Christian Churches of God
Introduction to the Godhead
(Edition 2.0 19970417-20100716)
The Godhead has been deliberately made obscure by traditional Christianity. However, with careful study of the Bible, we can gain a clear picture. This paper shows as clearly and simply as possible what the Bible says about the Godhead.
Introduction to the Godhead
It is impossible to worship God unless we understand who God is. The majority of us expect to see the credentials of anyone who sets himself or herself in authority over us. We are told to check the ID card of anyone coming to our homes purporting to be a policeman before allowing him entry. We are told to check the credentials of salespersons coming to our door. We teach our children not to talk to strangers. We don’t trust other people to advise us or instruct us without knowing who they are. We might even say to a friend ‘who are you to tell me what to do?’ So how can we worship a being we do not know, or do as that being tells us? Yet we will follow a man who says “I know God” without checking that the god he says he knows is in fact the one True God. The only way to know God is to study the Bible and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered, "It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (RSV)
So, let us look at what the Bible says.
God, the Father
Deuteronomy 4:39 states very clearly that there is only one True God.
Deuteronomy 4:35-39 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. 36 Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you; and on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. 37 And because he loved your fathers and chose their descendants after them, and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as at this day; 39 know therefore this day, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. (RSV)
We will explain the meaning of the terms ‘His name’ and ‘His presence’ later. Also note here:
Deuteronomy 32:39 "`See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. (RSV)
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord (RSV)
1Samuel 2:2 "There is none holy like the LORD, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God. (RSV)
Isaiah 44:8 Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any." (RSV)
Isaiah 45:5-6 I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I gird you, though you do not know me, 6 that men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. (RSV)
The New Testament is also clear. Christ taught his disciples, who continued his teachings.
John 5:44 How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (RSV)
Matthew 19:17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." (RSV)
Mark 12:32 And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; (RSV)
Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. (RSV)
Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. (RSV)
1Timothy 1:17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (RSV)
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. (RSV)
John 17:3 is a key verse. John is stating very clearly that there is one True God, and that Jesus Christ is His son whom He (God) sent. Our eternal life depends on our understanding this for John repeats this concept at 1John 5:20.
The Bible builds on this, clue by clue, verse by verse.
1Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (RSV)
It follows that a mediator cannot be the God for whom he mediates.
See also 1Corinthians 8:6.
1Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (RSV)
We are talking here of two entirely separate beings with entirely different positions. Christ is acting on behalf of God at the direction of God. This has been the position since the beginning, that is, from the time God generated the Word (the Logos) and the angelic Host. This term Logos applies also to the Oracles of God who are the Logoi (i.e. the plural of Logos) of God. In Hebrew it was as the Memra.
John and Paul both state that no one has seen or heard God at any time. This can be confusing, as some of the biblical passages seem to refer to God speaking or even physically being present. The important thing to understand is that the Bible was not originally written in English. We are dealing with translations. Words for God, and for that being who acted for Him, carrying the authority of God, were generally translated with the same word, God. There are multiple words translated as God. This concept has been dealt with in several papers such as The Elect as Elohim (No. 1), The God We Worship (No. 2), The Names of God (No. 116), etc.
The Angel of YHVH (No. 024) of the Old Testament is identified by the Bible as being Jesus Christ. This angel acted as God, under direction of God, as a son acting in a business arrangement would act for his father. The son acting under the direction of his father makes a business deal which becomes binding on both of them and it is as if the father had been there. God’s name was in him (Ex. 23:21). In other words, he acted in the name of God.
1John 4:12 No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (RSV)
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at ant time; the only begotten Son, Which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (KJV).
The text adds the word him. The text simply says “he spoke or declared.”
The RSV says ‘only son’ to get around the problem of the many sons of God. It is actually “the Monogenese Theos or only born god that one spoke.”
John 5:37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness to me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen; (RSV)
John 6:46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. (RSV)
1Timothy 6:14-16 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)
From this, we see that Jesus Christ cannot be God as God the Father is God. John wrote this after Christ’s resurrection. The disciples saw Christ after his resurrection on many occasions. Christ is subordinate to God his Father who is the one True God.
This will become clearer as we progress.
Worship of God
We must worship only God.
