The God of the Old Testament!

Fred R. Coulter

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This is such an important topic. I’m going to cover a letter that was written concerning the topic after a symposium that they had back east. However, those who many think that I’m unfair to the Jews and their handling of the Word of God in relationship to Christ, and there may even be some who think that I’m anti-Semitic. I’m not anti-Semitic; I guarantee you that. However, I am anti anything that is against Christ. 

We are told in the New Testament that we are to love righteousness and hate evil. That’s where we’re coming from on this. There are Jews who are converted, a few; there are many who follow along in the tradition that they have, and they only follow their tradition. Jesus said that ‘you destroy, or make void, the Word of God through your tradition because you refuse to follow the Word of God.’

I want to give you an example of official Jewish sanitizing of their so-called Holy Scriptures, which it is, because in the New Testament they’re called Holy Scriptures. But just to show you what they have done to sanitize against any knowledge concerning Jesus Christ. 

I’m going to read to you three different examples of what they have done to the most important verses concerning: 

  • Who is Jesus? 
  • Was Jesus God? 
  • Is the Messiah going to be God? 

I need to make a correction concerning the plural of the Hebrew. I talked to Dr. Dorothy on this, so I have a small correction to make. I also talked to him about this situation where I’m headed in doing the series here, and he was really excited about that and thought that was fine. Dr. Dorothy may have been back at this symposium in North Carolina some time last summer, which covered the topic. 

The correction that I need to make is that the plural, such as ‘Elohim’ does not necessarily automatically mean two. There is an older form of Hebrew that is called ‘dual.’ Whenever it is referred to, it means two; however, it has changed since then, so we can’t tell whether Elohim in Gen. 1:26 means two or whether it is the plural meaning more than two. It has changed over a period of time, so we have to give that little caveat to make a little correction of what I said quite dogmatically before. Of course, we want to be as right as we can. 

Official Jewish Publication Society of the Masoretic Text, which is called The Tanakh—the Hebrew word that means the Scriptures. We will cover the Shema, and the Shema is: ‘Hear, O Israel, our Lord is one Lord.’ 

Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God…” 

This is the ‘Mighty El,’ same as we find in Psa. 27, ‘the Mighty God.’ We proved that this can’t, in any way, refer to a human being, otherwise the Jews would be committing idolatry by giving Godly characteristics to a human being. 

“…the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (v 16). 

Many times the Hebrew in the Jewish Publication Society version—the Masoretic Text—is about one verse ahead or behind. 

Isaiah 9:6 is v 5 in the MT: “For a child has been born to us a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder…” Improper translation! It should be shall be, a future prophecy. This translation makes it an accomplished fact and could apply to almost any of the kings of Israel. 

They know very well that this is used by all Christian groups as a prophetic proof of Jesus. You’re going to be shocked when you see the rest of this: His name is called—not shall be calledputting the Hebrew into English spelling so it makes it very convenient to go ahead and not have to translate it properly for the English readers. 

The Jews have done this in certain places in Leviticus. In Leviticus where it talks about all the sex laws and the clean and unclean, they never translate it into English. This is one of the ways that they get around the prophecy of Jesus. They actually go in and change it. This is a blatant example of what the Jews have done to try and obliterate the knowledge that Jesus was the Messiah, that Jesus was God. 

Psa. 82 is the one where we determined was the prophecy of those who will be resurrected and be in the Family of God as god beings, as elohim

Psalm 82:6: “I have said, ‘You are gods… [‘elohim’] …and all of you are sons of the Most High.’” 

We proved that it could not possibly be referring these depraved judges who make improper judgments. Besides, even the Jews know that you do not give God-like qualities to human beings, so this is a prophecy. 

Let’s see how Jesus used this in relationship to how Jesus understood this verse, what was meant by it and how did the Jews understand it, when it’s referred to ‘I say that you are gods’? 

John 10:30: “‘I and the Father are one.’ Then the Jews again picked up stones so that they might stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘Many good works I have showed you from My Father. For which of them are you about to stone Me?’ The Jews answered Him, saying, ‘We will not stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God’” (vs 30-33). That’s quite an accusation! That’s quite a statement! 

  • Did they know Who Jesus was? They would have to have some understanding of Who He was to make these statements! 
  • Would they tolerate any human being saying that he was God? Of course not!

That’s one of the reasons why Jesus did not come right out and say, ‘I am God!’ No human being can be God! That’s a real key to the forgiveness of sin and the sacrifice of Christ when we understand it. 

Verse 34: “Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law’…” In this case it refers to all of the Old Testament, because where He’s quoting from is the Psalms! If you recall, Luke 24 is where Jesus had to open the understanding of the disciples. He taught them out of the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms. But there are times when the whole terminology of the Law refers to the entire Old Testament. 

“…‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, ‘You are gods’”?’” (v 34). In the Greek it is ‘ho theoi’ which is plural for ‘ho theos’—a single god. So, it is not some god-like being, it is not made in the image of God. It says, “…You are gods.’ 

Verse 35: “‘If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came (and the Scriptures cannot be broken)’” 

That’s quite an interesting thing, to whom does the Word of God really come? To those whom God opens the understanding to, not just to anybody! They may have it; they may possess it, but the Word of God can’t come to them in understanding unless God opens their mind. 

