GOD THE FATHER
Although it is extremely important to know what the gospel message is, what it says, and what it will accomplish, it is also extremely important to know who sent the message to humanity. Therefore, prior to studying the details about the gospel message it is important to remove one of the major barriers to understanding this truly astounding message; thus, it is necessary to review who and what God is, and the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ.
THE MYSTERY OF GOD
"For I want you to know how great a struggle I have concerning you, and those in Laodicea, and those who have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts may be comforted, being joined together in love, and to all the riches of the full assurance of the understanding, to the full knowledge of the mystery of God, even of the Father and of Jesus Christ" (Col.2:1-2 Para.). See also Eph.3:3-6.
Paul spoke of God the Father and Jesus Christ as a mystery that was understood by the Colossians. When this mystery is understood, it becomes much easier to comprehend the gospel message and its importance to the plan of God for the salvation of humanity.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul reprimands the elect of God for listening to those who preach a false gospel message. Two important points to note are that Paul said he was preaching the good news message from God, and the God that Paul refers to is not Jesus Christ, it is God the Father who sent Jesus Christ to preach this same good news:
"You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or another spirit than the holy spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved. You swallow it all. Yet I don't feel these marvelous 'messengers from God,' as they call themselves, are any better than I am. If I am a poor speaker, at least I know what I am talking about, as I think you realize by now, for we have proved it again and again. Did I do wrong and cheapen myself and make you look down on me because I preached God's Good News to you without charging you anything?" (2.Cor.11:4-7 LBP).
God is a Family
Until a person comes to understand that there are two individual and separate Godbeings who comprise the God family, and that the relationship between the Sovereign God (God the Father) and the Creator God (Jesus Christ) is a FatherSon relationship, almost none of the Bible, including the Father's good news message, can be clearly understood.
The apostle Paul clearly documents the existence of a Sovereign Family of Godbeings:
"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.3:14-15 KJV).
There are many scriptures that record Jesus saying, "I and my Father" or "my Father." Never do we see any others mentioned in scripture as being a part of this divine family except for those who have been promised immortality and eternal life as a part of their participation in the first resurrection, and those who are called sons of God who obtain salvation after the return of Christ.
"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, we see two Gods are mentioned, not three.
It is evident from many scriptures that today the Family of God in heaven consists of 'the Father' and 'the Son' plus those who are called to be Sons and have their names written in the Book of Lifethe true followers of God, the Saints/the Elect of God not yet made immortal.
TWO GODS DOING TWO SEPARATE WORKS
"But Jesus answered them, My Father works hitherto, and I work" (Jn.5:17 KJV).
The Father does a work and Christ does a work. Jesus' own words clearly document the fact that he and his Father are two separate Godbeings working harmoniously together doing two separate works.
"But I have a 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).
Here, we see two individuals in the God familyThe Father and Christ. Clearly Jesus' own words should be proof that he and the Father are two separate individuals in the God family, each performing a separate work in order to accomplish a common goalbringing new sons into the God family.
JESUS REVEALS THE FATHER
When Jesus was revealing the existence and plan of the Father, he constantly said things that offended the Jewish religious leaders, not because the things he said were wrong or imprudent, but because what he said was a condemnation of their perverted view of God and their incorrect worship of him.
"Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him [Jesus], because he not only had broken the sabbath [according to their interpretation of the law], 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 does 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" (Jn.5:18-20 KJV).
Over and over again, through his teachings Jesus made it clear that he was the Creator God, the Son of God, and the Redeemer and Savior of humanity. However, most of the people he spoke to did not believe him because they were looking for a release from their physical problems instead of their spiritual problems.
Authority from the Father
The Jewish religious leaders were always asking Jesus where he got the authority to teach the things that he taught, and to prove that he was sent from God (Lk.20:1-8). In reply to these leaders lack of understanding concerning his authority to teach what he did, and his relationship to the Sovereign God, Jesus said,
"I am one that bears witness of myself, and the Father that sent me bears witness of me. The leaders replied, Where is your Father? And Jesus answered, 'You neither know me, nor my Father: if you had known me, you should have known my Father also" (Jn.8:18-19 Para.).
