THE GOLDEN RULE OF BIBLE STUDY SHOULD BE FOLLOWED WHENEVER YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD. THE BIBLE EXPLAINS ITSELF AND THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES IT UNDERSTANDABLE
TO GOD’S CHILDREN. THE GOLDEN RULE OF BIBLE STUDY IS:
‘When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, clearly indicate otherwise.’ The Golden Rule of Interpretations by Dr. David Cooper of the Biblical Research Society.
The “Short Version” goes like this, “A text apart from the context is a pretext.”
Some Important Information for Bible Study:
When you see LORD it is the covenantal name of God from Ex. 3:14 = I AM. It is translated Jehovah or Yahweh in the English. When you see Lord it is the word Adonai that also means the one true and living God in the Hebrew.
The term 'Son of God' was, and is, clearly messianic, e.g. 2; Ps. 45:6-7 (also indicates the plurality of God very clearly). Even the Zohar declared Ps. 2:7 'this day I have begotten thee' as referring to the Messiah's resurrection, not some biological beginning. This is the same understanding as indicated in Acts 13:33.
The Actual Verses Speak for Themselves
Verses that indicate that the God of all creation manifests Himself as a Tri-unity: He manifests Himself as a Father, as a Son and as the Holy Spirit, who is also described as a Person in the Bible. The Holy Spirit can be grieved Ephesians 4:30. He can be lied to, Acts 5:3-4; He can be resisted, Acts 7:51. He indwells believers, Ezekiel 36:27; John 14:7; Romans 8:9; He teaches believers, I John 2:27; John 14:26; John 15:26. He guides believers into all truth, John 16:13.
The Son (the physical manifestation of the one true and living God) is always manifesting His Father to us, John 10:22-30; John 14:6-9. The Son is called the everlasting Father by Isaiah 9:6. Isaiah saw God the Son on the throne of glory, Isaiah 6:1-7. In John 12:41 this Being is identified as Messiah Yeshua.
Two people are called Jehovah or Yahweh in Genesis 19:24. "The LORD rained down fire and brimstone from the LORD out of heaven." Two people called by the covenantal name of God in one verse; one is standing on the earth calling down judgment from one who is in heaven.
Deut. 6:4 says Hear O Israel Yahweh our Gods are Yahweh a Unity (echad is the Hebrew word for ‘one’ used here and echad always means compound unity, e.g. the evening and the morning were echad/one day. A man shall leave his father…..cleave to his wife and the two shall become echad/one flesh. The entire nation of Israel stood together as echad- one man, etc.) The actual translation in the Hebrew of “Hear O Israel the LORD your God is one (echad) LORD” is translated literally “Hear O Israel, Jehovah (or Yahweh) our Gods (Plural possessive in the Hebrew) is Jehovah a Unity.” It is interesting that this verse is quoted in an attempt to refute the plurality of God and it actually confirms it. It is called the Shema (hear in Hebrew) and is a unifying creed in Judaism.
The same terms are used synonymously for both God the Father and God the Son. Both are called the mighty God, the Son in Isaiah 9:6 and of the Father in Psalm 50:1. This is a clear indication of the equality of the Father and the Son. Additionally, God is calling Himself the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, Isaiah 44:6 “This is what the LORD says – the King of Israel and His Redeemer, the LORD Almighty, I am the first and the last; apart from Me there is no God,” KJV. Why is Jesus described as the first and the last in the book of Revelation 1:8 and 22:13? Why does it say in Isaiah 45:23 that “unto the LORD every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess” and then in Phil. 2 it tells us that unto Messiah Jesus every knee shall bow etc.?
Three Beings all described as God. Additionally, Isaiah 48:16 "Come near me and listen to this: From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there." And know the Sovereign LORD has sent me, with His Spirit. Verse 12 identifies the speaker as the LORD Himself, e.g. the first and the last. This is a key verse showing the Tri-unity of God in the Older Testament.
Only Jehovah God is the Creator, so why is Jesus called the Creator? Same verse as 48:12 identifies this first and last as the Creator, yet Col. 1:16 tells us Yeshua is the Creator. While Christian cults, specifically the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JHW), claim that Jesus is a little god who Jehovah created later to create the universe, the Bible itself demonstrates that concept to a lie. How ironic is it that the very verse that the Watchtower Society aka the Jehovah’s Witnesses have chosen for their namesake is the verse that proves that they are heretics, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me,” Isaiah 43:10. No other gods but the God of Israel, Isaiah 48:6, and He clearly tells us that He does not create other, lesser, deities.
King David called the coming Messiah his God; Psalm 110:1 David tells us that the God said to David's God. How can that be true if God is not a plurality of persons? Did not the Messiah use this very verse to expand the minds of His disciples to understand who He really was? Yes He did. e.g. "how can David call Him LORD," Matt.22:41-46.
Jehovah and Jesus called the first and the last. Jehovah is the First and the Last the Alpha and the Omega, yet in the New Testament Yeshua is called the First and the Last the Alpha and the Omega. Why? God is a jealous God; He does not give His glory to another...or does He? Cross reference these verses for yourself, Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 48:16; Rev. 1:7-8, Rev. 1:17, Rev. 2:8, Rev. 22:12.
