F-J Statements: <<<<... Mighty God will not confuse us
when we remember that God is the family name of the Deity and that Christ was a
mighty member of that family. Father is noted in a figurative and remote
application. Jesus was not a literal Father. But his great and unending care of
the children of his own divine Father would entitle him to the name . . .
Sister Lois: I see what you're saying here, though surely it could
be interpreted in another way, too. I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'family
name of the Deity' - do you mean 'God' is a family in the sense of the Trinity
of Father, Son & Spirit, in the sense that God can be manifest in different
forms? ... But personally I would still see this as saying that Jesus, the Son,
is like an embodiment of the Mighty God, i.e., equal to God. So, yes, he's a
mighty member of this 'family' Trinity, which is both three and one.
F-J Response: I agree that Jesus is part of the Divine family. Also,
this Divinity is three in one. However Jesus nor is the Holy Spirit equal to
God the Father. Keep in mind both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are extensions of
God. Thus, they could not exist without Jehovah God. However we now believe
that Jehovah God could exist without Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Sister Lois: What about Isaiah 7:14, which includes the name
'Immanuel', meaning 'God with us'? I take this to mean that God is with us in
the sense that he is made flesh in the form of the Son . . . Jesus must have
been fully human for his death as payment for mankind's sins to be meaningful,
and yet it seems he must be also fully God to make the claims he did (e.g., he
claimed to be the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and
the end, as God does in the Old Testament) and be a perfect human who can
F-J Response: We agree with your assessment here as related to
Isaiah 7:14. Yes God is with us as noted by the definitive qualities of
Immanuel. However again keep in mind that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God
and not God Himself. Thus again we note that Jesus is an extension of the
Father but not equal to the Father.
Sister Lois: True, Jesus was not a literal father, and I can see why
he would be called a father of those he cared for. But why 'Everlasting
Father'? This expression surely seems to refer to God the Father. ...Why cannot
the word 'Father' here be used in the same sense as in the New Testament to
refer to God the Father?
F-J Response: ZONDERVAN Bible Dictionary notes the following regarding Father. Father has various meanings in the Bible.
1. An immediate male progenitor (Genesis 42:13)
2. Ancestor, immediate or remote. Abraham is called Jacob's father (Genesis 28:13). And God tells him that he will be the Father of many nations Genesis 17:4.
3. The word has many figurative and derived uses. A spiritual ancestor, good or bad, as Abraham, the father of all them that believe Romans 4: 11.
4. God is Father: As Creator of the universe, the Father of lights
James 1: 17. As Creator of the human race, Have we not all one Father? Hath one
God created us? Malachi 2: 10. As one who begets and takes care of his
spiritual children, Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry,
Abba Father Romans 8: 15,. In a special and unique sense, God is the Father of
Jesus Christ Matthew 11: 26, Mark 14: 36, Luke 22: 42. From Eerdmans Dictionary
of the Bible. Statements by Kathleen S. Nash. God is the Father of believers
whose love (Matthew 6: 5-8, 10: 29-31) and forgiveness (Luke 15: 11-32) model
the love they owe each other (Matthew 5: 43-45). He is, however, the father of
Jesus of Nazareth in a unique way (Matthew 11: 25-27); the Synoptic Passion
narrative accent this relationship (Mark 14:35-39; 15: 39). The Johannine
traditions further develop the father metaphor so that to see Jesus of Nazareth
is to see the Father, for Jesus alone knows him (John 14: 1-14).
F-J Statement:<<<<John 20: 28. And Thomas answered and said
unto him, My Lord and my God . . . Thomas refers to two people here. Jesus as
Lord and God as God. Also, you have to remember that the reverence for Jesus
often took on the attitude that He was God. But we have to keep in mind that
the Son is the Son and God is God.>>>>
Sister Lois: How do you know that Thomas refers to two people here?
If Thomas spoke these words 'unto him', why would he address God in the same
breath? ... And if, as you say, the reverence for Jesus often took on the
attitude that he was God, why did he not rebuke his followers for idolatry? I
can't see anything in the text that suggests Thomas is referring to two
individuals, unless you say this based on extrapolation from other scriptures.
Would there not at the very least have been some punctuation between the words
to indicate this? Does not the word 'and' tie them together beyond doubt?
F-J Response: Here again we make the distinction between God and Jesus. They are not the same.