Paraphrased in modern English Jesus said in verse 19: Look, if you had really known the God you profess to obey, you would have known me and my Father.
John 8:26-38 Paraphrased
"I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he [God the Father] that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard from him. They did not understood that he spoke to them of the Father" (vs.26-27).
When one understands that the Word and the Light the apostle John spoke of (Jn.1:1-9) is Jesus Christ, and that the God that the Word was with and sent from is the Sovereign God (God the Father), then one can easily understand why Jesus said he heard the things that he taught directly from the Father:
"Then Jesus said to them, When you have lifted up the son of man [crucified him], then shall you know that I am [I AM, i.e., GOD] 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 always do those things that please him. . . Then Jesus said to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (vs.28-32).
When the Jews heard what Jesus had said concerning his position in the Family of God, and the message he was teaching about spiritual freedom they became very angry and said:
"We are Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free?" (v33).
"Jesus replied, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the son abides ever. If the son 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.34-38).
Because of their self-righteous attitudes, these Jews who wanted to kill Jesus could not understand the message that he was bringing from God the Father. Jesus told them bluntly that he received the things that he taught from his Father who is the Sovereign God of all that exists. Now if Jesus received these things while he was with the Father, he must have been in heaven where the Father resides. Either Jesus was telling the truth, or he was lying; and if he lied, he is not our Savior.
A GREAT DECEPTION
Our Savior called the Supreme Sovereign whom he served 'Father', and he repeatedly spoke about the Father-Son relationship between himself and the Sovereign God who was in heaven. If what Jesus said about his status in the God family is true, and what he said about God the Father is true, why do so many people believe that there is only one God-being?
The reason that there is so much confusion and misunderstanding concerning God, the Family of God, God the Father, and Jesus Christ is quite simple. Satan has deceived the whole world into thinking that there is only one God-being, and that the God-family does not exist. See Rev.12:9; 18:23; 19:20; 20:10, and our study papers concerning who and what God is, and the popular trinity doctrine.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour" (1.Pet.5:8 KJV).
"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).
Notice that it is Satan who deceives the whole world, and a great part of this deception is the teaching that God the Father and Jesus Christ are not separate individual God-beings.
PRIOR TO CHRIST
Prior to the advent of Jesus Christ, virtually no one knew that there was another God in addition to the Creator God. From the scriptural record it seems that only a few were privileged to understand that there was more than one spirit-being in the God-family.
One should remember that the historical concept of God that the Israelites held was one of monotheism. The God whom the Israelites worshiped was a single entity; they believed in one God who ruled supreme (Deut.32:39; Mal.2:10).
Because of this belief 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 very strange and repugnant doctrine to the vast majority of the Jews, who 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 spirit-beings.
For the most part, the Father who those prior to the advent of Christ knew and worshiped was the Creator God. Some might ask, how could this be possible? The answer to this question is quite simple. The Creator God who later became Jesus Christ was the one who created all things for the Sovereign God; therefore, the Creator God was in essence the Father of all creation. See Jn.1:1-3; 1.Cor.8:6; Col.1:15-18; Eph.3:9-11.
Remember, the apostle Paul said the understanding of what God was doing here on earth was a mystery (see Col.2:2). This mystery also includes what the God-family is and of whom it is comprised.
The writings of the apostles John and Paul and a multitude of other scriptures plainly state that it is the Father who sent Jesus to earth. A major part of the good news message concerns the revealing of the Father to those whom he calls to salvation.
The reason we need to have the knowledge of who the Father is firmly fixed in our minds is because it is the Father's good news that Jesus, the apostles, and the early church preached, and it is his good news that all those who follow Jesus are to continue to preach and teach until Jesus returns.
