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Author Topic: Who is Jesus?  (Read 2806 times)
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« on: April 24, 2003, 09:31:32 PM »

Some parts of the Gospels make it look as there were three Divine persons, and other parts of the make it look as if the Trinity were one Divine Person.

Here are some examples of the first group: Jesus said: "I am come from God" (John 8:42);

"The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what he seeth the Father do". (John 5:19)

As we have already seen, Simon Peter said: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matt. 16:16)

At the Lord's baptism a voice from heaven was heard to say: "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." ("Matt. 3:17)

The Lord also said: "My Father is greater than I." (John 14:28);

"No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." (John 14:6)

On the cross Jesus said: "Father, forgive them ..." (Luke 23:34), and "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46)

Also, after the resurrection, the Lord said to the disciples, "Teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father , and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 28:19)

In this last passage, not only does it seem that the Father and the Son are distinct, but also that there is yet a third Divine Person or Being, the Holy Spirit.

If we were to consult only such passages as these, and ignore all the others that seem to conflict with them, we might come to the conclusion that God is in three Persons.

This is extremely puzzling to anyone of a reflective turn of mind, because his common sense tells him that there simply cannot be three Divine Persons, or three Divine Beings because this is the same as saying that there can be three Infinities of three Gods.

The task of uniting three distinct Divinities into one God is a forlornly hopeless task.

But the way of this frustration is to notice that it is never explicitly stated in so many words that the Father and the Son are two distinct Persons.

That is never said. But it was assumed - taken for granted - by the Councils of the Early Christian Church from 325 AD onwards and has been unthinkingly accepted as the orthodox Christian faith itself.

But search as you will, you will never find a passage that says explicitly that the Father and the Son are TWO, or that he who has seen the Son has yet to see the Father.

As a matter of fact, you will find the very opposite, as we shall see in a moment.

Moreover, the second thing to be noted is that while it has usually been taken for granted that in these passages the terms "Father" and "Son" always refer to people, this is not necessarily the case.

 Do we not say in common speech, "The wish is father to the thought?" And in the Word we find a similar usage: "When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

From these considerations we may see how risky it is to seize upon only one of the possible meanings of a term and build doctrine upon it.

Even though the common usage at the present time is that "father" and "son" refer to different persons, if we assume that as a principle here, we shall encounter severe difficulties, especially from the second group of passages referred to already (those that teach that God the Father and God the Son are the same and the only Divine Person).

To be continue
« Last Edit: April 24, 2003, 10:07:34 PM by AngelicMan » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2003, 09:36:36 PM »

The teaching that there is no other God besides Jehovah defines our understanding of another prophecy in Isaiah: "The Lord (Jehovah) Himself shall give you a sign; behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." (7:14)

Since the name Immanuel can be translated in no other way than "God-with-us," it follows as an irresistible conclusion that it was the Lord God, Jehovah, the only God, who was to come into the world, as the Saviour, and appear as the Son of a virgin.

This, in fact, is the burden of all the Old Testament passages that treat of the Advent of the Messiah.

Let the following be taken as representative: "And it shall be said in that day, This is our God; we have waited for Him that He may deliver us; this is Jehovah ... we will rejoice and be glad in His salvation," (Isa. 25-9)

"The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make plain in the solitude a highway for our God... Behold, the Lord Jehovah shall come in strength. (Isa. 40:3,5,10; compare Matt, 3, et al) Here again, the teaching is that the Lord the Creator would also come as the Redeemer.

Again, in the Old Testament the Lord Jehovah says that He is the First and the Last, but in the New Testament, in the Book of Revelation, Jesus says He is the First and the Last.

Now, it is impossible to have TWO GODS being the first or the last. Obviously, it must be the same Person who is described in both cases.

We recall also that the Lord of the Old Testament says He is the only Saviour, and that His glory He would not give to another.

Yet in the New Testament JESUS is frequently called the Saviour. Does it not follow as an irresistible conclusion, then, that Jesus must be Jehovah in the Human Form, a thought that is re-enforced by the knowledge that Jesus means "Jehovah saves?"

In full agreement with this, in the New Testament we find the Lord Jesus Christ saying to the multitude "I and the Father are ONE" -- not two, but one; and He did not say anything about one in purpose, or anything like that. He said simply ONE. In any case, his audience made no mistake about his meaning (the only possible meaning); they took up stones to stone Him, and when asked why they do so, their reply was: "Because that Thou being a Man, maketh Thyself God."

It is interesting that the Jewish Church which rejected Him could see what He was saying - but the Christian Church which accepted Him, has not fully known Him.

Further-more, in the first chapter of John, it is written: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made ... He was in the world and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:1,3,10,14)

Here it is plainly stated that it was the Creator of the world who came on earth in the form of a man.

