for us" (Romans 8:34).
The same author Paul does not mention the three days from Jesus’ death till his resurrection, but we all know that he is not implying that Jesus died and rose immediately. Paul is just omitting an obvious fact. 1 Peter 3:22 states:
"But an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God."
Peter does not mention the forty days in between the resurrection and his ascension that Jesus was with the Apostles before going to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. It is because the people that Peter was writing to were familiar with this fact already.

Q. What about Luke 16:19-31 - The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus?

A lot of people have used this parable as the sole basis for their doctrine on death. They will quote this one verse and completely ignore all the verses that have been covered in this paper. This is an irresponsible way of interpreting Scripture. You should never make a conclusion out of one verse, but instead compare all the related verses on that topic before making your conclusions. In this case, the situation is made worse by the fact that the verse that is used to create an entire doctrine of death happens to be a parable. All major Bible scholars consider this to be a parable. Let’s see what a parable is. According to the New American Bible under a section entitled Literary Genres or Forms, it states:

  • Parable – A short fictitious narrative from which a moral or spiritual truth is drawn. Keep in mind that the point of the parable (not the details) is God’s message to believers.

Parables are fictitious, they have never happened. They are meant to teach us a point. We cannot take this parable literally. If we do, it will contradict everything in the Bible that teaches us that you will receive your reward or punishment on judgment day and not before, and everything that we have covered on death. The biggest clue that this is not a literal passage is that the rich man is speaking from the netherworld. When I looked up Netherworld in the New American Bible Dictionary it said, "See Sheol."

  • Sheol – The ancient concept of the abode of the dead (the netherworld, in Hebrew, Sheol) supposed no activity or lofty emotion among the deceased, who were pictured as surrounded but the darkness of oblivion.

The rich man is speaking from the netherworld, he is displaying torment, and he is pleading with Abraham in order to help himself and save his brothers. These are impossibilities from the netherworld. In the netherworld there is no activity or emotion among the deceased, they are in oblivion. Yet the rich man displays both of them. If we do take it literally it will make no sense whatsoever. We will also have the poor man on Abraham’s chest, spirits that have actual eyes and tongues, plus the righteous and the wicked can see and speak to each other. This is bizarre!

This parable is not intended to teach us about death. Unfortunately many interpreters have made this parable the sole authority on death. The reason that they have misinterpreted this verse is that they bring with them a lot of baggage (preconceived ideas) which hide from them the true meaning of this verse and leads them to an incorrect conclusion. Please approach this parable with a mind set free from prior influences and the truth will be obvious. If you approach this with the mind set that this is about death, then that’s what you will find.

In order to understand a parable you must always be aware of the context of the verses before and after the parable. These usually provide you with clues to what the point of the parable is about. In this case only the preceding verses are helpful. This parable has two points, one primary and a secondary. So let’s see what this most controversial parable is about.

Jesus gives us this parable because of the conflict that he is having with the Pharisees over their love of money, their use of "dishonest wealth." This thought started in the Parable of the Dishonest Steward in Luke 16:1 and continued until Luke 16:15 which a few verses later led up to the Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus. In Luke 16:13-14 Jesus says:
"No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money). The Pharisees who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him."

All the Parables of the Bible states on this verse:
"These religious leaders who fared sumptuously, living in the love of money, and of the enjoyments which money purchased, only mocked at the counsel of using their wealth for the benefit of others in a way to earn them eternal rewards. Their money was theirs and they wanted no advice from Jesus as to its right use. Then came this parable."

The main point of this parable is to show the consequences of making money your god, putting it first in your life instead of putting the will of God first. The sin of the rich man was not that he was rich, but that he failed to realize that he was God’s trustee, with wealth and influence that could have been used for God’s glory, and for the spiritual and material benefit of his fellow-men. Lazarus was rewarded because in spite of his pitiful condition, he had served God, finding his constant help in Him.

In a similar twist, The Quest Study Bible states on this verse:
"His point was that, contrary to popular opinion, money is not evidence of favor with God, nor does poverty indicate God’s displeasure."
Its secondary point is to teach us that even after Jesus’ resurrection, men will still refuse to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 31 says:
"Then Abraham said, if they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they repent if someone should rise from the dead."

Let’s take a look at what The New American Bible states on this verse:
"A foreshadowing in Luke’s gospel of the rejection of the call to repentance even after Jesus’ resurrection."
Now that we understand the reason and the point of the parable, let us examine the details of this parable that have been disastrously misinterpreted. We will start with verse 22:

  • "When the poor man died he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham."

What does the "bosom of Abraham mean?" According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon bosom as it is used in this verse means: To be a partaker of the same blessedness as Abraham in paradise.
So Lazarus will share the same reward with Abraham in paradise. God blessed Abraham by promising him that he would inherit the world (the kingdom of God). Romans 4:13 states:
"It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes through faith."
Abraham has not inherited the world yet, he will first have to be resurrected. When will the resurrection occur? At the coming of the new age, the Second Coming of Christ. Luke 20:35 states:
"But those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead."
Lazarus was carried away by angels to be with Abraham. When are the angel supposed to collect the elect? At the coming of Christ at the end of the age in order to enter the kingdom of God. Matthew13:39-42 states it clearly:
"The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up (destroyed) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age." The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace (to be destroyed as the weeds were destroyed).
Matthew 13:49 follows six parables on the kingdom of God, the Parable of the Sower, the Weeds, the Mustard Seed, the Treasure, the Pearl, and the Net Thrown into the Sea. It is still dealing with the same topic, the kingdom of God. It states:
"Thus it will be at the end of the ageThe angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
Both of these events, Abraham’s blessing and the collection of the righteous by the angels are events that will happen in the future, at the return of Christ. Let’s continue and then we will put it all together. Verse 22-23 states:

  • "The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side."

The rich man and Lazarus are not in the same place, one is in the kingdom of God and the other is in the netherworld. When the rich man sees Abraham "far off" it means that he sees him far off in time not in distance. This parable is pretending that the rich man from his grave in the present time is having a vision of Abraham (in the kingdom of God) in the future after the angels have collected the elect and the dead have been resurrected, and realizes that he is still in the grave and has missed out on the blessings of Abraham.
He is in torment because he realizes that he will not have life in the age to come because he has been thrown into the fiery flames (destroyed).
The rich man then asks Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers in the present time to warn them so that they will not suffer the same fate as him in the future. Verse 27 states:

  • "Then I beg you, father, send him (Lazarus) to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. So that he may warn them."

But Lazarus in the present time is also dead. When Abraham says in verse 29, " They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them." The rich man replies in verse 30:
"He said, Oh no father Abraham, but if someone (Lazarus from verse 27) from the dead goes to them they will repent."

Where is Lazarus? He is dead in Sheol. This is why the rich man says that, "If someone from the dead comes they will repent." He will be in the kingdom next to Abraham after the resurrection when the Son of Man comes and sends his angels to collect the dead in Christ.
Of course this verse foreshadows Jesus’ resurrection, but it is here speaking specifically about Lazarus.

Summary – You cannot serve two masters at once. If you choose the things of this world (i.e. money) over God, when Christ returns and inaugurates the kingdom of God you will be counted with the wicked and will not share in the inheritance (bosom) of Abraham. You will instead be thrown into the fiery flames and destroyed.
Remember that this is a parable, and a parable is a fictitious short story with a point. The details are not important, only the point. This parable was not meant to be the sole authority on death. It does however detail the end results correctly.
Either we enter the kingdom of God or we are destroyed forever.