Verse 36: “Why do you say of Him Whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” 

Jesus said directly, there’s no getting around it, there’s no little hint, there’s no implication, it is direct, straight forward, well known, dogmatic: “I am the Son of God!” That sends them into a tizzy! 

Verse 37: “‘If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, even if you do not believe Me, believe the works; so that you may perceive and may believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.’ Then they again sought to take Him; but He escaped out of their hands” (vs 37-39). 

This is ancient ‘007’—Jesus being the secret agent from God as it were, and they’re trying to kill Him. 

Psalm 82:6—I want you to see very clearly that in the Hebrew it mean ‘you are gods.’ In the Tanaka of the Jewish Masoretic Text, v 6 reads this way: “I said, ‘You are god-like beings.’” That’s not what Jesus said! 

Technically they can slide the translation this way, but it’s very deceitful, because what you’re doing, you’re obliterating one of the purposes that God has from the knowledge of the Bible by saying god-like beings. After all, all human beings are made in the image of God, and He made them male and female. So, this is really a worthless translation, because Jesus used it in the sense that you are gods, referring, of course, to the resurrection. 

This is another way of sanitizing. Now let’s go to Matt. 22 and then Psa. 110, and we will see how the Jews sanitized that and, of course, they would want to sanitize Psa. 110 desperately, because it is used over 18 times in the New Testament as an affirmation that Jesus is God!

Matthew 22:41: “While the Pharisees were assembled together, Jesus questioned them, saying, ‘What do you think concerning the Christ? Whose son is He?’ They said to Him, ‘The Son of David’” (vs 41-42)—which was correct answer as far as what they were doing and their knowledge of the Scripture!

Verse 43: “He [Jesus] said to them, ‘How then does David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet’”? Therefore, if David calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?’ And no one was able to answer Him a word, neither dared anyone from that day to question Him anymore” (vs 43-46). 

Let’s see what the Jews have done to sanitize this back in Psalm 110:1: “The LORD [YHVH] said unto my Lord [Adonai]…” {this correction came later} 

In the Jewish Masoretic Text, they have it: “The LORD said unto my lord…”—lower case instead of capital! Diminishing the meaning of the word ‘lord’ to meaning as you would call a man ‘lord’ instead of God. This is exactly what the Jews have done to sanitize the Scripture. 

Now let’s look at something here, and we need to understand something that is important: The New Testament is superior to the Old Testament! The New Testament interprets the Old Testament! It is not the Old Testament interpreting the New Testament. That’s what most of the Jewish Old Testament theologians have been able to get into most Protestant seminaries. This creates a lot of confusion. 

  • Which is greater, the prophecy or the fact? The fact!

If you had a $10,000 note—a promissory note—it is in writing a prophecy that in the future, at a certain time, you will pay someone $10,000. 

  • Which would you rather have, the note or the cash? 
  • Which is greater, the note or the cash? 
  • The cash, because it’s reality!

That’s why the New Testament is superior to the Old. Jesus interpreted the Old Testament through His teachings! 

Let’s see something else concerning the Old Testament teaching that’s very important for us to understand. Let’s see what Jesus said concerning those leaders. Those Jewish leaders back then are the fathers of the Jewish leaders today, who are trying to teach us what we ought to know about Jesus from the Old Testament by their tradition! By their way of understanding the Scriptures! Which is to sanitize it and get rid of Jesus. 

What did Jesus tell them when His disciples didn’t wash their hands and so forth? I’m not going through the whole thing, but we’ll sort of summarize it: 

Matthew 15:2: “‘Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ But He [Jesus] answered and said to them, ‘Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?’” (vs 2-3). Jesus was not very nice to them; He was very provocative toward them! 

Verse 4: “For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘The one who speaks evil of father or mother, let him die the death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever shall say to father or mother, “Whatever benefit you might receive from me is being given as a gift to the temple,” he is not at all obligated to honor his father or his mother.’ And you have made void the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition. Hypocrites! Isaiah has prophesied well concerning you, saying, ‘This people draw near to Me with their mouths, and with their lips they honor Me; but their hearts are far away from Me. But they worship Me in vain, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men’” (vs 4-9). 

You don’t understand the Word of God unless you have the Spirit of God (1-Cor. 2), because they are: 

  • spiritually discerned 
  • spiritually revealed 
  • spiritually understood 

You don’t get the Spirit of God because you are a Jew. You get the Spirit of God because you repent and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior! You don’t hold to your traditions and reject Jesus and then and teach Christians how they ought to understand the Scriptures. You may say that that sounds a little strong. Wait until I read this letter I have here. 

Verse 12: “Then His disciples came to Him and said, ‘Do You realize that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?’ [What did Jesus say?] …But He answered and said, ‘Every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up’” (vs 12-13). 

In other words, that doesn’t make any difference, so what if they’re offended. That’s exactly what I say to people who don’t want to believe the Bible. If you’re offended, take your offense to Jesus Christ!

Verse 14: “Leave them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind”….” Why are they blind leaders of the blind? Because they have their traditions! They don’t have the Spirit of God!