Exodus 20:2-3 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 "You shall have no other gods before me. (RSV) (see also Ex. 34:14).
The penalty for worshipping other gods (idolatry) is death (Deut. 11:16; 30:17-18).
Christ reinforced that we must worship God only, as did Paul and the angels (Jn. 4:22-24; Mat. 4:10; Rom. 15:6; Eph. 3:14; Rev. 19:10; 22:9).
What else does the Bible tell us about God the Father?
1. He is the Creator (Gen. 1:1; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 124:8; Isa. 40:26-28; 44:24; Acts 14:15; 17:24; Rev. 14:7).
2. He alone is immortal (Ps. 90:2; 93:2; Isa. 40:28; 57:15; 1Tim. 6:16).
3. He is all knowing (Isa. 42:9; 40:28; 41:4,26; Ps. 147:5; Rom. 11:33-34).
4. He does not change (Mal. 3:6).
5. He is the Rock of Israel (Isa. 44:8; Deut. 32:18; 1Sam. 2:2; Ps. 18:31). The verses at Matthew 16:17-18 where Christ and Peter were discussing the matter of where Christ was going to build the Church needs to be looked at carefully. The subject of the conversation was God the Father and He was the Rock on which Christ was going to build the Church.
Note also that in Daniel 2:34 Christ is described as the rock cut out (from the Rock), not by human hands, to destroy the kingdoms of this world.
We can also look at the parable of the two houses in Luke 6:46-48. John 14:24 tells us that Christ’s words are not his own but his Father’s.
Name of God
As mentioned previously, we are dealing with translations and it is necessary to examine the original word and the context of the passage. With the use of several different translations, the help of Interlinear Bibles, Strong’s Concordance and other such tools, it is possible to ascertain the true meaning of the Bible.
Elohim is the plural Hebrew word, which has been translated as God. Eloah is the singular Hebrew word, also translated as God. Therefore, it is necessary to know which word was used in the original so as to understand the full meaning of a verse. The context must also be looked at very carefully to ensure the correct application of the word is understood.
Eloah is singular and only used for God the Father. It was written as Elahh in the Aramaic and became Allahh in the Arabic.
Elohim is applied to any being within the Godhead or government of God which, of course, also includes God the Father who is The God or ha Elohim.
· It is used of God the Father (Deut. 4:35; Ps. 45:6-7).
· It is used of Christ (Ps. 45:7).
· It is used of angels (Ps. 82:1; Deut. 29:18).
· It is used of men appointed to specific positions by God, like Moses (Ex. 7:1) and the judges (Ex. 22:8).
The God Who Appeared to Men (Mankind)
We have read that no person has seen God ever. Neither has He been heard. The Old Testament is full of statements concerning God speaking or being seen. So, who was this God? This being is referred to as God, or Lord, or Lord God.
Hagar saw the Angel of the Lord whom she called: “You are the God who sees” (Gen. 16). Moses met God and spoke to him frequently. But this was not God the Father. It was the Angel of God who went before Israel in the cloud during their time in the wilderness. It was the Angel of the Lord who gave the law to Israel at Sinai (Acts 7:38,53). He was sent in the power and authority of God the Father and spoke the words of God the Father. In Exodus 23:20, the Angel of the Lord speaks as God the Father. This Angel of the Lord is identified as Christ (1Cor. 10:4).
When Jacob gave the blessing on Joseph’s sons, he referred to the Angel of Redemption (Gen. 48:15-16). The Angel of Redemption is identified as Christ (Gal. 3:13; 4:4-5).
The being that Jacob wrestled with (Gen. 32:24-31) was called both God and the angel called the Face of God. The Angel of His Presence is another title used in Deuteronomy 4:37 and Isaiah 63:9. This angel redeemed Israel.
So, what we have is an angel who was known by more than one name. He was described as an attribute of God. He bore the presence of God, the name of God, the authority of God, the face of God and, thus, was His representative. This angel is identified as Christ prior to his advent.
Jesus Christ fulfilled the same role in the New Testament as he had in the Old. God the Father is the God of both Testaments. Christ was always the Son of God, the messenger of God, the anointed of God. He always does God’s will, speaks God’s words, came under God’s authority in God’s name and appeared and represented God the Father to mankind.