Q. What about 2 Kings 2:11: "And Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind."

This verse has of course been taken to mean that Elijah went to heaven and then so will we when we die. The Jewish word that is translated as heaven literally means, "sky." I will explain this verse by saying that what happened to Elijah was not that he was taken up to heaven where God dwells, but that he was translated to another location on earth. This explanation is very easy to prove.
Read 1 Kings 18:7-16 where Elijah is speaking to Obadiah, King Ahab’s vizier. We see in verse 8 that Elijah asks Obadiah to go and tell Ahab that Elijah is here. Obadiah replies that there is no nation or kingdom that Ahab has not searched for Elijah in, and that they could not find him.
In verse 12 Obadiah says to Elijah that he is afraid to go and tell Ahab that Elijah is here because when he leaves, the Spirit of the LORD will carry him off somewhere that he does not know, and Ahab will have him killed.
"After I leave you, the Spirit of the LORD will carry you to some place I do not know, and when I go to inform Ahab and he does not find you, he will have me killed."

Being translated is not too common in the Bible but it does happen. Philip was translated in Acts 8:39:
"When they came out of the water, The Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away and the eunuch saw him no more."

Another excellent verse to show that Elijah is still on earth after the event on the chariot of fire is that he writes a letter to King Jehoram in 2 Chronicles 21:10-13 telling him that the LORD will strike his people with a great plague. Verse 12 is worth quoting:
"He (Jehoram) received a letter from the prophet Elijah with this message."

The crucial point in these verses is that Elijah wrote a letter to King Jehoram who was the son of King Jehoshaphat. Elijah was transported during the reign of King Jehoshaphat. Jehoram came after Jehoshaphat, and it was Jehoram that received a letter from Elijah. The obvious conclusion is that Elijah is still alive here on earth.

If Elijah did go to heaven, then how could we explain Jesus’ statement in John 3:13:
"No one has gone up to heaven."
Is Jesus wrong? Or is it that man’s interpretation of this verse is wrong?

Q. What about Enoch?

The problem with Enoch is two-fold. The first is in Genesis 5:24, it states:
"Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him."
In order to understand this verse you will have to read all of chapter five. People claim that since of everyone else it is said, "then he died" and of Enoch it is not, but instead it says that he "walked with God, for God took him," then that means that Enoch went to heaven with God. If you read the paragraph that talks about Enoch without this preconceived idea, you will come to the conclusion that Enoch died.

It says in verse 23:
"That the whole lifetime of Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years."
To me that implies that Enoch’s whole lifetime was three hundred and sixty-five years and then he died. I do not see any hint that Enoch did not die. It says that "Enoch walked with God," but so did Noah in Genesis 6:10:
"Noah, a good man and blameless in that age, for he walked with God."
"Walked with God," means that the person follows God’s will. "God took him," means that God took his breath of life and that person died. We still use this saying today, we commonly say that God took a family member or a friend when we mean that someone died. The word translated as "took" is the Hebrew word laqah. It means: laqah – of removal by death.

An excellent example of the usage of this word is in Ezekiel 33:6:
"But if the watchman sees the sword coming and fails to blow the warning trumpet, so that the sword comes and takes (laqah) anyone, I will hold the watchman responsible for that person’s death, even though that person is taken (laqah) because of their own sin."
Notice how it is used, the sword comes and takes someone, in other words, kills someone. This is why the watchman will be held responsible for that person’s death.

So why is there a difference between the phrases of all the other people mentioned and Enoch? There is no clear-cut answer, but my opinion is that something happened to Enoch that cut his life short. Either an accident or illness, but something that prevented him from dying of old age like the others. Everyone mentioned lived to over nine hundred years old, except Lamech who lived to almost eight hundred years old. However, Enoch only lived to be three hundred and sixty-five years old. Something happened to Enoch that cut his life short; this is why it is said, "God took him."

The second verse is in Hebrews 11:5 where Paul is speaking about the faith of the ancients. It says:
"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was found no more because God had taken him."
The problem that we arrive at if we say that because of this verse Enoch did not die, is that the same author in the same chapter in verse 13 says that all the ancients that he was talking about (which Enoch was one of) have died:
"All these died in faith."

So Abraham and Noah and Enoch and all the others mentioned died. So how do we explain verse 5? The clue is in knowing what the author meant when he said "That he should not see death." I have not found the answer to that question. Obviously he does not mean that he did not die because he writes a few verses later that he did die. 
In John 8:51 Jesus says:
"I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death."
This is identical to Hebrews 11:5. I do not think that Jesus meant that whoever keeps his word will be taken to heaven without ever experiencing death. It is more likely that Jesus means that whoever keeps his word will not experience eternal death. That they will be resurrected on the last day. Hebrews 11:5 meaning is probably along these lines.

For me, I am convinced that Enoch did die. I cannot let one verse that I cannot explain fully counter all the evidence in the massive amount of verses that are very specific on death.
Paul who wrote Hebrews says in Romans 5:12:
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned"
Death came to all men, that includes Enoch. This statement of Paul also strengthens the position of Hebrews 11:13 "They all died in faith."

If we isolate Enoch from all the evidence on death, the preponderance of the evidence is about 75% in favor that Enoch died, and 25% that he did not see death. If we do not isolate Enoch from all the other Scriptures on death Enoch is really not a factor.
If Enoch went to heaven, then again, we have to assume that Jesus was wrong in John 3:13:
"No one has gone up to heaven."

Q. What about the transfiguration of Jesus?

The transfiguration of Jesus is a vision, it is a way in which God reveals a message to usJesus in speaking about the transfiguration says in Matthew 17:9:
"As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, ‘Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

A vision is not reality, it is a way in which God communicates or instructs us. In the transfiguration, the message was intended for Peter, James, and John.

Let’s take a look at some other visions. Genesis 15:1 says:
"After these things the word of the LORD came to Abraham in a vision."
"Daniel had a dream as he lay in bed, and was terrified by the visions of his mind" (Daniel 7:1).
Daniel then goes on to describe his vision which includes four beasts, one that looks like a lion with eagle wings etc. This is an excellent example of a vision. God is revealing a message to Daniel, the details are not necessarily reality, it is the message that is important. The message in this case is about the end times. God many times uses symbols to get his point across. But there are not going to be four actual beasts that look like a lion with eagle wings etc.

The purpose of the vision of the transfiguration was to confirm to Peter, James, and John that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. The New American Bible states on this verse:
"Moses and Elijah represent respectively law and prophecy in the Old Testament and are linked to Mount Sinai. They now appear with Jesus as witnesses to the fulfillment of the law and prophets taking place in the person of Jesus as he appears in glory."
It was a vision. It would be irresponsible to use this episode for any other purpose than what it was intended for.
There are a few more verses that might cause a little confusion, but they are easily explained.
The Bible is very clear on the subjects we have covered in this brief paper. Man made traditions have done everything possible to confuse God’s word, but it is very easy to see past the lies if one just takes the time to look. Once you understand these important points, a lot of the Bible starts to make sense, because it stops contradicting itself. You are no longer trying to force Greek thought into Hebrew writings. Think about it, if you believe that you go to heaven after you die, how would you explain all the verses in this paper without making a shamble out of the Bible?

God bless you and see you at the resurrection!


