Christian Churches of God
Joshua, the Messiah,
the Son of God
(Edition 3.0 19950909-20000219)
This paper deals with the object of worship that is Eloah. The son who was elohim of Israel and Joshua the Messiah is shown in the correct biblical context. The use of Joshua in the Bible is also discussed.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000 Wade Cox)
This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.
This paper is available from the World
Wide Web page:
http://www.logon.org and http://www.ccg.org
Joshua, the Messiah, the Son of God
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD 5 and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. (RSV)
This text is the Shama or Shâma´ (SHD 8085). The title is derived from the word Shama meaning to hear which is the first word of the text. The connotation of to hear means to hear and understand. The words are in Romanised Hebrew:
Shama Y’srael Jehovah Elohinu
Hear O Israel Jehovah our God, Jehovah is One.
The word God used in the English translation is generally understood as translating SHD 430 elohim. However elohim is a plural word, which can also be used in the singular. The singular word for God and the word more correctly associated with this word is the singular Eloah. The text at Deuteronomy 6:5 goes on to use the possessive suffix in Jehovah Eloheik meaning the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 6:3 uses the term Jehovah Elohi as the God of thy Fathers. These are texts referring to a single being but Elohi can imply the plural suffix. Elohim is a plural word. Eloah is a singular word admitting of no plurality. Eloah is God the Father from Proverbs 30:4-5 who has a son. Those of the elect who have understanding can declare His name.
This God, Eloah, is the God Most High. This Most High God does not dwell among men (Acts 7:48). We are servants of the Most High God (Acts 16:17) who is identified from the Old Testament as the God of the Patriarchs. No one has ever seen this God or heard His voice (Jn. 1:18; 1Tim. 6:16).
The name of The Lord of the Old Testament is Eloah. Ezra shows that Eloah is the God of the Temple, to whom the house is dedicated (Ezra 6:16-17), and the object of worship there (Ezra 4:24; 5:1-2,5,8,13-16; 6:7-8) at Jerusalem (Ezra 5:17; 6:5). Eloah is the God of heaven and earth (Ezra 5:11; 6:9). Sacrifice is made to Eloah of heaven (Ezra 6:3, 10). It was Eloah that caused His name to dwell at Jerusalem (Ezra 6:12). The priests are set in their divisions under the high priest and the Levites in their courses for the service of Eloah (Ezra. 6:18) (see also the paper The God We Worship (No. 2)).
Eloah is God as Creator and The Rock of Salvation. Jeshurun forsook Eloah who made him and was the Rock of his salvation (Deut. 32:15) and he sacrificed unto demons who were not Eloah or the rightful object of worship (Deut. 32:17). Only Eloah is the rightful object of worship being the object of the Temple. He is the entity who deals with the Sons of God in Job. The name Eloah appears 45 times in Job. Eloah never has the article (although it is determined by the suffix in Hab. 1:11, and is found once in the construct in Ps. 114:7; Marvin H Pope El in the Ugaritic Texts; see also ‘eloah, R. Laird Harris et al., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, 1980, p. 43). Eloah never occurs in combination with another divine name (ibid.).
Eloah is identified as the God of the revelation of Exodus 34:6-7 as we see from its use in Nehemiah 9:17.
Exodus 34:6-7 The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (RSV)
Thus the Yahovah passing before Moses was proclaiming the El who was understood to be Eloah as God.
Nehemiah 9:17 they refused to obey, and were not mindful of the wonders which thou didst perform among them; but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. But thou art a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and didst not forsake them. (RSV)
Daniel 11:37-39 shows that the great anti-god has a god or eloah, which is strength itself. Thus, Eloah is seen as the proper God and object of reliance. Eloah is the equivalent for Elah[h] the name for God in the biblical Aramaic. This God is the Almighty as we see from its use in Job. Eloah is the basis for the name All’ah of Islam.
Eloah occurs three times in parallel to rock as a descriptive term for God (Deut. 32:15; Ps. 18:31 [H 32]; Isa. 44:8). Conversely, Eloah is used three times in the context of terror for sinners (Ps. 50:22; 114:7; 139:19). The entity Eloah, the Father, was the creator and sustainer of the universe (Gen. 1:1; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 124:8; Isa. 40:26,28; 44:24; Acts 14:15; 17:24-25; Rev. 14:7). By His will all things were created and exist.
