Chapter 5:

Jesus Christ
"the one through whom all things are"

Of all men who have ever lived, surely Jesus of Nazareth changed the course of history the most. He was born poor and never became wealthy, and he never had any political power. In fact, the powerful men of his time had him executed. Yet he has influenced the lives of billions. Many loving deeds have been done in his name, and there has also been much cruel warfare waged in his name. Just who was this man?

Was Jesus A Man?

Jesus has been followed so devoutly that he has been deified; many do not think of him as a man, but as God incarnate, God in the flesh. This reminds us of the devotion some give to Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. "Avatars", gods in the form of men, are also prominent in Hinduism. Is that what Jesus was?

What does the Bible say? It says that Jesus was "sent by God" from heaven to the earth to accomplish a mission (see John 8.42.) For other missions, God had sent angels. Sometimes these would appear in what seemed to be solid bodies, but when their mission was done, they would simply vanish (for example, see Acts 12.4-11). Jesus came in a completely different way: he was put as a fertilized egg into the womb of a virgin girl named Mary. She gave birth to him after the usual nine months, and he was born a helpless infant, requiring parental care. In other words, Jesus was truly a human being. He had a childhood. —see the account at Luke 1.26-38, 2.1-7, 39-52.

Some say that we are all sent by God that way, that every baby is an angel sent down from heaven to be born. The Bible does not teach that. Jesus’ conception is definitely presented as highly unusual, not at all like ours. And Jesus himself plainly said: "You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world." (John 8.23) So although Jesus was truly human, he, unlike us, had a life in heaven before he came here.* —see also John 17.5, 8.58, 3.13.

His foster father, Joseph, was a carpenter. Later, Jesus was referred to as a carpenter; no doubt Joseph taught him his trade, as was customary at the time. His mother went on to have other children naturally by her husband Joseph, so Jesus was part of a large family. —Mark 6.2, 3.

In his ministry, Jesus often called himself "the Son of man," emphasizing the fact that he was truly human. (Matt 16.13-16) He was also called "Son of David," because both Joseph and Mary were descendants of the first faithful king of Israel, David. (see Matt 1.6-16, Luke 3.23-31) This is important, because God had promised David that one of his descendants would inherit his throne, or kingdom, and then his kingdom would endure forever. (Ps 89.3, 4, 33-37) Jesus by birth had a natural right to inherit it. —Luke 1.31-33.

Jesus’ Prehuman Existence

Jesus was truly a human being while he was here. But what position had he held among the angels in heaven during his life there? The Bible reveals that he was the foremost of God's creation, and worked directly alongside God himself. As we pointed out in the previous chapter, he was not equal to God. The correct view is clear from Jesus’ own words in prayer to his Father at John 17:1-5: “Jesus spoke these things, and, raising his eyes to heaven, he said: ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your son, that your son may glorify you, just as you have given him authority over all flesh... This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do. So now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.’”

Notice that here Jesus calls his Father “the only true God” and mentions himself separately as the “one whom you sent” and as the one to whom God had “given authority over all flesh.” It is not possible to give God authority: he already has it all. So, Jesus cannot be God. He then asks God to “glorify me at your side with the glory I had alongside you before the world was.” This tells us that Jesus held a very special position in heaven, and it had been his for a very long time—since before there were people on Earth.

The apostle John makes clear just how special this position was with his inspired description of Jesus’ prehuman glory at John 1.1-18. In reading that, note particularly verse 3: “All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.” Does that mean what it appears to mean? Yes: This one whom God sent down to be a humble man for a time and to die, had been alongside his Father since before all other creation, including every angel, every galaxy, yes, the whole universe! And he had served in the creating of all these other things.

Does that mean that Jesus himself was not created, that he has always existed, the same as God? (Ps 90.2) No, John did not say that. In the Revelation (also written by John), Jesus calls himself "the beginning of the creation by God." (Rev 3.14) That is, he himself was the first created being. So, at Colossians 1.15-19 Paul calls him "the firstborn of all creation." —see also Prov 8.22-31.

At John 1.1-18 there are three more important things to note. First, Jesus is called "the Word." Why? This was a title familiar to people of Bible times. In many places a king would not allow visitors to present their issues directly before him. Rather, the king would have a trusted servant listen to them, then come in to relate the matter to him. Then the king would use the same man to convey his response. This position was called "the Word" (or spokesman) of the king. Certainly with regard to man at least, God has used Jesus this way. (John 12.49, 50) That is one reason why Jesus said we should pray to the Father "in his name," that is, in Jesus’ name. (John 16.23-28) And it helps us understand why he said, "No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14.6) We will explain another reason why this is particularly true later in this chapter. —see Matt 11.27, also compare Exodus 4.16, 7.1, 2.

The second thing to note at John 1.1 is the fact that most Bibles read "...and the Word was God." Careful research into Greek grammar* has proven that it is more accurate to translate that as "the Word was divine" or "like God" or "a god", and a few Bibles read accordingly. Those who insist that Jesus is part of a Trinity, despite the many other scriptures that prove otherwise, rely heavily on an imperfect translation. That makes tradition dictate scripture instead of scripture establishing tradition. Which would you prefer?

The third thing to note is in verse 18. There John says that the Son is "close to the Father's side." Or it can be translated, "in the bosom" of the Father. What would that mean? This was a familiar term in John’s day. It survives today in the expression "bosom companion" or "bosom buddy", a dearest friend. This tells us something about the emotional ties that bind Jehovah with his first Son. We too can be so close to God: scripture likens us to sheep, loved by God as our shepherd, who cares for us by holding us close to his bosom. (Isa 40.10,11). Do you believe that? Do you feel it? If not, do you want to?

Similar to John 1.1-18 is Hebrews 1.1-13. In reading that, note that Paul does not say Jesus is God, but that he ‘sat down at God’s right hand’. There is no greater position of honor with God than that.

Note also Jesus is said to be "the brightness of his glory and the express image of his [God’s] person." (Heb 1.3, AV) Jesus is called the "image of God" twice more in the Bible (2 Cor 4.4, Col 1.15). 1st Corinthians 11.7 helps us to understand what this means. There, an expression very similar to Hebrews 1.3 is applied Yes, lowly man is said to bear God’s image. As was discussed in Chapter 4, we were created to resemble God in spiritual qualities or virtues (although we do not do so very well at present). But Jehovah’s firstborn Son does so to the perfect degree. Just as man is obviously not God, neither is Jesus; but if we get to know Jesus, we can at the same time learn much about his Father. That is why Jesus could say "He that has seen me has seen the Father also." —John 14.8-10.

Because of the greatness of Jesus’ power and glory alongside God, surely he must be the Archangel. That is a Greek term, meaning "chief angel", the angel above all the others. By definition there can be only one. The archangel is mentioned only a few times in the Bible, but he is described as doing things that other verses say Jesus would do (for example, rescuing God’s people and defeating Satan). (Rev 12.7-9, Daniel 10.13, 12.1.) The archangel is named Michael. That does not prove he is not Jesus, since it is not unusual for a person to have more than one name. "Jesus" is particularly the name of God’s Son while he was on earth, and means "Jehovah is salvation." Salvation for mankind was one of the main reasons Jesus was sent here. "Michael" translates as a challenging question, "Who is like God?", which fits the role in which he is seen, a mighty warrior for God’s honor.

