Vol. 22 New Series April, 1960 No. 2
WHO IS JEHOVAH?
The following is part of a reply I made in the year 1951 to a man in Minneapolis, on the relationship of Christ to the Father.

"You put me at a great disadvantage when you reject the truth of the Theophanies in the Old Testament. I am obliged to accept these Scriptures, as I am not allowed to reject any Scripture just because I do not like it, or because it does not suit my mentality. Nor do I see that you can be really desirous of finding the full truth when you reject certain passages that seem to be inconvenient. How can you say you are eager to get the whole truth when you virtually tell God that some passages in His own Book are false? How are you going to justify your conduct in that day when you stand before His Word and Executive?

"You are searching for light in the wrong place. What is God's revelation for? Is it not to enlighten us? Why go elsewhere? Do you think some mere human being has, over a period of hundreds of years, invented stories about God appearing to Israelites and others in Human Form? If God has been the God of Revelation, has He not the right thus to reveal Himself at times? The ancient literature of countries such as Greece has been tinctured by the accounts among the Israelites of the appearances of Jehovah in Human Form. Even Jews have never proposed that these passages should be cut out, and yet probably they do not fully realize their import. Why then are you superior to the Jews in this, and superior to the great mass of Christian believers?

"The proper name for Communism is just the Greek word anomia,—lawlessness. But there are many spiritual Communists. I hope you are not one of them. All the Scriptures are given for faith-obedience. We are not asked whether we are willing to accept the Scriptures.

"You have asked me to study the first ch. of John. This I have often done, and I believe it all. I ask you to believe the Theophanies, and you decline. Is that fair? Like you I strongly object to "Unsearchable Riches" and Jaegle stating that Christ was created. Perhaps he goes upon Rev. 3:14, "God's Creative Original," but this is pure paraphrase, not translation at all. It has misled many, and at the same time tickled the palate of many and delighted them.

"I must, however, point out that in one way the Lord was part of the physical Creation. His body was from His mother, His flesh. Now no human utterance or word can turn into flesh, can it? Yet we are told that God's Word becomes flesh, and instead of merely appearing among men occasionally in the past, He tabernacled among men on earth. The Jews of old saw fairly clearly from their Scriptures that if Jehovah had at times appeared in Human Form, this One must have been that Word of God, through whom all God's actions were performed. That is why they coined the term Meymra, or Saying, or Word. The Greek word logos does not merely mean a saying, a word, or an exclamation. I would say that concordantly it must mean an explanatory-statement. It gives a reason for something.

"Christ Jesus is the explanatory-statement of God. He expresses the invisible Deity. He elucidates God as John 1:18 tells us. Paul tells us much the same thing, in other words. In fact, Christ Jesus is the reason for everything that has been made.

"No feature was more prominent in the consciousness of Christ than His consciousness of Sonship towards the Father. He was THE Son of Humanity, as He so often called Himself. He is the Son of all Humanity. It is His manifestation of God in the Race in Human Form that vindicates and justifies Creation, even with all its subsequent travail and groaning. That ideal Sonship which was real and imperative within the Divine Father all along, had to find expression in mankind, His chiefest Creation. Creation was rooted in, and brought into being, by that Ideal within the Father. Fatherhood and Sonship within God express themselves: 'Let Us make Man in Our Image.' Man, the glory and crown and the final word in all Creation.

"That is to say, this Sonship within God was the grand Ideal in which Creation was conceived and brought forth. This Son, then, cannot be a different Person from the Father, but is God in the mode of 'Son: God talks to us IN SON (Heb. 1:2), or as Rotherham puts it in his book on Hebrews, 'SONLY' Christ is the manifestation of God in that Ideal of filial relationship towards Himself, as Ideal and relationship conceived and originated entirely by God, and not by mankind. Mankind by itself could never have conceived or thought of, or produced such a grand Ideal.