F-J Statement:<<<<John 1: 18. " No man hath seen
God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he
hath declared him. No man with fleshly eyes has ever seen God, for that would
have caused his death (Exodus 33: 20). Yet God wished to give man some kind of
glimpse at Him that he could endure, hence the Son of God came among man in the
form of flesh, who then declared, "He that hath seen me hath seen the
Father (John 14: 9).>>>>
Sister Lois: Yes, I agree absolutely with this. But I don't see it
as being non-reconcilable with the idea that Jesus is God.
F-J Statement: <<<<Philippians 2: 6. Who, being in the
form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Christ was willing to
give up being equal in form with the Father, and condescend to becoming even
lower than the angels, as He could suffer and die as a man.>>>>>
Sister Lois: You say Christ was 'equal in form with the Father' -
does the word 'equal' not mean 'the same'? And therefore why cannot Jesus _be_
God? For if he is equal to/the same as/one with God, then there is still only
one God, and that's why I say that Christians who believe that Jesus is God are
not pagans believing in more than one God. I believe absolutely in one God, who
is spirit. But I think God may be revealed (for want of a better word) in the
various forms of the Trinity. This makes sense to me. After all, there are
trinities in nature, such as the three states of H2O, for example - whether
ice, water, or vapor, it is still the same chemical compound. I see the Trinity
in a similar way: God is always God, no matter which form he (perhaps 'it'
would be more appropriate?) takes.
F-J Response: We agree that there is only one God. However you
contradict your statement of Truth when you say that Jesus is also God. Jesus
has the qualities of God for he is the Son of God. Once again He is not God. I
think we agree here. But you still have some confusion as to the Trinity. A
simple way to note the Trinity is: God is the Head. The Son and Holy Spirit are
extensions and not equal to God. They exist at the desire and pleasure of
Jehovah God and not by any manner of independence of the Source and Creator of
F-J Statements:<<<<Colossians 2: 9. For in him dwelleth
all the fulness of the Godhead bodily .Godhead means deity. Godhead means the state
of being God. Bodily refers to the form in which Jesus appeared while on earth,
so that the entire fulness or virtue of the Deity was represented in Him. This
is why Jesus said to Philip, they that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John
14: 9). Not that Jesus was the Father personally but he was a full
representation of God in human form.>>>>
Sister Lois: Maybe it's just the inadequacy of human language when
used to describe God in human terms (perhaps this is the problem overall,
too?), but this scripture again seems to convince me further that Jesus _is_
God, if as you say he is the 'full representation of God in human form'.
F-J Statements: <<<<In fact one can find scripture on
both sides that seem to support Jesus as God and Jesus as the Son of God. But I
believe that the problem resides in how one views the Trinity. This fact is not
clear in the Bible. Thus, we are still growing in the gist of this
Sister Lois: Again I agree wholeheartedly with this. Indeed, the
concept of the Trinity is not clear in the Bible. In fact, the word Trinity is
never mentioned in the Bible, as far as I know . . . But verses like Matthew
28:19 (Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,) would suggest the
idea of the Trinity, since the word 'name' is singular' . . . Yes, certainly we
are still growing in the Truth. I'm sure we're all learners in this respect.
F-J Statements: <<<<Here is another very simple
statement. The Son of God and the Holy Spirit are extensions of Jehovah God.
However, they are also separate in that they carry on functions exclusive to
them but all of their powers etc. extend from the Creator the
Sister Lois: Yes, this makes perfect sense as well. But again, I
think this is possibly where human language lets us down, since 'extensions of
Jehovah God' can be interpreted either way. An extension is something separate
from the source, but it is still part of the source.
F-J Statements: <<<<Thus, the worship of Christ Jesus is
not like the worship of the Father. For example we pray to God the Father in
the name of Jesus. We do not pray to Jesus. Although I imagine that the people
that believe that Jesus is God pray to Jesus.>>>>
Sister Lois: I'm not really sure whether I pray to Jesus. My first impulse would be to say I do pray to Jesus, because I believe, he equals God. I certainly address Jesus in prayer, and thank him for his amazing sacrifice, and ask him to guide me, etc. Is that praying to him? I'm not sure. I guess prayer itself is a very subjective, personal thing, so I suppose this might be different for different people anyway. I will certainly take up your advice on praying to God about this whole question. I think that this is the most important thing of all. This is a really interesting debate, even if we never arrive at a firm conclusion, since I don't think that's possible. But I will ever continue to strive to find the Truth . . . Thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions.
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