Christ came in God’s name with the authority of God. He was sent by God to proclaim the Kingdom of God. Therefore, he is as God. He can forgive sins (Mat. 9:6), he can heal the sick, give sight to the blind and give liberty to the oppressed (Isa. 61:1; Lk. 4:18). He was sent to save the world (Jn. 3:17) and to be a witness for the Father (Jn. 3:17; 5:36,43; 7:29; 8:29; 17:8,25).
Christ made it very plain that he was doing the work of God. He was not ‘doing his own thing’. At John 13:16 Christ states that the servant is not greater than the master nor is he who is sent (himself) greater than He (God) who sent him. It is also stated that he was the servant of God (Isa. 42:1-4).
Christ stated that he could do nothing of himself but that he did what he saw the Father do (Jn. 5:19,30; 8:28). He also stated that his doctrines were not his, but God’s (Jn. 7:16), that God the Father was greater than he (Jn. 10:29), and that he acted under command of God (Jn. 12:49-50).
God the Father is all seeing, all knowing, knowing the end from the beginning. He is omniscient (Ps. 147:5; Isa. 40:28; 41:4,26; 42:9; Rom. 11:33-34). Christ is not all knowing. He did not know whether Abraham would sacrifice Isaac (Gen. 22:12). He did not know when he would return (Mat. 24:36; Acts 1:7). Even when resurrected, he did not know everything. Revelation 1:1 states that God revealed these things to Christ who then gave them to John to write down.
Again, for this reason Christ cannot be God as God the Father is God. Christ came to reveal the Father. By knowing Christ we can know God.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (KJV)
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (KJV)
Knowing God is mandatory for eternal life. Jesus Christ was sent to reveal the Father; he spoke His words. Everything he did and said was at the direction of Him who sent him. The words Christ spoke were spirit and life.
John 6:63-68 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; (RSV)
See also John 8:28; 12:50; 14:24; 15:10; 17:8,14.
The world has always been confused as to who Christ really is. God’s will is not understood by the majority of the people of the world. Only those whom God chooses to reveal it to can understand. The truth is scattered throughout the Scriptures (Isa. 28:9-10). It is revealed to babes.
Matthew 11:25-27 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; 26 yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. 27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (RSV)
1Corinthians 1:27-30 but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; (RSV).
It was for this reason that Christ spoke in parables (Mat. 13:11; Mk. 4:11; Lk. 8:11).
Because the truth must be revealed by God, through the Holy Spirit, many do not understand that Christ is the Son of God (Mat. 16:16-17). The following Scriptures tell us who Christ is: Matthew 3:17; 4:3; Mark 1:1; Luke 22:70.
John 5:26 states that Christ was given eternal life by the Father. In other words, he did not have eternal life in himself until it had been given to him by another being.
John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, (RSV)
In John 6:57, Christ stated that the living Father sent him and he lived because of the Father. The apostles preached the need to know that Christ is the Son of God.
Acts 9:20-22 And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, "He is the Son of God." 21 And all who heard him were amazed, and said, "Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests." 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. (RSV)
See also Romans 1:4 and Galatians 4:4.
The beginning of something is the point at which it starts, prior to which it is not. Christ is the beginning of the creation of God (Col. 1:15 and Rev. 3:14) but is not immortal. Only God is immortal (1Tim. 6:14-16).
1Timothy 6:14-16 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).
God the Father is the Only True God and is Christ’s God just as He is our God. Immediately after Christ’s resurrection, he told Mary not to hold him as he had not yet ascended to his Father,
John 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (RSV)
Read also Romans 15:6; 1Corinthians 3:23; 2Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; 1Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6; 2:27; 3:5,12.
God anointed Christ above his companions, the sons of God (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:4-7) who are the angelic Host (Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:8). This indicates that prior to this anointing he was not above them. He was anointed to be our Saviour, High Priest and King. At his incarnation (that is, when he became human) he was in fact made a little lower than the angels (Heb. 2:7). It was through this obedience to the will of God – his willingness to be crucified for our salvation – that he was made High Priest for ever, sitting at the right hand of God.
He was in the form of God and he laid aside his form, becoming a man obedient to God unto death. He did not attempt to seize equality with God as Satan had attempted to do (Phil. 2:4-8).
