Reconsidering the Cornerstone
of the Christian Faith
Mark H. Graeser John A. Lynn John W. Schoenheit

Reconsidering the Cornerstone
of the Christian Faith
Mark H. Graeser
John A. Lynn
John W. Schoenheit

One God & One Lord
Note: Most Scriptures quoted in this book are from The New International Version (NIV).
References taken from other translations or versions will be noted, i. e. King James Version =
In verses or quotations from other authors, words in all capital letters or in bold type
indicate our own emphasis. Words inside brackets within quotes are also our additions.
Unless otherwise noted, scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission
of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (AMP) are taken from The Amplified Bible, Old Testament,
©1965, 1987 by The Zondervan Corporation. The Amplified New Testament, ©1954, 1958, 1987
by the Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA. Used by permission.
Scripture quotations marked (NRSV) are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, ©
1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ
in the U. S. A Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are taken from The New American Standard Version
© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by the Lockman Foundation, La
Habra, CA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NEB) are taken from The New English Bible, © 1970.
The sacred name of God, Yahweh, is indicated by "Lord. "
ISBN #0-9628971-4-0
Published by
(Referred to in footnotes as "CES")
Post Office Box 30336
Indianapolis, Indiana 46230
Phone (317) 255-6189
Fax(317) 255-6249
E-mail: jesusces@aol. com
Website: Christianeducational. org
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.

We would first like to express our deepest love for our heavenly Father and His wonderful
Son. We are ever so thankful to be allowed the privilege to study and teach the Word of God to
people who hunger and thirst for the truth.
We are also very thankful for the many men and women who have gone before us to make
this book possible. Through the ages the people who have held the beliefs espoused in this book
have been hated, hunted, persecuted, tortured and killed by professing Christians. Noble and
godly men and women suffered terribly, yet went into exile or to their graves rather than deny
the Christ they were convinced of from Scripture. The examples of these great men and women
are a constant source of courage and conviction to us, and, in part, we dedicate this book to their
I, Mark, gratefully acknowledge the support and love of my dear wife Karen and my four
children — Nate, Anita, Julia and David — whose patience and love have enabled me to often
sequester myself during the past two years so I could complete my portion of the book. I also
dedicate it to our many friends who have made this book possible by their prayer, financial
support and hunger to know and speak the truth in love.
I, John L., dedicate this book to my daughter Christine, who, as much as anyone I have
ever known, manifests the heart of our Lord Jesus. I also dedicate it to my parents, John and
Jane, who all my life have been living examples of God's love, and of faithfulness to the truth they
I, John S., gratefully recognize the love and support of my wife Jenivee, and my children,
Sam, Sierra and Karly. I also owe a great debt of gratitude to those who have helped train me to
respect the great integrity of God's Word.

Table of Contents
Preface ........................................................................................................................................vii
Introduction Who Do You Say That He Is?...............................................................................1
Chapter 1: Christianity 101: Two Adams........................................................................13
Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind...............................................................................29
Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages..........................................................53
Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah.............................................................81
Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected...................................................................99
Chapter 6: The Four Gospels: The Fourfold Portrait of Christ...................................135
Chapter 7: The Synoptic Gospels: Open or Veiled Messiah?......................................153
Chapter 8: The Gospel of John: Great Scott! He's Back from the Future!.................173
Chapter9: "But What About John 1: 1?".......................................................................205
Chapter 10: The Book of Acts: "A Man Accredited by God".........................................237
Chapter 11: The Church Epistles: The Head of His "Body"..........................................249
Chapter 12: God's Namesake in Action.........................................................................275
Chapter 13: Our Fellowship with Jesus Christ...............................................................287
Chapter 14: The Book of Revelation: "King of Kings and Lord of Lords"....................299
Chapter 15: The Expansion of Piety...............................................................................317
Chapter 16: The Beginnings of Heresy: Gnosticism and Neoplatonism.....................335
Chapter 17: Jesus Christ: Incarnated or Created?.........................................................353
Chapter 18: The Rejection of Both Scripture and Logic...............................................381

Table of Contents í
Chapter 19: Socinianism and the Radical Reformation................................................401
Chapter 20: Modern Trends and Final Thoughts: Ecumenism, Biblical
Unitarianism and Trinitarian Renewal..................................................413
A.  An Explanation of Verses Used to Support the Trinity......................................429
B.  Use and Usages of Kurios ("Lord") .....................................................................537
C.  Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, Heresy..........................................................................545
D.  Divine Agents: Speaking and Acting in God's Stead..........................................557
E.  Names and Titles of Jesus Christ.........................................................................565
F.  Satan vs. Christ: Head to Head............................................................................567
G.  Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Historical Proofs of the
H.  46 Reasons Why Our Heavenly Father Has No Equals or "Co — Equals"...........579
I.  34 Reasons Why the "Holy Spirit" Is Not a "Person" Separate from the
One True God, the Father................................................................................587
J. The Order and Structure of the Church Epistles...............................................597
K. Logical Fallacies Employed in Trinitarian Theology.........................................599
L. The Name Yahweh...............................................................................................607
M. Modern Versions and Trinity "Proof Texts".......................................................611
N. Textual Corruptions Favoring the Trinitarian Position....................................613
O. 22 Principles of Bible Interpretation...................................................................623
P. Prayer Words Used Regarding God and / or Christ............................................633
Glossary .....................................................................................................................................635
Bibliography ..............................................................................................................................639
Scripture Index .........................................................................................................................645
Topical Index ............................................................................................................................657
What Is Christian Educational Services? ................................................................................673

We want to especially thank our CES staff — Eleanor Branch, Barbara Jones and John
Michalak — for their steadfast daily service, both to us and to the many people around the world
in association with us. Although faced with far more work than three people would normally
be asked to do, they have cheerfully and admirably come through time and again and greatly
helped to make it possible for us to complete this work.
We give special thanks to the many individuals who have contributed in specific ways to
help us produce this book:
Brian Bassindale
Steve LaDieu
Gwynn Bowen
Jim Landmark
Vancy Brown
Steve Lefevers
Sue Carlson
Jane Lynn
Michael Cutuli
John S. Lynn
Eddie DeBruhl
Pat Lynn
Rita Fiorentino
Ivan Maddox
Giles Fischer
Jan Magiera
Nancy Friscia
Don Snedeker
Vince Friscia
Cynthia Snyder
Rick Golko
Suzanne Snyder
Robert Hach
Michael Steinberg
Wayne Harms
Richie Temple
Keith Jackson
Jim Vehonsky
Corban Klug
Doug Wilkin
Judi Klug
Bob Wassung
Thanks to Steve Kilborn for a great cover design.
Thanks to Joe Ramon for his diligent work on the internal layout.
Thanks to Johnna Van Hoose for her wonderful job on the Topical Index.

The last verse of the Gospel of John contains an amazing statement about the life of Jesus
John 21: 25 (NRSV)
But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written
down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
Just writing about his doings would fill the earth with books, and when there are already
innumerable books about him written from almost every conceivable perspective, any new
book must be vigorously justified. The vast majority of the books in print about Jesus have been
written from the "orthodox" perspective of his "deity" by authors who believe in a "triune
Godhead. " These folks, called Trinitarians, believe that Jesus is "God" the Creator in human
flesh and have held the majority position since the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD. 1 This
position is embraced by all mainline denominations of Christendom and constitutes the
linchpin of the movement toward ecumenical unity among Christians. For the most part, it is
assumed that all true Christians hold this position.
A few books challenging the orthodox view have made it into print, but most of these
promote the idea that Jesus was someone less than the unique Son of God, as we believe the
Bible clearly identifies him to be. Trinitarian authors then strongly argue that unless a person
fully embraces Trinitarian doctrine concerning Christ, he will have a truncated and powerless
view of him that threatens the integrity of the Christian message. So closely identified with
Christianity is Trinitarianism that few of the major Christian book publishers will publish a
book unless its author affirms allegiance to the orthodox view.
Thus, we find ourselves representing a distinct minority position among Christian leaders
and teachers. If you are not yet a Christian, and have never been able to accept the claims made
by "orthodox" Christians concerning the identity of Jesus Christ, we implore you to read this
book before you reject him. Perhaps we will be able to communicate his great love and wisdom
in such a way that you will be able to say from your heart, like the blind man who was healed in
John 9: Lord I believe! We believe that if you read this book with an open mind and careful study,
comparing what we say with the Word of God you may well be persuaded that what we write is
true. If not, we would love to have the opportunity to speak with you further. You will find our
address and website at the beginning and end of this book. We love you, and want to convey to
you how much you are loved by God and the Lord Jesus Christ. That is our hope and our passion
as we request that you continue to read on. May your eyes be opened, and your heart touched
by the life and true identity of the greatest man who ever lived.
If you are already a Christian, and currently hold to "traditional" theology about the
identity of Jesus Christ, we promise you that this book will challenge what may be your deepest
1. The orthodox definition of the Trinity is as follows: There is One God who co-exists in three eternal and co-equal
persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son, therefore, is fully "God" as much as the Father is. We respectfully dissent
from this orthodox position, and the rest of this book will be devoted to explaining why.

One God & One Lord
convictions. We ask you to maintain a mind open to the possibility of being persuaded by
greater light from Scripture. It is our experience that many people who say they believe in the
"Trinity" do not actually know what the orthodox definition of the Trinity is. When we explain
it to them, a typical response is, "Well, I do not believe that. " The basic tenet of the traditional
doctrine of the Trinity is that "the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, they are
coequal and coeternal and together the three of them make one God. " Many people think the
Trinity is simply belief in the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, but that is not so. Although it may
seem to you at first that this book teaches a doctrine that is heretical and dangerous, perhaps
you will discover that it is actually teaching something very close to what you already believe.
You may have been taught that Jesus Christ is devalued by any concept of him other than
the Trinitarian perspective, and this is understandable. We acknowledge that throughout
history many of those who have rejected the Trinity have also rejected the uniqueness of Christ
as the only-begotten Son of God, reducing him to the level of only a great prophet or teacher.
For us, however, Christ is also devalued by the Trinitarian concept of him, because "nothing is
impossible with God. " But for a man to do what Jesus did is not only a sterling accomplishment
worthy of everlasting merit, it also sets a legitimate standard for what we too can do as we follow
his example of faith in God. In this book, you will find a perspective of him that recognizes his
uniqueness (his virgin birth, sinless life, resurrection) and emphasizes his exaltation to his God-
given position as Lord (Phil. 2: 8-11).
We acknowledge the fact that Trinitarian Christians have through the centuries advanced
the cause of Christ with millions of people. But, in light of their own admission that the doctrine
of the "Trinity" is at best hazy in Scripture, we would ask: has this doctrine limited the outreach
of the Gospel? How many more people, in particular staunch monotheists such as Jews and
Muslims, as well as those rational thinkers for whom a mystical faith is unsatisfying, could have
been reached not only for salvation but also for maturing into committed followers of the Lord
Jesus Christ?
Perhaps you have been so persuaded by Trinitarian rhetoric that you are afraid to even
consider our views, because you have been told that the only people who espouse a non-
Trinitarian Christian gospel are heretics and members of "cults. " But, on the other hand, you
may still be willing to hear a different perspective. The question is whether or not what you
believe corresponds with what the whole of Scripture actually says. If it does not, you cannot
lose anything by letting go of beliefs that are not truly grounded in the Word of God. We hope
that what can be gained will become evident as you continue to read. We will do our best to show
you the biblical evidence for our convictions, and we trust that you will find our position as
persuasive and compelling as we do. If not, we invite you to dialogue with us.
Why do we feel compelled to undertake the project of penning yet another book about the
greatest man ever to draw breath? First and foremost, because we feel that our Lord Jesus Christ
has been so misrepresented by traditional or "orthodox" Christianity that countless people
have been denied the opportunity to meet the real Jesus as he appears in the pages of God's
Word. The second reason we are constrained to write this book is because, although we have
not read every book written about Jesus Christ, we know of no other book that says what we say
in this one. Yes, we have found some of the ideas in the works of others, but this is the only one
we know of that puts all these parts together. As for its validity, we hope that you will hear us out
and judge for yourself.

Of course, the most important book ever written about Jesus Christ is the first one written
about him—the Bible, which we believe to be authored by the Creator of the heavens and the
earth. We will be providing you with a lot of evidence that the Bible is a highly credible
document, despite what you may hear to the contrary from many sources today. If you are not
even sure that you believe in God, please consider that the value of understanding Jesus Christ's
identity and accomplishments is that he is the best representative that God has ever had. He is
truly the "image of God. " The God revealed by Jesus is "the only true God" (John 17: 3).
Although some may call this work a "doctrinal treatise, " it is far more than that. We write
with a burning love for The Man who chose to be obedient unto death, even the death of the
Cross, for it is through his death that we have life, life with meaning and purpose now and life
everlasting in Paradise with him and our Father, God. Our goal is to help people exalt the Lord
Jesus as God has exalted him, no more and no less, to the end that they know, love, trust and obey
Jesus as their Lord. Seeing the doctrinal truth from Scripture as to who Jesus Christ is and what
he is now doing as Head of the Church is the most effectual means to identify with him to the
end of doing the works that he did and thus glorifying our Father in heaven. You may notice that
in this book we do not capitalize the pronouns referring to Jesus Christ. We do this in keeping
with the editorial practice of the vast majority of Bible translators and publishers, who also do
not capitalize the pronouns referring to God, which we do. Nothing should be read into this
punctuation practice other than a simple desire to distinguish between God and His Son.
It is of the utmost importance that each person comes to a true understanding of who this
person called Jesus Christ is, because understanding who he is gives the unbeliever an open
door to everlasting life, and the Christian a blueprint for living life in a fallen world. The truth
about the identity and work of Jesus Christ satisfies the deepest longings of the human heart—
the desire to be loved, understood and appreciated for who we are. We hope to so vividly set
forth the heart of our Savior that you develop an insatiable passion to know him intimately.
Rest assured that we have walked the same path of overturned mindsets that we are asking
you to now walk, or at least consider walking. As long as God's Word marks that path, we need
not fear. Our experience during the past thirty years has been that many people have been
searching the wilderness of religion, philosophy and theology for that path of logic and truth,
and that they rejoice when they find it. To us, it is the one that is most scriptural and rational,
and it leaves the fewest questions unanswered. Most importantly, it is the perspective that we
believe God has revealed in His Word, the primary source of truth about Jesus Christ. Remem-
ber that truth is not determined by whether the majority of people believe it, as the once-upon-
a-time-widely-held "flat earth" theory so plainly proves. Each person must be willing to subject
even his most deeply held convictions to the scrutiny of God's written Word.
Everyone applauds accuracy as essential to nearly every field of human endeavor. What
endeavor could be more important to a person than accurately understanding the written
revelation of his Creator? Such an understanding is the basis of one's whole attitude toward
God, and affects nearly every aspect of his life. We find it unfortunate that many well-meaning
Christians have attempted to characterize, define and understand Jesus Christ more from
extra-biblical sources such as Greek philosophy, theological reflection and human speculation
than from the Bible alone. All representations of Christ arrived at via these avenues are, to many
thoughtful and spiritually hungry people, distorted, unsatisfying and mere caricatures of the
real person that he is.

One God & One Lord
At this point we think it would help you to learn a bit about our own spiritual backgrounds.
John Lynn was brought up in a traditional Presbyterian Church (actually he lived at home). John
Schoenheit was raised as an atheist. Mark Graeser was exposed to the Unitarian Universalist
Church as a small child, and received no formal Christian education while growing up. John
Schoenheit majored in philosophy and Mark minored in it. John Lynn has heard of it. We have
a background in logic and debate. However, we do not intend to be antagonistically argumen-
tative or controversial, but are simply pursuing the truth with everything we have.
At one time we were all spiritual seekers who had been left cold by traditional Christians
and "churchianity. " We were reached by an unorthodox group called The Way International,
considered by some to be a "cult, " but for us it was a lifesaver. We were very involved in that
ministry for the better part of 20 years, serving in a variety of teaching and leadership positions.
We were taught a staunchly non-Trinitarian Christian gospel, but one that viewed a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ as at best suspect, and at worst idolatrous. We came to recognize
that Jesus Christ was not being exalted and honored as Scripture indicates, so we parted
company with The Way so that we might better follow The True Way, Jesus Christ.
In the process of our spiritual journey, we have realized that many "Trinitarians" do have
a dynamic and personal relationship with Jesus, whom they exalt and honor as "God. " We have
been humbled to see this. Nevertheless, we remain unable to accept the "logic" of the Trinity,
and we find it not only unscriptural but also antagonistic to our passionate desire to identify
with The Man Jesus Christ and be like him. Furthermore, our study of Church history has shown
us that the Trinity is a concept developed through nearly four centuries with the help of extra-
biblical concepts and language. As the reader will discover in this book, this fact is widely known
by theologians and Church historians. Amazingly, it is still not recognized by the average
In writing this book, our purpose is not to be controversial or iconoclastic, nor is it to
assault Christian orthodoxy or Trinitarianism, per se. Rather, it is to herald what we believe is
by far the greatest truth in the Bible, the truth about who Jesus Christ is, what he reveals about
his Father God and what he has done, is doing and will do for mankind. We will do our best to
allow the living Word of God to "jump start" the minds of any readers who are stalled on the off-
ramp of impractical religious tradition.
We have written this book for readers to enjoy and utilize in several ways, depending on
their interest in the subject. Many of the appendices in the book are for those who are serious
students of the Bible and want reference tools to assist them in their personal, ongoing study of
God's Word.
If you are of a more scholarly bent, we have left a trail in the footnotes of this book for you
to analyze our methods and reasoning and check our sources. We have made every attempt to
provide scholarly support for the positions we take in this book because we admit that we are
not recognized Bible scholars. We are largely self-taught, primarily because we do not sub-
scribe to the fundamental beliefs of virtually every Christian seminary at which we might pursue
advanced degrees. We would ask those who are impressed by worldly credentials to consider
that neither Jesus himself (John 7: 15) nor his followers (Acts 4: 13) were considered properly
educated by their contemporaries. The best recommendation of this book is that through logic

and Scripture, it enables men and women to be devoted followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Any
other validation is secondary at best.
Though we obviously consider the subject of this book a serious one, we often employ
humor or irony to both entertain and inspire our readers to think logically according to biblical
truth. We realize that we will likely offend some of our readers in the process of pursuing truth,
but that is not our intention. We simply desire to be faithful teachers of the Word of God, the
literature of eternity that is filled with "exceeding great and precious promises, " chief among
which is Jesus Christ, the Promise. We pray that what you find herein will engender a passion
to know him, love him and be like him.

Who Do Yon Say
That He Is?
One evening Jesus was in a boat with his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee. A sudden,
violent storm enveloped them, high waves filled the boat with water and the disciples were
terrified. Jesus, however, remained asleep. They awakened him and said, "Don't you care that
we are going to die?" Of course Jesus cared about them, and after all, he was on the boat with
them. He arose, rebuked the storm, and the turbulent sea calmed right down. The terrified
disciples said among themselves, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea
obey him?" They had never seen anyone act with such fearlessness and such authority, nor
wield such godly power. In the Greek text, the apostles' question reads: "Who then is this One?"
Indeed, this is the question of the ages, and one that every person must answer for himself.
Some time later as his ministry developed and his fame grew, Jesus asked his disciples a
question of his own: "Who do men say the Son of Man is?" (Matt. 16: 13). After they reported to
him the various opinions circulating among the people concerning who they thought he was,
Jesus asked them: "But what about you? Who do YOU say that I am?" Peter's response was "You
are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. " Jesus affirmed that not only was that the correct
answer, but that Peter knew it because God Himself had revealed it to him.
His question continues to hang in the air even two thousand years later, and it is the
question that one day every man and woman will be required to answer. Why? Because God
"has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by THE MAN he has appointed" (Acts
17: 31). There is no more important quest facing mankind than finding out the true identity of
Jesus Christ and understanding the significance of his life. The issue is a matter of life and death,
both in regard to the quality of one's life now, and his future eternal destiny.
Suffering and Glory
The coming of this Man was first announced in Genesis 3: 15, and at that time the two
principal aspects of his life were described: suffering and glory. The entire scope of Christological
history (that is, "the study of Christ") revolves around these two themes. The multiplicity of
misconceptions about him also can be distilled into this paradigm. In general, people have

One God & One Lord
either demeaned him or elevated him inappropriately. Another way to state the problem is that
people have either prevented him from truly suffering or prevented him from being truly
glorified. Either way, the true significance of his identity and accomplishments has been
distorted, and therefore the essence of the Christian Gospel compromised.
At Jesus Christ's first coming to the Jews, many wrongly expected the Messiah to be more
than he was at that time. Their one-sided theological conception of him as the conquering,
glorified King kept them from recognizing and appreciating who he was and what he was sent
to do. There was no room in their theological inn, so to speak, for him to be the suffering Savior
of mankind, and when he was manhandled and crucified, many were offended at him and
thought him to be a pretender to the throne of David. On the other hand, others saw him only
as the bastard son of Joseph, a mere man who died the death of a common criminal.
Subsequent misconceptions about Jesus Christ have run the gamut, either demeaning or
exalting him according to man's imagination. Untethered to biblical truth, these musings of
men have included bastard child, extraterrestrial, mushroom cult leader, charlatan, mystic or
angelic being. Many Christians have been taught that Jesus must be elevated to the status of a
"God-man. " Others think of him as just a "good man. " Some people believe that we cannot
really know if there even was an historical figure called Jesus of Nazareth, while others believe
him to be a mythological creation. In fact, every Christological position of which we are aware,
at some point either artificially elevates or ignorantly degrades the Lord Jesus. Our quest, then,
is to find the true and balanced perspective of this remarkable man who in our view is the very
focal point of human history. To do so, we will find that many traditional ideas will have to be
jettisoned in favor of the clear testimony of the only credible source of information about this
Jew from Galilee who was called in his own tongue, Yeshua ha Mashiyach, Jesus the Messiah.
A Spiritual Battle
The battle over the true identity of Christ is a very spiritual one with high stakes for
mankind. Unquestionably, this Jesus of Nazareth has been the object of more speculation and
demonic assault than any other person in the history of man. It is no accident that the name
"Jesus Christ" springs spontaneously from the lips of all kinds of people, from the pious priest
to the construction worker who has just dropped a cinder block on his foot. Even when Jesus
Christ is rejected as an object of faith, he is chosen as an object of derision.
This is predictable based upon what the Bible says is really going on around us. In fact, a
major theme of Scripture concerns the ever-raging battle between the true God, the Father of
Jesus Christ, and the false god, the "god of this age, " whom we now know as Satan, the Devil. He
is a shrewd general, directing the main thrust of his attack upon the most vital truths in God's
Word. The chief object of his hatred is The Man who now sits at the right hand of God.
Accordingly, his primary goal is to blind the minds of men to the truth of the glorious gospel
about Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4: 3, 4). It is sad to say that by a number of means he has been very
successful in at least distorting, if not totally obscuring, the simple truth of who Jesus Christ is.

As Satan once inspired the evil king Jehoiakim to cut up and then burn the Word of God
written by Jeremiah (Jer. 36), so he inspired evil men to destroy the Living Word, Jesus Christ.
His relentless assault continues unabated, attempting to undermine the authority and credibil-
ity of the written Word of God that makes known the Living Word. His assault is primarily
carried out on the battlefield of the mind. Today, we see fewer and fewer Christians who actually
honor the written Word of God as their only rule of faith and practice. Instead, too many
Christians give lipservice to biblical authority but in reality rely upon other standards for faith:
the historic position of the Church, the testimony of their favorite preachers, the "leading of the
spirit, " their own feelings, etc.
But as Satan failed to destroy either the scrolls of Jeremiah or the Living Word, Jesus Christ,
so he has failed to destroy the written Word of God. In fact, after the original scroll was
destroyed, God told Jeremiah to dictate more words than the first scroll contained. Likewise,
after Jesus Christ was killed, God raised him from the dead, highly exalted him and gave him the
authority to give to all those who believe on him the power to live like he did, doing the works
that he did. Thus, Jesus Christ now exerts far more influence on the world than he did when he
walked the earth.
In light of this spiritual battle, it is certainly not surprising that through the centuries the
Christian Church could be seduced by Satan's subtlety from the simplicity that is in Christ (2
Cor. 11: 3). This is why for the better part of nineteen hundred years the "historic" Christian
Church has unwittingly clung to and promoted "a different gospel" about "a Jesus other than
the Jesus we preached" (2 Cor. 11: 4). The other "Jesus" of historical Christian orthodoxy is a
mystical "God-man" who existed before he was born. In this book, we will do our best to provide
an alternative to this traditional position, one that we believe fits the evidence and logic of
Scripture as a whole. We sincerely believe that a careful, logical and objective consideration of
the evidence will lead the reader to the same conclusions that we have reached.
Resetting the Cornerstone
Jesus Christ is, by the agreement of all Christians, the subject of the Bible from Genesis 3: 15
to Revelation 22: 21. He is the very cornerstone of the edifice of biblical teaching. In Ephesians
2: 20 and 1 Peter 2: 6, he is called the "chief cornerstone. " 1 Corinthians 3: 10 and 11 make it very
clear that he is also the foundation for the building of the Church. The cornerstone sets the
angles and dimensions for an entire building, which can rise only as high as the foundation and
cornerstone permit. If the corner is cut inaccurately, the walls of the building will be skewed and
its height will be limited. 2 Timothy 2: 15 cautions the student of the Bible to "rightly divide"
(orthotomed) the Word of truth. This Greek word, derived from orthos, "right" or "straight, " and
temno, "to cut, " literally means a "right or straight cutting. "
Cutting the cornerstone accurately, therefore, is of the greatest importance for biblical
understanding and exegesis and the furtherance of the Christian Gospel worldwide. We must
therefore be diligent and skillful in the choice and application of the tools we will use to
accomplish this crucial task. As we will attempt to demonstrate, the history of the Church's

One God & One Lord
Christology is a tale of misdirected zeal and the use of inappropriate tools, in particular
theological reflection, Gnostic mysticism and Neoplatonic speculation. Diligent, even heroic
effort has been made to rationalize the historically "orthodox" position, despite much contrary
evidence from the scope of the Bible and logic. 1 In our view, the result is a view of Christ that
cannot stand up to rational or scriptural scrutiny, thus emboldening the critics of Christianity,
notably Muslims, Jews and intellectuals. Indeed, we speculate that for every person who has
embraced the orthodox view and become a Christian, there is at least one who has rejected
Christianity because he or she could not believe in its central teaching of the "divinity of Christ. "
It is for this reason and because we believe that the truth honors both God and Jesus that we
propose resetting the cornerstone for the Christian faith in a more biblically tenable and
supportable position. We also believe that the truly biblical understanding of Christ's identity
is imperative to strengthen the faith of Christians against the onslaughts of the modern and
"post-modern" world.
As for the true identity of Jesus Christ, the thesis of this book is as follows: The Jesus of
Scripture is the "Last Adam" whom God created as the only possible remedy for the problem of
sin and death brought on by the first Adam. What Adam was before his fall is what Jesus was,
a man made the way Man was intended to be. God's Word tells us that Jesus was "made like his
brothers in every way. " It says he was "touched with the feeling of our infirmities. " It says that
he was "tempted in the same ways we are. " It says that he was tired, hungry and thirsty and that
he experienced the full range of human emotions. As the "Last Adam, " Jesus Christ truly was a
one-hundred-percent human being.
As human beings with limited ability and perception, it is impossible for us to accurately
conceive of, or identify with, the eternal God whose throne is the heavens and footstool is the
earth (Isa. 66: 1). A blind man might as easily describe the color "yellow. " We can, however,
conceive of and identify with The Man Jesus Christ, who exemplified what God is all about. Jesus
Christ perfectly represented his heavenly Father. How? By always saying what God would have
said and by doing what God would have done. Remember such statements of Jesus as: "My
doctrine is not mine, but His who sent me"; "The Son can do nothing of himself, but only what
he sees the Father do; " "I always do my Father's will. " Because Jesus perfectly lived the Word
and will of God, he could say, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father. "
The converse is also true—if Jesus Christ is distorted, misrepresented or obscured, the
identity of his Father, the "only true God, " is also obscured. This is why the title of this book is
One God and One Lord, because knowing the true identifies of both God and Christ hinges on
our correct understanding and usage of biblical language. The Bible is very clear in this regard:
there is only One God, a unitary personal being, and this God is not Jesus Christ, who is His Son.
And there is only one Lord, a separate being who is not God, his Father. He is the Lord Jesus
1 Timothy 2: 5 tells us that "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
THE MAN Christ Jesus. " Jesus said that no one could truly know the Father except by coming
1. We place quotes around the word "orthodox" because what is considered "orthodox" and "heretical" has changed
many times throughout Christian history. As we will point out in Chapter 17 on the beginnings of heresy, what came to be
considered "orthodoxy" was in reality a heretical view of Christ that won out. It won out not on the strength of its biblical
logic, but by intimidation and force.

through him. Jesus is "the way and the truth and the life. " He is "the way" (the Greek word
means "the road") to God. He is "the truth" that marks that road, and he is "the life" found by
those who choose to follow the road. Thus, if we are to know, love, honor and obey the Creator
of the heavens and the earth, it is imperative that we know the one He sent to reveal Himself, the
Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, it is a matter of life and death, for he is the only way to the one true God.
We believe that when Jesus' true identity is skewed, those desiring to follow him on the road of
life may find themselves disoriented and frustrated. We find it an inescapable conclusion that
an erroneous concept of who Jesus is basically leaves Christians with a "you-can't-get-there-
from-here" attitude in their quest to be like him. And after all, that is to be the goal of every
Christian — to be like him. Any doctrine of Christ that subverts, hinders or obscures this goal in
any way should be held suspect and finally discarded.
So how are we to come to know the truth about who Jesus was, and is? There is no way to
know Jesus Christ but to rely on the Bible, the written Word of God, and let God tell us the truth
about His only-begotten Son. Our entire argument rests upon this premise: the Bible is the
revealed Word and Will of God. If it is anything less than that, our argument will fall to pieces.
But we believe there has been an abundance of evidence of the precise inspiration of Scripture
that will support this premise.
Ultimately, our goal is to rest upon the authority of the testimony of the biblical text itself
so precisely that if the Bible is right, we will be right, and if the Bible is wrong, we will be wrong.
If our interpretation of the Bible is wrong, we will take full responsibility for it and be willing to
stand corrected. Our goal is not to be right in order to make others wrong, and thereby make
ourselves look good. Our goal is to assist the reader in heeding the two great biblical command-
Mark 12: 29-31 (NRSV)
(29) Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, Ï Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
(30) you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with
all your mind, and with all your strength. '
(31) The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ' There is no other
commandment greater than these. "
This love for God and Christ will reveal itself in loving obedience, and this obedience will
enable Christ to reveal himself to us. Consider the following verse:
John 14: 21 (NRSV)
"They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those
who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them. "
To know the Lord Jesus Christ, one must first have the Word of God, that is, understand it.
Then one must also put the Word into practice, that is, obey it. To those who do both, the Lord
Jesus will make himself real. Knowing the Lord Jesus is the key to loving him, and loving him is
the key to serving him. Serving him is the key to a joyous and fruitful life.

