Who is the God of the Bible?
The identity of God is one of the greatest mysteries of the entire Bible. Without understanding who God is, it is impossible to understand the Bible and the purpose for the existence of the human race.
Numerous books and papers that attempt to explain who God is have been written and published. And the explanations are as diverse as the people doing the writing. But, why is there such confusion about who God is, when the identity of God is the key that unlocks all spiritual knowledge and understanding about the salvation of humanity that is contained in the Bible?
Almost two thousand years ago Jesus asked his disciples, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" (Matt.16:13). The scriptures show that many did not know who he was; however, the apostle Peter gives the correct answer when he says, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt.16:16).
Today, people ask remarkably similar questions: Who was the one called Jesus? Was Jesus a prophet, a wise man, a mere human, an angel, half human and half divine, or God incarnate, and who is the Father that he came to reveal?
In the Beginning
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen.1:1).
The Bible clearly states that a being called 'God' created heaven and earth. But who is this 'God'? Is he God the Father; is he Jesus Christ; is he both?:
"And God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Gen.1:26-27 KJV).
Most Bible scholars and linguists will agree that the word God in Genesis 1:1, 26-27 is the Hebrew word Elohim, which is a plural word that can mean Mighty Ones. Therefore, some say that this one word defines two specific individuals. Although the word Elohim does allow for a plural meaning, understanding who God is does not entirely depend upon this one descriptive word for God, because there are many scriptures showing that, at the beginning of the physical creation, there were two God-beings in the God family—God the Father and the Creator God. See Eph.3:13-15.
If the Mighty One of ancient Israel is the One who created the Savior of the New Covenant, as some believe, we have a gigantic problem to deal with in reference to what the Savior and his apostles said about the personage called the Father. The solution to this problem of who the Father and Jesus Christ are is found in the scriptures that clearly speak of two separate beings—God the Father and Jesus Christ, who became the Son of God.
The following will show that Genesis 1:1 speaks of the Creator God who became Jesus Christ and Genesis 1:26-27 reveals that it was God the Father who gave the instructions to the Creator God for the creation of humanity.
The meaning of much of the Bible concerning the identity of God should become clear, when one understands that the Creator God of ancient Israel was the second member of the God family, he became our Savior (Jesus Christ), and he came to reveal God the Father who is the Sovereign of all that exists.
THE MYSTERY OF GOD
In the Books of Matthew and Mark, there are some very strange statements made by Jesus Christ concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.
The Privileged Few
"And the disciples came, and said to him, Why speak you to them in parables? He answered and said to them, because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not Perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (Matt.13:10-15 KJV). See also Mk.4:11-12; Lk.8:9-10.
Only a select few were privileged to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. And in order to begin to understand these mysteries, one must first know what a kingdom is. There are four basic things to understand about a kingdom or government. A kingdom must have officials to govern it, territories to govern, people to govern, and laws with which to govern.
The mystery that Jesus spoke about pertained to the Kingdom of God; therefore, it seems logical that the mystery concerns the who, what, when, where, why, and how of this kingdom.
Who May Understand The Mystery?
Jesus says that the twelve apostles could understand the mystery of the Kingdom of God and the apostle Paul says that the ministers of Christ are stewards of the mysteries of God:
"And the disciples came, and said to him, Why do you speak to them in parables? He answered them and said, to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given" (Matt.13:10-11 KJV).
"Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful" (1.Cor.4:1-2 KJV).
Paul was given special insight into the mysteries of God—"How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; as I wrote before in few words" (Eph.3:3) and he states that the Ephesians also understand the mysteries of God. Because the elect of God at Ephesus understood, it can be assumed that all of the elect have the ability to understand the mysteries of God:
"Wherein he has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself" (Eph.1:8-9 KJV). See also Dan.11:32-33; 12:10.
The Mystery of Christ
"Whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit; That the gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of his power. To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of [participation of] the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by [through] Jesus Christ" (Eph.3:4-9 KJV). See also Rom.16:25-27.
Paul says that the mystery concerning Christ was revealed and that Jesus is not only the Son of God but also the Creator God.
Who is Jesus?
One thing people always wanted to know about Christ was his identity. On many occasions, Jesus told the people who he was, but they would not believe that he was the actual Son of God:
"And Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. The Jews gathered around him, saying 'How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ tell us plainly' Jesus answered, 'I did tell you, but you do not believe. . ." (Jn.10:23-25 NIV).
Who is the Father?
After all the things that Jesus taught his disciples concerning the Father and his message of salvation to humanity, they still did not fully understand who the Father was nor did they understand the message that Jesus brought from the Father.
"Thomas said to him, Lord, we know not where you go; and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him. Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us. Jesus said to him, Have I been so long a time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?" (Jn.14:5-9 KJV).
A Mystery to be Understood
"For I would that you knew what great conflict [concern] I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ" (Col.2:1-2 KJV). See also Col.1:24-27; 4:1-3.
Here, we see there is a mystery involved in understanding who God is, who the Father is, and who Christ is. This mystery of the Kingdom and the Family of God is understood by those to whom Jesus will reveal it.
"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he has declared to his servants the prophets" (Rev.10:7 KJV). See Matt.11:25-27; 13:10-15; Lk.10:21-22; 1.Cor.4:1-2; Eph.1:8-9.
