Shaming the Shameless Pt. 2b

We continue our response to JW apologist Bernard Maina https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/shaming-the-shameless-pt-2a/ by providing further proofs from the King James Bible that Jesus Christ is Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh.

Not only is the Messiah called God, he is even called Jehovah!

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness (yhvh sidqenu).” Jeremiah 23:5-6

The Davidic King is called “The LORD Our Righteousness,” because he is the One sent to save and justify his people, as well as to establish God’s perfect justice and judgment on earth.

This is precisely what the NT says the Lord Jesus came to do, namely, save believers from God’s wrath by justifying or declaring and making them righteous, so they can live in peace with God:

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:1, 8-11

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”1 Corinthians 1:30

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” Philippians 3:7-11

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

In fact, the very name “Jesus” was given to Christ for the purpose of identifying him as Jehovah God Almighty who has come to save believers from their transgressions:

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus (Yeshua): 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 (Meth hemon ho Theos).” Matthew 1:21-23

“Jesus” in Hebrew means “Jehovah is salvation,” a most apt name in light of the angel’s announcement to Joseph that Christ shall redeem his people from their iniquities, which is a work that the OT ascribes to Jehovah alone:

“Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:7-8

Christ is further said to be THE God (not A god) who has come to dwell with humanity. Matthew even ends his Gospel with this proclamation:

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always (ego meth hymon eimi pasas), even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20

Thus, according to Matthew Jesus is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Deity in human flesh!

As if the witness of the Christian Scriptures couldn’t be any more explicit, Paul in Hebrews takes the following OT passage, which identifies Jehovah as the unchanging Creator and Sustainer of all things,

“I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” Psalm 102:24-27

And applies it to the Son!

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O GOD (ho Theos), is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord [the Son], in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of THINE HANDS: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” Hebrews 1:8-12

What else does the NT writers need to say for JWs like Mania to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is in fact Jehovah God in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit)?

Paul wasn’t the only one to describe Christ as the eternal Creator that became flesh:

“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 any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4, 9-10, 14

Nor is this the only place where Paul speaks of Christ as God in absolute sense, since he refers to him as the God who shed his blood to purchase the Church,

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which HE hath purchased with HIS OWN BLOOD.” Acts 20:28

And the eternally praised God, who reigns supreme over all,

“Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 9:5

As well as the God who manifested himself in the flesh:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16

Christ is also said to have been existing in the form of God who then chose to set aside his equality with the Father, in order to become a servant by being born in human likeness:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

Christ is even described as possessing the entire uncreated, infinite essence of God in his post-resurrection physical, glorified body!

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth ALL THE FULNESS of the Godhead (tes Theotetos) bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” Colossians 2:8-10

Both the following translations,

“For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ,” Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

“God’s whole nature is living in Christ in human form.” New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

And commentaries bring out the significance of Paul’s inspired proclamation that in Christ, the whole fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily:

πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα (comp. on Colossians 1:19) is here more precisely defined by the “vocabulum abstractum significantissimum” (Bengel) τῆς θεότητος, which specifies what dwells in Christ IN ITS ENTIRE FULNESS, i.e. not, it may be, partially, BUT IN ITS COMPLETE ENTIRETY. On the genitive, comp. Romans 11:25; Romans 15:29. It is not the genitive auctoris (Nösselt: “universa comprehensio eorum, quae Deus per Christum vellet in homines transferre”); the very abstract θεότητ. should have been a sufficient warning against this view, as well as against the interpretation: “id quod inest θεότητι” (Bähr). ἡ θεότης, the Godhead (Lucian, Icarom. 9; Plut. Mor. p. 415 C), the abstract from ὁ Θεός, is to be distinguished from ἡ θειότης, the abstract from θεῖος (Romans 1:20; Wis 18:19; Lucian, de calumn. 17). The former is Deitas, the being God, i.e. the divine essence, Godhead; the latter is divinitas, i.e. the divine quality, godlikeness. See on Romans 1:20. Accordingly, the essence of God, UNDIVIDED AND IN ITS WHOLE FULNESS, DWELLS IN CHRIST in His exalted state, so that He is the essential and adequate image of God (Colossians 1:15), which He could not be if He were not possessor of the divine essence. The distinction between what is here said about Christ and what is said about Him in Colossians 1:19 is, that the πλήρωμα is here meant metaphysically, of the divina essentia, but in the former passage charismatically, of the divina gratia, and that κατοικεῖν is conceived here as in present permanence, but in the former passage historically (namely, of Christ’s historical, earthly appearance). See on Colossians 1:19. The erroneous attempts that have been made to explain away the literal meaning thus definitely and deliberately expressed by Paul, are similar to those in Colossians 1:19. One of these, in particular, is the mis-explanation referring it to the church as the God-filled organ of divine self-revelation (Heinrichs, Baumgarten-Crusius, Schenkel) which has its dwelling-place in Christ.[92] Already Theodoret (comp. τινές in Chrysostom), indeed, quotes the explanation that Christ signifies the church in which the πλήρωμα dwells, but on account of σωματικῶς hesitates to agree to it, and rather accedes to the common view, thereby deviating from his interpretation of Colossians 1:19. Theophylact is substantially right (comp. Chrysostom and Oecumenius): εἰ τί ἐστιν ὁ Θεὸς λόγος, ἐν αὐτῷ οἰκεῖ, so that the fulness of the Godhead in the ontological, and not in the simply mystical or morally religious sense (de Wette) is meant.