THE FATHER IS IN HEAVEN
One of the reasons that Jesus came to earth was to reveal the Father's good news message (his plan for humanity):
"Jesus said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood have not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matt.16:17 KJV).
"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Matt.23:9 KJV). See Matt.18:35.
"I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in your sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father: And no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Matt.11:25-27 KJV). See also Mk.11:25-26; 4:10-12; Jn.17:25-26; Eph.6:19.
The scriptures above are a few of the many that reveal that the Father is in heaven. A small amount of Bible study will reveal that the Father will not come to the earth to reside until the final phase of his plan for humanity. See our study concerning the Festival of the Eighth Day for details about the coming of the Father to earth.
It is extremely important to understand that unless a person knows who the Father is there can be no understanding of the gospel message. Why? Because it is the Father's message.
WHAT IS THE FATHER LIKE?
"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 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). See 2.Cor.4:3-4.
In reply to Thomas and Philip, Jesus said that he had revealed what the Father was like to them. Jesus revealed the Father's existence, attitudes, thoughts, desires, love, and personality through his own example and teaching.
The Father's Name
"I have manifested your name to the men which you gave me out of the world: yours they were, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word" (Jn.17:6 KJV).
"O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith you have loved me may be in them, and I in them" (Jn.17:25-26 KJV).
Why did Christ have to reveal certain things about the Father? The only logical answer to why the Father sent Jesus to reveal his existence and so many things about himself (e.g., who he is, what his name is, and what he is doing), was because humanity did not know of his existence, and because it was time to reveal himself in order for the next phase of his plan for humanity to go forward.
JOHN 17:1-8 KJV
"These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you: As you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (vs.1-3).
At this point in history, there were very few people who had any knowledge of who the Father and Jesus Christ were.
"I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do. And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was" (vs.4-5).
Here, Jesus asks God the Father to return him to his former state of existence as an immortal God in the Family and Kingdom of God.
"I have manifested your name to the men which you gave me out of the world: yours they were, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever you have given me are of you. For I have given to them the words which you gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from you, and they have believed that you did send me" (vs.6-8).
Jesus had fulfilled his mission to prepare those whom the Father had called to salvation and who were being taught the truth of God concerning the Family and Kingdom of God and their plan for humanity.
IT IS THE FATHER'S MESSAGE
The good news that Jesus Christ proclaimed was not his message, he was the messenger, just as John the Baptist was the messenger who foretold and prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus Christ did not send himself, as some teach; he was sent by God the Father to bring his message to humanity:
"The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me" (Jn.14:24 Para.). See also Jn.1:1-15; Rom.1:1-3; 2.Cor.4:4-6.
"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" (Jn.5:23 KJV).
"I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me" (Jn.5:30 KJV). See also verses 36-38.
"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" (Jn.5:43 KJV). See also Jn.5:30-37; 6:44;57.
Clearly the good news message that Jesus brought is from God the Father who is the Sovereign of all that exists.
The apostle Paul also said that the good news message that he preached as a servant of Jesus Christ was not his message, but was a message sent from God the Father (2.Thes.1:1-12):
"Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the good news of the Sovereign God that he had promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, that was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of the Sovereign God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom.1:1-4 Para.).
Since the life, death, and resurrection of the Father's Son, there has been much preached solely about Jesus as a person. As a result, millions do not believe the message that the Father sent his Son to proclaim.
The Sovereign Father sent his Son bearing his GOOD NEWS of how to become a part of his divine Family and Kingdom, and that his Family and Kingdom are coming to earth to bring peace and order to this troubled world.
The Father's message, is a message of hope for a wonderful, peaceful, and happy existence under his care and protection for all eternity. This is the good news that Jesus, the apostles, and the early Church proclaimed. This is the message that has not been preached in its totality for centuries; this is the message that Jesus said would be proclaimed and published to all the world just prior to his return as King of kings and Lord of lords.
By B.L. Cocherell, file b1w2