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If this does not make Jesus LIKE the Father then the Hebrew, Greek, and English languages simply make no sense!
The Greek text (Westcott and Hort 1881 Greek Text) reads:
4 kai pantev to auto pneumatikon epion poma epinon gar ek pneumatikhv akolouyoushv petrav h petra de hn o cristov
Lest a Jehovah's Witness try and argue that their 'Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures' has a 'more accurate' text, read their version! It is identical, for it also uses the Westcott and Hort Greek Text, and thus the WBTS, at first, translated it literally as:
'and all (ones) the very spiritual they drank drink, they were drinking for out of spiritual following rock-mass, the rock-mass but WAS the Christ'.
Thus, to hide the pre-existent nature of Christ who IS, and WAS, 'Jehovah' the Rock, they change the word from WAS to MEANT without any Scriptural warrant whatsoever; but their normal, lying, bias cannot allow them to tell the truth!
The WBTS simply can't be relied on to be honest with the languages of the Bible!
1 Peter 2v4-8 confirms the identity of Christ the Rock:
1PE 2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him - 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 1PE 2:7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, " 1PE 2:8 and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a ROCK that makes them fall."
Truly, the WBTS has stumbled and fallen on the Rock that is Christ!
Isaiah 8v13-15 confirms that the Rock is Almighty God:
Isaiah 8:13 ASV The LORD Almighty ('Jehovah' of armies) is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, ISAIAH 8:14 and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. ISAIAH 8:15 Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured."
the WBTS translates this passage as the words of 'Jehovah' of armies:
Isaiah 8:13-15 NWT Jehovah of armies - he is the One whom YOU should treat as holy, and he should be the object of YOUR fear, and he should be the One causing YOU to tremble."" 14 And he must become as a sacred place; but as a stone to strike against and as a rock over which to stumble to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and as a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them will be certain to stumble and to fall and be broken, and to be snared and caught.
But here in Isaiah we learn that only 'Jehovah' is the Rock - and there is no other Rock! Once again we have proved that Jesus is everything that 'Jehovah' is described as!
So the WBTS are wrong in saying that Jesus is a 'god' and trying to hide that He is the Rock - and 'Trinitarians' are right in saying there is only One God and One Rock - and Jesus is also both!
If we read Isaiah 44v8 AND v24 and 45v11-12 we find still more evidence:
Isaiah 44:8 'You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."
'Jehovah' clearly declares that there is no 'God' or 'god' besides Him - or 'alongside' Him as the WBTS claimed earlier - and 'there is no other Rock.' Either Jesus is the same God as the Father - note the 'Trinity' does not say the same person - or these verses are nonsense.
Isaiah 44:24 ASV Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb: I am Jehovah, that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth (who is with me?);
Isaiah 45:11-12 NWT This is what Jehovah has said, the Holy One of Israel and the Former of him: 'Ask me even about the things that are coming concerning my sons; and concerning the activity of my hands YOU people should command me. 12 I myself have made the earth and have created even man upon it. I - my own hands have stretched out the heavens, and all the army of them I have commanded.""
'Jehovah' God clearly formed the earth & sky, and He is the only creator who made everything by Himself [alone!] - therefore this 'Jehovah' God is One God who is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!
Isaiah 46:9 NWT Remember the first things of a long time ago, that I am the Divine One and there is no other God, nor anyone like me;
The WBTS admits that 'there is no other God, nor anyone like me' - but they forget that Jesus said 'I and the Father are One' (John 10:30) and 'He who has seen Me has seen the Father' (John 14:7-14). Jesus claimed to be more than 'like' the Father - He claimed equality with the Father!
Who are you going to believe - the Bible or the WBTS?
Other passages in Isaiah make the 'Trinity' relationship clear:GOD IS OUR ONLY SAVIOUR AND HE IS IDENTIFIED AS CHRIST!
Isaiah 48:16: 'Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.'
In verse 12-16 'Jehovah' presents Himself as the eternal, absolute God (the First and the Last), the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the Arranger of history, the God of prophecy. He announces that He will raise up one whom He loves (Cyrus) to defeat the Babylonians and to deliver the people of Israel. All three Persons of the Trinity here in verse 16 - the Lord GOD and His Spirit, and Me (i.e., Christ). Here the subject turns almost imperceptibly from Cyrus to his Antitype, the Lord Jesus, who will deliver the nation from their worldwide dispersion at His Second Advent.