Why Jesus Was Sent To Earth

The mission which Jesus was sent to accomplish was of utmost importance. Two things were at stake: the honor of God’s name and the rescue of mankind from death. In the garden of Eden, Satan had reached out to seize equality with God. Jesus would do exactly the opposite: he would submit to his Father’s will at great sacrifice to himself. By this one act he would accomplish both parts of his mission. How? —Phil 2.6, 7.

As was discussed in Chapter 2, Satan had slandered God, calling him a liar. He said, in effect, that men could do better without God. After both Adam and Eve followed him, he could then add the claim that humans are incapable of obeying God. Satan says that men of dust cannot be expected to live by God’s standards, because God is unreasonably strict. No one, he says, can resist a little temptation or pressure; no one will choose to be loyal to God. God could not point to Adam and Eve as proof that Satan was wrong. Nor can he point to us, even though we try to do right; we inevitably make mistakes and fall short of complete obedience. And Satan smugly smirks.—Gen 3.1-7, Job 1.8-11.

Jehovah knew that he had created Adam perfect. Yes, Adam had been designed to be able to obey without fail. But he had also been made a free moral agent, which means he was free to choose to disobey. Adam chose to break away from God. Actions have consequences; in breaking free of his Creator, Adam did harm to himself. He became damaged, imperfect.* So Adam could not pass on to us, his children, a perfection he no longer had. That is why none of us are able to obey God perfectly, even when we earnestly try. Jehovah recognizes and accepts our efforts to please him, but only another perfect man could prove by actually doing it that mankind, as designed by God, can really obey Him without fail. —see Deut 32.4, 5, Job 14.4.

Our imperfection shows itself in a tendency to make mistakes, to not think straight. It also shows up in our bodies in the form of physical defects and lack of resistance to disease. It causes aging, which ends in death. The Bible states all this very succinctly at Romans 5.12: “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” Notice it uses the word "sin". There are two basic kinds of sin: the imperfection we are born with is called sin, and any wrong act that we commit is sin (compare Ps 51.4, 5). The word itself means "to miss the mark", in other words, to be imperfect.

Notice that if Adam had not sinned, he would not have died. Death came upon mankind only due to disobedience; God had created them to keep on living forever—if they would respect their Creator. (Unlike man, animals apparently are designed to have a limited lifespan; their natural death is not due to sin.)

Now Adam could not simply apologize and get back all that he had lost. He had created a "debt", so’s to speak, that had to be repaid. How had he done that? Remember, Adam did not belong to himself; he belonged to God. So when he "stole" himself away, he "owed" himself back. But there was a problem: he was no longer the man he used to be; he was damaged. The only way he could give himself completely back, and be personally "even" with God, was by dying.

This helps us to understand why God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice of lambs from his flock (Gen 4.4) and why He later required animal sacrifices in the Law Covenant with the nation of Israel (Lev 5.5-10, 16.3, 5, 14-16, 34). God explains: “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have put it upon the altar for you to make atonement for your souls, because it is the blood that makes atonement by the soul in it.” (Lev 17:11) According to this, the animal’s blood was the symbol of, or equal to, the entire life-value or "soul" of the animal. The Hebrew word here translated "atonement" literally means "exchange" or "cover". So God was saying he would accept the blood of animals in place of or as a substitute for the souls of the ones offering the sacrifices. Their sinfulness would be "covered" or forgiven, and they would not have to die.

But, of course, the life-value of an animal is not really as great as the life-value of a man. Paul plainly says: "it is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take sins away." (Heb 10:4) Why, then, did God require it? Paul explains: "by these sacrifices there is a reminding of sins from year to year." The Law requirements were meant to act as a tutor, teaching the Jews that everyone owes a precious debt to God: his own life. —Heb 10:1-3.

That we all pay our personal debt to God when we die Paul states at Romans 6.7: (AV) "He that is dead is freed from sin." So once we are dead, we no longer owe God anything, and he owes us nothing either. But that is not a happy solution, because in being dead, we are no longer alive.

That seems rather obvious, but how many people think that dead people are still alive? Most religions say that. But God had told Adam: ‘Because you ate from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, “You must not eat from it,” you will return to the ground. Dust you are, and to dust you will return.’ No hope of an afterlife was held out to him. (For more information, see Chapter 10.) —Gen 3.17-19.

Of course, we’d rather not be dead. As Paul himself said: “Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from the body undergoing this death?” —Romans 7.24.

No amount of money can pay this debt. Even by our death, we do not pay off Adam’s debt, merely our own little part of it. Our death does not redeem our brother. This point is made at Psalm 49.6-9: “Those who are trusting in . . . their riches, not one of them can redeem even a brother, nor give to God a ransom for him; (the redemption price of their soul is so precious, it is always beyond their reach;) that he should live forever and not see the pit.”

Yes, as the scripture says, there is a "redemption price" or "ransom", but it is a precious one. What was owed to God was what Adam took away: one perfect human life, perfectly faithful, perfectly loyal, perfectly obedient. This perfect man would have to be tested, tempted, pressured. Yes, he would have to prove faithful to death. That would release the whole debt, it would set us all free from the death Adam gave us. It would also honor God by proving that Satan is wrong in saying that it cannot be done.

God is just in requiring the debt to be paid; anything less would excuse the rebellion that caused the problem. But we could never produce a perfect human to pay this debt for us. We were in an impossible bind! But now think: How would you feel if you found people starving in poverty, begging for relief, unable to help themselves? Would your heart go out to them, even if it was the foolish irresponsibility of their forebears that caused their poverty? Would you try to help, even if some of these people distrusted you and resisted your effort to help? Our Father is more merciful than we are. Jehovah could not leave all humankind to slowly perish. But what could he do, and still uphold responsibility, as he should?

The Bible answers: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. For God sent his Son into the world, not for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.” Yes, “the Son of man came to minister and to give his soul as a ransom in exchange for many.” —John 3:16, 17, Matt 20:28; read also Heb 2:9, 14, 15, 1 John 4:9, 10, Romans 5:18, 19, 1 Cor 15:22, John 6:38-40.

It is important to note that Jehovah did not pay the redemption price to himself. He sent his Son, but it was up to Jesus to give himself up as a perfect sacrifice. Jesus was not compelled to do this for mankind. He willingly accepted the assignment. He was glad to do it for his Father’s honor, and for our salvation. Notice what he says: “This is why the Father loves me, because I surrender my soul...No man has taken it away from me, but I surrender it of my own initiative.” (John 10.17) Yes, “although he was existing in God’s form, he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men. More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a execution post.” —Phil 2.7, 8.

So, “who will rescue me from the body undergoing this death?” Paul answered: “Thanks to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” —Rom 7.24, 25.

This gives us the other reason why Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Without that debt being paid, we had no right to approach God. When we pray, we must acknowledge Jesus’ faithful death in our behalf; Jehovah requires it. —Acts 4.12, Eph 2.1-5, 13, 18.

Truly, Jesus is the one "through whom all things are." Jehovah is the Father, the loving Source of all life, the one true God over all. But it was through His Son that He made all things, and it is through His Son that He is giving us life again. —1 Cor 8.6, Eph 1.9, 10.

How to Benefit from the Ransom

But we are still getting old, sick and dying! When and how do we benefit from our redemption? Must we do anything to benefit from it? Yes, we do. John 3.16 above said that those exercising faith have everlasting life. If we choose to be self-willed and disobedient like Adam, we are choosing his penalty also. If we show ourselves appreciative of the sacrifice Christ made for us, we are declared free of Adam’s sin. What an incredible liberation! If we really understand what this means for us, we will never turn back again! —Rom 5:6-9.