"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: Yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1.Cor.2:6-7 KJV).
It is apparent when we read the history of the Jews that, if they had truly understood in their innermost being that Jesus was God, the majority of them would have worshiped him. However, this did not fit the plan of God, so most were blinded to this fact. See Mk.4:11-12; Lk.8:9-10:
"But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them to us by his spirit: for the spirit searches all things, Yes, the deep things of God" (1.Cor.2:8-10 KJV).
"Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen" (Rom.16: 25-27 KJV).
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Dan.12:10 KJV).
Many of the mysteries surrounding prophetic events and the gospel message that Jesus brought are being revealed during this age. These mysteries are revealed to those whom God the Father has called and is calling to salvation. The understanding of these mysteries will remain hidden from everyone else until the Kingdom of God is established on earth.
The Identity of God
The major reason that it is so difficult for most people to understand the exact identity of God is that the information is hidden from those who do not need to know. However, those who do need to know are told that they must diligently study in order to come to an understanding of who God is. Moreover, all of the information that is given in the Bible about God is presented as fact, which presumes that the person reading the information already believes in God and that the Bible is his written word.
In the following pages I will attempt to provide enough information about God to help the reader who wants to study further solve some of the many mysteries surrounding the identity of God and the relationship between the Creator God, Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the holy spirit. Because there is so much interrelated information in the Bible concerning these individual subjects, this chapter will only explore the following topic areas in order to establish foundational information concerning the identity of God:
There is a God family
Jesus, God with us
Jesus, the Creator God
Jesus, the Creator, the Son, and the Savior
Jesus, the Rock of ancient Israel
The Father, Jesus Christ, and the Book of Revelation
Jesus reveals the Father
Who is the Father?
Three popular beliefs about God
When did Jesus become the son of God?
THERE IS A GOD FAMILY
One of the great mysteries of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the elect of God concerns the identity of the Family of God. Our Savior repeatedly called the Supreme Sovereign "Father" and he talked about their father-son relationship. But, why do the majority of professing Christians believe that there is only one God-being? The reason is quite simple: Satan has deceived the whole world into thinking the Family of God does not exist. See Rev.12:9; 18:23; 19:20; 20:10.
Until a person comes to understand that there are two individual and separate God-beings who comprise the God family and that the relationship between the Sovereign God (God the Father) and the Creator God (Jesus Christ) is a father-son relationship, almost none of the Bible, including the Father's good news message, can be clearly understood.
Notice what the apostle Paul plainly says about the sovereign Family of God:
"I do not want you to fail because of my trials, because it is for you that I suffer, and for this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Eph.3:13-15 Para.).
When we understand that the Father's plan for the salvation of humanity is centered around increasing his family and that presently there are only two spirit-beings in his family (himself and his firstborn, Jesus Christ), and that his elect children on earth also bear his name and are considered a part of this family, what Paul says about the Father's family in heaven and earth makes sense.
The Gospel According to John
Above all other books of the Bible, the Gospel according to John expounds the pre-existence of Christ and the father-son relationship between Christ and God the Father. If this book did not exist, it would be difficult to explain the concept of the God family and how it functions.
Because the Book of John exists, the mystery of the God family, the pre-existence of Christ, and his position in the God family can be clearly understood.
Most of the people Jesus spoke to did not have a problem understanding the things that he wanted them to understand, regardless of the language he used (e.g., Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek). Today, however, we do have a problem understanding the mystery of Christ and his heavenly Father because we are centuries removed from that time and these languages.
The New Testament was translated into English from Ancient Greek and no translation can be totally accurate in every detail. Although the King James translation is thought to be one of the most accurate translations of the holy scriptures, it does have its problems.
Today, many of the words used in the Early Modern English (1500-1700 A.D.) convey very different meanings and concepts. This situation makes it necessary for us to return many times to the original Ancient Greek language in order to gain a more clear understanding of the scriptures, especially when trying to understand a subject as complex as who and what Christ is in relationship to God the Father. Therefore, to discover who Christ is, we will examine the original Ancient Greek language and the context in which key concepts and words are used.
The Word was with God
In the first chapter of John, we find some very difficult scriptures that cannot be understood without correctly understanding who and what the Family of God is:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (Jn.1:1 KJV).
John says that, in the beginning, the Word (Greek, Logos) existed. In the context of verse one, the word logos does not mean a part of speech or a language. John uses the word logos as many of the prophets did when they referred to being given information from the Creator God whom they described as The Word of The Lord (See Psa.107:20; 147:15, Jer.2:1,31, Ezk.1:1-3; 6:1-3).
John speaks of Jesus as being the word of God who is a separate being from God the Father. This is substantiated by the statements in the rest of John, chapter one.
At the beginning of creation, there was one called the Word (Greek, Logos), this Word was with God (Greek, Theos. English, Deity), and the Word (Logos) was also God (a Deity).
When John says, "This One was in the beginning with God" (Jn.1:2), he makes a further distinction between these two beings—The Logos and The Theos. Why would John emphasize this distinction if there is only one God-being?
"All things were made by him [the Word, the Logos]; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (Jn.1:3 KJV). See Gen.1:1, 26-27.