Because of this obedience, God highly exalted him and gave him the name which is above every other name so that all confess Christ as Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9-11). By his death, he sanctified both the heavenly and the human Host. He who sanctifies and they who are sanctified are of one origin (Heb. 2:11, RSV).
Christ asked that he be again given the glory that he had been given by God before the world was made. Christ asked that the elect, who were given to him, be with him to behold the glory which God gave him out of love before the foundation of the world (Jn. 17:5, 24 RSV). Thus, he did have the glory of his own power but he was glorified by God on both occasions. He became a son of God in power from his resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4).
We know that Christ was chief among the sons of God, or the angels, from several Scriptures.
· Genesis 48:16 where Jacob called Christ the Angel of Redemption.
· Hosea 12:4 where the god who wrestled with Jacob was an angel.
· Acts 7:35-39,53 tells us that the law was delivered to Israel at Sinai by angels.
Galatians 4:14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. (RSV)
The angel who spoke to Joshua prior to the fall of Jericho was the captain of God’s army (Josh. 5:15). This being has been identified as Christ. The New Testament also indicates that Christ leads the angelic Host (Rev. 19:13-14).
Under the direction of God, Christ is also a creator but these are the forces of the administration rather than the creation and there are many sons of God created by the Father.
Colossians 1:16 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. (RSV)
1Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (RSV)
Hebrews 1:1-14 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs. 5 For to what angel did God ever say, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee"? Or again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"? 6 And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." 7 Of the angels he says, "Who makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fie." 8 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."10 And, "Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of thy hands; 11 they will perish, but thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, 12 like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years will never end." 13 But to what angel has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet"? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? (RSV)
Hebrews repeats Psalm 45:6-7.
The purpose of the chapter is to declare the position of Christ as one that is elevated because of his incarnation. The translation is a false rendering in that the Christ was appointed heir of all things.
The text is translated as: "Through whom he created the world", but that is false as the word translated "world" in verse 2 is in fact Aeonas or age of the earth and its administration. Christ did not create the world. He created the ages from Adam. God sent the Christ as the prototokos of the angelic Host to redeem the Host, and he appointed the angels as ministering spirits to mankind and they were sent forward so that mankind could receive salvation. Christ was placed above them.
Christ was sent to redeem both mankind and the Fallen Host and for that reason he went to preach to them in Tartaros as we see in 1Peter 3:14-4:6):
1Peter 3:14-22 But even if you do suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God's will, than for doing wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him. (RSV)
1Peter 4:1-6 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer by human passions but by the will of God. 3 Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not now join them in the same wild profligacy, and they abuse you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God. (RSV)
The texts show perfectly that Christ is the subordinate elohim of Israel who was the servant of His God the Father and one of the comrades of the sons of God who were the Host.
The text is translated as He reflects the Glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature upholding the universe by the word of His power. The translation is rendered to make it appear that it is upheld by Christ's power but it is upheld by the word of God's power. That is: "bearing all things by the word of the power of him (i.e. God)." (cf. Marshall’s Interlinear Greek English).
The writer of Hebrews has also shown the role in Hebrews 3:1-6.
Hebrews 3:1-6 Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. 2 He was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in God's house. 3 Yet Jesus has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honor than the house. 4 (For every house is built by some one, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ was faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope. (RSV)
In Hebrews 3:2 it clearly says that Christ was faithful to him who made him. The word is Poiesanti meaning “the one making him” and it is only translated as appointed in this one place. Elsewhere it is translated as "making", in both the NT and the LXX.
The next aspect of the Godhead is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been dealt with in considerable detail in the papers The Holy Spirit (No. 117) and Fruit of the Holy Spirit (No. 146). The most important points to remember regarding the Holy Spirit are that it is that essence or power of God, which is the glue that binds all of the sons of God together. Emanating from God, through Christ it encompasses all beings, spiritual and physical, who operate within the will of God, being obedient to His commandments. It will lead us into all truth, administer gifts as recorded in 1Corinthians 12:7-11 and has fruits as described in Galatians 5:22-23. The Holy Spirit can be grieved and will withdraw, and it must not be blasphemed (Mat. 12:31). It is the means by which God can finally become all in all (1Cor. 15:28; Eph. 4:6).