Revelation 4:8-11 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” 9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, 11 “Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and were created.” (RSV)
This object of the worship of the Lamb and the Council of the Elders is the God who is the Father. This Council of Elders is the heavenly government of God.
God before the beginning
God existed alone before any other entity. He was alone before the beginning. Thus, He alone was pre-existent.
Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. (RSV)
Before Him no El was formed nor shall there be after Him. Thus, He is the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega. From Revelation 1:8, the revelation which God gave to Jesus Christ, The God declares to Christ that He is the Alpha and the Omega and the Almighty.
Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (RSV)
Thus The Father, as Eloah, is the Almighty and the object of the creation as well as its creator. He extends this capacity to Messiah from the advent (Rev. 22:13). This has also been dealt with in the paper Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega (No. 229)).
The extension of Eloah to Elohim as a plural structure is also reflected in the use of Yahovah (Strongs Hebrew Dictionary (SHD) 3068) and Yahovih (SHD 3069). There are miltiple beings who are termed Yahovah, (also termed Jehovah or Yahweh by some) in the OT. Yahovah is understood as Israel’s national God and is referred to as Adonai by Jews when reading the name. Yehovih is understood as the God and is referred to as elohim by Jews when reading the texts. Two beings are involved. That is why Yahovah was changed to Adonai 134 times in the Old Testament by the Sopherim. Yahovah is a delegated title extending to multiple beings as was the case when three Yahovahs appeared and spoke to Abraham before the destruction of Sodom and two of them went on to Lot at Sodom. There was a fourth Yahovah in Heaven who rained fire down on Sodom (cf. Gen. 19:24). These texts were changed by the Sopherim (cf. The Companion Bible, Appendix 32; cf. also Frequently Asked Questions Series 1: The Nature of God (No. 3)).
The entire question of the beginning of time is examined in the paper The Government of God (No. 174). There is a point at which the Spirit became relative and not simply instantiated in the divine essence as an attribute of God. God existed in His abiding perpetuity. He alone was immortal (1Tim. 6:16). God is King of the ages (1Tim. 1:17; cf. the Greek text of Tobit 13:6,10) and God of the ages (theos tõn aiõniõn, cf. Ecclus. 36:17; Isa. 9:6; Jer. 10:10). The creation activity of God began the relativity of the Spirit and hence time. God extended the capacity to be immortal to the children of God from their creation. With the creation of the free moving or independent Spirit, as intelligence interacting with God, time began.
God began to create. The first act of creation, by generation, was His Sons who formed the elohim. This was the spiritual creation. These Sons of God were multiple. The Holy Spirit was the power or divine essence which connected these elohim and which enabled them to be at one with God (see the papers The Holy Spirit (No. 117); Eternal Life (No. 133); Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81); The Gender of the Holy Spirit (No. 155); The Oracles of God (No. 184); God Our Saviour (No. 198)). Time began from the creation of the Host (see also Augustine The City of God; and the paper The City of God (No. 180)).
The Council of the Elohim as Sons of God
The Sons of God were arranged in a structure. They were governed by a Council, which is demonstrated in the Book of Revelation. It consists of twenty-nine entities who surround the throne of God. There are twenty-four elders under a high priest. There are also four seraphim (termed living creatures because of the heads they display). Satan was the anointed covering Cherub over the throne of God (Ezek. 28:14).
This council is called the Council of the Elohim or the Council of the Gods. The physical creation was undertaken by the elohim.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (RSV)
Yet the Earth was without form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Gen. 1:2).
The elohim created man in the image of the elohim after their likeness.
Genesis 1:26-27 Then 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 birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (RSV)
Here the elohim resolve to create man (adam without the article; hence mankind) in their image. Verse 27 then reduces to the singular that creates. The man created here is adam with the article, hence the Adam. There are thus two aspects of this creation.
The creation is then established, both of the heavens and of the earth (Gen. 2:1). We know, from Deuteronomy 32:8-9, that God the Most High allocated nations according to the Sons of God (bene Eliym; DSS) or the angels of God (‘agellon theou; LXX). The Masoretic Text was altered, sometime after Christ, to read according to the number of the Children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 32:8-9 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. 9 For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. (RSV)
The RSV acknowledges the correct text in its translation. There were multiple Sons of God (see also The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243)).