John says that all things that exist were made by this Logos who was with the Theos. Why did John have to explain this? We know that he was writing to Christians and Israelites who should have known who God was. So why was he explaining this fundamental principle?
Heresies of Docetism and Gnosticism
During the period in which John wrote, two major heresies were being taught—Docetism and Gnosticism. Docetism is the belief that Jesus only seemed to be a man, but he was actually too divine to be a human. Gnosticism teaches that the material world is basically evil, the spirit is basically good, and good could not touch evil; therefore, God could not have created the world.
Countering these heretical teachings could have been one of the reasons John went into such detail when he explained the relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Christ. Whatever his reason, John does give us a very detailed narrative of this relationship, which makes it possible for people today to know the identity of God the Father and Jesus Christ.
A Father-Son Relationship John 5:18-26 KJV
"Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also do the Son likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that he does: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel" (vs.18-20).
Over and over again Jesus said that he was the Creator God, the Son of God, and the Redeemer and Savior of humanity. However, most did not believe him because they were looking for a release from their physical problems instead of their spiritual problems.
"For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the son quickens whom he will. For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him. Verily, verily, I say to you, he that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself" (vs.21-26).
In order to understand what Jesus said here, it is important to remember that the Israelites historically held a monotheistic view of God. The God who the Israelites worshiped was a single entity; they believed in one God who was the supreme ruler (Deut.32:39; Mal.2:10). It is easy to understand why the Jews and even Jesus' disciples had a problem with what he taught concerning the concept of the God family. Here was a person who said he was God and also said that he was sent by his Father. This was a strange and repugnant doctrine to the vast majority of the Jews, most of whom could not accept this new teaching and felt it was blasphemous to even consider such a thing. See Jn.10:29-38.
Please read the entire sixteenth chapter of John for a detailed explanation of the father-son relationship between these two Supreme beings.
Two, Not Three in the God Family
There are a number of scriptures that record Jesus saying, "I and my Father." Three persons are never mentioned in this phrase, it is always "I and my Father." See Jn.10:30; 17:11, 22.
"If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him" (Jn.14: 23 KJV).
"To him that overcomes, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev.3:21 KJV). Again, two individuals are mentioned, not three.
Two Separate Gods Doing Two Separate Works
The Father does a work and Christ does a work. Here, we find two separate God-beings working harmoniously while doing two separate works:
"But Jesus answered them, my Father works hitherto, and I work" (Jn.5:17 KJV).
Again, we see individual beings spoken of—the Father and Christ. Clearly Jesus' own words should be proof that the Father and Jesus are two separate individual beings in the Family of God, and each of them performs a separate work in order to accomplish a common goal:
"But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father has given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father has sent me. And the Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he has sent, him you believe not. . . I am come in my Father's name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom you trust" (Jn.5:36-45 KJV).
"Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father" (1.Jn.2:22-23 KJV).
Here John states very clearly that those who deny that Jesus is the Christ and deny the individuality of the Father and the Son are liars. See Isa.43:11; 44:24-25; 45:21; 48:12-20; 60:16; Psa.78:20-35.
JESUS, GOD WITH US
Some people say that Jesus was not really God with us, but that he was merely a representation of God's divine nature. However, this is not what the Bible says. Notice what Matthew and Isaiah say about the reason for Mary's child being called Emmanuel:
"And she [Mary] shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord, by the prophet saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matt.1:21-23 Para.). See also Lk.1:28-35.
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa.7:14 KJV). Immanuel means 'God with us'. See also Isa.8:8-10.
There are two very important things to learn from the above scriptures:
The conception and birth of Jesus to a virgin was to be a sign of his divine origin.
The prophet Isaiah was inspired to reveal the Savior would be named Immanuel—God with us. (Isa.7:14; 8:8-10).
The Hebrew and the Greek words that are used in the above two texts clearly state that the being who would be the Savior would be GOD WITH US. There is absolutely no way that both the Hebrew and the Greek words used in these two texts can be translated to say anything other than what is clearly stated, without purposefully mistranslating the original language. Truly, Jesus was God with us.
Jesus the Son of God
After the angel told Mary that she would give birth to the Savior, she asked how this could happen because she was a virgin:
"And the angel answered and said to her, The holy spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: Therefore also the holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God" (Lk.1:35 KJV).
Luke says that it was the power (i.e., the holy spirit) that came from the HIGHEST which impregnated Mary and performed the process of conception. We are not told how this was accomplished, we are only told that it happened.
The Greek word used for Highest is Hupsistos and, in this case, it denotes the Sovereign of the universe—the most high, the highest, the supreme (God). Whoever this being is, he is the Supreme Sovereign above all others, whether they are spirit or physical, and this Supreme Being is the Father of our Savior.
The High Priest Zacharias
After the birth of John the Baptist, John's father, Zacharias, was inspired to foretell the coming of the God of Israel as the Messiah as if it had already taken place. If Jesus was the Messiah, it follows that he was also the Creator God who came to redeem humanity.
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people" (Lk.1:68 KJV). See also verses 57-80.
John the Baptist
"As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you" (Mk.1:2 KJV). Mark quotes Malachi 3:1, but with a significant alteration. Malachi 3:1 reads: "Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me." Mark is simply affirming that Jesus, who was God, prepared for his own coming.