By Juan Baixeras

The purpose of this study is to clarify what the kingdom of God is based on. People have claimed that the kingdom of God is the church (which one?), or that the kingdom of God is in your heart. These ideas will seem absurd when one understands what the concept of the kingdom of God is actually based on. Pay special attention to keywords such as "promise" and "inheritance." The concept starts with the promises that God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, Genesis 13:14-15 & Genesis 17:7-8. These promises are also made to Isaac (Genesis 26:4) and Jacob (Genesis 28:14) who are Abraham’s son and grandson. The three are also referred to as the patriarchs.
 Genesis 12:3: "All the communities of the earth will find blessing in you."
This is a reference to the Messiah (Jesus). God promised Abraham that through his descendants would come someone through whom the world would be blessed (saved). Paul confirms this in Acts 3:25-26:
"You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors when He said to Abraham, ‘In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ For you first, God raised up His servant and sent him to bless you." 
The second promise deals with the earth. The families that will be blessed are the families of the earth. And it is on this earth that the families will be blessed. God specifically promises Abraham the earth (or the land as it is sometimes referred to) as his inheritance.

Genesis 13:14-15: "The LORD said to Abraham: Look about you, and from where you are, gaze to the north and south, east and west; all the land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever."
Genesis 17:7-8: "I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession." 
The Messiah came to confirm and proclaim the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the reason why Jesus came. Through his death our sins are forgiven (we are blessed), and through his reign as our king on earth (Jesus’ Second Coming), Abraham and his descendants (the resurrected in Christ) will inherit the earth as their permanent possession. 
Romans 15:8: "For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, to CONFIRM the promises to the patriarchs."
What promise? That Abraham and his descendants would inherit the world.
Romans 4:13: "It was not through the law that the PROMISE was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would INHERIT THE WORLD, but through the righteousness that comes through faith."
What did Jesus come to proclaim? The kingdom of God.

Luke 4:43: "To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent."

As you can see, Jesus came to confirm the promises that God made to Abraham and to proclaim the kingdom of God. Jesus is proclaiming what he came to confirm.
1 Corinthians 6:9: "Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Abraham was promised that he would inherit the world. In the verse above it says that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God. The keyword is "inherit." To inherit the kingdom of God is to inherit the world. The kingdom of God is the world under the rule of God through His Messiah.

The kingdom of God = The promises that God made to the patriarchs.

Entrance into the kingdom of God is the Christian goal. This is the reward that God has promised the followers of Christ. Galatians 3:29:

"And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendantheirs according to the promise."

What promise? That he would inherit the world.
Romans 4:13: "It was not through the law that the PROMISE was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would INHERIT THE WORLD, but through the righteousness that comes."

We are supposed to inherit the world along with Abraham. Because of our faith in Christ we are considered descendants of Abraham and heirs to the same promise. With Christ as our king we will reign on earth. Revelation 20:4:

"They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

Where will we reign with Christ? Revelation 5:10:

"You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will REIGN on EARTH.

The kingdom of God is the theme of the entire Bible. It started with the promises that God made to Abraham. Every prophet has had something to say on this topic. God through the prophets added more details until Jesus arrived to confirm and proclaim the kingdom of God, not only to the Jews, but also to the world (blessing, Genesis 12:3). Abraham and his descendants have never possessed the world. They all died in faith (Hebrews 11:13), this is why there will be a resurrection, so that God’s promises will be fulfilled. When will the resurrection happen? In the last day of this age, in the coming of the new age (inaugurated by Jesus’ return). This is when Abraham and his descendants will inherit the world.

Luke 20:35:"But those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead."

John 11:23-24: "Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise.’ Martha said to him, I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day."

Summary - The story of man started on the earth with Adam and Eve. They corrupted it by their disobedience to God. The message of the kingdom of God starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation. It is God’s plan of salvation for the human race by returning man and the earth to its original condition. It is best summarized by the New American Bible pg. 15 & 24:

"The plan of salvation foretold by the sacred authors, recounted and explained by them, is found as the true word of God in the books of the Old Testament. The principle purpose to which the plan of the old covenant was directed was to prepare for the coming of Christ, the redeemer of all and of the messianic kingdom, to announce this coming by prophecy.
Another important topic in prophetic preaching is messianism. God punishes infidelity to His covenant (partnership). Israel is humiliated for its sins. But at some future date God’s kingdom on earth will be restored. God’s vicegerent, His Messiah, anointed to royal dignity, will reign in that kingdom. You should pay attention to this messianic expectation in Hebrew literature. This is necessary to understand the literature of the New Testament, which sees the fulfillment of this messianic expectation in Jesus of Nazareth. In other words, the New Testament movement is the fulfillment of the Hebrew Bible. Jesus of Nazareth proclaims that he is the promised Messiah (anointed) king to come, to establish the kingdom (reign) of God, for which the Old Testament was yearning."

So why do people think that our reward is heaven? This idea came about through the influence of Greek philosophy upon the early church of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries. There is a paper listed at the end that deals specifically with death. 
Once you understand what the kingdom of God is based on (the promises made to the patriarchs), then you will easily see the error in believing that the kingdom of God is the church, or that it is in your heart. This paper is just a springboard. There are many more verses to study and much more to learn about Jesus’ most important teaching.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The Crunch Point: How Many Yahwehs are There?? by Anthony Buzzard

At one of Ken Westby’s “One God” conferences, several days of discussion ended with an exchange between a member of the audience who believed God to be the Father only, and a guest speaker who had been invited to defend his view that God and Jesus are both eternally God.
The questioner, Mr. F, began:
  • Mr. F: “I listened to your entire tape series on the Deity of Jesus and I still don't know the answer to two basic questions," Was Jesus the incarnation of Yahweh, and how many God beings are there?”
  • Dr. A: “I do not know whether Jesus was the incarnation of Yahweh. Because I don't think the New Testament says that. However, there are many, many, many New Testament passages that transfer statements about Yahweh to Jesus.”
  • Mr. F: “So what do you conclude?”
  • Dr. A: “I conclude this, that the New Testament writers must have thought that statements about Yahweh were good enough to transfer to the risen Christ.”
  • Dr. A: “The risen Christ, said is ‘different’ from the human Jesus. He is the glorified Christ, the one that appears in the book of Revelation, whose hair is white as snow and [who emits] flames of fire. I don't know all the mysteries, no.”
  • Mr. F: “How many God beings are there?”
  • Dr. A: “Well, I don't know. If you say God is the Father's first name, then there's only one God being. If you say God is the last name, I don't know. I think Jesus is deity. I think Jesus is equal with God.
  • Mr. F: “Was Jesus eternally uncreated?"
  • Dr. A: “Yeah, I believe that, because it says 'in the beginning.'”
  • Mr. F: “So there are two eternal God beings, then?”
  • Dr. A: “I don't know.”

[Editors comment: The conversation began to disintegrate at this point. Compare this imaginary exchange:
“This is a chair; that is also a chair”   “You just said that there are two chairs.”  “No, I did not say that.”]

  • Dr. A: That's your conclusion. I did not say that. You're asking the questions that I think get people off [or should it be On! ed.] track. When John wrote that, he didn't say two God beings. He said in the beginning the logos was God and the logos was not God.
  • "I don't propose to make statements like that, because they are mysteries to me . . .
    I believe in one God, the Father, and the Lord."
  • “If a Bible reader determines to ‘get real strict’ with the word one and therefore cannot call Jesus God, then you can't call the Father Lord. You can't be strict on one thing, then loose on the other.”

[Editor: Unless of course there are two lords! -- Luke 2:11 (lord Messiah), 2:26, (LORD’s Messiah) and as exactly explained by Ps. 110:1, “the LORD said to my lord”
-- the most popular OT verse in the New.
Two lords, but only one of them is God. The other is the man Messiah]

We invite some prolonged reflection on this interchange. It reveals the inherent non-logical contradiction involved in the proposition “Jesus is God/Yahweh.”
Once that is declared, one is committed automatically, since the Father is obviously God, to two who are God, and thus to two Gods! This puts one in direct collision with Jesus who stated that “the Lord our God is ONE Lord” (Mark 12:29, “the one and only Lord,” NLT). One may try to cover up what sounds so strange — that two are God — by quickly trying to change the meaning of God to one Triune Essence (one “What”). But the singular masculine pronouns for God, countless times and constantly in the whole Bible, ought to signal the fact that one’s argument has gone badly wrong. One may assemble texts, mostly from John and a few from Paul, but none from the beginning of Matt and Luke. But having put together various verses, a Trinitarian believer arrives at a conclusion which forces him to say:

“the Father is God (Yahweh). The Son is God (Yahweh), but there is only one Yahweh.”

