God planned this glory for the Son and loved the Son before the foundation of the world. Knowing that the human race would fall to sin, He foreordained a plan of salvation based on the birth, death, and resurrection of the Son of God. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in. these last times for you" (I Peter 1:18-20). Jesus is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8) .
Jesus Christ was not actually born before the creation of the world, nor was He actually crucified at that time. But in the plan of God the atoning sacrifice of Christ was a foreordained, certain. event. God does not inhabit time as we do; the past, present, and future are all alike to Him. He "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17). He created the world with the Son in view, predicating all creation upon the future arrival and atonement of the Son of God.
When Jesus asked for the Father to give Him the glory He had with Him before the world began had with Him before the world began, He was not speaking of a time when He lived alongside the Father as a second divine person. Glory from such a time would be divine glory, which He could never have lost and which He could never share with His disciples.
Before the Incarnation, the Spirit of Jesus was the one eternal God, not a second person. The glory of which Jesus spoke was the glory He as a man would have in the fulfillment of God's foreordained plan of redemption for the human race. That was what Jesus looked forward to as He prayed, and that was what He asked the Father to give Him so that He could share it with all believers.
Jesus asked for glory so that He could in turn glorify the Father, and He also affirmed that He had already glorified the Father (John 17:1,4). Throughout His earthly ministry He exalted God through His teachings and through the miracles He performed. But He knew that the supreme glorification of the Father would take place through His crucifixion and resurrection. His crucifixion would reveal God's love in an unparalleled way (Romans 5:8), and His resurrection would supremely demonstrate God's almighty power (Ephesians 1:19-20).
Jesus prayed, "Father, glorify thy name" (John 12:28). In the context, the subject of discussion was Christ's death. Jesus wanted God to glorify the divine name through Christ's own life and death.
God's name represents His character, power, authority, and abiding presence. (See Exodus 6:3-7: 9:16; 23:20-21; I Kings 8:29, 43.) Jesus thus requested that God's character and presence be revealed through His human life. In John 17, Jesus stated that He had indeed revealed God's name, that is, God's character and presence, to His disciples. "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world. . . . I kept them in thy name. . . . I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it" (John 17:6,12,26). In short, Christ has revealed the Father to us. To put it another way, in Christ the Father has revealed Himself.
In John 17:1 1, Jesus prayed, "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me." Interestingly, most scholars conclude today that in the original Greek text the word translated as "those" is actually in the singular rather than the plural. If so, the meaning would be, "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me" (NIV).
This reading would correspond to other statements in Scripture that Jesus bears the Father's name. Jesus said, "I am come in my Father's name" (John 5:43). Hebrews 1:4 says of the Son, "He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name." Since the Son inherited His name, it must have first belonged to His Father.
The name that Jesus actually received was Jesus (Matthew 1:21). It was the name He bore all His life, and the name that was broadcast throughout the country as a result of His miracles and teachings. It was the name given credit for the miracles in the early church (Acts 3:6, 16). It is the only name in which we receive salvation and remission of sins (Acts 4:12; 10:43).
When we invoke the name of Jesus in faith, all the power and authority of God becomes available to us. Moreover, when God answers prayers offered in the name of Jesus, the Father is glorified in His Son. "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it" (John 14: 13-14).
The Father has chosen to reveal Himself to this world by the name of Jesus, which literally means "Jehovah-Savior" or "Jehovah Is Salvation." The Father glorified the man Jesus by investing His name (character, power, authority, presence) in Him, by leading Him to the cross to die for the sins of the world, and by raising Him from the dead. Far from manifesting to us a second person of the Godhead unknown to Old Testament saints, the Son has manifested to us the one, indivisible God for the purpose of our salvation.
David K Bernard is the associate editor of the Pentecostal Herald, and the pastor of the New Life United Pentecostal Church of Austin, Texas. His article appeared in the December '93 issue of the Pentecostal Herald.
The Glorification of the Son
David K. Bernard
"And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5)
In John 17 Jesus Christ prayed to the Father shortly before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane and subsequent crucifixion. He began His prayer by asking, "Father, the hour is come; glorify, thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee" (John 17: 1). In verse 5 He repeated His request for glorification and specified that He desired the glory that He had with the Father before the creation of the world.
This prayer raises a number of interesting questions.
- Is Jesus an inferior divinity who needs to receive glory from some other deity?
- Did Jesus exist as a glorified man before Creation?
- Are Jesus and the Father two distinct persons?
To understand this passage, we must recognize that Jesus prayed as a man. The prayers of Christ stem from His humanity, and any time we seek to interpret those prayers we must keep His humanity foremost in our minds.