The Stars of God
The Most High God is identified as the Father and maker from Deuteronomy 32:6.
Deuteronomy 32:6-7 Do you thus requite the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you? 7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you. (RSV)
Thus, the Most High is the Father and the Sons of God are the elders. Yahovah in this text is the subordinate God of Israel. Thus, Yahovah is a derived authority from God Most High who is the Father. He allocated the elohim to the nations according to their numbers, which is in fact seventy. There is both an inner and an outer Council of Elders or Elohim. Yahovah has been allocated a seat in the Council. He was anointed as God of Israel to establish the plan of salvation of God, which was necessitated from the Garden of Eden and the rebellion of the Host, when Satan had been placed over the Garden of Eden as Cherub or Morning Star or Day Star (cf. The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246)).
This rank of Morning Star was multiple from the creation and is extended to Christ and the elect.
Job 38:4-7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (KJV)
There was to be a star come out of Jacob from Numbers 24:17. This was to replace the star that fell from heaven (Rev. 8:10). This symbolises Christ replacing Satan as Morning Star (see also Lucifer: Light Bearer and Morning Star (No. 223); The Purpose of the Creation and the Sacrifice of Christ (No. 160); Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega (No. 229)).
The Day Star or Morning Star is to dawn in our hearts (2Pet. 1:19). We are given of the Morning Star through Christ (Rev. 2:28; 22:16). All are subordinate to God Most High.
The Son who was Elohim of Israel
Israel understood this relationship of superior and subordinate elohim. The Father was understood as The Superior or Most High God. He was alone as Eloah, the El of El. The Son of God anointed as Yahovah or Elohi of Israel was subordinate.
Psalm 45:6-7 Your divine throne endures for ever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity; 7 you love righteousness and hate wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows; (RSV)
The entity here was the Elohim of Israel we understand as Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 1:8-9 But of the Son he says, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades.” (RSV)
Up until the incarnation of Jesus Christ his status was as one of the elohim. He was the spokesman for the elohim and when he acted they were seen to act. He was advanced above his partners from his resurrection as Son of God in power through the Holy Spirit.
Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (KJV)
This plurality of the elohim is seen from the Philistine’s comment.
1Samuel 4:8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. (RSV)
The mighty gods here are literally a plurality of elohim themselves. Thus, Yahovah spoke for the elohim. The Son of God in command of Israel acted at the authority and behest of the Council who were his partners (metoxous Ps. 45:6-7 LXX; Heb. 1:8-9). The nations understood also the plurality of the elohim.
1Kings 20:10 Ben-ha’dad sent to him and said, “The gods do so to me, and more also, if the dust of Sama’ria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me.” (RSV)
Gods here is elohim. Thus Ben-hadad acknowledged the elohim.
Yahovah of Israel judges among the elohim.
Psalm 82:1 A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: (RSV)
Here, elohim has taken his place among the gods or El. In the midst of the elohim he holds judgment. The text continues on to extend the Sonship to the entire Host. As we know, this was understood to extend to the elect from Irenaeus (see the paper Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127)).
Psalm 82:6 I say, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; (RSV)
Among the elohim there is held to be none like unto Yahovah (Jehovah) (translated here as Lord).
Psalm 86:8 There is none like thee among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like thine. (RSV)
Joshua or Jesus Christ of the New Testament
It is important that we understand what’s happening in the NT and where the name Jesus comes from and what its usage is intended to achieve.
Jesus was not the name of Jesus Christ i.e. the Messiah. His name was Yoshua or Joshua in the English usage, which is not a hard J but a soft J. The name Joshua has been consistent in English usage for thousands of years. It applies to the OT and the NT characters. The Greek of the NT uses the forms, which were found in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, which were translated in Alexandria some three hundred years before Christ.
The Septuagint Scriptures were quite a remarkable achievement. They have standard Greek forms for the Hebrew words. Ièsous is the Greek of the Septuagint for the word Joshua or Yoshua of the OT Scriptures. The Septuagint was the Bible of the NT. Most of the quotes from the NT are from the Septuagint (LXX) version. The Septuagint was accepted as Scripture at the time of Christ. It was only attacked after the destruction of the Temple by the Pharisaical system, that is the rabbinical system, which became the successor to the Pharisaical system, quite some time into the second century.