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea. And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight" (Matt.3:1-3 KJV).
Here, John fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah by preparing the way of the Lord (Isa.40:3). Isaiah said the One whose way was to be prepared was Yehovaw, the Self Existent One, the Eternal. Likewise, John says he was preparing the way for the Kurios, the Supreme Authority. Both Isaiah and John say that God is the One for which the way was being prepared.
Only God Can Forgive Sins
"When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the sick of palsy, Son, your sins be forgiven you. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" (Mk.2:5-7 KJV).
These scribes were correct in their knowledge of who could forgive sins (See Psa.32:5 and Isa.43:25). However, they did not know that Jesus was the incarnation of the only God they had known, and that he had the right and authority to forgive sins. See Mk.2:8-10.
A GOD BECOMES FLESH AND BLOOD
"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" (Jn.1:14 KJV). See also Rom.8:3; Heb.2:9; 1.Jn.1: 5-9; Jude 25.
Here, John adds a new dimension of understanding, when he speaks of a being called 'the Father'. There is no doubt from the context that this spirit-being is distinctly different from our Savior. He is the One whom John says the Word was with and he is the One whom Paul says created all things through Christ (1.Cor.8:6; Col.1:15-18):
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached to the gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1.Tim.3:16 KJV).
Here, the English word manifest is the Greek word phaneroo, which means appear, declare, or show. Paul says that God appeared in the flesh. However, when did God manifest himself in the flesh? The only place in the Bible where we find conditions that fit all of the descriptive terms used in 1.Timothy 3:16 is the New Testament. And the only person who claims to represent and come from the Father is Jesus. Therefore, the God who was manifested had to be the Creator God, Jesus Christ.
This powerful spirit-being came to earth to perform a mission of great importance, and the majority of the people he came into contact with did not even know who he was:
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not" (Jn.1:10 KJV).
One of the most profound mysteries of the New Testament is the incarnation of the immortal Creator God. In his incarnation, he was still God, but in the human form in human flesh. Moreover, he was without immortality and subject to eternal death.
Some teach that Jesus was not God incarnate, but that he was only a normal human being with the spirit of God dwelling within him. If Jesus were not God incarnate, then Jewish history would be correct and humanity is still in need of a Savior.
JESUS THE CREATOR GOD
The eighth chapter of the gospel according to John is full of details that show Jesus came from heaven and was the Creator God before his physical existence.
John 8:21-25 KJV
"Then said Jesus again to them, I go my way, and you shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, you cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Because he says, Whither I go, you cannot come. And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: You are of this world [Greek, cosmos]; I am not of this world [cosmos]" (vs.21-23).
Jesus spoke very plainly here; he told them he was not of the physical earth, but that his origin was spiritual.
'I AM', THE CREATOR GOD
"I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I AM he, you shall die in your sins. Then said they to him, Who are you? and Jesus said to them, Even the same that I said to you from the beginning" (vs.24-25).
A very interesting thing to note in verse 24 is the English phrase I Am he. In the original Greek text, it is ego imee, which means I AM. The word he was added by the translators. Most interlinear translations capitalize the phrase I AM and set it apart from other words. The important point here is that I AM is one of the names of the Creator God.
If the words I AM mean God and Jesus was telling these people that he was the Creator God, it should be easy to understand why the Jews were so frightened when they came to arrest him and he told them I AM:
"They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said to them, I AM. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said to them, I AM, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek you? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I AM: if therefore you seek me, let these go their way" (Jn.18:5-8 KJV).
The word he, which follows I Am, is omitted for clarity of meaning, since it is not in the original Greek text.
John 8:26-59 KJV
"I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of [from] him. They understood not that he spoke to them of the Father" (vs.26-27).
Jesus heard these things directly from the Father. John adds that, at that time, the apostles did not understand that Jesus was speaking about the supreme sovereign—God the Father:
"Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the son of man, then shall you know that I AM he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me. I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spoke these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free' (vs.28-32).
"They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the son abides ever' (vs.33-35).
"If the son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your Father" (vs.36-38).
If Jesus saw these things with the Father, he must have been there to see them. Either Jesus was telling the truth, or he was lying. If he lied, he would not be our Savior.
"They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham' (v39).
"But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham" (v40).
The Interlinear Bible translates verse 40 as follows:
"And you seek me to kill, a man who the truth to you has spoken which I heard beside God, this, Abraham did not do."
Here, the English word beside is translated from the Greek word para, which means beside, next to, near, in the sight of, and close proximity to. By using this word, Christ affirms that he had been with God the Father in heaven.
"You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me" (vs.41-42).
The religious leaders of the Jews had great difficulty with what Jesus said about his heavenly Father because they did not understand the prophecies concerning the Messiah and what he would teach.
"Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not. Which of you convinces [censures] me of [because of] sin? and if I say the truth, why do you not believe me? He that is of God hears God's words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God" (vs. 43-47).
Although these religious leaders had an academic understanding of the scriptures, they could not perceive the spiritual intent of what Jesus was saying because they were not living or teaching the truth of God.
"Then answered the Jews, and said to him, Say we not well that you are a Samaritan, and have a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and you do dishonor me. And I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeks and judges. Truly, truly, I say to you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death" (vs.48-51).