One God & One Lord
In this book, we will allow the Word of God to magnify to us its main subject, Jesus Christ.
In order for it to magnify the Lord Jesus to us, we must be careful to pay close attention to the
signposts of biblical terminology. If we use words the way God does in His Word, we will not drift
into the theological shallows. The Word of God says to be cautious not to add to nor subtract
from its words. Extra-biblical vocabulary can easily introduce extra-biblical concepts that are
often contradictory to God's original intent. A classic example is the introduction of the Greek
word homoousian at the council of Nicaea, which we will be exploring in Chapter 18 on the
rejection of Scripture and logic. Also, in many cases, equivocation of important terms has led
the way to mysticism and incomprehensible dogmas. Therefore, defining words accurately
according to their biblical usage will be a major preoccupation of this book.
We will be focusing on the identity of Jesus Christ and his relationship with God. Other
books could be written on the subject of his work, which we will not be focusing on in this book.
The foundation for understanding and appreciating Christ's accomplishments lies in properly
discerning his identity as "the Last Adam. " We are also limiting our historical overview to those
ideas, developments and influences that directly bear upon the formation of Christian doctrine
concerning his identity and the role that this doctrine has had in Church history. In particular,
we will argue that because Christian orthodoxy adopted the means and methods of mysticism,
the resulting rejection of reason became a major hindrance to individual spiritual growth and
In fact, we believe that the historical record shows that the Christian church became an
authoritarian and monarchial hierarchy held in place by a set of unintelligible doctrines that
needed an elite class of priests to interpret to the masses. The average Christian believer was
thus held captive to unquestionable dogmas replete with mystery and paradox until the
dawning of the Reformation began to make available intellectual freedom. This book is in line
with a historical trajectory begun in the 14th century by John Wycliffe, who began the process
of retrieving the Bible from the clutches of spiritual tyrants and returning it to the common
sense of the common man. Numerous others since then have reached many of the same
conclusions that the reader will encounter in these pages, and most of them have been branded
heretics, cultists or blasphemers by the institutional church. Many of them died in pursuit of
the truths that the readers of this book will be able to encounter in the safety of modern
toleration of religious pluralism and, beyond that, growing indifference to the very idea of
"truth. " Nevertheless, like grass poking up through cracks in concrete, the living truth of who
Jesus Christ is keeps popping up in the pages of Scripture, out from under centuries of
misunderstanding, and despite modern indifference.
Part of our intention in writing this book is to acquaint the reader with the large volume
of support for our position extant in the literature of modern biblical scholarship, particularly
in the past 20 years. Since it does not support traditional theology, much of this work has not
found a popular audience and is therefore not found in standard Christian bookstores. We have
endeavored to reduce to footnotes most of the references to the work of these scholars in order
not to bog down the reader in often tedious and difficult scholarly jargon. But if the reader will
be brave and read the footnotes carefully, he will almost find another book within this book.
Our purpose is to strengthen the faith of those who are dissatisfied with traditional
Christology by directing them to recognized scholars who have reached the same conclusions
as a result of their research. But our fundamental commitment is not to the intellectual

stimulation of our readers with the often detached perspective of the scholar or historian. We
write as believers, intent upon learning the truth that might set us free and kindle a fire of desire
to further the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. For those who think this book too
scholarly, we would plead for grace and understanding and a second or third reading if
necessary. In our view, it is the scholars whose theological speculations, often little more than
pedantic sophistry, have muddied the waters. To clear things up, we have found it necessary
to engage the scholars' arguments head on, and that often requires a commitment to logical
reasoning that some readers may find difficult or tedious.
This book has actually evolved over a ten-year period beginning from a paper titled
"Rethinking Christology" that Mark Graeser presented to a group of Trinitarian ministers who
were attempting to dialogue with and minister to "cultists. " Mark's paper forms the basis of
several of the chapters of this book. In 1991, John Lynn taught an audio seminar called Jesus
Christ: The Diameter of the Ages.
Its colloquial and devotional flavor is preserved in a number
of sections of the book, which will appeal to those readers who are looking for the more
entertaining and readable and less scholarly material. We would particularly recommend for
their readability and devotional appeal Chapters 1-3, the last section of Chapters 8, 12 and 13.
In 1997, John Schoenheit published a work on the Trinity, the highlights of which are repre-
sented in Appendix A that handles the verses often used to argue for the Trinity.
Thus, this book represents a collaboration of many years, several people and much study.
A subject this important, and so complicated by tradition and misunderstanding, could hardly
be handled by any one person. As of result of the team approach to the writing of the book, the
reader may at times sense a "patchwork" aspect to the style, as it reflects our different thinking
and writing. We trust that the book as a whole will not be skewed in the direction of any personal
style, but reflect our unified desire to "speak the truth in love. "
We will now provide an overview of the entire book. In Part 1, we will look at why Jesus
Christ is called in Scripture "the Last Adam, " and how each of them was the image of God. We
will consider the mechanics and the legality of the redemption that the Savior made available
to all men. We will consider what Scripture says about Man as "the image of God, " and how
Jesus, the perfect Man, is now fulfilling the intended destiny of Mankind. Chapter 3 will
examine the way Jesus Christ is literally the "purpose of the ages, " and look at his post-
resurrection glory.
In Part 2, we will then discuss what the Old Testament tells us about the identity of the
Messiah in prophecy from two perspectives. The first is the detailed prophetic portrait that is
painted by the Hebrew Scriptures about the coming one, and the second is the way the Jews
interpreted these prophecies, which were sometimes ambiguous or difficult to interpret. This
helps us understand why even today Jews have difficulty believing that Jesus is the promised

One God & One Lord
Part 3 is a detailed analysis of the Four Gospels, which describe the Savior in person.
Chapter 6 is an overview of the Gospels, and explains why there are four, Chapter 7 handles the
evidence from the Synoptic Gospels (Matt., Mark and Luke), particularly the view presented
there of the apparently "reluctant Messiah" who veiled his identity throughout his life. Chapter
8 will handle the Gospel of John in detail, since this is the section of Scripture used to anchor
orthodox Christianity. Chapter 9 will look at the relationship between Jesus and the logos and
handle the first 18 verses of John, called "the prologue, " which are often misunderstood and
Part 4 will look at the evidence of the remainder of the New Testament, which clearly
identifies Jesus of Nazareth as both Lord and Christ. The Book of Acts, the Church Epistles and
the Book of Revelation have much to say about who Jesus Christ is and his" functionally equal"
relationship with his Father.
Part 5 will focus on the practical aspects of who Jesus Christ is, what he is doing now, and
our potential to identify with him to the end that we become like him in thought, word and deed.
We will close with a look at the true hope of each Christian, that hope made available by the work
of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God.
Part 6 is an historical perspective on the development of traditional Christology. First we
will look at the phenomenon called "the expansion of piety, " which explains corruptions of the
text of Scripture and the historical tendency to elevate the identity of Christ. We will then
identify the beginnings of heresy as addressed in the epistles of 1 and 2 John, where we can see
that an illogical, confusing and self-contradictory view of Jesus Christ had already taken root in
the first century of Christianity. We will also look at the influence of Gnosticism and Neoplatonism
on the development of Christian doctrine in the centuries after Christ.
The doctrine of the "incarnation" of Christ will then be examined in light of the Apostle
Paul's prophecy in Timothy that Christian leaders would turn away from the truth unto myths.
Then we will see how the rejection of Scripture and logic, a crucial element of true faith, led to
the idea that God was beyond reason. To conclude our historical perspective, we examine
Socinianism as the historical movement most closely aligned to our position, and one that
validated the importance of reason and liberty. We will then consider modern trends in the
development of both Trinitarianism and Christian unitarianism.
Another virtual "book within a book" is the appendices, which are intended to be used for
reference more than to be read straight through. Our hope is that this book will be one that is
not read only once and then put away to gather dust, but one that continues to edify, enlighten
and inspire the reader to pursue his or her relationship with both the Living Word and the
written Word.
What Is at Stake
Some readers may take the position that what we are arguing for is just nitpicking over
equally probable biblical interpretations that have no significant practical ramifications. From
this perspective, it looks like the world is already full of books detailing every possible theologi-

cal and Christological position, few of which interest the average person. So, they ask, what
difference does it make who Jesus really was and is? That is a very good question.
Beyond what we have already asserted about the importance of this subject, we believe
there are five ways in which this topic is vitally significant. In the first place, the issue of biblical
integrity is at stake. Some interpretations do damage to the integrity of Scripture, even though
there may be a few verses that can be squeezed to support them. The question is, does an
interpretation fit with Scripture as a whole? This is demanded by logic. If the Bible is not to be
the foundation for our belief, then we must accept some other basis. If the Bible is taught in such
a way that contradictions are ignored, tolerated or created, the Word of God is thus corrupted
and made less credible to those people who are unwilling to embrace contradiction in the
pursuit of truth.
Second, spiritual tyranny is encouraged when confusing and self-contradictory dogma is
required as an object of faith. Rather than honestly persuade people by logically consistent and
scripturally sound principles, tradition and man-made "authorities" are set up as lords de-
manding submission. Spiritual leadership of this sort does not engender authentic disciple-
ship, but in too many cases unquestioning and rigid adherence to incomprehensible doctrines.
The shaky underpinnings of their faith are evidenced by their angry and emotional reaction to
rational and scriptural challenges. Convictions based in truth empower a patient and loving
response toward those who present challenging ideas.
Third, all false interpretations of the identity of Jesus Christ demean both his accomplish-
ments and the nature of the one true God, his Father. Something is inevitably lost when God's
people are unable to clearly discern the face of God, for whatever reason. Any doctrinal system
that makes it more difficult to understand the nature of God or appreciate the life and work of
the Savior is not in the best interests of Christians or of Christianity itself.
Fourth, false teaching concerning Christ makes it difficult for us to identify with him and
believe that it is possible to do the works he did. Since we are commanded to walk in his steps,
and are told that we can do the works that he did, any doctrine antagonistic to this is suspect.
We assert that our ability to identify with Jesus as a man facilitates our following him, and that
any doctrine that hinders our identification with him will correspondingly hinder our ability to
do what he did.
Lastly, evangelizing the world is made much more difficult by centering the Christian
Gospel on a "God-man, " who is basically a mythological figure and one who does not harmo-
nize with common sense. It is our contention that children, Jews, Muslims and thoughtful
truth-seekers everywhere are hindered from believing in Christ when told that he is "fully God
and fully man, " "God the Son, " or some other unbiblical description. Jesus commanded his
followers to "go into all nations and make disciples. " There is an implied promise in this
commandment, which is that as we obey it, he will open the doors for us. The sad state of the
world nearly two thousand years after Christians first received this commandment is most
telling — there are billions of people who still need to hear the Gospel of Christ. We believe this
is because too few human beings have ever heard the unadulterated Gospel ("good news")
about the Savior. What they have heard has been a blend of truth and pagan philosophy. How
can this be? Please continue reading!

One God & One Lord
In the process of writing this book, we have found it necessary to aggressively rethink our
own Christological position with scriptural diligence, intellectual honesty and rigorous ratio-
nality, being ever-willing to challenge even our most deeply held convictions, assumptions and
beliefs. We now invite the reader to join us in this quest, regardless of how uncomfortable the
journey may be for him at times. If our beliefs are scripturally sound, they will hold up to
scrutiny. If not, we must let them go in favor of something better, by which both our personal
lives and the life of the Church can only be enriched. In the course of accompanying us on this
path to the truth, we pray that the reader will clearly recognize that our motivation is fervent love
for our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus, and that our main goal in writing this book is that
both would receive all the credit and glory due them.

The Man,
Man's Redeemer

Christianity 101:
Two Adams
From the classified section of The Jerusalem Herald, Nisan 1, AD 27:
Redeemer for Mankind
Job description: Man needed to pay price for sins of mankind. Must live totally sinless life.
Demanding schedule, constantly on the go. No guaranteed home or income. Must be willing to train
forgetful staff who tend to quit under pressure. Must totally fulfill law of Old Testament. Must be
absolutely obedient to the will of management. Will ultimately be beaten and humiliated and
experience indescribable suffering and anguish. Will become sin offering and die on job.
To qualify: Must be male, minimum age 30. Father must be God, mother must be of house
and lineage of David, must have been virgin when he was born. Adopted father must also be of house
of David. Must have sinless blood and spotless record. Must have been born in Bethlehem and raised
in Nazareth. Must be self-motivated, with aggressive personality and burning desire to help people.
Must have tremendous knowledge of Old Testament and firm reliance on biblical principles. Must
incorporate the foresight of Noah, the faith of Abraham, the patience of Job, the faithfulness of Joseph,
the meekness of Moses, the courage of Joshua, the heart of David, the wisdom of Solomon, the
boldness of Elijah, the power of Elisha, the eloquence of Isaiah, the commitment of Jeremiah, the
vision of Ezekiel and the love of God.
Wages: Holy spirit (without measure) to start. Additional payoff in intimacy with God and
receiving revelation as necessary to complete job. Constant on-job training, supervision and
guidance by top-level management.
Benefits: Position could lead to highly exalted position in future if job carried out successfully.
Workman's compensation: Injuries sustained on job, including death, well compensated by
promotion including new body. Management will highly promote name upon successful completion
of job, and entire publicity department will be devoted to getting name before multitudes. Will assume
presidency of expanding international venture (The Ministry of Reconciliation), as Head of Body of
well-equipped members ready to move dynamic new product on world market. All in all, tremendous
eternal potential for growth and rewards in return on initial investment of giving life.
If qualified, management will contact you. No need to apply.

One God & One Lord
Why did God need to fill this position of Redeemer? Because He had to "fire" the original
general manager of His creation for gross impropriety and malfeasance. When God delegated
the oversight of Creation to a man with free will, He anticipated the possibility of that man's
failure, and formulated a plan to solve the problem. The plan was for another man to rectify the
catastrophic situation. Why another man, when He had such poor success with the first one?
Why did He not just march down here and take care of things Himself? Many Christians believe
that is exactly what God did — that He became a man in order to redeem mankind. But since
man was in such a sorry state that he could not redeem himself, was the only alternative for God
Himself to
do the job? We think there are a number of problems with this theory.
First of all, one of the most defining attributes of God is His absolute holiness. 1 This means
that He transcends His creation the way Henry Ford transcended the automobile that he built.
Though God can be intimately involved with His creation, He, by definition as "the Creator, "
stands distinct and apart from it. He cannot make Himself into a rock or a tree or a frog or a man,
because these are all created things. Neither is He "one" with them, as pantheism suggests—
that God is "in" the rocks and trees and frogs and men. This is a very basic biblical truth.
Because He is so holy, God knew that He Himself could not legally redeem mankind by
becoming one of us. Neither can He just make up the rules as He goes along. His righteousness
and integrity are absolute, and He cannot break the rules that He has established. One of those
rules is that He keeps His Word. That is important, because God never promised to send Himself
to ultimately redeem mankind. Rather, He promised that "the seed of the woman" (Gen. 3: 15)
would come, and that this man would do the necessary work.
Furthermore, there is nothing in the Bible to indicate that God can become a true man,
because He is God. One of the boundaries of God's nature is given in Numbers 23: 12: "God is
not a man... " And from the beginning, one of Man's defining boundaries was that the
consequence for disobeying God's command was death. Potential mortality, then, was always
a defining part of man's existence. God, therefore, cannot actually be a man, because He cannot
die. 2 He is immortal, by definition. 3 The great pattern of the Bible is that God equips others to
serve Him and act as His agents. Moses, Gideon, David and Jesus were each sent by God to
perform a necessary job. In Jesus' case, the job was the ultimate redemption of mankind and
creation. But how could a man do such a job? He could do it by following the pattern established
by all the men God sent to perform a task — being equipped by God and then precisely obeying
His plan. This is exactly how Jesus Christ accomplished his task as Redeemer. Not only could
a man do the job, but the job required that a man do it, since God Himself could not legally do
so. To understand why this is so, we will now turn our attention to the source of the problem
that necessitated the sending of another Adam to be Man's Redeemer.
1. See Lev. 19: 2; 20: 7, 26; 21: 8; Josh. 24: 19, et al.
2. However, He can (and occasionally did) "appear" as a man. Regarding the rare examples of God coming into
concretion in the form of a man, see Appendix A (Gen. 18: 1, 2). In these cases, however, God did not actually transform
Himself into a man, but took on the appearance of a man so that He could have fellowship with certain people at crucial
times in redemption history.
3. 1 Timothy 1: 17 clearly identifies God as being immortal, meaning that He cannot die. In fact, He is the very Author
of Life itself. An enormous burden of proof is laid upon those who would argue that God Himself could die for our sins.
If He were able to die, who would raise Him from the dead? (See Appendix A (1 Tim. 1: 17).

Chapter 1: Christianity 101: Two Adams
The First Adam
Exploring the biblical background of the need for a Redeemer is crucial to understanding
both the integrity of the Bible and the identity of Jesus. Before we subject this remarkable man
from Galilee to a needless onslaught of theological speculation, we must carefully analyze the
biblical relationship between the "first Adam" and the "Last Adam. " Even modern biblical
scholars are recognizing that this parallel between the two "Adams" was a key element of
apostolic Christianity, and is probably the earliest and richest biblical insight concerning the
identity of this unique man named Jesus Christ. 4 We, too, have come to the conclusion that this
relationship is the key to understanding and appreciating Jesus' identity, and that it establishes
the first boundary marker in our survey of this subject.
Once upon a time—"in the beginning"—God was all by Himself. His heart's desire was,
in essence, a family to love and be loved by. First, He created angels and other spirit beings. He
then made two people — a man and a woman — and gave them dominion over the earth, their
home. God's instructions were simple — He told them to multiply and to fill up the earth with
more people after their kind, i. e., mankind. He gave them only one prohibition — not to eat of
a particular tree in the garden. They chose to disobey their Creator, and thus wreaked havoc not
only upon His originally perfect creation, but also upon their own offspring.
The first Adam was part of a creation that God declared to be "very good. " His "seed, "
therefore, was perfectly designed to reproduce "fruit after its kind, " even as the plants and
animals were. Therefore we can assert that Adam was genetically flawless, but he was not a
robot. He had the quality that goes a long way in defining what a human being is, as distinct from
animals: freedom of will. Where animals are governed by instinct, man was made with a brain
that made him able to be self - aware and govern himself. He was therefore well equipped to
understand that he was a being that owed his existence to his Creator. He could learn from his
environment and choose his behaviors. It was up to him to make decisions in response to God's
commandments, whereas animals receive their "commandments" as a part of their genetic
packaging. Raccoons do not choose whether or not to raid a garbage can.
This privilege to choose was not granted only to Adam. The same held true for his "wife, "
Eve (they never had a formal ceremony — Adam just awoke from a nap and found out he was
married!). It is not our purpose here to examine the mechanics of Adam and Eve's original sin,
but suffice it to say they did the one and only thing they were not supposed to do — they ate of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Though they both partook of it, God held Adam
responsible. His disobedience revealed that in the depth of his heart, Adam came to doubt
4. In theological terms, this is called "Adam Christology, " and many scholars acknowledge that this was the "Apostles'
doctrine" concerning the identity of Jesus. James D. G. Dunn, Christology in the Making (Grand Rapids MI, W. B.
Eerdmans, 1989) notes on pp. 114, 115: "We have... seen how widespread [his emphasis) was this Adam Christology in
the period before Paul wrote his letters — a fact not usually appreciated by those who offer alternative exegeses of the
[Phil. 2: 6-13] hymn. " Dunn also quotes Young: "It is eschatology, not incarnation, which makes Christ final in the New
Testament... Christ is final for Paul, not as God incarnate, but as the Last Adam. " The Apostle Paul compares and
contrasts Jesus and Adam in three key places in Scripture: Romans 5: 12ff, 1 Corinthians 15: 22 and 45, and Philippians
2: 6-13 (and also Hebrew 2: 8 if Pauline authorship is accepted). We will visit and revisit these passages throughout the

One God & One Lord
God's true love for him. Thus, he did not believe that God would provide for him what he really
needed, and he chose to take matters into his own hands and provide for himself. Of course, the
consequences were far reaching — for him, his wife and all their descendants.
In fact, Adam's disobedience set the general pattern of all men's subsequent disobedience
to God (Rom. 1: 18-21). He also set the pattern for the coming Messiah in other ways as well, in
particular as the following scripture indicates:
Romans 5: 14 (NRSV)
Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were
not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
There are many people in the Old Testament who could be called "types of Christ." But
this is the only place in the New Testament that directly points back to a particular person who
would set the pattern for who the Messiah would be like. Adam was a "pattern of the one to
come," in that both Adam and Jesus Christ were men who by one act had a universal effect on
The record of Adam's transgression makes it clear that the verb "to sin" means to disobey
the Word of God. By his action of sinning, he introduced "sin" into God's perfect creation. Thus,
a state of corruption was imposed upon God's perfect Creation, which was now indelibly
tainted and would require a process of redemption. For the catastrophic consequences of sin
to be completely rectified, a new heaven and earth were necessary.
The entrance of sin caused an even greater problem for God to solve — death. The
following verse clearly illustrates this:
Romans 5: 12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and
in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.
Thus, the twofold problem that God had to solve was sin and death. Adam and Eve
disobeyed God, which was an individual act of "sin. " But by this one unrighteous act, they
catalyzed a transformation of creation from a state of perfection and righteousness to a state of
"sin. " When they did, they and all their descendants became subject to death, the direct result
of sin. After that, the only kind of children they could produce were children "separated from
the life of God" (Eph. 4: 18), and hence, from the moment of their birth destined to die.
God's Solution: Another Adam
What was God's solution to the problem of sin and death? The only solution legally
available: another Adam! In fact, if we had to sum up the whole Bible in five seconds, we could
say: "It is the story of two men and their affect on mankind. The first man wrecked everything;
the second man is fixing it. "

Chapter 1: Christianity 101: Two Adams
Like the first Adam, the Last Adam would have to be, first of all, genetically flawless and
without a sin nature. 5 It was God's responsibility to create him that way, which He did via the
virgin birth. But more than that, the Last Adam had to be behaviorally flawless. God could not
be responsible for that. He could only hope that, in contrast to the first Adam, the Last Adam
would be obedient throughout his life and thus accomplish the redemption of mankind. In
essence, God took a risk and trusted that the Last Adam would trust Him. This is love - in - action:
taking a risk, giving second chances, demonstrating commitment to a promise. As the Bible
says in 1 John 4: 8, God is love, and He has therefore modeled it perfectly. In our view, His plan,
as revealed in His Word, exemplifies a far greater love than if He had somehow become a man
Before looking at God's initial reference in Genesis 3: 15 to the special promised offspring
of Adam and Eve, we want to get a running start in the broader context of the passage.
Genesis 3: 21 (NRSV)
And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed
Were Adam and Eve's outfits the first clothing ever mentioned in the Bible? No, they had
earlier become the first tailors in the Bible, as the following verse indicates:
Genesis 3: 7
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they
sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Here we have, in essence, the birth of "religion. " After having failed to keep God's
commandments and thereby stand righteously before Him, the first humans tried to cover their
own sin, to "justify" themselves. This marked the beginning of a sinful human pattern: man
attempting to cover his guilt with the works of his own hands in a self-righteous effort to earn
favor with God. The futility of such religious efforts to remove the guilt inherent in all mankind
is revealed by the fear that gripped them in the presence of God, as the next verse shows.
Genesis 3: 8 (NRSV)
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening
breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God
among the trees of the garden.
We can see that religion is a very poor substitute for a personal relationship with the
Creator based on trust in Him, and it failed to produce any confidence or faith in God's loving
care. In fact, the first humans tried to hide from Him, which is precisely the naked effect of sin—
it drives a wedge between God and man!
5. Because the first Adam was genetically flawless, we can safely conclude that the Last Adam was also. Scientific
evidence corroborates this truth. In his book, The Seed of the Woman (Brockville, Ontario, Doorway Publications, 1980),
Arthur Custance does an admirable job on the subject of the genetic perfection of Jesus Christ. Although the entire
thesis of the work is important to our point, pp. 282-286 are especially relevant.

One God & One Lord
It is very significant, then, that the first thing God did for mankind after they sinned but
before He ejected them from Paradise, was to get rid of their fig leaf underwear and make them
some new clothing. In effect, He said to them, "You can't go out looking like that — and you are
going out!" The clothing they had made for themselves was not a sufficient covering as far as
God was concerned. Most significant is the material from which the new clothes were made—
animal skins. Did God get the skins from animals who donated their extras? No, animals like
to be clothed too. What we have here is the first shedding of blood in the Bible. In His grace and
mercy, God instituted a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of Adam and Eve, one that clothed
them in a temporary righteousness and allowed them to live until the seeds of death planted in
them came to fruition some 900 years later. The blood of animals was shed to provide a covering
for mankind that was "suit - able" in God's sight.
Remember that from Genesis 3:15 on, Scripture is pointing toward the coming Redeemer.
The shedding of the animals' blood was a foreshadowing of the shedding of the blood of "the
Lamb of God," a sacrifice necessary for God to be able to clothe with His righteousness those
who would believe on this Redeemer. With the sacrifice of animals, and the subsequent
clothing of Adam and Eve in their skins, God made temporary atonement for the sin they had
just committed. In light of this pattern, we can appreciate that the shed blood of Christ, the
"Lamb of God, " made permanent atonement for mankind, and also made it possible for people
to be "clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24: 49). No longer is anyone who believes in Jesus
Christ spiritually "naked. "
Jesus Christ had to be the Last Adam, a "lamb from out of the flock," but "without spot or
blemish" so that he could die as an acceptable sacrifice.6 By being both genetically and
behaviorally flawless, the Last Adam's life would be a sufficient sacrifice for the sin nature
inherent in all men, as well as for all their sinful behavior in the future. We will see in the Book
of Hebrews that the reason the Last Adam had to be a true man was so that he could die to pay
the price for the sins of all men. We will also see that via his death, he "took the Devil's best
punch, " and that in his resurrection, he got up "off the canvas. "
In Genesis 3: 9-13, God questioned both Adam and Eve about their disobedience, and then
prophesied concerning the consequences of their sin. But God's harshest judgment was
reserved for His nemesis, the "Serpent, " Satan. He turned to Satan and pronounced the death
sentence upon His archenemy, the one who had masterminded the downfall of the first man.
How fitting that the first announcement of the coming Redeemer was made "in your face" to the
one responsible for the introduction of sin, evil and death into God's creation.
Genesis 3: 15 (NRSV)
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [seed] and
hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
Let us now unpack this verse, which is one of the most loaded - with - truth verses in the
entire Bible. Theologians refer to this verse as the "proto-evangelium" because it basically
6. We use "lamb from out of the flock" to bring together two concepts — first, that Jesus was the true Passover lamb,
a lamb taken from the flock of sheep, and second, that there are many scriptures that say that Jesus was one of us. He
was one of the "brothers" (Deut. 18: 18; Heb. 2: 11), he was a man, the Last Adam, and thus he was like the Passover Lamb
in that he was "of the flock, " not an outsider, but truly one of us.

Chapter 1: Christianity 101: Two Adams
capsulizes all the rest of Scripture by foretelling both the sufferings and glory of the Messiah. It
also foretells the "head-to-head" conflict between the promised seed and the serpent, until the
destruction of Satan is accomplished in one of the final acts of redemption before Paradise can
be restored.7 To us, this verse stands as a marvel of God's poetic and literary genius. It is no
wonder that the Bible has been called "the literature of eternity. " In two simple sentences this
verse sets forth the promise, the conflict and the destinies of both Christ and Satan, who were
to be the two principal antagonists in the great struggle to complete the process of redemption.
Today we can view this verse with 20/20 biblical hindsight and see in it truths that those of Old
Testament times did not clearly understand.
It is very significant that Satan is presented as a serpent crushed under the foot of the
woman's offspring. First of all, we should note how appropriate this image is, because
poisonous snake are best killed by crushing its head, so it cannot rear back and strike. But before
being crushed, the serpent would bite "the heel" of the promised seed, causing a time of
suffering.8 This was the first prophecy of his suffering and death required for the redemption
of mankind.
It is obvious to us today that there is a temporal sequence of events being set forth. This
coming seed would recover from being struck in the heel and then strike the head of his
adversary after that. 9 What we see foreshadowed here is the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his
future destruction of the Devil. Revelation 20: 10 tells us that the old serpent will one day be cast
into the lake of fire where he will burn for "ages unto ages, " and Ezekiel 28: 18 tells us that he will
eventually "be brought to ashes. " 10 From our vantage point in the Church Age, we can see that
the serpent's head will be crushed by the exalted one who was raised from the dead with a new,
glorious body and made Head, first of the Church and then of the whole earth in his Millennial
Kingdom. As we will see in 1 Corinthians 15: 24-28, Christ must reign until all God's enemies are
subdued, and Satan is "Public Enemy #1. "
The next truth in this verse is that the coming one, the solution to the problem of sin and
death, would be a man. We know this by the reference to him as a "seed. " Adam and Eve were
the only two people ever to start tall and without navels, that is, they did not begin as seeds in
the wombs of their mothers. Of course, Adam and Eve could not be born because there was no
7. See Appendix F on the Satan/Christ parallelism, which will also be addressed in Chapter 3.
8. It is significant that only two body parts are mentioned in this verse: the head and the heel. The heel represents the
time when Messiah had a body vulnerable to the serpent's bite, which caused death. The "head" foretells a time in the
future when the Redeemer would be in a place of authority, and able to crush the Serpent's head. God has given the
promised seed all the authority he needs to complete the job he has been given.
9. The NlV and some other versions make a differentiation in the verbs usually translated "bruise, " "strike" or "crush. "
The Hebrew text uses the same word for both verbs used in this sentence. The Hebrew word is shup and it means "to
bruise" or "to crush. " Although it could be shown from the entire scope of the Word that the Serpent would only "bruise"
Jesus' heel, and that Jesus will "crush" his head, that truth is not clearly brought out here. It is more accurate to translate
the verb shup the same way, either "bruise" or "crush. " The Serpent did crush Jesus' heel, but having a crushed heel
only put him down for a short time—three days and three nights. When Jesus crushes the Serpent's head, it will put him
"down for the count. "
10. Is There Death After Life?, (Ch. 4, pp. 45-49), available from CES.

One God & One Lord
one to father and mother them, so God created them. Then He made it plain that they were to
"be fruitful and multiply and fill up the earth. " God wanted them to do this while they were in
their original state, so that their descendants would live forever in the original Paradise.
However, as we know, they disobeyed God and thus could produce nothing but a race of
mortals — people doomed to die.
Because the Last Adam had to be a man, he had to start as a seed and be born of a woman.
But in order to have the potential to become the Redeemer of mankind, he had to start with a
sinless nature like the first Adam did. Genesis 3: 15 predicts how God would accomplish this
seemingly impossible feat, and that is the next great truth revealed in this verse. Note that God
referred to the seed as "her" seed. In retrospect, we see in these words a foreshadowing of the
virgin birth. 11 In a normal birth, it is the man who puts the seed into the woman, where it
combines with an egg and grows for nine months. When it came to Jesus Christ, however, it was
God who put a perfect human seed (the Greek word for "seed" is sperma) into the womb of a
virgin named Mary. 12 The child resulting from this union, therefore, had the same genetic
flawlessness as the first Adam. The following verses make it plain that God was the direct cause
of Jesus' conception.
11. It is often taught, and until recently we also believed, that Genesis 3: 15 was a specific prophecy of the virgin birth
because of the phrase "her seed. " We assumed a literal meaning of the word "seed, " equivalent to "sperm, " and took
that to be a figure of speech to emphasize that God was the author of such a seed, since a woman does not generate
"seed" herself. While the Hebrew word zera, here translated "seed, " occurs more than 200 times in the Hebrew text of
the Old Testament, and does mean "seed" (literally, like what is sown in the ground — See Gen. 1: 11, etc. ), or "semen"
(Gen. 38: 9; Lev. 15: 16), it can also mean "offspring, " "descendants, " or "children" (Ps. 22: 23; Isa. l: 4).
It was quite understandable to the Hebrews, then, that in this sense a woman could have "seed, " i. e., children.
That fact is very clear in the Old Testament. In Genesis 4: 25, when Seth was born, Eve comforted herself over the death
of her firstborn, Abel: "Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, 'God has
granted me another child [seed] in place of Abel, since Cain killed him. '" This verse makes it very clear that Eve had
"seed. " In Genesis 16: 10, an angel was talking to Hagar, Abraham's Egyptian slave, about her children: "The angel
added, º will so increase your descendants [seed] that they will be too numerous to count. ' " The angel was talking to
Hagar, and spoke about her "seed, " yet she was not even in the genealogy leading to Christ. Later, when Abraham
wanted a wife for his son, he sent his servant, who found Rebekah. As her family sent her away to Abraham, they blessed
her and spoke to her of their hopes for her children: "And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, 'Our sister, may you
increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring [seed] possess the gates of their enemies'" (Gen. 24: 60).
The book of Leviticus also speaks of a woman having seed: "But if a priest's daughter becomes a widow or is
divorced, yet has no children [seed], and she returns to live in her father's house as in her youth, she may eat of her
father's food. No unauthorized person, however, may eat any of it" (Lev. 22: 13). The book of Ruth contains a pertinent
reference. The elders of Bethlehem spoke to Boaz, who had just stated that he would marry Ruth. The elders said,
"Through the offspring [seed] the lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom
Tamar bore to Judah" (Ruth 4: 12). In this verse, the offspring, the seed, was the gift of the Lord given to Boaz by Ruth.
Obviously we are not talking about the sperm, but we are talking about the children, because it would be by Ruth that
the Lord would give children [seed] to Boaz. This same truth is found in 1 Samuel 2: 20: "Eli would bless Elkanah and
his wife, saying, 'May the lord give you children [seed] by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and
gave to the lord. ' Then they would go home. " Again, the husband is being given "seed" by the wife.
From Hebrew lexicons and from the text of Scripture itself, the word "seed" can mean "offspring" or "children. "
Women did have "seed, " not in the sense of "sperm, " but in the sense of" children. " This fact explains why the Jews were
not expecting Christ to be born of a virgin, and even Mary herself, a believer and descendant of David, asked the angel
how she could give birth to Israel's Messiah without having a husband (Luke 1: 34). We now know that Christ was born
of a virgin, and looking back we can see that the possibility is allowed for in Genesis 3: 15. However, to say that Genesis
3: 15 specifically prophesies a virgin birth is not correct. The verse was written by Israelites for Israelites, and presumably
they knew their own language well, yet they read the verse for centuries and understood that it referred to the Messiah,
without knowing or believing it foretold a virgin birth.

Chapter 1: Christianity 101: Two Adams
Luke 1: 30-35 (NRSV)
(30) The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
(31) And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him
(32) He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will
give to him the throne of his ancestor David,
(33) He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no
end. "
(34) Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
(35) The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the
Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be
called Son of God. "
Mary asked the angel Gabriel a very logical question: How would a baby be conceived in
her womb without a man being involved? Gabriel's reply contains a great truth that many
Christians throughout history have overlooked because of their theological assumptions. In
verse 35, the Greek conjunction translated "so" (NIV) and "therefore" (KJV) indicates the cause
responsible for the eventual birth of "the holy one, " the Son of God. From the Greek word for
"born" (genao), we get the word "Genesis, " and it denotes the beginning of Jesus in the womb
of Mary. 13 This makes it very plain that Jesus Christ began in the womb of Mary, just as every
human being begins in the womb of his or her mother. If Jesus Christ is truly a man, the Last
12. It could be argued that God did not create "seed" or "sperm" in Mary that then fertilized her egg, but rather that He
created a zygote, a fertilized egg inside Mary that then grew into the child, Jesus. This latter view is the view of all
Trinitarians who argue that Jesus, who pre-existed his birth as some form of spirit being, "incarnated" (literally, "came
into flesh") in the womb of Mary. Scripture is not explicit about this, which is not surprising since the conception of
Mary occurred long before test tube babies, surrogate mothers and in vitro fertilization. Nevertheless, we believe the
language of Scripture is still capable of revealing to us what happened. If God created a zygote in Mary's womb, we
believe the language of creation would appear somewhere in the records of the conception and birth of Christ. Instead,
we find that Christ is called the "seed" (Greek=sperma) in the Bible. Also, the Word of God talks of Mary's "conception, "
which would not really be accurate if she had not in fact conceived. Furthermore, when the angel was explaining to
Mary how she would become pregnant, the terminology he used of God's interaction with Mary, i. e., "come over you"
and "overshadow you, " seems to portray God's role as a Father and impregnator, not as a creator. Lastly, we would point
out that Jesus is said to be from the line of David through his father and his mother. For us it is easier to understand him
being called that if Mary were his mother in the ordinary sense of the word. We do not believe that Mary having a genetic
contribution to Jesus would have placed his genetic perfection in jeopardy. This is no doubt at least a large part of what
Philippians 2: 6 means when it says that Jesus was in "the form of God. " That is, his body was the result of the direct action
of God, even as Adam's was. The difference between the two Adams in this regard was that one awoke fully formed while
the other was formed in a woman's womb and went through the entire process of human development.
13. Two similar Greek words, genesis and gennesis, can be translated "birth. " But genesis can also mean "creation, "
"beginning" and "origination. " Since these words are very similar, a scribe could have easily changed the one to the
other to eliminate the idea that the so-called "eternal" Son of God had a "beginning, " which was the position of the
"heretical" Arians. Bart Ehrman proposes a reason why the text to be corrupted in this way, with genesis changed to

One God & One Lord
Adam, he could not possibly have existed prior to his birth. How can one exist before he
exists? 14
The third great truth in Genesis 3: 15 is that the Man, man's Redeemer, would suffer. His
"heel" would be "struck. " This was a prophecy of his suffering and death that was required for
the redemption of mankind. The fourth truth in this verse goes hand-in-hand with the third. It
is obvious to us today that this coming seed would recover from being struck in the heel and
strike the head of his adversary. What we see foreshadowed here is the resurrection of Jesus
Christ and his future destruction of the Devil. Revelation 20: 10 tells us that the old Serpent will
one day be cast into the lake of fire where he will burn for" ages unto ages, " and Ezekiel 28: 18
tells us that he will eventually "be brought to ashes. "
The last truth that we see in Genesis 3: 15 is perhaps the piece de resistance! It also relates
to the other reason why Jesus Christ is called a "seed" in this, the first mention of him in
Scripture. What is the purpose of a seed? To produce fruit after it's kind. This is clearly
communicated in the first chapter of the Bible, where we see God establish the fruit—seed—
fruit cycle. Every plant produces a "fruit" wherein is "seed, " which when germinated will
reproduce the same "kind" of plant.
Genesis 1: 11-13 (NRSV)
(11) Then God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit
trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it. " And it was so.
(12) The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and
trees bearing fruit with seed in it. And God saw that it was good.
(13) And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
God also made the animals to reproduce their own "kind. " That is, the "seed" of the male
would combine with the egg of the female and reproduce the same "kind" of animal. Is not this
same principle also being communicated in connection with the Last Adam in the following
John 5: 26 (NRSV)
For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in
When one now asks why scribes might take umbrage at Matthew's description of the "genesis" of Jesus Christ, the
answer immediately suggests itself: the original text could well be taken to imply that this is the moment in which Jesus
Christ comes into being. In point of fact, there is nothing in Matthew's narrative [nor Mark's or Luke's, for that matter!],
either here or elsewhere throughout the Gospel, to suggest that he knew or subscribed to the notion that Christ had
existed prior to his birth... Anyone subscribing to this doctrine [of Christ's "pre-existence" and "incarnation"] might
well look askance at the implication that Matthew was here describing Jesus' origination, and might understandably
have sought to clarify the text by substituting a word that 'meant' the same thing, but that was less likely to be
misconstrued. And so the term gennesis in Matthew 1: 18 would represent an orthodox corruption.
Bart D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (Oxford University Press, N. Y., 1993), pp. 75, 76. See also
Chapter 13 on "The Expansion of Piety. "
14. The concept of "the pre-existence" of Christ, and its companion concept, "the incarnation, has caused many
problems for theologians. We discuss the issue in detail in Chapter 17.