So at the time of Christ there was no argument about the Septuagint being Scripture. Indeed it forms the basis for the NT. The Greek words in the Septuagint were used for the names of the characters in the NT church and that Greek was then translated into English much later. Many centuries later we developed the English version of the NT.
Now the problem was, that the word Joshua was translated from the word in the Greek that was written for Joshua, which occurs a number of times in the NT, and relates to a number of different people and is translated in different ways. For instance, in the KJV Hebrews 4:8 the word for Joshua was translated as Jesus consistently, so that the word Joshua throughout the NT was translated Jesus from the Greek Ièsous for Joshua. But Hebrews 4:8 refers to Joshua son of Nun and it’s acknowledged by all of the other Bibles as referring to Joshua the son of Nun. Bullinger in the notes to the Companion Bible acknowledges that Hebrews 4:8 does not refer to Jesus, in the sense of Christ, but refers to Joshua the son of Nun.
The other Joshua called Justus in Colossians is also referred to as Jesus called Justus (Col. 4:11). There are the antecedents of Christ in the lineages. In Luke 3:29 we read that Joshua was the son of Eliezer. Now this word translated Joshua is the Greek word for Joshua namely Jesus. No one seriously suggests that Joshua the son of Eliezer and father of Er is actually called Jesus. That is simply the Greek way of writing Joshua using the rule established from the Septuagint. The KJV disguises this fact by referring to Joshua here as Jose. This rule for the Greek rendering of Joshua is followed in Hebrews 4:8 and elsewhere. There is another person where Ièsous is used and it is translated as something else again. Variations of Joshua are the full version Jahoshua (or Yahoshua) and also Jeshua, Jeshuah, Hosea, Hoshea, Osea but the distinctions are also made in the Hebrew.
The comparative usage in the Septuagint can be seen from an examination of every instance of the word Yahoshua or Yahshua in the OT Hebrew and which is rendered in the English as Joshua. In every instance Joshua is rendered Jesus or Ièsous in the Greek. The word Jesus is a transliteration of the Greek and is not the correct rendering of the name in the English for consistency. The fact of the matter is the word Ièsous is the Greek for Joshua and when you are translating Greek into English using these Hebrew Scriptures, the Septuagint forms the rule. The rules of the names are that they are used in the accepted English sense, that the Hebrew Scriptures are translated into the English.
So when Ièsous is seen in the NT under the Septuagint rules, it refers to Joshua, which has been the standard application of the name for centuries. The Trinitarian scholars in the translation of the KJV into English, attempted to make a distinction between the NT and the OT and divorce the characters and the people in the NT from the OT, so that the continuity of the NT and the OT was disguised. Thus a division could be drawn between the law as it applied in the Bible. The Law of God in the OT was made distinct from what was happening in the Christ-event (Messianic event of Joshua, the Messiah in the NT). So they called him Jesus the Christ which means Jesus the Anointed One. Joshua the Messiah means Joshua the Anointed One. So the word as it applies to the Anointed One is rendered in the English in the OT Messiah and there was more than one Messiah.
So Joshua is the correct form of Ièsous in the Greek. If you are a Greek, then no doubt in your phonetic structure, you would still refer to the NT structure in the Greek and no doubt when you are reading the OT you will still read (or should read) Joshua as Ièsous also for consistency, because that is what it is in the LXX. We are not concerned with speaking in Greek. We are concerned with speaking in English, in English translations relating back to the characters of the Bible so that there is a clear and consistent structure developed, and that the NT is not divorced from the OT.
There is one Bible, totally interdependent for authority and coherence. It is most important that we all understand that fact. It is most important when the Bible is translated into other languages, that the characters in the NT with those names are translated in the correct way. They then bear the names that those characters would bear in the OT in the language to which it is being translated; whether in Russian, Ukrainian, French, German, Dutch, or whatever. It is simply dishonest to make these distinctions and it serves no purpose other than to support the Trinitarian antinomian theology that was at the root cause of these manipulated translations in the first place. It is important that we restore the true intent and structure of the Scriptures.