Jesus could make this promise because he was the Creator God and the Savior of humanity.
"Then said the Jews to him, Now we know that you have a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and you say, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Are you greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom make you yourself?" (vs.52-53).
We must remember that the Jews were looking for the Messiah to come and deliver them from physical bondage. If Jesus had said he was the Christ and had come to deliver them from their physical bondage, their reaction would not have been the same—but Jesus said something very different!
"Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom you say, that he is your God: Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like to you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews to him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" (vs.54-57).
To what day was Jesus referring that Abraham was happy to see? Without more information we can only assume that Jesus was speaking of the day when Abraham entertained God prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, because we know Abraham is not in heaven. See Jn.3:13; Acts 2:34.
Jesus Said He Existed Before Abraham
Even though many scriptures speak of Jesus being a member of the God family, many people feel that he was only a human being and did not pre-exist. Notice what Jesus himself and others were inspired to say of his pre-existence.
In verse 58, Jesus makes a statement that was more than the Jews could bear or comprehend:
"Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
Jesus had just bluntly told them that he had pre-dated and existed prior to Abraham. In other words, he told them that he was the Creator God of Abraham. This so angered the Jews that they immediately tried to kill him for speaking what they considered to be blasphemy.
"Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by" (v59).
Jesus explains that he is the way to eternal life:
"Then said they to him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst" (Jn.6: 34-35 KJV).
"Jesus answered and said to them, Do not murmur with one another. No one is able to come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up in the last day. It has been written in the prophets, "they shall be all taught of God." So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father, comes to me" (Jn.6:43-45 Para.). See also Jn.6:47.
JESUS THE CREATOR, THE SON, AND THE SAVIOR
This section will examine many of the scriptures which show, without a doubt, that Jesus is the Creator God, the Son of the Sovereign Father of all that exists, and the Savior of humanity.
The apostle Paul clearly taught that Jesus was the Creator God who became the Savior and that he was the Son of God the Father:
"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" (1.Cor.8:6 KJV). See also Col.1:1-3.
Here, we have an extremely clear statement that shows that God the Father is the supreme power and ruler over all things and that all things exist through Jesus Christ, including the Father's sons of the New Creation.
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sin. Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth . . . all things were created by him and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead . . ." (Col.1:14-18 KJV).
Some people believe that this scripture speaks of the Father as the Creator; however, it does not. How can this belief be true, when the One spoken of here was the one who shed his blood for humanity? Clearly, these scriptures refer to the Savior as the Creator of all that exists.
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. To the intent now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal wisdom which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph.3:9-11 KJV).
In his letters to the Corinthians, the Colossians, and the Ephesians the apostle Paul makes the same distinction that John did regarding these two distinct and individual God-beings and their relationship to each other. Paul also substantiates the writings of John in showing that God the Father is the supreme sovereign, who directed Christ to create all that is. Notice what the writer to the Hebrews clearly says about God the Father and Jesus Christ the Creator God:
"Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers through the prophets [in visions, dreams, and even face to face], telling them little by little about his plans. But now in these days he has spoken to us through his Son to whom he has given everything, and through whom he made the world and everything there is. God's Son shines out with God's glory, and all that God's Son is and does marks him as God. He regulates [Greek, phero. English, to uphold or to rule] the universe by the mighty power of his command. He is the one who died to cleanse us and to clear our record of all sin, and then sat down in highest honor beside the great God of heaven" (Heb.1:1-3 LBP). See also verses 7-10 and Job 26:12-13; Psa.65:6; Rom.16:25.
The fourth and fifth chapters of the Book of Revelation give further details, which confirm that Jesus Christ is the Creator God and that all things were made for the Father. Please carefully study both chapters for a clear understanding of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Clearly the WORD or the LOGOS, spoken of by John is none other than Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, which John speaks about in the fourth and fifth chapters of the Book of Revelation.
"And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, see you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus; worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name was The Word of God" (Rev.19:9-13 KJV).
John 1:4-5, 6-9 KJV
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (vs. 4-5).
Simply put, the vast majority of the people who saw and heard the Savior did not know or understand who he was or why he came to earth. The same can be said for the generation we live in today; very few people really know who Jesus was, why he came then, and why he will come again.
John the Baptist
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That Light was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world" (vs.6-9).
The apostle John clearly says that John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Light (i.e., the Creator God/Jesus Christ) who would be the Messiah. Even Jesus said he was the Light from God:
"Then spoke Jesus again to them saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (Jn.8:12 KJV). See also Isa.42:1-7; Mal.4:2; Acts 26:13-18.
Jesus Says he is the Messiah
On a number of occasions Jesus said he was the Messiah. If Jesus was telling the truth, he had to be the Creator God, because the Creator God said that he was the only Redeemer and Savior. See Isa.43:11.
"I know that Messiah comes, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus said to her [a Samaritan woman], I that speak to you am he. . ." (Jn.4:25-26 KJV).
"And Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. The Jews gathered around him, saying 'How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ tell us plainly'. Jesus answered, 'I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep" (Jn.10:24-26 NIV)
Paul and Peter say that Jesus is the Savior:
"But has in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior. To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior" (Tit.1:3-4 KJV). See also Lk.1:47; 2:11; Acts 5:31; 13:23; 2.Pet.1:1-11; 2:20; 3:2-18; and Jude 25.
