Category Archives: GOD

Why did the God of the Bible authorize genocide?

WHY DID THE GOD OF THE BIBLE AUTHORIZE GENOCIDE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

“The God of the Bible is a bloodthirsty monster. He advocated genocide—the merciless killing of innocent women and children. Why?”

Above is the highly sensitive inquiry that is the most favorite crutch of Bible ridiculers. Dear friends, we must remove it by demonstrating it to be the specious argument that it is. For far too long, Christians (also without knowledge) have permitted mockers to carelessly use the Bible against them. The ignorance concerning this issue is one primary reason why Holy Scripture is endlessly derided. They are all uninformed regarding the things of God! Our goal in the ensuing paragraphs is to fully explain from the Scriptures why the God of the Bible supported genocide (the violent annihilation of entire peoples).

Moreover, it is argued that Allah’s jihad—Islam’s holy war against non-Muslims—is justified because the God of Judaism and Christianity also called for the extermination of unbelievers. Therefore, Jews and Christians (supposedly) should not object to Muslims beheading non-Muslims. How could the God of the Bible encourage the Israelites to commit genocide? Is it not cruel for JEHOVAH God to command the Jews to kill even Gentile children living in the land of Canaan? As Bible-believing Christians, we should have an intelligent response prepared for any sincere seekers. We would be honored to show you how to reply most effectively.

REALITY CHECK!

Without doubt, there is nothing sillier or more pathetic than when a mortal man complains that Almighty God “should have done this” or “should not have done that.” In case you have not noticed, friend, none of us are God!! Consequently, we should stop dictating to Him what we foolishly think He should have or should not have done. Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Friends, the LORD God has His reasons for whatever He says or does, whether or not we understand them. We can be absolutely sure, beyond any (ANY!) shadow of a doubt, that whatever He does is completely justified. It does not matter if we agree with Him. He is still (and will always be) right! It does not matter if we approve of what He did. He did not have to consult us or ask our permission. It will be a happy day in the lives of billions when they stop pretending to be God and start remembering that we are weaklings and preschoolers compared to Him. Dearly beloved, it is high time for us to quit claiming to be the Creator and be content with being the creature!

THE LAND OF CANAAN: HEATHEN TRESPASSERS

It is highly important that we pause to understand the character and behavior of the Gentiles who lived in the land of Canaan before the Jewish nation entered under their leader Joshua. Those Gentiles were actually living in land that was not their own. Long before Israel was in Egyptian slavery, the LORD God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed forever. Genesis 15:13-16 records that oath: “[13] And he [the LORD God] said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; [14] And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. [15] And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. [16] But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.”

Also, Genesis 17:3-8: “[3] And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, [4] As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. [5] Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. [6] And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. [7] And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. [8] And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Abraham’s son, Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob, were heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 26:1-5; Genesis 27:27-29; Genesis 28:12-15). Jacob fathered 12 sons who became the patriarchs of Israel’s 12 tribes, and these 12 tribes inherited the Abrahamic Covenant (Exodus 2:23-25; Deuteronomy 1:6-10). When famine struck Canaan, Jacob and the 12 tribes migrated south to Egypt (Genesis chapters 45–50). This is how the Book of Genesis concludes. The Book of Exodus opens with Israel not only dwelling in Egypt now, but also slaves to the Egyptians (Exodus chapters 1–2).

When God delivers the Jews from Egypt and brings them to the borders of the Promised Land under Moses, they refuse to enter because of unbelief (Numbers chapters 13–14; cf. Hebrews 3:7–4:10). Therefore, the LORD God let Israel wander for 40 years in the desert until that generation of unbelievers died off. Moses expires and God buries him at the end of Deuteronomy. Under Joshua, the nation Israel enters the Promised Land. We will stop, as this is enough background for our purposes here. We move on to the Bible’s “genocide” passages that greatly vex people.

Deuteronomy 20:16: “But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:….” Joshua 10:40: “So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.” Joshua chapter 11: “[11] And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire…. [14] And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.”

Joshua chapter 10: “[28] And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho…. [30] And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho…. [32] And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah. [33] Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.

“[35] And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish…. [37] And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein. [39] And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king. [40] So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.”

The God of the Bible, the God of creation, had given the land of Canaan to Israel. During the 40 years of Israel’s wandering in the wilderness, the Gentiles in Canaan heard the news of the parting of the Red Sea and God’s destruction of Egypt. They knew that the land belonged to Israel, and yet they were still there when Israel arrived under Joshua. They were usurpers, people cooperating with Satan to corrupt the land that God had reserved for Himself. Almighty God, JEHOVAH God, the Creator of the Earth, could give the land to whomever He wanted. It was nobody’s land but His, and He had a right to give it to Israel’s 12 tribes. “For all the earth is mine(Exodus 19:5). “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).

Some three centuries after Joshua, JEHOVAH God instructed Israel’s first king, Saul, in 1 Samuel chapter 15: “[1] Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. [2] Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. [3] Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Since Amalek fought and attempted to steal God’s provision from Israel centuries earlier (Exodus 17:8-16), God would see to it that Amalek’s descendants be thoroughly destroyed (cf. Deuteronomy 25:17-19). They cursed Israel, and now God would curse them (Genesis 12:3).

WHY KILL THE YOUNG CHILDREN, ESPECIALLY THE BABIES?