Joshua was the name for Christ the Messiah, because it means the Salvation of God. Joshua son of Nun was named the Salvation of God the Son of Endurance, meaning salvation comes from endurance. The meaning of the name of the Messiah was Salvation comes as the Son of God. The salvation of God comes from God. That’s the significance of why the Messiah had to be named Yahoshua or Joshua in English and why the name Jesus conceals that fact.
For instance when you are dealing with the mother of the Messiah, we see her name was Mariam and her name is Mariam consistently through the NT. Her sister’s name was Maria. So the name Mary is not a name that appears in the NT at all. It is an Anglicisation of Maria and Maria was not Christ’s mother. In every instance except one, where there is a shorter variation used, Mariam is the name of his mother and Maria is the name of his aunt. His father was Joseph. We understand that. They have no trouble getting to Joseph, but when they talk about Christ’s brothers, instead of applying the normal names in the English for his brothers, they disguise them.
These points have to be acknowledged. We will examine these in the introductory commentary to the Bible and particularly to the NT, when we lay down the names and explain the usages. It serves no good purpose to continue to perpetrate a fiction of the Trinitarian English church establishment, that has done more damage to understanding the theology of the Bible and the Laws of God, than any other single institution in the English-speaking world. Christ would and will reject them as heretics. That does not mean that we have to follow in their errors. The truth of the Bible must be restored clearly and coherently.
The God of Gods
The Lord is a great El and a king above all elohim.
Psalm 95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (RSV)
The elohim of the nations are held to be nothing (translated as idols).
Psalm 96:4-5 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols [nothing]; but the LORD made the heavens. (RSV)
The Lord here is Yahovah who is exalted above all elohim. This raises some important aspects about Yahovah (Jehovah) as a term as we have seen above.
Psalm 97:7-9 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; all gods bow down before him. 8 Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of thy judgments, O God. 9 For thou, O LORD, art most high over all the earth; thou art exalted far above all gods. (RSV)
Here Yahovah is identified as the Most High. Thus we are talking of two entities, Yahovah of Israel and Yahovah Most High. This Yahovah (or Jehovah) Most High is above all elohim.
The High Priest and the God of gods
Psalm 135:5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. (RSV)
Here Adonim or our Lord is the entity that is above all elohim. Hence the pre-eminence here is extended to the Elohim of Israel. He is thus allocated as High Priest of the Elohim. He is not however Elohim of Elohim. That is reserved for the Eloah or Yahovah Most High.
Psalm 136:2 O give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures for ever. (RSV)
He alone is adonim of the adonim or the Lord of Lords. He created by delegation and hence the plurality of the text in Jeremiah 10:10-11.
Jeremiah 10:10-11 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. 11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” (RSV)
There is only one true God as we see. He is the living God and everlasting king. The elohim thus had a variety of roles in the creation. The one true God made the earth by His power and wisdom.
Jeremiah 10:12-13 It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. 13 When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. (RSV)
This act of creation was effected by God. Some aspects of the creation were carried out by Messiah, the first-begotten of the creation. However, one aspect needs clarification.
Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (KJV)
The words dia ‘Iesou Christou or by Jesus Christ are incorrect. The words are in the Receptus and hence in the KJV but they do not appear in the ancient texts. They do not appear in the modern versions of the Bible. The RSV correctly relates the text:
Ephesians 3:9 and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; (RSV)
Colossians 1:15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. 19 For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (RSV)
Notice it says he is the beginning (i.e. Christ).
The administrative structure of the celestial system should not be confused with the entities of the elohim themselves. The archai referred to in Colossians is aimed at defeating an argument regarding the creation of the world through matter which itself was held to be an archai (see the paper The Holy Spirit (No. 117); and The Development of the Neo-Platonist Model (No. 17)).
It was the generation of Christ and the sons of God that was the beginning of the creation of God. That beginning of the creation of God is what is meant in Revelation 3:14.
In Christ all the fullness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell. Thus, Christ is an instrument of God as the beginning of His creation. He was the firstborn from the dead so that in all things he might hold the first place. However, all things have one Father and one origin and one creator who alone is the one true God.
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? (RSV)
The Father is the Lord of Hosts (Mal. 1:6). He extends the position of Fatherhood to the elohim by delegation. Isaiah 9:6 extends the Fatherhood to Messiah. There are many Fatherhoods (Patria) in heaven and earth and they are named for the Father (Eph. 3:14).