How do we show ourselves appreciative? Jesus could not have put it more simply: “You are my friends if you do what I am commanding you.” And what does he command? “This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.” (John 15.12-14) This means we must learn to be selfless, to be compassionate, to be giving, to be humble. Never would we cheat anyone or lie or steal. Never would we use another person for our own pleasure or profit and then discard them when we had gotten what we wanted. Never would we scream at, abuse or humiliate another. —Eph 4.31, 32.

Such goodness is not always easy. If we fail at times—WHEN we fail at times—Jesus pleads for us, his friends, before his Father, to remember the sacrifice that covers our imperfection. (1 John 2.1-6, Rom 8.34, Hebrews 4.15, 16) To obtain this help, we have to feel true regret for our sin, and make serious efforts to avoid repeating it. —Acts 2.37, 38, 3.19; see also Matt 6.14, 15, 22.37-39, Gal 5.19-24.

Of course, there is much more to being a Christian. By paying that debt for us and rescuing us from certain death, Jesus has become our Owner, or Lord. “You do not belong to yourselves,” Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “for you were bought with a price.” (1 Cor 6.19, 20) By purchase, Jesus now owns all mankind, and he can do with us as he pleases. He is pleased to give us everlasting life, if we accept our position as his property. —see John 5.22-24, 3.35, 36, 1 Cor 7.22, 23, 2 Thess 1.7-9, Heb 5.9.

Like his Father, Jesus has tender love for us. We can hear it in his words as he taught the people, we can see it in his compassion as he cured their afflictions. As we read his story in the gospels, our appreciation for that love should become so deep that we abandon our selfish aims in life and give ourselves over to living in the way that he leads us. 2 Cor 5:14, 15 says: “For the love the Christ has compels us, because this is what we understand, that one man died for all... and he died for all that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised up.”

This involves more than being a nice person. It involves work! As you learn about God and his purposes, you will acquire very important knowledge that your friends and neighbors also need to know. If we love them like Jesus does, we will do as he did: go to them and share with them what we have learned. They will receive you the same as the people received him: some believed him, and others wanted to kill him. It takes both love and courage to speak out as a Christian. —see Mark 8.34-38, Matt 10.16-40. More on this in Chapter 14, Choose the Way of Life.

We must not misunderstand, as some do, Jesus’ command to love one another. Remember, in showing us how to love, Jesus did not kill for us; he died for us. He did not try to kill his enemies, not even those who attacked him. Jehovah protected him until the time came to finish his assignment. Then, Jesus submitted meekly to death at the hands of wicked men. It is possible for the same to happen to us; we need to be prepared to follow him and do as he did. —Matt 26.49-54, John 19.10, 11, 1 Pet 2.21-23.

Does that mean he would stand idly by if other people were being attacked? There is no record of this happening in his presence, but certainly the people were being exploited and downtrodden. Did he take up arms against the oppressors? No. Rather, he taught a way of life that rendered the oppression of little effect: contentment with bare necessities, faith in God’s sustaining care, hope for a future day of reckoning. By forbidding violent armed resistance, he removed any excuse the wicked might have for mistreating the people. And he made sure that the oppressors’ wickedness was widely exposed. Those who were trying to hide under a cloak of piety found it stripped away, their perfidy laid open for all to see. —Matt 9.36; 5.39-44, 6.19-34, 23.1-4, 23, 27, 28, 33-36; see also Romans 12.18-21, James 1.20.

This brings us to the other part of his assignment, his mission on earth: to proclaim the truth, to proclaim "liberty to those taken captive and the wide opening of the eyes to the prisoners." He said: “I must declare the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.” What is this "kingdom" that he was proclaiming? —Isa 61.1, 2, Luke 4.17-19, 43.

King of God’s Kingdom

The Jews had been expecting and awaiting the arrival of the Kingdom of God for many centuries. The prophet Daniel had foretold that “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be defeated, nor taken over by any other people. It will crush and put an end to all other kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever.” (Dan 2.44) This conquering kingdom was to be ruled by the Messiah, which is Hebrew for the "Chosen One," that is, the one whom God chose. (see Dan 7.13, 14.) In Greek the word is "Khristos", or Christ. This Christ would sweep aside all evil and establish benevolent rule over all the earth. —Isa 11.1-9.

Would this really ever happen? Yes! Jesus said: “You must pray, ‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be revered as sacred. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.’” Jesus demonstrated the power this Kingdom will have by working miracles, using holy spirit given to him by his Father. The four books that tell the story of Jesus’ life, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, give eyewitness accounts of the miracles he performed. As a sampling, please read Lu 5.12-17, 6.17-19, 7.11-17, 8.43-48, Mark 6.56. In these please note the compassion and kindness Jesus expressed to the people he helped.

These miracles, as wonderful as they were, did not have permanent effect. Those cured did continue aging, and finally died. But Jesus’ miracles proved that he was sent by God, that he really was the Messiah. And his miracles proved that God’s power can solve all human afflictions. So the Kingdom, when it finally would come, really would accomplish all that was foretold; yes, it was real.

Jesus’ disciples were intensely interested in knowing when this kingdom would arrive. They were convinced Jesus was the Christ (see Matt 16.15, 16) and they were expecting him to rise up and bring it at any moment. In this they were sadly mistaken. Imagine their horror when Jesus was arrested and murdered! Jesus had carefully explained to them that that had to occur first, but their eagerness to see the Kingdom come had blinded them to what he was saying. —Luke 19.11, 18.31-34.

Mission Accomplished!

Jesus Christ died, giving his life as a "ransom" or redemption price to buy back for mankind what Adam had lost. His mission on earth was finished. What then?

The disciples were confused and fearful. When Jesus was arrested, they fled and hid. They then came and watched helplessly as he died on the execution post. But notice what Jesus said as he died: “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit!” (Luke 23.46, John 19.30) What would his loving Father do with that spirit, or life-force, that went out of his Son that terrible day?

After Jesus died, he was quickly put in a nearby tomb. The hour was late and the Sabbath was about to begin, a day on which no work could be done. But early the day after the Sabbath, women came to prepare his body for a proper burial. They found the tomb had been opened! The body was gone! Had his murderers committed the final indignity? For the answer, read John’s touching account of that morning at John 19.38-20.18.

Jesus was alive! But how? The Bible is very clear: God raised him up out of death "on the third day". (Matt 16.21, 1 Cor 15.3, 4) No, he had not ascended directly from his body when he died; he was raised up from the tomb where he had been laid. He had been truly dead for a little while. —compare Rev 1.17, 18, 2.8.

After his resurrection, for forty days he frequently reappeared to his disciples, strengthening their faith that he was indeed alive. But he was no longer natural flesh and blood; God had given him a spirit body, as he had had before coming to earth. (John 20.19, 1 Pet 3.18, 1 Cor 15.43-48) Finally the time came for him to return to his Father. So that his followers would clearly know he was leaving, he ascended up into the clouds while they watched, then vanished. —see Acts 1.3-11.

Ten days later, as the disciples were gathered together, the holy spirit that Jesus had promised to send came upon them. This gave them ability to speak foreign languages, so that the good news about the Christ could be quickly spread abroad. (see Acts 1.8, 2.1-13.) Then Peter addressed the crowd and revealed where Jesus now was: “This Jesus God resurrected, of which fact we are all witnesses. Therefore because he was exalted to the right hand of God and received the promised holy spirit from the Father, he has poured out this which you see and hear. Actually David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.” —Acts 2:32-36.

