February 23, 2005
PLAINER WORDS … THE LORD GOD
Many Christians are content in simply believing what they had been taught in Sunday School. They are at peace thinking all one needs to know is that Jesus Christ died for their sins, according to the scriptures, and that He arose the third day. One day, some years ago, I was talking to a businessman. I knew he professed to be a Christian. During the conversation, he began using some profanity. I finally had the opportunity to mention I didn’t think his “cussing” was becoming of a saint. His reply was; “I am satisfied with my salvation, and that’s all I need to know about the Bible.”
Paul’s admonition to those who are comfortable and content with what little they know is—“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph. 5:14). He likens them as being asleep—even dead. They produce no fruit for they neither grow in grace or knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Just like the fruit tree;
“Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down” (Luke 13:7-9).
Somewhere along the line, it is believed that the Spirit imparted to me the desire to follow Peter’s admonition to believers to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Over the years, my chief goal has been, not only to know what God has said in His Word, but more importantly, to know as much as I can about Jesus Christ. The One I have never seen, the One Who is my Savior-God, the One Who created all things, the One Who is head over all things to the Ecclesia, the fullness of Him Who fills all with Himself.
The more we can know about Him, the more He is loved and appreciated. Sadly, so many professing Christians are comfortable knowing very little concerning Him. Their attitude is; “Don’t rock the boat. I don’t want to consider anything different than what I’ve been taught.” Or, “All of that minutia is for the scholars.”
Have you ever seriously considered the beginning? If not, let’s do so.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen.1:1).
The Hebrew word for “God,” in the first verse of the Bible is Elohim. This intimately associates, or connects Elohim with creation. This gives it the essential meaning as the Creator.
This in fact is number one in considering growing in the knowledge our Lord Jesus Christ. Here, we can begin to reason. Elohim occurs 2,700 times in the Old Testament. How can anyone, after reading Genesis 1:1, have any doubt in the deity of Elohim.
Moving on from the first occurrence of Elohim (God), it is soon found out the name LORD is added to it.
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen. 2:4).
LORD God = Yahweh Elohim
“And the LORD God (Yahweh Elohim) formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).
It was Yahweh Elohim Who formed Adam out of the soil of the ground. The use of LORD God is found thirteen times in Genesis 2. This expression is used hundreds of times in the Old Testament.
Now, notice Deuteronomy 4:39;
“Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD (Yahweh) he is God (Elohim) in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else” (Deut. 4:39).
It is in Isaiah that some of the most pertinent facts concerning Yahweh are found. We will just set forth a few.
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD (Yahweh), and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God (Elohim) formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isaiah 43:10).
“I, even I, am the LORD (Yahweh); and beside me there is no saviour” (Isaiah 43:11).
Here Yahweh declares there is no savior but Him. Well, if He alone is the Savior, how can Jesus Christ also be called “the Saviour?” Jesus Christ is the Savior, only if He is Yahweh of the Old Testament.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).
“Thus saith the LORD (Yahweh) the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD (Yahweh) of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God (Elohim)” (Isaiah 44:6).
These are just some of the truths Yahweh (Jesus Christ) declared about Himself. According to Deuteronomy 28:58, His Name is glorious and awesome;
“If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD (Yahweh) THY God (Elohim).”
In Isaiah 44:24 Yahweh declares that He is the Maker of all things—stretching out the heavens by Himself and spreading forth the earth alone. He repeated this in 45:12. He said that He made the earth and created man upon it—He did it alone. Yahweh didn’t delegate this work to a subordinate, nor to an assistant, nor to His right hand-man; neither did He use a sub-contractor. It was Yahweh (Jesus) Himself.
These are biblical facts we need to carry with us as we study the New Testament.
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23).
Some seem to find another God in John 1:1;
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Some think they have found another God, or, they think they have found an agent, who was delegated the authority to do the work of creation—the agent was the Word.
“The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:2)
“All things were made by him (the Word); and without him (the Word) was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
John 1:3 further identifies the Creator of Genesis 1:1 as The Word (Logos).
John 1:14 identifies Who the Word is—Jesus Christ;
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” NIV.
These facts clearly indicate that—that the Elohim of Genesis 1:1, was the Yahweh Elohim of Genesis 2:4 and was Yahweh of Isaiah 24:44, and etc. The LORD God (Yahweh Elohim) of the Old Testament was Emmanuel of Matthew 1:23—the same Who was said to be the Word in John 1:1 and was made flesh and dwelled among the Jews (John 1:14).
Nothing could be more unambiguous for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see—And the Word was God !
The Apostle Paul sums up the fact that in all things Christ Jesus is to have the preeminence.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;” (Col 1:16-19).
We will not relegate the Lord Jesus Christ to a secondary role, as God’s right-hand man. Paul doesn’t, the Bible doesn’t, and we will not.
Notice that “the Father,” in verse 19, is in italics, which indicates that it was not in the Greek text, but it was supplied by the translators. The Companion Bible says in it’s note; “Instead of ‘the Father’ supply the ellipsis with ‘God.’”
Someone might say; “Well, Tom, I just don’t see that.” I would reply, as Oscar Baker used to when someone told him that; “Well, maybe that’s because you are blind.”
Tom L. Ballinger
From Plainer Words
The Lord God
Posted in: 2005
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 4, 2008 - 9:24:06 PM
Mar 4, 2008 - 9:24:06 PM
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