People of The Living God

Psalms 149

 

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THE LORD AND HIS CHRIST

Harry R. Miller

            Few people comprehend the greatness of the “Lord's Christ.”  Since the time that He “became flesh and dwelt among us,” “He has been despised and rejected of men” as the great builder of the heavens and the earth.

            To many, in “the days of His flesh” He was just “the carpenter's son,” and from that time to this, men have been unable to visualize Christ as the creator of all things.

            Many can comprehend John 1:9 where he says that He “was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” but few can grasp without astonishment the moment of the next verse: “the world was MADE BY HIM.”

            Those trees in the Garden of Eden – Christ made them.  The trees that were sawed into planks to build the ark were also His creation.  Then, too, those that were cut into boards to build Solomon's temple were made by Him.  The little fig tree which He cursed was His handiwork, as well as the splintery cross upon which He was hung.

            Search the Scriptures and at no place will you find where it specifically says that God the Father created ANYTHING.  But of Christ, the “Logos,” it says; “ALL things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3).

            The stones that formed the altars of Cain and Abel, and of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were the handiwork of Christ.  The rock which Moses struck with a rod, as well as the stones of the temple that the apostles so proudly pointed to, were not made “without Him.”

            In Colossians 1:15-19 it says: “The image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by Him were ALL THINGS CREATED, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: 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 firstborn from the dead; that in ALL things He might have the preeminence.  For it pleased the Father that in Him should ALL fullness dwell.”

            From the animate and inanimate things of earth we soar to the great constellations.  Sages and wise men of many ages have searched the lights that “night unto night showeth knowledge.” The Lord's Christ not only MADE them, but by Him these things “consist.”  Through His power the “influence of Pleiades” is constant.  The sun and the moon obey His will even as it was in the days of Joshua.

            Not only is Christ the creator and the preserver of the creation, but He is also the destroyer, for of the heavens it is said that in due time He will “fold them up.”

            “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE WORLDS…unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever…Thou Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thine hands…as a vesture shalt thou fold them up” (Hebrews, the first chapter).

            Just as the President of the United States, as commander-in-chief in time of war, would carry through a great building program by giving over the actual construction work to those qualified in that line, so also has God the Father through His Son worked “ALL things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11).  But not once in all the history of creation, up to the time that Christ sat down at the Father's right hand, did God the Father work, except through the Son.

            So positive is the belief that God the Father is the Jehovah of the Old Testament, and was the creator of National Israel, that many people accept only the teachings of the New Testament, and reject completely all doctrine of the Old.  But what saith the Scripture?

            Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; WHOSE GOINGS FORTH HAVE BEEN FROM OF OLD, FROM EVERLASTING.”  Christ's birth in Bethlehem fulfilled this prophecy, yet this natural birth was not the beginning of His life or ministry, but was only an event in it.

            To John He said, “I am the first and the last” (Rev. 1:17, and 22:13).  To Isaiah He said, “Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?  I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He” (Isa. 41:4).  And again in 44:6, “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and His Redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last.”

            To the Pharisees who disputed His pre-existence He declared: “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).

            Before His crucifixion He prayed the Father: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE THE WORLD WAS” (John 17:5).

            Christ existed before Melchisedec, “King of peace,” who, though he had neither “beginning of days, nor end of life,” yet was “MADE like unto the Son of God” (Heb. 7:1-3).  Christ the creator of this mighty man of God later became “a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 5:6).

            Who but Christ could have been “the voice of the Lord walking in the garden” (Gen. 3:8)?  Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord Christ, not from the great God, Almighty Father of all.  For the Being that they tried to hide from, they had seen before; and, as no man has ever looked upon God Almighty and lived, we conclude that “the voice” or “Logos” was the same Being we call Jesus Christ.

            “No man hath seen God AT ANY TIME” (John 1:18, and again in I John 4:12).  In I Timothy 6:15, 16, “The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom NO MAN HATH SEEN, NOR CAN SEE.”

            Moses made a request to see the Glory of the Father, but God said, “Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live” (Ex. 33:20).  God the Father cannot be gazed upon by mortal man.  So holy, so wonderful, is the Almighty that even the reflection of God the Father through His Son has overwhelmed many men.

            Christ, not God the Father, was seen by Abraham, and it was He, with two angels, who sat down to the meal of “tender calf,” milk, butter, and cakes.  After the meal, it was Christ who said, “Sarah thy wife shall have a son” (Gen. 18).  It was He who rebuked Sarah because she laughed, and then in fear had denied it.

            The Lord Christ was also seen by Isaac (Gen. 26:24) and by Jacob (Gen 35:9-13).  Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (Gen. 32:30).  Jacob knew that the wonderful Almighty Father God could not be looked upon, so he marveled when he saw Christ, thinking that in Him he had seen all.  To Philip, Christ said, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).

            In Exodus 24:9-11 we read, “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel.”  They beheld the “paved work of a sapphire stone” under His feet, even as the prophet Ezekiel, who twice saw the Lord Christ (Ezek. 1:26-28; 8:1-2).

            “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. NOT THAT ANY MAN HATH SEEN THE FATHER” (John 6:45, 46).  “NEITHER KNOWETH ANY MAN THE FATHER, save the Son, and He to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27).  “No man hath seen God AT ANY TIME; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him” (John 1:18).

            Because of the fact that “in Him dwelleth ALL the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9), Jesus Christ could say, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

            Every son of Adam who embraced the promise of God and was saved, came only through Him who is “the way, the truth, and the life.”  “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham” (Gal. 3:8).  There is but one Gospel, and that, the “everlasting Gospel.”  We are assured from this that Abraham came through “the door” which is Christ.