Yes, Jesus had regained the mighty position that he had had before being sent to the earth. The time had come for his Father to answer his request at John 17.4, 5. But he had been given more than that. The Bible says: “For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:9-11) “He raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come. He also subjected all things under his feet, and made him head over all things to the congregation.” (Eph 1:20-22) “He is at God’s right hand, for he went his way to heaven; and angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him.” (1 Pet 3:22) After being raised up, Jesus himself said: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” —Matt 28:18.

Finally, Paul writes: “For it is not to angels that he has subjected the inhabited earth to come, about which we are speaking. But a certain witness has given proof somewhere, saying: ‘What is man that you keep him in mind, or the son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than angels; with glory and honor you crowned him, and appointed him over the works of your hands. All things you subjected under his feet.’ For in that he subjected all things to him God left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him; but we behold Jesus, who has been made a little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, that he by God’s undeserved kindness might taste death for every man.” —Heb 2:5-9.

From all of this it is clear that Jesus had been elevated to a position of active power. He had been given the title-deed, as it were, to be King of the Kingdom. He had been given authority to act as ruler in the affairs of men. But his Father, Jehovah, remained head over all (1 Cor 11.3). And Jehovah has a schedule mapped out as to when certain actions should take place; as an obedient Son, Jesus follows that schedule. And so we see Paul saying above, “Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him.” And later he says, “But this man offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet.” (Heb 10:12,13)

Even today we look around and see many enemies not yet subdued. So the question has to be asked, when will Christ come in Kingdom power and destroy his enemies, as foretold so long ago? Is there any way to know when it is due? How does this Kingdom arrive? And how will it rule? These matters are taken up in our next two chapters, "Let Your Kingdom Come" and "The Kingdom of God is Near!"

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John 8:42
Jesus said to them: “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I have not come of my own initiative, but that One sent me.”

Acts 12:4-11
About that time Herod the king began mistreating some of those of the congregation. He put James the brother of John to death by the sword. When he saw that it was pleasing to the Jews, he also went on to arrest Peter. (This was during the days of the Unleavened Bread.) He seized him and put him in prison, turning him over to four shifts of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out before the people after the Passover. So Peter was being kept in the prison, but the congregation was intensely praying to God for him. When Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping bound with two chains between two soldiers, and guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. But look! Jehovah's angel was standing there, and a light shone in the prison cell. Striking Peter on the side, he woke him, saying: "Get up, quickly!" And the chains fell off his hands. The angel said to him: "Get dressed and put on your sandals." So he did. Finally he said to him: "Put your outer garment on, and keep following me." And he went out and kept following him, but he did not know that what was happening through the angel was real. In fact, he thought he was seeing a vision. Going past the first sentinel guard and the second, they reached the iron gate leading into the city, and this opened to them by itself. After they went out, they made their way down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. Then Peter, realizing what was happening, said: "Now I know for sure that Jehovah sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's hand and from everything that the Jews were expecting to happen."

Luke 1:26-38
In [Elizabeth's] sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin promised in marriage to a man named Joseph of David's house, and the name of the virgin was Mary. And coming in, the angel said to her: "Greetings, you highly favored one, Jehovah is with you." But she was deeply disturbed at his words and tried to understand what kind of greeting this might be. So the angel said to her: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And look! you will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his Kingdom. But Mary said to the angel: "How is this to be, since I am not having sexual relations with a man?" In answer the angel said to her: "Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. And for that reason the one who is born will be called holy, God's Son. And look! Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son, in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her, the so-called barren woman; for no declaration will be impossible for God." Then Mary said: "Look! Jehovah's slave girl! May it happen to me according to your declaration." At that the angel departed from her.

Luke 2:1-7
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus for all the inhabited earth to be registered. (This first registration took place when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And all the people went to be registered, each one to his own city. Of course, Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to David's city, which is called Bethlehem, because of his being a member of the house and family of David. He went to get registered with Mary, who had been given him in marriage as promised and who was soon to give birth. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her son, the firstborn, and she wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the lodging place.

Luke 2:39-52
So when they had carried out all the things according to the Law of Jehovah, they went back into Galilee to their own city, Nazareth. And the young child continued growing and getting strong, being filled with wisdom, and God's favor continued upon him. Now his parents were accustomed to go from year to year to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was 12 years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival. When the days of the festival were over and they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, and his parents did not notice it. Assuming that he was in the group traveling together, they went a day's journey and then began to search for him among the relatives and acquaintances. But not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem and made a diligent search for him. Well, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and asking them questions. But all those listening to him were in constant amazement at his understanding and his answers. Now when his parents saw him, they were astounded, and his mother said to him: "Child, why did you treat us this way? Here your father and I have been frantically looking for you." But he said to them: "Why did you search all over for me? Did you not know that I must be in the house of my Father?" However, they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down with them and returned to Nazareth, and he continued subject to them. Also, his mother carefully kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus went on progressing in wisdom and in physical growth and in favor with God and men.

Matthew 3:16
After being baptized, Jesus immediately came up from the water; and look! the heavens were opened up, and he saw God's spirit descending like a dove and coming upon him.

1 Cor 15:35, 38, 44
Nevertheless, someone will say: “How are the dead to be raised up? Yes, with what sort of body are they coming?” . . . God gives it a body just as it has pleased him, and gives to each of the seeds its own body. . . . It is sown a physical body; it is raised up a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one.

John 17:5
So now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.

John 8:58
Jesus said to them: "Most truly I say to you, Before Abraham came into existence, I have been."

John 3:13
Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but the one who descended from heaven, the Son of man.

Mark 6:2, 3
Those listening were astounded and said: "Where did this man get these things? And why should this wisdom have been given to him, and such powerful works be performed through his hands? This is the carpenter the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon, is it not? And his sisters are here with us, are they not?"

Matt 16.13-16
When he had come into the region of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples: "Who are men saying the Son of man is?" They said: "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them: "You, though, who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Matt 1.6-16
Jesse became father to David the king. David became father to Solomon by the wife of Uriah
Solomon became father to Rehoboam
[who fathered] Abijah
[who fathered] Asa
[who fathered] Jehoshaphat
[who fathered] Jehoram
[who fathered] Uzziah
[who fathered] Jotham
[who fathered] Ahaz
[who fathered] Hezekiah
[who fathered] Manasseh
[who fathered] Amon
[who fathered] Josiah
[who fathered] Jeconiah and to his brothers at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon Jeconiah became father to Shealtiel
[who fathered] Zerubbabel
[who fathered] Abiud
[who fathered] Eliakim
[who fathered] Azor
[who fathered] Zadok
[who fathered] Achim
[who fathered] Eliud
[who fathered] Eleazar
[who fathered] Matthan
[who fathered] Jacob
[who fathered] Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

Luke 3:23-31
When Jesus began his work, he was about 30 years old; he was viewed as the son of Joseph, who was son of Heli, son of Matthat, son of Levi, . . . son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of [king] David . . .
Note: actually Joseph was son-in-law of Heli, who was Mary's father. Luke is here giving her lineage through the non-kingly line from David. For brevity we edited out 35 names. Luke continues the line back from David, through Abraham all the way to Adam, "son of God".

Ps 89:3, 4
I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: "I will firmly establish your offspring forever, and I will build up your throne for all generations."

