Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jesus: Jehovah, the LORD of the Old Testament

This, my first theology and apologetics blog post, is addressed to those of you whose pastors, preachers or priests teach you that Jesus is someone other than whom He really is. This is not an attack leveled against you out of pride, but rather a gentle correcting out of love for you in the hopes that "God may grant [you] repentance leading to the knowledge of truth, and [you] may come to [your] senses and escape from the snare of the devil" (2 Timothy 2:25-26).

I am charged to "preach the word; [to] be ready in season and out of season; [to] reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths" (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

I appeal only to "the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

(Mark 8:27)

So, what do your pastors, preachers or priests teach concerning the nature and identity of Jesus? If you believe God's mouthpiece on earth is the Watch Tower, they teach you that "God's name is Jehovah" but that "Chris is...inferior to Him" and "was first of God's creations" (

On the other hand, if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, they teach you that "generally the Father, or referred to by the title God" but that the "God known as Jehovah is the Son, Jesus Christ" (

So if you are a Jehovah's Witness, you are told to believe that Jesus is not Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, but is instead His first created being. And if you are a Mormon, you are instructed to believe that the Jehovah and Elohim referred to in the Old Testament are two separate gods, albeit "one in perfect unity and harmony of purpose and doctrine."

(Acts 17:11)

Out of sincere love for you I ask you to look not to man--including myself--for a proper understanding of the nature and identity of Christ, but rather to what God has revealed in His Word. Look with me at the first chapter of Hebrews, verses 10 through 13. Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons recognize the Old and New Testaments as being authoritative, at least to some extent, and to my knowledge neither claim that these verses, nor those from the Old Testament which the author is quoting, have been incorrectly translated or have changed since their original writing. Thus, these words should have some sway with you.

First, recognize that what the author is doing is asserting that Jesus is distinct from, and superior to, angels. As proof, he presents passages from the Old Testament as having been spoken by the Father to and about the Son, and rhetorically asks us, "to which of the angels did [God] ever say," and "to which of the angels has He ever said," these things? The answer implicit in the questions is: none of them.

(Hebrews 1:10-12 and Psalm 102:25-27)

Therefore, in verse 10 the author of Hebrews, in quoting Psalm 102, teaches us that it was not just a song written by a man to his God, but in fact was the Father speaking to the Son, Jesus Christ. So, when the psalmist wrote the lyrics, "Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands" (Psalm 102:25), he was also recording the very words of God the Father speaking to His Son. But to whom was this psalm addressed?

The very first verse gives us the answer: "Hear my prayer, O LORD!" When Bible translations render the word "lord" in all-caps, as the NASB does here, it indicates that the original Hebrew uses the word Jehovah, or Yahweh, the Tetragrammaton (much could be said, and if you would like further explanation don't hesitate to ask). In verse 12 again the psalmist writes, "You, O LORD, abide forever." In verse 15 he begins to refer to Jehovah in the third person saying, "the nations will fear the name of the LORD", but he continues to direct the words toward Jehovah personally, saying, "and all the kings of the earth Your glory." Thus, in verse 25 when he writes, "Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands," the words continue to be directed toward Jehovah.

The author of Hebrews therefore instructs us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is Jehovah to whom the psalmist sang the lyrics of Psalm 102.

(Hebrews 1:13 and Psalm 110:1)

However, the author of Hebrews goes on to quote verse 1 of Psalm 110, implying that God the Father said to the Son, Jesus Christ, "Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." In this case, the question is not to whom were these words addressed in the psalm quoted. Instead, the question is, who is doing the speaking?

Once again, the answer is found in the very first verse: "The LORD says to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.'" We see, again, the word "lord" capitalized, meaning that the original text contained the name Jehovah. And the psalm tells us that it is this Jehovah who is speaking to another party.

So the author of Hebrews teaches us that God the Father is the Jehovah of the Old Testament.

(John 1:1)

When the Watch Tower demands that faithful Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus to be separate from Jehovah, God the Father, they are teaching falsely. The author of Hebrews makes it very clear that the Father was speaking to Jehovah when He said to Jesus, "You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth." Thus, Jesus is Jehovah.

And when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints demands that faithful Mormons believe the Father is not Jehovah, they are teaching falsely. The author of Hebrews makes it very clear that Jehovah was speaking to the Son when He said to Jesus, "'Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." Thus, the Father is Jehovah.

This is why the apostle John wrote, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" ("the Word" referring to Jesus Christ, the Son). Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, is both God the Father and God the Son, and yet the two are distinct from one another and interpersonally relate to one another. Jesus was both "with God" and "was God" at the same time.

If you hold the teachings of either of these organizations in esteem, or those of any other organization that teaches falsely as to the nature of God and Jesus Christ, please consider the words of Hebrews carefully and prayerfully. They demonstrate that you are being led into error, and Jesus says "those who worship [God] must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).

And please believe me when I say again that my words are not a condemnation nor an attack, but rather an attempt to "with gentleness [correct] those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of truth" (2 Timothy 2:25), and to "exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (Titus 1:9).

(Athanasian Creed)

The historic teaching of the Trinity, albeit impossible to fully comprehend, is in fact what we are commanded by scripture to believe about the nature of God:

1. There is one and only one God
2. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God
3. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are eternally distinct and interpersonally relate to one another

As said in the Athansian Creed, "We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity."

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