Surely, God did not view the young children and babies as evildoers when they were unable to know right from wrong. We do not know God’s mind here, as Scripture is silent in these passages. However, there is enough revelation given elsewhere in the Bible to allow us to make inferences.

Firstly, Almighty God gave the land of Canaan to the Israelites. If Gentile children were allowed to remain therein, then they would have grown up and outnumbered God’s people in their own land. Pharaoh King of Egypt had adopted a similar mentality when dealing with multiplying Israel in Exodus 1:7-14. With the Jews experiencing a population explosion, Pharaoh realized that they would eventually side with Egypt’s enemies in wartime. The Egyptians would lose their authority in their own territory. The same was true with Israel and the heathen inhabitants of Canaan. The Gentiles had to be removed so God could reclaim the land for Himself. God’s nation needed to flourish, and the only way was to remove the competition. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25).

Secondly, it was actually to the Gentiles’ benefit that their children be killed. When we read about the horrible acts that the nations committed in God’s land before He brought Israel into it (we will read those Bible passages shortly), we can see that these youngsters were spared adult lives of pagan darkness and utter wickedness. There is no doubt in this author’s mind that God had mercy on these little ones’ souls, and they did not meet the eternal doom their parents did. The same could be said of all the millions of young children who perished in the Great Flood of Noah’s day. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25).

Thirdly, at least some of these heathen children carried the genes that gave rise to the giants in the Promised Land. These giants were Satan’s primary method in discouraging Israel from fighting to possess the land in Moses’ day (see Numbers 13:26-33; Deuteronomy 3:11; Deuteronomy 9:1-2). The corrupt seed-line had to be exterminated—and it was by means of the efforts of David (killing Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:4-58) and others (2 Samuel 21:1-22)! “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25).

Lastly, had God not commanded Israel to fight and slay in battle all the Gentiles of Canaan, Satan’s policy of evil would have continued unabated in the Earth. The property—yea, all the planet—would be polluted again with idolatry. Through Noah, functioning as a prophet, God had cursed Canaan and his children (Genesis 9:25-27). God knew that Israel would have to come centuries later into the Promised Land and conquer the evil Canaanites. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25).

At this point, a simple question must be asked, friends. Do you let strangers come into your house and take over as if it were their own? Do you throw your children out and let foreigners enter and eat all your food, use your amenities, and sleep in your beds? No? Then do not get upset with JEHOVAH God when He refused to let His enemies take over and enjoy His land! You have your right to personal property, and so does the Creator God. He does not have to check with anyone before determining who is and who is not going to enter His property. He makes the rules. Again, we should stop being disrespectful, cease our prideful claims, and start showing reverence to our Maker. He does not owe us one thing. Without Him, we would not even exist. He is self-sufficient, and does not need us. Show Him some respect!!

THE LAND OF CANAAN: HEATHEN DEFILEMENT

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 delineates for us the Satanic influence in the land of Canaan as operating in and through the Gentiles:

“[9] When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. [10] There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. [11] Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. [12] For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. [13] Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. [14] For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.” 

The LORD God told Israel, in Leviticus 18:24-30, not to repeat the errors of the Gentiles in the Promised Land: “[24] Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: [25] And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. [26] Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: [27] (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled; ) [28] That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. [29] For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. [30] Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.”

The warning is repeated again, in Leviticus 20:22-26: “[22] Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. [23] And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. [24] But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. [25] Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. [26] And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.”

What were the horrific and specific sins of the Gentiles living in Canaan when Israel entered? Read Leviticus chapters 18–20, a really eye-opening section of Scripture!!

WHAT SHOULD WE CHRISTIANS BELIEVE AND DO TODAY?

Do the aforementioned verses mean that Christianity today involves killing non-Christians? No!! Today, in the Age of Grace, the God of the Bible offers peace to us through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. All nations have access to Him by faith in Calvary’s sacrifice. The ground is level at the foot of Calvary’s cross. We do not have to become converts of any special religion (Judaism) to have a right standing before God. No water baptism is necessary. Speaking in tongues is unnecessary. Sabbath-day keeping is not required. No confession of sin is needed. No commandment-keeping is necessary.

It should also be noted that the God of the Bible is not interested in purging or reclaiming the Earth today. He is currently forming the Church the Body of Christ, a heavenly people, who will be His agents in establishing His headship in the government of the heavenly places (read Ephesians chapters 1–3 and Colossians chapter 1). In time past, He was interested in cleansing the Earth of Satan’s policy of evil. That purpose has been temporarily suspended because its prophetic program has been paused. God is operating our Dispensation of Grace today, the mystery program, which we read about in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

Also see:
» How can God be jealous and not sin?
» “Neither round the corners of your heads nor mar the corners of your beard?”
» “Neither make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead nor print any marks on you?”

How was Jesus “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world?”

HOW WAS JESUS “THE LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

The phrase appears a solitary time in the King James Bible—Revelation 13:8. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” When attempting to understand a verse, it always helps to look for other verses containing similar words or phrases. Scripture should be compared with Scripture; after all, every verse is related to at least one other verse. This method of cross-referencing increases the likelihood of exegesis (interpreting the text as Almighty God intended) and minimizes the possibility of eisegesis (interpreting it to fit our own biases and preconceived ideas).

