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Son of God

29th November 2008, mgh,hej

 

1) The Son of God

Some historical figures have had a great influence. There is one whose influence is so great that most of the world numbers the years from that of his birth. He is known as Jesus the Christ.

Recently many acknowldege that the name Jesus is best rendered Y'shua, or (Yeshua)

His followers have left accounts of his life which are still in print and which have been translated into nearly every modern language. In those records he is called the Son of God.

Called the Son of God

The celebration of Christmas around the world, has unfortunately given rise to many legends of the birth. Jesus's origin is explained very simply in the Bible.

According to the Bible an angel comes to his mother and says,

“And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus (Hebrew: Yah shall save). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Then said Mary unto the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
And the angel answered and said unto her, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:32-34)

Mary's reproductive system is used by the power of the Holy Spirit to make an embryo. To ask how is like asking how bones grow in a baby, or how DNA works. However, since invitro-fertilization (IVF) and cloning, this process has no mystery. From this point this baby grows, just as any other.

Adam is a son of God

The record of Jesus birth by Luke continues with a genealogy ending with Adam as the son of God (Luke 3:38). Adam was made from the dust of the ground and the spirit (breath) of the LORD God makes him live (Genesis 2:7). With no human parents, Adam is the son of God. Luke is telling us that Jesus is like Adam, a special creation, but human.

Are the records reliable?

The gospel records are either eyewitness accounts or another's record of their experience. They are either a truthful account, such as honest people would give in a courtroom, or nonsense. The argument for their truth is the fact that the earliest texts we have now indicate that the originals must have been in existence while people who were alive could verify many of the accounts. Luke confirms this by beginning,

Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto you in order... (Luke 1:2-3).

When Luke records the conversation Mary has with the angel, it is likely the account came originally from Mary. There are two points that suggest this. Firstly, Mary's reply is pragmatic, as she points out the lack of a male. Secondly, with a bit of thought we realise this reply, which rejects a miracle in favour of a natural event, and the fact that later Luke shows she needs to be further convinced by Elizabeth, indicates that she doubts the angel's words. This is not flattering. It is likely the record of a person simply telling it the way it was.

2) The Son of Man

Few scholars realise that in the records of the gospels, Jesus only rarely refers to himself the Son of God.

The first person to call him the Son of God is John the Baptist.

John bare record, saying, “....I knew him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, ..said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:32-34)

John the Baptist had a huge following and within a short time the records indicate many people call him the son of God. For example, the adversary who tempted him in the wilderness asked Jesus to prove he was the son of God and the sick who came to him for healing called him the son of God.

There are 45 references to Jesus as the Son of God in the Bible, of which only four were made by Jesus himself. This is characteristic. At the trial he is asked,

“Are you then the Son of God?” And he (Jesus) said unto them, “You say that I am”. (Luke 22:70)

The writers of the gospels tell us Jesus called himself the 'Son of Man' eighty times. This is one occasion.

He asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?” (Matthew 16:13)

To call himself the 'Son of Man' was powerful, as Ezekiel and Daniel the great Hebrew prophets were called that. However, it was also in the Hebrew language a common term to describe the typical human. In Hebrew a word for man is 'adam'. Jesus literally called himself the Son of Adam. Why? Jesus said,

The Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Mat 18:11)

The apostle Paul gives the answer,

For as by one man's disobedience (Adam's) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)

Jesus was to be the man. The new obedient Adam.

3) The Special Birth of the Son of God

How special is the action of the spirit of God to make a son? There are a number of occasions where Yahweh has given a special male child.

Sarah the wife of Abraham was over 90 when she miraculously conceived and gave birth to Isaac.

Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.... But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. (Genesis 17:17-21)

Isaac was a son of promise, and his birth was miraculous. John the Baptist's birth was likewise a miracle.

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him..., behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believe not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. (Luke 1:18-20)

Though a special miracle, Isaac and John were genetic desendents of their parents. Jesus is only half, the other half was a special creation. A new Adam.

The Bible presents Jesus as a human, who, like certain special people and Adam has a beginning at an instant made with the special action of the Spirit of God.

What about trinity?

Some Christian religious systems claim a belief in what is known as the Trinity, which accepts the principles of 'one God', but a God who at the same time is a triune being made up of Father, Son and Holy Ghost (or Spirit). This idea is commonly taught although, the word 'trinity' is found nowhere in the Bible.