Even though they have the Old Testament, they don’t understand the Old Testament, because it must be interpreted by the New Testament. Anyone who follows blindly the teachings of the Jews or the Hebrews concerning their understanding of Scriptures, in antithesis against Christ, are in error and they are following the blind into the ditch! That’s why a lot of people spiritually are crashing into the ditch! 

“…And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the pit” (v 14). That’s why the New Testament is superior to the Old! 

John 5:39—Jesus again was talking to the scribes and the Pharisees: “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think that you have eternal life…” 

What did the Apostle Paul say about the Scriptures in relationship to eternal life? He told Timothy, You have known the Holy Scriptures from a child, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through Jesus Christ! Not of and by themselves. 

By the canonization of the New Testament, the New Testament sits in a superior position, and it gives us the understanding of God’s Word. This is why the New Testament was not completed until John wrote the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John and Revelation. You read the promise and the curse that is at the end of Revelation concerning the Word of God. Then when you hear/read #7 in this series you will understand what we’re talking about. You can’t have eternal life unless you believe in Christ. That’s what the Jews are trying to do. 

“…and they are the ones that testify of Me. But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life” (vs 39-40). Remember, Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, I am the Truth and I am the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me!’

Verse 41: “I do not receive glory from men; but I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves…. [they were breaking the first commandment] …I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; but if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How are you able to believe, you who receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, in whom you have hope” (vs 41-45)—that is, you claim you trust!

Verse 46: “But if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me. And if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?” (vs 46-47). 

The Jews are in a double-negative stance! They don’t believe the writings about Jesus, so they don’t believe Moses. If they don’t believe Moses, how are you going to believe Jesus? It’s an impossibility! It cannot be done!

Let’s see a couple of other things here that we need to understand. I’m going to read you a letter from James Tabor, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. It is a letter that was sent out to Ron Dart and Garner Ted Armstrong and probably several others as a summary of a symposium done on the question: Who Was Jesus? There was Garner Ted Armstrong, Ron Dart, Robert Kuhn—I think Dr. Dorothy was there (I do not recall right off hand)—Charles Hunting, Anthony Buzzard and several others. 

You’re going to see the very thing that we are talking about here, that these people follow the Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament, which they have bought the lie that the Old Testament interprets the New! We’ll see this right out of his own mouth: 

Recent letter to Ron Dart and Garner Ted Armstrong: 

My great and enduring theological/personal faith problem is the question of how we are to properly understand and best express the relationship of Jesus as Messiah with Yahweh—the one God of Israel. 

It’s not just some technical doctrinal point with me. It is something I think of daily. It is the one single stumbling block I have with you, Ted, and the general formulations of the Armstrong movement.  

I will have to say that the Worldwide Church of God—though they understood it properly; and the Church of God International with Garner Ted Armstrong and Ron Dart have understood it correctly—they have not gone into in detail in such a way that they literally go through and comb the Scriptures to prove it. That’s one of the reasons why we are going into such detail here. 

It is not that I am alterably opposed to what you say about this—that is that Yahweh became Jesus—I certainly believed it in the past and I sympathetically understand all the arguments. 

I have my strong doubts that your typical formulation is correct, which is basically, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God” so therefore, He was God and that’s about the total in-depth understanding of it. 

I understand his problem with that.

I was very struck by your comments at the symposium on this point, that for you nothing made more of a difference in your understanding of the Biblical matters than the identification of the God of the Old Testament with the One Who became Jesus Christ of Nazareth, as Herbert Armstrong used to put it. 

Which we we’ll prove conclusively and show the reason why that it had to be God Who died, otherwise there is no forgiveness of sin. 

I thoroughly understand what you mean. If I was similarly convicted of this point, I would certainly share your transformed view of things. It does change everything. 

I also agree with the position of Buzzard/Hunting (soncinean)… 

Unless you understand things in theology, you don’t know what ‘soncinean’ in parenthesis means. It means the interpretation of the Old Testament according to the commentaries of the Soncino. You may have heard someone reading out of the Hebrew text with the commentary according to Soncino. 

…seem to have many Scriptures to explain…. 

In other words, there are lacks in the way that Buzzard and Hunting are presenting it! 

Of course, such texts can be explained. But one has the sense they have to struggle against the weight and thrust of a good number of passages, the plain sense idea, which is some manner preach of pre-existence rater directly. 

We’re going to see not only rather directly, but dogmatically right out of Jesus’ mouth and dogmatically by John. 

It is in this regard only that I said at our symposium that it seemed to me that the Aryan position… 

Which was in rage about 300A.D.

…had the least problems and was the easiest to support textually. Still, I am not an Aryan. I’m not sure what I am! 

Here’s a man who doesn’t know what he believes. Aryan is that Jesus was the first creation of God. What we’re talking about with Buzzard and Hunting was that Jesus didn’t exist except in an idea of thought, a spiritual thing that God had from the beginning. He didn’t exist until He was created in Mary’s womb. 

What bothers me is the simple formulation that I hear from you, Ted, and others, that Jesus is actually Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament. 