We find something similar in 1 Peter chapter 1: “[19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: [20] Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, [21] Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

Long before Adam was created and placed on the Earth, long before he sinned in the Garden of Eden, long before Calvary’s crosswork was ever accomplished to undo the damage of sin, that crosswork had already occurred in the mind of the triune Godhead. Jesus Christ’s destiny was predetermined long before He ever became a man, and long before there ever was a creation. Nothing in His earthly life occurred fortuitously; even His miraculous birth and graphic death were in the Godhead’s eternal plan! “Lo, I come to do thy will,” Messiah Jesus, quoting Psalm 40, told His Father at His incarnation (Hebrews 10:7-9). If you read verses 10-22 of Hebrews chapter 10, you will see the cross!!

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—in their omniscience (all-knowledge)—could actually look into the future, down the corridor of time, to see that the Son would suffer and die on Cavalry’s cruel cross. All three Persons would cooperate to work to that end. It was all settled fact in Heaven before it even came to pass on Earth. Notice the Apostle Peter’s astounding sermon delivered in Acts chapter 2: “[22] Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: [23] Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: [24] Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”

NOTE: We are pleased to (at last) unveil our new five-part Bible study video series! The theme is Israel’s covenants. I hope and pray that you will be edified, encouraged, and enlightened by these 5 1/2 hours of study! Click here to enjoy them on YouTube! 🙂

Also see:
» What is a “daysman?”
» What does God mean, “I am Alpha and Omega?”
» Why is Jesus Christ called “The Word of God?”

Did Jesus ever claim to be God?

DID JESUS EVER CLAIM TO BE GOD?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Skeptics of the true and full Deity of Jesus Christ argue that He never claimed to be God. Can we substantiate or refute their accusations? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

Concerning His temptations, we read in Matthew 4:5-7: “[5] Then the devil taketh him [Jesus Christ] up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, [6] And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. [7] Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” It is interesting that, in verse 7, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16—with “Lord” synonymous with “LORD”/“JEHOVAH.” In other words, Jesus used the warning about tempting JEHOVAH God and told Satan he should not tempt Him. Why? He was JEHOVAH God in human flesh. The Lord Jesus took a passage about God and applied it to Himself. Jesus thought He was JEHOVAH God and He claimed He was JEHOVAH God. (See parallel, Luke 4:9-12.)

Matthew 9:2 reports: “And, behold, they brought to him [Jesus Christ] a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” “This man blasphemeth,” the audience said in verse 3. “Who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mark 2:7). Who alone can forgive sins? According to the witnesses, Jesus said He was God by forgiving the man’s sins.

Christ Jesus declared in Matthew 12:8, “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” (See the parallel verse, Mark 2:28.) The Sabbath Day honored JEHOVAH God (Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus Christ claimed that He was “Lord even of the sabbath day.” Who did Jesus believe He was? JEHOVAH God!

Turning to Matthew chapter 19: “[16] And, behold, one came and said unto him [Jesus Christ], Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? [17] And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (See the parallel passage, Mark 10:17-19.) This man approached Jesus and addressed Him as, “Good Master.” Jesus inquired why he called Him “good,” seeing as to “there is none good but one, that is, God.” In other words, Jesus asked, “Are you calling Me ‘God?’” (This truth is obscured in modern English translations. Here is one of many reasons why we use the King James Bible!)

After Israel’s religious leaders unsuccessfully attempted thrice to trap Jesus in His words, He offered them a spiritual riddle (which they could not answer). Matthew chapter 22: “[41] While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, [42] Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. [43] He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, [44] The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? [45] If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? [46] And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” (See parallels, Mark 12:35-37 and Luke 20:41-44.) The only way Jesus could be both “Lord” of David and “son” of David is if He were fully God (“Lord”) and fully Man (“son of David”). Of course, the unsaved religious leaders had the Old Testament Scriptures but no spiritual enlightenment because they chose to be ignorant.

Now, we get to the strongest passages on this subject. Matthew 26:63-66 is our first: “[63] But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. [64] Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. [65] Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. [66] What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.” (See parallels, Mark 14:61-64 and Luke 22:66-71.)

While various denominationalists vehemently reject the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, they still have these verses in their Bible versions (and they cannot deny it!). During Jesus’ trial, the high priest commanded Him to declare once and for all if He was “the Christ, the Son of God” (verse 63). Jesus replied, “Thou hast said” (verse 64)—paraphrased, “You have said it!” Still, Jesus added: “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (verse 64). The high priest was immediately outraged: he tore his garments and twice pronounced a charge, “Blasphemy!”

Evidently, what flustered the high priest was not so much Jesus’ reply “Thou hast said.” No, what deeply rattled him was that Jesus took it a step further: “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” The Lord did not have to say, “I am the Son of God,” to be accused of blasphemy. No, He merely had to declare, “You will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” “Sitting on the right hand of power” was surely Messianic, as Psalm 110:1 predicted many centuries earlier that Christ would sit at the LORD’s right hand. Moreover, the “coming in the clouds of heaven” was especially inflammatory, as the high priest recalled Psalm 68:4: “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH [JEHOVAH], and rejoice before him.”

It would be downright preposterous to say that Jesus never claimed to be God Himself. After all, Israel’s religious accused Him of blasphemy and purposed to put Him to death (see Leviticus 24:11-16)! They assumed He was making Himself to be God—otherwise they would not have bothered to execute Him!