Origins of the Theory of the Trinity

The idea of the Trinity is a not a biblical doctrine. It developed as an explanation of the nature of Jesus and his relationship to God, but is too simplistic and is seriously flawed because of this simplicity. It unfortunately became a political issue and became enforced as religious dogma.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica states of this doctrine that,

“the dogma of the Trinity was not drawn directly from the New Testament... They were only formed through centuries of effort, only elaborated by the aid of the conceptions and formulated in the terms of Greek and Roman metaphysics.”

In simple terms this means that the ideas were borrowed from pagan Greek and Roman mythology.

Church Bishops produced the Nicene Creed, defining the Trinity, at their Conference at Nice in 325CE. It was a period of apostasy and departure from the Apostles' teaching, and, of immorality and great laxity among both the clergy and their congregations. Standards of behaviour and doctrine had been lowered. Writing of the state of the church, clergy and academics by the 3rd and 4th century, Mosheim wrote,

“Many were sunk in luxury and voluptuousness, puffed up with vanity, arrogance and ambition; possessed with a spirit of contention and discord, and addicted to many other vices that cast an undeserved reproach upon the holy religion of which they were the unworthy professors and ministers... sumptuous garments dazzled the eyes and minds of the multitude.”

Eusebius (ca. 260339), a contemporary of the period stated,

“Christians grew negligent and slothful, envying and reproaching one another... bishops quarrelling with bishops and the people divided into parties... The bishops had cast off almost all concern about religion; they were perpetually contending with one another... they were full of ambition and tyrannically used their power.”

Onto this stage came Constantine. Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) describes Constantine in the following way. He was,

“a Roman General whose religion might still be a subject of doubt, and whose mind had not been enlightened by study or by inspiration and was indifferently qualified to discuss, in the Greek language, a metaphysical question on an article of faith.”

Sabinus (d. 304), a bishop of the Macedonian sect and contemporary with those who wrote the Nicene Creed and established the Trinitarian doctrine, spoke of them in this manner: they were “idiots and simpletons” and “such as had no intelligence in the matter.” If the Nicenists had been wise in the scriptures, why did it take an unbaptised semi-heathen emperor to establish unity and conformity among them and to accept this emperor as the head of the church? It was from these appalling conditions that the defining of the Trinity arose.

The Bible God is Declared to be One God

God's declaration through Moses to the nation of Israel was:

“Hear, O Israel, Yahweh

our Elohim (God) is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6: 4)

The monotheism of the Hebrews was a distinguishing feature in a polytheistic world.

This same teaching was the basis of the message given by the prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles. The nation of Israel and the early Christian congregations, were founded on the doctrine of One God and Jesus as the Son of God. The prophet Isaiah's belief in one God is shown in the following verses, which also speak of the Creator as proclaiming the future which is yet to happen.

“I am Yahweh, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.”(Isaiah 45: 5)
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46: 9)

Mark records that the Messiah confirmed that the concept of the Creator as revealed to Israel remained the same.

And Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”(Mark 12: 9)

4) Paul's ideas regarding God and the Son of God

Paul, the great apostle of Jesus also speaks of there being one God.

“To us there is but One God, the Father of whom are all things... and one Lord Jesus Christ... howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge.” (1 Corinthians 8: 6-7) and
“One Lord.. and One God and father of all.” (Ephesians 4:5-6)

Paul spoke of Jesus in the following way, which clarifies Paul's understanding of the relationship between Yahweh and Jesus.

“God has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom He has ordained; whereof He has given assurance unto all men, in that He has raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17: 31)

Several clear principles are given here. God has chosen a day of judgement. God has ordained, or appointed, the man who will carry out this judgement. It was God who raised this man from the dead. Any Christian can identify who that man is. It is Jesus, that is, Jesus who bears in his name the name of his father. Also the power is that of God, who is Yahweh.

This subordination of Jesus to his Father is further supported by the following:

“There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)
“When all things shall be subdued unto him (Jesus), then shall the son be also be subject unto him (God) that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15: 28)
“Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders which God did by him.” (Acts 2: 22)
“Him (i.e. Jesus) has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour.” (Acts 5: 31)

These references from Paul, a few among many others, clearly show that Yahweh has the power. He has worked through Jesus to fulfil His purpose, in which His son has a most important and significant role yet to be played.

5) What is meant by Jesus being Sent?

Jesus we are told was 'sent'.