Psalm 89:33-37
But I will never abandon my loyal love for him, nor be untrue to my promise. I will not violate my covenant or change what my lips have spoken. I have sworn in my holiness, once and for all; I will not tell lies to David. His offspring will endure forever; his throne will endure like the sun before me. Like the moon, it will be firmly established forever, as a faithful witness in the skies."

Luke 1:31-33
You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his Kingdom.

John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This one was in the beginning with God. All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence. What has come into existence by means of him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light is shining in the darkness, but the darkness has not overpowered it. There came a man who was sent as a representative of God; his name was John. This man came as a witness, in order to bear witness about the light, so that people of all sorts might believe through him. He was not that light, but he was meant to bear witness about that light. The true light that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him, but the world did not know him. He came to his own home, but his own people did not accept him. However, to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God's children, because they were exercising faith in his name. And they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man's will, but from God. So the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of divine favor and truth. (John bore witness about him, yes, he cried out: "This was the one of whom I said, 'The one coming behind me has advanced in front of me, for he existed before me.'") For we all received from his fullness, even undeserved kindness upon undeserved kindness. Because the Law was given through Moses, the undeserved kindness and the truth came to be through Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is close to the Father's side is the one who has explained Him.

Ps 90.2
Before the mountains were born, or you brought forth the earth and the productive land, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

Rev 3.12-14
The one who conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out from it anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem that descends out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations. To the angel of the congregation in Laodicea write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God. . .

Note as a bonus we added verses 12 and 13, where Jesus plainly refers to his Father as "my God," clearly placing himself under Him. And this is 60 years after his return to heaven, to answer those who try to dodge around the obvious by saying that "Jesus pretended to be subject to God while he was here as a man, just to be an example for us, when he was in fact God in the flesh and resumed equality upon his return to heaven."

Colossians 1:15-19
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist, and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might become the one who is first in all things; because God was pleased to have all fullness to dwell in him.

Prov 8:22-31
Jehovah produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago. From ancient times I was installed, from the start, from times earlier than the earth. When there were no deep waters, I was brought forth, when there were no springs overflowing with water. Before the mountains were set in place, before the hills, I was brought forth, when he had not yet made the earth and its fields or the first clods of earth's soil. When he prepared the heavens, I was there; when he marked out the horizon on the surface of the waters, when he established the clouds above, when he founded the fountains of the deep, when he set a decree for the sea, that its waters should not pass beyond his order, when he established the foundations of the earth, I was beside him as a master worker. I was the one he was especially fond of day by day; I rejoiced before him all the time. I rejoiced over his habitable earth, and I was especially fond of the sons of men.

John 12:49, 50
I have not spoken of my own initiative. The Father who sent me has given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment means everlasting life. So whatever I speak, I say it just as the Father has said it to me.

John 16:23-28
In that day you will ask me no question at all. Most truly I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything, he will give it to you in my name. Until now you have not asked for a single thing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. I have spoken these things to you in comparisons. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in comparisons, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will make request of the Father in my name, and in saying this, I do not mean that I will make request of the Father for you. For the Father himself has affection for you, because you have had affection for me, and have believed that I came from beside the Father. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and am returning to the Father.

Matt 11.27
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone fully know the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.

Exodus 4.16
He [Aaron] will speak for you [Moses] to the people, and he will be your spokesman, and you will serve as God to him.

Exodus 7:1, 2 Jehovah then said to Moses: "See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your own brother will become your prophet. You are to repeat everything that I will command you, and Aaron your brother will speak to Pharaoh, and he will send the Israelites away from his land."

Isa 40:10, 11
Look! The Sovereign Lord Jehovah will come with power, and his arm will rule for him. Look! His reward is with him, and the wage he pays is before him. Like a shepherd he will care for his flock. With his arm he will gather together the lambs, and in his bosom he will carry them. He will gently lead those nursing their young.

Hebrews 1.1-13
Long ago God spoke to our forefathers by means of the prophets, on many occasions and in many ways. Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So he has become better than the angels, in that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs. For example, to which one of the angels did God ever say: "You are my son; today I have become your father"? And again: "I will become his father, and he will become my son"? But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: "And let all of God's angels bow before him." Also, he says about the angels: "He makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire." But about the Son, he says: "God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions." And: "At the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; and just like clothing, they will all wear out, and you will wrap them up just one does an overcoat, as a garment, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never come to an end." But about which of the angels has he ever said: "Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet"?

2 Cor 4.3, 4
If, in fact, the good news we declare is veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing, among whom the god of this system of things [Satan] has blinded[. He has blinded] the minds of the unbelievers, so that the light of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.

Col 1:15
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [the remainder was quoted earlier]

1 Corinthians 11.7
For a man ought not to have his head covered [while praying], as he is God's image and glory; but the woman is man's glory.

John 14.8-10
Philip said to him: "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him: "Even after I have been with you men for such a long time, Philip, have you not come to know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also. How is it you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in union with the Father and the Father is in union with me? The things I say to you I do not speak of my own originality, but the Father who remains in union with me is doing his works.

Rev 12.7-9
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan. . .

Daniel 10.13
[An angel tells Daniel:] But the [demon] prince of the royal realm of Persia was standing in opposition to me for 21 days. But then Michael, one of the foremost [spirit] princes, came to help me; and I remained there beside the kings of Persia.

Daniel 12.1
During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, every one who is found written down in the book.

Phil 2.6-8
Although he was existing in God's form, he gave no consideration to a seizure [a grab for power, like Satan tried], namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave's form and became human. More than that, when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on an execution post.

The King James reads, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal to God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man. . ."
This error in translation makes it sound like Jesus did not consider it wrong to be equal to God, therefore he became a servant, obedient to death. That doesn't make sense. A better reading would be, "[he] thought not of robbery, to be equal to God." The exact opposite of what Satan reached for.

Gen 3.1-7
Now the serpent was the most cautious of all wild animals of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it said to the woman: "Is it really true that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?" At this the woman said to the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But as for the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it, that you do not die.'" At this the serpent said to the woman: "You will not die at all. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes will be opened and you will then be like God, knowing good and bad." Consequently the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something desirable to the eyes, yes, the tree was pleasing to look at. So she began taking its fruit and eating it. Later she gave some also to her husband when he was with her, and he began eating it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made loin-cloths for themselves.

Job 1.8-11
Then Jehovah said to Satan: "Have you noticed my servant Job? There is no one like him in the earth. He is an upright man of integrity, fearing God and turning away from bad." At that Satan answered Jehovah: "Is it for nothing that Job has feared God? Have you not put up a protective hedge around him and his house and everything that he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock itself has spread out in the land. But, if you would for a change reach out and strike everything he has, he will surely curse you to your very face."

Deut 32.4, 5
The Rock, perfect is his activity,
For all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness,
who is never unjust;
Righteous and upright is he.
They are the ones who have acted corruptly;
They are not his children, the defect is their own.
They are a crooked and twisted generation!

Job 14.4
Who can produce someone clean out of someone unclean? No one can.

Ps 51.4, 5
Against you, you above all, I have sinned,
What is bad in your eyes I have done.
Therefore you are righteous when you speak,
You are right in your judgment.
Look! I was born guilty of error,
And my mother conceived me in sin.

Gen 4.4
But Abel brought some firstlings of his flock, including their [desirable] fat parts. While Jehovah looked with favor on Abel and on his offering . . .