"For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men especially of those that believe" (1.Tim.4:10 KJV).
"Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ . . ." (Tit.2:10-13KJV).
"Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified whom God raised from the dead, even by him does this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:10-12 KJV).
Salvation can only come through Jesus, not only because he is our Savior today but also because he was the Creator God who made covenants and promises with the patriarchs and national Israel concerning salvation. This is why the patriarchs (e.g., Noah, Abraham, Moses, David) will have salvation along with anyone else who remains in Christ.
Another reason that there is no salvation in any other name (authority) but Jesus' is that he became the supreme sacrifice by giving up his life for humanity. The scriptures plainly state that Jesus is the only name (authority) under heaven by which we can be saved. Because the Mighty One of Israel said he was the only Redeemer and Savior, it makes sense that he (Jesus) is still the only name or authority by which we can be saved. Once we understand that the Creator God was the One who became Jesus Christ the Savior, it becomes much easier to understand and determine who is being spoken of when the word 'God' is used in the scriptures—(e.g., God the Father, Jesus Christ, or both).
JESUS, THE ROCK OF ISRAEL
One of the major misconceptions people have about Jesus is their assumption that he did not exist before his physical birth. The mystery of who and what Jesus was before his physical birth must be solved before one can understand who and what God the Father is. Therefore, the following scriptures should prove beyond a doubt that Jesus was the God of ancient Israel who was known as the Rock and Israel's deliverer, Redeemer, and Savior:
"Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe you greatness to our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he" (Deut.32:3-4 KJV).
"There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside you: neither is there any rock like our God" (1.Sam.2:2 KJV).
The word rock in Hebrew is sur, which means boulder, formation of stone, or material of which mountains are composed. This word appears about seventy-five times in the Old Testament and it is used many times to describe the Creator God and his characteristics.
The word sur also appears in names such as: Zurishaddai—my Rock is Shaddai (Num.1:6), and Zuriel—my Rock is El (God). See Num.3:35.
"But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: you are waxen fat, you are grown thick, you are covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation" (Deut.32:15 KJV).
"And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer. The God of my rock; in him will I trust: He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my Savior; you save me from violence" (2.Sam.22:2-3 KJV).
"He shall cry to me, you are my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation" (Psa.89:26 KJV).
"Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed;. . . he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. . ..He sent them meat to the full. . .He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: . . .for all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. . ..When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the High God their Redeemer" (Psa.78:20-35 KJV).
Jesus the Rock and Redeemer of Israel
In the following scriptures, Paul leaves no doubt that he believed that Jesus Christ was the Rock and Redeemer of Israel:
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: AND THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST" (1.Cor.10:1-4 KJV). See also 1.Pet.1:10-11.
"Israel, that pursued the law of righteousness, has not succeeded in their attempt to conform to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but attempted to conform by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling-stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed" (Rom.9:31-33 Para.).
"For there is one God [supreme sovereign], and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1.Tim.2:5 KJV).
The apostle Peter confirmed Paul's analysis that Christ is the prophetic ROCK:
"Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded. To you therefore which believe he is precious: But to them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereto also they were appointed" (1.Pet.2:6-8 KJV). See also Psa.118:22-23; Matt.21:42; Acts 4:11-12; Eph.2:20.
While being questioned by the high priest and elders about his authority to heal a lame man, Peter explained that it was through the authority of Jesus Christ that he healed. Moreover he explained that Jesus was the Savior of humanity:
"Be it known to you all, and to all people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him does this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 10:10-12 KJV).
Because the Creator God of Israel and Jesus Christ are both called the only Redeemer and Savior, they must be the same being. If they are not the same being, there is a problem that cannot be solved using the Bible, because, the Creator God of Israel and Jesus Christ are both the same being according to the Bible.
The Savior and Redeemer
Because both the apostles Paul and Peter say that Jesus was the Rock (God) of ancient Israel, the prophetic scriptures that speak of the rock of offence and the only Savior and Redeemer can only be referring to Jesus Christ:
"And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (Isa.8:14 Para.).
"I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Savior" (Isa.43: 11 KJV).
"Thus says the Lord your Redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am the Lord that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by Myself" (Isa.44:24 KJV).
"Tell you, and bring them near; Yes, let them take counsel together: who have declared this from ancient time? who have told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me" (Isa.45:21 KJV).
"I the Lord am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob" (Isa.60:16 KJV).
"Yet I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but me: for there is no Savior beside me" (Hos.13:4 KJV).
The Biblical record leaves no doubt that the Creator of humanity is its only Redeemer and Savior. Furthermore, there is no contradiction with Jesus Christ being the only Redeemer and Savior, because they are one in the same person:
The Creator was in absolute authority over the earth.
Salvation could only be gained before the gospel age through the keeping of the laws, precepts, and principles of God.
Only after the Creator became the Savior could humans gain access to the Father who is the immortal sovereign. See Heb.4: 15-16.
THE FATHER, CHRIST, AND THE BOOK OF REVELATION
In order to even begin to understand what is said in the first four chapters of the Book of Revelation concerning God the Father and Jesus Christ, it is necessary to review what Jesus says about the fact that he came from the Father and would return to him:
"I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father" (Jn.16:28 KJV). See also Jn.3:13.
