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PASSAGES QUOTED TO PROVE THAT CHRIST IS JEHOVAH.
John xii. 39—41. “Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said, He hath blinded their eyes .
These things said Isaiah when he saw his glory and spake of him."
The quotation is from the 6th chapter of Isaiah, where the prophet describes a vision he had of Jehovah upon a throne. Because the glory which Isaiah saw was the glory of Jehovah, it is concluded that Christ is Jehovah. This is the argument of Mr. Robbins and of Trinitarians in general. But this conclusion is not well founded. The glory which Christ displayed, and which the prophet saw, was the glory which the Father gave to his Son. “ For he received of God the Father honor and glory," at his baptism, on the mount of transfiguration, in the miraculous powers with which the Father invested him, and in all his labors and sufferings. The glory in which Christ appears in his most exalted state is the glory of his Father,* that is, of Jehovah. Isaiah saw that is, foresaw, the glory of Christ; as Abraham “saw,' that is, 'foresaw,' the day of Christ.† When Isaiah uttered this prophecy, he seems to have been contemplating the glory of God as displayed in the miracles performed by Christ. Hence he gave an affecting account of the obstinate unbelief of the Jews in hardening their hearts, and stopping their ears, and shutting their eyes, against these demonstrations of that Divine authority and power with which Christ was invested. In his prayer for the Apostles, Christ addressed the Father thus : “ The glory which thou gavest me, I have given them;" alluding, probably, to the power of performing miracles. Now this glory was as much the glory of the * Mark viii. 38.
t John viii. 56.
Apostles after Christ gave it to them, as it was the glory of Christ after the Father gave it to him. Still it was the glory of Jehovah. Now as we are not to conclude that each of the Apostles is Jehovah because his glory was the glory of Jehovah, so neither are we to conclude that Christ is Jehovah because his glory was the glory of Jehovah.
Isaiah xl. 3, compared with Matt. iii. 3 ; Mal. iii. 1, compared with Matt. xi. 10; and Mal. iv. 5, 6, compared with Luke i. 16, 17.
These passages have often been quoted to prove that Christ is Jehovah. The argument is this: John went before Jehovah to prepare his way, and make ready a people for him. And John went before Christ, to prepare his way, and make ready a people for him. Hence it is concluded that Christ is Jehovah. The absurdity of this argument will sufficiently appear by the following examples. Christ said to the Apostles, (John xiii. 20,) “ He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. Therefore Christ is Jehovah, and he, whom Christ sends, is Jehovah. He who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt, according to Ex. xx. 2, was Jehovah; but he who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt, according to Ex. xxxii. 7, was Moses. Therefore Moses was Jehovah.
A Spirit every where present at the same time cannot literally leave one place and come to another. But in the highly figurative language of Scripture, Jehovah is said to come to a people whenever his authorized messenger appears. See page 122.
When Jesus restored a young man to life, in the city of Nain, " there came fear on all : and they glorified God, saying. That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.” Luke vii. 16. God visited his people, that is, came to them, by sending them "a great prophet." God is said to
visit his people when he sends them any peculiar blessing, It is said of Naomi, (Ruth i. 6,) “ Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread." Jehovah came to his people in the blessing of an abundant harvest. Here we have the same kind of evidence that the
great prophet” was Jehovah, and that the “ bread" was Jehovah, which the passages compared furnish that Christ was Jehovah. John, in preparing a way for Christ, prepared a way for Jehovah, because Christ was the representative of Jehovah. In preparing a people for Christ, John prepared a people for Jehovah, because Christ was the ambassador of Jehovah, who came in his name, and with his authority. In turning “many of the children of Israel to Christ, he turned them to Jehovah, because all who received Christ received Jehovah who sent him.
Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. Behold, the days come saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is the name whereby he shall be called, The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
This king who was to succeed David is called a "righteous Branch," which may denote his lineal descent. His
to be called " THE LORD OUR OUSNESS;" which may denote that during his reign Jehovah would signally bless his people with prosperity. If the prophecy is a prediction of Christ, as some think, it denotes the abundant blessings which God would bestow upon mankind during his reign.
Jer. xxxiii. 16. And this is the name wherewith she shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
Here Jerusalem is called by the same name; which
shows the absurdity of inferring from the former passage that Christ is Jehovah.
Equally absurd is the argument derived from the name "Emmanuel," which signifies "God is with us;" and which is thought to be given to Christ : Matl. i. 23.
The name Emmanuel,” as it occurs Isa. vii. 14, is given to a child born soon after the prophet uttered the prediction of his birth. In Isa. viii. 8, it is applied to the people of Judah: “Thy land O Emmanuel.” In these instances it denoted that God would be with his people by some peculiar favor. It is never indicative of the character or dignity of the person to whom it is given,
PASSAGES QUOTED TO PROVE THAT THE PECULIAR AT
TRIBUTES OF GOD AREASCRIBED TO CHRIST,
Eternal Existence. Micah v. 2. "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little
among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
In the original, the word which occurs twice, in this verse, and is rendered “come forth” in the former part and “goings forth" in the latter, literally signifies birth; and is generally so understood in the former case, and is applied to the advent or birth of Christ. But if it means birth in one place, it may also in the other; and the latter clause may be rendered, Whose birth has been from of old, from everlasting.” That is, “ Whose birth has been determined, or appointed, from everlasting." Or if the birth be referred back to a far more distant period than the time of our Saviour's advent in the flesh, still it implies generation, or beginning, and is incompatible with the notion that the Son of God existed from all eternity. We
read, verse 4, “He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God." If he were eternal and independent, he would stand and feed in his own strength, and in the majesty of his own
He would need no assistance or support from the Lord his God; for he would not have any Lord or God. This passage, then, furnishes no evidence for the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son.
John viii. 58. “Before Abraham was I am."
The Greek elui, here rendered 'am,' is rendered have been' in John xiv. 9. But as have been would rather exclude than express the idea of continued existence to the present time, we must use the word 'was' to express the true meaning of the Greek, owing to the peculiarity of our language. The meaning is, before Abraham was born I was.' To connect the present tense am' with the imperfect tense · was,' as in the Common Version, is ungrammatical and without meaning. But the passage is evidently elliptical. The word 'he' is implied after 'am,' as will be seen by comparing the following passages. John iv. 26. “I who speak unto thee am he.” John ix. 9. The blind man said, “I am he." John xviji. 5. "I am he.” Luke xxi. 8. • Many will come in my name, saying, I am he.” Compare Matt. xxiv. 5, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ,” with Mark xiii. 6, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ.” The words in italics are supplied by the English translators. See also Mark vi. 50. John vi. 20. All that can be proved by this passage is the pre-existence of Christ. The doctrine of " the eternal sonship” can derive no support from it.
Col. i. 17. He is before all things.”
In verse 15, Christ is called “the first born of every creature.” This proves that he has not existed from all eternity. “He is before all things'' may denote his pre