Trinitarians say that Jesus was speaking as a second divine person here, but if that were so, Jesus would not be coequal with the Father, as they maintain, but inferior. Jesus would be a divine person who was lacking in glory, who needed the Father to give Him glory, and who asked the Father for help. Jesus would not be omnipotent (all powerful), but lesser in glory and power than the Father. In short, Jesus would not possess some of the essential characteristics of deity. Contrary to the rest of Scripture, He would not truly be God.
If we acknowledge that Jesus is God manifested in the flesh as the Bible teaches (Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3: 16), then we must affirm that as God He always had divine glory, never lost it, and never needed anyone else to give it to Him. What did He mean, then, when He said, "Glorify thou me . . . with the glory which I had with thee before the world was"?
Glory through the Crucifixion and Resurrection
The setting and context provide the answer. Jesus was praying in view of His upcoming crucifixion. He had come into the world to offer His life as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity (Matthew 26:28). He knew that the time had come for Him to fulfill this plan. His flesh naturally shrank from the upcoming agony, but He knew that this was the supreme, perfect will of God for Him. As He had said earlier in John 12:27, contemplating His death, "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour" (NKJV).
The glory to which Jesus referred in John 17:1,5 was the glory that He as a man would receive by submitting to the plan of God through the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Immediately after the statement of John 12:27 Jesus prayed, "Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again" (John 12:28). Jesus then explained, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die" (John 12:3233). God glorified Christ by lifting Him up before all the world on the cross.
God further glorified Christ by raising Him from the dead. "Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father" (Romans 6:4). Christ's atoning death became effective for us by His resurrection (Romans 4:25j, which transformed His death into victory over sin, the devil, and death itself. At His resurrection He received a glorified human body (Philippians 3:21).
God glorified the man Jesus throughout His earthly ministry by investing Him with divine power and working through Him miraculously, but the supreme glorification occurred through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That was the ultimate plan for which Jesus was born and lived.
The eternal glory of God is not the subject of discussion in John 17. Jesus said of His disciples in John 17:22, "And the Glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one." Yet God emphatically declares that He will never share His divine glory with anyone else. "My glory will I not give to another" (Isaiah 42:8). "I will not give my glory unto another" (Isaiah 48:11). Jesus could not have meant that He gave the disciples the divine glory.
Instead, He referred to the glory that He as a man received in God's plan of salvation for the human race, the benefits of which He has imparted to those who believe in Him. The disciples had already shared in Christ's glorious, miraculous ministry. Soon they would also share in the glory of His crucifixion and resurrection by receiving the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1: 1 1- 12). They would have "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27), which would be "Joy unspeakable and full of glory" (I Peter 1:8). Through the gospel, we can obtain "the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thessalonians 2: 14). By "the salvation which is in Christ Jesus" we have "eternal glory" (II Timothy 2:10).
Moreover, one day believers will "be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 1:7). Just as God glorified the man Christ by raising Him from the dead with an immortal body, so we will be "raised in? glory" (I Corinthians 15:42-43). We will receive a glorified body "like unto his glorious body" (Philippians 3:21). We will be "glorified together" with Him (Romans 8:17), and we shall "appear with him in glory" (Colossians 3:4)
.The end result of God's plan of salvation is that believers will live with the glorified Christ throughout eternity. They will behold His glory, and will worship Him as the glorified One. They will say, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing" (Revelation 5: 12). With this ultimate objective in mind, Christ prayed, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).
more to come...
full article here: http://www.altupc.com/altupc/articles/glorson.htm
The author was D. Preman Niles, and the research was from his doctoral dissertation while at Princeton University. What captured my interest was his argument that the name Yahweh (Jehovah) was orally invoked; that is, it was spoken audibly over people in connection with covenant. For example, when God renewed His covenant with Israel after they were judged for worshipping the golden calf, He did so by literally speaking His name over Moses, the mediator of this renewed covenant (Exodus 34).
The reason why the oral invocation of the name of God is sometimes invisible in English translations of the Old Testament is because the Hebrew phrase "liqroh beshem Yahweh" is actually an idiom. That is, while there are times when this phrase should betaken literally, where "to call upon the name of the LORD" has to do with worship and praise, there are other times when this phrase indicates that the name of Yahweh is itself called upon people in either covenant initiation or covenant renewal.
As I began to study Niles's argument, the implication became clear. From the very beginning Yahweh's name was used in covenant initiation. For example, in Genesis 4:26, when covenant was renewed after paradise was lost, King James's translators were not altogether clear as to how to translate the verse. Did those entering covenant "call upon the name of the Lord" or were they "called by the name of the Lord"? Unable to decide, translators left this latter translation as a marginal reference. Niles's thesis demonstrates that in actuality, "Yahweh" was called over those initiated into covenant.
