"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephsians 1:17-23
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Much debate has centred on the biblical claim that Yeshua Ben Yosef was actually Yeshua Ben El. We believe the Scriptures give us a clear message.
Stripped of the cloaking of tradition and mysticism and seen as a straight forward biblical statement of fact it may not seem so strange - at least to those who accept the Bible record as a faithful revelation of God's dealings with mankind.
In the beginning God. First we learn of the Creator God and the creation of all that is, then finally human beings created in His own "likeness and image" and given the Divine command to reproduce "after their kind". We learn of the fall and the promise. Much later, in the fullness of time, we learn that a Child is born who has the Creator God for a father and a human female as mother. Actually, a fairly straight forward event that has been shrouded in mystery so that for many it has required a blind "leap of faith" to even accept the truth of the record. We are aware that some of the difficulty rests with the doctrine of "incarnation" and that there are also some other theological considerations that will need to be addressed before a “plain text” understanding of the literal event will rest easy on some hearts.
However, we believe that our “teachers” have been guilty of “adding to” the Word of God and the whole subject has been made mystical and mystifying with theological catch phrases designed to answer that which has been made unanswerable or fend off further questioning that might threaten the accepted "interpretation". A blind obedience is often demanded in the name of "faith", to avoid asking questions at odds with the "accepted interpretation".
So, let us not become confused by the inexplicability of our man-made doctrines but rather stand in awe at the wonder of this event as recorded for us in the Holy Scriptures. God, the Creator, uniting with mankind, His creation. Not incarnation but procreation. Not a change of form but a new being, "one flesh" with the mighty God - the "Word", (logos - see below) that existed in the mind and purposes of God from the foundation of the world, "became flesh". The decree of the Lord is, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you." Ps. 2:7
The simply stated Biblical fact is found in Luke 1:35 "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power (creative) of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the Holy Thing begotten shall be called the Son of God." Matthew simply says Mary was "found to be with child by the Holy Spirit" and Joseph was assured by the angel, "that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." You either believe this or church tradition.
If we are to take this record literally, then here we have an account of the Creator God, in the fullness of time, uniting with His creation in birthing a new creature "after their kind", a "second Adam" as the Means by which He will both fulfil His promise to the serpent, (Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.") and make atonement with His own life and being for His fallen creation, thus reconciling both creature and Creator and the very nature of God Himself. Psalm 85:10 tells us "Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Romans 11: 33 “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!”
If this is the glorious truth of the arrival of a Saviour for mankind, why is it necessary to shroud the whole event in mystery and illogical concepts that are implied by conventional incarnational teaching? Jesus is without doubt, according to the record, the Son of God, the one unique being in all creation, the blending into "one flesh" of creature and Creator. Why can we not think in terms of, the uniting of the Divine and human? A creative act "after their kind" "likeness and image". If this was not so, then why a human mother and a natural birth? Why not a "spiritual" uniting with a grown human personality? Because a true "son" must be "begotten", "one flesh", the mixing of the genes of two separate beings. A child must have a father and a mother. God ordained it that way. And the Son of God must be as divine as His Father, yet as human as His mother.
Not a biological "conjuring trick", not some genetic "slight of hand", but an event of tremendous magnitude, no other event in all creation or all eternity had been like this one. The Creator joins with His creation to defeat the foe. Yet, it was an act according to God's design. In keeping with His creative purposes.
It is a plain statement of Scripture, why must we shroud it in mystery and confuse it with doctrine? Why particularly in an age when we practice surrogate motherhood, invitro fertilisation and genetic engineering with all manner of possibilities that could change the human race. When the mere creature boasts of the ability to make life or nearly so and contemplates creating human beings from scraps of DNA, to bypass nature and clone living creatures. Shall not the almighty Creator beget for Himself a Son?
We have no need to make this plain revelation the subject of "private interpretation" and mysticism - God's word is clear.
At this point, prompted by conventional wisdom, we suddenly find ourselves asking, "but didn't Jesus exist eternally and co-equal with the Father before this time?" Strangely enough, the Bible does not say so, although some passages are made to say that, to satisfy a commonly held, doctrine of the Trinity, which teaches the co-eternal, co-equal status of three Persons in a Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. [ See Trinity and the Nature of God ]
While some Scriptures are 'interpreted' to support the Trinitarian view and others have been altered or added to in an attempt to give the idea credence, it is impossible to faithfully justify the doctrine in the context of a plain text reading of the New Testament. In fact Paul clearly teaches the subservience of the Son to the Father and speaks of the "GOD and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". Paul said He, (Jesus), was "the image of the invisible God " and that it "was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness of deity to dwell in Him, (Jesus)" He was the truly divine Son of the Mighty God. Col.2:9. However, in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 Paul writes, "Then the end will come, when he (Jesus) hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he (Jesus) must reign until he (the Father) has put all his enemies under his (Jesus) feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he (the Father) "has put everything under his (Jesus) feet." [ Psalm 8:6 ] Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him (Jesus), it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him (the Father) who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all." Now this statement IS an explanation, it is not difficult and it is consistent with everything Jesus said concerning His relationship to His Father. He said plainly, after His resurrection, " . . . I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." John 20:17.
In John 1:1-5 we read, "In the beginning was the Word, [Strong’s # 3056 logos – something said, intent] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it."
This passage is quoted to prove that Jesus pre-existed with the Father at creation and that it was actually Jesus who was the Creator. The passage is not a simple one and is hardly suitable as a "proof text". It needs to be understood in the context of the rest of Scripture. We know God spoke and it was done, the whole concept of creation and redemption was a "word", an “intention” in the beginning. The Psalmist reminds us that the plagues on Egypt resulted when God "spoke" Psalms 105 - 107. God "spoke" to the serpent in Eden promising that the "seed of the woman" would "crush your head" and that "word" became flesh and fulfilled the promise. The centurion knew that Jesus "word' would heal his servant. Matt. 8:8.
From our standpoint, Jesus was The Word of God but a single metaphor cannot be taken as consistent in every context.
Jesus said he was the "Light of the World" - he does not claim to be other than the Son of God come to bring light into darkness. Let us rejoice and marvel at the wondrous ways God works, yet within the confines of His creation, by which He may be known. Romans 1:20.
We must not make plain revelation the subject of "private interpretation" and mysticism?
Jesus said to His accusers "I and my Father are One". John 10:30 And later in His "Great High Priestly Prayer" in John 17 vs. 11,22 He twice said "that they may be one as we are one". In fact in verse 22 He said "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one".
Psalm 8:3-6 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [ Or than God ] and crowned him with glory and honour. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.
See Genesis 1:26-31 - 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [ Hebrew; Syriac all the wild animals ] and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." 29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it-- I give every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-- the sixth day.
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