At this point one has not made any sense, according to the rules of simple language we all agree on and use without difficulty in any other setting (but theology!). The proposition “Jesus is God and the Father is God, but that is not two Gods” sounds exactly like the Athanasian Creed ... It involves a blatant contradiction and one ends up making a non-intelligible statement about God. If your friends invite you to discuss the Trinity, by all means ask them politely to state how many YAHWEHs they are proposing. If they hesitate or run away from the question, ask “Do you believe Jesus is Yahweh?” The answer will typically be “Yes.”  “Do you believe the Father is Yahweh?”  The answer will be “Yes.”

Your conversation partner has just revealed to him/herself and you that he/she believes in TWO Yahwehs.  This violates the first commandment and Jesus’ assertion of the greatest of all truths that “the Lord our God is One Yahweh” (Mark 12:29).
It is fascinating how enthusiastically supportive of Jesus’ monotheism the Jewish scribe was. Jesus began by reciting the Jewish creed (therefore also Christian creed because Jesus affirmed it). The Jewish scribe reacts to Jesus by saying: “Bravo, Master, He is One and there is no other besides Him.” Notice now the impressive accumulation of singular grammatical forms, describing of course a single Person. “He (=singular personal pronoun) is (=singular verb) one (=the numeral one, meaning one and not more than one) and there is (=singular verb) no one (=singular person) other (=singular adjective) than HE (=singular personal pronoun meaning one single Person.).

Is anyone still convinced that Jesus or the scribe believed that God was THREE persons? If so, then pronouns have ceased to carry meaning for you. Yet in ordinary conversation you have not the slightest doubt about them!
Think about this. The Trinity is a sort of moving target It often does not let you know what it proposes. Various explanations of the Trinity are offered. Some say God is “one WHAT.” Others claim He is “one Person, in three modes.” But once someone identifies Jesus, the Son of God, as Yahweh, he is committed to two Yahwehs.. That cannot be right, because it interferes with the first commandment of all that the Lord God is a single Person, and we are to imagine no other Gods but HE

When Christianity, soon after Bible times began to cut ties with its parent faith, the ancient faith of Judaism and the Jew Jesus, it rebelled against its mother. The results of a rebellion against parents are always disastrous. The church needs to reconnect with Jesus the Jew and his very Jewish and unitarian belief that God is a single Divine Father. After all, in the Bible Jesus is never once called “the Lord God,” and never once called “the Almighty” (pantokrator). The Father is jealous of His own unique position as the ultimate and only One God.

The above was taken from:
 Focus on the Kingdom Volume 13 No. 1, October, 2010

Monday, October 16, 2017



Most of us have a favourite Bible verse, or maybe a few verses that are special to us. Perhaps it is a verse that first brought us to faith in Christ, or it may be a verse that brought us guidance at a crisis point in our lives, or even a verse whose promise has encouraged us throughout our walk with God.

Jesus himself had a favourite Bible verse. It was not only on his lips more often than any other Old Testament verse, but it was later also quoted more often by the apostles of Jesus than any other OT verse. It is quoted either in full or in part or alluded to at least 27 times (possibly as many as 33 times) in our New Testament, so it must be an important verse!

Remember that Jesus had no other Bible than what we call the Old Testament. He referred to it as “the Law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms (writings)” (Luke 24:44). He believed that what was written “proceeded from the mouth of God” and that not a single word of it would fail. Everything the prophets had written was historically accurate, theologically dependable, and prophetically sure. But there was one verse that was particularly poignant for Jesus. It summarised his Father’s assurances to him concerning his calling and ultimate destiny. Through thick and thin this verse inspired Jesus.

By now you may be asking yourself which verse we are referring to. Please don’t feel embarrassed if you don’t know it, because I confess that after decades of seriously reading the Bible and even after my 4 years of theological seminary training, I did not know it either… until … One defining night after attending a home Bible study group the guest speaker by the name of Anthony Buzzard asked me a question that completely torpedoed what I imagined was an unsinkable theology of Titanic impregnability!

He asked, “So Greg, do you know which O.T. verse is the most often quoted in the New Testament?” “No, I can’t say I do.” “It’s the verse Jesus quoted the most, and it’s the verse that his apostles also most quoted. You know it don’t you?” “No.” (I am feeling a little uncomfortable.) Anthony continued, “Well, it’s Psalm 110:1. Now you know what that verse says don’t you?” “Nope, not off the top of my head.” (By now I am feeling a little more than slightly embarrassed. Indeed, I am decidedly uneasy. I had graduated from 4 years of Bible Seminary. I had been a pastor for many years. I had preached in many evangelistic meetings and churches and conventions all over the country. How could I not have known such basic Bible truth so loved by Jesus and so central to the New Testament’s confession about him?)

Anthony tenderly helped me out and quoted the verse: “The LORD said to my lord, ‘Sit at My feet until I make your enemies your footstool.’” (Ps.110:1). Gently but firmly Anthony then asked, “So you see, there are two Lords in the Hebrew Bible, aren’t there?” “Uh huh.” (I am by now sitting there like I had just been hit over the head with a lump of wood.)

Anthony went on, “The first ‘Lord’ is the Hebrew word ... Yahweh, the Lord God.
(In our English Bibles it is written with a capital ‘L’, and most translations such as the NASB, NIV, RSV, KJV etc., 4 write it all in capitals, ‘LORD’, to indicate to the reader that God Himself is in mind.) “The second Lord is a different Hebrew word, Adoni”, Anthony continued. “It’s pronounced Adonee and in all its 195 occurrences in the Hebrew Bible it always refers to a human superior, such as a lord, a master, a husband, a judge or a king, and on a few rare occasions can also refer to an angelic superior. It never ever refers to the LORD God, but only to non-Deity, someone who is not God.

[There is also the title word used for Yahweh, the Lord God, that is: the Hebrew word Adonai, and in the 450 times it occurs, it only and always refers to the One Supreme God of Israel.
Adonai is Yahweh, the Lord God.”

The significance of this distinction immediately hit me like a ton of bricks. If there are two Lords in the Hebrew Bible --- and especially in Jesus’ favourite verse Psalm 110:1 --- when we come to the N.T., which ‘Lord’ is Jesus? Is he the LORD God or is he David’s lord, that is, David’s human superior and master? Hmm.

However, before examining Jesus’ favourite Bible verse further, let’s see how the OT differentiates for us the two Lords. This is OT theology 101.

Take Your Highlighter! 

