God’s Self-Revelation

Dear Brethren,

The Bible is the inspired word of God.  The Church of God has long taught and believed that Jesus Christ – the Word – was the God of the Old Testament.  Jesus alone is identified as “the LORD God of our fathers” in the Scriptures:

Joshua 24:17  For the LORD [YHVH] our God, He it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

Paul removed every doubt that Jesus is our Deliverer when he wrote of Israel coming out of Egypt being led by Jesus Christ:

1Corinthians 10:1-4  Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Because of the difficulty in separating the two personages of Jesus and His Father some have become perplexed over Christ’s words, “He that has seen me has seen the Father,” and “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me (John  14:9-10).

There is one major difference that Jesus presents to His followers.  The God of the Old Testament was seen many times. But, speaking of God the Father, Jesus tells us that no one has ever seen the Father.  We know about God the Father because Jesus has revealed the Father to us.

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. 

John 1:18  No man has seen God [the Father] at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

However, the one who spoke to Moses and the one that led the Israelites out of Egypt was Jesus Christ.  Jesus – the Word – the God of Israel – was seen repeatedly by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Samuel, seventy of the elders of Israel – and many others:

Exodus 24:10  They saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

Another thing that distinguishes between Jesus and the Father is that Jesus is the hands-on Creator God.  Paul was reiterating Isaiah 45 when he wrote:

Colossians  1:16  For by Him [Jesus Christ] 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:

Isaiah 45:11-12  Thus says the LORD [YHVH], the Holy One of Israel, and [Israel’s]  Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.  I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

There is a trend among some to teach that the God of the Old Testament was the Father.  Jesus and the Father share the name Yahweh (the tetragrammaton YHVH).  If we have not done so, we should prove this for ourselves.  God the Father is always supremely in charge, and Jesus is always totally obedient and submissive to Him – and yet, creation and prophecy were a collaborative effort:

Genesis 1:26  God said, Let us make man in our image.

Hebrews 1:1-2  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.

Ephesians 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ

The Hebrew word YHVH, like the word “God,” refers to both Jesus and the Father – just like Jesus was God, and Jesus was with God in John 1:1.  Since “God” is a group name like “Family,” it is incumbent on each of us to be able to identify who is meant in each case.   God the Father is always supreme in everything, so Jesus utilizes the subordinate title, “Lord” in order to differentiate between the two.  Paul shows that one “God” consists of both God the Father and the Son:

1Corinthians 8:4-6 … There is none other God but one… To us there is but one God:  The Father… and one Lord Jesus Christ…


Today's Sermon:  "God’s Self-Revelation"