A careful read of Exodus 20 reveals a covenant ceremony where Yahweh literally calls His name over the people in covenant initiation. Consider as well the worship service described in Numbers 6. At the high point of the service, scholars tell us that the priests literally called down the name of Yahweh on the people, and in the same act also invoked the very presence of God.
Before considering how the New Testament treats this subject, let us pause to consider two objections to what has been offered thus far. First, because of certain translations of Exodus chapter 6, some have suggested that the name Yahweh could not have been known until the time of Moses. But this simply cannot be true. Every time one reads "Lord" in small capitals in the King James Version, this is the translation of "Yahweh." Consider that the name Yahweh thus appears as early as Genesis 2:4, and God specifically introduces Himself as Yahweh to Abraham in Genesis 15:7.
A second objection might be that the name of Yahweh was not verbally spoken by Jewish people. This is also not true. A significant amount of study in preparation for my dissertation convinced me of scholarly evidence that it was not until the intertestamental period that pronouncing the name of Yahweh fell out of use.
We may now consider what implications this may have for New Testament baptism. Two Old Testament passages are most significant in this regard. In Amos 9 there is a prophecy that at some future messianic time, the name of Yahweh would literally be called over the Gentiles. The Hebrew is clear that this is an oral invocation. Yahweh would be spoken orally over those Gentiles entering covenant.
The second text is equally instructive. Joel 2 prophesies that at a future time "whosoever shall call upon the name of Yahweh shall be saved." (Peter quoted from the Septuagint which translated "Yahweh" as "Kurios" which is "Lord" in English.) Joel 2 is a covenantal text, and as such, the intention of Joel was not merely to say that an individual calling on the name of the Lord would be initiated into covenant. Rather, there is good reason to believe that Joel is saying something more; the name of Yahweh would be literally pronounced over Gentiles, initiating them into covenant.
Let me demonstrate how the New Testament writers understood the meaning of the Joel text. First, consider that it was normative for the earliest church to apply Yahweh texts to Jesus. Second, understand that Peter makes two different applications of Joel in Acts chapter 2. While Peter first utilizes Joel to explain how it was that the Spirit had been poured out, scholars tell us that the literary argument of Acts chapter 2 depends on Peter making further application of the Joel text. Academics suggest that Joel's prophetic invitation to "call on the name of the Lord" was fulfilled by Acts 2:38, when the apostles called the name of Jesus over those entering into the new covenant through baptism.
In addition, consider how the Amos text is utilized in the New Testament. In Acts 15, when deciding whether Gentile converts would be compelled to keep the Torah in order to maintain covenant, James appeals to Amos 9. Recall that the meaning of the Hebrew is that the name of Yahweh would literally be called over the Gentiles. Citing this text, James concludes that the Gentiles did not have to keep Torah; it was sufficient that the name of the Lord was called over them. Further, it is not only the Hebrew of Amos but the Greek of Acts 15 that indicates that the name of the Lord is to be spoken orally. Because, once again, the church applied a Yahweh text to Jesus, scholars rightly assess James's words as having reference to baptism in the name of Jesus. Further, it is not only Acts 15 which demonstrates such an oral invocation; the Greek underlying Acts 2:38 and James 2:7 confirm this same oral pronouncement of Jesus' name. Consequently, it is not too much to say that there is an academic consensus that the earliest church baptized in Jesus' name.
All of this sheds light on how Paul employs this same Joel text utilized by Peter. In Romans 10, Paul's reference to Joel's invitation to "call upon the name of the Lord" should be understood in an idiomatic sense. While it is true that public professions of faith were often made by new believers and that this was related to covenant initiation, what is also true is that such a profession was made in a baptismal setting. Further, it was understood by the earliest church that the act of baptism in the name of Jesus was central to covenant initiation.
Let us now consider three implications to this biblical understanding. First, while covenant initiation in both testaments was affected by the name of the one calling people into covenant, New Testament covenant initiation universally occurred in the name of Jesus. This is confirmed by Peter's emphasis in Acts 4:12, that there is "none other name" than Jesus "whereby we must be saved." Truly, if someone wants to follow the biblical pattern, he should enter covenant by being baptized in the name of Jesus.
The second implication relates to how a person is baptized. While I think it is good to have the person being baptized pray or even publically confess their faith, scripturally, initiation into covenant by baptism is accomplished by immersion (baptisma itself indicates this) when a representative of the church orally invokes the name of Jesus over the person entering covenant relationship. Lately, I have seen certain innovations in baptismal services. In some cases, people are having the person being baptized call the name of Jesus on themselves or the whole congregation call out the name of Jesus. Please understand that scripturally; "to call upon the name of the Lord" is fulfilled by one thing: the oral invocation of the name of Jesus over the person being baptized by an individual acting on behalf of the Lord and the church.