Isaiah 63:7-10: 7 I will make mention of the loving-kindnesses of 'Jehovah', and the praises of 'Jehovah', according to all that 'Jehovah' hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. 8 For He said, Surely, they are my people, children that will not deal falsely: so he was their Saviour. 9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled, and grieved His Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.
As we have shown, one of the regular practices of the WBTS is to change the literal rendering of verses in their NWT to try and deny the pre-existent appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ in Old Testament times. But they cannot mask the truth that:
Throughout the Old Testament it is peculiarly and solely the work of 'Jehovah' to be the Saviour and Redeemer of his people and so we find many characteristic statements, such as:
'Beside Me there is no Saviour' (Isaiah 43v11)
'Salvation belongs to 'Jehovah'' (Psalm 3v8)
'I, 'Jehovah', am your Saviour, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob' (Isaiah 49v26)
Whereas heathen nations are reproached for their foolishness in worshipping and praying to (wooden) gods that cannot save (Isaiah 44v17; 45v20), there is clearly no Saviour but 'Jehovah'. But in the New Testament the work of redemption and salvation is attributed to Christ, who came expressly to save His people from their sins, and who is designated as 'the Saviour of the world' (John 4v42; 1 John 4v14). Also notice that the Saviour of Isaiah 49v26 is also Mighty God.
In the earlier section this Awake! (April 22, 2005) magazine made a big thing of 'Jehovah' and the 'Lamb' having distinct names. So, is this Mighty God the Mighty God of Isaiah 9v6 - who the WBTS recognize to be Jesus - or does Jesus actually share the same name as the Father? The WBTS and its adherents do not seem to notice the incongruity:
If the Father is a 'big' God, Almighty God, superior to Jesus (as the WBTS claim), then why is 'Jehovah' sharing an inferior 'Mighty' tag with the little 'god' they claim is Jesus?!
If there is no Saviour but God, and Jesus is 'the Saviour of the world,' it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Christ is God - that the 'Jehovah' Saviour of the Old Testament is the Saviour Christ of the New Testament. This is clearly indicated in Isaiah 44v6-8, where we read:
'Thus says 'Jehovah', the King of Israel, AND His Redeemer, 'Jehovah' of Hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God beside Me - and who is like Me? Let Him proclaim it and declare it....Is there any God beside Me, or is there any [other] Rock? I know of None!''
Notice the following:
Two 'Jehovah's' are described in the Old Testament - 'Jehovah' the King, and 'Jehovah' His Redeemer (this is consistent with two 'Jehovah's' in Genesis 19v24 who rain fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah!)
This description for 'Jehovah' the Redeemer, 'the first and the last,' is three times attributed to Christ in the book of Revelation (1v17; 2v8; 22v13);
As we have shown - 'Jehovah' is asking who is like Me - clearly if Jesus is a Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6) sharing the same title and attributes as 'Jehovah' then He would be like 'Jehovah' - and this is entirely consistent with Christ's own claims in John 14v6-11 when He clearly explained that 'He who has seen Me has seen the Father'!
Note: there are people who try and accuse orthodox Christians of the 'modalism' heresy, but this does not mean that the Son is the Father but that He has all the attributes of the Father and is equally and fully GOD. The subject of subordination - which never means inferiority unless you accept the foolish definitions of such as the WBTS - is discussed later.
In the same way Christ would be beside 'Jehovah', the King of Israel, because we can see that He is also the Redeemer and Saviour;
As we have shown, Christ is also described as the Rock which the Israelites followed in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 10v4; cf. 1 Peter 2v6; Isaiah 8v14);
Job's prophecy concerning 'the Redeemer' is also conclusive:
'I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand upon the earth. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet from my flesh shall I see God, whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes shall see, and not another.' (Job 19v25-27)
Two vital facts arise:
The one whom Job describes as 'My Redeemer' must refer to Jesus Christ, since He is to stand up at the last upon the earth, and Job is to see Him with his own eyes in the flesh; the WBTS have already admitted that 'Jehovah' the Father cannot be seen by man!FURTHER EVIDENCE FOR THE DEITY OF JESUS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
This Redeemer whom Job sees is God!