            Christ, in dispute with the Pharisees who claimed to be the true children of God because they were “Abraham's seed,” said, “But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: THIS DID NOT ABRAHAM” (John 8:40).  Though Abraham had no desire to “kill” Christ, yet according to the Lord's own statement, Abraham must have been in a position where he had opportunity to have tried if he so wished.

            Let us consider the call of Moses as given in Hebrews 11:24-26: “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach OF CHRIST greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.”

            What did Moses know about Christ?  Did he not see Him face to face throughout the forty years of wandering in the wilderness?  Can anyone imagine that this mighty leader of God's heritage did not know that “the spiritual Rock that followed them…was Christ” (I Cor. 10:4)?  In this same chapter we are admonished, “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted” (verse 9).

            Christ the creator, of whom it is said, “Without Him was not ANYTHING made that was made,” was also the one who designed and engraved the two flat stones handed Him by Moses.  These stones “written by the finger of God” have been a matter of great controversy, “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient” (I Pet. 2:8).

            This “stone of stumbling,” however, is not only His Word, but it is also Himself; as it is written, “Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20).

            Isaiah makes another link in the chain of evidence that Christ of the New Testament was Jehovah of the Old, by saying: “Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let him be your fear…And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel” (Isa. 8:13, 14).

            This term, “The Lord of Hosts,” throughout the scriptures is applied only to Christ, or Jehovah, as He is known in the Old Testament.  Our translators have made great confusion in the names of the great God, and only as one searches the original Hebrew will he be able to discern that which applies to God the Father and that which applies only to His Son.

            In Isaiah 6, where the prophet SAW the Lord “sitting upon a throne,” it was Christ, and not God the Father.  One of the seraphims “cried unto another, and said Holy, Holy, Holy, is THE LORD OF HOSTS: the whole earth is full of His Glory” (verse 3).  Now compare this with John 12:37-41: “But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him: that the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled which he spake…These things said Esaias WHEN HE SAW HIS GLORY, and spake OF HIM.”  Isaiah, according to John, spoke of Christ, but he called Him “The Lord of Hosts.”

            God the Father is never known as “the redeemer,” but Christ Jehovah “the Lord of Hosts” is spoken of in many places as both redeemer and Saviour.  “Their redeemer is strong; the Lord of Hosts is His name” (Jer. 50:34).  Isaiah not only links the name of redeemer and Lord of Hosts, but also names God the Father: “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, AND His Redeemer the Lord of Hosts” (Isa. 44:6).  And again he said, “And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of Hosts…He shall send them a Saviour, and a great one, and He shall deliver them” (Isa. 19:20).

            Not only did the Lord Jesus live and move about in the world, previous to His birth in the flesh, but He also actuated the prophets who prophesied of His coming: “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST WHICH WAS IN THEM did signify” (I Pet. 1:10, 11).  Not the Spirit of the Father, neither the Holy Ghost, but the Spirit of Christ, “For it pleased the Father that in Him should ALL fulness dwell” (Col. 1:19).

            So great is the love of the Father for His Son that even His name can be used by the Son.  The prophet Isaiah said of Him, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, the Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

            It is well to note here that this son which was to be born was not THE EVERLASTING FATHER, but “His NAME shall be called” the everlasting Father.

            Concerning His use of this name: “Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my FATHER'S NAME, they bear witness of me” (John 10:25).

            The commission that Christ gave to His disciples in the ordinance of water baptism was to USE the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

            “Father” is not a name, but is a title.  There are many fathers, many sons, and many spirits that are holy, but the only name that we are given which represents the complete Godhead, is Jesus Christ.

            The apostles and early disciples were all aware that “whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17).

            There is no record of the apostles ever using the title of “father, son, Holy Ghost” in water baptism or any other way.  They always baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:16; 19:5; 2:38).

            So close is the relationship between the Father and His Son that Jesus, in declaring this relationship, said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).  There is a certain school of Bible expositors that interprets this statement of Christ to mean that He alone is God, that He alone is the Father, and that the Holy Spirit is not a being but is an influence which radiates from Him as God.

            The “oneness and perfect unity of the Godhead is the basis for such scriptures as: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4).  “I am the Lord, and there is none else” (Isa. 44:6).  “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29).  In both the Old and New Testaments we find that the word “one” in these passages denotes a compound unity – not a simple unity.

            As in Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be ONE flesh.”  Marriage makes two persons one in that they are “one” family, one as a unit; BUT the scripture says, “they shall be ONE FLESH.”  Two bodies become one “flesh.”  There must be an invisible tie through marriage that only God fully understands.  And so it is, for “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6).  As marriage is an institution of God, and through it two bodies become one, we conclude that the tie is actual and real, yet invisible.  Therefore two individuals in the sight and speech of God can be ONE.

            Christ in His prayer to the Father concerning His saints asked “that they may be one, even as we are ONE” (John 17:22).  So the fact that God is “ONE” does not necessarily mean that He is but one being and Jesus Christ is God complete and alone.

            That God is three is never shown through the Bible, but a study of the three persons of the Godhead will show that each one possesses all the attributes of a personality; and yet there are different stations of being that make one less or greater than the other.

            The ministry of the triune God is set forth in John 14:16 where Jesus says, “And I will pray the FATHER, and He shall give you another COMFORTER.”  The “Comforter” does not have the same knowledge as God the Father, for of Him it is said: “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10).

            In the wisdom of the Father there are numbers of things that are not revealed to the Spirit or to the Son until the time that the Father deems fit.  Concerning the time of His coming Jesus said, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, NEITHER THE SON, but the Father” (Mark 13:32).

            This is evident proof that the Son is in subjection to the Father and agrees with I Cor. 15:28.  “And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also be subjected unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all and in all.”

            The Lord Jesus Himself declared that the Father was the greatest: “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).  We conclude therefore that there is One God, Yet there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.