Jesus = Jehovah

It is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity that the God of the Bible is a triune God, i.e. that he exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It seems to me, however, that there are many Christians that overlook the implications of this truth. If Jesus is God, then that means that it was Jesus that gave us the laws of Moses. It was Jesus that instituted the death penalty for murder in Genesis 9:6. It was Jesus that commanded the Israelites to go to war. In the New Testament we learn that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore.

Some Christians have a tendency to ignore the Old Testament and even find it confusing or embarrassing. The fact is, however, that the same Jesus that taught us to “turn the other cheek” also said that there shall be “no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death.” (Numbers 35:31)

There is no reason to be confused. When we study the Bible we do not find that the God of the Old Testament is vengeful and unforgiving while the God of the New Testament is loving and forgiving. In fact, Jesus mentioned hell more than anyone in the whole Bible, and it was Jehovah that said, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)

We must understand that the Sermon on the Mount was not given as a set of rules for government but as principles for an individual to maintain an upright heart. Jesus himself made the distinction further on in the sermon in Matthew 5:25-26: “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.” In other words, the Old Testament focuses on government while the New Testament focuses on the individual. When the New Testament addresses the government it is harmonious with the Old Testament, and when the Old Testament addresses the individual it is harmonious with the New Testament.

God’s personality has not changed. Governments are still required to punish evildoers, and individuals are still required to forgive those that transgress against them. Christians who are ashamed of the Old Testament might also be surprised to find that Jesus himself appears in the Old Testament on numerous occasions. Theologians refer to these appearances as “christophanies.” An in-depth study can be found here.

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17 Responses to “Jesus = Jehovah”

  1. Harmony says:

    You’re so right on. I, myself, have trouble with reading the Old Testament. Parts of it seem boring and endless. However, I do not fail to see the harmony of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jesus says that what He taught is the same as what was taught in the Old Testament, people just don’t see it that way because they never looked at the laws in the Old Testament in the right way.

  2. casey says:

    Well, I confess: I skip over the geneologies when we do the through-the-Bible-in-a-year readings at church. :o On the whole, however, I find the Old Testament fascinating, particularly Genesis. I enjoy Genesis as much as any New Testament book.

  3. Richard Wheeler says:

    Fully appreciating the Old Testament may require some maturity. All the different sacrifices, for example, illustrate different truths; but decoding the symbolism comes just a little bit at a time, and there’s a bottomless well from which to draw. Even the geneologies have a point as you trace the sins of one man down through the generations of his descendents, or as you trace the genetic route to the Christ.

    One part that I get a kick out of is the detailed descriptions of the building and consecration of the Tabernacle. It’s like a bride keeping a record of every wedding present and who gave it. Not that it’s exciting reading, but you’ve got to smile as you hear an excited God reciting every last detail of Israel’s gifts to Him.

    The wonderful thing for us is that we have the New Testament which explains much of the Old. The more familiar you are with each, the more you’ll get out of the other. Persist, my sisters and brothers, and you’ll be blessed.

  4. King's Kid says:

    Amen, Casey, Amen!

  5. Alban says:

    If you go by all that, what then do you do with a statement that God does not judge, like in John 5?

    The idea that God sets standards for how a government should rule, or how anyone should live, is quite ridiculous, and ignorant of creative action which has nothing to do with measuring, observing or even punishing.

    God would be little indeed.

  6. casey says:

    John 5 does not say that God does not judge. It says that God the Father does not judge. God the Son does, in fact, judge, because the Father has committed all judgement to him.

  7. Alban says:

    Well, as I read on, Jesus says, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will the Father who sent me.”

    The Father has no will to judge. So there is no judgment in anyone who does the will of the Father. Judgment is what the mind in separation from God does. Yet it is not true, and therefore meaningless. I have to give it up to experience myself as God created me.

  8. casey says:

    You’re reading things into the text that are not there. It does not say that the Father has no will to judge. He obviously has a will to judge, because he committed the responsibility to the Son. The Son and the Father are in complete unity, so the Son’s judgment is in perfect harmony with the Father’s will. If you deny the Trinity it might get a little messy, but these verses pose no problem for a trinitarian.

  9. Alban says:

    If the Son and the Father are in complete unity, then there is no judgment at all. If the Father does not judge, the Son does likewise, most especially, if he decided (again) not to will other than the Father. Didn’t Jesus say, the Son can do nothing than he sees the Father do? So, the Son does not judge. I understand this reference about committing all judgment to the Son in that way, that the Son, who is Jesus, you, me, each of us singularly, claimed this right for himself, and did so in his fall. But Jesus saw that there can be no judgment that is true. So he decided to do the Father’s will. God certainly does not take anything away from anyone. God only gives.

    If you want to judge, all judgment is committed unto you. Bless you. The mess is brought about by the idea that you can escape your own judgment thinking that the one judged by you is different from you. How then could you judge him at all? If he is different, then you do not know him, and can not judge. But we all see in others what we see in ourselves. What we hate in others we hate in ourselves. Does Jesus see in anyone anything that is not forgiveable? What then would be the function of judgment? To delay the act of forgiveness? Because I think that what is unforgiveable in me, is also unforgiveable in you?

  10. casey says:

    Since you reject the doctrine of the Trinity (which states that there are three distinct persons in the Godhead) we are obviously going to disagree on what this passage is teaching. There are intricacies involved here, including the fact that at the time Jesus was speaking these words he had emptied himself and become human. In his human form I imagine his brain did not have the capacity for omniscience, so he had to rely on the Father, hence “the Son can do nothing of himself.”

  11. Alban says:

    I do not reject the idea of the Trinity. However, what would a distinct person be? I have to say, that there can and will be only one Source of reality, one Source of everything there is. That must incluce any other person, and therefore the Trinity. Because of that it is impossible that any mind have another will but God’s. There is no will but God’s. One source means everything created is an extension of the source.

    The very idea of judgment is insane. God is love. How could Jesus say, judge not that ye may not be judged, unless he knew that judgment only leads to destruction and death. Is it therefore sane to assume that there is someone judging me for my sins. If you will, there is only one judgment, and that is of the Holy Spirit saying God’s Son is guiltless. Guess who is God’s Son…

  12. Scott says:

    First of all love is not without judgment and God has a history of judging. Regarding John 5 what do you then do with

    24″I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
    28″Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and come out?those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 30By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”

    Obviously if the father gave the son the capacity to judge and Jesus says “those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” then judgment will happen.

    When Jesus said:

    1″Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    3″Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    to whom was he speaking? His disciples and by extension us. This unfortunately is a lesson that many Christians have failed to learn. We aren’t to judge since our own judgment is impaired. That doesn’t preclude Jesus from judging.

  13. Alban says:

    If the Son can do nothing but what He sees the Father do, then there obviously is no judgment, if the Father doesn’t judge.

    I say, everyone who hears Jesus’ words and does not believe Him, is condemed already, by his own non-belief. Could there be anything more devastating then the idea of being separated from eternal life? That is what this place called existence on earth is. Everyone here is here only by his own choice and unwillingness to listen to Jesus or the Holy Spirit who is always there. The moment you hear and accept, you are gone from here.

  14. Scott says:

    The Father does judge. Can you clarify your last sentence?

  15. Alban says:

    Read John 5. There it is written.

  16. Anju says:

    Really really good post… I thought it was quite in-depth and well thought of. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Will visit more often!

  17. casey says:

    Thanks, Anju.