EXPLICITLY OF GOD
Paul repeatedly affirmed the Deity of Christ in the Pastoral epistles in the form of the 'God and Saviour' passages which link Christ with God in ways which again point to the full equality of Christ with God. In these Paul uses the Greek word 'Saviour' ten times - below is the diffusion of these occurrences in the Pastorals:
1 Timothy 1v1; 2v3; 4v10 Titus 2v10; 3v4
EXPLICITLY OF CHRIST
2 Timothy 1v10; Titus 1v4; 3v6
The use of the term 'explicitly' in this table ought not cause us to believe that Paul, when speaking of God as Saviour, has no thought of Christ being involved. The latter is the task of exegesis (interpretation) - and it is easily shown from other Scriptures that Christ is equally Saviour. 'Explicitly' is used purely to emphasise that grammatically the occurrence of 'Saviour' is clearly to be taken with God the Father or Christ. Where 'Saviour' is used explicitly of God the Father there is no problem but, for instance, in 1 Timothy 2v3-5 it should be noted that the statement in 2v5, 'for there is one God,' implies that there must correspondingly be but one Saviour and that He is identical with this God. 2 Timothy 1v8-10:
8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
We see here that the term Saviour is clearly ascribed to Christ and that this must align with 1 Timothy 2v5:
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.
It is clear that Paul has no problem associating Christ the Saviour with God the Saviour in his epistles.
Titus: the third epistle of the Pastorals, although probably the second in order of writing, contains the largest number of instances of Saviour and here we see a juxtaposition of God as Saviour and Christ as Saviour in the same thought structure. Paul calls both Saviour in one breath and without any attempt to explain how he can do so doctrinally.
In Titus 2v10 the apostle tells slaves to be in subjection to their masters 'in order that the teaching of the Saviour (of us) God they may adorn in all things'. He then goes on to teach that we should wait 'expecting the blessed hope and appearance of the glory of the great God and Saviour of us Christ Jesus, who gave Himself on behalf of us in order that He might ransom us from all iniquity and might cleanse for Himself a people His own possession, zealous of good works (LITERAL TRANSLATION).'
Paul then emphasises that 'these things speak thou and exhort and reprove with all command (2v15).
Moulton's Grammar records five 7th Century A.D. papyri 'which attest the translation ''our great God and Saviour'' as current among Greek-speaking Christians.' The translation inserts the preposition 'of' before 'our Saviour'.
The Granville Sharpe Law (named after the famous slave abolitionist and Greek scholar who lived from 1735-1813) applies in English as well as Greek and shows that if we read 'God and Saviour' in a sentence we are speaking of One Person, while if we read 'God and the Saviour' we may be speaking of Two Persons, e.g. Acts26v30: 'The king rose and the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them' which illustrates the repetition of the article with two nouns connected by 'and' ('the king ... and the governor') to indicate different persons.
So the Granville Sharpe rule applies here and clearly the Greek articles with nouns connected by 'and' (being 'God' and 'Saviour') show that this future expected hope and appearance is that brought by the advent of the one person 'Jesus Christ, the great God and our Saviour.' Furthermore, if 'and' is taken as ascensive the phrase may be rendered 'the great God even our Saviour.'
In passing, it is typical that the cult of Jehovah's Witnesses try to casually discount this evidence from Moulton' Grammar because of its 7th century date, whilst constantly citing Hebrew translations of a much later date to justify their 'restoration' of 'Jehovah' to the sacred text!
The final reference in Titus to God as Saviour and Christ as Saviour is Chapter 3v4-6:
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, 5 He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour ...
Paul exults in God's kindness and benevolence manifested in salvation and again calls both Saviour in the same context (again it is also clear that the third member of the 'Trinity', the Holy Spirit is there in the rebirth, renewal and justification by grace). In verse 6 we read: 'He (God) poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour.'
Pauline theology and Christology does not admit of two Saviours:
Paul affirms that God the Father is Saviour;
Jesus the Son of God is Saviour;
Both are deity;
there is only one God;
therefore Jesus must be equal deity with God!
[In total there are at least twenty-five of these 'God and Saviour' quotes which can be cited from Paul's writings and over seventy-five from the balance of the New Testament].
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