We’re going to end that ‘simple formulation’; we’re going to make it clear as a bell. Now here is his own confession: 

My problem is the following: 

I’ll editorialize and say: which will continue to be your problem with this attitude.

I am absolutely totally committed to beginning with the Tanaka, the Old Testament, not the New Testament. 

Obviously, that’s going to be a problem. You’re not committed to Christ! You’re committed to the Old Testament, not the New Testament, so therefore, you’re not going to understand what the New Testament tells you if you view the New Testament rigidly from the point of view of only understanding it from the Old. 

My faith is in this great and unique God of Israel—Yahweh—Who reveals Himself to Moses and the Prophets in such a powerful and personal way. The tone and ring of passages—Creator, Redeemer, I AM Yahweh and there is none other. 

We’ve gone over that!

I also find in the Tanaka a consistent idea that this one God of Israel—Yahweh—is the One Who sits on His throne, passages like Isa. 6 come to mind: He’s the Holy One of Israel Most High… 

We’ve already gone through all of these and so forth. 

There is no indication anywhere in any of the Messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible unless the common mistranslation of Isa. 9:5 (JPS)… 

If you don’t know theological terms, JPS means Jewish Publication Society of the Old Testament, or the Tanaka. We just read it. What do they do? They sanitized it! So, Tabor says that the way it’s used in the King James is a common mistranslation. When the translators of the Jewish Publication Society complimented those who did the King James as being highly accurate and, as a matter of fact, followed the King James version as a guide for their translation. But then they sanitize these Scriptures. 

…that the anointed One—Messiah—is to be identified one on one with Yahweh, the God of Israel. Yahweh is always the God of the Messiah. 

That’s why you have the Scripture that says, ‘The LORD [Yahweh] said to my Lord [Adonai]…’ showing that there are two (Psa. 110). If he heard me, he’d probably take me to task; so be it!

It seems to consistent to me in the New Testament… 

Then he lists all the Scriptures talking about Jesus the man

the Son of man, the Son of God, and that God the Creator Who made heaven and earth, the Father—the God of our fathers; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—the God of Israel had sent, raise, exalted His anointed One: Jesus of Nazareth to His right hand. There is not the slightest ambiguity in these texts regarding Yahweh as the God of Israel, the God of Jesus of Nazareth or about Jesus the Jew Who quotes the Shema and the Shema is “Hear O Israel, our Lord is one Lord—and loves and serves that God. Accordingly to blatantly forthrightly say that Jesus is Yahweh seems to me to be extremely misleading and off the Biblical mark. 

Let’s go to Luke 10:17: “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us through Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven’” (vs 17-18). We went over and proved this conclusively, and you can prove it from your Bible!

  • When did Lucifer fall? 
  • Before the creation of Adam and Eve? 


  • After the creation of Adam and Eve? 

If you follow the reasoning of Buzzard and Hunting—that Jesus did not exist except as an idea and conception in the mind of God until He was created in the womb of Mary, how then was it that Jesus saw “…Satan fall as lightning from heaven”? Satan didn’t fall until he rebelled! He rebelled before the creation of Adam and Eve! Very simple! What more do you want? This proves, by this statement, Jesus’ preexistence as God, which is verified by the Scriptures. 

Verse 19: “‘Behold, I give you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you in any way. Yet, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’ In the same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit, and said, ‘I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You did hide these things from the wise and intelligent, and did reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do so.’ Then He turned to the disciples and said, ‘All things were delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows Who the Son is, except the Father; and Who the Father is, except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him’” (vs 19-22). 

As we went through in detail and proved before, IF the Father was Yahweh of the Old Testament, solely and exclusively: 

  • Why then did Jesus have to reveal Him? 
  • Was He not revealed to Moses? 
  • Was He not revealed to the Prophets? 
  • Was He not revealed to the children of Israel through His Word? 
  • YES!

So, until, Mr. Tabor, you can answer this question then you better start thinking about some of the doubts you have, because you’re making an accusation: 

Accordingly to blatantly forthrightly say that Jesus is Yahweh seems to me to be extremely misleading and off the Biblical mark. 

I say to you that you, in saying what you’re saying in this letter, have not answered the question about the revelation of the Father by Jesus Christ. Who, if He were Yahweh of the Old Testament, did not need to be revealed because He already had been revealed. 

Let’s go through and see a couple of other statements in this paper regarding Hebrew: 

It seems to me this might be dismissed or viewed as merely a Semitic problem. But for me it is much more than that. I think it’s unbiblical and misleading to say Jesus is God or Jesus is Yahweh, or Jesus is the God of the Old Testament, 

My students at Notre Dame all raise Roman Catholic… 

It shows that he taught at Notre Dame previous to his tenureship at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. 

They used to routinely speak of Jesus and the Gospel as the story of God. God called the fishermen, healed the leper, taught this or that parable, etc. But the representation and reflection are not the same as ontological identification. 

That is a clear, enumerated identification.

I think we have to keep clear about the essential affirmation of the Hebrew Scriptures. That of the one God of Israel, and we can fervently believe in His Messiah, the man at His right hand. 