Mark 11:17 reports: “And he [Jesus] taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” The Jerusalem Temple, Jesus said, was my house.” In John 2:16, He said of the same Temple: “And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” The Temple was both Jesus’ Temple and His Father’s Temple. Who was Jesus claiming to be, then? On whose behalf was He speaking?

On to John 5:17-18: “[17] But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. [18] Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” Why do they want to take the life of Jesus? See, the unbelieving Jews are well aware of whom He declares to be. There is nothing difficult for them to understand, and if we let the verses speak (without wearing our denominational eyeglasses), we will see them for what they really say as well.

We read in John 8:58, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Here is an interesting form of the verb “to be.” Jesus did not say, “Before Abraham was, I was.” No, He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Why did He say it this specific way? Notice the cross-reference, Exodus 3:14: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” This was JEHOVAH God speaking to Moses, and JEHOVAH said His name was, “I AM THAT I AM,” or the shortened form, “I AM.” John 8:58 is Jesus claiming to be the JEHOVAH God of Exodus 3:14! (By the way, the “Jehovah’s Witness” New World Translation says in John 8:58, “Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.” Furthermore, there is no Exodus 3:14 marginal reference—they know exactly what Jesus said, but they hide this truth from their readers and members so as to uphold their theological traditions.)

After Jesus healed the blind man, John 9:35-38 says: “[35] Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? [36] He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? [37] And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. [38] And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” How could Jesus be a servant of the God of the Bible if He allowed someone to worship Him? Apparently, He assumed He deserved that worship. He believed He was the God of creation! (Compare Acts 10:25-26 and Revelation 19:10.) By the way, the 1901 American Standard Version has a footnote here that asserts Jesus was nothing but a mere “creature” and not at all the “Creator!” Friends, you cannot get more blasphemous than these “Bible translators!!!”

While Jesus walked in the Temple, He had an interesting conversation with unbelieving Israel in John 10:29-33: “[29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. [30] I and my Father are one. [31] Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. [32] Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? [33] The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”

The cults emphasize verse 29—“Jesus said His Father is ‘greater than all,’ meaning Jesus is not God!” Yet, they deliberately skip verse 30 for obvious reasons—“I and my Father are one.” Both Jesus and Father God are one in Deity: both are fully God. How do we know this is what Jesus meant? Why, we read verses 31-33. “The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” Who did they believe Jesus claimed to be? (Years ago, I spoke with a friend brainwashed in a Deity-of-Christ-denying cult. His face turned red and he grew quite angry when his whole argument centered on verse 29 was demolished after I had him read verses 30 and 33!!! He refused to discuss the matter any further, and I politely left his presence. That was the last time we spoke in-person about Scripture.)

We read in John 19:6-7, at Jesus’ trial before Judaean Governor Pontius Pilate: “[6] When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. [7] The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” (See Leviticus 24:11-16.) The only way they could justly put Jesus to death is if He had professed to be Deity! This is right along the lines of John 10:29-33 and John 5:17-18 (already discussed).

John 20:28 is our last Deity verse of Christ’s earthly ministry: “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” If Jesus were not God, then why did He allow Thomas to apply such titles to Him? Jesus should have said, “Thomas, do not called Me ‘my Lord’ and ‘my God.’ I am but a Man, and not God.” Why did Jesus not rebuke Thomas? Thomas’ words were warranted, highly appropriate; they needed no criticism! The “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” still endeavoring to maintain their church tradition, answers by arguing that Thomas uttered an expression of amazement. In other words, “O wow, O Lord, O God, Jesus, You really are alive! It actually is You!” This is a flimsy and wanting interpretation, as Thomas would have then been guilty of taking JEHOVAH’S name in vain (Exodus 20:7). Thomas would be worthy of death! There is no way Jesus would have let someone use God’s name so flippantly. It is for this reason that we reject the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” here as well.

“Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

Also see:
» “No man hath seen God at any time?”
» Why did Jesus say, “My God, my God?”
» Does it matter what Bible version I use?

Why is Jesus Christ called “The Word of God?”

WHY IS JESUS CHRIST CALLED “THE WORD OF GOD?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

This epithet is exclusive to the Apostle John’s writings—the Book of John, the Book of 1 John, and the Book of the Revelation. It, or its abbreviated variant “The Word,” appears seven times in the whole Bible canon. John’s Gospel Record is designed to underscore Jesus Christ’s Deity. (Compare the openings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. John 1:1-4 is unique to John; Matthew, Mark, and Luke all begin their accounts with events relating to Christ’s humanity.) It is thus not surprising that John’s special phrase, “the Word of God,” is intended to accentuate Christ’s Deity:

  • John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
  • John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
  • 1 John 1:1: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;….”
  • 1 John 5:7: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
  • Revelation 19:13: “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

The term “word” carries the idea of communication. In Greek, it is logos. Depending on the context, logos can be rendered as—“preaching,” “something said,” “utterance,” “reason,” “saying,” “speech,” “talk,” “account,” and so on. Think of our related English words logic and logo. A “logo,” for example, is a symbol or design that represents a group, idea, line of products, and so on. This symbol conveys a message. The Greek word is the same line of thought.

