“blessed be the name of Jehovah.” His blessing of God’s name was unconditional, irrespective of context, and without reason.
Disclosing: Is the Lord Jesus the Son of God, or God Himself?
By Liu Yun
After the prayer meeting, I invited three church members to my house. They were Sister Wang, Sister Yu, and Sister Zhao who teaches hymn-singing. All of them have been my spiritual colleagues in the Lord for many years. After we reached my house, I brewed some tea for them, and then we got to chatting. Sister Zhao said, “Hey, there is a question I still can’t understand. Usually the preachers always say that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God. And I also see from the Bible that while the Lord Jesus was preaching or speaking to people, He always called God in heaven Father. So, I believe that the Lord Jesus is God’s Son. However, I also see the Bible say that the Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that He once said to His disciples: ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me….’ (John 14:11) ‘I and my Father are one’ (John 10:30). So I am confused. Is the Lord Jesus God Himself or God’s Son?” Without thinking, Sister Yu replied before the others, “He is surely the Son of God!” Then Sister Zhao asked, “What kind of basis do you have for saying so?” Sister Yu explained, “Matthew chapter 3 verses 16-17 record, ‘And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him: And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ From these two verses we know when the Lord Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit personally bore witness that the Lord Jesus is the beloved Son of God. Since the Lord Jesus was called the beloved Son, doesn’t it mean that He is exactly God’s Son? Besides, when the Lord Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane, He called God in heaven by the name of Father. Aren’t all these the basis for that?” After hearing this, Sister Zhao mulled things over for a while, and said, “What you said is reasonable. According to these verses, we can easily confirm that the Lord Jesus is God’s Son. Hey, how do you two understand this question? Don’t just listen to us. Why don’t you speak?” Sister Zhao looked at us, waiting for our answer.
Sister Wang and I smiled at each other. At the sight of this, both Sister Zhao and Sister Yu were puzzled, wondering why we smiled. At this time, Sister Wang first started communicating, “Is the Lord Jesus God Himself or the Son of God? This is a question that the whole religious world argues about all the time. When we see from what is recorded in the Bible that many times the Lord Jesus called God in the heaven Father, and that the Holy Spirit also personally bore witness that the Lord Jesus is the beloved Son of God, then we further believe that the Lord Jesus is God’s Son. In this way, the notion of this Father-Son relationship was formed. Before, I thought like this too. It was not until Sister Liu and I heard the fellowship of a preacher, Sister Qin, that I had a new insight into this.” Sister Yu eagerly said, “Come on. Tell us quickly. What has she fellowshiped and what new knowledge have you gained?”
Sister Wang said with a smile, “You are the same as ever, always being so impatient for results.” While speaking, she took a Bible out of her bag, and said, “If we want to know whether the Lord Jesus is God Himself or the Son of God, let’s read several scriptures first. When Philip asked the Lord Jesus to show him the Father in heaven, the Lord said to him: ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works’ (John 14:9-10). Through these words, the Lord Jesus was telling people that He and the Father are one and are the same Spirit, and that He is the incarnate flesh of God’s Spirit and the embodiment of the Father in heaven. Evidently the Lord Jesus is exactly God Himself but not God’s Son. However, people nowadays infer from their own understanding of scriptures that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God. In fact, the Lord Jesus Himself didn’t acknowledge such saying. When He bore testimony to Himself, He once said He is exactly God Himself. The Pharisees asked the Lord Jesus, ‘Where is your Father?’ (John 8:19), He answered, ‘You neither know me, nor my Father: if you had known me, you should have known my Father also’ (John 8:19). Take another example. The Lord said to the Jews, ‘But if I do, though you believe not me, believe the works: that you may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him’ (John 10:38). And in John chapter 12 verses 44-45, it says, ‘He that believes on me, believes not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that sees me sees him that sent me.’ Through these scriptures, the Lord Jesus was testifying to mankind that He was the manifestation of God, though He didn’t directly say to mankind, ‘I am God Himself.’ If we carefully ponder these words of the Lord Jesus, then we can confirm that He is the very God Himself.”
Sister Yu listened and examined the scriptures. As soon as Sister Wang’s voice subsided, Sister Yu closed the Bible, raised her head, and said, “That’s true. The Lord Jesus really did say ‘I and my Father are one.’ The Lord clearly told us that He is the incarnate God Himself and not the Son of God. I have also seen these verses before, but I considered the Lord Jesus as God’s son just according to a few scriptures, without paying attention to what the Lord said. How come I did not ponder the Lord’s words with my heart?”