“This is life eternal to know Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent.” (John 17: 3)

This practice of 'sending' was not new. Jeremiah, at a critical time in Israel's history was sent to prophesy to the people. Also Jeremiah was told:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you came came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations...you shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatsoever I command you shall speak.” (Jeremiah 1: 5-7)

Israel was accused of not hearing the “words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you.” (Jeremiah 26: 5). This practise of the 'sending' of prophets to the nation of Israel was well established. In the New Testament John explains that John the Baptist was 'sent'.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John...He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (John 1: 6, 8)

Jeremiah though Yahweh knew about him before he was conceived, did not pre-exist. None of the prophets pre-existed, but they were 'sent', just as Jesus was 'sent', to the nation of Israel as messengers of Yahweh in the furtherance of his purpose with humans.

6) God's Character Shown to the World

The above references all show God as the powerful Father and Christ subordinated to God's will and power. Jesus however, showed, manifested, or demonstrated Yahweh, in character, word and deed. So much so that he said, “He that has seen me has seen the Father.” This oneness is often seen as special. In fact Jesus makes this same claim of oneness for his disciples. It is recorded that he prayed for his disciples and for believers through the ages,

“That they all may be one; as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” (John 17: 21)

This is not a difficult concept and it does not prove that Jesus and his Father are one and the same person. This oneness that the Lord had with his Father is the same oneness that all believers have. Hebrew name for God, 'Yahweh Elohim', reveals this purpose, “He who will be manifested in Mighty Ones”. It shows a unity of belief with the followers of Jesus reflecting the same characteristics as he has.

Being One

Individuals become united by developing relationships. The most understood relationship where two are joined to become one is marriage.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

Studies have shown that people married become more alike with time. Then there is the relationship between a father and a son. Our culture has a saying that the son, can be 'a chip of the old block'. They are so alike, they are of the one character. Oneness in relationships can extend to the action of groups. An example is the clan. In the Bible followers of Christ are to be united as one. Paul prays Christ's followers be of one mind,

The God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

That is, to be one'body' in Christ with a unity of purpose.


7) There is no power but that of Yahweh

There are many instances where it is shown that Jesus is not the equal of his Father. He said,

“Not my will but thine be done.” (Matthew 26: 39)
“My doctrine is not mine but his that sent me.” (John 7: 16)
“I can of mine own self do nothing.” (John 5: 30)
“My Father is greater than I.” (John 14: 28)

The power that Jesus had to do miracles came from his Father. He could be insulted, but, not the power (Matt. 12:32).

8) Jesus as the Man

So often Jesus is portrayed as a man.

The man Christ Jesus. (Acts2:22; 1Timothy2: 5; Romans5: 15)

He was

the prophet like unto Moses.(Deuteronomy 18: 15; Acts 3: 22)
touched with the feeling of our infirmities...in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4: 15)
He “offered up prayers and strong supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared”... and he “learned obedience by the things that he suffered.” (Hebrews 5:7-8)

These are not the characteristics or behaviour that can be applied to Yahweh.

Jesus had characteristics familiar to us all. He became weary. he wept, he prayed for strength. He was revealed as having limited knowledge. He said of himself,

“But of that day and hour knows no one, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24: 36)

Even after his glorification and ascension to heaven this remains true. In Revelation 1: 1, it is the Father who gives Jesus the prophecy that he, in turn, gives to John on the Isle of Patmos, the Revelation, or the Apocalypse, the last book of the Bible.

9) In the Beginning was the Word (John 1)

The first chapter of John's Gospel record has concepts that can cause problems for some Bible readers. John begins with the statement that “in the beginning was the word” and then continues, saying that this “word was with God and the word was God”, and through it all things were made (John 1: 1).

The Greek word translated “word” is 'logos'. The word means the outward form of a thought or reason. It is the spoken word that illustrates thought, wisdom and doctrine. It was the divine, “theos”, word, not man's. From the beginning God's purpose was revealed and proclaimed in the Bible. The word was with God and emanated, or came from him. It “was God” in the sense that it revealed him and his purpose to mankind. A similar idea is given when Jesus said “this is my blood” in reference to the wine during the last supper (Matthew 26: 28). The wine was not literally his blood, but was the symbol and representation of his blood that was to be poured out at his crucifixion. In the same way the 'word' is God's expressed purpose for creation and for man's existence.

Through the word of God his Son was begotten. It was the word and power of God going forth by which the Messiah was conceived and born, that is “begotten” of the Father, that is by his will. The Messiah had been clearly promised in the writings of the prophets and the time of his birth and mission prophesied by Daniel.

“And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 14)

From the beginning, the seed of the woman who would be the means of providing salvation for mankind, had been promised by the word of God.