Chapter 1: Christianity 101: Two Adams
The chief property of a seed is that it has "life in itself. " That is what enables it to reproduce
after its kind. One day, as we will see in Chapter 12, Jesus Christ will produce a new race for a
new age. He will do this by reproducing himself after his kind. " This truth is clearly communi-
cated in the following verses.
Philippians 3: 20, 21 (NRSV)
(20) But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ.
(21) He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body
of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.
Adam: The Pattern of the Coming
Redeemer — Two Men, Two Acts,
Two Universal Results
The plan of redemption summed up in Genesis 3: 15 is from then on unfolded throughout
the rest of Scripture. Another "Adam, " who could exist only by means of birth, had to come and
live a life of perfect obedience to God, all the way to a torturous death on the Cross. As we have
pointed out earlier, some say that the redemption of mankind could have been accomplished
only by God becoming a man and laying down his life, and this is known by the non-biblical
term, "the incarnation. "15 The answer to this very common teaching is so important that we
must repeat it here. Such a "man" could not be a true man, as Adam was. As we are seeing,
Scripture makes it plain that the Redeemer had to be a man so that he could die for the sins of
all mankind (Heb. 2: 9, 14; Rom. 5: 17). Is it really plausible that God, who is the Author and very
essence of life, could die? Justice required that a representative of the race of those who sinned
be the one to die to atone for that sin. This is the irrefutable logic of Romans 5: 12-17, to which
we will refer many times in discussing who Jesus is. 16
15. "The incarnation" is the phrase some theologians have coined to describe "when God became a man. " We assert
that the Bible does not teach that God became a man, but rather that He had a Son. Allow us to point out that the word
"incarnation" never appears in Scripture. See Chapter 17.
16. It is common for Trinitarians to argue that Christ must be God because "a man could not atone for the sins of
mankind. " Theologians through the ages have varied greatly in their opinions of exactly how Christ could accomplish
redemption for fallen man, and these theological musings can be found in any good theological dictionary under the
heading of "Atonement. " However, a standard argument goes something like this: "Mankind has sinned against an
infinite God, and therefore the sin is infinitely great. It takes an infinite being to atone for infinite sin, and the only
infinite being is God. Therefore, since Christ atoned for sin, Christ must be God. " This argument, which seems
reasonable to some people, is man-made, and nothing like it can be found in Scripture. What can be found in Scripture
is simple and straightforward: "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so

One God & One Lord
Jesus Christ's original genetic purity, coupled with his subsequent behavioral purity,
made him the perfect sacrifice for both the sin nature all men inherited from the first Adam and
the corresponding sinful behavior of all men who would ever live. 17 Because of His Son's sinless
life and substitutionary sacrifice, God then had the legal right to extend grace to mankind. Jesus
Christ became the perfect sacrifice and died in place of all men. Thus, those who appropriate
unto themselves the benefits of this sacrifice by faith in Christ's atoning death exchange their
inherent guilt for his righteousness. Hallelujah!
Not only did the Last Adam have to be able to die; he had to be able to sin as well. Many
Christians have been taught that it was impossible for Jesus to sin, but, logically, the Last Adam,
of necessity, had to have had the same freedom of will that the first Adam had. To say anything
less is to devalue Jesus' walk of righteousness. His behavioral perfection was ultimately
dependent upon himself alone. He had the choice of whether or not to obey God, and hence
he was temptable. Scripture makes it clear that God cannot be tempted Games 1: 13). If Jesus
had not been able to sin like the first Adam, his temptations would have been inauthentic, and
his "accomplishment" of perfect obedience would have been a foregone conclusion rather than
truly praiseworthy. We will examine this subject further in the next chapter.
Remember that the whole Bible is essentially the story of two men and their affect upon
mankind — the first Adam and the Last Adam. It points up the contrast between the first Adam's
disobedience, death and production of a race of mortals (people destined to die), and the Last
Adam's obedience, life and his production of a race of people who will live forever. This truth
is clearly highlighted in the Book of Romans, which is the foundational doctrinal treatise of the
Church Epistles. The key passage we need to examine is found in Romans 5: 12-19, where we see
summarized the stark contrast between the first Adam and the Last Adam. Verse 12 delineates
the twofold problem of sin and death that all mankind faces due to the sin of the first Adam.
also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Rom. 5: 19). There is not a single verse
anywhere in Scripture that hints in any way that "God" was a sacrifice for sin.
"The Church Fathers" tried to explain in great detail how Christ could atone for the sins of mankind, and offered
many different theories as to how atonement could be accomplished. Origen, Augustine and others believed that Christ
was a payment made by God to Satan. Others taught that Christ was not a substitute for man, but rather a representative
of man, and somehow the effect of his sufferings and resurrection extend to all mankind. In the Middle Ages, Anselm
taught that mankind's sin offended God, and that Christ's redemption was an act of "satisfaction, " to appease God.
Abelard explained Christ's atonement in terms of love and the response of love elicited from the sinner due to Christ's
example. The list of man's theories about exactly how our atonement was accomplished is long, and entire books have
been written on the subject.
The reason for the varying theories is that the New Testament does not set forth a "theory of atonement, " it just
states the facts of the case, i. e., that Christ's death paid for sin. Scripture makes many and varied references to the
atoning work of Christ. Christ is called a "sacrifice" (Eph. 5: 2; Heb. 9: 26), a "sin offering" (Isa. 53: 10; 2 Cor. 5: 21 [NTV
alternate reading]), a "ransom" (Matt. 20: 28; 1Tim. 2: 6; Heb. 9: 5) and an "atoning sacrifice" (Rom. 3: 25; 1 John2: 2; 4: 10).
We do not see the need or reason to build a "theory of atonement" when none is offered in the Word of God. The words
of the Word are sufficient. As far as the subject of this book is concerned, the most important conclusion that can be
drawn from what is revealed in the Word of God is that it is unbiblical to assert that Christ had to be God to pay for the
sins of mankind when the Bible explicitly says that payment for sin came "by man. " See also Chapters 16 and 17.
17. There can be a distinct difference in the usage of the terms "sin" and "sins" in the Word of God. Often, "sins" refers
to the "fruit" of the old nature, while "sin" refers to the "root, " or the old nature itself. See E. W. Bullinger, The Church
(1991 reprint Johnson Graphics, Decatur, MI, 1905) pp. 27, 28.

Chapter 1: Christianity 101: Two Adams
Romans 5: 12-14 (NRSV)
(12) Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came
through sin, and so death spread to all, because all have sinned—
(13) Sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no
(14) Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins
were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one to come.
There are many people in the Old Testament who could be called "types of Christ. " But
this is the only place in the New Testament that directly points back to a particular person who
would be the pattern for who the Messiah would be like. Adam was a "type (pattern) of the one
to come, " in that both Adam and Jesus Christ had a universal effect on mankind by one act, as
the next verses in the context elucidate:
Romans 5: 15-19 (NRSV)
(15) But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the one man's
trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the
one man
, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many!
(16) And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man's sin. For the judgment
following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many tres-
passes brings justification.
(17) If, because of the one man's trespass, death exercised dominion through that one,
much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of
righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
(18) Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act
of righteousness
leads to justification and life for all.
(19) For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the
one man
's obedience the many will be made righteous.
It is easy to see the contrast between the two men in the above verses. This truth about the
two Adams is also featured in another Church Epistle closely related to Romans—1 Corinthians.
It addresses the practical failure of the Corinthians to adhere to the doctrine set forth in
Romans. 18 It is therefore logical that the theme of the Last Adam should be revisited, and it is:
1 Corinthians 15: 21, 22 (NRSV)
(21) For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead comes
also through a human being.
(22) For as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.
18. The truth about the position and structure of the Church Epistles is vital for each Christian to understand. See
Appendix J.

One God & One Lord
These verses sum up what we already saw in Romans 5: 12-19. The question is, how did the
Last Adam's "one act of righteousness, " his dying on the Cross, make available everlasting life
to all who believe in him? First, we will sum up the answer, and then we will look at a magnificent
section of Scripture that expands upon it in more detail. The answer in a nutshell is this: only
another "Adam, " that is, a man, could rectify the tragic situation caused by the sin of the first
Adam and accomplish the complete redemption of mankind. This is how we know that the Last
Adam was a total human being.
As stated earlier, the problem God faced was twofold: sin and death, not just for the first
Adam, but for all his descendants. The way in which the Last Adam would solve the problem
would be in direct contrast to how the first Adam caused it. The first Adam disobeyed; the Last
Adam was obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. The first Adam's disobedience
brought death; the Last Adam's obedience unto death brought life, via his resurrection. The first
Adam produced a race of people born dead in sin; the Last Adam made it available to be born
again to life,
and he is now in the process of producing an everlasting race of perfect people. 19
God's original plan was to have many sons and daughters living together in Paradise
forever. The first Adam was supposed to have been the father of that perfect race; the Last Adam
will be the "father" of such a race. Since the ultimate problem that mankind faced was death,
the Last Adam had to defeat this daunting and terrifying enemy. The only way he could do so
was by dying, so that God could then raise him from the dead, thus conquering death and giving
him everlasting life. This truth is clearly conveyed by the following verses:
Romans 6: 9, 10
(9) For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death
no longer has mastery over him.
(10) The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives [by resurrection],
he lives to God.
Hebrews 2: 9, 14 (NRSV)
(9) But we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels [being
made a man of flesh and blood who could die], now crowned with glory and honor
because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for
(14) Since, therefore, the children [of Adam] share flesh and blood, he himself likewise
shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the
power of death, that is, the devil.
What was God's goal? The restoration of His original dream of humans living forever on
a perfect earth. The entire Bible points to the one who would be God's agent for bringing this
about — Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ saw in the Old Testament Scriptures that if he would be
obedient unto death, God would raise him from the dead and give him the power to produce a
new race for a new age, an age in which he would rule on earth with God. Jesus Christ defeated
our ultimate enemy, death, and he has guaranteed the same victory to all who believe on him.
19. See Chapter 14, and also the audiotapes A New Race for a New Age and The Purpose of the Ages (available from CES).

Chapter 1: Christianity 101: Two Adams
As we see in the following verses, when Jesus Christ has completely accomplished the
restoration of Paradise and produced a new race for a new age, he will report to God, his Father,
and say, in essence, "Last Adam reporting; mission accomplished; Paradise regained. " Then he
will take his place as the Head and Firstborn of a great company of redeemed brothers and
sisters in an everlasting family reunion in Paradise with his Father and his spiritual siblings. This
awesome truth is communicated clearly in a section of Scripture that we will be visiting often
in our journey to understanding the relationship between God and His Son Jesus Christ. It is
particularly relevant here in connection with the completion of the Last Adam's work:
1 Corinthians 15: 24-28
(24) Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after
he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
(25) For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
(26) The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
(27) For he "has put everything under his feet. " Now when it says that "everything" has
been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put
everything under Christ.
(28) When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to Him who put
everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
This magnificent passage attributes the glory for the entire plan of redemption to its
original Architect, God.
We have now squared off one aspect of the cornerstone for the Christian faith: in order for
him to redeem mankind, Jesus had to be whatever Adam was before his fall.
Jesus Christ is the
Last Adam, a man like Adam who could undo what Adam did. The Last Adam, by dying on the
Cross, sacrificed himself as an offering for the sin that the first Adam introduced into the world.
This Adamic parallelism establishes one of the most foundational biblical truths regarding
Christ, one that allows us to see the entire span of the Bible: two men, two gardens, two
commands, two decisions, two deaths, two universal results, two races of people and two
With such a simple but profound basis for biblical understanding, why engage in theologi-
cal speculation about Christ's identity that can only complicate and compromise the beautiful
literary symmetry and integrity of Scripture? We will now continue to compare and contrast the
two Adams by looking at how both first and last are related to the important phrase, "the image
of God. "

The Destiny of
Man As "The Image of God"
We will now continue to explore the Adam — Christ parallel as it relates to the original
destiny of mankind and the concept of the "image of God. " In America, "Madison Avenue"
advertising moguls would have us believe that "image is everything. " All too often, however, the
"images" that advertisers create make people look like something they really are not, enabling
them to misrepresent themselves. God, because He is invisible, is especially concerned about
His image, but in His case He wants this image to exactly represent His true nature. Who was
the first "image" of God? The first Adam. And, in the beginning, Adam was an able represen-
tation or "image" of God.
Genesis 1: 26 (NRSV)
Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and
let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the
cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creeps upon the earth. "
Adam was the absolute pinnacle of God's creative activities during the six days recorded
in Genesis 1. In fact, Adam (and therefore mankind) was designed to be" the image of God, " the
glorious head of a race of people who would serve as the overlords of God's creation, sharing
authority and dominion with Him over all that He had made. Man was equipped with godly
attributes that enabled him to speak and act on God's behalf. Thus, he began his tenure on earth
"crowned with glory and honor, " as the following verses show.
Psalm 8: 3-8 (NRSV)
(3) When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which
you have established,

30 One God & One Lord
(4) what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
(5) Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and
(6) You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things
under their feet:
(7) all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
(8) the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
Sections from these verses are quoted in the Book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 2: 6-8 (NRSV)
(6) But someone has testified somewhere [Ps. 8]: "What are human beings that you are
mindful of them, or mortals that you care for them?
(7) You made them for a little while a little lower than the angels; you have crowned
them with glory and honor,
(8) subjecting all things under their feet. "
What we read in Psalm 8 (then quoted in Hebrews 2) is exactly what Scripture tells us in
Genesis 1 and 2, and the writer of Psalms is in awe that God would put "a little dirt man" in charge
of His magnificent creation. 1 In other words, that God would have such gracious regard for man
is to His glory, and not due to man's intrinsic greatness. It is evident that from God's perspective,
man was a lot more than a mere upright, animated dustball with opposable thumbs. God had
big plans for him. But this first man, Adam, fell from his glorious position of responsibility and
authority and ended up bringing suffering upon himself and all mankind. Thus, God's
intention to glorify man was cut short because Adam disobeyed, but it would later be fulfilled
and amplified in the Man Jesus Christ. If we are ever going to understand the nature and role
of Jesus Christ, we must first clearly understand God's exalted purpose for mankind.
We have found that when we assert that Christ is the Last Adam, a fully human being and
not God, orthodox Christians accuse us of making Christ a "mere man. "2 This argument has
force, but only because of what the word "man" has come to mean. To clarify the issue biblically,
we must look past mankind's present sorry state and see the awesome beauty and perfection
of what God originally intended "man" to be. He never intended for people to be dominated by
sin nature — stubborn and rebellious against Him. God created mankind to be a race that would
1. The Hebrew word adam literally means "red earth, " an economical way of describing man whose body is
essentially dust with blood coursing through it.
2. We would call this accusation an example of a logical fallacy called "attacking a straw man." This fallacy is
committed when one party in a dispute misrepresents the position of the other in order to make it easier to refute. Just
as it is easy to knock over a straw man, so it is easy to topple an argument that is patently false. The "mere man" argument
is a straw man because it does not consider the true biblical significance and destiny of mankind as originally conceived
by God. See Appendix Ê for more detailed listing and explanation of logical fallacies employed in the field of

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
represent Him well, reflect His character and rule the world in loving submission to Him.
Although today we speak of a "mere man" because sin so dominates our lives, God's original
intention was not to create a "mere man, " but a masterpiece.
Adam was intended as a prototype of that new model of creature that God unveiled in
Genesis 1. But, like many prototypes, he failed to pass the test. However, God did not throw
away the drawings. He hung onto them until the time when he could create another prototype
patterned like the first one, a man who would fulfil mankind's destiny to be the crowning
achievement of God's creation. Jesus Christ was God's second attempt at creating a master-
piece, the ultimate representation of that "masterpiece race" made in the image of God. There
is nothing "mere" about Adam as conceived by God, and nothing "mere" about Christ who was
made according to the same design.
Thus, by his sin, Adam turned the image of God into an image of sinful man. 3 Although
that ended his rulership and dominion, Adam and his progeny continued to dimly reflect "the
image of God. " Although mankind no longer really lives up to the title of "image of God, " God
continued to use it as a reminder of man's destiny and purpose, and to communicate the value
of man from His perspective. 4 It also served to point to the coming one, the Messiah, who would
ultimately fulfill this destiny. Indicative of this is the following verse in Genesis 9, which occurs
many hundreds of years after Adam's sin, in the context of God instructing Noah about the new
arrangement He would have with mankind after the Flood.
Genesis 9: 5, 6 (NRSV)
(5) For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will
require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a
reckoning for human life.
(6) Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person's blood be shed;
for in his own image God made humankind.
Immortality is a fundamental aspect of God's being and nature, and man, as "the image
of God, " was also made to be immortal. Though he lost this privilege, it is clear that man still
reflected other aspects of God's "image, " no matter how dimly. He can appreciate beauty and
manifest artistic and musical creativity. 5 He has a moral sense of right and wrong, and can
3. See Genesis 5: 3, where Adam is said to have a son "in his own likeness, in his own image. " This son, Seth, was made
in the image of his sinful father Adam.
4. Only by perceiving mankind as made in the image of God is true human compassion possible. If mankind is merely
the leading edge of blind and random evolutionary processes, his value is not patterned after anything, and he has no
destiny. So, as a god - like being relative to lower life forms, man creates his own meaning and purpose by the things he
chooses to do. He is answerable to no higher being, reflects no higher purpose and is headed toward no glorious or
certain future. The concept of man made in the image of God is ultimately the only basis for an ethical system that values
humans for their own sake and discourages the abuses of tyrants, murderers and others who see their fellow men as
nothing more than a means to their own ends.
5. Some may object to the use of the term "create" in connection with man, but we use it not in the sense of truly
"bringing into existence what has not been before, " which is only God's domain. Man has "creativity" by virtue of his
ability to fill an empty canvas with colorful images, a blank page with noble thoughts, or a concert hall with beautiful

One God & One Lord
choose to do right. He can reason from the known to the unknown. He can use language and
other symbols to communicate his thoughts and intentions. In short, man can exhibit qualities
that are more like those that God has than those that animals have. 6
Because man was still the bearer of His image, God expected him to govern himself in a
godly manner. Once all unrighteous people had been eliminated by the Flood, God held man
accountable to maintain order by investing him with the ultimate civil authority, that of
punishing murderers by putting them to death. 7 God did not tolerate man murdering his fellow
man, because He had invested a lot of Himself in man, and was committed to preserving the
species. Why? Because it was to be through mankind that the Messiah, true Man, the Last Adam
and the Redeemer would come. He would be everything God had hoped for man, fulfill man's
destiny of co-rulership of Creation and become God's true and ultimate "image. "
From Image Bearer to Image Maker
Sadly, man's spiritually childish inclination is to play God, in ways that range from the
subtle to the blatant. Indeed, the essence of "religion" is that man is the subject, the "creator, "
if you will, and what he calls "God" is simply the object of his own vain reasonings. Since this
"god" comes from the mind of man (often with help from Satan), it usually takes on an image
made to look like mortal man" (Rom. 1: 23). In other words, man brings God down to his level,
or even beneath himself. The irony of this is that man ends up groveling before the very things
over which God originally gave him dominion. Because of His love for Man, God strictly forbade
the Israelites to make "graven images" of Him, knowing that any such attempt would result in
at best a grossly distorted representation of Him. But even the Israelites, like the pagans around
them, often made statues and other images of "God. "
Romans 1: 18-23 (NRSV)
(18) The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness
of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth,
(19) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to
(20) Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible
though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So
they are without excuse;
(21) for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but
they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.
6. Ephesians 4: 24 provides additional insight into the meaning of the term, "the image of God. " The" new self or the
"new man" that Christians receive in the New Birth is said to have been "created to be like God in true righteousness
and holiness. " Therefore, God has provided the means by which mankind can return to the state of being he had when
he was originally created "in the image of God, " and reflected the true character of his Creator.
7. See The Bible and Civil Law, an audiotape available from CES.

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
(22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools;
(23) and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal
human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.
God's incredible handiwork, which is often called "nature, " is in reality displaying His
nature and goodness. The wonders of creation, which beg awe and thankfulness, are God's
continual advertising campaign designed to alert people to both His existence and His benefi-
cence (see also Heb. 11: 6). No statue is big enough to block out a sunset. Psalm 115: 1-8
compares the living God with dead pagan idols:
Psalm 115: 1-8 (NRSV)
(1) Not to us, Ï Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast
love and your faithfulness.
(2) Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?"
(3) Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.
(4) Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
(5) They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see;
(6) they have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell;
(7) they have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; they make no sound in their
(8) those who make them will be like them; and are all who trust in them.
The pagan nations surrounding Israel designed their idols just as we read in Romans — in
the image of mortal men. As such, these senseless idols were always idle. No image of God
fashioned by human hands would ever be sufficient to make known His glory. Through the Law
that God gave to Moses for Israel, He provided a foreshadowing of His magnificent blessings yet
to come.
Hebrews 10: 1 (KJV)
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the
things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually,
make the comers thereunto perfect.
A shadow is only a dark shape, with few defining characteristics. It is not at all a detailed
image. This verse compares a shadow to the "very image [eikon]. " Barclay describes the force
of the word eikon in this verse: "a real, true, accurate, essential reproduction and representa-
tion, as contrasted with that which is shadowy, vague, nebulous, unreal and essentially
imperfect. It is the complete perfection of the reproduction... "8
8. William Barclay, Jesus As They Saw Him (Harper and Row, NY, 1962), p. 89).

One God & One Lord
The New Testament Greek word eikon, translated "image, " means "that which resembles
an object, or which represents it, hence, image, likeness. " 9 Our corresponding English
derivative, "icon, " is "a sacred image usually painted on wood or metal, " or "an object of
religious devotion. "
In the Old Testament, God was adamant that His people not attempt to fashion an image
of His likeness. He gave His people His Word, both spoken and written, by way of prophets who
represented Him. From His Word they could know about Him and His love for them, yet all His
revelation to them was but an introduction to His heart, a foreshadowing of a coming reality. It
all pointed toward His ultimate communication to mankind — the Messiah, Jesus, the Christ,
the living Word.
Hebrews Two: Christ As True Man
The New Testament book of Hebrews provides an important and foundational under-
standing of Man as he was made in the image of God, and this insight is crucial to understanding
the identity of the Last Adam. Hebrews 1: 4-2: 4 establishes the superiority of the post-resurrec-
tion Christ over the angels. 10 Then, Hebrews 2: 5-18 elaborates on the necessity that the
Redeemer had to be a true man, another Adam. As we begin to look at this section, the subject
in question is who will be in charge in the world to come.
Hebrews 2: 5 (NRSV)
Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels
This verse tells us who will nor be in charge — angels. However, that does not tell us who
will be in charge. Though we have already looked at these next verses in connection with
mankind's original dominion, we now want to examine them more fully.
9. E. W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament (Zondervan, Grand
Rapids MI, 1976), p. 401. This definition is confirmed by Thayer's Lexicon, which says that eikon "adds to the idea of
likeness the suggestions of representation (as a derived likeness) and manifestation. " (Robert H. Thayer, The New
Thayer's Greek - English Lexicon,
(Lafayette, IN, Book Publisher's Press), 1981, p. 175]. Thayer cites Lightfoot's definitive
study on Colossians 1: 15 that identifies two main ideas in the word eikon: representation and manifestation. Barclay,
op. cit., p. 393: "If when we say that Jesus is the eikon of God, it means that Jesus is the representation of God; God is the
divine archetype and Jesus is the human likeness of Him. " The other meaning is manifestation. The eikon is the visible
manifestation of the invisible and the unseen, of that which in itself cannot be seen. Plummer: "Jesus is 'the visible
representative of the invisible God. ' " Vine's, p. 576: "In Hebrews 10: 1, the contrast between the shadow and the very
image has been likened to the difference between a statue and the shadow cast by it. " The statue is the eikon,
representing the real thing. The statue is obviously not the person himself.
10. We will discuss the prologue of Hebrews (1: 1-3) in the next chapter, because it is a key element in the scriptural
depiction of Jesus Christ as "the purpose of the ages. "

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
Hebrews 2: 6-8
(6) But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful
of him, the son of man that you care for him?
(7) You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor
(8) subjecting all things under his feet. "
In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at
present we do not see everything in subjection to them
We must look at Hebrews 2: 8b again carefully: "In putting everything under him [the first
Adam], God left nothing that is not subject to him. 11 Yet at present we do not see everything
subject to him [Mankind]. " By revelation, the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews refers back to
Psalm 8, but after quoting it, he makes it clear that something has happened to change things
from the way God originally set them up. The word "yet" is a contrasting conjunction,
informing us that something has drastically changed. We can see now that mankind no longer
has dominion over creation, but rather is at its mercy in many ways. 12 Paradise is definitely
"lost, " and the devastating evidence of that is all around us each day. Thank God that the next
verse in Hebrews begins with another contrasting conjunction.
Hebrews 2: 9
BUT we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory
and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death
for everyone.
What do we have in verses 8 and 9 but, once again, the two Adams'1. The first Adam wrecked
everything, and the Last Adam is fixing it. The phrase set off by commas, "now crowned with
glory and honor because he suffered, " ought to be considered as a parenthetical insertion, but
let us hold that in abeyance for a moment while we consider the verse by reading around that
phrase. What it clearly says is that Jesus Christ had to be a man like the first Adam (each was
"made a little lower than the angels") so that he could die in place of all men. Had Jesus not been
a man, he could not have died. The parenthesis tells us what we have already seen: because Jesus
was obedient unto death, God has highly exalted him (Phil. 2: 8ff). In contrast to Jesus who died,
God is "immortal" and therefore cannot die.
11. Note in the words "God left nothing that IS not subject to him" the use of the figure of speech prolepsis or
"anticipation, " wherein future events are spoken of as having already occurred in the present. We know that the use
of "is" is figurative here because the verse goes on to say that "at present we do not see everything subject to him, "
pointing to its future literal fulfillment in Christ. We have a related figure in English that is called the "historic present. "
This important figure of speech is vital to the proper understanding of the Gospel of John, which so anticipates Christ's
glory that it speaks of it in the present narrative of the events of his life. For more on this figure, see Chapter 8.
12. As Jesus demonstrated authority over creation ("even the winds and the waves obey him"—Matt. 8: 27), so those
who believe in him can exercise a measure of authority over fallen creation by obedience and faith in the risen Lord. This
is the significance of Mark 16: 15-18, which describes the authority the disciples could exercise over poisonous snakes
and the like as they went forth to preach the Gospel. This authority is not absolute, however, but relative to faith and
particular revelation from God concerning what is available in any given situation.

One God & One Lord
Not only did Adam die, he brought death upon all men. He also brought suffering to
himself and all human beings after him. Adam began in glory and ended in suffering; Jesus
began in suffering, but was glorified in his resurrection and thereby led many "sons to glory, "
as the next verse shows.
Hebrews 2: 10
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom
everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Here again is the critical truth that we have seen before. The first" son of God, " Adam (Luke
3: 38), was intended to be the source of many sons living a glorious everlasting life, but he
disobeyed God and became the author of death instead. So it would be the other "son of God, "
Jesus Christ, the Last Adam, who would be the "author of salvation" for people who believe in
him. The Greek word archegos, here translated "author, " means the "first one in line in a rank
or file. " 13 Jesus Christ has blazed a trail of perfect faith to the heart of God, and thus he has
become "the way" to life everlasting.
There is another great truth in verse 10: Jesus was "made perfect" through suffering.
Although through the virgin birth Jesus was given genetic perfection by his heavenly Father, he
was not given moral (behavioral) perfection, which he had to learn and earn by obedience, as
the following verses make crystal clear.
Hebrews 5: 8, 9 (NRSV)
(8) Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;
(9) and having been made perfect [by overcoming his trials, including death], he
became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
The obvious and necessary conclusion of this truth is that it was possible for Jesus to sin.
Just as he had to be able to die to be the Redeemer, so he had to be able to sin, but then resist the
temptation to do so. This rounds out the parallel between Adam and Jesus, because if Jesus
could not have sinned, he would not have truly been a man like Adam, who could and did sin.
Neither Adam nor Jesus had a sin nature from birth, that is, a predisposition to sin, but each had
the freedom and responsibility to choose between obedience and sin. Satan knew this, and thus
unleashed his full arsenal of temptations upon Jesus.
We must repeat this truth for emphasis: without having the potential for moral imperfec-
tion, Jesus would not have truly been like the first Adam.
Although it was possible for Jesus to
have sinned like the first Adam, he chose instead to obey his Father. 14 If Jesus Christ could not
13. E. W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the Greek and English New Testament (Zondervan, Grand
Rapids, MI, 1978), p. 133.
14. By definition, "to sin" means to disobey the will of God. If Jesus were "God, " he could not have disobeyed the will
of "God" because his will, by definition, would be "God's" will. Trinitarians will argue that he was fully tempted in his
humanity, but not tempted in his "divinity. " This "dual nature" doctrine is meant to protect him from the charge that
he could have sinned in any way. But this theological device creates a more serious problem: it breaks the logical parallel
between the first Adam and the Last Adam. Adam did not have a "dual nature" or a "divine nature" that lessened his

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
have sinned, then he could not have genuinely been "tempted in all ways, " as Scripture says,
and certainly not in any way that we, as human beings, can identify with. God's Word makes it
clear that we are to draw strength from his example, so we must be able to relate to his
experience of temptation. How could we possibly draw strength from knowing that "God in
human flesh" resisted temptation? How could anyone be encouraged to overcome temptation
from the example of God doing so? God's Word in Hebrews continues to reinforce this point.
Hebrews 4: 15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but
we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin.
If Jesus had a "divine side" that equipped him to avoid temptation, as tradition teaches,
then he was not tempted "[exactly] as we are. " The rest of humanity must face temptation
without such an advantage, for we are not" 100 percent God and 100 percent man. " If Jesus were
"God, " in any sense that affected his experience, could he really have been tempted just as we
James 1: 13 says that God cannot be tempted, much less succumb to any temptation. If
Jesus could not have actually given in to temptation, then his "temptation" is neither genuine
temptation nor a real test of character. In fact, if Jesus were "God, " to say that he was able to
resist temptation is to say nothing about him at all. In that case, his moral courage and sterling
character become presupposed as a necessary part of his "deity, " a concept that actually
demeans Jesus rather than exalts him. In fact, in our experience, the more the identity of Christ
is pushed toward "deity, " the less meritorious his accomplishments become. They then
become the anticlimactic work of a "God-man" for whom nothing is particularly difficult, and
whose experience is certainly not an authentic struggle against sin to which we "mere humans"
can relate. 15
Hebrews 5: 8 is God's Word, and it clearly says that He made Jesus Christ perfect through
In other words, Jesus had to go through a process of purification and trial before he
could be properly termed "perfected. " He did not have this status by virtue of some intrinsic
"deity" derived from his "incarnation, " independent and transcendent of how he lived and
behaved. If that were the case, the monumental heroism of his dogged obedience in the face
of relentless, diabolical opposition would fade into mystical insignificance.
Let us continue to follow the logic of Hebrews 2, looking again at verse 14. God's Word
continues to hammer home the truth that Jesus Christ had to be a one-hundred-percent, red-
blooded human being like Adam was in order to save fallen humanity from the destruction
wrought by the first man.
ability to be tempted. If Christ had a dual nature, but Adam did not, then Christ is not truly the "Last Adam. " Adam had
an unblemished human nature, the commandment of God and the free choice of whether to obey it or not. The fact
that God directly made Adam from the dust of the ground and spoke to him intimately did not prevent him from sinning.
Similarly, the fact that God created the life in Mary's womb and had an intimate relationship with His Son, Jesus, did
not prevent Jesus from sinning either. He too had an unblemished human nature, the commandment of God and the
free choice to obey it or not. Unlike Adam, Jesus chose to obey.
15. Dunn, op. cit., Christology in the Making, p. xxxiv. "It might be pointed out that a Jesus who makes an Adamic choice
is more of a model for Christian behavior (Phil 2: 1-13) than a pre — existent Christ. "

One God & One Lord
Hebrews 2: 14, 15
(14) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by
his death he might destroy [render powerless] him who holds the power of death—that
is, the devil—
(15) and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Once again we see that the reason Jesus had to be a man was so that he could diem order
to conquer death. As the fact of death all around us makes clear, the Devil has not yet been
destroyed, but his doom is certain — Jesus Christ is coming again to crush his head.
Hebrews 2: 16, 17 (NRSV)
(16) For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham.
(17) Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, in order
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a
sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.
Verse 17 clearly tells us that Jesus is not a spirit being like angels are, but rather a human
being like
unto the "brothers" he came to save. This likeness was not just superficial, or in
appearance only. He was made like his brothers " in every respect. " He was a partaker of man's
limitations and need for dependence upon his Maker to avoid sin and find fulfillment. The only
exception to this statement is that Jesus did not inherit man's sinful nature.
It is common even for people who do not believe in the Trinity to think there is a big
difference between themselves and Jesus Christ, because they know that he did not have the sin
nature they inherited from Adam. Most people are so dominated by their sin nature that they
cannot even imagine what life would be like without it. But we must remember that the sin
nature was not part of our humanity as God designed it. Adam and Eve did not originally have
it, yet they were fully human, just as we are. The sin now inherent in us is an intrusion into our
lives, like a virus in our blood. Although it is infecting us, it is not an intrinsic part of who we are.
It is common for Christians to believe that they are tempted only because of their sin nature, but
this is clearly not the case. Both Adam and Jesus Christ were tempted, and Scripture also speaks
of things such as "the lust of the flesh" and the "lust of the eyes. " The fact that we are in a human
body means that we become tempted by hunger, tiredness, wanting more than we need and by
many other things as well.
God's Word tells us that as a young man, Jesus "grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor
with God and men" (Luke 2: 52). It also tells us that Jesus " learned obedience by what he suffered
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him" (Heb.
5: 9). These truths are important in light of the word "become" in Hebrews 2: 17 above. It took
Jesus living a life of perfect obedience unto his death on the Cross for God to be able to raise him
and make him the perfect High Priest who is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb.
4: 15 KJV). We have now reached the apex of this magnificent section of Scripture describing the
true humanity of Christ. It is because he actually suffered when tempted that he can now relate
to our suffering and help us in the hour of our need.