Then Sister Zhao said, “Sister Wang’s fellowship is reasonable and well-grounded. But I can’t figure out this thing: Since the Lord Jesus is obviously God Himself, why did He still call God in heaven Father in His prayers? Why did the Holy Spirit testify that the Lord Jesus is His beloved Son?” “Yes, that’s it! I am stuck here too. I really can’t figure this out. Can you fellowship about this?” said Sister Yu eagerly.
I nodded and answered, “This question also once puzzled us. At that time, regarding it, Sister Qin read us three passages of words. Let me read them to you.” Then I opened my notebook and read, “When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had clothed Himself as an ordinary and normal man and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of an ordinary man; in other words, He had become the ‘Son of man’ of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called the Son of man, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a man of creation. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? ‘Our Father in heaven….’ He asked all man to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all.” “There are still those who say, ‘Did not God expressly state that Jesus was His beloved Son?’ ‘Jesus is the beloved Son of God, in whom He is well pleased’ was certainly spoken by God Himself. That was God bearing witness to Himself, but merely from a different perspective, that of the Spirit in heaven bearing witness to His own incarnation. Jesus is His incarnation, not His Son in heaven. Do you understand? Do not the words of Jesus, ‘The Father is in Me and I am in the Father,’ indicate that They are one Spirit? And is it not because of the incarnation that They were separated between heaven and earth? In reality, They are still one; no matter what, it is simply God bearing witness to Himself. … But at that time, the Spirit in heaven stated only that He was the beloved Son of God, and made no mention of His being the only Son of God. This simply did not happen. How could God have an only child? Then would God not have become man? Because He was the incarnation, He was called the beloved Son of God, and, from this, came the relationship between Father and Son. It was simply because of the separation between heaven and earth.” “After Jesus went away, this idea of the Father and the Son was no longer. This idea was only appropriate for the years when Jesus became flesh; under all other circumstances, the relationship is one between the Lord of creation and a created being when you call God Father. There is no time at which this idea of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can stand; it is a fallacy rarely seen through the ages and does not exist!” (“Does the Trinity Exist?”).
After finishing reading these words, I continued by saying, “Through Sister Qin’s fellowship, I came to understand: Unlike what we imagined, when the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father when He prayed, He was not doing this with the identity of God’s Son. The fact is that He did this from the standpoint of a created being, which showed the humility and obedience of Christ. At that time the Holy Spirit bore witness to the fact that the Lord Jesus is God’s beloved Son, but not the son of God. Instead, He was testifying from the perspective of the Spirit that the Lord Jesus is the incarnation of God Himself, He called the incarnate flesh of God the beloved Son but not His son. In reality, God is the one true God. No matter whether He is in heaven commanding the whole universe, or becomes flesh to do work amongst man, God in the flesh and the Holy Spirit are still one God. Because the incarnate Christ is inherently God Himself and is the Spirit of God truly realized in the flesh, He has God’s essence, and what He expresses is all the disposition of God. In outward appearance, the Lordwas an ordinary and normal flesh, but His substance is God Himself. His coming to work concluded the Old Testament Age of Law and brought the Age of Grace, and brought us the way of repentance. Moreover, the Lord Jesus’ words have authority and power: When He rebuked the wind and sea, the sea became calm again; when He commanded Lazarus to come out of the grave, Lazarus was resurrected from death. So, Christ is exactly God Himself. The Lord Jesus only called God in heaven Father because He was working in the flesh. When His work in the flesh was concluded, this idea of the Father and the Son was no longer.”
After fellowshiping this, Sister Zhao gladly said, “Today, through your and Sister Wang’s fellowship, I have gained some enlightenment. It turns out that when the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father, He did so from the perspective of the flesh; when God in heaven called the Lord Jesus His beloved Son, He was bearing witness to His own incarnation from the perspective of the Holy Spirit.” Sister Yu also agreed with a nod, “I eventually know the real reason why the Lord Jesus addressed God in heaven as Father, and the meaning of the Holy Spirit testifying to Jesus being His beloved Son. Now, my puzzle is finally solved!” Listening to these words, we all smiled with pleasure.
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