Ephesians 3:14-15 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, (RSV)
Hebrews 1:6 refers to the first-begotten being brought into the world. This entity, the first-begotten (prõtotokos) of every creature of Colossians 1:15, is identified as the Son. The Son is also the prõtotokos of Mariam (or Mary) (Mat. 1:25; Lk. 2:7). The Son was also the prõtotokos among many brethren. Thus, the term applies to the first in a series, which is identified by the qualifier.
Some Trinitarians attempt to assert that Mariam (Mary) had no other children. This is false. Christ had brothers and sisters (Mat. 13:55-56); (cf. the paper The Virgin Mariam and the Family of Jesus Christ (No. 232)). The names of the brothers of Christ were: Jacob, called James by the Pagans; Joseph, called after his father; Judah called after his tribe, called Jude; and Simon. His sisters’ names we do not have as a record, but these names are quite clear and distinct and they are carried in the English through from the OT. There is quite an obvious reason why they were changed. That is to deny that Christ had brothers and sisters and to elevate Mariam to the mother goddess figure of the Easter system. To deny that Mariam (Mary) had other children, is a bit inconvenient when you have Joseph being named as Mariam’s son, one of Christ’s brothers, and his father’s name was Joseph. It is quite obvious that he was carrying his father’s name. They are the family names you would expect to see in Christ’s family.
Messiah is also here the firstborn from the dead. He is thus the beginning as the head of the body. In this same context he was also the beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14). The entire structure was created by God through delegation. He thus came to be in order to achieve the plan of God as did the entire creation. The pre-eminence of the Messiah is gained from the plan of God and by God’s command (see Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega (No. 229)).
We know from John 17:3 and 1John 5:20 that this One True God is the Father and that Jesus Christ is His son.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. (RSV)
1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. (RSV)
The one true God is eternal life. We have been given this understanding by the Son of God in order that we might know Him who is true and that we might be in Him who is true and in His son Jesus Christ or Joshua the Messiah. This one true God is eternal life. Only He is immortal.
1Timothy 6:13-16 In the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; 15 and this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (RSV)
Messiah had to lay aside his eternal life conferred on him by the Father and assume human form. He laid down his life by command of the Father and took it up again by command of the Father (Jn. 10:17-18).
John 10:17-18 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.” (RSV)
God thus gives life to all things.
The Second Coming
The appearing of the Son of God is made manifest at the proper time by the only Sovereign who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and who alone has immortality (see the paper Eternal Life (No. 133) and On Immortality (No. 165)). He delegates to the Son these aspects to establish the Kingdom of God as we see from Revelation 17:14 and 19:16. These names are established on the robe and the thigh of Messiah.
Revelation 19:11-16 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. 13 He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses. 15 From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords. (RSV)
God acts through the Son of God as designated high priest
The Word of God is the Son of God. This one was with God in the beginning. This one was with (or towards) The God (ton theon) and this one was theos or elohim. We know this elohim is subordinate (from Ps. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:8-9). Paul acknowledges that there is no God (theos) but one; but there were many gods (theoi) (theoi polloi) and lords (kurioi) in heaven, yet there was only the one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor. 8:5-6; see Marshall’s Interlinear). All of the system will be consolidated under these entities and the temple system will be restored intact, both in heaven and on earth.
God chose to act by delegation to His Holy One who then anointed the king of Israel as we see from Psalm 89:18-20.
Psalm 89:18-20 For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. 19 Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. 20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: (KJV)
The RSV seems to garble this text perhaps because of its implications (see Green’s Interlinear for the main text).
The heavenly system was replicated in the earthly Temple of Israel from the tabernacle, which culminated with the Temple of Solomon.
Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. (KJV)
We also see that there were two anointed covering cherubs or Cherubim in the tabernacle, (Ex. 25:18-22) covering the two on the Ark of the Covenant. The Cherubim also included the four living creatures. There were however only two, the man-headed and lion-headed Cherubim, in the outer section of the Temple of Ezekiel on either side of the Palm tree that is Christ (Ezek. 41:19). Satan was placed with an anointed guardian cherub on the mountain of God (Ezek. 28:14).