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
Hebrews 2: 18
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are
being tempted.
The truths of God's Word that we have thus far set forth in these first two chapters are the
foundation of our redemption, that is, "Christianity 101. " Only a man could redeem fallen
mankind, but that man would have to be a perfect sacrifice, one who could fully atone for both
the sin nature and the sinful behavior of all the descendants of the first Adam. Only one man
in history could have filled the bill: Jesus of Nazareth. God created him with genetic perfection
just like the first Adam had. In contrast to the first Adam, however, Jesus Christ chose to obey
his heavenly Father all the way to his death on the Cross. God then crowned him with glory and
honor because of the things he suffered, raising him from the dead. He also made him the
perfect High Priest, the Head of the Body of Christ and the Lord over all. Truly, Jesus Christ has
blazed a trail of perfect faith for us to follow, and, as the Savior, he invites all men to walk in his
steps. Those who accept his invitation are born into the family of God and can mature into
dynamic representatives of his character and love.
The Last Adam's "Nature"
Since we have been arguing for a precise parallel between the first Adam and the Last
Adam, and have asserted that neither had a "sin nature, " we must address the issue of what kind
of "nature" each had. This subject has been hotly debated for centuries, before and after the
"orthodox" position of the "dual nature" of Christ was formulated at the Council of Chalcedon
in 451 AD. 16 There it was decided that the official position of the Church was that Christ had
both a human and a divine nature. That is to say, he was 100 percent God and 100 percent man.
The orthodox believers asserted his complete humanity against the Gnostics and Docetics, who
argued that Christ was not really a man at all, but only appeared to be a man. On the other hand,
they asserted his "divinity" against the Arians, who argued that he was not God, but rather a
created being. They also defended his divinity against those who questioned his virgin birth and
divine Sonship.
We have already discussed some of what is wrong with the "orthodox" position, namely
that Jesus could not have been truly tempted if he were in some way "God. " But let us add a few
other objections to this doctrine before attempting to determine a more biblical and rational
alternative. First, the Chalcedonian formula is guilty of a logical fallacy called "equivocation. "
Equivocation involves the changing of the meaning of a term in the middle of an argument. 17
In equivocating the terms "man" and "God, " Trinitarians create a separate category of being for
Jesus Christ and remove him from the normal and customary meaning of each term as it is
understood both biblically and experientially. Furthermore, what is asserted about Jesus Christ
16.  See Chapter 19 on the seven Church Councils and their role in the development of Christian doctrine.
17.  See Appendix Ê for a more complete discussion of logical fallacies, particularly equivocation.

One God & One Lord
could not be asserted about Adam, who was truly the archetypal "man. " Unless Jesus' nature
before his resurrection was completely comparable to Adam's, he cannot properly and without
equivocation be categorized as "man. " To teach that Jesus is "100 percent God and 100 percent
man" is 200 percent logical equivocation.
But merely to say that both Adam and Jesus had a "human nature" is inadequate,
particularly since this term has become identified with the sinful aspects of man's being. We
often say, "That's human nature, " after someone has just done something wrong. Without
getting mystical, theological or too speculative, we need to assess what we know about this thing
called "human nature. " There are no scriptures that definitively answer the question, so we
must begin our reasoning from a clear conception of what it means that Adam was made in "the
image of God. "
We know that Adam was designed to represent his Maker and be able to have intimate
fellowship with Him. This means that he would have to have known God well enough to act on
His behalf. It seems logical that Adam would also had to have been able to relate to who God
was by sharing some of His attributes and capabilities. We can see from the context of Genesis
1 that God endowed Adam with the capacity to rule and have dominion over the animals. God
gave Adam a personality18 and a temperament, or disposition. 19 As anyone who has raised
animals knows, most have characteristics individual to their personalities. Some are more
dominant than others, some are more playful, some more trainable, etc. Every human parent
learns that his or her children are each unique from the womb with a particular temperament
or "nature" right from "the factory. "
Medieval physiology proposed four basic conditions of body and mind: the sanguine,
phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic. Each was a basic kind of temperament that human
beings manifest, with both good and bad qualities. For instance, one with a sanguine tempera-
ment is a "take-charge" kind of person. However, he may lack sensitivity toward the feelings of
those he attempts to lead. One with a phlegmatic temperament is very calm and unruffled, but
may be slow to act, and tend toward laziness. Though the systems vary, human personality
research continues to support the basic concept that people fall loosely into these general
categories of temperament types. That is, every human being has a particular nature that
predisposes him toward certain kinds of behavior. We should note that this "predisposition"
does not cause one to act in a certain way, but it does mean that in the absence of any
determination or will to the contrary, the odds are good that the predisposed behavior will be
carried out, often unconsciously. 20
18. "The quality or fact of being a particular person; personal identity; individuality. " Also, then, "habitual patterns and
qualities of behavior of any individual as expressed by physical and mental activities and attitudes; distinctive
individual qualities of a person, considered collectively. " Webster's New Unabridged Universal Dictionary (Deluxe
Second Edition, NY, Simon and Schuster, 1983).
19. Ibid. A disposition is defined as "one's customary frame of mind; one's nature or temperament; as in an amiable
or an irritable disposition. "
20. The study of personality types goes way back into ancient history. The fourfold models go back at least as far as the
Greeks and were often related to air, fire, earth and water. The nine-fold enneagram goes back to long before Christ to
the Middle East and perhaps specifically Babylon. The terms we use in the text of this work are Medieval in origin. Books
to study these personality types are available in any good library.

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
These behaviors can be evaluated biblically and morally to determine whether they are
right or wrong, but much sinful behavior occurs by impulse without reflection. This is the
influence of what Scripture calls "the flesh, " that is, the sin nature inherent in all men. In the
absence of strong moral training and education as children, humans tend toward selfish and
careless behavior that the Bible defines as sinful. Also, we should note that whether people
choose the kind of behavior for which they have a predisposition or whether they choose
something else is a function of their free choice. Yet there seems to be nearly universal
agreement among modern researchers about the influence of the genetic component on
human personality and temperament. This "nature versus nurture" debate will continue to
rage on, however, because of the intricate and delicate balance that seems to exist within the
various aspects of human beings and their environments.
Since a genetic "nature" or "temperament" is so clearly an ongoing part of human being
and personality, it stands to reason that it was also a part of the first human's being. Before he
fell, Adam had a nature perfectly suited to bearing the image of God. Therefore, he had a
"divine" nature, meaning that he shared some of the qualities and attributes of God, who was
their source. By studying the character of God in His dealings with man, and also in the actions
of Jesus and other men representing God, we can conclude that God is loving, peaceful, joyful,
slow to anger, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-disciplined, just to name a few. 21 These
qualities must have been in abundance in Adam, who was the son and image of God, as he
administered Paradise and carried out the will of his Creator. He had every quality in whatever
measure necessary for him to exercise his dominion over the earth. And because there was no
sin, there was nothing sinful in his disposition, that is, nothing that would cause him to act
contrary to the will of God.
If we think of Adam as a perfect image of God's character, one of the consequences of the
Fall was to shatter that "mirror" into pieces. Now, instead of one man exhibiting the totality of
God's attributes without sin, mankind would continue to reflect these qualities in a collective
way, but mixed with sin. This explains why we continue to see human beings demonstrating
compassion, creativity, moral strength, intellectual and scientific brilliance and feats of selfless
courage. These godly qualities in man are consistent with what we would predict if mankind
were in fact made in the image of God. Obscuring these godly qualities, however, are traits such
as sinful self-interest, cruelty and indifference. These seem to often characterize man's
behavior and experience, which is predicted by the Bible as a result of the consequences of sin.
Based upon this reasoning then, we believe that Jesus Christ had a perfect human nature,
just as Adam originally had before it became fragmented and stained by sin. This means that
Jesus exemplified in a single person every godly quality ever seen in mankind collectively. These
qualities were present in his nature from his mother's womb, even as our children's tempera-
ments are. He was the perfect blend of qualities and characteristics that God intended for man,
as His "image, " to manifest. In observing Jesus' behavior, we see his ability to be tough, yet
tender; patient and slow to anger, yet appropriately aggressive and passionate. In short, Jesus
Christ was a man as Man was intended to be — the reflection of his Creator and his Father — like
Father, like Son.
21. See The Fruit of the Spirit: The Character of Christ (audiotape seminar by CES).

One God & One Lord
One further note: Jesus Christ did not fulfill his ministry by virtue of some inherently divine
nature that he brought with him through an "incarnation. " The New Testament makes it very
clear how he was able to do the messianic works that he did—by being anointed with holy spirit
at the baptism of John.
Luke 3: 21, 22 (NRSV)
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and
was praying, the heaven was opened, and the holy spirit descended upon him in bodily
form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "you are my Son, the Beloved; with
you I am well pleased. "
Luke 4: 18 (NRSV)
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to
the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the
blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. "
Acts 10: 38 (NRSV)
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went
about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with
As wonderful a human being as Jesus was, it is not recorded that he performed any miracle
or preached a word until he was empowered by holy spirit. It was this spirit, then, and not his
temperament, personality or intrinsic "divinity, " that enabled him to do the works that he did.
This is crucial to understand, and yet few Christians recognize this important point. 22 This is
yet another truth that should profoundly encourage us as Christians, because it explains how
we can do the works that Jesus Christ did.
John 14: 12 (NRSV)
Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in
fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
Jesus Christ received from his Father the promised holy spirit and shed it on his disciples
on the Day of Pentecost.
22. One of the main reasons so few understand this is the common teaching that "the Holy Spirit" is one of the persons
in a "triune Godhead. " Thus, they have difficulty explaining how Christ could be "God in human flesh" through the
incarnation, yet still need to be empowered by "the Holy Spirit, " another member of the Godhead, before he could begin
to do his work. To many orthodox Christians, Christ is in some sense the eternal God from his birth, yet is indwelled
at his baptism by another "person" called "the Holy Spirit, " another member of the triune God. It is no wonder that
some Christians refer to him as the "Christ event, " since he was apparently three persons happening at one time. If
Christ were "true God" from his birth, would he not have had God's power from his birth and not needed any
subsequent anointing? See Appendix I.

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
Acts 2: 33 (NRSV)
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father
the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear [i. e.,
holy spirit]
The holy spirit enabled them to do the same works that Jesus had been doing. The Book
of Acts records the disciples doing just that. But if Jesus did his mighty works by being "God, "
how can we "mere men" hope to do the same?
The Last Adam's Family
Set in the heart of Hebrews 2: 5-18 is a profound truth: every Christian is related to Christ
in the most intimate, family way. He is not a being of such exalted status that we cannot relate
to him. In fact, he is called our "brother. " Let us now look at verses 11-13.
Hebrews 2: 11
Both the one [Christ] who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same
[have the same Father]. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 23
This verse is brimming with truth. It clearly states that God is the original author of life for
both Jesus Christ and all who believe in him. Yet Jesus Christ is the one who sanctifies those who
believe in him. It was God who gave him the authority and the ability to do so. As Jesus is the
Son of God, so those whom he sanctifies are "sons. " Jesus Christ is not ashamed to call us his
brothers. Amen!
In the next two verses from the same context, there are three quotations from the Old
Testament about the coming Redeemer.
Hebrews 2: 12, 13 (NRSV)
(12) Saying, "I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the
congregation I will sing your praises. "
(13) And again, "I will put my trust in him. " And again, "Here am I, and the children
whom God has given me. "
The first quote is from Psalm 22: 22, found in one of the sections of the Old Testament most
clearly referring to Jesus Christ. It is a prophecy that the Messiah will one day stand amidst a
great congregation and praise God with them. Could those people be the "many sons in glory"
of Hebrews 2: 10? Absolutely. It is noteworthy that Psalm 22 is a prophecy of both the suffering
23. Consider also the following translation of the above verse, which clarifies the distinction between God and Christ:
"The truth being that he who bestows the hallowing [Jesus Christ) and those who are being hallowed derive their origin,
one and all, from the One |God). And that is why the Son is not ashamed to call them his brothers. " Heinz Cassirer, God's
New Covenant: A New Translation
(William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, 1989).

One God & One Lord
and the glory of Christ. What was Jesus thinking about when the Roman soldiers pounded the
first spike into his wrist? No doubt he was thinking about his future destiny, that is, "the joy that
was set before him" (Heb. 12: 2).
The second quote from the Old Testament (" I will put my trust in Him") is from Isaiah 8: 17.
Jesus Christ was the first man to perfectly trust God. He was the epitome of faith. Because he
put his trust in God, we can put our trust in him. The NIV Study Bible note on Hebrews 2: 13
recognizes that the point of this quotation is to assert the perfect manhood of Christ. will put
my trust in Him. 'An expression of true dependence on God perfectly exemplified in Christ. In
him, humanity is seen as it was intended to be. " Amen. We could not have said it any better.
Jesus Christ was able to do what he did because of his "true dependence on God. " Man was
originally made to have intimate communion with his Maker, trust in His superior wisdom and
love and, through obedience to his Creator, share with Him in the management of His affairs on
the earth. Jesus epitomized this dependency on his God, his Maker.
The third quote from the Old Testament in this section of Hebrews comes from Isaiah 8: 18,
and could hardly be extracted from a more pertinent context, which reveals that Isaiah and the
people of God were surrounded by a much larger number of unbelievers bent on their
destruction. Death was certain unless God delivered them. God did deliver them by way of
Isaiah, who said in essence, "Stick with me and you will be saved. " He then referred to them as
"the children God has given me. " In that record, Isaiah is a "type" of Christ. 24
Here we come face to face with a tremendous truth of Scripture not often realized—that
those who believe in Christ are, figuratively speaking, his " children. "25 To see this, let us go back
to Isaiah 53, another Old Testament passage of Scripture that specifically speaks of the coming
Christ. As in the initial revelation about Christ in Genesis 3: 15, where God prophesied both his
suffering and his glory, so Isaiah 53 portrays both his hideous death and his glorious future life.
24. A "type" is a specific parallel between two historical entities. Biblical typology involves a correspondence by
analogy such that earlier persons, places or events are patterns by which later events can be better understood or
interpreted. The study of typology comes out of a study of the Bible itself. The New Testament uses both the words
tupos, or "type, " and antitupos, or "antitype. " The Greek word tupos can refer to the original model, prototype or stamp
as well as to the copy, imprint or mark that was left by the original. The word antitupos refers only to the copy, imprint
or mark and not to the original or stamp. Romans 5: 14 calls Adam a "pattern" (a tupos) of "the one to come, " i. e., Christ,
while Hebrews 9: 24 calls the earthly sanctuary a "copy" (antitupos) of the real one in the heavens. There has been great
debate among Christians as to what are the true types of Christ in the Bible and what is strained imagination and fanciful
thinking. For example, just because someone was whipped in the Old Testament does not mean he was a "type" of
Christ, but, on the other hand, the clear parallels between Joseph and Christ or Abraham/Isaac and Christ have been
recognized for centuries. In this case, the fact that what Isaiah said is quoted in Hebrews as being prophetically spoken
by the Messiah makes the type axiomatic and abundantly clear.
25. The spiritual "fatherhood" of great men of God is evident in Scripture. In Romans 4: 16, Abraham is called the
"father of all of us who believe. " In2Kings2: 12, Elisha cries out to Elijah his mentor, "My father, my father. " In 2Kings
13: 14, Jehoash the king of Israel called Elisha "My father, my father. " Paul refers to his "fatherhood" of the believers in
Corinth whom he had led to Christ (1 Cor. 4: 15), saying that he had "begotten" them through the Gospel. Because of
his character and attributes, and being the author of everlasting life, Jesus Christ is obviously the ultimate "father"
figure, even though he has no natural children. God's Messiah, Jesus, will conquer the earth (Rev. 19), raise the dead
(Judges 5: 25) and reign as king in the Millennium. Thus, in Isaiah 9: 6, part of the Messiah's name is "Father of the
coming age. " See Appendix A (Isaiah 9: 6).

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
Isaiah 53: 7-12
(7) He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb
to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his
(8) By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my
people he was stricken.
(9) He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he
had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
(10) Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord
makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will
of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
(11) After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his
knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
(12) Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils
with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the
transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Verse 8 asks, "And who can speak of his descendants?" What we see here is that Jesus
would die without ever having any children. In the Hebrew culture, this was considered a curse.
Jesus died with no one to carry on his lineage. But look at verse 10: "He will see his offspring. "
What "offspring?" The "children God has given him, " the "many sons in glory. " Does this not
specifically relate to Christ being called a "seed" in Genesis 3: 15? Yes, he is the seed that will bear
much fruit after his kind. "We know that when he appears, we shall be like him" (1 John 3: 2).
Praise God!
Jesus Christ: The Image of God
With all this background in mind, we can now turn our attention to the phrase "the image
of God, " as it is used in reference to Jesus of Nazareth. The Last Adam, now highly exalted as Lord
and Christ, is the only true image of God. Actually, he is not referred to as "the image of God"
until after his resurrection, as we shall see. So while Jesus admirably represented God's heart,
love and character in his earthly ministry, he is now in a position of such glory that he is
functioning "just like God. " 26 Man's destiny as the image-bearer of God finds complete
fulfillment in the glorification of Jesus Christ, because all those who believe in him will one day
be made like him.
Even prior to his resurrection and ascension, however, Jesus brought many things to light
about his invisible Father, the God who created the heavens and the earth. In fact, of all the
26. Immortality is a large part of what is meant by "the image of God, " as is indicated by the fact that this phrase is only
used of the resurrected Christ, who is now immortal himself.

One God & One Lord
"images" and representations that presume to depict the invisible, it is Jesus Christ who most
vividly exemplified and made manifest the character of God by the way he lived. The heart and
will of God was manifested by his life of obedience. For instance, we know it is God's will to heal
those with faith in Him because Jesus healed everyone who came to him with faith. So it is for
everything that Jesus said and did — he revealed God's heart and will for those who believe in
him. As one scholar put it, "Christ is given to us as the image of God by which we may know what
God wills and does. " 27
John 1: 18 (KJV)
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the
Father, he hath declared him.
The Greek word for "declared" means "to lead or bring out, hence to make known, declare,
unfold. "28 By his personality, his character, the spirit that was upon him and by his absolute
obedience to his Father, Jesus perfectly exhibited God's heart to mankind. His language, taken
as a whole, reveals that he never thought of himself as the source of his wisdom and mighty
works. When he said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14: 9), he was not referring
to any physical resemblance nor intrinsic deity. He was referring to his obedient way of being,
his words and his works. The following are a number of statements Jesus made that help us
understand this more clearly:
 "The Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for
whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise" (John 5: 19 NRSV).
 "The Father who dwells in me does his works" (John 14: 10 NRSV).
 "I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father " (John 15: 15
 "All that the Father has is mine" (John 16: 15 NRSV).
 "Whoever sees me sees him who sent me" (John 12: 45 NRSV).
Jesus shared with others everything that God showed him. His was a reflective and
representative role, honoring his Father at every turn, emptying himself of any need for
recognition or approval. His only desire was to do the will of God (John 4: 34) and to bring Him
We can learn another important thing about the word eikon, "image, " by observing the
following verses:
Matthew 22: 17-21 (KJV)
(17) Tell us therefore, What thinkest Thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or
27. Gerhard Kittel, ed., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1964,
"Eikon"), p. 396).
28. E. W. Bullinger, op. cit, Lexicon, p. 210.

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
(18) But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye Me, ye hypocrites?
(19) Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto Him a penny.
(20) And He saith unto them, Whose is this image [eikon] and superscription?
(21) They say unto Him, Caesar's. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto
Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
It is clear that the coin - carrying Pharisees did not pull out one with Caesar himself glued
to it. The coin had an image stamped on it, which was obviously not identical to the original. 29
In fact, the image was perhaps only a crude likeness. The degree of similarity between the
archetype or prototype and its image varies, and the uses of eikon reflect those variations. The
range of use of eikon varies from gross misrepresentation (as in the case of false images of God),
to similarity (as in Col. 3: 10 where our new self is being renewed in similarity to Christ), to exact
likeness (Heb. 1: 3).
Today, through photographic technology, we can reproduce exact images of people. 30 Or
can we? A lady friend excitedly shows you a snapshot and proclaims, "This is my fiance, Henry. "
Youreply, "But he's completely flat! And he's only three inches tall with half a body! I don't think
the marriage will work. " Obviously, an image, no matter how perfectly it reflects the original
thing, is not identical to it. 31
There are two verses in the Church Epistles that clearly and specifically refer to Jesus Christ
as "the image of God, " and we will now examine them carefully in their contexts. We will see that
Christ's being called the "image of God" most specifically refers to his glorious post-resurrec-
tion ministry at the "right hand of God" since being crowned with glory and honor. Remember
that Hebrews 2: 9 says the Last Adam is "now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered
death. " In other words, he didn't fully come into his "glory and honor" until after his death and
resurrection. We should also point out 1 Corinthians 15: 45: "The first man Adam became a
living being; the Last Adam, a life-giving spirit. " When did he become "a life-giving spirit?" After
his resurrection and glorification. Does that mean that he did not represent his Father well
29. Logical "identity" is established by the following principle: Whatever is true of A, must also be true of B. And
whatever is true of B, must also be true of A. Logically, similar things are not identical For example, a statue (image)
of George Washington is not identical to George Washington. If it were, George Washington himself would have been
made of bronze. See Appendix K.
30. The diminutive form of eikon — eikonion — corresponds to the modern photograph. Barclay, op. cit, p. 390: "Apion
the soldier writes home to his father Epimachus: º send you a little portrait (eikonion) of myself at the hands of
Euctemon. '" Barclay continues: "The word eifcorc becomes the regular word for the identifying description of a person,
which was subjoined to official documents, in particular with regard to the buying and selling of slaves. The eikon was
the official and accurate description of the person involved and the means whereby he or she could be identified. If we
take it in this way, we may say that Jesus is the exact portrait and description of God. "
31. Various Trinitarian scholars try to force eikon to mean identity or equality with the original. For example: The use
of eikon in Colossians 1: 15 "is intended to indicate the essential unity of God and Jesus, of the Father and the Son. "
(Barclay, op. cit., p. 388-389). Kittel, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 395: "When Christ is called the image of God, all the emphasis is
on the equality of the eikon with the original. " Trinitarian theologians attempt to force the semantic range of eikon to
include the concept of identity, but the uses of eikon, both biblical and secular, preclude this extrapolation (See
Appendix A, Col. 1: 15).

One God & One Lord
during his earthly ministry? No. We have already established that Jesus always did the will of
his Father. However, whatever it is to be the complete "image of God" is found in his exaltation
and glorification at the right hand of God.
Let us revisit Hebrews 1: 3, which communicates this truth powerfully. Although this verse
is often applied to the earthly life, ministry and being of Jesus Christ, upon closer examination
we can see that it is referring to his post-resurrection life:
Hebrews 1: 3a (NRSV)
The Son is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and
he sustains all things by his powerful word.
Notice that the verbs "is" and "sustains" are in the present tense and refer to his present
state of being in glory at the right hand of God. We can understand how Christ would be a better
representation of God at the right hand of the Father's glory than hanging from his Cross. In fact,
those who saw him thought him smitten and accursed of God (see Deut. 21: 23 and Isa. 53: 4).
While dead, he was as far from radiating the glory of God as a person can get. Nevertheless, he
was raised from the dead unto immortality and everlasting life, with a fabulous new body that
enables him to act as the Head of the Church and work with every member of his Body wherever
they are in the world. He is now the ultimate representative of God. If people are unable to see
him for who he is, it is because they have been blinded by the Adversary, as the following verses
2 Corinthians 4: 4-6 (KJV)
(4) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest
the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto
(5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants
for Jesus' sake.
(6) For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our
hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It is the Gospel, the good news of Christ's accomplishments, that brings to light the glory
of Christ, and thereby the glory of God whose plan it was to send him. The written Word makes
known the living Word, Jesus Christ, who makes known the one true God. Thus, a "succession
of representation" is clearly articulated in the above verses. We preach not ourselves, but the
Gospel of Christ. Christ represented not himself, but God. And God "shined in our hearts, to
give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. " Because Jesus
Christ gave his all to represent God, God is now reciprocating by making known Christ, His
perfect representative and "the exact representation of His being. "
The other verse that specifically refers to Jesus Christ as the image of God is also in the
Church Epistles.

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
Colossians 1: 15 (NRSV)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Let us take note of the use of the word "invisible" here. God's invisibility has been the
occasion of much rebellion and idolatry on the part of His people throughout history. They
wanted something visible to worship and pray to like the pagans had, and this led to all manner
of misguided activities, as even the most casual reading of the Old Testament will show. Fallen
man has a "lust of the eyes, " which drives him to desire a visible object for his devotion. Even
though the creation itself so clearly points to the hand of its invisible Designer that man is
"without excuse" (Rom. 1: 20), he continually fails to make the connection.
Man is in many respects the pinnacle of that creation his body and mind the most
awesome examples of divine handiwork. The human brain has 10 billion brain cells, with each
cell capable of establishing interconnections with 35, 000 other brain cells. The possible
interconnections are 10 billion to the 35, 000th power, an incomprehensibly huge number. What
man's mind is capable of, even in its fallen condition, has yet to be fathomed. The first Adam
was the "firstborn" of this magnificent creation described in Genesis 1, but, by virtue of his
disobedience, he lost his privileged status as the firstborn. At his resurrection, the Last Adam
became the firstborn of a new creation that began with his resurrection. He is the prototype of
this new creation, his resurrected body gloriously exemplifying even greater magnificence than
what we see in the present creation. That Christ is such a prototype is proven three verses later
in Colossians 1, where the term "firstborn" occurs again:
Colossians 1: 18 (NRSV)
He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
so that he might come to have first place in everything.
In the context, "the firstborn of all creation" directly correlates with his being "the firstborn
from among the dead. " It was in his resurrection that he came into his glory. It was then and only
then that he was fully able to reflect the entire majesty of God who exalted him. Because he was
sinless and obedient during his earthly tenure, Jesus' resurrection and exaltation catapulted
him to a glorious dominion and co-rulership of God's creation even exceeding the first Adam's.
Only when Jesus Christ was elevated to his present position of dominion and co-rulership,
having sat down at the right hand of God with all authority fully delegated to him, was he said
to be "the image of God" in all the fullness of the term. Thus, in this position he has fulfilled the
destiny of Man, who was made in "the image of God. "
Christians: Bearers of Christ's Image
In closing this chapter, we will look at three verses that complete our examination of the
phrase, "the image of God, " and also shed some valuable light on how this teaching affects us
as believers in Christ.

One God & One Lord
Colossians 3: 9-11 (NRSV)
(9) Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off your old self with its
(10) and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowl-
edge according to the image of its Creator.
(11) In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised,
barbarian, Scythian, slave and free, but Christ is all, and in all!
Our" new self is the divine nature of Christ that is a part of what we receive when we obey
Romans 10: 9 and are born again. This reality, also called the "gift of holy spirit, " the "spirit of
truth, " etc., is "being renewed in knowledge in the image of its creator. "32 Who is its creator? As
far as giving us the potential to be like God, Jesus Christ is, because it is he who poured out the
gift of God's nature into our hearts (Acts 2: 33). He is all, and in all, and he is working in us to
fashion us in his image, even as he is fashioned after God's image (cp. Eph. 1: 22, 23). This same
truth is conveyed in the following parallel passage:
Ephesians 4: 22-24 (NRSV)
(22) You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and
deluded by its lusts;
(23) and to be renewed in the spirit [NIV"attitude"] of your minds
(24) And to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God
in true righteousness and holiness.
Today each Christian has within himself the absolute guarantee of one day being made
totally like Christ (1 Cor. 15: 49; Phil. 3: 21; 1 John 3: 1, 2). In the meantime, God has given us
through Christ the potential to manifest his character to the world. In fact, this is the very
purpose of our existence — to represent our Maker well!
Romans 8: 29, 30 (NRSV)
(29) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of
his Son
, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.
(30) And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also
justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
As believers, we are already partial partakers of his heavenly glory, although our final
glorification awaits his final appearing. Meanwhile, as we look to him, we are being trans-
formed into "the likeness of His [glorious] Son" more and more, day by day. What an awesome
privilege it is to be a Christian!
These truths are further established in the following verses:
32. See The Gift of Holy Spirit: Every Christian's Divine Deposit, available from CES.

Chapter 2: The Destiny of Mankind
2 Corinthians 3: 17, 18 (NRSV)
(17) Now the lord is the [life-giving] Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is
(18) And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected
in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to
; for this comes from the Lord, the the Spirit.
As the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ is pouring out holy spirit, the spirit that is the basis
for our transformation and our sharing in his glory. Now, through the life and ministry of the
Last Adam, Jesus Christ, we too participate in the process whereby those of mankind who
believe in him are truly able to reflect the image of God. As Perfect Man, he has fulfilled the
original destiny of mankind by reclaiming the authority and dominion that the first Adam lost.
Is he a mere man? Hardly. He is everything God ever intended for man, and more, which
includes all glory and honor. And in his exaltation, we who believe on him will be exalted with
him and share in his glory. Hallelujah!

Jesus Christ: The
Purpose of the Ages
Having established the direct correlation between the first Adam and the Last Adam, we
now want to establish another aspect of our cornerstone: the biblical truth that Jesus Christ is
the purpose, or the "diameter, " of the ages. Perhaps the greatest purpose of Christ was the
redemption of mankind, which he accomplished by his death on the Cross, as the following
scripture says:
Ephesians 1: 7 (NRSV)
In him [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our
trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
As we can see, redemption is spoken of here as an accomplished reality. This same truth
is corroborated in other verses as well (e. g., Rom. 3: 24 and Col. 1: 14). But if that is all there is to
redemption, why a few verses later in Ephesians 1 does Scripture say that redemption is still
Ephesians 1: 13, 14 (NRSV)
(13) In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and
had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised holy spirit;
(14) this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to
the praise of his glory.
To eliminate this confusion, we must clearly define the term "redemption, " which is the
entire process
of redeeming, or literally "buying back" or "releasing on receipt of a ransom. "1
This word "ransom" evokes images of a kidnapping, which leads to the question, who kid-
napped what or whom? In a manner of speaking, Satan "kidnapped" God's creation by
introducing iniquity into it. By tricking Adam, he plunged mankind into captivity through sin,
death and the fear of death (Heb. 2: 14). Although he is not big enough to hold creation for
ransom in a literal sense, he has continually hindered [but not stopped] God's purposes, and he
continues to exercise the authority he usurped. It was this authority that he offered to share with
Jesus when he tempted him in the wilderness.
1. Bullinger, op. cti., Lexicon, p. 630.

One God & One Lord
Luke 4: 5-8 (NRSV)
(5) Then the devil led him up and showed him [Jesus] in an instant all the kingdoms of
the world.
(6) And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it
has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please.
(7) If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours. "
(8) Jesus answered him, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve only him. '
There are two questions raised by the Devil's assertion that he has authority and power to
bequeath on whomever he will, and the answer to them helps us understand why a complete
redemption of creation has become necessary. The first question is: who "gave" Satan authority
over "all the kingdoms of the world" so he could offer it to Jesus?2 The answer to this takes us
back again to Genesis 3. To whom had God given "dominion" over all the world? Adam. Who
entered the picture to cause Adam's fall? Satan. So let's put two and two together. What was
Satan's motivation to deceive Adam and Eve and cause their fall? Obviously, there had to be
something in it for him. He was not just out for a cosmic stroll, playing little tricks on whomever
he happened upon. Genesis 3: 1 tells us that the serpent was "more crafty" than any other
created being. His deliberate purpose was to trip up Adam and usurp his rulership by getting
him to default on his responsibility and therefore forfeit his dominion and authority. Satan
gambled that after Adam fell from grace, he would become the "top dog, " since he was still an
"angel of light" (even though a fallen one), and hence "superior" to Adam in spiritual ability. 3
The testimony of the Bible is that he succeeded, creating a need for the redemption of
God's entire creation. This would require someone to "crush" the serpent's head. Though God
is his superior, and could have immediately made him dust, He chose only to make Satan "eat
dust" (Gen. 3: 14) until the day that he would be made ashes. 4 God chose to delegate the task
of destroying His enemy, Satan, to His Son, the Redeemer and the Purpose of the Ages. The
grand purpose of Jesus Christ's life is understandable only in relationship to Satan's rebellion
and its consequences in heaven and on earth. As we have already seen, the scope of redemption
would require both his suffering and glory, for Christ would not be equal to the task of crushing
the serpent's head until he entered his "glory. " Not even the archangel Michael, the captain of
the army of the host of Lord, goes head-to-head with his former peer (see Jude 9, and
Appendix F).
Though Satan's presence and influence are almost totally veiled in the Old Testament, he
is described in the New Testament as a "prince" having a "kingdom, " accompanied by "rulers, "
2. Theologian John Calvin proposed the idea that God is the one who gave Satan this power in order to glorify himself
and demonstrate His superiority. The Bible never says this, and we believe such a notion seriously compromises God's
3. See E. W. Bullinger's Companion Bible, (reprinted; Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1974), Appendix 19, for an
interesting etymological study of the word "serpent, " showing that Satan appeared to Eve as an "enlightened one, "
spewing out his demented "brilliance. " 2 Corinthians 11:14 corroborates this truth: "Satan himself is transformed into
an angel of light. "
4. See pp. 27-29 of the CES book, Don't Blame God!.

