LET US continue our consideration of various Isaiah passages that Trinitarians use to try to prove that our Lord is Jehovah. In Isaiah 44: 6, 8 there is no indication that the Logos is the speaker. On the contrary, verses 2, 6 show that Jehovah is the speaker.
In Isaiah 48: 16, Trinitarians claim that “the LORD GOD” refers to the Father, “me” refers to the Son and “his spirit” refers to the third person of the Trinity. “The LORD GOD” does refer to Jehovah, but nothing indicates that the “me” is Jesus. Keeping in mind that this is Isaiah’s prophecy, we see that Isaiah is the “me” here.
Trinitarians ask us to believe that since Jesus is our great Teacher, He must be Jehovah according to Isaiah 54: 13. But Jesus Himself merely claimed to be the Father’s representative (John 7: 16, 17).
All things are of the Father and by the Son (1 Corinthians 8: 6), therefore it not difficult for us to accept that the Father and Son are both given credit for creation (John 1: 3) (Isaiah 40: 28).
Jesus the Mighty Agent of Jehovah
The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 8: 5, 6 states the matter clearly. All things are of the Father – Jehovah: He is the First Cause of all things; and all things are by or through the instrumentality of our Lord Jesus. Jesus has been the Agent of Jehovah in all things (John 1: 3) (Colossians 1: 15-17).
Jesus Himself testified that He was not the Father, but the Son of the Father (John 9: 35-37), who did not do His own will but the will of the Father (John 4: 34).
Jesus said, “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 23: 9). And after His resurrection He still called God His Father, and our Father (John 20: 17).
Looking “Upon Me Whom they have Pierced”
Trinitarians rely upon Zechariah 12: 10 to prove that the name Jehovah belongs to Jesus. Since Jehovah refers to Messiah, the one who is pierced, as “me,” they cite Revelation 1: 7. However, there is a discrepancy in our text, for the speaker in this verse refers to Messiah as both “me” and “him” in the same sentence. An error has apparently crept into the text. A number of ancient manuscripts give a more consistent reading, “they shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his own son, and shall be in bitterness for him.” Thus corrected, the text does not teach that Messiah is Jehovah.
Whenever the Scriptures use the word “God” in the sense of the Supreme Diety, they refer to the Father alone. In prayer, Jesus calls His Father “the only true God,” thus excluding Himself (John 17: 3). The Bible refers to the Heavenly Father as Jesus’ God (John 20: 17). The Apostle Paul states, “to us there is but one God, the Father,” although he attributes to Jesus a lesser position of Lordship (1 Corinthians 8: 6). Despite His present very high position of exaltation and Divine favor, our Lord Jesus is inferior to the Father and eternally subject to Him (1 Corinthians 11: 3).
“Then cometh the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father. . . . But when he saith all things are put under him [the Son] it is manifest that he [the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him [the Son], then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [the Father] that put all things under him [the Son], that God [the Father] may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15: 24, 27, 28).
Jesus Christ is now a highly exalted Divine being, worthy of our worship and adoration. The appellation “God” may properly be ascribed to Him, but while the Scriptures refer to Jesus as “God,” they do so in contexts showing His distinct inferiority to the Father. Notice that it is not simply Jesus as a man, but Jesus as a “God” who is thus shown to be subordinate (Hebrews 1: 1-9).
Trinitarians often claim that since there is only one God, and since Jesus is referred to in the Scriptures as God, then the Father and the Son are the same God. However, this argument ignores the usage of the Greek and Hebrew words from which the English word “God” is translated.
The word “God” in the Old Testament is often translated from the Hebrew word elohim. The word “God” in the New Testament is most frequently a translation of the related Greek word theos. The words theos and elohim do not always apply to the Supreme Deity, but also to other mighty ones. For example, Satan is called theos (2 Corinthians 4: 4). The same word is used of Herod (Acts 12: 22). Whether the Father or the Son is meant by any particular use of theos in the New Testament is usually indicated by the context and sentence construction.
“The Beginning of the Creation of God”
In Revelation 3: 14 Jesus is described as “the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” This passage directly refutes the Trinity doctrine, showing clearly that Jesus had a beginning, though He will exist forever in the future. Trinitarians claim that it should read “beginner” instead of “beginning,” but the Greek word arche plainly means “beginning,” as Greek lexicons show: Liddell and Scott defines arche as “in point of time, to begin, make a beginning,” Thayer as “beginning, the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader.” Young’s Concordance renders it “beginning” and Strong’s gives it as “commencement.”
Trinitarians also claim that arche can be translated “origin” or “originator” and that Jesus is the Origin or Originator of God’s creation, and not that He was originated by the Father. But based upon 1 Corinthians 8: 6, the Father and not the Son is the Originator of God’s creation. Jesus was the original and only One of God’s direct creation; all later creations were made by the Son (John 1: 3).
In Proverbs 8: 22-31, under the figure of Wisdom, Jesus is presented as being “possessed” by Jehovah. The Hebrew word qanah, translated “possessed,” really means “created.” Gesenius gives as the primary meaning of qanah: “to get, to gain, to obtain, to acquire.” Davies gives the meaning as “to form or make, to get or acquire, to gain or buy.” Strong defines qanah as “to erect, i.e., to create; by extension to procure, especially by purchase.”
Therefore, the word qanah can properly be translated “created” in Proverbs 8: 22, instead of “possessed,” as in the King James Version. Thus Proverbs 8: 22 agrees completely with Revelation 3: 14; Colossians 1: 15, etc., which show plainly that Jesus did not exist eternally, but was “the beginning of the creation of God.”
The Hebrew word reseth is translated beginning in connection with the creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1: 1), and of the Logos before the creation of the heavens and the earth (Proverbs 8: 22); and the Greek word arche is translated beginning in connection with the creation of the present world (Hebrews 1: 10), of the Logos (John 1: 1, 2) and of the Church as God’s new creation (2 Thessalonians 2: 13). Neither of these words ever means eternity, as some try to read that thought into Proverbs 8: 22; John 1: 1, 2; and Colossians 1: 18.
That the words reseth and arche mean any beginning, but never means eternity – duration before the first beginning – is evident from numerous Scripture verses.
Five different beginnings of God’s creative work are referred to in the following Scriptures: (Genesis 1: 1) (John 1: 1, 2) (Colossians 1: 16) (Colossians 1: 18) and (2 Thessalonians 2: 13). In point of time, the first (John 1: 1, 2) is that beginning in which the prehuman Word – the Logos – was created as the first of God’s creatures. The second (Colossians 1: 16) is that beginning in which the various orders of spirit beings other than the prehuman Word were created. The third (Genesis 1: 1) is that beginning in which the heavens and earth were created – before the six creative days devoted to ordering the earth to fit it as a habitation of beasts and man. The fourth (Colossians 1: 18) is the 3 years during which Jesus was undergoing creation as a Divine being. And the fifth (2 Thessalonians 2: 13) is the period from Pentecost, 33 A.D., to the end of the Jewish Harvest, 69 A.D., during which God began the generation of the new creation as the Church, Christ’s Body.
(to be continued)