Of course, Hunting and Buzzard would be in sympathy with all I say here. Their point is something other: whether we should think of the Logos as a personal being or a kind of second God, separate from God the Father from all eternity. It all turns on the way you understand the personhood and pre-existence. 

What Robert Kuhn pointed out at our conference, and the point I think they must clearly face is that whatever that we say about pre-existence, the post-existence is more fundamental. 

Why is it “more fundamental”? I will show you that it is more fundamental to believe in the pre-existence, with a clear forgiveness of sin for all human beings who have ever lived. 

That is, what do you see now? What we see clearly is that in the New Testament there is one God of Israel, the God of the Shema… 

Which we’ll quote in just a minute in Mark 12!

…as exalted the man Jesus of Nazareth to His right hand and made Him Lord of lords and King of kings. The Lord Yahweh and His Christ are together, worthy of worship, praise and adoration. In the new creation we constantly read of the glory of the Lord God and the Lamb, so we end up with two whether we begin with two or not. 

This is the problem for Judaism and for all who seriously take the revelation of the one God in the Tanaka. 

Let’s see exactly what this is telling us

Mark 12:28: “And one of the scribes who had come up to Him, after hearing them reasoning together and perceiving that He answered them well, asked Him [Jesus], ‘Which is the first commandment of all?’…. [I want to emphasize: What is the question?] …Then Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is, “Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment’” (vs 28-30). 

This is true, but the question was no who is God, even though He quoted this. That was not the question. The question was: What is the first or primary—‘protos’—commandment? 

You can’t take Scripture—which is true—and give an answer to a different question and say that you have answered the question. The question was not ‘Jesus, how many Gods are there?’ The question was: ‘What is the first commandment?’ 

Of course, for Israel—in the person of Yahweh—that was true! But it doesn’t mean that in the Old Testament there are no indications that there are two God beings, as we have previously seen. Lots of times when you get theological things like this, don’t be misled by what looks like an answer, when in fact, you don’t understand the question and the answer. 

It’s like if you don’t answer something directly, have you really given the answer? No! This is not the question, and this is not the answer. We find that in other Scriptures. 

(go to the next track) 

Another problem that is found in the letter is how the theologians think and some of the problems and difficulties with this. Let’s go to Zech. 14 because here you have a distinct problem. It talks about the return of Jesus Christ. 

Zechariah 14:4: “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives…” 

This refers to Acts 1, because it was from the Mt. of Olives that He ascended into heaven. Angels came and said, ‘Why do you stand here looking up into the heavens? This same Jesus Whom you have seen ascend will so likewise return in the same manner.’ 

In Zech. 14 we have a tremendous description of it. Key in on several things here; some key verses. Remember that the LORD in the Old Testament is Yahweh. If Jesus Christ is not, or were not, and is not to be Yahweh, what are you going to do with Zech. 14? This really presents a terrible problem 

Verse 1: “Behold, the day of the LORD [Yahweh] comes, and your spoil shall be divided in your midst, ‘For I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem…’” (vs 1-2). 

We find this all described in Rev. 16 & 19 and we know that it is Jesus Christ Who is returning. As a matter of fact, this is a direct parallel with Rev. 19. So again, this points out the superiority of the New Testament, because that shows us the fulfillment of it, in the timeframe and who is doing it; that it is Jesus Christ. Here in the Old Testament it tells us that it is Yahweh. 

Verse 3: “And the LORD [Yahweh] shall go out and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives…” (vs 3-4). 

Whose feet are going to stand on the Mt. of Olives? Yahweh! The One Who was Jesus Christ. Therefore, this is showing that Jesus Christ is Yahweh. 

Some may come and say, ‘This is after the resurrection, so therefore, He can be Yahweh.’ When you go through the Old Testament, all the way through talking about the LORD—being Yahweh—then we are talking about the One Who became Jesus Christ. 

Verse 5: “…And the LORD [Yahweh] my God [Elohim] shall come, and all the saints with You [Christ].” That’s what Rev. 19 showsall the saints are coming with Christ back down to the earth!

Verse 9: And the LORD [Yahweh] hall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one LORD [Yahweh] name shall be one.” 

This ties in directly with John 17 where Jesus said, ‘I and the Father are one.’ When God speaks of ONE, in God’s terminology that can be more than one. The Bible defines it as God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son. 

I want to go over Phil. 2 in considerable detail and then we will cover Col. 1. As we will see in part 7 of this series, the importance of John’s canonization and writing of the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, 3rd John and the book of Revelation. There, especially in the Gospel of John, it gives very clear-cut statements showing, in fact, that Jesus existed in heaven as God before He came to the earth. We will show why John was given this distinct revelation vs those given to Paul and the rest of the apostles, which in Phil. 2 is really quite clear, and really quite powerful and convincing when you really understand it and look at it in the Greek, and understand exactly what it’s saying. 

Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” This is the mind, the attitude, the thought that was in Christ Jesus. 

Buzzard says in his booklet, Who Is Jesus? ‘Certainly Paul is not telling us that we have to have the mind of an eternal God in order to understand this.’ That’s not the thing that Paul is writing about. Of course, you don’t! But what is it that Jesus did? What was His attitude for the salvation of mankind? To give up everything! This is the attitude that we need to have. 