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
"authorities, " "powers" and "spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Eph. 6: 12). Jesus
Christ totally exposed his kingdom and its effect on people (Luke 10: 17-24), and is in the process
of "bringing him to ashes" (Ezek. 28: 18). Though Satan knows his days are numbered, he is
insanely committed to hindering God's purposes and delaying the day of his doom, if he can.
He is also trying to deceive as many people as he can so they do not believe in Christ and receive
everlasting life in Paradise. As the father of pride and envy, he apparently reasons that if he is
going to be destroyed, he will take as many people down with him as possible.
The second question in regard to Satan's authority is: was this authority that he offered to
Jesus legitimately his to give, or was he lying? He is, after all, the "father of lies" (John 8: 44). The
most compelling answer to this question is the way Jesus answered the Devil. He did not
question the fact that the Devil was making a legitimate offer. He simply recognized that there
was too high a price to pay for what he was offering. We have no doubt that the Devil is still in
the empire-building business, enrolling everyone he can in the pursuit of worldly fame, fortune
and self-promotion. And those he cannot lure into that trap he discourages and humiliates by
setting before them unattainable ideals for "beauty, brains and bucks. " In case those traps fail,
he provides counterfeit religious systems for "escaping the world, " and persecution of those
who choose to resist. He has all the bases covered, because he is the "systematizer" of error. 5
Surveying the state of the world since the time of Adam's fall, we would have to say that there
is an invisible conductor orchestrating evil and masterminding events of nature and human
history in a manner contrary to the will of God. But we do not have to rely on our experience for
an accurate assessment, because God's Word says that this is precisely what is happening
behind the scenes:
1 John 5: 19 (NRSV)
We know that we are God's children, and that the whole world lies under the power of
the evil one.
So we see that the Redeemer still has a lot of work to do, and that redemption is still being
accomplished. This is because not only did Jesus come to redeem mankind by giving his life as
a sacrifice, God sent him to redeem all of His creation. 6 In the first part of his job, his enemy was
sin and death, and Jesus' orders were to endure suffering and death caused by the sin of Adam.
In the latter part of his assignment, Christ's enemy is Satan (and his demons), and his orders are
to rise up in his glory and vanquish all the enemies of God.
This latter aspect of his job description requires that he deal directly with the one
responsible for the introduction of sin and death into God's Creation. Remember that the first
5. Satan uses strategy and systematizes error such that it continues generation after generation. The Apostle Paul
wrote in Ephesians about people blown about by "craftiness in deceitful scheming" (Eph. 4: 14, NASB). "Craftiness" is
from the Greek panourgia, and means "craftiness, cunning, unscrupulousness, false wisdom. " It is the word used about
someone who will use any and all means to achieve an end. The words "deceitful scheming" are translated from the
Greek word methodeia (from which we get "method") and it means "deceit, craft or trickery" that has a plan or method
behind it. Thus, the Adversary has an evil plan and method, and will use any and all means at his disposal to reach his
sinister goals.
6. Romans 8: 19-21 clearly says that the entire creation awaits the day when it will "be liberated from its bondage to
decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. "

One God & One Lord
time the coming Redeemer is mentioned in Scripture was when God prophesied to Satan in
Genesis 3: 15 that he would eventually be destroyed, not by God Himself, but by the offspring of
the woman. This conflict and parallelism between Christ and the Devil is another aspect of the
cornerstone of the Christian faith that must be cut correctly. When we consider this head-to-
head cosmic fight- to-the-finish, we are struck with an insight concerning God's righteousness.
As God could not legally or righteously be the Redeemer of mankind because he could not die,
He would not be the destroyer of Satan because His righteousness is so pure that it extends even
to being fair and just to His archenemy. Though he could destroy Satan as easily as He had drop-
kicked him from heaven, God delegated the destruction of Satan to one who would earn the
right and the moral authority to do so — Jesus Christ! Though we cannot possibly know all that
was in the Father's heart, we know from Philippians 2: 13 that His plan of redemption is to His
glory, and His plan involved delegating the complete process of redemption to Christ. God is
there to help, guide and direct as always, but he has invested in Christ "all authority in heaven
and earth" (Matt. 28: 18), more than enough to get the job done.
Our God is not as interested in getting the job done quickly and efficiently as he is in having
it done RIGHT, as in righteously. There is also a majestic poetic justice involved in allowing
Christ to be Satan's destroyer. Because as Jesus walked the same path of temptation in the flesh
that Adam walked, without sinning, so in his glorified position as Lord he is standing where
Lucifer once stood, only without iniquity or pride being found in him. Hence, he is uniquely
qualified to undo what Lucifer did when he scorned his privileged anointing at God's right hand
as "the guardian cherub" in "the holy mount of God. "
Satan Started As a Star
Let us now look at the privileged position in which Lucifer began his existence, because
understanding his relationship with God and the manner in which he lost it will help us
appreciate Jesus Christ and his road to glory. Where Jesus began his earthly life in humility and
ended it in ignominy, Satan began in glory and will end in ashes. His downfall was his fatally
flawed decision to attempt to exalt himself to an even higher position than he was already given,
to a position just like God.
The following account in Ezekiel 28 is the most detailed reference in the entire Bible to
Satan's original state, his decision to leave it and his eventual complete annihilation. Note the
use of language in verse 12, making it appear that this passage is addressed only to a particular
" King of Tyre. " It is evident, however, that though this king may have had a few faults of his own,
they pale in comparison to the criminal antics of the one this passage is really being addressed
to — the Cosmic Criminal, Satan, the crafty old "Serpent. " Note also that God says here that He
will be the one to destroy Satan, but this is not a contradiction of Genesis 3: 15, which says that
the promised seed would crush his head. There is a common Hebrew idiom being employed
here in which the one whose plan it is can speak of doing the work, although he has actually
delegated it to an agent. 7
7. The Jewish rule of "agency" is explained in Appendices A (Gen. 16: 7-13) and D.

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
Ezekiel 28: 12-19 (NASB)
(12) Son of man, take up a lamention over the king of Tyre, and say to him: "Thus says
the Lord God: "You had the seal [i. e., you were the model] of perfection, full of wisdom
and perfect in beauty.
(13) You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the
ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the
turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets,
was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.
(14) You were the anointed cherub who covers and I placed you there. You were on the
holy mount of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
(15) You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until
unrighteousness was found in you.
(16) By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you
Therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have
destroyed you, Ï covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
(17) Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by
reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings [this will
happen in the future], that they may see you.
(18) By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade, you
profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; it has
consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the eyes of all who see you
[also future, spoken of as past for the certitude of the event—"the lake of fire"—Rev.
9: 20, etal\.
(19) All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have become
terrified, and you will be no more. '"
So we see that the present Adversary of God and His Christ began as "the model of
perfection, " beautiful and wise beyond comparison. From this description, he seems to have
been the most graciously favored of all God's created beings. Would it be going too far to assert
that God had given him everything he could give a created being without making him just like
Himself? We think this is what the above Scriptures are communicating. So it is all the more
reprehensible that Lucifer became discontent, actually thinking that he deserved to be even
more than he already was. Lucifer's pathetic example proves that it is always possible to be
unthankful, no matter how much one has been given.
At this point let us turn to the description of Lucifer's fall as found in Isaiah. We have
highlighted his five "I will" statements to accentuate the deliberate choice he made to reject
God's grace (biblically, the number five indicates "grace"). Note that this passage ends with a
revealing statement from God's perspective about who Satan really is, when stripped of all his
lies and pretensions. He is very small indeed, apart from what God has given him through His
grace and generosity. When he is finally revealed for who he is, and judged in righteousness by
the Son of Righteousness, all will marvel at what a pretender he really is, and how unworthy of

One God & One Lord
Isaiah 14: 12-17 (NASB)
(12) How you have fallen from heaven, Ï star of the morning, son of the dawn! [KJV—
"Lucifer"8 ] You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!
(13) But you said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the
stars of God; and I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the recesses of the north.
(14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. "
(15) Nevertheless, you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.
(16) Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, "Is this the
man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,
(17) Who made the world like a wilderness, and overthrew its cities, who did not allow
his prisoners to go home?"
Remember that in Ezekiel 28 Satan was described as being "full of wisdom, " until that
wisdom was "corrupted... by reason of [his] splendor. " Satan was, therefore, the original
embodiment of God's wisdom in a created being, and it is not too big a stretch to imagine that
he was God's companion in some aspects of creation. 9 But instead of being blessed to
participate with God in His divine functions, Satan desired personal "equality" with God,
meaning that he would have the same powers and abilities as his Creator. He was apparently
close enough to God to "taste" what it would be like to be Him, and considered such "equality"
enough of a possibility that he thought he could get away with grasping for it. Instead, he lost
his relationship with his Creator (because he apparently overlooked the fact that he was
created), and to this day uses the awesome ability that God gave him to hinder His purposes,
promote lies concerning the integrity of God's Word and bombard mankind with a plethora of
possibilities for errant belief and worship. His demented goal is to make good look evil, and evil
good, and the true God and His Christ look bad in any way he can. But like the primitive man
who throws mud at the sun to dim its light, so all his centuries-worth of effort to obscure God
and Christ from mankind will be to no avail, for one day "every tongue shall confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2: 13).
The fall of Lucifer left a big hole in heaven, so to speak, as he vacated his position of
authority and power as one of three archangels (along with Gabriel and Michael). He also
persuaded one-third of the angels to leave with him in his descent to oblivion. This caused a
radical restructuring of heavenly authority, the faithful angels having to fill the void left in the
rebels' wake. The position Satan left was not easily filled, for he was "the finished pattern"
8. The Hebrew word translated "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14: 12 (KJV) actually means "shining star. " The Latin Vulgate
translated the Hebrew as "Lucifer, " which made its way into the Roman Catholic Douay Version and into the King James
9. Such an idea is implied by Proverbs 8: 22-31, which describes by the figure of speech personification the role of
"wisdom" as God's companion in Creation. Some element of irony is involved in this passage if we think about Lucifer's
original wisdom, because in the same context, "wisdom" says: "I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse
speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power. By me kings reign and rulers make
laws that are just; by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth" (Prov. 8: 13-16). Satan employs his corrupted
"wisdom" to administer his kingdom of darkness, and would not be able to do so except that he also employs his God-
given abilities.

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages 59
(mold) when God created him to be his "right hand man. "10 Christ is the new mold, patterning
himself exactly after his Father, as Hebrews 1: 3 communicates. God had given the position to
Lucifer as his "birthright, " so to speak, since he just "woke up" one day as a created being
equipped to the max. It is clear that God had already formulated a plan for filling this position
with another exalted being. But we can surmise that he purposed in his heart that the next time
it would be by someone earning the right to it, someone who would not try to grasp at equality
with Him. The following passage highlights Christ's humility in contrast to Satan's prideful
Philippians 2: 5-8
(5) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
(6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be
(7) But made himself nothing [KJV— "of no reputation"], taking the very nature of a
servant, being made in human likeness.
(8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient
to death, even death on a cross.
(9) Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is
above every name,
(10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under
the earth,
(11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Clearly, God has exalted His wonderful Son to "the highest place, " a place that is "just like
God, " or functionally equal with God. This is the very place that Lucifer wanted to be, but
because he grabbed for it, he was cast out of heaven. In contrast, Jesus is not concerned with
having personal equality with God as Lucifer was. He is content to serve God in whatever way
and in whatever role God gives him. Because of this humility, God has exalted him as high as
he can exalt someone — to His own right hand, equal in authority, power and dominion with
Himself. As Jesus said in Matthew 28: 18, "all authority in heaven and earth has been given to
me. " The delegation of this authority occurred right after his resurrection, but was realized
when he was seated at the right hand of God after his Ascension.
The authority God has given Christ has placed him in a position of functional equality with
Let's look again at 1 Corinthians 15: 24-28, paying particular attention to the highlighted
phrase in the last verse.
1 Corinthians 15: 24-28 (NASB)
(24) Then comes the end, when He [Christ] delivers up the kingdom to the God and
Father, when He [Christ] has abolished all rule and all authority and power [by
exercising his own].
10 Bullinger, op. cit., Companion text note on Ezekiel 28: 12, p. 1145.

One God & One Lord
(25) For He [Christ] must reign until He [God, from Ps. 10: 1] has put all His [Christ's]
enemies under His [Christ's] feet.
(26) The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
(27) "For He [God] has put all things in subjection under His [Christ's] feet. " But when
He says "all things are put in subjection, " it is evident that He [God] is excepted who put
all things in subjection to Him [Christ].
(28) And when all things are subjected to Him, then [in the future, not now] the Son
himself will be also be subjected to the One
[God] who subjected all things to Him
[Christ], that God may be all in all.
If the Son will be made subject to God in the future at the end of his Millennial reign on the
earth, the time to which this is referring, then what does that say about his present relationship
with God, his Father? It says that presently Christ is fully authorized as God's appointed agent
of redemption, not subordinate to His Father, but in a functionally equal position. He is in a
relationship with God like the relationship that Joseph had with Pharaoh, personally distinct
from him but reigning with all his authority (we will explore this more fully in the next chapter).
As the result of his resurrection and ascension, Jesus Christ has the privilege to share with God
in the dominion of all His Creation, not only in this, the Church Age, but in the coming ages as
well. 11
In reference to his original splendor, Lucifer was called a "morning star, " which actually
means "shining star. " But he became too bright for his britches. Jesus Christ is referred to in
Revelation 22: 16 as the "BRIGHT morning star, " indicating that he now exceeds Lucifer's
original brilliance because of his virtuous character. By never trying to shine in his own light,
but being content to reflect the Father's brilliance, Jesus has now been blessed by God to be a
luminary of luminaries, shining alongside God at His right hand. God "broke the mold" when
he created Lucifer, but Jesus Christ is patterning himself 'after his Father, as we will see later in
Hebrews 1: 3. What Lucifer sought for and even grabbed at—equality with God—Jesus never
even considered for a moment that it could be his. But since Lucifer's rebellion, God has longed
for one to be his companion and share with Him in His many divine functions. Jesus Christ is
now such a one, a glorious Lord not in anyway competing with the Father, but to cooperate with
Him to His glory.
The question naturally arises at this point in our discussion: how can Jesus function in this
exalted manner, considering that he is still a man? (1 Tim. 2: 5). To answer that, we have to know
something about his new body, and this is what we will explore next.
Two Jobs, Two Bodies
Christ's first body was perfectly suited for carrying out the first aspect of the job of
"Redeemer. " It was not stained with sin nature and yet it could die. Hebrews speaks of this body.
11. Ephesians 1: 21 says that Christ has been given authority "not only in the present age, but also in the one to come. "

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
Hebrews 10: 5-7 (NRSV)
(5) Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifices and offerings
you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me;
(6) in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. "
(7) Then I said, "See, God, I have come to do your will, Ï God" (in the scroll of the books
it is written about me. 12
The "will of God" for Jesus Christ in the "suffering" part of his calling was for him to live an
obedient life and then lay down his life for mankind. His body was therefore prepared as the
perfect sacrifice. What was the will of God for Jesus Christ after his resurrection? It was for him
to be highly exalted and actually reign with God on high, as King David, the Psalmist, had
Psalm 110: 1, 2 (NRSV)
(1) The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies [especially
Satan] your footstool. "
(2) The Lord sends out from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your foes.
The Jews had rightly expected that the Messiah would sit on the throne of David in
Jerusalem and rule the earth in righteousness. It was this session on the Davidic throne that the
Jews were avidly anticipating at the time of Christ's earthly ministry. But Psalm 110 referred to
a time of an even greater exaltation — literally sitting at the right hand of God.
Clearly, to be able to perform in this exalted capacity, he would need to have a correspond-
ingly exalted body. Reading between the lines of Psalm 110: 1 and 2, we see that part of Christ's
job is to subdue his "enemies" with God's help, but he did not subdue his enemies when he
came the first time. In fact, his enemies subdued him, at least that is how it looked. In his
resurrected glorification, however, he is able to subdue all things to himself (Phil 2: 21). He is
presently working to destroy the works of his chief enemy, Satan, even as Genesis 3: 15 had
prophesied. Furthermore, he is empowering his people against the enemy as well. Ephesians
6: l Off indicates that there is a spiritual war raging all about us, and to successfully stand we must
be "strong in the Lord, " that is, rely on his strength in us.
So it stands to reason that part of what would equip Christ for his next assignment, ruling
and reigning with God in heaven itself, was his having a body equal to the task. To begin with,
this body would have to be equipped with the ability to transcend the physical limitations of
earth bound existence. Five verses in Hebrews and one in Ephesians point to Christ's passage
12. Note that the Messiah speaks of "God" in verse 7 as one wholly other to himself, and the One whose will he came
to do. This is the same truth communicated in verse 8 of the same chapter, when it says "thy God, " meaning that even
in Messiah's exalted position, he is to recognize God's personal superiority. His position involves only functional
equality with God. When speaking to Mary Magdalene in one of his post-resurrection appearances, he said, "I am
returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (John 20: 17).

One God & One Lord
through "the heavens, " or the physical universe, into "heaven itself, " a spiritual place where God
and angels dwell. 13
Hebrews 1: 3b (NRSV)
When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on
[i. e., in heaven.
Hebrews 4: 14 (NRSV)
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the
Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.
Hebrews 7: 26 (NRSV)
For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled,
separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
Hebrews 8: 1 (NRSV)
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who
is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.
Hebrews 9: 24 (NRSV)
(24) For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made my human hands, a mere copy of the true
one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our
Ephesians 4: 8-10 (NRSV)
(8) Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high, he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people. "
(9) (When it says, "he ascended, " what does mean but that he had also descended into
the lower parts of the earth?
(10) He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that
he might fill all things [NIV"the whole universe. ")
So Christ now reigns in heaven in his resurrected body, which has been perfectly designed
for him to function as God's right-hand man. He "fills" the hole in heaven left by the departing
Serpent and his brood of vipers. He also now reigns over the Church as its Head, and he will
appear again from heaven to literally rule the earth from Jerusalem for 1, 000 years. At the end
of that time, he will destroy Satan and his associates, cast death and hell into the lake of fire and,
having vanquished all enemies, enjoy the final Paradise that is his reward. Amazingly, we who
have believed in him will enjoy it along with him, our wonderful Redeemer.
13. The Bible distinguishes between "the heavens," which refer to the physical universe, and "Heaven, " which often
refers to the spiritual home of God and angels. The entirety of the heavens is spoken of metaphorically as God's
"throne, " and the earth as his "footstool. "

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
Jesus Christ: The Diameter of the Ages
The first three verses in the Book of Hebrews clearly define the greatness of Jesus Christ as
the "Purpose of the Ages. " They are a kind of capsulation of most of the Old Testament and the
Four Gospels, summarizing God's communication to mankind from His calling of the nation of
Israel to His exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord. They provide a fitting introduction to our
examination of Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Old Testament and the Four Gospels, as well
as in the Book of Acts and the Church Epistles. Let us begin with the first two verses:
Hebrews 1: 1-2 (NRSV)
(1) Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways through the
(2) but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all
things, through [dia] whom he also created the worlds [ages]. 14
Clearly, the essence of these verses is that God has communicated to man by the spoken
Word, by the written Word and finally by the created and living Word, His Son Jesus Christ.
Verse two is sometimes used to attempt to prove that Jesus is the Creator, but a closer look at
it in its context reveals the error of this assumption. 15 Critical to this examination is the key
Greek preposition, dia, of which E. W. Bullinger states:
14. It is unfortunate that the King James Version usually renders the Greek word aion as "world, " because it leaves the
reader with the idea of place instead of time. The word aion means "an age, or a period of time. " From it, we get the
corresponding English word " eon. " Galatians 1: 4 speaks of Jesus rescuing us from "this present evil age. " This brings
up two questions: what is the duration of this present age and why is it evil? The answers are closely related. In Luke
4: 6, while the Devil was tempting Jesus, he told Jesus that all the kingdoms of the world were his to give because they
had been "delivered unto him. " Jesus did not dispute this claim because he knew it was true. Had it not been true,
Satan's offer would not have been a temptation to Christ. When the first Adam originally disobeyed God, he lost his God-
given dominion and authority over the Earth. Thus, began the" present evil age, " and it will not end until the Last Adam
comes again and takes back this dominion and authority by force. In the meantime, Satan is referred to as the "god of
this age" (2 Cor. 4: 4). While living in this present evil age, each Christian is encouraged to not be "conformed to this age"
(Rom. 12: 2), but to be transformed by the renewing of his mind. Hebrews 1: 2 is also badly mistranslated in the New
International Version,
which otherwise correctly translates aion as "age. " The very trinitarian NIV there renders aion
as "universe, " because they believe that as "God the Son, " Jesus was in on the original Genesis creation. For a thorough
explanation of this verse, see Appendix A.
15. The phrase "Through whom he made the universe" has been repeatedly used to support the doctrine of the Trinity,
when it actually does not. The points made by J. S. Hyndman in 1824 are still valid today:
"Through whom he made the worlds. " It is really curious to observe the confidence with which this
passage is brought forward in support of the idea that Jesus not only existed before he appeared as a man, but
also that he created the material universe. The preposition which is here used in connection with epoisen ["he
made"] is dia, which universally denotes instrumental agency, by way of distinction from hypo, which is almost
universally used to signify primary or original causation. Supposing, then, that the notion of creation is conveyed
by the original of the word translated "made, " and supposing also that "world" is a correct translation of the
Greek noun which occurs in the passage, what, I ask, would be the doctrine of the words? Would it be that the
Son created the world as an original artificer? Surely not; but that God created it by the agency or means of Jesus

One God & One Lord
The word "through" is the Greek word dia, which when used with the genitive case:
"... has the general sense of through... From the ideas of space and time, dia... denotes
any cause by means of which an action passes to its accomplishment... hence, it denotes
the passing through whatever is interposed between the beginning and end of such
action. 16
Jesus Christ is the "diameter of the ages"; he is the golden thread woven throughout the
royal tapestry of truth. He was in the mind and plan of God when Satan rebelled, when the first
Adam sinned and all throughout the Old Testament as God patiently worked to preserve and
protect his line of descent, the Christ line. Finally, the Redeemer was born and then lived his life
flawlessly. As the exalted Lord, he will eventually bring to pass the complete redemption of
Creation. Jesus Christ is the fulcrum and focus of history, which is really "His - story. " In
commissioning His Son as the Redeemer of mankind, God "put all His eggs in one basket, " so
to speak. Only Jesus Christ, the Last Adam, could do His will of redeeming Creation, and it would
require the "ages" to consummate this master plan. As the focal point of the ages, Jesus Christ
is the cause or the "means" through (dia=by means of) which God's plan is being accomplished.
Regarding God's plan of redemption through Jesus Christ, Hebrews 1: 3 magnificently sets
forth vital information concerning who, how and what. To see the depth of redemption relative
to this entire study, a number of words in verse 3 must be examined. First, we will look at five
words in the first sentence:
Hebrews 1: 3
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being,
sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
In the above verse, the word "radiance" is translated from the Greek word apaugasma,
which Thayer translates as "reflected brightness. " Thayer goes on to say that Christ is called this
because "he perfectly reflects the majesty of God. " 17
This verse is parallel in the mode of its phraseology to the first verse. Now, as when it is said, "God spake
through the Son, " the universal doctrine of the New Testament is expressed respecting the source of our Savior's
knowledge, viz., that it was derived from Him who was greater than he, and that he was not the original fountain
of his communications. So when it is said, "God made the worlds through his Son, " it is no less clear and no less
incontrovertible that all that is attributed to Jesus in the passage is an agency that is secondary and subordinate
to that of the Supreme. Indeed, as in the former sentence, so in this, the very form and structure of the
phraseology are more than sufficient to determine this point....
Not in fact to admit that the words, "through whom also he made the world, " convey the idea of
instrumental agency in the Son, is either to make the sentence perfectly unintelligible or absurd...
The proper and literal rendering of aiones, translated "worlds, " is ages or dispensations. This is its natural
and only proper meaning. It is so translated in almost all its occurrences in the New Testament, and in many
instances must be so as to make sense and coherency in the sentences with which it stands connected.
J. S. Hyndman, Lectures on the Principles of Unitarianism (Alnwick, 1824. Reprinted by CES, Indianapolis, IN,
1994), p. 125-127. (For more information on Hebrews 1: 2, see Appendix A).
16. Bullinger, op. cit, Companion, Appendix 104.

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages 65
The word "glory" is defined as referring to "not the object itself, but the appearance of the
object that attracts attention. " 18 An apple may be nothing special, but a highly polished,
glistening apple would stand out in a bowl of other apples and attract attention. A man may be
nothing special, but The Man Jesus Christ shined among other men and attracted much
"Exact representation" is charakter, which is found only in Hebrews 1: 3. The word is
derived from the verb charasso, meaning "to cut in, to engrave. " The word means the exact
impression as when metal is pressed into a die, or as a seal upon wax. 19 Charakter is "a
distinctive sign, trait, type, or form, the image impressed as corresponding exactly with the
original or pattern. " 20 Jesus Christ has earned and been given the distinction of being the
perfect representative of Almighty God. As we saw in Chapter 2 in connection with the Greek
word eikon, Adam was designed to be the image, or the representative of God, but in large part
disqualified himself by his disobedience. In contrast, Christ has, by virtue of his faithful
obedience, continued to pattern himself after his Father.
"Being" is translated from the Greek word hupostasis, which appears four other places (2
Cor. 9: 4; 11: 17; Heb. 3: 14; 11: 1). It means "a substructure, what really exists under or out of sight,
the essence of a matter in contrast to its appearance. "21 Its use in Greek literature supports this
definition, as it indicates "the reality behind appearances. " Its use in the Septuagint (a Greek
translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) gives it the essence of a "plan" or "purpose. "22 This
is added support for the idea that Jesus Christ is the "purpose of the ages. "
The first part of Hebrews 1: 3 may then be paraphrased as follows:
Jesus Christ is the reflection of God's power. He is the extraordinary Man whose
appearance attracts attention. He radiates the character of God to the world, being the
exact impression of God's heart. The invisible God is the unseen foundation upon
which Jesus Christ built His life. God is the Author of the master plan of salvation, and
Jesus Christ is the Agent who is carrying it out.
The remainder of verse 3 illustrates how he does so, and what he is accomplishing for
mankind. The next clause to consider is, "sustaining all things by his [Jesus Christ's] powerful
word. " Jesus Christ is bringing to pass God's plan by his steadfast adherence to God's Word. He
continues to adhere faithfully to God's plan for the Church Age. A mirror turned toward the sun
will reflect its light very brightly, but if the mirror is turned away from the source of light, there
17. Joseph Thayer, The New Thayer's Greek - English Lexicon of the New Testament (Associated Publishers and Authors,
Lafayette, IN, 1979), p. 55.
18. Bullinger, op. cit., Lexicon, p. 323.
19.  Ibid., Lexicon, p. 401.
20.  Ibid., p. 401.
21.  Ibid., p. 582.
22.  Gerhard Kittel, op. cit., Theological Dictionary, Vol. VIII, pp. 578-82.

One God & One Lord
will be no reflection, even though the sun is still shining. Even at the right hand of God, Jesus
Christ keeps the countenance of his life fixed upon his heavenly Father, and always reflects
God's light.
The next clause in Hebrews 1: 3 —"after he had provided purification for sins"—shows
what the Redeemer brought to pass by his faithfulness in acting upon the Word of God. When
mankind's potential purification was complete, Jesus Christ sat down at the right hand of God.
The purification of man's sins, and Jesus Christ taking his seat of authority on high, were
completed once and for all. What this action accomplished for those who believe on him will
be fully known only at his appearing.
While accomplishing the everlasting redemption of people who choose to believe on his
name, Jesus Christ set a unique example of victorious day - by - day living. In so doing, he
declared God to the world. Today, Jesus Christ is no longer on the earth, but those who are born
again have "Christ" in them by way of holy spirit, his divine nature, and they can by Christ like
faithfulness to God's Word manifest a similar attractive radiance. Each believer today can rise
above the mediocrity of worldly men and shine extraordinarily to the end that his life is also a
glory to God.
It is in the "face" of our Lord Jesus that we most clearly see the glory of God. Though we
do not have a physical image of his "face, " we are able to study his life and attributes in God's
Word and get to know him in that way. We are also able to have a personal relationship with him
via the gift of holy spirit. This is why, for successful Christian living, it is absolutely imperative
that we dwell in the heart of our wonderful Savior day by day, making his attitude our attitude.
The more we know and love the Lord Jesus, the more we know, love and glorify God, our Father.
One God & One Lord
Let us now cite another key passage of Scripture that corroborates the truths we just saw
in Hebrews 1: 1-4, and which also contains the thesis verse of this book.
1 Corinthians 8: 4-6
(4) So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all
in the world and that there is no God but one.
(5) For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there
are many "gods" and many "lords"),
(6) Yet for us there is but ONE GOD, the Father, from whom all things came and for
whom we live
; and there is but ONE LORD, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came
and through whom we live.
Notice that the context in which verse 6 is found is specifically regarding the worshipping
of idols, that is, false gods. Paul states that among the polytheistic heathen there are many gods
and many lords, and he then draws a clear contrast between pagan polytheism and Christian
monotheism [belief in only one God]. This expression of monotheism involves an absolute

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
distinction between "God" and Jesus Christ, precluding the idea that Jesus Christ could be
"God" in the same sense that the Father is "God. "23 In one of many clear identity statements
that define who "God" is, verse 6 clearly says that the only true "God" is "the Father. " 24 John
17: 3 also teaches this truth by recording the words of Jesus himself when he referred to God, his
Father, as "the only true God. " In light of the clarity of these verses, we marvel that so many
Christians can accept the orthodox teaching that Jesus is "true God from true God" as the
Nicene Creed propounds. Verse 6 is, in reality, a classic summation of the heart of true
Christianity. Let us look at it again, this time in more detail.
1 Corinthians 8: 6
Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from [ek= "out from"] whom all things came
and for [eis= "unto"] whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through [dia]
whom all things came and through [dia] whom we live.
Please bear with us as we review a bit of basic grammar and parts of speech, carefully
noticing the precise use of the prepositions in this verse. Prepositions are like signposts that
direct the meaning of a passage. Notice the distinct and separate use of the Greek prepositions
ek in relation to God and dia in relation to Christ. This should arrest our attention and keep us
from speeding past these important signs on our way to a preconceived idea (and maybe getting
a ticket for violating the laws of logic). Ek indicates something coming out from its source or
origin, and indicates motion from the interior. 25 Remember this last phrase, because it is central
to understanding the precision of this verse. In other words, all things came out from the loving
heart of God, or God's "interior, " so to speak. This agrees with Genesis 1: 1, which says, "In the
beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. " Both verses say that the source of "all things"
is the one true God, the Creator of the heavens and earth and the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The NIV translation of the next clause related to God—"and for whom we live"—contains
a fabulous truth. In the Greek text, there is no word for "live, " and the word "for" is the word eis,
usually translated "unto. " When used with the accusative case, eis means "into, unto, to,
implying motion to the interior. "26 It is saying, in essence, that "we were evicted, but He let us
move back in. " We are reconciled to God. How? Through (dia) the agency of Christ. Jesus is like
23. Of course we do not dispute the fact that theos is apparently used in relation to Christ in a few verses of scripture,
most notably John 1: 1; 20: 28 and Hebrews 1: 8 (for more information on these verses see Appendix A). As Jesus himself
acknowledged, in John 8: 34 and 35, Scripture employs a usage of "god" that is equivalent to "God's human represen-
tative. " What we object to is the way many Trinitarians equivocate the term "God" to mean "God the Father as distinct
from God the Son. " In the vast majority of the cases, the word "God" is used of the one - and - only true God who is also
the Father of Jesus Christ. Understood without the equivocation, the term "God" logically excludes" the Son of God, "
Jesus Christ. Without equivocating the term "God, " how can anyone argue that anyone can be both "God" and "the Son
of God" at the same time. See Appendix K.
24. See also Rom. 1: 7; 1 Cor. 1: 3; 15: 24; 2Cor. 1: 2, 3; ll: 31; Gal. 1: 1, 3, 4; Eph. 1: 2, 3, 17; 4: 6; 5: 20; 6: 23; Phil. 1: 2; IThess. 1: 1, 3,
James 3: 9, et al.
25.  Bullinger, op. cit, Lexicon, p. 308.
26.  Ibid., p. 403.

One God & One Lord
a rental agent who paid our back rent and restored our relationship with the landlord. Or he is
like the sports agent who wins a fabulous contract for us even after we've had a terrible year.
In John 14: 6, Jesus said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes unto the
Father except through [dia] me, " i. e., through my agency. In other words, the Holy God is on the
other side of an immense chasm separating Him from sinful man. Without the agency of Jesus
Christ, the Messiah, spanning the chasm by means of his atoning sacrifice and resurrection, we
would be forever consigned to falling short of reaching God with our pathetic religious works
and good intentions.
As we have now seen several times, the preposition associated with the Lord Jesus Christ
is dia, meaning "through. " Are we seeing a pattern here? A diameter is a straight line running
all the way from a point on one side of the circle through the center to a point on the other side
of the circle. God is the point on one side and man is the point on the other. The Man Jesus Christ
is the Mediator, the straight line, between God and men (1 Tim. 2: 5). He is "the bridge over
troubled waters. " He is The Way all the way unto the Father. Lo and behold, that is what the last
part of 1 Corinthians 8: 6 says, that through (dia) the one Lord, Jesus Christ, all things come from
God to us, and through him we come unto God. How could God make any plainer the truth that
He, the Father, is the one true God, and that His Son Jesus Christ is the Lord through whom He
worked to accomplish the redemption of mankind? The Lord Jesus is the one and only agent of
redemption, and the one "basket" in which God put all his "eggs. "
The "Dynamic Duo"
Since God and Christ are working together so intimately, we have taken the liberty of
calling them "the Dynamic Duo. " This phrase communicates to us the fact that both God and
Jesus Christ are involved in our lives and the process of redemption. Building upon the
foundation we have laid from 1 Corinthians 8: 6, let us see further biblical evidence of this One
God, One Lord paradigm.
Ephesians 4: 4-6 (NRSV)
(4) There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your
(5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism;
(6) One God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
This section also marks out a distinct separation between the one Lord, Jesus Christ, and
the one God, the Father. We also see the elevation of the Father as the one to whom all glory is
due as the Source of "all, " and Who is over, through and in "all. " Note also the precise identity
established between "God" and "the Father. " There is no other true God beside "the Father. "
And the Son is not "God, " but he is "Lord. "
Every one of the Church Epistles begins with the salutation, "Grace and peace from God
the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. " This fits with 1 Corinthians 8: 6, which states that there

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
is "one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ. " One plus one equals two. In Scripture, the
number two denotes either division and distinction or establishment and confirmation. 27 In
fact, without a distinction between two things, there could be no confirmation of one by the
other. Regarding the relationship between God and Christ, the number two indicates both a
separation and connection. The connecting word, "and, " in itself indicates the distinction
between God and Christ.
It is very important for us to see clearly the relationship between the one God, the Father,
the Author of salvation, and the one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Agent of salvation.
Romans 15: 8 (NRSV)
For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised (i. e., Jews) on behalf
of truth of God, in order that he might confirm the promises [that God] given to the
This verse says that Jesus Christ came to confirm God's promises to Israel, coming along
as Number Two behind God, who is Numero Uno, and who made the original promises to Israel.
What other verses can we find to clarify the distinction and the cohesion of "the Dynamic
1 Timothy 2: 5 (NRSV)
For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, the man
Christ Jesus, himself human
By definition, a "mediator" is a separate person from each of the two parties between
whom he mediates (Gal. 3: 20). Jesus Christ is separate from God because he is a man, and he
is separate from sinful mankind because he is God's only-begotten Son who had no sin nature
and lived a sinless life. If Adam and his descendants had remained sinless, they would have had
no need for a mediator. The introduction of sin into the life of mankind necessitated the
mediation of a sinless man. Of course, Jesus knew this, as evidenced by what he prayed shortly
before his death:
John 17: 3 (NRSV)
And this is eternal life [life in the coming age], that they may know you, the only true
God, and Jesus Christ
, whom you have sent.
27. E. W. Bullinger discusses the significance of the number two in his classic work on numbers in Scripture:
We now come to the spiritual significance of the number Two. We have seen that One excludes all
difference, and denotes that which is sovereign. But Two affirms that there is a difference — there is another,
while ONE affirms that there is not another! This difference may be for good or for evil... The number Two takes
a two - fold colouring, according to the context. It is the first number by which we can divide another, and
therefore in all its uses we may trace this fundamental idea of division or difference. The two may be, though
different in character, yet one as to testimony and friendship. "
Number In Scripture, Its Supernatural Design And Spiritual Significance, (Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI,
1971), p. 92-106.