In Appendix 1 of the Second Edition of my book, They Never Told Me This in Church! I suggested that those who are interested to further explore the two Lords distinction should take their highlighter to their Bibles and wherever “the LORD” (YAHWEH) occurs, and whenever the word “my lord” (Adoni) occurs, that it would be helpful to highlight the distinction. Silly me. Although this works in many passages such as the example I gave from 1 Samuel 25: 23-31, I forgot to mention that other passages do not translate Adoni as ‘lord’. So, for easy reference, let me supply another passage where Adoni is translated not as ‘my lord’ (which is still correct) but as ‘my master’. The salient parts of Genesis 24:1f read:
Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the LORD (YAHWEH) had blessed Abraham in every way. And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, ‘Please place your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites … Beware lest you take my son back there! The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house …He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there. 
So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master (Adoni) and swore to him concerning this matter. Then the servant took ten camels from the camels of his master, and set out with a variety of good things of his master’s in his hand; and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia … 
And he said, ‘O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham … and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master … Behold, Rebekah …came out with her jar on her shoulder … and she said … ‘Drink, my lord’ … 
Meanwhile, the man was gazing at her in silence, to know whether the LORD had made his journey successful or not …Then the man bowed low and worshipped the LORD. And he said, ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master; as for me, the LORD has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers’… 
And Laban ran outside to meet the man and he said, ‘Come in, blessed of the LORD! … So he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the LORD has greatly blessed my master … now Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master in her old age … and my master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites” … And I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman does not follow me.’ And he said to me, ‘The LORD before whom I have walked will send His angel with you … So I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O LORD, the God of my master Abraham …let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son… And I bowed low and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham … “ etc. etc.

Carefully observe the two Lords in the Hebrew Bible, [YAHWEH who is also referred to by the Hebrew word] Adonai (always referring to the LORD God [YAHWEH God], the God of Heaven and the God of Abraham, and never a non-Deity) and Adoni (always referring to a human superior, a human lord or master, and never to the One God)! This distinction is ubiquitous.

Also observe carefully that Abraham’s servant calls his master, “my lord Abraham”. Combine this fact with other OT references to Adoni such as where David is repeatedly called “David our lord”, or “my lord, O king” and where God is always called “the LORD, the God of my lord and king, David” (I Kings 1:11, 13,31,36, etc. etc.) and the picture of two distinct Lords in the Hebrew Bible is blindingly obvious. As Anthony Buzzard factually says, “You can inspect 450 samples of Adonai (the LORD God) and 195 samples of adoni (my lord) to see that consistent difference at work.” [1]

Let’s then burn this Biblical truth into our minds: The difference between Adonai and Adoni is the difference between Almighty God and man, the difference between God and not-God! As Anthony further states, “You can inspect 645 (450 plus 195) samples to see the difference … You have 178 samples of my lord in the OT before you come to Psalm 110:1.” [2].

Yet, the staggering and curious thing is, that when you come to Psalm 110:1, our translations introduce unwarranted confusion and misleading information. The favourite verse of Jesus and the NT writers is carelessly handled. Most --- but thankfully not all such as the RSV and NRSV --- put an unprecedented capital ‘L’ in front of the second lord which gives the impression that David’s messianic lord is also God Almighty. But God is not here speaking to another second person who is also God! If that were the case it would read, “Adonai said to Adonai.” But it doesn’t, for God is not speaking to Himself or to a second member in a ‘plural’ Godhead.

William Barclay understands that Psalm 110 was universally accepted as Messianic and that,
‘the first Lord is God, for God is the Speaker; the second Lord is the Messiah, the conquering liberator and triumphant champion who is to come.” [3]

Precisely! The coming Messiah is to sit as God’s right-hand man exercising all of Heaven’s delegated executive power under the LORD God.

My Own Experience. 

After working on the manuscript for They Never Told Me This in Church! I decided that before sending it off to my editor and publisher I had better be doubly sure of my facts. Once in print there is no going back. So I decided to get an independent check from the principal of a theological seminary whom I knew could read Hebrew and Greek. Knowing that Psalm 110:1 was critical to the book’s thesis I especially asked for confirmation of the two Lords in that verse.

This professor wrote back, “Greg, you are wrong!” Huh? What? Oh no, don’t tell me I have spent all this time building my thesis on error! I had a sick feeling in my gut. So, I wrote back and this time I supplied a list of leading Hebrew lexicons all verifying my facts. (Unlike a concordance, such as Strong’s which fails us at this point, the lexicons are the gold standard authority.) I wrote, “You say I am wrong about the two Lords, but these leading Hebrew lexicons disagree with you, so who do you suggest I believe?” He wrote back that he had to reluctantly agree that these esteemed Hebrew authorities verified my facts were correct, and that he could not dispute such reliable sources. 
However, he warned me that if I pursued this line it would cause me trouble. I decided there and then that I would present the facts and leave the consequences in the hands of the LORD. After all, I did not feel like tampering with Jesus’ favourite verse! The same decision faces us all.

Anthony Buzzard informs us of a similar experience he had with a Paula Frederiksen, Professor of Religious Studies at Boston University. The professor had mistakenly and inadvertently reported the second lord of Psalm 110:1 as Adonai, and he suggested that the mistake be changed. She graciously wrote, ‘Thanks so much for pointing out the error in my reference to Adonai in Psalm 110:1. I grabbed my Tanach [OT] and you are right --- the word is adoni, not adonai. We all need each other!” [4] Not every academic authority is so willing to correct obvious error so graciously, unfortunately.


Take a look at the little caption that appears at the heading of Psalm 110 in your Bible. My NASB says, ‘A Psalm of David’. Most translations say that. Some read, ‘A Psalm by David’. This gives a false impression. The Hebrew letter lamed which is the preposition translated as “by” or “of” David in our English Bibles:
“Always, without exception, in Biblical Hebrew, and in modern Hebrew, indicates “TO,” “FOR,” “TOWARDS” … it never, ever translates to the preposition “OF” or “BY.” The significance of this is that the only possible translation then, is “A Psalm FOR David,” or “TO” David; a Psalm. Why is this important? It is exceptionally important, particularly if we want to establish who is speaking. If the Mizmor (Psalm) is OF David, then David is speaking. But if the Mizmor is TO or FOR David, then David is NOT the speaker. He is listening.” [5]

The significance then of Psalm 110:1 is that God reveals to king David the astonishing fact that one of his sons is to be exalted to the right hand of Yahweh the LORD God as His right-hand man, which is to say, he will be David’s lord. God the LORD is not speaking to another person who is also God. God is addressing David’s superior as his (i.e. as David’s) human master or lord. He is revealing His plan to promote to the second highest position in the created universe – His right hand --- one of David’s sons.

In Psalm 110:1 the LORD God is speaking personally and in prophetic directness to that man outlining his career as the lord Messiah. David’s lord will be God’s executive director, His agent, administering God’s government over all enemies opposed to God’s Sovereignty. That lord is not addressed as Adonai, but rather as Adoni. The bottom line is that no messiah in any Biblical text is referred to as Adonai. Nor is Adoni ever used in the Hebrew Bible as a reference to Yahweh God. It is always used when referring to human judges, human lords, human masters amongst men. Always! 

Jesus’ favourite text does not say that David’s son is the LORD God, but is rather the lord Messiah. Jesus’ favourite Bible verse proposes that Yahweh God and Jesus are not Lord in the same sense. There are two Lords in the Hebrew Bible!

The LORD’S Messiah. 

Let’s turn briefly to the intriguing story of how David spares king Saul’s life in I Samuel 26. The fugitive David calls king Saul, “the LORD’S anointed”. In fact, at least 4 times in that chapter does David call Saul, “the LORD’S anointed”. In the Hebrew Bible that word “anointed” is the word “messiah”. (Yes, there are in fact many messiahs or anointed ones in the Hebrew Bible! The Greek Septuagint for “anointed” reads, “christ”, so if you like, the Old Testament speaks of many “christs”!) So David calls king Saul, “the LORD’S messiah” or, “the LORD’S christ”
[YAHWEH's messiah]
To be blunt, Jesus is not God’s first or only Christ, though of course, he is the final and supreme Christ!

LORD God and Lord Christ in the New Testament. 