Lev 5.5-10
In case he becomes guilty as respects one of these things, then he must confess in what way he has sinned. And he must bring his guilt offering to Jehovah for his sin that he has committed, namely, a female from the flock, either a female lamb or a young female goat, for a sin offering. Then the priest will make atonement for him for his sin. If, though, he cannot afford a sheep, he must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to Jehovah as his guilt offering for the sin, one for a sin offering and one for a burnt offering. He is to bring them to the priest, who will present first the one for the sin offering and nip off its head at the front of its neck, without severing it. He will spatter some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, but the remainder of the blood will be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. The other one he will handle as a burnt offering according to the regular procedure; and the priest will make atonement for him for his sin that he has committed, and it will be forgiven him.

Leviticus 16:3, 5
This is what Aaron should bring when he comes into the holy place: a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. . . He should take from the assembly of the Israelites two young male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. . . 14-16 He will take some of the bull's blood and spatter it with his finger in front of the cover on the east side, and he will spatter some of the blood with his finger seven times before the cover. He will then slaughter the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the curtain and do with its blood the same as he did with the bull's blood; he is to spatter it toward the cover and before the cover. He must make atonement for the holy place concerning the acts of uncleanness of the Israelites and concerning their transgressions and their sins, and that is what he should do for the tent of meeting, which is located among them in the midst of their acts of uncleanness. . . 34 "This will serve as a lasting statute for you, to make atonement for the Israelites concerning all their sins once each year." So he did just as Jehovah had commanded Moses.

Heb 10:1-4
For since the Law has a shadow of the good things to come, but not the very substance of the things, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make those who approach perfect. Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have stopped being offered, because those rendering sacred service once cleansed would have no consciousness of sins anymore? On the contrary, these sacrifices are a reminder of sins year after year, for it is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take sins away.

Hebrews 2:9
But we do see Jesus, who was made a little lower than angels, now crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, so that by God's undeserved kindness he might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 2:14-15
Therefore, since the "young children" are sharers of blood and flesh, he also similarly shared in the same things, so that through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil, and set free all those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death.

1 John 4.9,10
By this the love of God was revealed in our case, that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might gain life through him. The love is in this respect, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a reconciling sacrifice for our sins.
Romans 5.18,19
Just as through one trespass [by Adam] the result to men of all sorts was condemnation, so too through one act of justification [by Jesus] the result to men of all sorts is a declaring of them righteous for life. For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one person many will be made righteous.

1 Cor 15.22
For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.

John 6.38-40
I have come down from heaven to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose none out of all those whom he has given me, but that I should resurrect them on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who recognizes the Son and exercises faith in him should have everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day.

Acts 4:12
There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.

Ephesians 2:1-5, 13, 18 . . . God made you alive, though you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked, according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience. Yes, among them we all at one time conducted ourselves in harmony with the desires of our flesh, carrying out the will of the flesh and of our thoughts, and we were naturally children of wrath just as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because his great love with which he loved us, made us alive together with the Christ, even when we were dead in trespasses; by undeserved kindness you have been saved. . . 13 But now in union with Christ Jesus you who were once far off have come to be near by the blood of the Christ. . . 18 because through him we, both peoples, have free access to the Father by one spirit.

1 Corinthians 8:6
There is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.

Ephesians 1:9-10
He made known to us the sacred secret of his will. It is according to his good pleasure that he purposed in himself, for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, to gather all things together in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.

Romans 5:6-9
For, indeed, while we were still weak, Christ died for ungodly men at the appointed time. For hardly would anyone die for a righteous man; though perhaps for a good man someone may dare to die. But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, then, since we have now been declared righteous by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath.

Eph 4:31,32
Put away from yourselves every kind of malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech, as well as everything injurious. But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.

1 John 2:1-6
My little children, I am writing you these things that you may not commit a sin. And yet, if anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one. And he is a reconciling sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world's. And by this we know that we have come to know him, namely, if we continue observing his commandments. He that says: "I have come to know him," and yet does not observe his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in this person. But whoever does observe his word, in this person the love of God has truly been made perfect. By this we know that we are in union with him: he that says he remains in union with him is under obligation himself also to go on walking just as that one walked.

Romans 8:34
Who will condemn them? Christ Jesus is the one who died, yes, more than that the one who was raised up, who is at the right hand of God and who also pleads for us.

Hebrews 4:15-16
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tested in all respects as we have, but without sin. Let us, then, approach the throne of undeserved kindness with freeness of speech, so that we may receive mercy and find undeserved kindness to help us at the right time.

Acts 2:37-38
Now when they heard this they were stabbed to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: "Men, brothers, what should we do?" Peter said to them: "Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit."

Acts 3:19
Repent, therefore, and turn around so as to get your sins blotted out, so that seasons of refreshing may come from Jehovah himself.

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; whereas if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 22:37-39
He said to him: "'You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, 'You must love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Galatians 5:19-24
Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God's Kingdom. On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.

John 5:22-24
For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Most truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes the One who sent me has everlasting life, and he does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life.

John 3:35-36
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.

1 Cor 7:22, 23
For anyone in the Lord that was called when a slave is the Lord's freedman; likewise he that was called when a freeman is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; stop becoming slaves of men.

2 Thess 1:7-9
But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us, at the revealing of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. These very ones will be punished with everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength.

Heb 5.9
After he had been made perfect he became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him.

Mark 8:34-38
He now called the crowd to him with his disciples and said to them: "If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his execution post and follow me continually. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for the sake of me and the good news will save it. Really, what good would it do for a man to gain the whole world and to forfeit his soul? What, really, would a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever becomes ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

Matt 10:16-40
I am sending you forth as sheep amidst wolves; so prove yourselves as cautious as serpents and yet as innocent as doves. Be on your guard against men; for they will hand you over to local courts and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the nations. However, when they hand you over, do not become anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to speak will be given you in that hour; for the ones speaking are not just you, but it is the spirit of your Father that speaks by you. Further, brother will hand brother over to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and will have them put to death. And you will be hated by all people on account of my name; but the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one city, flee to another; for truly I say to you, you will by no means complete the circuit of the cities of Israel until the Son of man arrives. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple to become as his teacher, and the slave as his master. If people have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those of his household? So do not fear them, for there is nothing covered over that will not become uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I tell you in the darkness, say in the light; and what you hear whispered, preach from the housetops. And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father noticing it. Even the hairs on your head are all numbered. So have no fear: you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone, then, that acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father who is in the heavens. But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him before my Father who is in the heavens. Do not think I came to put peace upon the earth; I came to put, not peace, but a sword. For I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a young wife against her mother-in-law. Indeed, a man's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and whoever has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not accept his execution timber and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his soul will lose it, but he that loses his soul for my sake will find it. Whoever receives you receives me also, and whoever receives me receives also the One who sent me.

Matt 26:48-54
Now his betrayer had given them a sign, saying: "Whoever it is I kiss, he is the one; take him into custody." And going straight up to Jesus, he said: "Greetings, Rabbi!" and gave him a tender kiss. But Jesus said to him: "Fellow, for what purpose are you present?" Then they came forward and seized Jesus and took him into custody. But look! one of those with Jesus reached out his hand and drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, taking off his ear. Then Jesus said to him: "Return your sword to its place, for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me at this moment more than 12 legions of angels? In that case, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must take place this way?"

John 19:10,11
So Pilate said to him: "Are you refusing to speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and I have authority to execute you?" Jesus answered him: "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been granted to you from above. This is why the man who handed me over to you has greater sin."