According to Scripture, there are three Members/Persons in the Godhead or Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7). Unless they make themselves known in a special way, we cannot see them with our human eyes. The Person of Jesus Christ (God the Son) is a representative of the Godhead. Turn to John 14:6-9: “[6] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [7] If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. [8] Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. [9] Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

What the Father and the Holy Spirit want us to see and know, Jesus Christ reveals it to us so we can see and know. If we want to see how God lives, all we have to do is read the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). This is how God conducted His own life in His own human flesh. Even today, we can see God living His life in human flesh. This is the Church the Body of Christ (all present-day believers in Jesus Christ). It is called “the Body of Christ” because it is His life being manifested through Christians—we are His arms, His legs, His hands, His feet, and His voice. We accurately portray His life as we walk daily in faith in His Word to us (more on this later).

Father God sent Jesus Christ as His spokesman to the nation Israel. For example, John 7:16: “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.God the Father had given some information to Jesus Christ, so Jesus Christ could then relay it to Israel. Jesus is the Spokesman of the Godhead. He is “The Word of God” in this sense.

Now, read Matthew 15:24: “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Hebrews 3:1: “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle [sent-one] and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;….” When Jesus Christ left Earth and ascended back into Heaven, He sent His 12 Apostles to be His spokesmen to Israel. They were to repeat what He taught them.

Matthew chapter 10: “[5] These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: [6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…. [16] Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” And verse 40: He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” Mark 3:14: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,….” John 20:21: “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Finally, John 13:20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”

God the Father sent Jesus Christ as His Messenger, and Jesus Christ sent messengers (12 Apostles) to Israel. If Israel rejected the 12 Apostles, they were really rejecting Jesus Christ who sent them, and they were rejecting God the Father who sent Jesus Christ to them in the first place.

After His ascension into Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ sent the Apostle Paul to be His spokesman to us Gentiles. Look at two verses. Firstly, Acts 22:21: “And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.” Now, Acts 26:17: “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,…..” Paul thus wrote in Romans 11:13: “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle [sent-one] of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:….” And, remember Jesus’ words in John 13:20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. If we reject Paul, then we reject God’s messenger to us!

Whenever there were appearances of God in the Old Testament economy, they were Jesus Christ in pre-incarnate forms. It was not Father God, and it was not the Holy Spirit. First Timothy 6:16: “[Jesus Christ] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; [God the Father; verse 13] whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” And 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.” Colossians 2:9: “For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The way we see and hear Father God is by paying attention to Jesus Christ: He is the one Mediator between God and men.

First Timothy 2:3-6: “[3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the 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 a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” As God, Jesus Christ can take God by the hand. As Man, He can take man by the hand. He thus joins them together through His finished crosswork at Calvary. The barrier of sin is demolished because Jesus Christ died for our sins. Without God communicating that information through Jesus Christ, and then Jesus Christ giving that information to Paul, we would not know it.

Jesus Christ is thus “The Word of God”—the embodiment of the whole message God wants to give to mankind! In 1 John 1:1, Jesus is called “the Word of life,” meaning God’s entire communication to man can be summarized as “life.” If we want to see what true life is really like, how God designed it to function for His glory, we look to “the Word of life,” the Lord Jesus Christ! If we want eternal (spiritual) life, we look to the Lord Jesus Christ! John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

SUPPLEMENTAL #1: THE CHIEF SPEAKER

To better reinforce in our minds what the title “The Word of God” is actually conveying as pertaining to Jesus Christ, turn to Acts chapter 14: “[9] The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, [10] Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. [11] And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. [12] And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.” Focus on “the chief speaker” at the close of verse 12. In Greek, it is, ho hegoumenos tou logon.” As Paul was the “chief speaker [logos]” of the Paul–Barnabas duo, so Jesus Christ is the “chief speaker” among the Members of the Godhead.

SUPPLEMENTAL #2: THE HOLY BIBLE

“The word of God” is also a title of the Holy Bible. Hebrews 4:12, for example: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In Scripture, we find the communication from God. The only way to know the Living Word of God (Jesus Christ) is through the Written Word of God (Holy Scripture). While far beyond the scope of this study, there is a very close affinity between the Living Word and the Written Word. Both are necessary to learn everything the Godhead has to tell us.

Also see:
» Did not God send messengers to Gentiles prior to Paul’s apostleship?
» Has God’s Word failed?
» Does Jesus Christ save us, or does the Gospel save us?

“Whom no man hath seen, nor can see”—who is this in 1 Timothy 6:16?

“WHOM NO MAN HATH SEEN, NOR CAN SEE”—WHO IS THIS IN 1 TIMOTHY 6:16?

by Shawn Brasseaux

First Timothy 6:16 reads: “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” Who is this, He “whom no man hath seen, nor can see?”

Years ago, this verse puzzled me also. If you have not yet noticed the difficulty, start with verse 13 and read through to verse 16: “[13] I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; [14] That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: [15] Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; [16] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

Did you get the impression that verse 16 claims that no one has seen, or can see, Jesus Christ? Is this the proper reading of the verse though?

Try John chapter 1: “[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men…. [14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Now, 1 John chapter 1: “[1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; [2] (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; )….”

Over 500 believers saw Jesus Christ after His resurrection. Even in His glorified (heavenly, ascended) state, Saul of Tarsus saw Him. First Corinthians chapter 15: “[3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [5] And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: [6] After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. [7] After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. [8] And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

Notice Acts 22:13-15: “[13] Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. [14] And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. [15] For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.” (Paul heard Jesus Christ and saw Him in Acts chapter 9.)