With this Hebrew background let’s move into the New Testament. It should be no surprise to find that Jesus is called “the LORD’S Christ” or, “the LORD’S Messiah” [YAHWEH's messiah].

For example, get your highlighter out again (does it still have any ink left after the big work-out in the OT?) and see if you can spot the two Lords in Luke’s nativity account. Start in chapter 1 and highlight the word “God” and its equivalent “the LORD” (note now that our translators do not give capital letters to “the LORD” when it clearly refers to the God of Israel or ‘the LORD God’ (e.g. Luke 1: 32) where it is “the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David” or, Luke 1: 68 where Zacharias thanks God for His faithfulness by saying, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel… “). I feel like pleading with our translators, “Ladies & Gentlemen can we please have some consistency? Doesn’t the NT build on the OT revelation?”

Still in Luke chapter 1, note Elizabeth’s glad response to the news of Mary’s pregnancy:
“And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (v. 43). 
Our translators might be confused and put a capital ‘L’ for Mary’s baby, but Elizabeth is a good Jewess steeped in the prophetic Scriptures. Elizabeth knows her Hebrew Bible has two Lords. And she knows the oracle addressed to David in Psalm 110:1. She calls Mary “the mother of my lord” knowing full well that Mary will bear the promised messianic lord … you know … the second lord promised to David in Psalm 110:1 (Luke 1:43)! She is not confused as to the identity of Mary’s baby, even if believers in Jesus are today!

As you continue into Luke chapter 2 take your highlighter and mark verse 11:
“Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” 
No doubt, out of respect for our Lord Jesus, the translators put a capital ‘L’ here, but which Lord is the angel referring to? Who is going to be born? Is Mary carrying Adonai, the LORD God or adoni, David’s human lord? The answer is obvious. Verse 9 explains, “the angel of the LORD” stands before the shepherds “, and the glory of the LORD shone around them.” Jesus is already in the manger, so it’s not his glory shining on the hills of Judea that night! The angel announces this is David’s physical descendant and human superior, the second ‘lord’ of Psalm 110:1. (Note also how the heavenly host praise “God in the Highest” and acknowledge the miracle which has happened is from “the Lord”, i.e. the LORD God (v. 13-14). 

In verse 26 old Simeon takes the baby Jesus in his arms and calls him the Lord’s Christ which is to say, “the LORD’S Messiah” or, “the LORD’S anointed [one].” [YAHWEH's messiah]  Once again we know that when Simeon “blessed God (v. 28) that he was addressing Adonai, “the LORD …” (v. 29). The picture is consistent and in tune with your OT facts. In good Hebrew parlance, just as king Saul was called “the LORD’S messiah (anointed), so baby Jesus is called “the LORD’S Christ” (anointed; messiah). [YAHWEH's messiah] There are two Lords in your New Testament too!

Jesus Disputes With the Pharisees. 

Fast forward. Towards the end of his ministry Jesus’ popularity with the people was growing. The Pharisees needed a strategy to publicly discredit him as the lord Messiah. They appointed a lawyer to try to expose Jesus as a fake king messiah. This expert lawyer asked Jesus about the greatest commandment in the Law of Moses. Jesus endorsed the first commandment as the greatest, namely that we are to love the LORD our God with all our hearts for He is One LORD (Matthew 22:34f; Mark 12:28f).

At this point Jesus turns the tables and tests them on their understanding of who their Messiah would be and how he would arrive. Jesus launches the awkward question …
‘The Messiah is going to be the son of David, right? In what way does the Psalm composed for David by inspiration call him ‘lord’ saying, ‘The LORD said to my master, ‘Sit to My right, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?” 
We need to put ourselves in the shoes of these fellows to see just how awkward Jesus’ question was. The Pharisees knew David no longer had a king on Israel’s throne --- except for Herod who was not of Davidic descent, not even a Jew, but worse, was Rome’s Gentile puppet. If Messiah was next in line for the throne, how is David going to put his son on that throne, unless he can prove his right to inherit it by virtue of his lineage?

The huge crowd was listening and waiting for their response, and Jesus had them stuck on the horns of a big dilemma. The Pharisees did not want to admit that David’s descendant could appear publicly, without warning or their approval. They would have been forced to admit that a descendant from the fallen tent of David that God had promised to raise up again, was standing in their midst, and therefore, he was qualified for the throne. That man would have demanded their allegiance, but Jesus did not fit their ideal.

Their silence must have been deafening. They squirmed. They shuffled uneasily. They whispered amongst themselves desperately trying to wriggle out of the dilemma. They had no choice but to either support his claim to ascend to the throne of David as lord and king Messiah of Israel, or to simply remain silent. Either way the Pharisees were firmly skewed on the horns of this dilemma! However they chose to answer, the continued growth of Jesus’ popularity would be assured amongst the common people:
“And no one was able to answer him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask him another question” (Matt. 22:46)! 
Did you get the historical setting and the theological impact of what has just happened here? Let me put it in the words of a modern day Jewish believer in our Lord Jesus Messiah:
“...the focus is centred on the practical challenges of raising up a dynasty that fell hundreds of years before this debate, because in that promise lay the hope of Israel to establish her Messianic king.” 
“Christian teachers, unfamiliar with the nuances of Hebrew, yet hoping to find a hook in the text, on which they might hang their fantasies, produce all manner of senseless banter, built on the half-baked notion that the Hebrew word ‘adon’ [lord] is equivalent to the Hebrew word ‘Adonai’ [LORD], and, on the basis of this altered text, end up butchering it by making David the speaker of Psalm 110 who is reporting a conversation wherein God is talking to Himself, so that it reads in some translations, and in other articles and books, ‘YHWH said to my YHWH, sit at My right hand…’ But nothing could be further from the truth.” [6]
The salient point is this: Jesus’ favourite text does not say that David’s son is the LORD God, but is rather the lord Messiah. There are two Lords in the Hebrew Bible and Yahweh God and Jesus are not Lord in the same sense. On this bedrock definition of Jesus’ status, not as YHWH the LORD God, but as the [human] messianic lord, the entire theology of the NT is built. There is a massive world of difference between the One God who is Adonai and the Messianic lord who is Adoni.

I find it telling to note the link between Jesus’ affirmation in the preceding verses (that God is one LORD and that we are to love Him with all our hearts) and his favourite verse from Psalm 110:1 immediately following --- where that one LORD God whom we are to love plans to install the human son of David as the messianic king and lord. The Bible’s definition of unitary monotheism that “the LORD is One God” is thus preserved.

Peter Preaches Psalm 110:1 at Pentecost. 

After Jesus had been crucified and raised from the dead, the apostles called Jesus, “the lord Jesus Christ”, or “Christ Jesus the lord”. In what sense is Jesus ‘Lord’?

Preaching on the Day of Pentecost the apostle Peter understood the fulfilment of Psalm 110:1 beautifully. After fully quoting Jesus’ favourite verse, Peter applies it to the risen Jesus by saying,
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ --- this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). 
In this foundational sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter who has “the keys of the kingdom”, explains that the exaltation of Jesus as “Lord and Christ” is directly related to his having been “raised up” by God. Peter explains Jesus’ lordship is given to him as a reward for his faithful accomplishment of the LORD’S [YAHWEH'S] redemptive plan. Peter knew Jesus’ lordship was the fulfilment of Psalm 110:1 where Adonai speaks to Adoni. Thus, Peter’s explanation of the meaning of Jesus’ lordship has nothing to do with him being “the second Member of the Triune Godhead”! That is, to be quite blunt, a perversion of the word of God.
Peter makes it clear that Jesus is “Lord and Christ” in terms of Psalm 110:1. Peter thus knew Jesus is not the LORD God. 

