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Jesus is the Yawweh of the Old Testment

In Apologetics on November 3, 2013 at 8:12 am

Joh 12:41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

12:41. In a vision Isaiah … saw “the Lord Almighty” (lit., “Yahweh of hosts,” or “Yahweh of armies”; Isa. 6:3). John wrote that this glory Isaiah saw was Jesus’ glory. The implication is startling: Jesus is Yahweh! (Cf. John 1:18; 10:30; 20:28; Col. 2:9.) Jesus in His nature is God (but God the Son is distinct in person from God the Father and God the Spirit). Isaiah spoke about Him, for many of Isaiah’s prophecies predicted the coming Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth (e.g., Isa. 4:2; 7:14; 9:6–7; 11:1–5, 10; 32:1; 42:1–4; 49:1–7; 52:13–53:12; 61:1–3). Earlier Jesus had said that Moses wrote about Him (John 5:46)

Edwin A. Blum, “John,” ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge
Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 319.
When he saw his glory – Isa_6:1-10. Isaiah saw the Lord (in Hebrew, יהוה Yahweh) sitting on a throne and surrounded with the seraphim. This is perhaps the only instance in the Bible in which Yahweh is said to have been seen by man, and for this the Jews affirm that Isaiah was put to death. God had said Exo_33:20, “No man shall see me and live;” and as Isaiah affirmed that he had seen Yahweh, the Jews, for that and other reasons, put him to death by sawing him asunder. See Introduction to Isaiah, Section 2. In the prophecy Isaiah is said expressly to have seen Yahweh Joh_12:1; and in Joh_12:5, “Mine eyes have seen the King Yahweh of hosts.” By his glory is meant the manifestation of him – the Shechinah, or visible cloud that was a representation of God, and that rested over the mercy-seat. This was regarded as equivalent to seeing God, and John here expressly applies this to the Lord Jesus Christ; for he is nor affirming that the people did not believe in God, but is assigning the reason why they believed not on Jesus Christ as the Messiah. The whole discourse has respect to the Lord Jesus, and the natural construction of the passage requires us to refer it to him. John affirms that it was the glory of the Messiah that Isaiah saw, and yet Isaiah affirms that it was Yahweh; and from this the inference is irresistible that John regarded Jesus as the Yahweh whom Isaiah saw. The name Yahweh is never, in the Scriptures, applied to a man, or an angel, or to any creature. It is the unique, incommunicable name of God. So great was the reverence of the Jews for that name that they would not even pronounce it. This passage is therefore conclusive proof that Christ is equal with the Father.
Spake of him – Of the Messiah. The connection requires this interpretation.
Albert Barnes “Notes on the Bible”

John in his knowledge of the Messiah as Jesus who is Yahweh of the Old Testament confirms that Jesus is distinct in person shared in essence with the Father. From a Unitarian point of view how would a divine idea or manifestation who only becomes flesh at the incarnation (birth) have any connection to this reference in Isaiah? Because of Isaiah’s insistence this person he saw in the temple was the future spoken of Jesus or Messiah he was sawn in half, to this day the denial and distortion of the Christ is just a strong as it ever was.

Joh 12:42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;
Joh 12:43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

This harmonizes with the statement Jesus made to the disciples whoever denies me before men I will deny before the Father. If we are denying the Trinity are we denying the Son? If your God is big enough to create the universe and all that is contained in it why is He limited to a logical fallacy he cannot exist as 3 persons sharing one nature? If we ascribe to Jesus only one nature and one person then His identity statements cannot make sense, as he separating himself from the Father in person yet claiming equality with Him in worship and praise. If the claim that Jesus has two nature’s one human and one divine, why is the concept of the three oneness of God so difficult?

The praise of men – The approval of human beings. It does not appear that they had a living, active faith, but that they were convinced in their understanding that he was the Messiah. They had that kind of faith which is so common among people – a speculative acknowledgment that religion is true, but an acknowledgment which leads to no self-denial, which shrinks from the active duties of piety, and fears man more than God. True faith is active. It overcomes the fear of man; it prompts to self-denying duties, Heb. 11. Nevertheless, it was no unimportant proof that Jesus was the Messiah, that any part of the great council of the Jews were even speculatively convinced of it: and it shows that the evidence could not have been slight when it overcame their prejudices and pride, and constrained them to admit that the lowly and poor man of Nazareth was the long expected Messiah of their nation.
Albert Barnes “Notes on the Bible”

Joh 12:44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.

Jesus makes another distinction between himself and the Father who sent him. Our belief or faith is from another person “him who sent me”. Jesus is not telling people not to believe in Him but that our faith is shared and rests finally on the Father who sent him. Salvation is a work of the Trinity the invitation for the creature to be a part of the unity, community, harmony and diversity of the Godhead.