Jehovah promises to live among His people and the One He sends is called Jehovah Almighty, Zech, 2:8-11 "...For I am coming, and will live among you," declares the LORD. "Many nations will be joined, with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you." Jesus is also identified as the Almighty God, Rev.1:8, Rev. 11:17.
God speaks of Himself in plural terms throughout the Bible. Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image.” He cannot be speaking to angels because angels were not created in God’s image; only man was created in God’s image. Genesis 3:22 says, “The man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil.” This is said by God concerning Adam’s sin and the result of it. God’s word continues concerning the carnal efforts of the human race at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:7, “Come, let Us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other”.
The Hebrew word for God used hundreds of times more than any other is elohim and it is plural = Gods. When it is referring to heathen gods it is translated correctly as gods. When speaking of the one true and living God, it is translated without the s on the end and the word is capitalized. Exodus 20:1-3 is an example of the use of the Hebrew word Elohim being used both ways, “And God (Elohim = Gods) spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God(s), who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods (elohim) before me.”
Additionally, several times plural words are given referring to God that the translators changed to the singular in the English, supposedly to avoid confusion.
Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel rejoice in their Maker(s).” Again in Ecclesiastes 12:1 says “Remember your Creator(s) in the days of your youth.”
When non-messianic Jewish sources are questioned concerning the use of these plural terms for God they reply ‘it is the plurality of majesty. This means that God is too awesome to be described purely in singular terms. The problem with this line of reasoning is revealed in the following way. When God is described in singular terms (and He is in the Bible on numerous occasions) is He any less awesome at that time? The plurality of majesty explanation does not hold water.
All Christian cults use the rabbinical Jewish explanation for denying the plurality of God and the deity of the promised Messiah, yet many ancient Jewish rabbinical sources speak of the coming Messiah’s deity. Additionally, the High Priest at Yeshua’s trial knew that claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God, was to proclaim yourself to be God. That is why he declared Messiah Jesus guilty as a blasphemer, Matt. 26:63-66.
Modern anti-missionary Rabbis have purposely ignored these ancient sources because their interpretations of the messianic prophecies look too much like Jesus of Nazareth, See Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53; Psalm 2; Psalm 22; Psalm 45:1-6; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 12:10-13:1 and see how clearly the portrait of the Messiah is painted.
A Final Word Concerning the Mind of the Messiah in the Incarnation, people have difficulty understanding why the Messiah said things that seemingly contradict His equality with His Father in heaven. The Holy Spirit gives us insight into the mind of Christ through the pen of the Apostle Paul. In Phil. 2:1-11 we are given the reason that the Messiah thought of Himself as being subservient to the Father. This does not contradict His own words concerning His equality with God the Father, John 10:30, John 14:9 but it does indicate a mindset of humility because God the Son stepped down from His throne in glory to do for us that which we could not do for ourselves, e.g. accomplish our redemption on the cross of Calvary. As noting previously, if you cross reference Isaiah 6:1-4, Isaiah’s vision of Jehovah Almighty on His throne of glory, with John 12:41 you will be astonished by the fact that the Holy Spirit identifies the One sitting on the throne in Heaven in Isaiah chapter 6 as non other than the pre-incarnate Messiah, God the Son.
This is perfectly consistent with John 1:1-3, 14-18. God the Son is the living Word of God, the only physical manifestation of God that anyone ever sees. God the Father is Spirit and God the Holy Spirit is Spirit. When God manifests Himself as the Angel of the Lord, Ex. 3:2 in the flames of the burning bush or as the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night that was with the Israelites during their wilderness wanderings, Ex.14:19-20, or the Rock that gave them water in the wilderness, etc. all were identified as the pre-incarnate Messiah, I Cor. 10:1-4, God the Son or as He is also known in the incarnation, the Son of God.
God promised through Moses that He would send a prophet like Moses in the future to His people Israel, Deut. 18:18-19. So important is the message of the One who is to come, that God tells us we will face judgment concerning whether or not we receive it.
Yeshua constantly reminded everyone He could that He did not speak on His own accord, John 17:6-8; John 14:24 in fulfillment of Deut. 18:18. This is the reason that as Phil. 2: 9 declares, “Therefore (because He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross) God exalted him to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name.” Then remarkably, the Holy Spirit uses a quote from Isaiah 45:23 “That at the name of Jesus every knee shall now and every tongue shall confess” but in Isaiah it is at the name Jehovah (LORD) that every knee will bow and every tongue confess. Here Jesus is used instead of Jehovah. This is just another confirmation that Jesus of Nazareth is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob manifested in the flesh.
All a person needs to actually prove what the Word says in the original language is to purchase a concordance. This is a book that contains every word in the Bible with their corresponding Hebrew and Greek dictionary meanings. Each translation of the Bible, KJV, NIV, NASB, etc., all have concordances developed especially for them.
Pastor Steven Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D. (c)