God's purpose with mankind was declared through his word in the Garden of Eden, following the disobedience of Adam and Eve. In sinning Adam and Eve were condemned to die and so too would all their descendants. In Genesis chapter 3 a redeemer to save man from eternal death was promised.

“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3: 15)

The misguiding influence of the serpent represented the forces that lead to sin and death. Jesus, in leading a sinless life and in full obedience to his Father's will, overcame the power of sin in his life, demonstrating the symbol of the bruising 'of the head', a fatal wound. Jesus was the seed of the woman promised from the beginning to destroy sin and death and open a way for man to obtain salvation.

The promised seed is found in the Old Testament. Abraham was promised that “in thy seed shall all nations be blessed.” (Genesis 22: 18). Paul clarified who this seed was, “And that seed is Christ.” (Galatians 3: 16). David was promised a seed and God promised, “I will establish his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” (2 Samuel 7: 12-14). Luke 1: 32-33 clearly identifies this seed with Jesus at the time of his birth.

The Apostle John leaves little doubt about his belief that Jesus was the Son of God. In the fifth chapter of John's gospel further details are given in relation to who Jesus was.

For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself: and has given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the son of man.(John 5: 26-27)

The Son did not have life in himself. The Father gave him life and authority. This in no way presents equality of the Son with his Father. Jesus reaffirms his subjection to his Father in the same chapter, saying,

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise... the Father loves the Son and shows him all things... I can of mine own self do nothing... I seek not my own will but the will of the Father who has sent me.” (John 5: 19, 20,30)

Nowhere in the Bible does the statement God the Son occur. In the New Testament there are 46 references to the Son of God. In Luke 3: 38, in Jesus' genealogy, it is stated that Adam was the Son of God, but no one would claim that Adam was God the Son. The apostle John in his gospel, letters and the book of Revelation, uses the term Son of God in relation to Jesus eighteen times, which is forty per cent of those references. This is quite significant as John 1 is the section of the Bible largely responsible for the origin of Trinitarian theory. However John's repeated use of the phrase describing Jesus as the 'Son of God' clarifies his understanding of the relationship Jesus to His Father. Jesus was the promised seed referred to in Genesis, who would overcome the power of sin and disobedience as represented by the serpent.

10) The Title 'God'

The title of God was applied to Jesus when Thomas saw the risen Christ. He said, “My Lord and my God!” Does the use of this title prove that Jesus is the second person of a Trinity?

If it did, it would be a contradiction to the many passages already referred to that have shown that he is not co-equal with his Father. The same title is used for angels and men who stood in a special relationship to the Creator. If an agent goes forth as a representative of a company, he merges his identity with that of the company which he represents. Similarly, angels and men used God's name when acting as His agents. In Genesis 1, the Elohim (that is the Angels) carried out the work of Yahweh's creation. Jesus spoke to the Jews of men being called gods in the scriptures, saying,

“Is it not written in your Law, 'I said, ye are gods?' If He called them 'gods' unto whom the word of God came, and the scriptures cannot be broken why say ye of him whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, 'You blaspheme,' because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10: 34-35)

Jesus is quoting from Psalm 82, where the divinely appointed priests and elders of Israel are given the title of 'Gods” because they acted and spoke in the name of God. This did not make them a part of Yahweh, nor does it make Jesus a part of Yahweh. This is exactly the point that Jesus is trying to impress on the Jews. He is trying to make it perfectly clear that he is not claiming equality with the Creator.

Those to whom the word of God came, such as the priests in Israel, derived their authority from God, judged on His behalf and were His representatives among the people. (2 Chronicles 19:6, Deuteronomy 19: 17) In both Exodus 7:1 and 4:16, Moses is called 'God'. The angels also spoke and acted in the name of God, without having equality with the Creator.

In most cases, where the word 'God' appears in the Bible, it is used as the equivalent for the Hebrew word 'Elohim', which literally translated is “Mighty Ones”, and is also translated 'angels' (Psalm 8: 5), and 'judges' (Exodus 21: 6; 22: 8-9). In the Revised Version of the Bible, the word is translated 'God' in those instances. It was the ambition of Adam and Eve to become “equal to the gods”, that is the Elohim or the angels. It is the hope of the redeemed that they may become “equal to the angels” (Luke 20: 36). Paul taught that

“we are the children of God and if children then heirs: heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ: if so be we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together.” (Romans 8: 17) and
“we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5: 2)

This is the hope set before the faithful believers. They can obtain the glory of God, divine nature, the name of God and oneness with him as explained by Jesus,

“I pray for them which shall believe on me... that they all may be one ; as You Father are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.” (John 17: 20-21)

The possession of the name of God does not mean that the name-bearer is equal to the Creator. The apostles were to be “one” in Jesus. The Bible is setting out that what Jesus became and is now, that is, glorious, divine and immortal, the redeemed will become in the future.