One God & One Lord
Jesus referred to his Father as the only true God, and understood that God commissioned
him as the agent of salvation. As the Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus works with our heavenly
Father to direct the functions of its members and to help us carry them out, as the following
verses make clear.
2 Thessalonians 2: 16, 17 (NRSV)
(16) May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through
grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope,
(17) comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.
Another verse, perhaps somewhat "obscure" but nonetheless relevant to our context here,
clearly illustrates the distinction and cohesion between God and His Son, as well as the
conspicuous absence of a "third person. "
2 John 9 (NRSV)
Every one who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not
have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
Another passage that makes the distinction between God and Christ is 1 Corinthians
15: 24-28. The distinction between God and Christ in this section is so abundantly plain that
even in the text itself it is called "clear. " Here the Word of God vividly declares the relationship
between God and Jesus Christ as it relates to Christ having accomplished all the work God sent
him to do and finally being made subject to God as His co-ruler on the new earth. We will quote
this passage again from the perspective of the clear separation between the two, identifying to
whom each pronoun is referring. The way to determine the referent of the pronouns is to
remember from Psalm 110: 1 and 2 that God is the one who puts everything under Christ's feet,
including his enemies. He gives Christ the authority to reign for a time, until his enemies are
1 Corinthians 15: 24-28
(24) Then the end will come, when he [Christ] hands over the kingdom to God, the
Father, after he [Christ] has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
(25) For he [Christ] must reign until he [God] has put all his [Christ's] enemies under his
[Christ's] feet.
(26) The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
(27) For he [God] "has put everything under his [Christ's] feet. " Now when it says that
"everything" has been put under him [Christ], it is CLEAR that this does not include
God himself, who put everything under Christ.

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
(28) When he [Christ] has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him
[God] who put everything under him [Christ], so that God may be all in all. 28
This passage contains echoes of another passage of Scripture that we looked at in the
previous chapter in connection with the privilege extended to mankind. The language is
applied to Christ, who, as we have discussed, is fulfilling mankind's destiny and privilege.
Psalm 8: 3-8 (NASB)
(3) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which
thou hast ordained;
(4) what is man that you dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that thou dost
care for him?
(5) thou hast made him a little lower than God, and dost crown him with glory and
(6) Thou dost make him to rule over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things
under his feet,
(7) all all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
(8) the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths
of the seas.
A verse in the last chapter of the Bible corresponds with the Corinthians verses, and forever
fixes the relationship of the "Dynamic Duo. "
28. One of the reasons we quote this passage repeatedly is that it so clearly defines the relationship between God and
Christ in both person and function. As such, it is very difficult for Trinitarian theologians to interpret in a way that is
honest to the text. A stunning example of how a Trinitarian bias can color what would otherwise be an obvious
interpretation of a passage is found in the NIV Study Bible note on the phrase "the Son himself will be made subject to
him" (1 Cor. 15: 28). The NIV editors attempt to elevate the Son with a distinction between person and function that,
in effect, demeans the personal superiority of the Father:
The Son will be made subject to the Father in the sense that administratively [ i. e., functionally], after he
subjects all things to his power, he will then turn it all over to God the Father, the administrative head. This is
not to suggest that the Son is in any way inferior to the Father. All three persons of the Trinity are equal in deity
and in dignity [ i. e., they have personal equality]. The subordination referred to is one of function. The Father
is supreme in the Trinity |but only in a functional sense]; the Son carries out the Father's will (e. g., in creation,
redemption); the Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son to vitalize life, communicate God's truth, apply His
salvation to people and enable them to obey God's will (or word).
This explanation is arbitrary. There is no mention of "equality in deity but difference in function" in these verses.
The text is clear as it stands — the Son will be subject to "God" (not "the Father"). Simply reading the verses reveals the
separation between "God" and Christ, and also reveals the superiority of God over Christ. The editorial bias of the NIV
editors is further revealed when, after the passage in 1 Corinthians 15: 24-28 has clearly separated "God" from "Christ, "
with no mention of "the Holy Spirit, " they equivocate the term "God" to mean "the Triune God, " instead of the God
whose identity is "the Father of Jesus Christ, " who is clearly the one in view. They then comment on the phrase "so that
God may be all in all, " as follows: " The triune God will be shown to be supreme and sovereign in all things. "

One God & One Lord
Revelation 22: 3
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city,
and his servants will serve him. 29
Hebrews 1: Christ's
Superiority over the Angels
Another important aspect of Christ as the cornerstone of our faith is his supremacy in
heaven since his resurrection. This idea naturally and logically follows from the idea that Christ
is functionally equal to God, because since God is obviously the highest authority in heaven, if
he delegates that authority to someone, that person will share supremacy with God and reign
over everyone else. Because Christ has been resurrected and has ascended into heaven, he now
has authority and supremacy over the angels, as the following verse makes clear.
1 Peter 3: 21b, 22
It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's
right hand — with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
Christ's present superiority over the angels is also the subject of a detailed argument found
in Hebrews 1: 4-14, which we will now go through verse by verse, visiting other corroborating
parts of Scripture as appropriate.
Hebrews 1: 4 (NRSV)
Having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more
excellent than theirs.
We know that Christ became superior to the angels after his resurrection, because of what
is written in the very next chapter of Hebrews:
Hebrews 2: 9
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, NOW [ i. e., since his
resurrection] crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the
grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
If he was to perform his earthly ministry as God desired, Jesus had to be made a man and
not an angel. But, as he was made "a little lower" than the angels before his resurrection, he was
29. Certainly, if there were any such thing as a "Trinity, " then all three persons should be present on this august
occasion. "God the Holy Spirit" would also be included in all of the above verses we have considered, such as greeting
the churches, etc. But, absolutely, "He" would have to be there on the final throne, or the "Godhead" would be
incomplete. The truth is that there is but ONE GOD and ONE LORD, and they will together rule over a literal and
physical "new creation, " in fulfillment of God's original dream and plan.

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
made "a little higher" than they after it. As spirit beings, angels are not subject to the laws of
physics. They fly without wings, appear and disappear at will, speak from the center of burning
shrubs, comfort heroic believers thrown into giant furnaces, and often minister miraculously
to those who "will inherit salvation" (Heb. 1: 14). 30
In contrast to angels, the first body that Jesus had was a distinctly physical body, and
therefore subject to the laws of physics. He was subject to gravity because his body had real
mass, hunger because his body burned food for energy, and physical exhaustion because, due
to the law of inertia, energy must be continually applied to keep any physical object moving in
space. When he wanted to go somewhere, he had to walk, and he got tired from journeying. His
body needed rest, food and sleep as any human being's body does. When he got a splinter in
his finger while working in his carpentry shop, it hurt, and it bled. When he was beaten and
crucified, his body went into shock and finally he died like any other human body.
But, when Christ was raised from the dead, he was given a glorious body that enabled him
to do everything that angels do and more. He is apparently no longer limited to the laws of
physics as we understand them. He "passed through" the heavens in an instant, rather than at
the speed of light. If he were a true "physical" being, as defined by the present laws of physics,
he could travel no faster than the speed of light, and would just now be approaching the galaxies
that are relatively close to the earth — a mere 2, 000 light years away! He passed through locked
doors to greet the disciples who were huddled there in fear. He transformed his appearance so
he would be recognizable or unrecognizable. In short, it appears that he can now do everything
that angels do.
Yet, his body retains some kind of physicality, for Jesus specifically said that he is not "a
spirit" (NIV — "ghost"): "For a ghost [i. e., a true spirit being] does not have flesh and bones, as
you see I have" (Luke 24: 38). Besides having flesh and bones, he also has a digestive system,
because he ate fish with the disciples, and as he stated, he will eat and drink with them again in
the future kingdom. He encouraged Thomas to actually touch him to prove to himself that it
was really he. And a particularly intriguing aspect of his new, glorious body is that it still bears
the wounds of his injuries on the Cross — the nail prints in his hands and feet and the hole in his
side, yet without blood. 31
The first stage of Christ's "glory" was his resurrection from the dead, which represented
a qualitative new beginning of his life. Every other person who had ever been raised from the
dead, like Lazarus in John 11, got up with the same body. Jesus is the only person who got up
with a wholly different body. It is highly noteworthy to us that although Jesus had been
conceived divinely and born of Mary more than 30 years earlier through the normal processes
30. Despite their various mysterious aspects, we do know one thing about angels biblically — they are not dead humans'.
See Is There Death After Life? published by CES.
31. It is a matter of intriguing speculation as to what animates his new body. We see a connection with 1 Corinthians
15: 45 which calls the Last Adam a "life-giving spirit. " It appears that he has "life in himself (John 5: 26), instead of having
life "in his blood, " which is characteristic of human and animal life in this present heaven and earth.

One God & One Lord
(her pregnancy, grunting, labor pains, etc.), his resurrection is also spoken of as a birthday!32
This we can see from the next verse in the first chapter of Hebrews.
Hebrews 1: 5 (NRSV)
For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have begotten
you"? Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son"?
The phrase, "today I have begotten you" is a citation of a phrase that first appeared in the
second Psalm, in connection with the Messiah's future rulership of the earth.
Psalm 2: 7-9 (NRSV)
(7) I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have
begotten you.
(8) Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your
(9) You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Though the Jewish commentators at that time would have been hard pressed to see any
connection between this phrase and the resurrection of the Messiah, it was clearly referring to
it, as is seen in the Apostle Paul's use of it in his discourse to the Jews in Antioch of Pisidia.
Acts 13: 32, 33 (NRSV)
And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors he has
fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus [from the dead]; as also it is written in the
second Psalm, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you. "
What do we have here but the exulting of a Father at the "birth" of His Son ("Gabriel,
Michael, have a cigar!"). Only this time His Son was not "begotten" to be sacrificed — he was
raised from the dead to reign. That was something for the Father to shout about! We will now
see from the next verse in Hebrews 1 that the term "firstborn" occurs in connection with his
Hebrews 1: 6 (NRSV)
And again, when he [God] brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's
angels worship him. "
32. Trinitarian theologians who stress the "incarnation" of Christ as the cornerstone of Christianity cannot truly
explain why Scripture would place such a high value on his resurrection, new body, seating at the right hand of God and
being given "all authority" in heaven. To them, his incarnation represents the defining event of his life in eternity, when
he divested himself of his pre - incarnate divinity and took on human flesh for a time. According to this thinking, his
resurrection should then be the moment when he returns to the glory he had before his incarnation, including the
authority that he had in heaven over angels as a co-equal member of the Trinity. We believe that the fact that Scripture
places great emphasis on his resurrection is wonderful proof that he did not pre-exist his birth.

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
How do we know that this particular "birth" is referring to his resurrection? By the context
and because Hebrews 1: 5 speaks of Christ's "birth" being his resurrection, this sets the context
of verse 6, which also speaks of Christ being brought into the world. Also, at his first birth, the
angels did not worship the baby. They worshiped God who brought him forth! This is evident
in the only record in the Four Gospels where angels appeared at Christ's birth.
Luke 2: 13, 14 (NRSV)
(13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising
and saying,
(14) Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he
The "birth" that is spoken of in Hebrews 1: 5 and 6 is referring to the resurrection of God's
son from the dead. At his first birth, Christ was inferior to angels, whom God made to be glorious
messengers and divine representatives:
Hebrews 1: 7 (NRSV)
Of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire. "
Though angels are glorious, Jesus Christ's glory has exceeded theirs ever since he took his
place at the right hand of God after his resurrection. As the Son of God, he has the rights and
privileges of the firstborn, something never offered to the angels, as verse 5 above makes plain.
And since, by grace, we believers in Christ are "joint-heirs" with him (Rom. 8: 17; Eph. 3: 6), we
are therefore entitled to the same rights and privileges— including having the same kind of
glorious body in the future — as the following verses indicates.
Philippians 3: 20, 21 (NRSV)
(20) But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ.
(21) He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body
of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.
Thus, we also share in the benefits of the heavenly citizenship that is now ours because we
are members of Christ's figurative "body, " the Christian Church (Eph. 1: 22, 23). 1 Corinthians
15: 45-49 also speaks of the "splendor" of the heavenly body that Christ received at his resurrec-
tion, and which we will receive also. It is a "spiritual" body that is in some ways physical, but
nevertheless imperishable — meaning not subject to physical decay.
1 Corinthians 15: 40-49 (NRSV)
(40) There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is
one thing, and that of the earthly is another.
(41) There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon and another glory of
the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory.

One God & One Lord
(42) So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised
is imperishable,
(43) It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in
(44) It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body,
there is also a spiritual body.
(45) Thus it is written: "The first man, Adam, became a living being"; the Last Adam
became a life-giving spirit.
(46) But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual.
(47) The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
(48) As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man from
heaven, so are those who are of heaven.
(49) Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of
the man of heaven.
We assume from this passage that in the new heaven and earth, God is going to change the
very laws of physics, based upon the prototype of Christ's new body. This new body is based
upon new principles and physical laws that are well above our limited capacity to understand
in our present bodies. But someday in the future we will know fully even as we are fully known
(1 Cor. 13: 12).
Hebrews 1 continues to assert the superiority of the Son over angels.
Hebrews 1: 8, 9 (NRSV)
(8) But of the Son he says: "Your throne, Ï God, 33 is forever and ever [ i. e., for a long time],
and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
(9) You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has
anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.
Christ's "companions" in this context include angels, who are subordinate to him and yet
dwell with him in heaven in the presence of God. Because he is superior to them, everything that
an angel can do, Jesus can do in his new body, and more. But because they are on the same
spiritual plane of existence, the idea of companionship is appropriate.
33. Hebrews 1: 8 is often used to attempt to prove that Jesus is "God" in some intrinsic sense, equal to God by virtue of
his "incarnation. " But the context is clearly his post-resurrection "Sonship" and exaltation to the right hand of God,
where he is granted the privilege to rule and reign alongside God. As God's representative and empowered agent, he
is spoken of as "God, " following an established biblical pattern. Notice in verse 9 that though Christ is a kind of "God, "
(meaning "God - like") he still has a God to whom he is accountable, namely the one true God, his Father. See Appendix
A (Hebrews 1: 8).

Chapter 3: Jesus Christ: The Purpose of the Ages
Hebrews 1: 13 (NRSV)
But to which of the angels has he [God] ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your
enemies a footstool for your feet"?
Finally, verse 13 lays the capstone on this magnificent section of Scripture that has by this
time firmly established two facts. First, Christ is superior to the angels, and second, this
superiority occurred after his resurrection, ascension and exaltation. From this exalted posi-
tion, he is currently in the process of completing the redemption prophesied in Genesis 3: 15,
wherein we find the purpose for which the Redeemer would come, a purpose of the ages. This
purpose encompasses the entire redemption of heaven and earth, fills the vacuum in heaven
created by the loss of an archangel and one third of the angels, and involves Christ sitting in a
place that Lucifer could conceive of but did not have the humility to be exalted to — functional
equality with God!
These truths are corroborated in Colossians 1 in a section of Scripture that also speaks of
the supremacy of Christ, and one to which we will be returning often in this book. This
magnificent passage will harmonize with the many verses that we have examined in this
chapter, elevate Christ and thus glorify God, his Father.
Colossians 1: 15-19 (NRSV)
(15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [by resurrection] of all creation
[i. e., the prototype of the new creation, the new heaven and earth]
(16) For in [dia] him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and
invisible, whether [angelic] thrones or dominions or rulers or powers — all things have
been created through [dia] him [i. e., through his obedient agency] and for him [i. e., with
him in mind].
(17) He himself is before all things [in priority], and in him all things hold together [he
sustains all things, as Heb. 1: 3 says].
(18) He is the head of the body [of Christ], the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn
from the dead
, so that he might come to have first place in everything [ i. e., he is over the
angels and functionally equal to God].
(19) For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
Psalms 8 and 110 prophesied of this culminating glorification of the Son of God, the
Messiah. In the next two chapters, we will examine the other messianic prophecies contained
in the Old Testament in order to understand what could and could not be searched out about
the Coming One.

The Messiah
in Prophecy

A Prophetic Portrait
of the Messiah
By the agreement of all Christians, the great subject of the Bible is Jesus Christ, the Son of
God. While that truth is evident in the New Testament, it is equally present in the Old, though
not as obvious. Furthermore, while it is clear that Jesus was indeed the subject of general
throughout the Law of Moses, the Prophets and Psalms (Luke 24: 25, 26, 44), a more
vigorous study reveals an even richer portrait of the coming Messiah.
The Hebrew word mashiyach ("Messiah") means "the anointed one, " and its Greek
counterpart is christos (" Christ"). The Old Testament portrays the coming Messiah in hundreds
of ways. He is foretold or foreshadowed both in prophecy and in typology. The Tabernacle and
Temple alone depict him in dozens of ways. He is foreshadowed by the priests, the feasts, the
sacrifices, the altar, the bread of the presence, the menorah, the mercy seat, the colors, the
metals and the very dimensions themselves.
Indeed, God placed in orbit around the person and work of the coming Messiah almost the
entire array of characters, images, objects and events in the Old Testament. In some books, the
typology is obvious, while in others an application of the greater context of the Messiah's
identity is sometimes required. Nonetheless, his prophetic "life" or "presence" courses palpa-
bly through every book as the lifeblood that sustained the world until the time when Jesus would
actually be born and physically manifest the heart of God.
In light of the raging spiritual battle that is continually being waged by Satan against God
and His Christ, it is not surprising that coming to a true recognition of the Messiah's identity is
challenging. In fact, we must all humbly acknowledge our own capacity to be blinded by Satan,
the enemy of Christ, and hindered from seeing this man for who he is. Let us revisit a passage
that continues to speak loudly in this regard.
2 Corinthians 4: 3, 4 (NRSV)
(3) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
(4) In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep
them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Lucifer has fallen from being a "morning star" to a spiritual "black hole. " As such, he does
his best to hold back the light of Christ to keep people from seeing and therefore believing. This

One God & One Lord
was certainly true of the time immediately after Jesus' resurrection, when two of his disciples
were making the seven mile trek to Emmaus after being in Jerusalem for the Passover and, as
it turned out to their dismay, the crucifixion of the one they thought was going to be their
Messiah. We think that this record in Luke 24 is a perfect introduction to this section of this
book, which will look at what could be known about the coming Messiah from the Old
Testament. Let us imagine that we were one of these two bewildered and shell - shocked
"disciples" who had not yet made the leap to being actual "believers. " Cannot we all say that
we have stood in their places in our own journeys toward understanding and following the true
Luke 24: 13-27 (NRSV)
(13) Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about
seven miles from Jerusalem.
(14) and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.
(15) while they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with
(16) but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
(17) And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other as you walk along?"
They stood still, looking sad.
(18) Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only
stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these
(19) He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth,
who was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.
(20) And how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death
and crucified him.
(21) But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this,
it is now the third day since these things took place.
(22) Moreover, some women in our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early
this morning,
(23) and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had
indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive.
(24) Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women
had said; but they did not see him. "
(25) Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe
all that the prophets have declared!
(26) Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter his

Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah
(27) Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things
about himself in all the scriptures.
After the sting of his initial rebuke of their lack of diligence passed, imagine the way their
hearts leapt and their minds opened as they got a personal tutorial in Old Testament history
from the one it was all about!1 Even though at this point they did not realize who he was that
was giving them this "short course, " Old Testament 101, they were nonetheless thrilled at the
insight. Did they wonder for just a second how odd it was that they should just happen upon
a walking encyclopedia of Old Testament messianic prophecies at the very time they were
gloomily discussing their feelings of disappointment about Jesus? Talk about a coincidence!
Jesus began his teaching with "Moses, " which means the first five books of the Bible (called
the Pentateuch), expounding first Genesis 3: 15 and then moving through the rest of the Hebrew
Scriptures unfolding the Messiah's identity and calling along the way. Note how clearly he
distinguishes between his "sufferings" and his "glory. " Their eyes were finally opened to his
identity later while eating with him, and they scampered back to Jerusalem to tell the others
what they had seen and heard.
Later, apparently that same day, Jesus addressed a group composed of eleven of the
apostles, the two recent graduates of "The Road to Emmaus School of Old Testament messianic
History, " and various others of his disciples. He gave this group a similar lecture he had given
the two earlier, sharing portions of the "Law, Prophets and Psalms" pertaining to himself.
Luke 24: 44-46 (NRSV)
(44) Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with
you — that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the
psalms must be fulfilled. "
(45) Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
(46) And he said to them, "Thus it is written: that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from
the dead on the third day.
He also opened their minds to the awesome details of the prophecies in the Old Testament
that were written about his suffering, death and resurrection — all the things they had been
blinded to — so that they would have a complete portrait of the messianic purpose of the ages
and would thus be able to stand with him in the completion of his purposes. So that we can have
a similarly complete picture and fully appreciate the miraculous way God worked to accom-
plish our redemption, we must also carefully read the Old Testament in light of its subject, Jesus
1. Note that he held them responsible for their personal failure to believe all that the prophets had spoken, even
calling them "fools. " Their selective approach to Scripture is what he was addressing, because they clearly had believed
some of what the prophets said. Like all of us, they had a tendency to gravitate toward the scriptures that bolstered their
Jewish nationalism and ignored the "messy" and embarrassing verses about a suffering Messiah who would be rejected
by his own people. Note also that he left them no excuses, such as: "But every one believed you were going to be a political
deliverer" or, "But I had too much synagogue training, " etc., etc. Though false teaching and teachers abound in every
age, God and the Lord Jesus hold each of us responsible for the condition of our hearts, and whether they are "slow to
believe, " or diligent like the Bereans of Acts 17: 11, who "searched the scriptures daily to see whether those things were
so" (KJV). This is ultimately the only antidote for the blindness spoken of in 2 Corinthians 4: 4.

One God & One Lord
Christ. We need to recognize the prophetic "target" that was set up in the corridor of eternity,
toward which God, like the master archer, set his bow. Even before releasing the messianic
arrow at the birth of Jesus, he had already established its trajectory by a constellation of carefully
crafted prophetic words, set as points of light to guide the arrow as it would eventually streak
through the night. Beginning in Genesis 3: 15 with the image of the promised seed of the woman,
the Old Testament Scriptures lead the diligent seeker to an "bullseye" understanding of the
suffering, death and resurrection through which the Messiah had to pass on the way to his glory.
If he were to fly straight and true, it was incumbent upon Jesus to learn in detail the entire
prophetic course of his life. This he did impeccably, and it is both available and important for
us to learn it as well.
What follows is our best understanding of what such a synopsis of the Old Testament
would be like, when looked at in light of "all the things" that were written concerning the coming
The Golden Thread
In Genesis he is the seed of the woman (3: 15).
In Exodus he is the Passover Lamb (12: 11).
In Leviticus he is the High Priest (21: 10).
In Numbers he is the one lifted on a pole who gives healing (21: 9).
In Deuteronomy he is the prophet from among his brothers (18: 15).
In Joshua he is the captain of the Lord's host (5: 14).
In Judges he is the stone that crushes the heads of his enemies (9: 53).
In Ruth he is the kinsman - redeemer (3: 9).
In 1 Samuel he is the ark and mercy seat before whom pagan gods bow (5: 3).
In 2 Samuel he is the King — declared by prophets and anointed with oil (5: 3).
In 1 Kings he is the true Temple where people meet God (8: 11).
In 2 Kings he is the great miracle worker (2: 9).
In 1 Chronicles he is the descendant of Adam who will rule forever (1: 1).
In 2 Chronicles he is the child - king hidden and protected from his enemies (22: 11).
In Ezra he is the teacher well - versed in the Law of Moses (7: 10).
In Nehemiah he is the one who remembers us with favor (5: 19).
In Esther he is the gold scepter of mercy in the hand of God the King (5: 2).
In Job he is the daysman, the mediator between God and man, whom Job longed for
(9: 33).

Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah
In Psalms he is the stone the builders rejected (118: 22).
In Proverbs he is the Word fitly spoken (25: 11).
In Ecclesiastes he is that which gives life meaning (2: 25).
In Song of Solomon he is the lover and our beloved (2: 16).
In Isaiah he is the son of the virgin (7: 14).
In Jeremiah he is the source of living waters (2: 13).
In Lamentations he is the hope whose compassions are new every morning (3: 23).
In Ezekiel he is the one who gives life to dry bones (37: 11).
In Daniel he is the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven (7: 13).
In Hosea he is the faithful husband who buys back his unfaithful wife (3: 2).
In Joel he is the one who pours out the Lord's spirit on all people (2: 28).
In Amos he is God's plumbline, making the straight and crooked obvious (7: 8).
In Obadiah he is the deliverance on Mt. Zion (v. 17).
In Jonah he is the sign — three days and nights in the heart of the earth (1: 17).
In Micah he is the peace that causes all nations to beat their swords into plowblades
(4: 3).
In Íahum he is God's refuge to the good and God's vengeance to the wicked (1: 7).
In Habakkuk he is the righteous one who lived by faith (2: 4).
In Zephaniah he is the one who will restore the fortunes of Judah (3: 20).
In Haggai he is the desired of all nations (2: 7).
In Zechariah he is the smitten shepherd (13: 7).
In Malachi he is the "sun of righteousness" risen with healing in his wings (4: 2). 2
Who do you say that he is?
And he is so much more:
Like Abel's sacrifice, he is the sacrifice that is pleasing to God.
Like Noah's ark, he is the shelter from God's wrath.
Like Moses' staff, he is the one who makes a way for us in impossible situations.
Like manna, he is the bread from heaven.
Like Joshua's pile of rocks, he is the faithful witness.
2. The first list like this that we know of was done by Oral Roberts in 1951 in a book tided The Fourth Man.

One God & One Lord
Like Shamgar's ox goad, he is our victory against certain death.
Like Gideon's fleece, he is God's sure sign that gives hope to the hopeless.
Like Samson's jawbone, he is of little value to the worldly but is the key to victory in life.
Like Joab's trumpet, he is sounding a clear call to gather his faithful army.
Like Elijah's mantle, he is both a shelter from the storms of the world and the power of
God in the hands of a faithful believer.
Like the "fourth" man in Daniel, he is our protection from fiery extinction.
Who do you say that he is?
The godly characteristics of all Old Testament heroes are embodied in Christ, the ultimate
Like Noah, he prepared his life before the storm.
Like Abraham, he obeyed God and went where God led him.
Like Isaac, he willingly accepted the bride provided by his Father.
Like Jacob, he learned obedience through the things that he suffered.
Like Joseph, he kept his heart from bitterness although he was mistreated by those
around him.
Like Moses, he was meek before God.
Like Joshua, he was a fearless leader.
Like Othniel, he forsook worldly wealth to deliver God's people.
Like Ehud, he ignored the fact that the world thought him cursed.
Like Deborah, he did not mind breaking cultural stereotypes.
Like Gideon, he tore down altars of false religion.
Like Jephthah, he had family problems but overcame them.
Like Samson, he was aggressive and sought an occasion against the enemy.
Like Samuel, he kept himself pure when the priests around him were corrupt.
Like David, he started with a small, untrained group but trained them faithfully.
Like Solomon, he grew in wisdom until it was vast.
Like Elijah, he combined his words with power.
Like Job, he was a righteous sufferer.
Like Esther, he concealed his true identity until the proper time.
Like Isaiah, he continually set before the people the future hope.

Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah
Like Jeremiah, he was passionate, even weeping for his people.
Like Daniel, he prayed fervendy to God.
Who do you say that he is?
Jesus Christ is the "golden thread" that holds together the Royal Tapestry of truth. He is
the star out of Jacob. He is the "great light" foretold by Isaiah. He is a priest after the order of
Melchizedek. He is the one who unites the priesthood with the kingship. He is the king coming
with salvation, and the king who comes in the name of the Lord.
The Messiah is pictured in so many ways in the Old Testament that it would be a daunting
task indeed to list them. Some of the references to him are very clear and straightforward, while
others are veiled to a greater or lesser extent. A brief overview of Genesis alone shows that there
are many clear prophecies and foreshadowings of the coming Messiah:
He is the Last Adam, foreshadowed by the first Adam (5: 1).
He is the seed of the woman (3: 15).
He is the one who will shed his blood to cover the sins of man (3: 21).
He is an ark, and those who take refuge in him will not perish in the Judgment (Chapters
He is the Shemite with whom God is most blessed (9: 26).
He is the "seed" of Abraham who will bless all the nations (12: 3).
He is the promised child, as Isaac was (18: 10).
He will destroy the wicked with fire (19: 24).
He is the lamb Yahweh will provide for sacrifice (22: 8).
He is the son willing unto death (22: 9).
He walks with us to make our journey a success (24: 40).
He is the seed of Isaac who will bless all nations (26: 4).
He is the one whom the nations will serve and before whom the people will bow (27: 29).
He is the stairway to God (28: 12).
He is the seed of Jacob who will bless all nations (28: 14).
He is "Judah, " the praise of the Lord (29: 35). 3
He is the faithful witness who witnesses our actions, both good and bad (31: 44-52).
He wrestles with us, shows up our weaknesses, and works to make us into his image
(32: 24-30).
He, like Joseph, was the favorite son, betrayed by his brethren, tempted with evil, but
3. "Judah" means "praised. "

One God & One Lord
finally elevated to the right hand of the ruler. Although others meant harm, God turned
their actions into good that many might be saved (50: 20).
He is the one the nations will obey (49: 10).
Who do you say that he is?
The overview of the Messiah in Genesis that we just read is by no means exhaustive. A
similar overview can be done for each book in the Old Testament because Jesus Christ, the
Messiah of God, is its grand subject. Noah's ark, Moses' staff, etc., were all literal, physical
things. Nevertheless, behind the literal meanings we can also see some of what God is
communicating to us about Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son.
The Blueprint:
Bloodline and Bloodshed
Let us never forget that Jesus Christ is our perfect example of walking with God. At the
beginning of his earthly ministry, when he was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness, he
replied each time: "It is written. " Jesus Christ's faith in and reliance upon the written Word of
God formed the foundation of his life. What part of the written Word did Jesus have from which
to learn? The Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis through Malachi). He studied them so diligently that,
according to the record in Luke 4, when he went into the synagogue at the beginning of his
ministry, he unrolled the scroll of Isaiah, which was about 60 feet long with no chapters, verses
or punctuation, and found Isaiah 61: 1.
Isaiah 61: 1 (NRSV)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good
news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty
to captives and freedom to prisoners.
How did Jesus know who he was and what his purpose was? He knew it primarily from the
Scriptures in the Old Testament, beginning with Genesis 3: 15. Through the Word, his heavenly
Father mentored him and helped him "grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and
men. " Jesus saw that he was the Promised Seed, the only hope for mankind. Once he received
holy spirit at his baptism (the start of his ministry), this written revelation was augmented by
much on-the-job direct revelation.
The Old Testament was written for our learning today, but it was the blueprint for Jesus
Christ to know his identity, his purpose and his destiny, as well as the destiny of mankind. As
we look at a number of records in the Old Testament, we want to ask ourselves what God wanted
Jesus to learn from these records. Jesus' unshakable conviction about his identity was the
underpinning that enabled him to be obedient to carry out his mission, even unto death.

Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah
The Old Testament primarily focuses on the people of Israel, the bloodline from which the
Redeemer of all men came. We believe that one reason Christianity has been, and still is,
relatively ineffective in reaching Jewish people is because it promotes as its foundation the idea
of a three - in - one God and, correspondingly, that Jesus is God. This would have been a ludicrous
concept to the Jews of the Old Testament, because from Genesis 3: 15 through Malachi, the
coming Messiah was prophesied to be a man, the seed of Abraham and the seed of David. As
we saw, he was prophetically referred to as the "seed" of a woman (Gen. 3: 15).
The coming Messiah was to be a descendant of Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah,
David, etc. Isaiah 53: 3 calls him "a man of sorrows. " The wording of Isaiah 52 and 53 stands
firmly against the idea that the Messiah would be God. "See, my [God's] servant will act wisely"
is the start of the great section in Isaiah 52 and 53 that describes the suffering, death and
exaltation of the Messiah. Scripture is clear: the Messiah was to be a "man" and the "servant"
of God. If the Messiah were in fact God in the flesh, he would not be a "servant" of God, but
would retain all the honor he would command as God. Zechariah 6: 12 does an excellent job of
portraying the messianic expectations of the Jews: "Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says:
'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the
temple of the Lord. '" The wording of this verse is very clear, and portrays the Messiah as a man,
a" branch" (that is, a sprout, shoot or "offspring" of God), who will build the Temple of the Lord.
Because, by definition, an "offspring" is one who arises out from another, it would not be
natural to read this verse and understand that this "man, " this "branch, " would be God Himself.
Moses wrote concerning the Messiah in Deuteronomy 18: 15: "The Lord your God will raise
up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. " This verse set much of the
expectation about the coming Messiah. The Christ was to be "a prophet. " That in itself shows
that he would be a spokesman for God, and this would not make sense if he were God. The verse
goes on to say that this prophet would be "like me. " Moses was not a pre — existent being, but was
fully human, and we see that God's Christ would be like Moses. The verse also goes on to say
that this prophet would be "from among your own brothers. " "God in human flesh" is hardly
"from among your own brothers, " but a Messiah who was fully human in everyway, who existed
in God's mind as the plan of redemption and who "became flesh" when Mary became pregnant,
would be exactly what Scripture foretold and what Israel expected.
Some Christians attempt to insert the "pre — existent" Christ in the Old Testament, such as
the fourth "man" in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3: 25) and the "man" who wrestled with Jacob (Gen.
32: 24). The Old Testament, however, nowhere even hints that Jesus Christ was alive and
functioning in any capacity before his birth, and makes it plain that each of the above "men"
were, in fact, angels (see Dan. 3: 28 and Hosea 12: 4). 4
4. Many have been taught that Jesus is the "Lord" (Yahweh) in the Old Testament We will deal with this in
Chapter 12. One of the primary reasons for believing this was that in the Old Testament Yahweh would occasionally
appear to people. Although this is revolutionary information to many people, it should not be unexpected. God created
people to fellowship with them, and so the fact that He would show up in some form should not surprise us. For a
detailed explanation, see Appendix A (Genesis 1 and 2).

One God & One Lord
Isaac: Another Promised Seed
In Genesis 12, God spoke to a man named Abram (whose name was later changed to
"Abraham") and told him to "get outta town" and go to a new land, one that God would show
him as he went. Abraham was 70 years old when he left Ur of the Chaldees and started out for
Canaan. En route, he stopped at Haran for five years. Although the Bible does not tell us why
he stopped, we do know that he resumed his journey after his father, Terah, died. Thus, it may
be that his father had become too weak or sick to travel. After his father died, God spoke to
Abraham again, and he resumed his travel toward Canaan. God said to him:
Genesis 12: 2, 3 (NASB)
(2) And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great
and so you shall be a blessing;
(3) And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And
in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Abraham was about 75 years old (and Sarah was ten years younger than he was) when he
received this promise from God. He understood that for all the people on earth to be blessed
"in" him, one of his offspring would have to be the promised Messiah. However, by the time
Abraham was 86 years old, he still had not fathered a child. After years of trying to conceive the
promised child with Sarah, Abraham resorted to a common custom, and had intercourse with
Sarah's handmaid, Hagar. That child was named Ishmael. Years later, when Abraham was 99
and Sarah was 89, God made another promise to him, this one more specific. God told him that
he would be the father and that Sarah would be the mother of a son (they named him "Isaac"),
and that this son would be born in about a year. At their ages, this was an astounding promise!
Thus, Isaac is a "promised seed, " and as such he is a "type" of the coming Redeemer. As
we look at the record of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22, we will clearly see what truth
regarding the Redeemer God wanted to communicate. In light of all that led up to the birth of
Isaac, would you say that he was a special child? One of the reasons that Isaac is special is
because God told Abraham that it was from Isaac's line that the Redeemer would come. So what
does Isaac represent? He represents a token, in the senses realm, of the greater One yet to come.
Abraham would not live to see all the seed that would come from Isaac, including the Promised
Seed, Jesus Christ, but he would live to see Isaac born. Let us now delve into Genesis 22.
Genesis 22: 1 (NRSV)
After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, " Here
I am. "
The word "tested" does not mean that God tempted Abraham with evil to see if He could
make him do something wrong. James 1: 13 says that God does not tempt people with evil. The
Hebrew word simply means, " to prove." God was asking Abraham to do something to prove His
allegiance to Him. 5
5. See Don't Blame God!, p. 168.

Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah
Genesis 22: 2 (NRSV)
He [God] said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land
of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall
show you. "
What did Abraham understand by the phrase, "a burnt offering?" This was something very
familiar to him, and he knew exactly what it meant. He was to build an altar, pile wood on it, tie
down the sacrifice (in this case his "only son" Isaac) and kill it by cutting its throat with one
thrust of his knife. This is exactly what God told Abraham to do to Isaac and this is exactly what
Abraham understood. Put yourself in Abraham's place, and think how you would feel in this
Genesis 22: 3 (NRSV)
So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young
men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and
went to the place in the distance that God had whown him.
Notice that Abraham did not argue with God, despite the magnitude of what God asked
him to do. He simply obeyed.
Genesis 22: 4 (NRSV)
On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away.
There is no question that this record of Abraham and Isaac is a foreshadowing of God
asking His only begotten Son to die as a sacrifice, and of raising him from the dead three days
and three nights later. We believe it is significant that it was on the third day that Abraham saw
the mountain ahead of him. We believe it took him three days and three nights to get there, and
that during that time Isaac was as good as dead, because Abraham had made up his mind to
obey God and sacrifice his son.
Genesis 22: 5 (NRSV)
Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go
over there; WE will worship and then WE will come back to you. "
Whoa! (Yes, that's also what Abraham said to the donkey). At the end of the verse, the text
reads, "WE will come back to you. " That is amazing, because what Abraham meant when he
said that he and Isaac would "worship" was that he would slit Isaac's throat and then burn him
on the altar. How then could he say we will come back? That is a very good question, and we
do not have to guess at the answer, because the following verses tell us:
Hebrews 11: 17-19 (NRSV)
(17) By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the
promises was ready to offer up his only son,
(18) of whom he had been told, "It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for
you. "

One God & One Lord
(19) He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead — and
figuratively speaking, he did receive him back [from death].
Let us first note that God's Word says that Abraham was acting by "faith. " One cannot have
faith unless he has something to have faith in, that is, the Word of God — a command and/or a
promise, spoken or written. "By faith" means that Abraham did exactly what God told him to
do. Hebrews 11: 19 shows us why Abraham believed he would come back down the mountain
with Isaac. It was because he trusted that God would raise Isaac from the dead and, figuratively
speaking, that is exactly what happened, as we will see.
Genesis 22: 6 (NRSV)
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he
himself carried the fire and the knife.
This verse shows us that Isaac is not a little child. In fact, we believe he was about 30 years
old. It is significant that Isaac carried the wood on which he would die, just as Jesus did until the
soldiers made Simon carry it. Now consider the question that Isaac asked his father.
Genesis 22: 7 (NRSV)
Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" And he said, "Hear I am, my son?" He said,
"The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Isaac so much as said, "Say, Dad, I see the fire and the wood, but don't we usually take an
animal along on these trips?" Think about his question: "Where is the lamb?" This question
echoed throughout the entire Old Testament until it was answered on the banks of the river
Jordan by John the Baptist:
John 1: 29 (NRSV)
The next day he [John] saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Hear is the Lamb
of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
How would Jesus take away the sin of the world? By his shed blood, for without the
shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Heb. 9: 22). Jesus was the "Lamb" that God
provided for the sins of mankind, as the following verse typifies:
Genesis 22: 8 (NRSV)
Abraham said, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son. " So
the two of them walked on together.
Abraham was confident that God would provide a lamb for the sacrifice and fulfill His
Genesis 22: 9 (NRSV)
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and
arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the

Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah
Notice the statement in the above verse that Abraham "bound" Isaac and laid him on the
altar. Did Abraham have to chase Isaac around and around the altar and then wrestle him to the
ground? Remember that Isaac was 100 years younger than Abraham. It seems apparent that
had he wanted to resist, he could have. No, what we see here is the son willing to die at his
father's request. Abraham represents the Father willing to give his son. How this record must
have touched the heart of Jesus Christ when he first understood it, and how remembering its
inherent promise of resurrection must have given him strength as he went to the Cross.
Genesis 22: 10-14 (NRSV)
(10) Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.
(11) But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham! Abraham!"
And he said, "Here I am. "
(12) He said, "Do not lay a hand on the boy, or do anything to him; for now I know that
you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me. "
(13) And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham
went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
(14) So Abraham called that place "the Lord will provide, " as it is said to this day, "On
the mount of the Lord it shall be provided. "
Remember that Genesis 3: 15 prophesied both the suffering of the Redeemer and the glory
that would follow. In the record of Abraham and Isaac, Jesus saw that if he would be obedient
unto death, God would raise him from the dead. There is another record in the Book of Genesis
we will now consider, from which Jesus Christ learned more about the suffering and the glory
that would follow, the glory that would be his destiny after his resurrection.
Joseph: Righteous Sufferer to Co - Ruler
It is most significant that of the fifty chapters in the Book of Genesis, fourteen of them
speak of Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. Joseph is an important person in the Old
Testament record because he is another "type" of Christ, and one whose life very vividly
exemplified some great truths about the coming Redeemer. Once again, remember that Jesus
Christ read and studied the life of Joseph and learned from it what God wanted him to learn.
Jesus saw in Joseph a man who was innocent but wronged by his own brothers. He saw
a man who was thrown in jail as a common criminal and subjected to many hardships. He also
saw that because of Joseph's faithfulness to God's Word and his reliance on the power of God,
he did something that no other man in Egypt could do. Because of Joseph's obedience to God,
he was raised from the status of a common criminal to a governmental position of the highest
rank. Because of his deeds, Joseph was exalted to a position second only to the Pharaoh and was
given the Pharaoh's signet ring, which represented the authority and power of Pharaoh. In that
position of authority, Joseph was able to save the lives of his brothers. In Joseph, Jesus Christ
saw himself.

One God & One Lord
Please allow us some — no, actually a gargantuan amount of — literary license in summa-
rizing the life of Joseph up until Genesis 41. He was the eleventh son of Jacob, a nice boy, but
one who tended to shoot off his mouth, at least that's what his ten older brothers thought. One
morning at breakfast Joseph said, "Yo, Levi, you want to shoot me those unleavened Wheaties?
Hey, you wouldn't believe the dream I had last night. It was awesome. You guys are gonna bow
down to me, and I'm going to rule over you. Cool, huh?" They thought to themselves, "Fat
chance, twerp, " and they were really steamed at their kid brother. Also, they resented that
Joseph was their father's favorite son.
Some time after this, they saw Joseph walking along the dusty trail near Dothan and one
of them said, "This is our chance, boys. Let's waste this punk and tell dad that an animal ate
him. " One of the brothers, Reuben, intervened and said, "Let's not kill him, let's just dump him
in that pit over there. " Reuben's intention was to come back later to rescue Joseph and take him
home. This is no doubt why a sandwich was later named after him. The brothers agreed, and
threw Joseph into the pit. Then they sat down to have lunch.
While they were eating, a wagon train on the way to Egypt passed by. Judah, one of the
brothers, saw an opportunity to make a quick buck and persuaded his brothers to sell Joseph
as a slave. When Joseph arrived in Egypt, he was sold to a man named Potiphar, who was greatly
impressed with the quality of his life. He also impressed Mrs. P., so much so that she wanted to
"hit the sack" with him, but Joseph spurned her advances, saying that he could not sin against
God. With all the fervor of a "woman scorned, " Mrs. P. framed him, and Joseph was sent to jail.
Rather that feel sorry for himself, Joseph continued in his faith, which greatly impressed the
prison warden, who put him in charge of the entire prison.
Some time later, Pharaoh's cupbearer dropped his cup, and the chief baker's bread didn't
rise. Both were thrown into jail. One night each of them had a dream that they did not
understand. By revelation, Joseph interpreted their dreams for them, and his interpretations
came to pass. Two years later, Pharaoh had a dream that, much to his consternation, neither
he nor his advisers could understand. The reinstated cupbearer remembered the incident with
Joseph and told the Pharaoh about him. By revelation, Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dream for
him and also laid out an economic program for the seven years of plenty and the seven years of
famine that the dream indicated would come to pass. Joseph's spiritual wisdom and power so
impressed the Pharaoh that he elevated him to his second-in-command.
What a record! Think about it — people who are in jail and about to be paroled are very
concerned that they have a job waiting for them, so they can provide for themselves and not go
back to a life of crime. Such people are often glad to have any job. But think about the people
in Egypt picking up their morning papers and seeing the headline: "EX - CON BECOMES
ASSISTANT PHARAOH!" Holy promotion, Batman!
Genesis 41: 37, 38 (NRSV)
(37) The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants.
(38) Pharaoh said to his servants, " Can we find anyone else like this — one in whom is the
spirit of God?"

Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah
It is significant that Pharaoh, himself considered a "god" in Egypt, did not ascribe such
status to Joseph, but instead recognized that Joseph was a unique man. Pharaoh understood
that it was God who showed Joseph the interpretation of the dream by way of the spirit of God
in him. The fact that, in Egyptian culture, the Pharaoh was looked at as a "god" is another
element in the parallel between Joseph being exalted to the right hand of Pharaoh and Jesus
Christ's future exaltation at the right hand of God. Surely this analogy was not lost on Jesus
Christ when he studied this account, and neither should it be lost on us. However, it very well
may be if we believe that Jesus is God.
Genesis 41: 39 (NRSV)
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so
discerning and wise as you. "
In essence, what Pharaoh said was, "I've never seen a man like you before. " Doesn't that
sound like what people said about Jesus Christ in the Gospels? For example, "No one ever spoke
the way this man does" (John 7: 46).
Genesis 41: 40, 41 (NRSV)
(40) You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you
command; only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.
(41) And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you overall the land of Egypt. "
The Pharaoh said, " Hey, you've earned the promotion I've given you. I'm not only putting
you in charge of my house, but also in charge of all of Egypt! Oh, by the way, Joseph, just
remember you're not the Pharaoh" ("Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you").
Look at what Pharaoh did then:
Genesis 41: 42 (NRSV)
Removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph's hand; he arrayed
him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain around his neck.
Pharaoh's signet ring was the only such ring in all of Egypt. This ring signified the power
and authority that Pharaoh gave Joseph. It did not make Joseph the Pharaoh, but it did enable
him to do everything that the Pharaoh could do.
And remember, it was only the Pharaoh who
could delegate this authority to him.
Genesis 41: 43
He [Pharaoh] had him [Joseph] ride in a chariot of his [Pharaoh's] second-in-com-
mand;, and they cried out in from of him [Joseph], "Bow the knee!" Thus, he [Pharaoh]
set him [Joseph] over all the land of Egypt.
The pronouns in the above verse are very important. We do not want to get the Pharaoh
and Joseph mixed up. Obviously, the people had no problem telling the difference between
them. The Pharaoh was in the first chariot and Joseph was in the second chariot. They each
understood the relationship between them, and so did the people.

One God & One Lord
Genesis 41: 44, 45 (NRSV)
(44) Moreover Pharaoh said to Joseph, "lam Pharaoh, and without your consent no one
shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. "
(45) Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath - paneah and gave him Asenath daugh-
ter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Thus Joseph gained authority over the land
of Egypt.
It is significant that Pharaoh also gave Joseph a new name, a name that was above every
other name. Joseph's new name meant "abundance of life. " Little did Pharaoh know how much
that title really meant, because in his position of authority, Joseph would later save the lives of
his brethren and preserve the line of the coming Messiah, who is the "abundance of life" for all
men who believe on him. The Pharaoh also gave Joseph a bride, as God will one day do for Jesus.
Note also that Joseph did not just sit around the palace at the right hand of Pharaoh, but went
throughout the land of Egypt carrying out his responsibilities.
Genesis 41: 46 (NRSV)
Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And
Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt.
Remember that Jesus Christ was about thirty years old when he began his earthly ministry
(Luke 3: 23). Let the record show that the position Joseph received from Pharaoh was no
"figurehead" position. Joseph was far more than royal window-dressing. This is made clear by
what Pharaoh said when the famine did come and the people came to him for help.
Genesis 41: 55 (NRSV)
When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread.
Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do. "
Obviously, Joseph is a vivid type of Christ. To see the parallels between Joseph's exaltation
by Pharaoh and Jesus' exaltation by God, let us look at some verses in Philippians, which we will
examine later in more detail.
Philippians 2: 5-11
(5) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus
(6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be
(7) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of servant, being made in human
(8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient
to death — even the death on the Cross!
(9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above
every name,

Chapter 4: A Prophetic Portrait of the Messiah
(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth
(11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Although Jesus Christ was the Son of God with the spirit of God upon him without
measure, he humbled himself and became a servant unto men. He saw prophesied in the Old
Testament that this service meant hardship and suffering in his life, leading to his death on the
Cross. As a man, death was his greatest enemy, and his impending torture and horrible death
on the Cross made it even worse. Yet, he was obedient unto death and because of that, God
highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name. Just as it was with Joseph,
one day every knee will bow to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Because of Jesus Christ's faithfulness in his earthly ministry, God promoted him to his own
right hand and gave him the "whole kingdom" to oversee (just as Pharaoh did for Joseph). One
day this future kingdom will be a reality, and Jesus Christ will take his rightful place as the King.
The type of Christ set forth in Genesis 41 augments the truth we see clearly in other Scriptures—
that God has not delegated to his Son essential equality, but rather functional equality. 6 God
has, so to speak, given Jesus his signet ring so that Jesus now has the authority to do everything
that God wills to have done. Just as it was with the Pharaoh and Joseph ("Only in the throne will
I be greater than you"), so it is with the Father and His Son. The following verses that we have
mentioned previously make this very plain. How interesting that these most explicit verses
keep coming up.
1 Corinthians 15: 24-28
(24) Then the end will come, when he [Christ] hands over the kingdom to God the Father
after he [Christ] has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
(25) For he [Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
(26) The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
(27) For he [God] "has put everything under his [Christ's] feet. " Now when it says that
"everything' has been put under him [Christ], it is clear that this does not include God
himself, who put everything under Christ.
(28) When he [Christ] has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him
[God] who put everything under him [Christ], so that God may be all in all.
The above verses hearken back to a key verse in the Old Testament that illustrates this
same truth about the relationship between God and Jesus Christ. It is one that we will expand
upon later.
6. It is very important to recognize the difference between essential equality and functional equality if we are to have
a proper understanding about the Lord Jesus Christ. Trinitarians believe that Jesus is essentially God, i. e., that
intrinsically, in his very essence and nature, Jesus is God. We believe that Jesus is essentially a. man, the only begotten
Son of God. Nevertheless, God has given Jesus functional equality, so that Jesus currently functions as if he were God.
God made Jesus" Lord, " and now it is he who gives the gift of holy spirit (Acts 2: 33), gives out ministries in the Church
(Eph. 4: 7) and directs and holds together his Body, the Church (Col. 1: 17, 18). In the future, Jesus will raise the dead and
judge them (John 5: 21, 22; Acts 17: 31). The functional equality of Christ will last until after the final judgment, when even
death will be destroyed. Then Christ will be "made subject" to God the Father, as 1 Corinthians 15: 24-28 states.

One God & One Lord
Psalm 110: 1 (NASB)
The Lord says to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I make thine enemies a footstool for
thy feet.
"The Lord" refers to God Almighty, while "my Lord" refers to the Messiah, in whose
coming David hoped. In closing this chapter, we want to again set forth two other Old
Testament verses that corroborate this same truth.
Daniel 7: 13, 14 (NASB)
(13) I kept looking in the night visions, and behold with the clouds of heaven One like
a son of man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented
before him.
(14) And to him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations
and men of every language might serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion
which will not pass away, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
Notice that there are two persons mentioned here: "the son of man" and "the Ancient of
Days. " This is a prophecy about God exalting Jesus to the position of ruler over his future
Because Jesus Christ is the subject of the Old Testament from Genesis 3:15 through the
Book of Malachi, there are many, many other sections therein that speak prophetically of the
coming Messiah and Redeemer. Not one even hints that he would be God come down to earth
in human form. God's original prophecy about His Son in Genesis 3:15 is consistent with all the
others thereafter. It is most significant that at the beginning of his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ
read from the Word of God (Isaiah) about himself. He knew who he was, and he continued to
think, speak and live out the truths of God's Word that were the foundation of his life.
With all this impressive typology, imagery and prophetic portraiture of the Messiah, the
question naturally arises, why then did not the Jews accept Jesus? Did he not fulfill enough of
the prophecies to make it clear who he was? Or did the Jews misunderstand the prophecies? We
now turn our attention to the way the Jews actually interpreted the prophecies without the
benefit of 20-20 hindsight we have today.

The Messiah the
Jews Expected
In the previous chapter, we looked with 20/20 hindsight at what was prophesied about the
Messiah. In this chapter, we will examine the Messiah from the Jews' perspective looking
forward. Although they diligently searched the Hebrew Scriptures for prophecies of their
coming Messiah, their understanding of him was incomplete. It is important to remember that
what we today see very clearly in our New Testament understanding about the Christ is often
quite veiled in the Hebrew Scriptures. 1
In fact, the people of Israel had a totally different concept of what Christ would be like than
most Christians have, and this affected the way they interpreted and recognized Messianic
prophecies. The Jews did not apply Scriptures about the virgin birth, the trip to Egypt and death
of the Messiah to Christ, and these verses were not as self-evident as Christians tend to think. 2
Most are unaware of the tremendous help the New Testament is in interpreting the "Old
Testament. " For example, how do we know Hosea 11: 1 applies to Christ? Matthew says so. How
do we know Jeremiah 31: 15 applies to Christ? Again, Matthew says so. Many of the Hebrew
scriptures that Christians apply to Christ because of what the New Testament says about him
were not applied to him at all by the Jews, and not because they were spiritually blind. In many
cases, the references were deliberately veiled. We can gain much insight into the nature of
biblical prophecy by understanding the difficulties the Jews faced in properly interpreting the
Messianic passages.
1. We use the term "Hebrew Scriptures" here because technically the "four Gospels" are part of what is called the "Old
Testament. " Hence we use the term "Hebrew Scriptures" to refer to the Scriptures from Genesis through Malachi. We
will continue to refer to the Old Testament when we are referring to the time period rather than the Scriptures.
2. Alfred Edersheim has provided a list that he tides, "List of Hebrew Scripture Passages Messianic ally Applied in
Ancient Rabbinic Writings. " This list includes the various passages of the Hebrew Scriptures that the ancient rabbis
believed applied to the Messiah. It is a wonderful tool from which to build an understanding of what the Jews of Christ's
time were looking for. Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Part 2 (Grand Rapids, MI, Wm. B.
Eerdmans, 1971).

One God & One Lord
Messiah's Suffering and Death
The very different Jewish Messianic expectation is clearly seen in their view of the suffering
and death of the Messiah. When Jesus told Peter and the apostles that he must suffer and die,
Peter did not say, "Yes, Lord, we knew from the prophecies written about you that you are going
to suffer and die. " Rather he said, "Never. Lord! This shall never happen to you!" (Matt. 16: 22).
The idea that the Messiah had to die was inconceivable to them. When Christ first introduced
it, Peter vehemently argued against it. Shortly after that, Jesus said to his disciples that he would
be betrayed and put in the hands of men, but the disciples did not understand what he was
talking about (Luke 9: 44, 45). Later, Jesus said that he would be mocked, insulted, spit on,
flogged and killed. He made it very clear. 3 Yet Scripture says, "The disciples did not understand
any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking
about" (Luke 18: 34).
At the "Last Supper, " the disciples still did not comprehend the impending suffering and
death of the Messiah, and later that night in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter wanted to fight
with the Jews and Romans, sword to sword. Even after the crucifixion, the disciples could not
understand why Jesus' tomb was empty. Angels had to remind the women who came to the
tomb that Jesus had said he would rise from the dead (Luke 24: 6-8). When the women passed
on this good news to the rest of the disciples, however, they were not convinced, and when Jesus
appeared to them, they thought he was a phantom (Luke 24: 37). After his resurrection, Jesus
was finally able to get the disciples to understand the scriptures regarding his death and
resurrection (Luke 24: 44-46).
Peter and the disciples were not the only ones who were confused about Jesus and his
mission. An earlier event in the Gospels that demonstrates the misconceptions that existed
about the coming Messiah is when John the Baptist sent his disciples to Christ with the
question, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" (Luke 7: 19, 20).
This seems strange because John was the one who identified Christ with the words: "Look, the
lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!, " and" I have seen and I testify that this is the
Son of God" (John 1: 29, 34). Had John developed doubts that Jesus, his "first cousin, " was the
Messiah? Considering that a number of people close to Jesus misunderstood him, that is
possible. Joseph Good suggests another possibility in his book, Rosh HaShanah and the
Messianic Kingdom to Come:
As the ancient Jewish scholars and Rabbis began to study the scriptural information about
the Messiah, they encountered a serious problem: many of the passages seemed to contradict
one another. Often the Messiah is seen as a conquering king... Other passages speak of a
3. In Matthew alone, there are at least five occasions when Jesus warned his disciples of his coming trials, his death
or his resurrection (implying that he would have to die): in Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16: 9); at the Mount of Transfigu-
ration (Matt. 17: 9); as he was "going up to Jerusalem from Judea (Matt. 20: 19); in the parable of the tenants (Matt. 21: 33-
40) and after the Olivet discourse two days before the Passover (Matt. 26: 2).

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
suffering servant. From this paradoxical description of the Messiah came a first - century
Common Era (AD) rabbinical teaching of two Messiahs. 4
Good goes on to say that the ancients called the conquering Messiah "Messiah Ben David"
and called the suffering Messiah "Messiah Ben Joseph. " The Talmud applied Zechariah 12: 10
to Messiah Ben Joseph: "When they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn
for him, as one mourns for an only child... " (NRSV)5 Good continues:
This anticipation of two Messiahs by the Jewish people of the first century is the back-
ground for the question posed by Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) to Yeshua [Jesus]
as to whether He was the Messiah (indicating one, singular), or if they were to expect another.
His question was specifically whether Yeshua would fulfill all of the prophecies concerning
Messiah, or whether the Rabbis, who said there would be two Messiahs, were right. Yeshua's
answer is a paraphrase of various passages that Rabbis identified as referring partially to
Messiah Ben Joseph and partially to Messiah Ben David. Therefore, Yeshua was expressing, in
dramatic language that was clear to His listeners, that He would fulfill all of the messianic
prophecies. Rather than send two Messiahs with two different roles, G-d would send one
Messiah in two separate appearances or comings. 6
Whether or not Joseph Good is correct about the reason for John's question, it is important
for us to realize that, at the time of Christ, there were Rabbis teaching that there would be two
Messiahs instead of one. It is hard for us to put ourselves in the position of the people of the Old
Testament who knew Jesus only from the prophecies, but that is what we must do if we are to
understand what they knew about him and what they were expecting. To be sure, there are
prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures that, while not specifically mentioning the Messiah, were
nonetheless quite well known as messianic prophecies. Nevertheless, the fact is that many of
the verses the New Testament writers and Christian commentators have understood as messi-
anic prophecies were not viewed that way by the Jewish commentators. Thus, these did not
figure into their understanding of what the Messiah was going to be like and what he would
accomplish. 7 For example, we know that Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Egypt to protect him
from Herod. In regard to them returning from Egypt, Matthew 2: 15 states, "And so was fulfilled
what the Lord had said through the prophet [Hosea]: Out of Egypt I called my son. '" To the
reader of the New Testament, this seems very clear. However, as the verse reads in Hosea,
especially in light of its context, it is difficult indeed to see that it refers to the Messiah.
4. Joseph Good, Rosh HaShanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come (P. O. Box 3125, Port Arthur, TX, Hatikva
Ministries, 1989), p. 2.
5. Edersheim, op. cit., (Book 2, p. 736). However, even in the Jewish commentaries there is a difference of opinion.
Edersheim writes, "whether the mourning is caused by the death of the Messiah Ben Joseph, or else on account of the
evil concupiscence. "
6. Good, op. cit., p. 5.
7. Just as Jews today have various interpretations of the Hebrew Scriptures' messianic prophecies, so ancient Jewish
interpreters reached different conclusions about who the Messiah would be and what he would do.

One God & One Lord
Hosea 11: 1-3: (NRSV)
(1) "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
(2) The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the
Baals, and offering incense to idols.
(3) Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not
know that I healed them. "
The ancient Jews looked at these verses in Hosea as Jewish history. "When Israel was a
child, " barely a few hundred years old, God called the nation out of Egypt. In the Hebrew
Scriptures, Israel was called God's "son" (Ex. 4: 22, etc. ). But when God called them to fellowship
with him, they instead worshipped "the Baals. " Scholars know of no Jewish commentator living
before Christ who applied Hosea 11: 1 to the Messiah. Therefore, no one at the time of Christ was
looking for a Messiah who was to spend part of his life in Egypt. How is this "prophecy"
explained today? The best explanation seems to be that Israel is a type or figure of the "greater
Israel, " i. e., Jesus Christ, just as David is sometimes a type of the "greater David, " Solomon a type
of the "greater Solomon, " etc. What follows in the next section are some key prophecies about
the Messiah that the Jews recognized and upon which they based their expectations of him.
The Messiah the Jews Were Expecting
Genesis 3: 15—The seed of the woman and his conflict
Genesis 3: 15 says: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your
offspring ["seed"] and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. " This is a clear
prophecy of the coming Messiah. Both ancient Jewish commentators and modern Christian
commentators realize that it applies to him. The Lord God is telling the serpent that there will
be a seed of the woman who will eventually come and crush his head. Since the word "seed" is
a collective singular (like "deer" or "fish") and can refer to one seed or many, is there any
indication that this verse refers to a singular Messiah? Yes. The Hebrew uses the masculine
singular in the phrase "his heel, " which shows that the understanding of "he will crush" is
correct. 8 Furthermore, the Septuagint, that was done by Greek - speaking Jews around 250 BC,
uses the masculine singular pronoun autos ("he") to refer to the "seed" of the woman. This is
highly unusual since Greek grammar requires that the number and gender of the pronoun agree
8. The ancient Hebrew text was "unpointed, " i. e., without many of the vowels the modern text has. Because of this,
it is often possible to question the exact translation of the ancient Hebrew. Imagine English written without vowels.
What would "ht" mean: "hat, " "hit, " "hot, " "hut" or "hate?" The context would actually be the key to determining the
exact meaning. So, in Genesis 3: 15 the masculine singular for "his heel" allows us to better see the accuracy of the
masculine singular, "he" will crush.

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
with the noun. The use of the masculine pronoun with the neuter noun indicates that the Jewish
translators of the Septuagint knew the verse was referring to their Messiah. 9
It could well be asked why then the Old Testament Jews did not also recognize the suffering
Messiah in this verse. The ancient Jews did understand from this verse, from Psalm 2 and from
other verses, that the Messiah would be opposed during his life. What they did not understand
was the intensity of the opposition that he would face, the personal suffering he would endure,
and his death. It could also be asked why the Jews did not see in this verse both the first and
second comings of Christ to Israel, as modern Christians do. The simple fact is that the wording
of Genesis 3: 15 does not demand two comings. The Hebrew is worded in such a way that both
parts of the prophecy could be fulfilled in one coming. As worded in the Hebrew and expressed
in the KJV, RSV, ASV and other English translations, the seed would "bruise" the head of the
serpent and the serpent would "bruise" the heel of the seed. This could take place in one coming
as the two forces battled each other. We today know it will happen in two, but we know that only
by 20-20 hindsight about the first coming of the Messiah, not because of the Hebrew text.
Genesis 22: 18—From the line of Abraham
The Jews understood that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham, according to
several promises God had made to Abraham. Genesis 12 says that all the "people" (mishpachah
= clan or family) of the "earth" (adamah = land, ground [usually re: Israel]) will be blessed
through Abraham. In most English versions of Genesis 18: 18, God seems simply to repeat what
He had said to Abraham, but the Hebrew text expands the promise of Genesis 12: 3 to include
all the people of the world. Genesis 18: 8 says that all the "nations" (goyim) of the "earth" (erets
= land, earth) will be blessed in Abraham. This wider promise was repeated to Abraham in
Genesis 22: 18, except this third time it was to be through his "seed" that the nations of the earth
will be blessed. By the time of Christ, the Jews had lost sight of the truth that the Messiah was
to bless everyone, and therefore held a proprietary view of him that excluded the Gentiles.
Genesis 49: 10—Shiloh from the tribe of Judah
Jacob had twelve sons, and each of them fathered a tribe of Israel. Scripture tells us that
the Messiah was to come from a specific tribe:
Genesis 49: 10 (ASV)
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until
Shiloh come: And unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.
The word translated "Shiloh" has been confusing for translators. As the authors of this
book, we agree with many commentators who take it as a proper noun, the first proper name
of the Messiah given in the Hebrew Scriptures. "Shiloh" is related to the Hebrew root shala,
which means "to rest" or "to be secure. " Thus, Shiloh could be translated as the proper name
9. For more detail, see Walter Kaiser, Jr., The Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1995), pp.

One God & One Lord
" Rest - Bringer, " or perhaps" Peaceful One. " However, there are variant texts, targums and other
reputable sources with readings like "until he comes to whom it [the scepter or rule] belongs. "
The American Standard Version of 1901 and the New International Version represent the two
basic ideas of how the verse should be handled:
ASV: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until Shiloh come: And unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.
NIV: The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.
The debate about the exact translation of this verse has raged loud and long, and we do not
believe it will be settled here. What is settled, however, is that the verse is a prophecy of the
coming Messiah, and a clear teaching that he would come through Judah, as both Jewish
tradition and modern conservative commentators recognize. Thus, the Messiah would have to
come through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Judah.
Numbers 24: 17—A star out of Jacob
Numbers 24 contains a prophecy that was recognized by the ancient Jews to be about the
coming Messiah. Interestingly, it was spoken by Balaam, a prophet of dubious character. He
was actually hired to curse Israel, but at least was honest enough to speak the words that God
gave him rather than invent words just to make money (of course, his encounter with an angel
with a drawn sword had vividly reminded him of how short his life could be). He spoke powerful
words about the coming Messiah.
Numbers 24: 16-19 (NRSV)
(16) "The oracle of one who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the
Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, with his eyes uncov-
(17) I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near — a star shall come out of Jacob,
and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the borderlands of Moab, and the
territory of all the Shethites.
(18) Edom will become a possession, Seir a possession of its enemies, while Israel dies
(19) One out of Jacob shall rule, and destroy the survivors of Ir. "
Among the Jews, it was known and believed that the "star" and "scepter" referred to the
coming Messiah and that he would indeed be a conquering hero. This prophecy foretold that
the coming of the Messiah was going to be "not near, " i. e., after a long time, and according to
our best under standing of biblical chronology, the Messiah's coming was some 1400years later.
Balaam's prophecy is one more example of a prophecy portraying the coming Messiah as one
who would fight battles and deliver the people, certainly not one who himself would suffer,
particularly an ignoble death such as crucifixion.

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
2 Samuel 7: 12, 13—The Son of David
God promised David that the Messiah would come through him.
2 Samuel 7: 12, 13 (NRSV)
(12) When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up
your offspring ["seed"] after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will
establish his kingdom.
(13) He shall build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom
This prophecy clearly referred to the ultimate rule of the Messiah, and was taken as such.
"Son of David" is a title used many times by the Jews in referring to the Messiah, and it occurs
quite a few times in the Gospel records. In Matthew alone, the phrase is so used in 9: 27; 12: 23;
15: 22; 20: 30, 31; 21: 9, 15; 22: 42.
Psalm 2—The Messiah opposed,
fighting and ruling with a rod of iron
Psalm 2 has always been believed to be about God and His Messiah. Verse two says that
the rulers of the earth will gather together against Yahweh [God] and His Anointed One [Christ].
Their confederacy will not succeed, however, and the Anointed will end up ruling with an iron
scepter and dashing his enemies to pieces like a clay pot. The advice of the psalm is to "kiss the
Son, " (i. e., submit to his rule), because "blessed are all who take refuge in him. "
Psalm 45—Your throne will last forever
Jewish and Christian commentators alike agree that Psalm 45 is about the Messiah. It is
a very powerful Psalm, and speaks of the authority and power that the Lord God will give His
Messiah. The Messiah can be clearly seen in the following verses:
Psalm 45: 2-7, 17 (NRSV)
(2) You are the most handsome of men; grace has been poured upon your lips; therefore
God has blessed you forever.
(3) Gird your sword on your thigh, Ï mighty one, in your glory and majesty.
(4) In your majesty ride on victoriously for the cause of truth and to defend the right; let
your right hand teach you dread deeds.
(5) Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; let the peoples fall under

One God & One Lord
(6) Your throne, Ï God, endures forever and ever; your royal scepter is a scepter of
equity; 10
(7) You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed
you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.
(17) I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations; therefore the peoples will
praise you forever and ever.
It is easy to see from psalms like this how the people could be very surprised at the
comparatively mild-mannered Jesus who told people to bless their persecutors, and who never
once talked of getting an army together to conquer the earth. We can also see how the people
would be confused when he spoke of his death, even in veiled terms. In John 12: 23-36, Jesus was
speaking of his death, and the crowd replied, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ will
remain forever. " This verse clearly shows that the people at the time of Christ were not
expecting his death, and they were quoting Scripture to substantiate their beliefs. We see the
same thing happening today. Many Christians defend their theology by misapplying Scripture
verses. The entire Word has to fit together without loose ends.
Psalm 72-The King, the royal Son
Psalm 72 was considered by the ancient Jews to be about the Messiah. Edersheim writes:
"This Psalm also was viewed throughout by the ancient Synagogue as messianic, as
indicated by the fact that the Targum renders the very first verse: 'Give the sentence of
the judgment to the King Messiah, and Thy justice to the Son of David the King, ' which
is re-echoed by the Midrash, on the passage which applies it explicitly to the Mes-
siah.... " 11
The psalm has some wonderful verses about the Messiah:
Psalm 72: 1, 2, 4-15, 17 (NRSV)
(1) Give the king your justice, Ï God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
(2) May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
(4) May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
(5) May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all
10. The use of "God" in referring to the Messiah does not mean that he is the same as the Father or that there is a Trinity.
The Jews used the word "God" to refer to those with God's authority. See Appendix A (Heb. 1: 8). That the Messiah was
to be subject to the Lord God is clearly set forth in verse 7.
11. Edersheim, op. cit., Part 2, p. 719.