When the first Christians said, “Jesus is Lord” they knew it was a title and a status ascribed to David’s ‘master’ and ‘lord’, Adoni. They never imagined the later Nicean creed, “Jesus is the LORD God” (a description by the way, not once found relating to Jesus anywhere in the Bible!).

As James Dunn correctly states,
“…earliest Christian use of Psalm 110:1 does not constitute ‘a Christology of divine identity’, since it assumes some distinction between YHWH (ho Kyrios) and the Lord Christ.” [7] 
On the other hand, God the Father is called “the God of our lord Jesus the Christ” (e.g. Rom. 15:6; 2 Cor. 1:3; 11:31; Eph. 1:3, etc.). The lord Jesus Christ always has the LORD [YAHWEH] God above him. He is next to God the LORD as His right-hand man, but never identified as that One God. When the martyr Stephen looks up to heaven as his breath is departing, he sees “the son of man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).
Stephen addresses Jesus as ‘Lord Jesus’, not “LORD [YAHWEH] Jesus”.

The Gold Thread. 

The all-pervading impact of the two Lords in Psalm 110:1 runs throughout the entire New Testament. James D.G.Dunn, currently one of the foremost Christological commentators, understands the significance of this favourite O.T. verse. He writes that the early Christian believers were convinced Jesus had been taken to or exalted to heaven and Psalm 110:1 was, “a key verse that shed much light for them and that evidently informed and shaped the earliest Christian reflection” on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Dunn observes:
This verse runs like a gold thread through much of the New Testament, and is so interwoven into the language of the New Testament writers that it evidently was a primary starting point or stimulus for the strong strand of New Testament Christology summed up in the confession, ‘Jesus is Lord’. The title (‘lord’) in itself did not necessarily signify any more than the status of a (human) master to his servant or slave...” [8] 
My friend Anthony Buzzard calls Psalm 110:1 the “umbrella text” under which the entire NT understanding of Jesus and his relation to God is sheltered. I simply like to think of Psalm 110:1 as Jesus’ favourite Bible verse! It defined for him Who God is, who he is as lord Messiah, and what God’s redemptive plan through him is all about … bringing about the submission of the entire cosmos to the authority of Jesus so that ultimately Jesus may present to that one God an obedient and joyful creation (Phil. 2: 9-10; I Cor. 15: 28):
“…God here shares his own exalted status with Jesus in a way that does not jeopardize God’s ultimate supremacy … In ancient Judaism, God could empower his agent to wield his full power and authority, precisely because any figure so empowered always remained by definition subject and subordinate to the one empowering him, namely God” [9]

The Connection between Psalm 110:1 and Psalm 8! 

Don’t for a moment think your new understanding of the two Hebrew Lords will be easy. Since Psalm 110:1 is Jesus’ favourite key text, and since it was the foundational text for his apostles in their understanding and interpretation of who Jesus was, guess who hates this verse with a passion? Yes! Satan and all his demonic hordes have devoted particular attention to corrupting this verse so that most of the world fails to catch its critical impact in understanding who Jesus is in relation to Yahweh God, and what God’s plan through His right-hand man are.

The Devil is the master liar and corrupter and specialises in sowing ‘tares’. All he has needed to do in only one place in the OT --- the second Lord in Jesus’ favourite psalm! --- is change the small ‘l’ into a capital ‘L’. That’s just enough to give the impression that David’s messianic lord is the LORD God.

So you ask, why is this such a big deal? Well, perhaps the Devil knows more about God’s saving plan through Christ Jesus than we do. The Devil knows God has a staggering plan to bring many sons into glory and to conform all believers into the image of our risen Lord Jesus Christ
(see Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 3:10; I Cor. 15:49).

When the early Christians reflected on Jesus’ favourite psalm, they saw the holy Spirit’s connection with Psalm 8:6;
“You (LORD God) did make him (mankind) to rule over the works of Your Hands; You have put all things under his feet” (Ps. 8:6). 
Ah, the Devil is not stupid. He sees the connection. The early Christians saw it. That is, Psalm 110:1 speaks of the LORD God seating the Psalmist’s lord at His right hand “until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” As Dunn trenchantly remarks:
“Psalm 8’s talk of God having put all things under [humankind’s/Adam’s] feet was evidently too close to Psalm 110’s talk of Yahweh making his enemies a footstool for the Lord Christ’s feet to be ignored… Presumably the implication, for those who understood Psalm 110:1 in terms of Psalm 8:6 [as in I Cor. 15:25-27; Eph. 1:20f and Heb. 1:3-2-8, etc.], was that the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God was also the ultimate fulfilment of God’s purpose for humankind in creation.” [10]
The Devil fights this plan of the Ages with all his might and mane. He sure is subtle and he knows how to use a cloak of respectable scholarship to keep the glorious truth about our LORD [YAHWEH] God and our exalted Messianic Lord Jesus from the world.

But don’t you be deceived. Be sure you understand Jesus’ favourite memory verse. Treat it with the utmost care, quote it accurately, treasure it, believe it, rest your faith on it because that’s exactly what Jesus did! It was Jesus’ model verse for his own self-understanding and for God the Father’s plan for saving the world through him.

Psalm 110:1 presents the powerful truth that Jesus is God’s right hand man, our mediator, deriving his messianic lordship from Adonai, the one true LORD God, thus subduing all our enemies and saving us for eternity (I Tim. 2:5-6). Why not make Jesus’ favourite Bible verse yours too? It’s gold!


1. Buzzard, Anthony. Focus on the Kingdom. Vol. 17 No. 12, September, 2015. p. 2.
2. Ibid. p.2.
3. Barclay, William. Jesus as They Saw Him. Amsterdam. SCM Press, 1962. p. 41.
4. Buzzard, Anthony. Ed. Focus on the Kingdom, Vol. 14, No. 5. February 2012. p. 4. 
5. Uriel ben-Mordechai, If? The End of a messianic Lie. Above & Beyond, Ltd., Jerusalem. 2011.
p. 300-301. Emphasis original.
6. Ibid pp. 303-304. Italics and bold emphasis original.
7. Dunn, James, D.G. Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? The New Testament Evidence. Westminster John Know Press. Kentucky. 2010. p.103, footnote.
8. Ibid, p. 102-103. (Italics mine.)
9. McGrath, J.F., The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in its Jewish Context.
 Champaign: Uni of Illinois Press, 2009. p. 49-52. (Italics original).
10. Dunn, J.D.G., Ibid. p. 138-139 (Emphasis original).

The above was taken from

Note: some editing has been done

Sunday, October 08, 2017

“Who Are You, Lord” (Excerpt) by G. R. Davies

It is all about One God and One Man 
The Father and the Son are two entities – two individuals. 
The Father is the ONE GOD & Jesus is the ONE begotten HUMAN SON of GOD 

Is the Father a distinct person from the man Christ Jesus? 

Let us now consider David Bernard's statement quoted earlier, "nowhere does the Bible teach a separation of persons in the Godhead."

That statement is true. God is certainly an uncomplicated One. But Scripture also refers constantly to a Father-Son relationship, a distinct twoness, foretold in the Old Testament, demonstrated on earth and continuing eternally.

In John 17:3, Jesus referred to His Father as "the only true God" (John 17:3). This same "only true God" declared in Isaiah 45:5, "I am YAHWEH and there is none else." The word translated "only" in John 17:3 is defined in Strong's Analytical Concordance as meaning "sole", "single" or "alone." Whatever is described as "only" is in a class of its own; it is unique. Such being the case, the question arises just how Jesus himself, although a man, could simultaneously be "the only true God"? Surely the man, Jesus Christ, is differentiating here between himself, the "sent" one, and his Father the "only true God." It is the Father who is "God alone" (Ps. 86:10). Now if God is a solitary "one" and "only" entity who is a spirit , can He retain His oneness, His aloneness, and His intangibility if He is inseparably joined to the man, Christ Jesus?