Yahweh exalted and promoted Jesus to his position of honour and to be the Saviour of the faithful.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus , whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him has God exalted with His right hand to be a prince and a saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5: 30-31)

One of the greatest difficulties in the New Testament is the lack of differentiation of the names and titles applied to the Creator. The Old Testament clearly distinguishes between Yahweh as Creator and our all powerful God and the Elohim, who are the angels and messengers that carry out His will and commands.

We are told in the Bible that no man can look on Yahweh and live, yet Moses saw God. How can this be? The answer is that Moses spoke with the Elohim, as is clearly indicated by the use of the Hebrew 'Elohim'. This is again a very clear proof that Jesus was the Son of God and not God the Son. There are odd cases where some distinction is made in titles in the New Testament. Luke 20: 42-44 quoting from Psalm 110: 1 does clarify the relationship between Jesus and Yahweh.

“And he said to them, How say they that Christ is David's son? And David himself said in the book of Psalms, the LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

David knew that in the future there would be a son, his descendant, who would be greater than he himself had been, a son who would rule the world in peace. Notice the quote from Luke, as in the original from Psalm 110:1, gives a distinction in the term 'lord'. 'The LORD' indicates the Creator, Yahweh, and 'Lord' is in Hebrew Adonai, or lord as we understand it in English. Here again we have the greater LORD, who is Yahweh the Creator elevating a Lord, who is Jesus, to a position of prominence at His right hand until the time is ready for him to return to earth to judge the nations and take up his position as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. This clearly indicates a differentiation between Yahweh and Jesus and the subjection of the Son to His Father.

11) Could Christ have Pre-existed?

The preceding evidence completely negates the pre-existence of Christ. However, there are a number of passages that are produced as evidence to support this theory. In each and every case the fact that Yahweh had a plan with mankind explains them. A Redeemer had to be raised up to make the way for the forgiveness of sins and provide for salvation.

Jesus came from above in the sense that the power of Yahweh overshadowed Mary so that she conceived a son. All things were created by him in the sense that Yahweh's plan in creating all things including man, depended on a redeemer who was in all points like us, but had the spiritual support of His Father. Before his appearing to Israel he grew in wisdom and was in close communication with His Father. He was well grounded in the Old Testament writings and had an unequalled understanding of Yahweh's purpose. Throughout the Old Testament the seed of the woman to overcome sin and death was promised: to Eve, to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to David (see 'The Man Promised the Earth' & 'Personal Promises'). The nation of Israel is the witness to the truth of these promises, through dispersion, persecution, regathering and the revival of the nation in these latter days.

Jesus said that he was from 'above'. This is opposed to being from the 'earth', or of human nature. What does that tell us? It tells us that he was completely focussed on heavenly things doing his Father's will. His whole purpose in life had been clearly set out in the prophetic writings. He knew well the implications of Isaiah 53 and his sacrificial role in the process of redemption for mankind. He thought the same as his Father and was completely obedient to his Father's will. To fulfil the role of the Redeemer, Jesus had to be flesh and blood as we are to overcome sin. Only in this way would he be a fitting sacrifice and redeemer to take away the sins of mankind.

In the book of Isaiah, the Creator declared the 'end from the beginning' and 'the things that are not yet done.' From the beginning and the creation of mankind the word, the 'logos', has gone forth from above to achieve the Creator's purpose with this earth.

“I am God and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things not yet done, Saying my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46: 9)

12) Our future as Sons of God

As a conclusion, John's words sum up our position if we do not acknowledge Jesus as God's Son,

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 7)

This passage is important as this is John's view. And John, of the disciples, was the one who most understood Jesus. It is the misunderstanding of John's gospel that leads to many misconceptions regarding Jesus. To come 'in the flesh' is to be fully human. All flesh is 'as grass' (Isaiah 40:6, 1 Peter 1:24), which will die and perish (Job 34:15). To say that flesh does not perish is the lie of the serpent who said, “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4).

The apostle John says that Jesus was born like us, a dying creature, and we must confess this. He also says that those that believe will be exactly like Jesus, the son of God, when Jesus returns.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that,
when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
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