Jesus says that he came forth from the Father into the world and he leaves the world again. If we understand that Christ was the Creator, this statement will not be a mystery.
Here, the English word again is translated from the Greek word palin, which means once more, repetition, or again. As the Creator God, he came to this planet many times. Remember, Adam, Eve, Cain, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and many others saw, ate, and communicated face-to-face with the Creator.
The next few verses are very important because they show us when the disciples began to understand who Jesus and the Father are:
"A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me, because I go to the Father. Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he says to us, A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?" (Jn.16:16-17 KJV).
The disciples did not quite understand what Jesus was telling them because they did not yet fully grasp the concept of the God family. In the verses that follow, Jesus further explains that he came from the Father and he had to return to heaven. After this explanation, the disciples began to truly believe the things that Jesus had been telling them about the Father and himself.
"I came forth from the Father and am come into the world: Again I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said to him, Lo, now speak you plainly, and speak no proverb. Now we are sure that you know all things, and need not that any man should ask you: by this we believe that you came forth from God" (Jn.16:28-30 KJV).
The Book of Revelation
One of the first things we notice as we begin to read the Book of Revelation is that this revelation was given by God (Greek: Theos—the Supreme Sovereign of all that exists) to Jesus Christ to give to the saints.
"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw" (Rev.1:1-2 KJV).
Here, John is inspired to record the distinction between Jesus Christ and God the Father and he continues to make this distinction throughout the entire Book of Revelation.
"John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be to you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. " (Rev.1:4-5 KJV).
Some Bible scholars point out that the and in the phrase and from Jesus Christ is the Greek exegetic and, which can mean even. If even is the correct translation it would mean that the One referred to as the One who was and is coming is Jesus Christ. If not, then we could assume that the One spoken of is God the Father, because the Father is eventually coming to the earth (1.Cor.15:24-28; Rev.21:1-7).
There is no need to guess who this being is that sits upon the throne, because the seven spirits are also shown to be before the throne of God the Father along with Jesus Christ and the 24 elders. See Rev.4:1-11 (especially verse 5); 5:1-9; 6:16; 7:9-17.
The Alpha and Omega
In a prophecy of the future the Creator God speaks of himself as the first and the last (the Alpha and Omega) and says that he is sent by the spirit of God to redeem humanity. This prophecy can only be understood with the knowledge that Jesus is the Creator God who was sent to redeem humanity.
Isaiah 48:12-13, 16-17, 20 KJV
"Hearken to me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. My hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spanned the heavens: when I call to them, they stand up together (vs.12-13). . .Come you near to me, hear you this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his spirit, has sent me. This says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord your God which teaches you to profit, which leads you by the way that you should go (vs.16-17) The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob" (v20).
The following are some of the things that can be learned from these verses about the One who calls himself the first and the last:
He is the One who has created the physical existence.
He has revealed who he was from the beginning of Creation.
He has been sent by his Lord and his Lord's spirit.
He is Israel's Holy One and Redeemer.
He is the Lord God.
Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega
"To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia. . ." (Rev.1:5-11 KJV).
We are freed from our sins by the sacrifice of the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and Ending, who is Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. From this evidence, it is easy to see that Jesus is the Creator God, because the God of the ancient Israel also claimed these same titles.
The One "who was and is coming" refers to Jesus. However, even if it did refer to God the Father, there would be no contradiction in the phrase "who was and is coming" because both are God-beings and both will be in the heavenly Jerusalem when it is brought to earth. See Rev.21:10-27.
Remember that John was told to write these things to the elect of God through Jesus Christ who says that it was his God (i.e., God the Father) who instructed him to reveal these prophecies to John and the churches.
NAMES AND TITLES AND THEIR MEANINGS
'Alpha' is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and it is often used to signify the number one or the first of something.
The Beginning, arche, means commencement.
The First, protos, means foremost in time, place or order.
Omega, the last letter in the Greek alphabet, means finality.
The Ending, eschatos, means final in time and place, and the last.
The Almighty, pantokrator, means the all ruling.
Jesus is all of these things and more. He is the author and finisher of our faith; he is the Creator of all things; he is the first and last Savior of humanity; and he is the second in command in the Kingdom of God sitting at the right hand of God the Father.
The Alpha and Omega was Dead and Now Lives
After hearing the voice of the Alpha and Omega, John turned to see who was speaking to him (Rev.1:12-17). What he saw scared him so much that he fainted. It is interesting to note that a similar being was seen by the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel (Ezk.1:26-28; Dan.7:9).
"And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying to me, fear not; I am the First and the Last: I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Rev.1: 17-18).
The Greek Interlinear translates the Greek phrase was dead as I became dead, and the Greek word used here for dead is corpse. The Alpha and Omega said he was a dead body and now is alive forever. This phrase is very important when one considers that some feel the totality of Jesus did not really die and that only his flesh died. This statement, however, says he was totally dead.
Notice that the Alpha and Omega (the Savior) was totally dead at one time: "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These things says the first and the last, which was dead [was a corpse], and is alive" (Rev.2:8 KJV).
