WHO IS THE GOD OF THE HOLY 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. See Eph.3:13-15.

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 KJV).

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.

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.

In  this  study, we 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, and where 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.  Since 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 is 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.

Hidden Wisdom

"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 study we 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 study will only explore the following topic areas in order to establish foundational information concerning the identity 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.3:12-15 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 first-born, 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, this study examines 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 the Docetism and Gnostics

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 who God the Father and Jesus Christ are.

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.

Note:

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.14:20-23 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 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).

A WARNING

"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:  he that acknowledges  the Son has the Father also" (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;  45:21;  48:12-30; 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  three very important things to learn from  the  above scriptures:

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 1:3 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  was not God incarnate, then Jewish history is 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 that 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).

Note:

The word 'he', which follows 'I Am', in the KJV is omitted here 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 is not 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 translation of verse 40:

"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).

What  day  was Jesus referring to 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, (Greek: amen amen lego humon prin  [before] Abraham  ginomai  ego eimi [I am]) 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.1:15-18 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.62:11; 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 14:4-5, 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.

A  Samaritan  woman said to Jesus:

"I know  that  Messiah  comes, which  is  called Christ:  when he is come, he will tell  us  all things.   Jesus  said  to  her,  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. . ." (Jn.10:24-25 NIV). The miracles I do  in  my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep' " (v 26).

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; Tit.2:10-13; 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).

"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. See our  study papers concerning the various covenants  and the good news concerning Christ and salvation, which explain the sacrifice of Christ. 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 'boulders', 'formations  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 theophoric 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.2:4-8  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).

"I the Lord am your Savior and your Redeemer,  the  Mighty One of Jacob" (Isa.60:16 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).

"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 FATHER, JESUS 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 in Asia: Grace be to you, and  peace from  the [One] who was, and who is coming; and from  the  seven spirits  which  are  before the throne of him,  and from  Jesus Christ  the witness faithful, the firstborn out of the dead,  and the  Ruler  of the kings of the earth" (Rev.1:4-5 word  for  word translation).

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 understanding that Jesus is the Creator God who was sent to redeem humanity.

Isaiah 48:12-20 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 (v16).  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  (v17). . .. 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:

Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega

"To the [One] loving us, and having loosed us from the sins of us by the blood of him, and made us kings and priest to the God  and Father of him, to him [is] the glory and the might to the ages of ages.  Amen. Behold, he comes with the clouds, and will  see  him every eye and those who him pierced . . . (vs.6-7). I am the  Alpha and Omega the Beginning and the Ending says the Lord, the being, and  who  was and (is) coming, the Almighty . . . (v8).  I  am  the Alpha  and Omega, the First and the Last; and what you see  write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches in Asia" (Rev.1:6-11 literal translation).

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., 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.

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-beings 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. 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" (v7).

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 in verse 13:  "Blessing, and honor,  and glory,  and power  be  to him that sits upon the throne and to  the  Lamb for ever and ever."

Verses  10 through 17 of 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  [notice the distinction between God the Father, and Jesus 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). Please  review Rev.1:4-5.

"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).

THE FATHER AND CHRIST

"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.  To him that loved us, and washed us from our  sins  in his own blood, And has made us kings and priests to  God  [the Father] and his [Christ's] Father; to him be glory and  dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Rev.1:5-6 KJV).

Our  Savior who was the Creator of all that exists and  the  One who shed his blood for humanity says that he has made the elect to  be kings and priests for his Father. See Isa. 43:11;  44:24; 45:21; 60:16; Hos.13:4; Jn.1:1-17; 4:25-26,42; Lk.1:68; 1.Tim.4:10; Acts 4:12.

By B.L. Cocherell, file b3w1