Scripture is quite clear that Jesus Christ was made flesh and dwelt among men. He was not only seen by human eyes, but was also touched with human hands. We just surveyed a few verses to prove this point. First Timothy 6:16 therefore must be referring to someone else when it says, “whom no man hath seen, nor can see.” This cannot be Jesus Christ. Who is it then?

The chief reason why 1 Timothy 6:13-16 is so challenging is that it is a single sentence in the King James Greek text and now transferred into English! Our Apostle Paul used nearly 70 Greek words to form it; it translates to over 90 English words. (If this “short” sentence intimidates you, take a look at Ephesians 1:3-14!) With such massive sentences, it is easy to get lost in pairing clauses, connecting nouns to their pronouns and adjectives, and so on. If we can take each verse at a time, though, it will become easier to grasp. We are not so much interested in covering every little point of 1 Timothy 6:13-16. Our primary goal is to demystify verse 16.

Back to 1 Timothy 6:13-16 for some cursory analysis!

“[13] I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;….” There are five persons here. Firstly, there is Paul (writing and commanding). Secondly, there is Timothy (whom Paul is writing and commanding). Thirdly, there is God (the Father is inferred). Fourthly, there is Christ Jesus. Fifthly, there is Judaean governor Pontius Pilate.

“[14] That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:….” Here, we have only two persons—Timothy and our Lord Jesus Christ.

“[15] Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;….” There is only Jesus Christ here.

“[16] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

Verse 16 is where it gets especially tricky. How many persons are here in this verse? At least one. Who is the first person? He “only” has immortality—no one else is like Him. To be “mortal” means “subject to death;” “immortal,” consequently, means “unable to die.” Appealing to what we established at the beginning of the sentence, and using the process of elimination, we can figure out who this is. Is it Paul? Timothy? Pontius Pilate? Of course not. They were all subject to die—and did die. That leaves two possibilities—Father God and Jesus Christ. Father God never possessed a physical body, so He was never on the verge of dying anyway. Jesus Christ, however, assumed a physical body and did die.

(Colossians 2:9 says, “For in him [Christ—verse 8] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The emphasis here is on the word “bodily.” There is a physical body likened unto ours. It is something that can be seen and has been seen. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit cannot be seen directly, but they can be seen indirectly in the Person of Jesus Christ [God the Son]. Jesus Christ is their representative, the Spokesman and Representative for the Trinity/Godhead.)

Jesus was resurrected, never to die again. As of this moment, He alone has been resurrected. He is the unique Person of the universe. He is a spirit being, still in a physical body that cannot and will never again die. He alone has immortality. “Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto” would also be true of Jesus Christ.

The semicolon between “unto” and “whom” in the middle of verse 16 splits the thoughts to make them easier to grasp. “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; [different person] whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

The “who only hath… can approach unto” has already been established to mean Jesus Christ. The “whom no man hath seen, nor can see” must refer to someone else. As noted earlier, there are too many verses that prove that Jesus Christ was seen of men and can be seen of men. Returning to our list of people in verse 13, we use the process of elimination once again. It would be totally absurd for Scripture to say no man has seen or can see Paul, Timothy, or Pontius Pilate. The only person not accounted for is now Father God. Father God has to be Him “whom no man hath seen, nor can see.”

A colon, not a comma, immediately follows this, and the Bible text reads thereafter, “…to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” This would have to be referring back to the beginning of the verse. The word “power” links to “Potentate” in verse 15, and the “only Potentate” (powerful), “the King of kings and the Lord of lords,” is none other than Jesus Christ (cf. Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:16).

In summation, with the persons’ names added, personally, I would read the passage as follows: “[13] I [Paul] give thee [Timothy] charge in the sight of God, [God/Father] who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who [Jesus Christ] before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; [14] That thou [Timothy] keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: [15] [Our Lord Jesus Christ] Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; [16] [Our Lord Jesus Christ] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; [God/Father] whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [our Lord Jesus Christ] be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

Also see:
» “No man hath seen God at any time?”
» Is the Trinity/Godhead a biblical concept?
» Can Jews who believe in God, the Father, but who reject Jesus, be saved from eternal damnation?

How can God be “jealous” and not be guilty of sin?

HOW CAN GOD BE “JEALOUS” AND NOT BE GUILTY OF SIN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

“They [Israel] provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee” (Deuteronomy 32:16-18).

Scripture uses the title “jealous God” six times for JEHOVAH:

  • Exodus 20:4-5: “[4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. [5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;”
  • Exodus 34:14: “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:”
  • Deuteronomy 4:24: “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”
  • Deuteronomy 5:8-9: “[8] Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: [9] Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,”
  • Deuteronomy 6:15: “(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”
  • Joshua 24:19: “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”

Envy (not the same as “jealousy”) is a sin when we commit it (Romans 1:29; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:21; et al.). Wanting what others have—envy, coveting—is a sin. Jealously, however, involves wanting what belongs to you when someone else is using it for his or her pleasure.