THE BOOK OF LIFE
"He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white clothing; and I [Jesus] will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess [acknowledge] his name before my Father [God the Father], and before his angels" (Rev.3:5 KJV).
The Alpha and Omega is the one who controls the Book of Life. There should be no doubt that the Alpha and Omega was the Creator God who told Moses he had the power to blot names out of the Book of Life. See Ex.32:32-33 KJV.
JESUS REWARDS THE SAINTS
"Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God [Theos], and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God [Theos], and the name of the city of my God [Theos], which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God [Theos]: and I will write upon him my new name" (Rev.3:12 KJV).
Jesus, who is the Alpha and Omega, has the power and authority from God the Father to give positions and names to the Father's elect children. See Matt.28:18.
"To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev.3:21 KJV).
"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty [Greatness] in the heavens" (Heb.8:1 KJV).
AT THE FATHER'S THRONE
In chapter four of the Book of Revelation, John describes another event that takes place in heaven. This momentous event starts with the opening of a door through which John sees a god-being sitting on a central throne with twenty four others he calls elders sitting on thrones around the central throne.
John describes this great god-being in the same way he did the God of Christ in Revelation, chapter one, verse four. Moreover, the scriptures clearly show that all things were created for this god-being's pleasure (Rev.4:11) and that God the Father created all things by and through Jesus Christ (Eph.3:9; Col.1:11-16). Therefore, it should be evident that the god-being sitting on the central throne is God the Father. Revelation, chapter five also shows that the spirit-being on this throne is God the Father.
"And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that lives for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created" (Rev.4: 8-11 KJV).
THE ROOT OF DAVID AND LAMB OF GOD
As this event progresses in heaven, we are told that the One sitting on the throne has a book that no one can open, except Jesus Christ.
"And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David [see Rev.22:16] has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth" (Rev.5:5-6 KJV). See also Rev.1:4-5.
We know from the prophecies of the Old Testament and the history of the New Testament that the only person who could possibly fit the description of the Lamb is Jesus the Christ.
"And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne" (Rev.5:7 KJV).
As soon as Jesus Christ had taken the book out of the hand of God the Father, the twenty four elders who had been worshiping the Father begin to sing and praise Jesus Christ and worship the One who sits upon the throne.
John again makes a difference between God the Father and Jesus Christ: "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be to him that sits upon the throne and to the Lamb for ever and ever" (Rev.5:13 KJV).
Verses 10 through 17 of Revelation, chapter 7 show that some of the elect of God who come out of great tribulation will serve God the Father in his temple. These scriptures also show that the Lamb of God (Christ) is a distinct and separate individual from God the Father.
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; And he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, saying, We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which are, and were, and art to come; because you have taken to you your great power, and have reigned" (Rev.11:15-17 KJV).
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and offspring of David the bright and morning star" (Rev.22:12-16 KJV).
An honest study of the biblical record will reveal the existence of two god-beings before the creation of humans. One god was the Sovereign God and the other god was the Creator God.
In the beginning of the apostle John's gospel account, he identifies the Creator God as the Word who was with the Sovereign God:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (Jn.1:1-5 KJV).
The apostle John also tells us that the Word created the world and that the Word came to live among humans as the firstborn son of the Sovereign God (i.e., the Father ):
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 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" (Jn.1:10-14 KJV).
The Apostle Paul and the writer to the Hebrews clearly and concisely document the identity of the Sovereign God, the Creator God, and Jesus Christ:
"Giving thanks to the Father, which has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation—for all things were created in him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth; the visible and the invisible; whether thrones, or lordships, or rulers, or authorities, all things have been created through him. And he is before all things, and all things consist in him. And he is the Head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he be preeminent in all things" (Col.1:12-18 Para.). See also Acts 13:33-35; Rev.1:5 KJV.
"Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers through the prophets [in visions, dreams, and even face to face], telling them little by little about his plans. "But now in these days he [i.e., the Sovereign God] has spoken to us through his Son [i.e., Jesus Christ] to whom he has given everything, and through whom he made the world and everything there is. God's Son shines out with God's glory, and all that God's Son is and does marks him as God. He regulates the universe by the mighty power of his command. He is the one who died to cleanse us and clear our record of all sin, and then sat down in highest honor beside the great God of heaven" (Heb.1:2-3 LBP).
The Creator God who made all that exists for the Sovereign God voluntarily gave up his immortality to come to earth in human form, live a sinless life as an example for us to follow, and sacrificed his life in an agonizing death as payment for the sins of all humanity. He did this in order that each of us could be saved from eternal death as a result of our violation of God's perfect law. See 1.Cor.6:20; 7:23; Ezk.18:4,20; Rom. 6:23.
The reason for so much confusion and misunderstanding among professing Christians today about God, the Family of God, God the Father, and Jesus Christ is quite simple. Satan has deceived most of them into believing that there is only one God-being or that God is a trinity of beings. Moreover, he has deceived the rest of the world into believing that the true God does not exist and worshiping a false god. See Rev.12:9; 18:23; 19:20; 20:10.
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God [God the Father], and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night" (Rev.12:9-10 KJV).
A great part of Satan's deception is the teaching that God the Father and Jesus Christ are not separate individual God-beings and that the Family of God does not exist.
B.L. Cocherell b3w1