Ezekiel 28:14-18 With an anointed guardian cherub I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. 16 In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and the guardian cherub drove you out from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you. 18 By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries; so I brought forth fire from the midst of you; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. (RSV)
Here, we see Satan being termed the king of Tyre. He was cast to the earth. He was the light bearer or Lucifer, the Morning Star or Day Star of this planet.
Isaiah 14:12-15 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (KJV)
Here, the Light Bearer or Morning Star tried to ascend above the Stars of God and be like the Most High. Satan was not content with being one of the Stars of God and a Son of God as the anointed covering cherub. He wanted to be God the Most High.
Not content with being in the form of God, possessing the divine nature, Satan wanted to seize equality with God. For this reason he was cast to the earth. Yet he still retained access to the throne of God.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. (RSV)
These Sons of God had rebelled against the will of God on the other side of the flood as we see from Joshua 24:14-15.
Joshua 24:14-15 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (KJV)
The rebellion was an ongoing process as we see from the conduct of the angels.
Genesis 6:2-4 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh, but his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown. (RSV)
These Sons of God were of the rebellious Host. They left their former estate and followed after lust.
Jude 6-7 And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; 7 just as Sodom and Gomor’rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (RSV)
Christ did not seek to grasp equality with God but gave his life on the order of God. We examine this below. He did this to reconcile the Host, as High Priest.
Melchisedek was also understood to be priest of the Most High God (see the paper Melchisedek (No. 128)) and Messiah was understood to be another priest who was also a priest forever after the order of Melchisedek (Ps. 110:4; Heb. 7:1,11). This Lord who was David’s Lord was the one referred to in Psalm 110:1 as being told to sit at the right hand of The Lord until he made the enemies of David’s Lord (Messiah) his footstool. This Lord who was Messiah was consecrated by The Lord as a priest forever after the order of Melchisedek. This entity, The Lord referred to here, is God the Father who is the Lord of Messiah and to whom it is certain that this text refers from Hebrews. The Soncino also notes this text as referring to Messiah.
Christ or Messiah is identified as the Son of the Most High God in the New Testament at Mark 5:7 and Luke 8:28.
Messiah assumed human existence to be a sacrifice. This was prefigured in the temple sacrifice of Atonement where the high priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year with a blood sacrifice. Messiah did this as we see from Hebrews. This reconciliation by blood offering was to reconcile the Host to God through the nature of God that God had given the Host. The rebellion had rejected this way of thinking and acting which was God’s way. Christ was not equal to God but, as a Son, he was obedient. This is reflected in Philippians 2:6 which is misleading in the KJV. The KJV states the text of verse 5-7 as:
Philippians 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (KJV)
The text is now acknowledged by scholars to be an incorrect translation. The RSV has:
Philippians 2:5-7 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (RSV)
The meaning is that equality with God was not to be grasped [as Satan had tried to do], which has the opposite meaning to the KJV. The arpagmon here means the act of seizing, or a thing to be seized, hence booty or a prize. Thayer observes this (p. 74) and explains the meaning of Philippians 2:6 under morphe (p. 418). This sense of equality was not seen as something to be clung to or retained.
The American Standard Version revision of the KJV published in 1901 revised the text of Philippians 2:6 to correct the error of the Authorised Text. It reads:
Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;
The Jewish New Testament (tr. David Stern) renders verse 6 as:
Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force.
The Sons of God were all acknowledged to be angels or messengers for the Most High God. They did nothing on their own authority. All of their activity was in accordance with the will of God (Lk. 11:2; Jn. 5:30).
John 5:30 “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. (RSV)
The Elohim of Israel was an angel. He appeared to Abraham and was the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. The Elohim of Israel was also the Angel of Redemption as Jacob tells us.
Genesis 32:1 Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him; (RSV)
Whilst he was in contact with the angels, and they were plural, he spoke of the Angel of Redemption in the singular.
Genesis 48:13-16 And Joseph took them both, E’phraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manas’seh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon the head of E’phraim, who was the younger, and his left hand upon the head of Manas’seh, crossing his hands, for Manas’seh was the first-born. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has led me all my life long to this day, 16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (RSV)
The Angel of Yahovah (Jehovah) is identified as Messiah and also as Elohim and Son of God (see the paper The Angel of YHVH (No. 24)). He came as redeemer through the incarnation. He is thus the head of the elect who are the household of David under Messiah as elohim. Zechariah 12:8 shows that this elohim was also the Angel of Yahovah.