Just as there is a godly anger (Matthew 5:22; Mark 3:5; Ephesians 4:26), there is a godly jealousy, God’s righteous jealousy. In the Old Testament, God continually reminded Israel that He was “jealous” over her. Prior to going into the Promised Land under Joshua, Moses warned Israel of her previous idolatrous ways. Once Israel went into that land, they were to destroy the pagan heathens and their idols (Exodus 34:11-17). Yet, even in God’s Promised Land, the Jews established pagan shrines to worthless idols (1 Kings 14:22-24; Psalm 78:58)! The LORD wanted Israel to Himself, and yet they ignored Him and adored vain, inanimate idols.

The Apostle Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, warned members of the Body of Christ in Corinth about provoking the Lord to “jealousy” by fellowshipping with devils (1 Corinthians 10:20-22). Paul was “jealous” over the Body of Christ, instructing us to avoid satanic deception by holding to the doctrine in his epistles. Second Corinthians 11:1-4: “[1] Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. [2] For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. [3] But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. [4] For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

Throughout the Holy Scriptures, we see references to God as “jealous:”

  • Deuteronomy 32:16: “They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.”
  • Deuteronomy 32:21: “They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.”
  • Ezekiel 8:3: “And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.”
  • Ezekiel 36:5: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.”
  • Ezekiel 36:6: “Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:”
  • Ezekiel 39:25: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;”
  • Nahum 1:2: “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.”

God wants His people all to Himself—He does not want us mingling with the world’s idols (crucifixes, statues, religious paintings, selfishness, materialism, et cetera). In His omnipotence and omniscience, God is justified in being jealous over us because He alone deserves our praise, worship, dedication, and honor. After all, He is our Creator and our Saviour (if we have trusted in Him for salvation!).

SUPPLEMENTAL: THE LAW OF JEALOUSIES

In Numbers 5:11-31, part of the Mosaic Law, we read about something called “The Law of Jealousies.” To better understand how God being “jealous” is justified and not sin, we see what the (non-sinning) “jealous” husband was to do in the Mosaic system when he suspected his wife as being unfaithful.

Numbers chapter 5: “[11] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [12] Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man’s wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, [13] And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; [14] And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled: [15] Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.”

Numbers chapter 5: “[16] And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD: [17] And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: [18] And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: [19] And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: [20] But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: [21] Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; [22] And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. [23] And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water: [24] And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.”

Numbers chapter 5: “[25] Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman’s hand, and shall wave the offering before the LORD, and offer it upon the altar: [26] And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. [27] And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. [28] And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.”

Numbers chapter 5: “[29] This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; [30] Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. [31] Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.”

Also see:
» Was God unfair to punish us for Adam’s sin?
» Was God unfair in striking Uzzah dead?
» Why did God get angry with Balaam in Numbers 22?

Which belongs in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 in the King James Bible—“the Spirit itself” or “the Spirit Himself?”

WHICH BELONGS IN ROMANS 8:16 AND ROMANS 8:26 IN THE KING JAMES BIBLE—“THE SPIRIT ITSELF” OR “THE SPIRIT HIMSELF?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

Notice the following verses as they appear in the Authorized Version King James Bible. Romans 8:16 reads: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:….” And, verse 26: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” 

Textual critics and their followers fault the King James Bible because it uses the pronoun “itself” when referring to God the Holy Spirit. As you can see, it was surely not a mistake because the word appears twice. Why did our 1611 translators use this pronoun instead of employing the term “Himself?” Did they not regard the Holy Spirit as a Person? Were they denying the Deity of the Holy Spirit? Let us investigate!

Usually, when people criticize the King James Bible and offer some “better translation” or “better reading,” they are not qualified to make such a determination. I know because I used to be one of those people. Ignorant of Bible history, ignorant of Bible languages, and ignorant of sound Bible doctrine, I too was a detractor of the King James Bible. What caused me to change my position?

Firstly, instead of questioning my Bible, I decided to quit playing the hypocrite. If I claimed to be a “Bible believer” then I had better believe the Bible. I stopped being a Bible doubter and turned into a Bible believer. Do not misunderstand me; I had trusted Jesus Christ alone as my personal Saviour many years earlier. However, during that time, I had been taught that the King James Bible had mistakes and that I could not trust it 100 percent. Nevertheless, one day, I determined that if the King James Bible was trustworthy enough for me to depend on its Gospel of Grace as means of my getting into Heaven, then surely the rest of it was also true and worthy of my faith. If I could rely on its testimony for the major issue (justification unto eternal life), then why not believe the rest of its words?

Secondly, I quit repeating what others said about the Bible versions issue and started doing firsthand research for many years. I read up on world history, church history, and Bible history. I compared various Bible versions (in English and Greek). The more I studied, the more I realized the less I had been told all those years prior. While many had downplayed it as petty, I came to understand the Bible versions issue to be one of the most important matters in life. After justification and salvation unto eternal life in Christ, the Bible versions debate is the second most critical issue. The third is dispensational Bible study (which time and space, unfortunately, do not allow us to discuss here).

Now, we reread Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:….” And, verse 26: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The King James Bible is criticized for having “the Spirit itself… the Spirit itselfsince nearly all modern English versions say “the Spirit Himself…. the Spirit Himself” (including the New King James Version). To avoid controversy altogether, some versions will say “that very Spirit,” “the same Spirit,” or “God’s Spirit.” (Cleverly, they use neither “itself” nor “himself.”)