Remember what Jesus said when the multitudes were following him? As recorded in Luke 14, He turned to the multitudes and said, ‘If anyone come to Me and hate not—to love God more in comparison to; but with the love that you have for God, it can sometimes be very unloving toward other people, especially when you have to make the choice between God and another person—his father, mother, wife, children, lands, brethren, and yes, his own life cannot be My disciple.’ The Greek there is ‘ou dunatai’—impossible! There is no power that makes you one of His disciples. 

Then he went on further in Luke 14 and said, ‘…takes up his cross and follows after Me, cannot be My disciple.’ 

So, when Paul is writing in Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”—is saying exactly the same thing that Jesus said in Luke 14. We’re going to analyze this a little bit more and we’re going to see the full force and meaning of what v 6 is telling us. 

Verse 6: “Who [Christ], although He existed…” The KJV says ‘being.’ Being is from the Greek word ‘harpagmon’ which is subsisting or existing. It is a state of being, a state of living, a state whereby it describes the very essence of your existence. 

“…in the form… [‘morphen’] …of God…” (v 6)—‘theou’—why does He use this subsisting in the form of God? I’m sure that is to tell us that

  • it was not in the form of a thought 
  • it was not in the form of foreknowledge 
  • it was not in the form of power 

Such as people have suggested with the comparison of wisdom—‘spohia’ 

  • it wasn’t an angel 

and there are people who believe that Jesus was an angel before He became a human being 

  • it wasn’t logos in the way of just being a word or a saying 

It is telling us that He was subsisting, existing in the form of God! That’s becomes very important when we compare that with v 7. 

“…did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (v 6). How can anything be more clear! 

  • You’re in the form of God! 
  • You’re subsisting as God! 
  • You’re equal with God! 

Even though Jesus said that the Father was greater than He, which, of course, there has to be one Who is totally, absolutely and completely in charge overall, and we know that is God the Father. 

Here He is equal with God, equal in existence. When we are resurrected, we are going to be like Jesus Christ, for we are going to see Him as He is. We’re not going to be equal in office or authority or ability, but we are going to be equal on the level of existence as God lives, living in eternity! 

You can go through the Psalms and see that God is clothed with majesty, and His very countenance and being is light. We find that also reaffirmed in Rev. 1 when we see the vision of the resurrected, glorified Jesus Christ. 

“…He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery… [repine; a state of something to be grasped at or equated with an act of robbery] …to be equal with God, but emptied Himself…” (vs 6-7). 

His own self, of His own volition, of His own power. Empty comes from the Greek word ‘keno’ which means to void yourself. That’s literally what Jesus had to do, because He was in the form of God, existing and subsisting as God, equal with God. 

So then, in order to become a human being, to become that pinprick of begettal in Mary’s womb, He had to empty Himself; make void Himself; divest Himself, His very being and then: 

“…and was… [having become—‘genomenos’] …made in the likeness… [‘homoiomati’—in the exact same likeness] …of men, and took the form of a servant [‘doulous’]” (v 7). 

So, He emptied Himself from one form into that of a human being. We will see in John 1 that He was made flesh! That becomes very important in understanding about the nature of Jesus. We could say, ‘having been begotten, or become, in the likeness of men.’ That, to me, is really quite plain as to Who and what Jesus was before He became human. 

Verse 8: “And being found in the manner of man…” That means Jesus ate, drink, slept, all of the bodily processes: He sweat, got cold, hot, He had to eliminate—all the things of a human being. Jesus was fully, absolutely completely human, and had to be in order to be the perfect sacrifice for all mankind. You can just picture that if He wasn’t, that someone at the resurrection is going to say: 

God, how can you judge me this way, You were never a human and You don’t know what it was like to be tempted. After all, because of what Adam and Eve did You gave me this sinful nature. You never had to go through anything like that. How can You make this judgment upon me, because You’ve never gone through it. 

Jesus is going to say, ‘I have! I know! I was made exactly as you and was tempted in every way as you were.’ 

“…He humbled Himself…” (v 8). That’s a tremendous humility. Coming from God to a human being, and the human being as a slave or servant. Here is God—the One Who used to be God—being now fleshly, having to go through all the routine of a human being and then furthermore: 

“…and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (v 8)—which we know is one of the most evil and heinous kinds of death you would ever want! This is really quite clear if it’s totally examined as to the full meaning of what Jesus did! 

One thing I need to cover: ‘in the form of a servant’ means that 

  • He didn’t come as a king 
  • He didn’t come as a potentate 
  • He didn’t come as half man/half God 
  • He didn’t come as half man/half animal 
  • He came as an ordinary human being!

Col. 1—there’s an awful lot here that we’re going to learn concerning Jesus Christ: 

  • what He was 
  • what He was doing 
  • how He was doing it 
  • why He was doing it 

Colossians 1:9: “For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it… [after hearing of their conversion (vs 3-8)] …do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will…” 

That is the important thing that we need to understand. We need to grow in the grace and knowledge of God; we have to be filled with the knowledge of His will!