1 Pet 2:21-23
To this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely. He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. When he was being insulted, he did not insult in return. When he was suffering, he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges righteously.

Matt 9:36
On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 5:39-44
However, I say to you: Do not resist the one who is wicked, but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him. And if a person wants to take you to court and get possession of your inner garment, let him also have your outer garment; and if someone in authority compels you into service for a mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one asking you, and do not turn away from one who wants to borrow from you [without interest]. You heard that it was said: 'You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 6:19-34
Stop storing up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal. Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is focused, your whole body will be bright. But if your eye is envious, your whole body will be dark. If the light that is in you is really darkness, how great that darkness is! No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches. On this account I say to you: Stop being anxious about your lives as to what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your bodies as to what you will wear. Does not life mean more than food and the body than clothing? Observe intently the birds of heaven; they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are? Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span? Also, why are you anxious about clothing? Take a lesson from the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin [thread]; but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. Now if this is how God clothes the vegetation of the field that is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much rather clothe you, you with little faith? So never be anxious and say, 'What are we to eat?' or, 'What are we to drink?' or, 'What are we to wear?' For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you. So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.

Matthew 23:1-4, 23, 27-28, 33-36
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. Therefore, all the things they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but they do not practice what they say. They bind up heavy loads and put them on the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger." . . . 23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things it was necessary to do, yet not to disregard the other things. . . 27, 28 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men's bones and of every sort of uncleanness. In the same way, on the outside you appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness!" . . . 33-36 "Serpents, offspring of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of Gehenna? For this reason, I am sending to you prophets and wise men and public instructors. Some of them you will kill and execute on stakes, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."

Romans 12:18-21
If possible, as far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says Jehovah." But, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals upon his head." Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good.

James 1:20
Man's wrath does not work out God's righteousness.

Isa 61:1, 2
The spirit of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah is upon me, for he has anointed me to tell good news to the meek. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive and the wide opening [of the eyes, or of the prison gates] even to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of Jehovah's goodwill, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.

Luke 4:17-19, 43
So the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed him, and he opened the scroll and found the place where it was written: "Jehovah's spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away free, to preach Jehovah's acceptable year."

(verse 43) He said to them: "I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God to other cities , because for this I was sent."

Dan 7:13, 14
I kept watching in the visions of the night, and look! with the clouds of the heavens someone like a son of man was coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up right in front of that One. And to him there were given rulership and honor and a kingdom, that the peoples, nations, and language groups should all serve him. His rulership is an everlasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom will never be destroyed.

Isa 11:1-9
A twig will grow out of the stump of Jesse, and a sprout from his roots will bear fruit. The spirit of Jehovah will settle upon him, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of mightiness,tThe spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah. And he will find delight in the fear of Jehovah. He will not judge by what appears to his eyes, nor reprove simply according to what his ears hear. He will judge the lowly with fairness, and with uprightness he will give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth and put the wicked to death with the breath of his lips. Righteousness will be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his hips. The wolf will actually live alongside the lamb, and alongside the kid the leopard will lie down, even the calf and the lion and the fattened animal will all be together; and a mere little boy will lead them. The cow and the bear will feed together, and their young will lie down together. The lion will even eat straw just like a bull. The nursing child will play over the hole of a cobra, and a young child will actually put his hand over the den entrance of a poisonous snake. They will not cause any harm or any ruin in all my holy mountain, because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea.

Luke 5:12-17
On another occasion while he was in one of the cities, look! there was a man full of leprosy! When he caught sight of Jesus, he fell facedown and begged him: "Lord, if you just want to, you can make me clean." So stretching out his hand, he touched him, saying: "I want to! Be made clean." Immediately the leprosy vanished from him. Then he gave the man orders to tell no one: "But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses directed, for a witness to them." But the news about him just kept spreading, and large crowds would gather together to listen and to be cured of their sicknesses. However, he often went into the desolate areas to pray. One day while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the Law who had come out of every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem were sitting there; and Jehovah's power was with him to do healing.

Luke 6:17-19
And he came down with them and stood on a level place, and there was a large crowd of his disciples, and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Even those troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd were seeking to touch him, because power was going out of him and healing them all.

Luke 7:11-17
Soon afterward he traveled to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd were traveling with him. As he got near the gate of the city, why look! there was a dead man being carried out, the only son of his mother. Besides, she was a widow. A considerable crowd from the city was also with her. When the Lord caught sight of her, he was moved with pity for her, and he said to her: "Stop weeping." With that he approached and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. Then he said: "Young man, I say to you, get up!" And the dead man sat up and started to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Now fear seized them all, and they began to glorify God, saying: "A great prophet has been raised up among us," and, "God has turned his attention to his people." And this news concerning him spread out into all Judea and all the surrounding country.

Luke 8:43-48
Now there was a woman who had a flow of blood for 12 years, and she had not been able to get a cure from anyone. She approached from behind and touched the fringe of his outer garment, and immediately her flow of blood stopped. So Jesus said: "Who touched me?" When they were all denying it, Peter said: "Instructor, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you." But Jesus said: "Someone touched me, for I felt power go out of me." Seeing that she had not escaped notice, the woman came trembling and fell down before him and disclosed before all the people why she touched him and how she was healed immediately. But he said to her: "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace."

Mark 6:56
Wherever he would enter into villages or cities or countryside they would place the sick ones in the marketplaces, and they would plead with him that they might touch just the fringe of his outer garment. And as many as did touch it were made well.

Matt 16:15, 16
He said to them: "you, though, who do you say I am?" In answer Simon Peter said: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Luke 19:11
While they were listening to these things, he told another illustration, because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God was going to appear instantly.

Luke 18:31-34
Then he took the Twelve aside and said to them: "Look! We are going up to Jerusalem, and all the things written by means of the prophets about the Son of man will be accomplished. For instance, he will be handed over to men of the nations and will be mocked and treated insolently and spat on. And after scourging him, they will kill him, but on the third day he will rise." However, they did not get the meaning of any of these things, for these words were hidden from them, and they did not understand the things said.

Luke 23:46
Then Jesus called with a loud voice and said: "Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit." After saying this, he expired.

John 19:30
When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said: "It has been accomplished!" and, bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.

John 19:38-20:18
Now after these things, Joseph from Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus but a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body away. Nicodemus, the man who had come to him in the night the first time, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about a hundred [Roman] pounds. So they took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Incidentally, there was a garden at the place where he was executed, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever yet been laid. Because it was the day of [Passover] Preparation of the Jews and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone had already been taken away from the tomb. So she ran to find Simon Peter and to the other disciple, for whom Jesus had affection, and she said to them: "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out for the tomb. The two of them began running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. Stooping forward, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter also came, following him, and he went into the tomb. And he saw the linen cloths lying there. The cloth that had been on his head was not lying with the other cloth bands but was rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed [that he was not there]. For they did not yet understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. So the disciples went back to their homes. Mary, however, kept standing outside near the tomb, weeping. While she was weeping, she stooped forward to look into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet of where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her: "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them: "They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have laid him." After saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her: "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She, thinking it was the gardener, said to him: "Sir, if you have carried him off, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her: "Mary!" On turning around, she said to him in Hebrew: "Rabboni!" (which means "Teacher!") Jesus said to her: "Stop clinging to me. For I have not yet ascended to the Father, but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came and brought the news to the disciples: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them what he had said to her.