The term "the only true God" is a title which Jesus reserved exclusively for his Father, but it cannot include the Jesus himself. There is a clear distinction between the two. By addressing his Father as "the only true God" the Lord Jesus surely excluded all others - including himself - from being the one and only true God.

By commencing with the inseparable unity of the Father and the Son, the "oneness" concept becomes fraught with problems. One of these difficulties is that the separate and distinct functions of the Father and His Son seem to become blurred to the point where there is no real Father-Son relationship.

"Oneness" teachers refer constantly to the "humanity" and "Deity" of the God-man. I believe that if the terms "Father" and "Son" were preferred, the separate identities of our Heavenly Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ would be more apparent.

A God-man who plays different roles is difficult to reconcile with those Scriptures that teach the separate functions of a Heavenly Father and His Son, the man Christ Jesus. Bible scholars have calculated that the term "God" (0 Theos) is used around 1,300 times in the New Testament to define the Father as distinct from His Son, the Lord Jesus.

For example, we are told that Jesus, the exalted man appears "in the presence of God for us," (Heb. 9:24), that he is "seated at the right hand of God," (Rom. 8:34), "sat down in his Father's throne," (Rev. 3:21), is "an advocate with the Father," (1 John 2:1), is the "mediator between God and men," (1 Tim. 2:5), and that he "continues ever" (Heb. 7:25). Paul tells us that "the Head of Christ is God" (1 Cor. 11:3).

We have in Hebrews 10:12 the following: "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God." What can this mean except that Jesus is presently still a man, exalted, and appearing in the presence of God for us?

At present, Jesus "lives by the power of God" (2 Cor. 13:4), is totally dependent upon His Father, and Paul adds in that same verse that "we shall live with him by the power of God toward you."

Jesus now "lives unto God" (Romans 6:10), promoting His Father's glory and advancing His Kingdom with his every effort being directed to accomplishing the purposes of God. Since his being glorified, “He has obtained a more excellent ministry" (Heb. 8:6). Although he has become "heir of all things" and maintains and superintends the whole universe by delegated authority, he is wholly submissive to the will of his Father.

Following his ascension, Jesus was glorified by his Father (Acts 3:13) and now he is seated in his Father's throne (Rev.3:21). In Rev. 3:12 Jesus refers four times to "my God": Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

These Scriptures are not teaching a multiplicity of "persons" who are God but they do teach the present separate identities and functions of God the Father and His human Son, the Lord Jesus.

Paul tells us in Rom. 8:17 that believers are "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ." But if Jesus were actually God, can it be said that we are “joint-heirs" of God with him?

We could look now at 1 Cor. 15:24-28. Here we learn that Jesus ... in his Father's Kingdom ... he will continue to reign until the time of the end, when he will put down all opposition to his rule. We are told four times in these verses that God "put all things under the feet" of His Son, a situation that is to continue until the end, when the Son will "deliver up the Kingdom to God" and the Son will be subject to his Father. However, there is no suggestion here, or elsewhere that the Son will ever cease to be the Son. We read in 2 Pet. 1:11 of the "everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Turning to John's writings, we find that in his Gospel, John did not seek to establish the supposed Deity of Christ. Rather his aim was to have men believe that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" (John 20:30-31). That is a truth that Jesus Himself repeatedly affirmed. The fact that John did not aim to prove that Jesus Christ was God, but rather that he was the Son of God should discourage any effort to establish the supposed Deity of Christ from John's Gospel. However, it is common practice for "oneness" writers to appeal to John's Gospel to support their view that Jesus is God.

In John 8:29, Jesus said, "He that sent me is with me, the Father hath not left me alone for I do always those things that please Him." In verses 17 and 18 of the same chapter it reads, "It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bears witness of myself and the Father that sent me bears witness of me." Surely two separate entities are in mind here, the Father and His Son.

In his first epistle, John states in Chapter 1:3 "...truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ." John was in no doubt as to the ongoing duality of the Father and the Son, and he urged a similar understanding for his readers. Further be warned against the heresy of "denying the Father and the Son" which he described as Antichrist (1 John 2:22). This present duality is also expressed in 1 John 2:1 where we read, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."

John's second letter carries the following greeting, "Grace be with you, mercy and peace, from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and in love (2 John 3).

1 Tim. 2:5 describes the present day mediatorial Father-Son functions as follows, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Paul explains further the role of a mediator in Gal.3:20 in the following terms, "Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one." Now if God and Jesus are one person, how could Jesus, if he is a "God-man," be a mediator between himself and man? The work of mediator which Jesus is now performing makes it impossible for him to be God. He is the Son of God, a man, mediating between God and men. God is certainly one, altogether and indivisible Deity, but Jesus also is one, altogether and indivisible humanity, but now glorified.

Paul has a further reference to the Father and the Son as separate entities in 1 Cor. 8:6 where he writes, "But to us there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we by him." Here we are encouraged to think in terms of a twoness, a Father and a Son. Paul also reminded the believers at Corinth that a faithful God had called them "to the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:9).

Likewise, the epistle to the Hebrews abounds in references to the separate functions of the Father and the Son, especially in relation to the Lord Jesus as our great high priest, appearing in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9:24), and making intercession. Heb. 7:24- 25 tells us: "This man, because he continues ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them."

This high priestly ministry of our Lord Jesus, interceding for us before God, is of paramount importance, and of inestimable value to the believer. However, this ministry cannot be appreciated unless the Lord Jesus is seen as a separate entity from His Father, presenting to God the merits of His death on our behalf.

On page 106 of his book under the heading "The ending of the Sonship," David Bernard states, inter alia, "When the reasons for the Sonship cease to exist, God (Jesus) will cease acting in his role as Son and the Sonship will be submerged back into the greatness of God."

However, this assumption raises some fundamental problems. God is not "acting in His role as Son." The Father is the Father and the Son is the Son; they are a duality. The ascended Christ, in Revelation 1:18 said "I am he that lives, and was dead and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen." There is no cessation of the Sonship! Further, in Matthew 25:31, Jesus said, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory... He shall sit upon the throne of His glory."

In the book of the Revelation we learn of the eternal ministry of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, as a separate entity from his Father. The opening verse of Revelation 1 reads, ''The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him--". If, as is claimed by David Bernard, "Jesus now exercises his power as God through a glorified human body," how are we to understand God giving the Revelation to His Son Jesus? We believe that the dependence of the Lord Jesus upon his Father, so often referred to in the Gospels, is seen here as continuing in the Savior’s glorified state. When Jesus was created he was a human being. He is indeed a human being forever. If this were not so, he could not "call us brethren" (Heb.2:11).

Jesus had a will of his own which he could have exercised contrary to his Father's will. He said, "Not what I will, but what you will" (Mark 14:36). Two separate wills demand that the Father and the Son are different and distinct from one another. How else are we to understand the child Jesus "increasing in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52)?

To interpret those words to mean that the human part of Jesus was increasing in favor with the Deity side of Jesus is unfathomable. The simple explanation of this passage is that Jesus the man, God's only begotten Son, increased in favor with His Father and with men.

It seems that by commencing with the hypothesis that the Father and the Son are inseparably one being, a blind spot is created as regards the abundant Scriptural evidence that teaches the separate functions of the Father and the Son.

The above was taken from