Again, the Lord when on earth said: "Before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:58) "I AM." can have but one meaning; it is Jehovah's name (Exodus 3:14), and it means Being - the only Divine Being or Life itself. On this occasion, also, the Jews understood the Lord to be saying, "I am Jehovah," and therefore wished to stone Him for blasphemy.

From all these passages the teaching is manifest; Jehovah (or the Father) and Jesus (the Son of God) are actually the same Divine Person.

But it is the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John, above all, that this teaching is given its clearest expression.

 Here, Jesus, having referred to His going to His Father, is misunderstood by both Thomas and Philip and all Christians today, who think that He is referring to some other Person. Philip therefore says: "Lord shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." (John 14: Cool The Lord's answer is worthy of our closest attention, for in it the misunderstanding is removed: "Have I been so long time with you," (He asked) "and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (verse 9) Could anything be more plain? What other Father can there be but the One whom Philip's eyes were beholding?

Then the Lord went on to give an explanation which furnishes the clue to the understanding of the whole doctrine. He said: "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works." (verse 10)

Now, how are we to understand that? What is it that dwelleth within, causes words to be spoken, and also "doeth the works?"

What else answers this description but the soul? It dwelleth within, it causes words to be spoken, it "doeth the works." What else fits the description, in this case, but the Divine Soul? Is not the soul as a father to the body? Is not the body a kind of offspring from the soul?

When we see that the "Father" means the Divine in Itself or the Divine Soul of the Son, and that the "Son of God" means the Divine Body visible to man, then we are for the first time in a position to understand something about the Holy Spirit.

 In every man there is a trinity -- a human trinity. It is not a trinity of persons; it is a trinity of essentials, a trinity of soul, body, and that intangible influence that flows forth from the union of soul and body.

 This spirit or proceeding influence is approximately what is called in popular language, a man's personality or spirit.

It is the sphere that emanates from the combination of his soul and body, and this is what has an effect on other people.

 Man has this trinity of soul, body and spirit because he is made in the image of God, and in God there is a Divine Trinity -- the Divine Soul, called the Father; Divine Body, called the Son; and the Divine Spirit called the Holy Spirit.

This understanding of the relationship between God and the Son of God is a real understanding, for it throws light on the Word, both the Old Testament and the New.

The real teaching of the Word becomes transparently clear when all passages are considered, and when those which teach unequivocally that there is but one God are taken as the basis, all others being interpreted in that light.

Now we can see where the obscurity or confusion (or mystery) came from.

It came from taking the wrong set of passages as the basis - that is, the first group we looked at - those that seemed to teach that there were separate Divine Beings.

In the new view of the subject, these passages can be understood in quite a different way.
To be continue
« Last Edit: April 24, 2003, 10:02:17 PM by AngelicMan » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2003, 09:43:19 PM »

                  Who is Jesus

"I am come from God" (John 8:42) - meaning, the Body came forth from the Soul.

"The Son can do nothing of Himself, - but what He seeth the Father do" (John 5:19) - meaning, the Body can do nothing of Itself, but what it is directed to do by the Soul.

 "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16: 16) - The Messiah, the Body of the Infinite itself, which alone is Life-in-itself.

"This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:17) - meaning, the Divine Body in which it pleased the Lord to dwell while on earth.

"My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28) - meaning, the Soul is greater than the Body, since it directs it.

"No Man cometh unto the Father but by Me" (John 14:6) - Just as we cannot know a man's soul except insofar as his body reveals it.

The only way we can have any idea of the Divine Soul is by means of the Divine Body, which was visible to man. In this view of the Trinity, we are not obliged any longer to picture more Divine Persons than One, nor more Infinities than One. We can see that it can be rationally understood. We can see that in the Lord Jesus Christ is the Divine Trinity, just as in the body of every man there is the human trinity of soul, body, and spirit ( proceeding influence).

This idea seems to have been glimpsed somewhat among the Early Christians, who, though commanded by the Lord to baptize into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19), actually used a different formula: they baptized "in the name of Jesus Christ." (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48) And so do we in the Church of the New Jerusalem(Swedenborg).

The idea of the Lord that the Apostles had is now restored, and filled with details. In its general form it is not new; it was there all the time, and it was summed up beautifully by Paul in one of his letters, in these words: "In Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form."

This is the vision of the Lord that is possible again today. It is a concept that is capable of unceasing development, not one that is stunted and stultified by the dogma of "a Divine Mystery". It allows everyone to picture his Creator taking on a frail human nature in order to present more closely with mankind, a human nature that could be tempted, and that could at last be glorified or made Divine, as Divine as His Soul, by means of victories in those temptation battles.
That is why at the end Jesus could truly say to the disciples, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth."Whoever has all power is surely the Almighty. So even doubting Thomas finally worshipped the Lord, saying: "My Lord and My God".

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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2003, 10:17:13 PM »

John 1:2   "and the Word was with God" with God ,means, in God, for truth is in good, and good is in truth.Amen

Harry Smiley
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