Jesus cried and said,…. Upon this occasion, on account of the prevailing hardness and unbelief of the Jewish nation, and the non-confession of him by those who did believe him to be the Messiah. He cried with a loud voice, that he might be heard, and his audience left inexcusable; it denotes the concern of his mind, the vehemence of his spirit, and that openness and freedom in which he discharged his ministry, by showing the nature, excellency, and usefulness of believing in him, and the dangerous consequences of unbelief:

he that believeth on me, believeth not on me; which is not to be understood simply and absolutely, for this would be a contradiction in terms: they that believe in Christ, do believe in him, and they do right to believe in him; Christ is the object of faith; he is proposed as such in the Gospel; and it is his Father’s will, and his own advice, that his people should believe in him: but then those that truly believe in him, do not believe in him as a mere man, but as God, as the Son of God; and not as separate from, or to the exclusion of his Father: nor do they believe in him as a new, or another God, but as the one God with the Father, and the Spirit; for he and his Father are one: nor do they believe in him “only”; and so the Arabic version reads; but in God the Father also: nor does their faith rest in him, but it proceeds through him, as the Mediator unto God; see 1Pe_1:21. Besides, he is here to be considered in his office capacity, as being sent of God; and he that believes on him as the sent of God, does not so much believe on him, as on the sender of him, as follows:

but on him that sent me; just as whatever honour or dishonour are done to an ambassador, sent by an earthly king to a foreign court, are not so much done to the ambassador that is sent, as to the king that sends him; for what is done to him, is all one as if it was personally done to his prince: so he that despises Christ, despises him that sent him; and he that receives Christ, receives him that sent him; and he that believes on Christ, believes on him that sent him; see Luk_10:16.

John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible.

Joh 12:45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.

This verse has been so often meligned and twisted to infer in capicity that Jesus and God are one in nature and person and reducing Jesus to a manifestation. The error starts when we forget context because a manifestation does not carry the attributes of a person and a person is distinct from being. Websters defines:

Manifestation
a : the act, process, or an instance of manifesting
b (1) : something that manifests or is manifest (2) : a perceptible, outward, or visible expression
c : one of the forms in which an individual is manifested
d : an occult phenomenon; specifically : materialization
2 : a public demonstration of power and purpose
PERSON, n. per’sn. [L. persona; said to be compounded of per, through or by, and sonus, sound; a Latin word signifying primarily a mask used by actors on the state.]
1. An individual human being consisting of body and soul. We apply the word to living beings only, possessed of a rational nature; the body when dead is not called a person. It is applied alike to a man, woman or child. A person is a thinking intelligent being.
2. A man, woman or child, considered as opposed to things, or distinct from them.
3. A human being, considered with respect to the living body or corporeal existence only.

BE’ING, ppr. [See Be.] Existing in a certain state. Man, being in honor, abideth not. Psa 49.
BE’ING,n. Existence; as, God is the author of our being. In God we live, and move, and have our being. Acts 17.
1. A particular state or condition. [This is hardly a different sense.]
2. A person existing; applied to the human race.
3. An immaterial, intelligent existence, or spirit.
4. An animal; any living creature. Animals are such beings, as are endowed with sensation and spontaneous motion.

Jesus in His own words calls for us to distinguish between Himself, the Father and the Spirit. The Father sends, the Son completes and the Spirit relates. The Father decrees the Son accomplishes and the Spirit applies. When we pray we pray by the Spirit, through the Son to the Father. They are participating in our salvation, sanctification and finally our glorification.

Joh 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
Joh 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
Joh 12:48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

Jesus declares his purpose to be the light in a dark world. To be the standard of perfection for humanity and he will judge us as creatures according to that standard. He is the word incarnate (in flesh) and He will be judge on that final day. The Father gave to the Son the right to judge.

And he that seeth me, seeth him that sent me. Not with bodily eyes, for there were many that saw Christ, who never saw the Father: they saw Christ as a mere man, and were offended at the meanness of his outward appearance; they saw nothing divine in him, nor the glory of the Father through him; but with the eyes of the understanding, whoever saw or perceived the glory of Christ in his miracles, saw the glory of God in them also, for the Father that dwelt in him did the works, Joh_2:11, and whoever truly sees Christ with an eye of faith, sees his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, as the brightness of his Father’s glory, as having the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in him, the same perfections as in the Father; so that he that hath seen the one, hath seen the other also, Joh_14:9.
John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible.

Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.
Joh 12:50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

On whose authority does Jesus speak if he a manifestly single deity which is a divine idea that is only alive for the human existence and death?
How can He Jesus claim no authority yet be a manifestation of himself as a One God, One person, one idea?
In the last verses of John, Jesus goes to great length to establish himself as distinct yet joined to God! How does this make sense and how are we to understand this revelation in light of the Unitarian view of God?

12:47–50. Since Jesus is God’s Word (Logos) to people, God spoke decisively and finally in Him (Heb. 1:1–3). The issue is the command of the Father. To obey the Father is to come to eternal life (John 12:50). To reject the Father’s word—which is Jesus’ very word (v. 48; cf. v. 50b; 7:16; 14:10, 24)—is to abide in death. Moses predicted the coming of the great Prophet (One who would speak for God). Moses said, “You must listen to Him” (Deut. 18:15). Condemnation at the last day is the penalty for rejecting the One whom the Father sent (Deut. 18:18–19; John 3:18, 36; 5:24).
The purpose of God’s revelation in Jesus is positive: He came to save, not to judge (12:47; cf. 3:17 and comments on 9:39). But rejection of God’s Revelation inevitably brings a hardening in sin and ultimately God’s judgment.
In speaking of Jewish national unbelief John balanced his theological explanation with Jesus’ serious exhortation to the nation to repent. In the words of Moses, these “are not just idle words for you—they are your life” (Deut. 32:47).
III. Jesus’ Preparation of His Disciples (chaps. 13 – 17)

Edwin A. Blum, “John,” ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 319.

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