The third implication is one that the brevity of this article will not allow us to pursue. Even in the Old Testament, the oral invocation of the name of the Lord was associated with the coming of the very presence of God Himself. That is to say, where the Name was invoked covenantally, God's Spirit was also present. Thus, in Numbers 6, where the priests are instructed to "call down my name" (NJB), it is in conjunction with a promise that the Lord's "face" or "countenance" would also be present (both English words are translated from the Hebrew panim which is also translated "presence"). Such a relationship between the name and the Spirit has New Testament connotations. Consider I Corinthians 6:11. A number of scholars demonstrate that Paul has reference to a single event and is linking baptism in Jesus' name with the Spirit. This is not to say the Spirit comes the moment that a person is baptized, only that both experiences are linked together in the context of initiation into New Testament covenant.
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John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth...18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. ESV
Here John takes us back to before the creation of all things (Genesis 1:1). And there the Word was with God and was God. Meaning, Whom the Word was with the Word was. The Word, Who is God, became flesh and tabernacled among us. He pitched His tent. Similarly, in the days of Moses, God dwelt in the Tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 25:8-9, 33:7). An agent, a plan, another person or representative did not tabernacle therein, but God Himself.
Became flesh does not mean God ceased being God or that He even had divine flesh. It means He added to Himself humanity. God took on human nature to live among humanity, the One who is fully God and fully man. Glory refers back to the Old Testament where the presence of God was manifested in a variety of ways. This glory represented the very presence of God, and not an agent or representative of God.
The only Son from the Father: Jesus is also the Son of God, not in the sense of being a created being or merely a human body. But in the sense that a Son is exactly like His Father in all attributes. The term “only” here means unique or one of a kind, as in the case of Isaac, who is called Abraham's only son, but was not actually the only son of Abraham. Therefore, it implies the Son is unique or one of a kind.
No one has ever seen God, but the only God, who comes from the bosom of the Father declares Him. Meaning no one has ever seen God in a full or complete way. This is not two gods nor two separate persons but the Christ who reveals God is God Himself. I can say that no one can see the back of their head. That would be a true statement. Yet, with a mirror I can see the back of my head. Jesus reveals and explains God in a way that can be visible to the mortal eye. No mere man, angel or representative can do this. Jesus is the Almighty God in flesh.
Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; KJV
In efforts to support their doctrines well-meaning but perhaps over zealous Trinitarians appeal to this verse to imply more than one person in the nature of God. At the very least they want this verse to give us some implication of the Trinity. Notice the remarks of John Wesley from his Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible:
"Then the Lord rained - from the Lord - God the Son, from God the Father, for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. He that is the Saviour will be the destroyer of those that reject the salvation."
Ironcially, Trinitarian apologist James R. White has also utilized this text in debates attempting to make a similar argument. Such Trinitarians are thinking that there is one Lord who rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and yet another, within the same text and using the same noun, who also rains down. By necessity this conclusion would imply that there are two Lords at work here. Yet, the Lord of the Old Testament is repeatedly said to be one and never two or three (Deuteronomy 6:4). There is not just one Lord, but the Lord is one. Let's look at this verse closer to see what could be happening. Consider some other translations of this text:
NET | Then the LORD rained down sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the LORD.
NIV| Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens.
TEV| Suddenly the LORD rained burning sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
The NET actually makes two sentences out of the verse and the NIV uses the dash. Both are emphasizing the source of the destruction is from the Lord above. Notice that the KJV had "brimstone and fire" where as the above translations have "sulfur and fire" and "burning sulfur" since in the context they are actually to be understood as one and the same. The TEV actually does not include the second reference to the Lord in their translation indication it is the same Lord in either case. Notice the NKJV rendering below:
NKJV | Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens.
The NKJV adds the comma to separate the second instance of Lord to more clearly indicate that the second instance is indicating or emphasizing the source. It is not an indication of a second person in the Trinity nor does it indicate the Lord is actually a divine being comprised of more than one person. Notice 2 Chronicles 9:2 from the KJV:
KJV| And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not.
Here the noun Solomon is repeated for emphasis, not to point out that Solomon is actually two persons in one being or that another person named Solomon has suddenly entered the context. Solomon answered all of her questions. Meaning there was nothing hidden from Solomon that he could not explain to her. The second reference helps to shed light or emphasize information disclosed in the first. Notice the following two later verses which summarize the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah:
Deuteronomy 29:23 the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger and wrath--ESV
2 Peter 2:6 ESV if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; ESV
In both accounts the Lord which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with burning sulfur is described with singular personal pronouns like "his" and "he". Therefore, if Genesis 19:24 was teaching that more than one divine person was involved in the destruction it was lost upon Moses and Peter for they certainly never recorded it in any way. Instead, they refer to the Lord of Israel as uni-personal. Trinitarians should rethink such arguments and more closely align their view of the God of Israel to that of Biblical monotheism.