Zechariah 12:8 On that day the LORD will put a shield about the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, at their head. (RSV)
The Angel of the Lord here is Jehovah in the text (see Green’s Interlinear). The word for God in this text is Elohim. This text shows that the Elohim of the texts was also the Angel of Yahovah or YHVH and that the household of David (in other words, the elect) will be as elohim. The Elohim at the head of the household is Messiah.
Messiah here became the monogenes theos or only-born god of John 1:18. While he was the prõtotokos of the Sons of God, the elohim, on death he became the only son to be born and hence the only-born god or monogenes theos. The Receptus has monogenes uion or only-born son. Either way, he was the only god and son to be born – all other sons remained as spirits. We were not born as sons but are sons of the adoption.
Thus, there is a superior and subordinate elohim. The superior elohim was known as God Most High, or the Most High God (Gen. 14:18-20,22). Deuteronomy 32:8 shows that the Most High God divided the nations. As we have seen, according to the Masoretic Text (MT) it was according to the numbers of the children of Israel. However, the Septuagint (LXX) reads according to the number of the angels of God. The DSS shows that the meaning from the Hebrew was according to the (sons of God) gods (or the bene Eliym). Israel became the portion of Yahovah (Jehovah). This leads us into the distinction between the two Yahovahs. The Bible is clear that there are two Yahovahs. Yahovah Most High and Yahovah of Israel and other beings carry this title.
As we have observed above also Strong notes the distinction between Yahovah Most High and Yahovah of Israel. The distinction in the names is that Yehovih refers to the superior and Yahovah refers to the subordinate when used alone. When Yahovah is used of the superior, it is usually accompanied by a qualifier such as Yahovah of Hosts. The relevant numbers are SHD 3068 and 3069. Strong says of SHD 3068 Jehovah that it is the Jewish national name of God. He says that SHD 3069 Jehovih is used after Adonai [thus He is the Lord Yehovih] and pronounced by Jews as Elohim in order to prevent the repetition of the same sound, since they elsewhere pronounce SHD 3068 as SHD 136 Adonai – this being is God.
Thus, the Jews are aware that there are two entities here as a superior and a subordinate. As we have observed, the Messiah is acknowledged to be the entity in Psalm 45:6-7 who was anointed by his God.
Zechariah 2:3 shows that the Angel of Yahovah (who here is obviously Messiah) gave a message to Zechariah regarding his coming to Israel at the direction of the Lord of Hosts. The distinction shows clearly that we are talking of Messiah and God the Father who is the Lord of Hosts.
Zechariah 2:8-12 For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: 9 “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me. 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the LORD. 11 And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 12 And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” (RSV).
The distinctions between the Yahovah of Israel who is called elohim and his elohim who is called Eloah or God the Most High, The Lord of Hosts, is a distinction that is lost in the English where there is no other word for God. The intent is not transmitted to the readers.
Messiah will inherit Judah as his portion in the last days. He will again choose Jerusalem at his second coming. These activities of Messiah can then be broken down into sections by sequence.
<![if !supportLists]>1. <![endif]>The Incarnation (see various papers listed in Bible Study Program (No. B1)).
<![if !supportLists]>2. <![endif]>The Sequence of the Churches (see the paper The Pillars of Philadelphia (No. 283).
<![if !supportLists]>3. <![endif]>The Last Days (see the papers Gideon's Force and the Last Days (No. 22); The Warning of the Last Days (No. 44); Wars of the Last Days and the Vials of the Wrath of God (No. 141B); The Day of the Lord and the Last Days (No. 192); The Last Thirty Years: the Final Struggle (No. 219); Antichrist in Early Church Theology and the Last Days (No. 299F).
<![if !supportLists]>4. <![endif]>The Advent of Messiah (see the paper Advent of Messiah: Part I (No. 210A)).
<![if !supportLists]>5. <![endif]>The Millennium (cf. also The Millennium and the Rapture (No. 95)); The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium (No. 300).
<![if !supportLists]>6. <![endif]>The Judgment (see various papers listed in Bible Study Program (No. B1)).
<![if !supportLists]>7. <![endif]>The City of God (see the paper The City of God (No. 180)).
This paper serves as an introduction to a series of papers by these topics many of which are numbered herein.