But how does it dwell in Christ? σωματικῶς, in bodily fashion, i.e. in such a way that through this indwelling in Christ IT IS IN A BODILY FORM OF APPEARANCE, CLOTHED WITH A BODY. Comp. also Hofmann in loc., and Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 29; Weiss, Bibl. Theol. p. 428, ed. 2. It is not in Christ (ἀσωμάτως), as before the Incarnation it was in the λόγος (Θεὸς ἦν λόγος, John 1:1), but (comp. also Gess, Pers. Chr. p. 260 ff.) IT IS IN HIS GLORIFIED BODY (Php 3:21), so that the ἐν μορφ Θεο and ἰσα Θε εἶναι, which already existed in the λόγος ἄσαρκος (Php 2:6), now in Christ’s estate of exaltation—which succeeded the state of humiliation, whereby the μορφὴ Θεοῦ was affected—have a bodily frame, are in bodily personality.[93] Of course the θεότης does not thereby itself come into the ranks of the σωματικαὶ οὐσίαι (Plat. Locr. p. 96 A), but is in the exalted Christ after a real fashion σωματικῷ εἴδει (Luke 3:22), and therefore Christ Himself is the visible divine-human image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). In this glory, as Possessor of the Godhead dwelling in Him bodily, He will also appear at the Parousia—an appearance, therefore, which will manifest itself visibly (1 John 3:2) as the actual πιφάνεια τῆς δόξης το μεγάλου Θεο (Titus 2:13). The reference of the whole statement, however, to the exalted Christ is placed beyond question by the use of the present κατοικεῖ, which asserts the presently existing relation, without requiring a νῦν along with it (in opposition to Huther)… (Meyer’s NT Commentary http://biblehub.com/commentaries/meyer/colossians/2.htm; bold and capital emphasis ours)

And:

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (oti en autwi katoikei pan to plhrwma th qeothto swmatikw). In this sentence, given as the reason (oti, because) for the preceding claim for Christ as the measure of human knowledge Paul states the heart of his message about the Person of Christ. There dwells (at home) in Christ not one or more aspects of the Godhead (the very essence of God, from qeo, deita) and not to be confused with qeiote in Romans 1:20 (from qeio, the quality of God, divinitas), here only in N.T. as qeioth only in Romans 1:20. The distinction is observed in Lucian and Plutarch. Teioth occurs in the papyri and inscriptions. Paul here asserts that “all the plhrwma of the Godhead,” not just certain aspects, dwells in Christ and in bodily form (swmatikw, late and rare adverb, in Plutarch, inscription, here only in N.T.), dwells now in Christ in his glorified humanity (Philippians 2:9-11), “the body of his glory” (twi swmati th doxh). The fulness of the God-head was in Christ before the Incarnation (John 1:1 John 1:18; Philippians 2:6), during the Incarnation (John 1:14 John 1:18; 1 John 1:1-3). It was the Son of God who came in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7). Paul here disposes of the Docetic theory that Jesus had no human body as well as the Cerinthian separation between the man Jesus and the aeon Christ. He asserts plainly the deity and the humanity of Jesus Christ in corporeal form. (Robertson’s Word Pictures http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/robertsons-word-pictures/colossians/colossians-2-9.html; bold emphasis ours)

Last but not least, the first Christians worshiped Jesus,

“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:59-60

“Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to THY saints AT JERUSALEM: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on THY name… And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on THIS name IN JERUSALEM, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?” Acts 9:13-14, 20-21 – cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2

In the exact same way that the OT saints worshiped Jehovah!

“Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” Psalm 31:5 – cf. Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 23:43, 46

“Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them. He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.” Psalm 99:5-7 – cf. 116:1-4, 13, 17; 145:18; Genesis 4:26; 12:8; 21:33; Deuteronomy 4:7; Joel 2:32; Jeremiah 29:11-12

Now the only way that Jews in Jerusalem would dare to ascribe such worship to the exalted Jesus is if they had become convinced that their risen Lord was none other than Jehovah God the Son.

Therefore, the Holy Bible is absolutely clear that Jesus Christ is God in an eternal and infinite sense, and not some god-like creature. As such, Christ must be Jehovah God Almighty in the flesh, since the sacred writings are emphatic that Jehovah is the only One who is God in the fullest sense imaginable.

As such, Maina and the JWs have no honest way around this rather explicit and unambiguous proclamation of the God-breathed Scriptures. Now the only honest thing for them to do is to repent of their blasphemies and confess that Jesus Christ is Jehovah to the glory of God the Father.

 

 

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