"The divine Ideal has always been Sonship to God, for the Race made in God's Image. God's desire is for a vast human family, imaged after Himself. To effect this, He evolves from Himself His own Ideal of perfect Sonship. 'I came out from beside the Father,' says the Lord (John 16:28). This ideal was something within God, proceeding forth to become the life of the world; the expression and realization in Human Form of that which ever was in God. For this reason, sonship towards the Divine Father was the distinct and unique feature in the Lord's consciousness, all along from the beginning. Only as Man could God be manifested in a world wherein Man is His chief Creation. In the 'mode' of Son He becomes Creator, so that this glorious Sonship may be attained by the Race. The Holy One reaches generation and incarnates (Luke 1:35) as the Divine Ideal and the pledge of every man's sonship to God.

"This explains why He so often called Himself 'THE Son of mankind,' a most unnatural expression for any other son of Adam to call himself. He identifies Himself wholly with the Race as its representative, the expression of what the entire Human Race will yet become. But alas, that Race is in profound ignorance of its glorious future.

"At one and the same time, He is the Logos or true Expression or Explanation of Mankind and of Creation, towards God; and the Logos or true Expression or Explanation of God towards Mankind. Through the one Sonship that which is inmost in God comes to Man. Through the other, that which is most ideal in Man returns to God. In calling Himself THE Son of Mankind, that humblest of men makes .an extraordinary claim. He transcends every individual, and is, as it were, the equivalent of man. He is the epitome of the Race at one point, as its common father was its epitome at another. As such the Christ is its embodied Ideal. He bears not only a normal humanity, but the alone normal. In Him man is summarized, and that which is alien to man has no being within Him at all. As the alone normal Man, He is sprung from the collective Race and related to it.

"Had the Lord been the natural offspring of Joseph and Mary, He would have been an individual human being, with a quite distinct personality of His own. But it was not merely one Man that He was. In a sense, He was all humanity. Once and for all, God incarnated Himself in humanity as the Son, and in that all-comprehensive act made all men His sons, potentially. By this inexplicable act on the part of God, He produced in Christ Jesus one who, as He was no particular or individual man's son, was Himself no particular or individual son of man. He was not the son of a man, but THE Son of Mankind. Thus He was not A man, but MAN or MANKIND—all men and every man, that common humanity in which all are one and of which He is the essence and the unity.

"The purpose and destiny of Man from 'eternity' is revealed in Christ as being that of sons of God. We were fore.ordained to a sonship to God not yet realized in Man, but inherent and incipient within God all along. At a last stage of the days (Heb. 1:3), God talked to men IN SON, or IN A SON. That is, by One who bore to Himself the very real and profound relation of SON. Sonship is the contents of God's, self-revelation to men in Christ Jesus. God's purpose was, and is to lead many sons and daughters, all humanity, to glory.

"The sonship realized and revealed to us in Christ Jesus is at once the final and the first cause of all things, of the whole creation. The universe comes to its majority and enters on its inheritance in His person. The meaning and end of Creation is the meaning and end of Humanity.

"Just as in all rational production, it is the end that determines and sets in motion the beginning; it is the end that comprehends and orders all the means, and in which the whole process consists or holds together in the correlation of the parts and the unity and consistency of the whole. Thus also. Christ Jesus is the perfect expression of God so far as God has expressed Himself at all, the raying forth of His otherwise invisible glory, the outward Impress of His secret substance. The Lord of Glory was not an individual man in God. He was more; He was all Humanity in God, because, I believe, He was God Himself in Humanity. No one who can rise to this height could ever tolerate the idea that His humanity was only that of an individual human person in whom God to an exceptional degree had revealed His presence and His power. That humanity in which God was manifest in flesh was our common and universal humanity. In it He was no less Man than we; in it He knew no other laws or conditions than ours; in it He wrought out the only possible redemption or completion for us; in it He manifested a holiness, righteous ness, and life which, because they were human and humanly attained, may be ours also; in Him, because He was what we are, and where we are, we too shall be where and what He is.

"Christ Jesus is at one and the same time the Logos, or Explanation, of God, of the whole Cosmos, and of Mankind. He is the perfect Explanation of all problems in connection with these three. And to be that, He must be, insofar, eternal and Divine.