Notice the following classic anti-KJV rant as it pertains to this issue: “The King James translators did not believe in the personality of the Holy Spirit. They called Him an ‘it.’ The word should be ‘Himself’ rather than ‘itself!’ The Holy Spirit is a ‘Him’ and not an ‘it!’” Some have even gone so far as to change the King James text when reading it aloud. One Bible commentator, for example, when writing about Romans 8:16, actually removed “itself” entirely and replaced it with a bracketed “Himself.” This is not an isolated incident. Many do it, which only further plays into the confusion.

The above careless handling of the Scriptures is the result of nothing more than laziness on the faultfinder’s part. He likely does not view this as an opportunity to make the truth clearer; he, in his sinful mind, sees it as a chance to sit in judgment of God’s Holy Word and take its place as the final authority. After all, the man has been taught to have an anti-King-James-Bible position at his seminary, Bible College, university, local church, Bible class, and so on. He has learned from so many that the King James Bible and its underlying Greek text is “marred with mistakes.” This brainwashing has caused him to imagine an error everywhere he looks in the Authorized Version. God needs his education to “fix” or “improve” the Bible. He cannot turn one page of the Authorized Version without making that damnable critical remark, “This is a poor translation… the ‘oldest and best’ manuscripts read, blah, blah, blah….” It is sad, but it is true. Long ago, I was there, my friends. Never do I want to return to such pathetic spiritual ignorance!

When a preacher or theologian complains “itself” should be “Himself,” the average Bible reader automatically shouts, “Amen!” After all, the speaker went to seminary for many years. They should be able to tell us “just what God meant in His Word,” right? Well, just remember, not everyone who stands in the pulpit with a Bible is a servant of the God of the Bible. Not everyone who names the name of Jesus Christ is a servant of Jesus Christ. Not everyone who reads Greek and Hebrew believes the Bible text in Greek and Hebrew! (The same could be said of English-speaking people and the English Bible!) No one will bother to research why “itself” appears where it does in the Bible text… but we will. We want answers, and we are determined to find them!

So, why did our 1611 translators write “itself” twice? Here is how the Textus Receptus, the Greek text underlying the King James Bible New Testament, reads at the problematic points of Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26:

Greek — Aτ τ πνεμαατ τ πνεμα
Transliteration — auto to pneumaauto to pneuma
Translation — itself the Spirit … itself the Spirit

Auto” must be rendered “itself” and not “himself” because “spirit” is a neuter noun (neither masculine nor feminine). You cannot have a male emphatic pronoun (“himself”) modify the neuter noun “pneuma,” and neither can you have a female emphatic pronoun (“herself”) modify the neuter pronoun “pneuma.” To be faithful to the Greek language of the New Testament, you must translate it as, “the Spirit itself.” (Since English and Greek are structured differently, we have to rearrange the words for the English to make sense—“itself the Spirit” in the Greek order is correctly read in English as, “the Spirit itself.”) The King James Bible is true to Greek here; you cannot say this about modern English versions. Contemporary translators altered the Bible text just to make it easy reading; of course, they did violence to Scripture in not adequately carrying the Greek thought.

The Holy Spirit is certainly a Person, but we do not need to violate the Greek Bible in Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 to prove it. For example, the Holy Spirit is said to be God in Acts 5:3-4. The Holy Spirit has the ability to know information and teach with words, so He must be a Person rather than some inanimate force (1 Corinthians 2:10-13). The Holy Spirit is said to “dwell,” or live, within the Christian that is His “temple” (2 Timothy 1:14; 1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit can speak and warn, as 1 Timothy 4:1 and Acts 28:25 say. The Holy Spirit can be “grieved,” or saddened, which certainly means He is a Person because only a rational Being has emotions (Ephesians 4:30). We could go on and on with dozens of other verses, but these are enough to prove that the King James Bible translators believed in the Deity and Person of the Holy Spirit. They were also superb Greek, Hebrew, and English scholars. Above all, they let that Holy Spirit use them in a mighty way. Now, we can benefit because we have their Holy Bible. Beloved, may we never get that critical, ungrateful, conceited, pessimistic attitude that so many anti-KJV people suffer from today.

CONCLUSION

Dear friends, we see that our King James Bible translators had a valid linguistic reason for handling Romans 8:16 and Romans 8:26 the way they did. They are unfairly criticized here (as in numerous other places).

“Spirit” in Greek (pneuma) is neuter, without gender; “itself” (auto) also being genderless, is the proper pronoun to modify “Spirit.” “Spirit itself”not “Spirit Himself”—is the correct reading in both verses. There is no mistranslation… except in the modern versions! The next time you hear someone complaining about “the Spirit itself” in the King James Bible as being wrong, just remember to write that individual off as ill-informed. Maybe they just do not know any better; or, perhaps they are willfully ignorant. Whatever the case, they are wrong. They do not have a clue about how the Greek language works and how our 1611 translators knew the Greek language more than they and all their “theological heroes” will ever know.

Here is indisputable proof of how English-speaking people have been trained to attack our King James Bible, the English Bible, in extremely unfair ways. May we guard against the Adversary’s subtle attacks of always trying to question God’s Word (Genesis 3:1)!

Also see:
» Is “excellent” a King James mistranslation in Philippians 1:10?
» Why does the King James Bible say, “pisseth against the wall?”
» Is the King James word “borrow” a mistranslation in Exodus 3:22?