How much easier would it be for people to understand the Bible if they truly studied the Bible from this point of view: that you want to be filled with all of the knowledge of His will. That you do as the Bible says, that you put the Bible together a little here, a little there and properly dividing the Word of God. 

“…in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…” (v 9). In order to understand that Jesus was God before He became human, and why that was necessary. Also we will cover why we are to remember the death of Jesus and why that is so profound. I think all of this will fit together when we come to the appropriate place in it. 

I just want to bring out some of these things that are very important. Let’s just review 1-Cor. 2 and why it is so important for us to understand the spiritual things of God, and how we do it. We know for sure that God gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. How does a person get the Holy Spirit? They must

  • believe in Jesus 
  • accept Him as Savior 
  • repent of their sins 
  • be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit with the laying on of hands 

Do the Jews do that today? No!

How can they possibly understand the Scriptures without the Spirit of God? That’s going to offend some people, saying that the Jews do not have the Spirit of God! Any Jew who repents—the New Testament says to the Jew first and then to the Gentile—and accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, and is baptized and hands laid on for the receiving of the Holy Spirit, will have the Holy Spirit and then they can grow in spiritual knowledge and understanding. 

You can be a theologian all you want to be; you can study whatever you want to study and you can do it in a carnal-minded way without the Spirit of God and you will never understand the Bible. There are an awful lot of ministers out there that way today. 

1-Corinthians 2:9: “But according as it is written, ‘The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’…. [Very key thing!] (but to us): …God has revealed them to us by His Spirit… [that’s why we’re to grow in all spiritual wisdom and understanding] …for the Spirit searches all things—even the deep things… [the depths] …of God” (vs 9-10). 

That’s what we are doing in searching who and what Jesus is and was. We’re searching the deep things of God!

Verse 11: “For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God.” 

That’s why it’s very important that when we come to understand the Scripture, it’s not a theological argument, which in some cases it turns out to be; it is not a matter of human logic, because with human wisdom God says that’s the foolishness of this world. It’s got to be by the Spirit of God.

Verse 12: “Now, we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means” (vs 12-13). That’s how we’re going to understand the subject!

Verse 14: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot… [‘ou dunatai’—powerless to know them] understand them…” 

That is why the New Testament is superior to the Old Testament, because when you have the Spirit of God it gives you the understanding that you cannot have if you just go by the Old Testament, and if you just go by what the Jews do with the Tanaka, tradition and the Shema. 

“…because they are spiritually discerned. However, the one who is spiritual discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord? Who shall instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (vs 14-16). 

It’s kind of ridiculous for someone to say, as we covered in Phil. 2, what an impossibility it is to have the mind of Christ. Paul says that we have the mind of Christ!

Colossians 1:10: “That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.” 

Look, the revelation of the New Testament was not complete until John finished it. The Gospels were not complete until the Gospel of John. That’s why the Gospel of John is so different and so profound. It is bringing to us the growth in the knowledge of God, the spiritual understanding of His wisdom and knowledge. 

Verse 11: “Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for… [the Kingdom of God] …the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (vs 11-12). 

That’s a profound section of Scripture to know, study, and is really containing an awful lot and is really very deep for us to get into and understand. 

You’ve heard people say that ‘you’ve got qualify for the Kingdom of God.’ I did a sermon: What Do You Do to Qualify for the Kingdom of God?—which shows that it is the Father who qualifies us.} Don’t you ever let any minister stand up there and put fear in you with his little pompous authority saying that he has the authority to keep you from being in the Kingdom of God or that you won’t qualify. You just go to God the Father, because He’s the One Who qualifies us. 

Verse 13: “Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love.” 

Transferred us from the power and authority of darkness to the power and authority of the Kingdom of God. We are not yet in the Kingdom of God. Why? Because flesh and blood does not inherit the Kingdom of God! We are not there, yet! But hopefully we will be there. We’ve been transferred from the power of darkness to the power of light! 

Verse 14: “In Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins; Who is the image… [Greek word ‘icon’] …of the invisible God…” (vs 14-15). 

In this sense it’s different from form. Form tells you what you’re made of. Here we’re talking about what he looks like, the ‘icon,’ the image, the outward appearance—“…the image of the invisible God…” 

“…the Firstborn of all creation” (v 15). There are people who say, ‘You know the Firstborn of all creation; Jesus was created first. Then He created everything else, then He created mankind.’ If God created Himself and all of a sudden there was another one exactly like Him, Who later became Jesus Christ, then why go through all this pain, suffering, sin and the devil all that we have to suffer through if it’s so easy for God re-create Himself and to all of a sudden there we have another God. It doesn’t mean the Firstborn of all creation in that sense. 

The Greek here for Firstborn is ‘prototokos.’ In other places where it talks about the only begotten, that is ‘mono gennano.’ It’s two different processes. 

  • ‘prototokos’ comes from the verb ‘tokos’—to be born; actually born 
  • ‘prototokos’—the firstborn

Verse 18: “And He is the Head of the body, the Church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead…”—‘prototokos’—which means that for Jesus to be the Firstborn of all creation, because He was Firstborn from among the dead. God is creating through the power of the resurrection, His Family. 

Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, because those whom He did foreknow, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son… [to be as He is, Who is the very image of the invisible God] …that He might be the firstborn [‘prototokos’] among many brethren” (vs 28-29). 

This is what it is talking about where it saying that Jesus is the Firstborn of all creation (Col. 1). Here’s another place where it is very important. If Jesus did not exist as Yahweh—Who created all things—before He became a human being, how can this possibly be said of Jesus?

Colossians 1:16: “Because by Him were all things created…” You can’t spiritualize that away and say

God had it in His plan that He was going to do all in Jesus, and somewhere in the middle of God’s plan then He created Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary. 

Jesus could not have created anything then! In order to create something, you have to be there to create it. 

“…by Him were all things created, the things in heaven…” (v 16). So, He had to be in heaven to create the things in heaven! How could He create the things in heaven if He wasn’t there? 

“…and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible… [and not only those] …whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers… [In other words, Jesus is responsible for it all; He made it and He created it!] …all things were created by Him… [‘di’—through] …‘and for Him. And He is before all… [first in place, in time, in order, in rank, in existence, in power, in authority] …and by… [in, through] …Him all things subsist (vs 16-17). 

So, He’s holding everything up by the Word of His power (Heb. 1). I don’t know how much closer this can get to telling us that Jesus was the Creator God before He became a human being. Very difficult to understand otherwise. Very difficult to do a double two-shoe as it were in trying to explain this, to spiritualize it away. 

Verse 18: “And He is the Head of the body, the Church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead…” 

So that in this creation with all of us we always look to Jesus Christ as the Leader, the Author Who paved the way, etc. 

“…so that in all things He Himself might hold the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven” (vs 18-20). He’s going to have to reconcile the things that have been done in heaven. 

Jesus created Lucifer who became Satan, who rebelled and destroyed the great parts of the universe and the earth and God had to re-create it and put man on it. While the sacrifice of Jesus Christ does not cover the sins of Satan the devil—never has and never will—still all of those things that are affected by what he did must be reconciled. Satan must be removed! Satan must be destroyed! God’s plan must be complete here on earth and in heaven!

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ could not do that if He did not exist as God before He became human!

We’re really down to the really powerful things of the very person, essence and existence of Jesus Christ. How much of this can you not believe and still be saved? I don’t want to answer that question because there are too many people out there wanting to know: 

Lord, what is the minimum I can do to be saved. Would you save me if I don’t keep the Holy Days? Lord, would you save me if I don’t keep the Sabbath? Lord, those Protestants over there with their Christmas trees are so nice and loving and kind. God, would you save me even if I did that? 

Don’t risk it! He has to reconcile everything that there is! 

Verse 21: “For you were once alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works; but now He has reconciled you.”

Revelation 1:5 is another place where it talks about the firstborn: “And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead…” In the Greek the wording is exactly the same as Col. 1! The ‘prototokos ek ton nekron’: the Firstborn from the dead! Exactly the same! 

“…and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to God and His Father; to Him be the glory and the sovereignty into the ages of eternity. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds…” (vs 5-7). That’s what we read in Zech. 14. 

“…and every eye shall see Him, and those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega…” (vs 7-8). 

Isn’t that what Yahweh said in the section we covered in Isa. 40-45? You can’t have two beginnings and two endings. There’s one beginning; one ending! 

“…the Beginning and the Ending,’ says the Lord, ‘Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come—the Almighty’” (v 8). 

Jesus calls Himself the Almighty! The same name that is applied to the Almighty God (Rev. 4). This is almost the same as we find in Exo. 3 when Moses asked Him ‘Who shall I say that sent me?’ And He says, ‘I AM who I AM; I will be what I will be!’ This is really a tremendous and important section for us to understand: Who is Jesus? 

The reason we’re going through this is because Satan would love to do anything, use anyone: 

  • to take away your faith in Christ 
  • to take away your belief that Jesus was God before He became human 
  • to do anything to destroy your faith, belief and love in God 

That’s why this series is very important. We need to, as we found in Col. 1, grow in all wisdom and knowledge and understanding, so that we can come to the fullness of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and be at the resurrection. 

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 9:6
  • Psalm 82:6
  • John 10:30-39
  • Psalm 82:6
  • Matthew 22:41-46
  • Psalm 110:1
  • Matthew 15:2-9, 12-14
  • John 5:39-47
  • Luke 10:17-22
  • Mark 12:28-30
  • Zechariah 14:4, 1-5, 9
  • Philippians 2:5-8
  • Colossians 1:9
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9-16
  • Colossians 1:10-15, 18
  • Romans 8:28-29
  • Colossians 1:16-21
  • Revelation 1:5-8

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Luke 24
  • 1 Corinthians 2
  • Acts 1
  • Revelation 16; 19
  • John 17
  • 1, 2, 3 John
  • Luke 14
  • Colossians 1:3-8
  • Hebrews 1
  • Isaiah 40-45
  • Revelation 4
  • Exodus 3

Also referenced:

Booklet: Also referenced: Booklet: Who Is Jesus? by Anthony Buzzard (

Sermon: What Do You Do to Qualify for the
Kingdom of God?

Transcribed: 8-6-13
Reformatted/Corrected: 2/2020