"Arius (third century A.D.) thought out a subordinate and created God who was like a commander in chief; something like the created 'God' of 'Unsearchable Riches' and Mr. Jaegle. God the Father alone was 'uncreated.' But with Athanasius matters were very different, and for many years he had to stand like a firm rock for a vastly better conception of God. He saw that God Himself had entered into Humanity. He saw that Christianity had introduced a new idea into the world—the conception of true sonship to God. He saw that the Father completed His Divinity in the Son, just as our human reason does not lose, but actually gains when it expresses itself in rational utterance. When the Divine Logos spoke, He did more than speak; He declared God, revealed God, and completed Deity. The Godhead of the Father became complete in the revelation of the Son. The doctrine of Athanasius was that Father and Son are coessential. That is, there is Unity, in difference. 'I and the Father—We are One.'

"I see that you object to the term 'Incarnation.' On what grounds? The words means exactly the same as what John 1:14 says, 'And the Word becomes flesh.' We meet with this thought again in that ancient hymn-line in 1. Tim. 3:16, 'He who appeared in flesh' (Hos ephanerOthE en sarki). It would be ridiculous did we mortals claim that we had appeared in flesh. Our birth is not so important. Moreover, Luke 1:35 proves that the Father of the Lord was Holy Spirit. What was born was something incarnate. So, as His Father was Holy Spirit, that is, just GOD, the Lord could be nothing else than an Incarnation of His invisible Father.

"For you to assert, that 'He never was God, is not and never will be,' is to contradict all Scripture and will bring you into judgment, before that same Judge. If the Lord, as a human being, is unique, as you admit, then He had no right, if He was only a human being, to be unique. That would never be fair to other humans who have not that uniqueness. Such a Messiah as yours would only create jealousy, and he could never save anybody.

"Just here it strikes me that I ought to get some definition of your Christ. You say He is not a Creature; He is not part of the Creation. Then just what is He, and whence? Is that not more in line with what I find, that all along He was Human? He Himself declared that He came OUT FROM God. But all Creation comes OUT FROM God. An uncreated man, separate and distinct from God, is quite a new thought for me.

"Even He, being Son, learned obedience from what things He suffered" (Heb. 5:8). But why emphasize this fact, If He was only man? Do not all men and women learn from what they suffer? That is why we are here on earth. Even He . . . . learned. Granted that here we have God in Human Form, one can easily understand the statement. But I wonder how you explain this rationally. And what can be the meaning of Heb. 2:14, "Himself also comes-very-nigh, partaking of the same" (blood and flesh)? We would never ordinarily talk thus of human beings. This one must have been something else or something more, in some way."


When I tackled my correspondent about the Theophanies in the Old Testament, and queried who was that wonderful being who appeared to mankind on several occasions, and was by them called JEHOVAH, the reply was, "He was the Father." Now I am aware that there are some people who think that this august name only applies to the Divine Father. And we all know that the Christ was visible in the Holy Land to many people. Who, then, is it that alone has immortality and makes His home in light inaccessible, Whom not one of mankind has perceived or can be perceiving (1. Tim. 6:16)? Surely the answer must be, it is the Father. And why did the Lord not rebuke Thomas for saying to Him: "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28)? Is not this a tacit admission by the Lord that He was, in some sense, God? Thomas wanted a form of proof of the Lord's resurrection which would shut every mouth.

And who is He that is addressed in Isaiah 64:1? "Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence." All the surrounding context here is addressed to Jehovah (or LORD in the King James and other translations). This is what the Israelitish remnant will cry just before Christ comes back again to Mount Olive. "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives. . . and Jehovah my God shall come, and all the saints with Him" (Zech. 14:4-5).

Very probably the great name Jehovah or Yahweh signifies "He will bring into being," and we know that Christ Jesus is He who will in due course bring into being a Universe wherein there is no death, no suffering, no enmity, and no sorrow (1. Cor. 15:24-26).

A.T. Last updated 9.11.2007