Matt 16:21
From that time forward, Jesus began explaining to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised up.

1 Cor 15:3, 4
For among the first things I handed on to you was what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, yes, that he was raised up on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Rev 1:17, 18
When I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet. Then he laid his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the living one, and I became dead, but look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of the Grave."

Rev 2:8
To the angel of the congregation in Smyrna write: These are the things that he says, 'the First and the Last,' who became dead and came to life again.

John 20:19
When it was late that day, the first day of the week, and the doors were locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them: "May you have peace."

1 Pet 3:18
For Christ died once for all time for sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.

1 Cor 15:43-48
It is sown in dishonor; it is raised up in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised up in power. It is sown a physical body; it is raised up a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living person." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, what is spiritual is not first. What is physical is first, and afterward what is spiritual. The first man is from the earth and made of dust; the second man is from heaven. Like the one made of dust, so too are those made of dust; and like the heavenly one, so too are those who are heavenly.

Acts 1:3-11
After he had suffered, he showed himself alive to them by many convincing proofs. He was seen by them throughout 40 days, and he was speaking about the Kingdom of God. While he was meeting with them, he ordered them: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but keep waiting for what the Father has promised, about which you heard from me; for John, indeed, baptized with water, but you will be baptized with holy spirit not many days after this." So when they had assembled, they asked him: "Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?" He said to them: "It does not belong to you to know the times or seasons that the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction. But you will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth." After he had said these things, while they were looking on, he was lifted up and a cloud caught him up from their sight. And as they were gazing into the sky while he was on his way, suddenly two men in white garments stood beside them and said: "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus who was taken up from you into the sky will come in the same manner as you have seen him going into the sky."

Acts 1:8
You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth.

Now while the day of the Festival of Pentecost was in progress, they were all together at the same place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven, just like that of a rushing, stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed, and one came to rest on each one of them, and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak in different languages, just as the spirit enabled them to speak. At that time devout Jews from every nation under heaven were staying in Jerusalem [for Pentecost]. So when this sound occurred, a crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Indeed, they were utterly amazed and said: "See here, all these who are speaking are [mere] Galileans, are they not? How is it, then, that each one of us is hearing his own native language? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and the province of Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene; sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Cretans; and Arabians—we hear them speaking in our languages about the magnificent things of God." Yes, they were all astonished and perplexed, saying to one another: "What does this mean?" However, others mocked them and said: "They are full of sweet wine."

John 17:4, 5
I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do. So now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.

1 Cor 11:3
But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God.

Review for Chapter 5

Was Jesus a man?

Where did he come from?

Is Jesus God?

What position did he have in heaven?

What is his relationship to God now?

How did Jesus differ from Satan?

Why was he sent to Earth?

What did Jesus prove by his life here?

Why did God require sacrifices?

How do we pay for our sins?

How does Christ redeem mankind?

Who paid the ransom to whom?

What must we do to benefit from the ransom?

How does Jesus continue to help us?

What works does God require of us?

What does the word "Christ" mean, and why is Jesus "Christ"?

What is the Kingdom?

What has Jesus been doing since he was raised up?

Restore Scripture View

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All God had to do was take Mary's egg DNA, repair its imperfections and complement it with perfect new DNA that would cause a flawless male infant to develop. We cannot hope to understand how he would transfer the personality and memories of an existing spirit being into this infant, although we could guess that such things are not written entirely in the genome. Since such things in humans are a product of brain development (neuronal connections), we might assume that God would write these things in as the fetus's brain developed, holding much of it aside for the appropriate times. Scripture does not indicate that as a child Jesus clearly remembered his earlier life in heaven, although he did know he was from there; those memories may have been poured into him (downloaded, if you like to use computer terms) with the spirit that came on him after he was baptized. (The only clue even to that is the expression "the heavens were opened up." —see Matthew 3:16)

As will be discussed at length in chapter 10, the doctrine that our real conscious self is carried by a mysterious spiritual "soul" that can live independently of any body, such that physical death is actually a favor that sets this "soul" free, is not how scripture describes life's structure. It depicts us (our individuality/self/awareness, which is what the "soul" basically means) as being utterly dependent on the functioning of our body, and depicts even spirit beings as having some kind of "body" to enable them to be what they are. (1 Cor 15:35, 38, 44) So although one could simplify what God did as "putting his Son's soul into the embryo in Mary's womb," that would be easy to misunderstand.

For him not to consciously exist in two places at once (making the human form only a copy), whatever aspects of the spirit Son of God that were too great to be contained in a human structure would have to be dormant (held in a register, for you computer geeks) while he was active on earth. If in fact he had had full access to all his spirit dimensions and powers while in a human body, he could not have been considered really human. As this chapter will explain, that would have nullified the very purpose of his mission. The technical details of his transfer into a human are of course beyond our understanding, but it would be foolish to for that reason scoff and declare the whole story nonsense.

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To be specific, in Greek, words that specify definitely (the, that, this, those, etc) are prominent and crucial, while there is no word at all for the indefinite article (in English, we have "a" and "an"). So in Greek there is a significant difference between "God" and "the God," while in English those usually mean the same thing. The absence of the "the" is what stands for indefiniteness in Greek. So in Greek, translated word for word literally, John 1:1 reads (with the "the's" emphasized): "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with the god, and god was the word." Did you notice that the last "god" had no "the" there? No one then would have understood John to mean that the Word was the God, that is, the Father himself. Rather, he meant the Word was a god, that is, a powerful divine being beside the Father, not equal to nor identical with Him.

Note that we did not capitalize either "Word" or "God", because the Greek was often written either in all capitals ("uncial", the older style) or without any capitals ("cursive", typical of later copies).

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An alternate explanation some find persuasive is that we simply need God to continue living. Without maintenance from Him, all material organisms, even if initially flawless, deteriorate over time and eventually quit (die). That applies just as much to humans as to all the animals. Even worse, some of this damage finds its way into our genome and is passed on to our offspring, so that over millenia mankind has been becoming more flawed, weaker. So, if God let us go without maintenance long enough, we would become extinct. Evolutionary scientists regard this mutability of the genome as an asset, believing that it is creative: by natural selection, they say, unfavorable changes are weeded out, but rare improvements survive to create a new more viable species. Unfortunately, the balance of power belongs to the defects, especially if defectives are protected long enough to reproduce*, and if by war the stronger are selectively weeded out, and if by ignorant/reckless technology we poison ourselves (many unnatural chemicals are highly toxic to DNA) faster than the defectives can perish. In other words, we need God. Not just for behind-the-scenes healing, but for moral guidance. Adam, although made directly by God's power, needed it just as much as we do. So when he in effect said "I don't need you, God," he was making a fatal misjudgment. Because this set in motion a controversy (do we need God or not?), God could not let Adam just change his mind. An apology would not be enough. The choice had to play itself out.

Each of us prove God right by dying. Obviously this does not make God happy, nor does it honor him. So he has not simply abandoned us to our fate. But his rescue, our restoration to health and endless life, has to await the point where we (that is, mankind as a whole) arrive at the precipice of self-annihilation, proving our choice to be wrong beyond any shadow of doubt. Now that we have invented nuclear weapons, we are quite close to that day.

*The "scientific" answer to that problem is eugenics, but humans find that morally repugnant, suitable only for livestock. Of course, that is how Satan, our putative 'benefactor' in Eden, actually regards us.