Much error is derived from the misinterpretation of the text in Malachi 4:1-3.
Malachi 4:1-3 “For behold the day comes, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evil doers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up says the Lord of Hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under your feet. On the day when I act, says the Lord of Hosts. (RSV)
Binitarians, Trinitarians and Ditheists have explained this text as the son of Righteousness and therefore referring to Jesus Christ, when the text is the sun and refers to the Holy Spirit that empowers the elect. The Ditheists misinterpret the text because of the error that claimed that the OT referred to Christ and not to God the Father as the god of the OT.
Verses 4 and 5 continue on to deal with the injunction to keep the laws of God Malachi 4:4:
“Remember the law of my Servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel [Note not at Sinai].
Malachi 4:5 goes on to the sending of Elijah:
“Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the heart of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (RSV)
This text did not refer to John the Baptist or Christ but to Elijah and it occurs before the great and terrible day of the Lord and that was not in 27 CE but in the period leading into the return of Christ before the Millennium.
The despatch of Christ as the Angel of God by God acting as Yahovah of Hosts is stated in Zechariah 2:6-9 and we will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent him.
The Heavenly Host
The heavenly Host appear to be made up of a hierarchy.
God the Father at some point in time generated Christ and the other sons of God that are the entire angelic Host and, from this point, the whole of the creation took place.
Through Christ’s activities, which ultimately led to his incarnation and his crucifixion, he was made the High Priest of the whole creation. Ezekiel, in his vision at Ezekiel 1:5ff., tells of four covering cherubs and twenty-four elders (Rev. 4:4) who receive the prayers of the saints (Rev. 5:8).
Job 38 speaks of Morning Stars and sons of God singing at the foundation of the earth. This passage is referring to the angelic Host and appears to indicate a rank structure. Satan is the Morning Star of this planet now and Christ will take over as Morning Star on his return. Some angels have been mentioned by name, such as Michael and Gabriel, having been sent to do specific tasks. Angels are called sons of God (Job 1:6; 2:1). Christ was the only born son of God.
One third of the angels, under the influence of Lucifer, the light bearer, who came to be known as Satan, rebelled against God and they were confined to this planet. These angels are now called demons. Satan is the god of this world, the prince of the powers of the air (Eph. 2:2). These beings operate outside of the will of God and cannot be called sons of God.
To understand the fact of the existence of the sons of God we must read Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:4-7 where the sons of God are the Host and Christ is one of them.
Deuteronomy 32:8 shows that the nations were divided according to the number of the sons of God and that was changed to read the sons of Israel because it shows the role and power of the sons of God and that accounted for the 72 nations as well as the 72 of the Sanhedrin which represented the number of the council.
We know the insertion of the text “sons of Israel” is a forgery as we have the witness of the LXX and the DSS, and the RSV has corrected the text. Israel is the inheritance of the Angel of God who was the Messiah and we have the translation of the LXX into the Greek which renders the text "Beni Elohim" as Aggellos Theou or angels of God. There is no doubt as to the text.
So also is the text in Job.
Mankind as Sons of God
Those who are called by God, obey His commands and live by every word of God will become sons of God (Jn. 10:34-35). The term Elohim means Gods and it is also applied to angels. This rank will be extended to all mankind. Moses was made Elohim to Aaron (Ex. 4:16) and also to Pharaoh (Ex. 7:1). The inhabitants of Jerusalem will become as David and the house of David as God, as the Angel of God before them (Zech. 12:8). Those who do God’s will are the brothers and sisters of Christ (Mat. 12:50; Mk. 3:35) and, when resurrected, will be equal with the angels.
Luke 20:36 for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. (RSV)
As the brothers and sisters of Christ, we are co-heirs with him (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; Tit. 3:7).
We will inherit the Kingdom of God with Christ.
Luke 22:29-30 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (RSV)
Our future inheritance and eternal life depend on knowing God the Father. On repentance, baptism and receipt of the Holy Spirit, we can start to overcome our sinful nature. With total commitment to God, dedication to the study of the Scriptures, constant prayer and a determination to live by every word of God, we can obtain eternal life.
Luke 12:31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. (RSV)