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
(6) May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
(7) In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
(8) May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
(9) May his foes bow down before him and his enemies lick the dust.
(10) May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of
Sheba and Seba bring gifts.
(11) May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.
(12) For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
(13) He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
(14) From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in
his sight.
(15) Long may he live! May gold of Sheba be given to him. May prayer be given for him
continually, and blessings invoked for him all day long.
(17) May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun. May all nations
be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy.
This psalm promises that the Messiah will rescue the afflicted and make them prosper
while their oppressors are crushed and made to lick the dust. Thus, it is easy to see why the
disciples would want Jesus to become king, or why the crowds would shout" Hosanna" ("Save")
when they thought Jesus was the Messiah. They wanted what this psalm said the Messiah would
accomplish. Verse 11 says that the kings of the earth will bow to him. The exaltation of the
Messiah is an oft - repeated theme. It shows up again in Psalm 89, which the Jews also correctly
applied to the Messiah:
Psalm 89: 24, 25, 27 (NRSV)
(24) My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him; and in my name his horn shall
be exalted.
(25) I will set his hand on the sea, and his right hand on the rivers.
(27) I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
Psalm 110—Priest and King
Psalm 110 portrays the Messiah, and is quoted more in the New Testament than any other
psalm. This is especially noteworthy in that the entire psalm is only seven verses. It starts out
with the Lord God speaking to His anointed, His Messiah, and picks up the familiar theme of
God and His Son conquering the earth: "The lord says to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I

One God & One Lord
make thine enemies a footstool for thy feet" (NASB)12 Although the ancient Jews never saw it
as such, Christ understood that this verse referred to the fact that, after his resurrection and
ascension, he would sit at God's right hand (Matt. 26: 64).
In this psalm, a startling truth is revealed: The Messiah will not only be king, but he will be
a priest also. Not a typical priest, for according to Mosaic Law all priests had to be descendants
of Aaron of the tribe of Levi. But this priest will be after the order of Melchizedek. "The lord has
sworn, and will not change his mind, 'Thou art a priest forever according to the order of
Melchizedek'" (Ps. 110: 4—NASB). Since Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, and Levi was "in
the loins" of Abraham at the time, then this priest after the order of Melchizedek will be a greater
priest than the Aaronic priests. Zechariah 6: 13 also was known by the Jews to refer to the
Messiah and showed him as a priest - king.
Ecclesiastes 1: 9 —The miracle worker
The Jews taught that Ecclesiastes 1: 9 ("That which has been is that which will be, and that
which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun" NASB)
showed that the Christ would do the same miracles that had been done in the Hebrew
Scriptures, so they were expecting him to be a great miracle worker. This in part explains why
Christ spoke so sternly against the cities that did not repent even though many of his miracles
had been done there (Matt. 11: 20-23), and why he told the Jews that the miracles he did spoke
for him (John 10: 25).
Isaiah 9: 6, 7—The Messiah's endless reign on David's throne
Jews, both ancient and modern, and Christians alike, realize that Isaiah 9: 6 and 7 are
referring to the coming Messiah, and these verses, like some others, show the power and
authority that God's Messiah will have. In his coming kingdom, which will last forever, there will
be peace, justice and righteousness.
Isaiah 9: 6, 7 (NRSV)
(6) For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of
12. This verse has been used by some to try to prove the Trinity. But Anthony Buzzard writes:
Such a theory involves a misuse of the Hebrew language that can easily be cleared up. The two words for
"lord" in the sentence, "the lord said to my lord, " are significantly different. The first "Lord" is Yahweh. The
second word for "lord" (here, "my lord") is adoni, meaning, according to all standard Hebrew lexicons, "lord, "
"master, " or "owner, " and it refers here to the Messiah. If David had expected the Messiah to be God, the word
used would not have been adoni, but adonai, a term used exclusively of the one God. There is an enormous
difference between adoni, "my master, " and adonai, the supreme God. The tide adoni ("my lord") is, in fact,
never applied in the Hebrew Scriptures to the one God. In its 169 occurrences it refers only to superiors (mostly
men and occasionally angels) other than God. This important fact tells us that the Hebrew Scriptures expected
the Messiah to be not God but the human descendant of David, whom David properly recognized would also be
his lord.
Sir Anthony Buzzard, The Doctrine of the Trinity, Christianity's Self-inflicted Wound (Atlanta Bible College, Box
100, 000, Morrow, GA 30260, 1994), p. 24.

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
(7) His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne
of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with
righteousness from this time onward and forever more. The zeal of the lord of hosts will
do this. 13
That God's Messiah would rule the earth and bring justice to the nations was something
the ancient Jews clearly understood. The fact that they applied verses like this to the Messiah
demonstrates that. Because, since the time of Rehoboam, Solomon's son (1 Kings 12), the
nation of Israel had been divided into ten northern tribes known as Israel and two southern
tribes known as Judah, the promise that the Messiah would reign from David's throne over all
Israel was astonishing. It seemed quite impossible to unite them since Israel had been
destroyed by the Assyrians and was no longer a nation (2 Kings 17). A particularly eloquent and
beautiful prophecy of the two being united is Amos 9: 11: "On that day I will raise up the booth
of David that is fallen, and repair its breeches, and raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days
of old" (NRSV).
By the time of Amos, King David's "tent" had certainly fallen. Israel and Judah were two
nations at odds with each other, and Israel in particular had even officially turned away from the
worship of Jehovah. Jeremiah 3: 18, which spoke of the reuniting, was also correctly applied in
the ancient Jewish writings to the time of the Messiah: "In those days the house of Judah will join
the house of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your
forefathers as an inheritance. " The Jews eagerly anticipated this reuniting. They just did not see
that this restoration would occur at his second coming to the earth to Israel, an event that,
admittedly, was not then clear to them in the Hebrew Scriptures.
A major blessing prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures was that there would be justice in
the Messiah's reign. There has been so little justice in the governments of the world that it is very
comforting to know that the Messiah's kingdom will be one where justice prevails. There are
also many other clear verses stating that the Messiah will rule the earth with justice.
Likewise, there are many verses that speak of peace in the Messiah's kingdom. In that
sense, the title "Prince of Peace" fits him well. Zechariah 9: 10 is a good example: "I will cut off
the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off. And
he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from
the River even to the ends of the earth" (KJV).
Isaiah 11—The Branch of the Lord and his kingdom
Even a cursory reading of this chapter shows why the Jews applied it to the coming
Messiah. Isaiah 11 portrays in very graphic language what the kingdom of the Messiah would
be like. It is no wonder that the Jews wanted to be a part of it. That is why, when John, and later
Jesus and his apostles, went about saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matt.
3: 2, 4: 17, 10: 7, etc. ), the people became very excited. That excitement never died in Jesus'
followers, so even after his resurrection they asked, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore
the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1: 6).
13. See Appendix A (Isa. 9: 6).

One God & One Lord
Isaiah 11: 1-16 (NRSV)
(1) A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse; and a branch shall grow out of his
(2) The Spirit of the lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the
spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the lord.
(3) His delight shal be in the fear of the lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or
decide by what his ears hear;
(4) but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decie with equity for the meek
of the earth. He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of
his lips he shall kill the wicked.
(5) Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his
(6) The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and
the lion and the fading together; and a little child shall lead them.
(7) The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion
shall eat straw like the ox.
(8) The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put
his hand on the adder's nest.
(9) They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the
knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
(10) On that day the Root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall
enquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
(11) On that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant
that is left of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from
Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath and from the coast lands of the sea.
(12) He will raise a signal for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and
gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
(13) The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, the hostility of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim
shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not be hostile towards Ephraim.
(14) But they shall swoop down on the backs of the Philistines in the west, together they
shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put forth their hand against Edom and
Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them.
(15) And the Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt; and will wave his
hand over the River with his scorching wind; and will split it into seven channels and
make a way to cross on foot;
(16) So there shall be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that is left of his people,
as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
This chapter is so beautiful and powerful in its portrayal of the future that it is difficult
indeed to adequately summarize it in a few paragraphs. Jesse (vs. l) is King David's father. The
everlasting throne had been promised to the seed of David, but other countries, including Syria,
Egypt, Ammon and Moab, had attacked Israel and scattered her people. Even during Isaiah's
life, the Assyrians attacked Israel and Judah and took many people captive. Isaiah 11 foretold
that even if the throne of David looked cut off like a stump, there would come forth from it a
"branch, " one who would shoot up and bear much fruit as a great ruler of the people. 14
Verses 2-5 describe his wonderful rule, beginning with the fact that the spirit of the Lord
would rest on him. Other verses that the Jews applied to the Messiah foretold that God's spirit
would be on him. An example is Isaiah 42: 1: "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen
one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. "
Verses 4ff portray the Messiah destroying the wicked so that the meek, the poor and the
needy will be able to inherit the earth (see also Ps. 37: 9-11; Matt. 5: 5). During the Messiah's reign
wild animals will be friendly toward each other and safe around children, and lions and other
carnivores will eat plants again just as they did in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 1: 30). This point is
made a number of times in Scripture, and Isaiah 65: 25 and Hosea 2: 18 are good examples.
Furthermore, the Lord will gather all the scattered people and bring them back to Israel, and
enemy nations will be his subjects. The people of Christ's time knew and believed these
prophecies, which explains why they were so anxious for the Messiah to come, and so as-
tounded when he preached a "Love your enemies" gospel and then was arrested and finally
crucified. No wonder the two disciples on the road to Emmaus were walking away from
Jerusalem disheartened, saying, "We had thought he was the glorious Messiah and that he had
come to rescue Israel" (Luke 24: 21—NASB). Nevertheless, let the reader be assured that our
God, who "cannot lie, " will fulfil all these prophecies. There is a time coming when those of
Israel who were meek to believe God and were saved will inherit the land and see these promises
Isaiah 25: 8 and 26: 19—Death will be swallowed up
The Bible clearly teaches that the dead will be raised. Some of the Jews at the time of Christ
were looking forward to a resurrection and a judgment that would precede the Messiah's
kingdom on earth. The following two verses are quoted in the Talmud as referring to the times
of the Messiah:
Isaiah 25: 7b, 8 (NRSV)
He will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all
faces; and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has
Isaiah 26: 19 (NRSV)
Your dead shall live; their corpses shall rise. Ï dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for
joy! For your dew is a radiant dew, and the earth will give birth to those long dead.
14. We will discuss in detail the dramatic messianic implications of the term "branch" in the next chapter.

One God & One Lord
Many of the people who believed in a resurrection looked forward to that day as a time
when they would be reunited with their loved ones and get to meet "great" believers like Moses,
Job and Daniel. With clear verses like these, how could the Sadducees possibly say that there
was not going to be a resurrection (Matt. 22: 23; Mark 12: 18; Luke 20: 27; Acts 23: 8)? The answer
is that the Sadducees based their beliefs only on the five books of Moses, which they did not
believe taught life after death. They had their own philosophy as to why the books of Job, Daniel,
Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc., which clearly taught the resurrection, were not actually foretelling a
resurrection. Thus, there was genuine confusion at the time of Christ about the resurrection of
the dead.
Isaiah 32: 15a—The spirit is poured out from on high
One of the things the Jews were looking forward to when Messiah came was an outpouring
of the spirit of God. Isaiah 32: 15a says: "Until a spirit from on high is poured out on us" (NRSV)12
There are other verses referring to the spirit being poured out that the ancient Jews knew
applied to the time of the Messiah. Ezekiel 11: 19 and Joel 2: 28 also teach this truth. The ancient
Jews were expecting that during the time of the Messiah every Jew would become a prophet or
prophetess. Joel 2: 28 says, "Then afterward, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and
your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see
visions" (NRSV).
Isaiah 32: 15b, 20—The land is healed, the desert blooms
Ancient Jews believed that in the days of the Messiah, the curse on the ground would be
removed and the land would produce abundantly. Many scriptures declare this future reality.
Isaiah 32: 15b says: "and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed
a forest" (NRSV). Also Isaiah 35: 6, "For waters shall break forth in the wilderness and streams
in the desert" (NRSV). Although these promises have not come to pass yet, they will happen—
the promise of God will not remain unfulfilled.
However, this promise will be fulfilled not when Christ comes as the lamb of God, but as
the lion of Judah; not as the one whose heel will be bruised, but as the one who will "bruise" the
Adversary. Still another verse that was correctly understood as applying to the abundance
during the messianic age is Joel 3: 18: "In that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, the hills
shall flow with milk, and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water; a fountain shall come
forth from the house of the Lord and water the Wadi Shittim" (NRSV). Ezekiel 47: 9 and 12 were
two other verses that the ancient Jews knew foretold of abundance in the time of the Messiah.
The Jews who were looking for the Messiah were confused when promises like these were
not fulfilled. When Jesus was hanging on the Cross, it certainly looked to them like he did not
fulfill the scriptural requirements for the Messiah.

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
Isaiah 35: 5, 6—The people healed
Just as there are many verses foretelling that the land will be healed in the kingdom of the
Messiah, there are also verses that foretell the healing of the people.
Isaiah 35: 5, 6: (NRSV)
(5) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
(6) Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For
waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
Sickness has been a terrible problem since the days of Adam. For most of recorded history,
sickness has been chronic and lifespans have been short. The prophecies that healing would
be part of the messianic kingdom produced great excitement. A verse in Malachi believed by
the ancient Jews to apply to the coming of the Messiah said, "The sun of righteousness [the
Messiah] will rise with healing in its wings. " (Mal. 4: 2—NRSV). This verse seems nonsensical to
most Christians because they do not understand "wings. " The "wings" referred to are the
"corners" of the outer garments worn by the people (see Num. 15: 38 and Ruth 3: 9 where the
same Hebrew word is translated as "corners, " not "wings").
The prophecy in Malachi was clearly understood by the Jews. They read and understood
the Hebrew text that when the Messiah came, he would have healing in the corners of his
garments. And people were indeed healed when, with faith, they touched the "wings" of his
garments (Matt. 9: 20-22; 14: 34-36). The record in Matthew is revealing because it portrays a
woman who kept saying to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I shall get well" (Matt. 9: 21—
NASB). This indicated that she believed Jesus was the Messiah, and in fact, because of his
healing miracles, many other people believed that also. Jesus certainly healed many people,
and because of his healings many believed that he was the Christ. Still, as the record in Acts 3
indicates, not everyone in Israel was healed by Jesus Christ. However, the Bible foretells a time
when everyone will be healed.
Isaiah 49: 8-10, 22, 23—Israel restored,
captives freed, favor bestowed
Isaiah 49 contains some great promises that the Jews recognized as prophecies of the
messianic kingdom.
Isaiah 49: 8-10, 22, 23 (NRSV)
(8) Thus says the Lord: "In a time of favor I have answered you, on a day of salvation I
have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish
the land, to apportion the desolate heritages;
(9) Saying to the prisoners, 'Come out, ' to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves!'
They shall feed along the ways, on all the bare heights shall be their pasture.

One God & One Lord
(10) They shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them
down, he who has pity on them will lead them and by springs of water will guide them. "
(22) Thus says the Lord God: "See, I will soon lift up my hand to the nations, and raise
my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your
daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
(23) Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With
their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then
you will know that I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame. "
It does not take too much imagination to see why verses like these would excite the Jews.
God promised that Jews would once again rule Israel, and that their covenant blessings would
be restored. He further said that all Jewish captives would be freed and get to come back to
Israel. And not just freed, but actually escorted home by Gentiles. This is no small feat, because
Jews had been taken captive for generations and the "Diaspora" were scattered all over the
world. Many Jews were slaves of individuals or of the Roman state or slaves in other countries.
Notice how, in contrast to the way Jews were usually the slaves and servants of others, in the
messianic kingdom they will be favored.
There are many verses that the Jews correctly interpreted about being restored to their
land during the time of the Messiah. Ezekiel 48 foretells how the Messiah will divide up the land
of Israel among the tribes, and he will get a portion of Israel for himself. 15
Isaiah 52: 13; 53: 5, 10-The suffering Savior
As we have said, some Jews saw that the Messiah would have to suffer, but they did not see
his death and resurrection. Just before what we now clearly see as a classic prophecy about his
suffering and death, comes Isaiah 52: 13, which speaks of the exaltation of the Messiah: "See, my
servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 16
15. Edersheim has the following comment on his note on Ezekiel 48: 19: "The Talmud (Baba  122a) has the following
curious comment, that the land of Israel would be divided into thirteen tribes, the thirteenth belonging to the Prince
(op. cit., Book Two, p. 733).
16. Edersheim comments on what the ancient Jews wrote about the Messiah's suffering and exaltation:
"On the words 'He shall be exalted and extolled, ' we read in Yalkut ii. (Para., 338, p. 53c, lines 7 etc. from
the bottom): 'He shall be higher than Abraham, to whom applies Gen. 14: 22; higher than Moses, of whom
Num. 11: 12 is predicated; higher than the ministering angels, of whom Ezek. 1: 18 is said. But to him there applies
this in Zech. 4: 7: 'Who art thou, Ï great mountain?' 'And he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised
for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. ' R[abbi)
Huna says, in the name of R[abbi] Acha: 'All sufferings are divided into three parts; one part goes to David and
the Patriarchs, another to the generation of the rebellion (rebellious Israel), and the third to King Messiah... In
regard to Isaiah 53, we remember that the messianic name of 'Leprous' (Sanh. 98b) is expressly based upon it.
Isaiah 53: 10 is applied in the Targum on the passage to the Kingdom of the Messiah" (Edersheim, op. cit, p. 727).

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
Isaiah 53: 5 and 6
(5) But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the
punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
(6) Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord
makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will
of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
Reading Jewish commentaries about these verses gives one a clear picture of the "blind-
ness" (Rom. 11: 7—KJV) that came over Israel regarding their Messiah. This blindness is referred
to several times in the epistles of Paul. Reference is made to the fact that without Christ, the Jews
read the Old Testament with a veil over their faces and their minds are "dull" (2 Cor. 3: 14).
Ancient Jewish commentaries say that Isaiah 52: 13 and some verses in Chapter 53 refer to the
Messiah. But, remarkably, the commentaries do not recognize that all of the verses in Chapter
53 refer to the Messiah, nor do they note that there is anything in the context of the chapter that
would change the focus of its subject matter. In Chapters 52 and 53 the entire picture of the
Messiah is set forth: his sufferings (52: 14-53: 7), his death (53: 8, 9, 12), his resurrection (53: 10, 11)
and his exaltation (52: 13, 53: 10-12). The natural interpretation of Isaiah 52 and 53 would seem
to be that Christ would suffer, die, and then, soon after his resurrection, he would set up his
kingdom. Yet the Jews did not understand that. Isaiah 53 does not mention ascension into
heaven. There is nothing in this record indicating that Christ would ascend up to heaven
instead of conquering the earth and establishing a kingdom. Uncertainty about Christ's
ascension is why the disciples asked him after his resurrection if he were going to set up the
kingdom "at this time" (Acts 1: 6).
As we have seen by learning of "Messiah Ben Joseph, " some of the ancient Jews did believe
there would be a suffering savior, but their picture of this man was confusing and not based on
a clear exegesis of Scripture. Another verse that mentions the suffering of the Messiah is
Zechariah 12: 10, which says, "They will look on me, the one they have pierced. " According to
the ancient writings, this section of Scripture was applied to Messiah Ben Joseph, and even then
disputed as to exactly what it meant. Its genuine interpretation is given in John 19: 37—it refers
to when Jesus was on the Cross and the soldier came and pierced his side.
Clearly there was confusion about the suffering of the Messiah. Were there really to be two
Messiahs, of which only one would suffer? Was the Messiah to suffer for a week, or how long?
And for Israel only or for righteous Gentiles as well? And for all Israel, such that both good and
evil Israelites would be saved? If you find this confusing, so did the Jews, especially since they
read many clear prophecies about a conquering Messiah. There are many scriptures, and clear
ones at that, which speak of the conquests of the Messiah and his wonderful kingdom, so a
suffering savior was not generally expected, as we have seen.
Isaiah 63—The conquering Messiah
Isaiah 63 was known by the ancient Jews to apply to the Messiah conquering the Gentile

One God & One Lord
Isaiah 63: 1-4 (NRSV)
(1) Who is this that comes from Edom, from Bozrah, with garments stained crimson?
Who is this so splendidly robed, marching in his great might? "It is I, announcing
vindication, mighty to save. "
(2) Why are your garments red, like theirs who tread the winepress?
(3) I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod
them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their juice spattered my garments,
and stained all my robes.
(4) For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year for my redeeming work had
come. "
The illustration of the "winepress, " found here in Isaiah, is found also in the Book of
Revelation regarding the battle of Armageddon (14: 19, 20). Verses like these, which graphically
portray the battle that will precede the kingdom, reinforced the people's idea that Christ would
be a conqueror. Many verses speak of the destruction of the wicked when the Messiah comes.
Isaiah 11: 4, already quoted, says: "With the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. " Malachi
4: 1 says: '"See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers
will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, ' says the Lord of hosts. 'So that it will
leave them neither root nor branch'" (NRSV). Verses like these also reinforced the idea that only
the meek would be left alive to inherit the earth, and that the Messiah's kingdom would be
peaceful and prosperous.
The Jews were not expecting the kind and gentle Jesus who died for their sins. They rightly
believed that the nations, once conquered, would obey the world - rule of the Messiah. They
correctly applied to the messianic Age verses like Daniel 7: 27 ("... His kingdom will be an
everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him"). Also, Zephaniah 3: 8: '"There-
fore wait for me, ' declares the Lord, 'for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to
assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them — all my fierce
anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger. '"
Isaiah 65: 17-25—Blessings in the Messiah's Kingdom
Isaiah 65: 17-25 portrays some of what the Jews expected life would be like in the Messiah's
Isaiah 65: 17-25 (NASB)
(17) "For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth. The former things shall not
be remembered or come to mind.
(18) But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about create
Jerusalem as a joy and its people as a delight.
(19) I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of
weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
(20) No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who
does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a
youth; and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
(21) They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their
(22) They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for
like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the
work of their hands.
(23) They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring
blessed by the Lord — and their descendants as well.
(24) Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.
(25) The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but
the serpent — its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy
mountain, " says the Lord.
These verses were applied by the ancient Jews to the kingdom of the Messiah, and they
portray a time of great prosperity, peace and enjoyment. There will be no more weeping or
crying, and the fact that the curse that now plagues the earth will be removed is shown by stating
that wild animals will live together in harmony and the carnivores will eat plants. Verses 21-23
portray the blessing of the Lord — that people would live in peace and harmony. Zechariah 3: 10
says: "On that day, ' says the Lord of hosts, 'you shall invite each other to come under your vine
and fig tree' " (NRSV)17
17. In spite of the obvious blessings portrayed by these verses, they have confused both ancient Jews and modern
Christians alike. People become confused because these verses mention death in the Messiah's kingdom, but do not
explain it clearly. This problem is magnified because, in the next chapter, Isaiah 66: 22 was applied to the Messiah's
kingdom. It reads: '"As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me, ' declares the
lord, 'so
will your name and descendants endure. '" So it seems that one verse says that there will be death in the Kingdom, while
another says there will not be. How can this apparent contradiction be explained?
Many subjects in the Word of God are unclear if only one section of Scripture is read. However, answers to
questions can be found by comparing scripture with scripture and building a complete understanding as the pieces fit
together. First, why does the Word say there will be a new heaven and earth? The answer is that during the Tribulation,
and in particular the Battle of Armageddon, the earth as we know it will be greatly devastated. The Messiah will have
to make it over, change animal nature, repopulate the seas and the land with fish, animals, plants, etc. And, yes, some
people in the Messiah's kingdom will die, but not those who have already died once and been raised from the dead. The
people who will die during the Kingdom are those who will be alive during the Tribulation and be among the "fortunate"
ones who live through it and then are allowed to enter the Messiah's kingdom as mortals (Matt. 25: 31 -40). These people
will marry, have children and die, just as people do today. In fact, they will have lots of children. The earth's population
will explode during the 1000 year reign of the Messiah. The earth will go from having very few people at the end of the
Tribulation (Isa. 13: 9-12 and 24: 1-6) to having people "like the sand on the seashore" by the end of Christ's Millennial
Kingdom (Rev. 20: 8). The 1000 year reign of Christ will end with Satan being loosed, the nations being deceived and
rebelling against God and Christ, and God raining fire down from heaven and destroying the earth (Rev. 20: 7-10). Then
there will be another "new heaven and earth" (Rev. 21: 1), complete with a city with streets of gold (Rev. 21: 21).

One God & One Lord
Jeremiah 3: 17—The nations honor the Lord
The scriptures that the ancient Jews applied to the time of the Messiah did not only involve
him conquering some of the Gentiles and then enslaving them, but also portrayed the destruc-
tion of the rebellious Gentiles. Other people, once conquered, choose to participate in the
worship of the lord, many apparently with a more - than - willing heart. There are quite a few
verses that foretell this:
Jeremiah 3: 17 (NASB)
At that time they shall call Jerusalem 'The Throne of the lord, ' and all the nations shall
be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the lord; nor shall they walk anymore
after the stubbornness of their evil heart.
Zephaniah3: 9 (NASB)
"Then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the
lord, to serve him shoulder to shoulder. "
Isaiah 56: 7 (NASB)
" Even those [foreigners] I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my
house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar; for
my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples. "
Isaiah 60: 3 (NASB)
And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Zechariah 8: 23 (NASB)
Thus says the lord of hosts: "In those days ten men from all the nations will gras[ tje
garment of a Jew saying, 'Let us go with you [to Jerusalem], for we have heard that God
is with you. '"
Perhaps the earliest reference to the Gentiles worshipping with the Jews is in Genesis 9: 27,
which says that Japheth will dwell in the tents of Shem. One of the Targums interprets that to
mean that the Gentiles will become proselytes.
Jeremiah 30: 21—One of their own
Jewish theology, both ancient and modern, is aggressively monotheistic. Suggesting to
such Jews, who will not even pronounce the name of God, that the Messiah is none other than
God Himself come down from heaven (or one of a three - part Godhead) is, to them, absurd and
offensive. They were expecting the Messiah to be a "son" of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc.
He was also expected to have a mother and a family. Other scriptures affirm this. Jeremiah 30: 21
is one of those, and the ancient writings confirm that the Jews applied this verse to their
Messiah: '"And their leader shall be one of them, and their ruler shall come forth from their
midst; and I will bring him near, and he shall approach me; for who would dare to risk his life
to approach me?' declares the lord" (NASB).

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
Jeremiah 31: 3l, 33, 34-The New Covenant
One of the things the Jews realized that the Messiah was to do was to establish a new
covenant with Israel in place of the one made at the time of Moses.
Jeremiah 31: 31, 33, 34 (NASB)
(31) "Behold, days are coming, " declares the lord, "when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
(33) But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, "
declares the Lord, "I will put my law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
(34) And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother,
saying, ' Know the lord, ' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest
of them, " declares the lord, "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will
remember no more. "
The Jews were looking for a king who would make a new covenant with them. 18 God
promised that part of the New Covenant would be that the Law would be written on the hearts
of the people. The Jews believed this and saw that this promise was restated in other scriptures.
For example, Ezekiel 11: 19 was applied by the ancient Jews to the day of the Messiah: "And I shall
give them one heart and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone
and give them a heart of flesh" (NASB). So was Ezekiel 36: 27: "And I will put my Spirit within
you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances"
(NASB). Hosea 3: 5 says the Israelites will seek the Lord their God and David (the Messiah) their
king and come trembling to them.
Daniel 2: 44—The kingdom that will never end
We have seen that the ancient Jews believed that the Messiah would set up a kingdom. The
Jewish writings establish that beyond any doubt, and Zechariah 14: 9, applied by the ancient
Jews to the kingdom of the Messiah, states: "The lord will be king over the whole earth. " Daniel
2: 44 is one of the clearer verses that speaks of the Messiah's kingdom: " In the time of those kings,
the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another
people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure
forever. " It is to the Jews' credit that at least they knew what the Messiah's kingdom will be like:
 The Messiah will rule from Jerusalem, from David's throne (Isa. 9: 7, etc. ).
 Jerusalem will be exalted (Isa. 2: 1-4; 62: 1-7; Micah 4: 1-8; Zech. 2: 12, etc. ).
18. Jesus did just that at his last supper. What is not generally understood is that there can be a long time between the
making of a covenant and when that covenant is fulfilled. God made a covenant with Abraham for the land of Israel,
and today, after almost 4000 years, it has still not been fulfilled. The New Covenant that Christ made at the last supper
will not be fulfilled until his kingdom.

One God & One Lord
 The land will be restored to both Israel and Judah (Isa. 11: 10-16; 66: 20; Jer. 3: 18, 23;
3-8; 31: 8-11; 33: 7; Ezek 11: 17; 28; 25; 37: 15-28; Hosea 1: 10, 11, etc. ).
 The wicked will be destroyed but the meek will inherit the earth (Psalm 37: 9-11; Ezek.
37: 11, 12; Dan. 12: 2, 3; Zeph. 3: 8-12; Mai. 4: 1, etc. ).
 The house of Israel will know God (Isa. 29: 23, 24; Jer. 31: 33, 34; Ezek. ll: 18-20, etc. ).
 The nations will be conquered and ruled with a "rod of iron" (Ps. 2: 9; Isa 11: 4, 14: 2;
49: 22, 23, 60: 10-14; Micah 7: 16, 17; Zech. 14: 16-19, etc. ).
 The conquered nations will come to Jerusalem to worship (Isa. 2: 1-3; 19: 18-25;
56: 4-8; 66: 19-21; Zech. 2: 11; 8: 20-23; 14: 16, etc. ).
 There will be justice on earth (Isa. 2: 4, 9: 6, 7; 11: 1-5, 32: 1, 2, 5, 16, 17; Jer. 23: 5, 6, 33: 15;
etc. )
 There will be no war (Isa. 2: 4; 9: 4, 5, 7; Micah 4: 3, 4; Zech. 9: 9-11; Hosea 2: 18, etc. ).
 The people of Israel will be healed (Isa 29: 18, 32: 3, 4, 33: 24; 35: 5, 6, Jer. 33: 6;
Mai. 4: 2, etc. ).
 The people will live safely (Isa. 11: 6-9; 32: 18; 54: 14-17; 60: 15-18; 65: 17-25;
Jer. 23: 4-6; 33: 6; Ezek. 28: 26; 34: 25-31; Micah 5: 4, 5; Zeph. 3: 13-17; etc. ).
 The land will be healed and the desert bloom (Isa. 32: 15; 35: 1, 2, 7; 44: 3; 51: 3, etc. ).
 There will be an abundance of food (Isa. 25: 6; 30: 23-26; 35: 1, 6, 7; 41: 18-20; 51: 3;
Jer 31: 5, 11-14; Ezek. 47: 1, 2, 7-12; Hosea2: 21, 22; Joel2: 19, 22-26, 3: 18; Amos 9. T3, etc. )
What wonderful promises! What a great kingdom to look forward to! It is easy to see that
what the Bible foretells about the Messiah's kingdom has not happened yet. The Jews thought
Christ would bring it, but we can now see that this kingdom will not be established until his
Second Coming to the earth to save Israel. The Jews, however, believing that the Messiah would
come only once and would usher in this kingdom at that time, believed Jesus to be a fake, a fraud.
He said the kingdom was close, but his actions were not king - like, at least according to them. 19
Daniel 7: 13—Coming in the clouds of heaven
Daniel 7: 13, 14 (NASB)
(13) I kept looking in the night visions, and behold with the clouds of heaven One like
a son of man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented
before him.
19. The Jews were not the only ones to misunderstand the prophecies concerning the coming Kingdom. Most
Christians misunderstand the prophecies of the messianic Kingdom, but for other reasons. First and foremost, they are
taught that "heaven, " not the earth, is the future home for all Christians. However, this erroneous idea negates the
words of Christ that "the meek shall inherit the earth, " and makes them into something like "the saved shall inherit the
air. " Christian Educational Services has other materials relating to this topic, such as our book, Is There Death After Life?
and audiotapes such as The Kingdom of God, Paradise Regained.

Chapter 5: The Messiah the Jews Expected
(14) And to him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations
and men of every language might serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion
which will not pass away, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
Verse 13 is spoken of in the Talmud where it is said that if Israel is worthy, the Messiah will
come in the clouds of heaven, but if Israel is unworthy, then the Messiah will ride in on a donkey.
This is an example of how close the Jews could be to the truth and yet miss it. The prophecy was
that the Messiah was to be born of a woman; of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and David; and
that he was to be "from among his brothers. " Putting the scriptures together, Christ would have
to be born of a woman and come in a gentle and humble way, and suffer. Yet he would also have
to come in the clouds of heaven to conquer and rule. The only way for all these verses to be true
is that there would have to be two separate comings. 20 Of course Jesus understood it that way
and he taught it when he quoted Daniel 7: 13 as recorded in Matthew 24: 30; 26: 64; Mark 13: 26
and Luke 21: 27.
Amos 5: 18—A time of trouble
It was not lost on some of the Rabbis that the Hebrew Scriptures foretold a time of trouble
when the Messiah came. Edersheim writes: "Amos 5: 18 is one of the passages adduced in
the Talmud (Sanh. 98b) to explain why certain Rabbis did not wish to see the day of the
Messiah. "21 Amos 5: 18 says: "Woe to you who long for the day of the lord! Why do you long for
the day of the lord? That day will be darkness, not light" (NRSV). 22
Micah 5: 2—The Messiah to come from Bethlehem
The Jews also knew the verse quoted in the New Testament that the Messiah was to be born
in Bethlehem. " But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from
ancient times" (Micah 5: 2— NRSV). Part of this verse has been fulfilled: the Messiah, Jesus, was
born in Bethlehem. One day, he will be Israel's king.
20. We believe the same is true regarding his Second Coming. The only way for all the scriptures to be true regarding
his coming again is if his advent is in two parts. First he comes for his saints, then he comes with his saints. Between
the two events is the "Great Tribulation, " from which Christians will be spared [The Book of Revelation, audiotape
seminar from CES).
21. Edersheim, op. cit., p. 734.
22. Some ancient Jews were not the only ones to wish for the delay of the Messiah. There have also been Christians who
have prayed that his Second Coming not be during their lifetime because they, not believing in a pre-Tribulation
rapture, thought that they would have to go through the Tribulation just before he comes. See The Formation of
Christian Dogma
by Martin Werner (Boston, Beacon Press, 1957), p. 43. Knowing the truth of the pre-Tribulation
rapture allows us to pray fervendy, "Come, Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 16: 22).

One God & One Lord
Micah 5: 3—Israel conquered by enemies
Micah 5: 3 states: "Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in
labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. " The Talmud teaches
that enemies will occupy Israel for nine months before the Messiah would come. 23 It is true that
Israel will be occupied by enemies before the Messiah comes, but the nine month figure is
inaccurate (Dan. 7: 25; Rev. 11: 2; 12: 6, 14; 13: 5). Some of the Jews living at the time of Christ saw
the Roman occupation as a fulfillment of this, and were expecting the Messiah to come and
deliver them. Zechariah 14: 2 was another verse that the ancient Jews understood to portray the
conquest of Jerusalem before the advent of the Messiah: "I will gather all the nations to
Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women
raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. "
Zechariah 6: 12, 13-The Temple builder
The ancient Jewish writings universally applied both Zechariah. 6: 12 and 6: 13 to the
Zechariah 6: 12, 13 (NASB)
(12) "Then say to him, thus says the lord of hosts: 'Behold a man whose name is Branch,
for he will branch out from where he is, and he will build the temple of the lord.