The question posed by the title, “Is YHWH’s servant, YHWH Himself?” should make you pause and think. But don’t struggle with it for too long though, because the question posed is nonsensical. It is impossible for a person to be their own servant, for a servant is “a person in the service of another.” Yet for many Christians, the belief that YHWH’s servant, Jesus, is actually YHWH Himself, is surprisingly quite prevalent. However, this understanding of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus defies not only logic and language, but also Scripture. A much simpler solution is to be found within the Biblical text, coming from the lips of Jesus himself. In his prayer to the Father in John 17:3, Jesus says: “This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent–Jesus Christ.” Jesus is not YHWH, the Father and the only true God; he is YHWH’s anointed and appointed human agent, the Messiah.
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It’s great to have knowledge, especially the true knowledge of the kingdom of God! However, it is also important to ask ourselves – what are we doing with this knowledge? Are we holding it to ourselves, stuck in our own little “Christian bubble,” or are we actively sharing it? If we’re not sharing it, we are not obeying Jesus’ command to preach the gospel and make disciples! We will be held responsible for what we know and what we’ve done with it. So I wanted to share an assignment from my evangelism class this year, to write a letter to someone explaining the gospel to them, and encourage you to think about how you can be proclaiming this live-saving message! How would you share it, and what are the necessary “ingredients” of the message? (If you think this letter would be useful to share with someone, by all means copy it and adapt it to your situation!) Let’s get busy sharing this amazing truth!
May 15th, 2013 by Sean
Originally presented at Atlanta Bible College’s 2013 Theological Conference
According to the Hebrew prophets, one day the God of heaven will set up a kingdom on this world, restoring it back to its original glory. Instead of shucking off the body like a husk so the soul can ascend, the biblical teaching about humanity’s destiny is rather fleshy. God designed humans to live on earth in the beginning, and he will resurrect his people on the last day, healing them of all their ailments and imparting to them immortality. The picture is a beautiful one, with people living in peace, confidently planting and harvesting without fear of intruders. Rather than rampant economic injustice, one will wear out the work of his own hands. This grand age is to begin with a banquet at which the resurrected saints will enjoy fine wine and rich meat, celebrating the victory of God. Although this terrestrial hope coursed through the veins of Jews for centuries, it had reached a fever pitch by the time of Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, he based his entire ministry on the proclamation and enactment of the coming of God’s kingdom.
Red-letter Bibles can be both a blessing and a curse – a blessing because they highlight the important words of our Lord Jesus, but a curse to the uninformed reader because occasionally the words highlighted in red are not actually the words of Jesus! One influential example of this may be found in the book of Revelation. In the New American Standard Bible, Revelation 1:8 is highlighted in red, suggesting that the following words are the words of Jesus. This verse reads “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” This red-letter emphasis conveys the idea that Jesus is the Lord God, the Almighty. However, a careful reader of the book of Revelation will question the accuracy of this red-letter emphasis, which is an editorial interpretation and not of the authoritative inspiration of God.
In John 17, Jesus prayed that his church would be one in the same way that he and the Father are one. The same unity of purpose that exists between Jesus and God ought to exist in the church.
So why is there more competition between Christian denominations than there is in the Superbowl playoffs?
The Theological Conference will be live webcast at the following times at
7:30 Dan Gill “The Torah of Messiah”
9:15 Dale Tuggy “The Lost Early History of Unitarian Christianity”
10:30 Joe Martin “God by the Book: Names, Titles and Numbers”
1:30 Dustin Smith “An Inquiry into the Identity and Meaning of the Devil and Demons”
3:00 Faith Stories
7:00 Kirk Walden “Turning Our Culture Upside Down: A Biblical Unitarian’s Journey in the Pro-Life Movement”
9:15 Sean Finnegan: “Eschatological Hedonism: How Asceticism Predisposed Ancient Christians to Reject the Kingdom Hope”
10:30 Kermit Zarley “Did Jesus Say He Would Return Soon?”
1:30 Ray Faircloth “The Cult Aspect of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization”
3:00 Anthony Buzzard “How Christianity Discards Its Own Founder’s Creed”
It is evident that the average church-goer has no real grasp on the biblical meaning of Messianic titles such as ‘Son of God,’ ‘Christ,’ or ‘Son of Man.’ According to Dr. Hugh Schonfield, author of The Passover Plot, the majority of the Christians he conversed with “were not even aware that Christ was simply a Greek translation of the Hebrew title Messiah (Anointed One), and supposed that it had to do with the heavenly nature of the Second Person of the Trinity.” The significance of such titles is clearly being overlooked. However, their importance is not to be understated, for Jesus himself said that it is “upon this rock,” namely the fact that he is the Christ, that “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt 16:16,18). Thus, it is essential to have a correct understanding of such Messianic titles, for a vague or unbiblical understanding of Jesus’ titles will lead to a corruption of the gospel message he preached, and ultimately, his identity.
If you asked 100 random people on the street what they thought of when they heard the word “church,” what do you think they would say? Some people would have positive thoughts about church, others negative. A lot of people would probably think of buildings with steeples, crosses, and stained glass windows.
How many people would say, “When I hear the word church, I think of me”?
Though it may sound strange, this should be the correct answer for anyone who calls Jesus Lord.
We Are His Body
Both the Gospels and the book of Acts make a clear distinction between the Lord God, the Father, and His Son Jesus, the Lord Messiah. Luke makes this apparent in his birth narrative, by identifying two distinct persons, each identified by the title “Lord.” He writes that Jesus, “the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26), “will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32). He would be begotten by the power of the Most High, and designated “Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). From this, it may be seen that by His power the Most High, the Lord God, created a human child in the womb of Mary who would be known as the Lord’s Christ, or Christ the Lord.
This article is something that friend and brethren in the faith Jaco Van Zyl posted on his Facebook page about a month ago. I told him then that I would post a copy of it here and well now a month later, I’m finally getting around to making it happen. Plus I haven’t posted an article here on the KR blog in something like f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I guess I’ll just be the random once-in-a-while KR contributor! Hope everyone enjoys this as much as I did! It is from Andrew Perriman’s website www.postost.net (where he has link backs to earlier articles, and contextual web verses, among other things).
Jesus is God or Jesus is Lord?