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Wednesday: The Godhead — 19 Comments

  1. Rather than making a case for the threeness of the Godhead, the takeaway message of the greeting in Revelation is the unity of the Godhead in giving us grace and peace. The nature of the Godhead has become somewhat divisive in recent years and I am not really sure why. But if we want to encourage unity within the Church, maybe we can start by recognizing the unity of the Godhead.

    Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deut 6:4,5

  2. 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

    From Jesus Christ - Tells us it is from Christ himself written for us.
    The faithful witness - His testimony is infallible who is worthy to be believed
    The firstborn from the dead - He died the second death but was resurrected. No one on this earth has tasted the second death. (Hebrews 2:9)
    The ruler over the kings of the earth - He emptied himself to the redemptive work of humanity. Philippians 2:9 After the resurrection Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go" Matthew 28:18&19

    These are the credentials established in Jesus Christ for us to trust in him.

    God head in the redemption of humanity
    Father - God so loved the world He gave
    Son - No one can takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord
    Holy Spirit - Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit

    • Harry, can I ask you why you have asked the question? Would the answer make any difference? Is the one who is coming, God, without any specification as to which person of the Godhead is being described? I ask this because sometimes we try and make a distinction between the members of the Godhead when really there is no need.

      • Sometimes its good not differentiate but if someone differentiate it an fail to provide enough evidence then thats not being an adventist.

        • I am not sure that I follow that argument John. Its probably because I don't really know how to define a good Adventist. 🙂

    • Hi Harry, we need to see the difference between the phrase
      "the One who is and who was and who is to come" in v4 and
      "He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him" in v7

      We see in Rev 4:8-10 the same phrase as 1:4 "who is, who was, who is to come" applied to the One (Father) on the throne -
      Rev 4:8-10 ...And they had no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was and is and is to come. And whenever the living creatures gave glory and honor and thanks to Him who sat on the throne, *who lives forever and ever*, the twenty-four elders fell down before the One sitting on the throne. And they worshiped *Him who lives for ever and ever*,
      -so I believe it is describing the Father who is eternal.

      Tomorrow's lesson will explain that in verse 7 it is referring to Jesus who is coming on the clouds

    • The Father is described as "the one who was and is and is to come" this does not actually mean that He is coming it is and expression used to describe He being eternal.

    • The description of the Lord which " is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.", is simply a statement of God being eternal in nature. He has, and always will, exist. This speaks of the Godhead.

      While we cannot fully comprehend the full measure of this thought, we can trust in the truth of His word who has always demonstrated faithfulness.

      When all scripture on the subject is considered, it is Jesus, who died for sinners, who came as a man, who will return for His faithful followers as He promised.

    • This is a reference to Exodus 19:6

      And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

      The priests were regarded as having special responsibilities in the nation of Israel and Rev 1:6 is transferring that invitation to responsibility to all believers.

  3. To Harry Vidal, I hope this will answer your question."Ye men of Galilee,why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."(Acts 1:11)

  4. Harry, I must confess I do not know any of the original languages so please consider that in my response.

    I find the word construction to imply not as much activity as existence. God the Father was, is and will be or perhaps John’s choice of words is “is to come”. If he said “will be” it might suggest that He would be or come into existence using our modern language.

    I admit I had not ever tried to make a case for the Father “coming” in the sense of returning as Jesus does because it does not fit with many much clearer texts describing Jesus returning.

    Just a thought for you to consider.

  5. One of the things that really helps enrich Bible study and bring it 'alive' is to dig a little deeper into the Greek/Hebrew words and 'experientially enter' the concept being conveyed by the word/s. By way of giving an example of what I mean, I will use the words grace (charis) and peace (eirene) from today's lesson.

    If I consult Strong's Concordance for the word grace (charis), I find that the word conveys the sense of a divine influence that acts upon my heart to awaken something that then goes on to manifest as a positive change or benefit in/to my life. In other words, grace is something that draws me to change for the better. This is a 'drawing' motivation via awakening desire (as per Jn 12:32) rather than a 'push' (you 'should') motivation. Hence it is something that actually leads me to make a difference in my life because I want to and am personally convicted that I need to - not because I feel I 'should'. This is interesting because it matches the strongest motivation for change. A drawing/pulling from inside motivation is much stronger and more healthy than a 'should' motivation (which is external pushing and is experienced as coercive, even if the coercion feels subtle).

    And if I also consult HELPS Word-studies, I discover that grace (charis) is given by one whose 'posture' is leaning/incling-towards in order to freely extend benefit via giving-away. What does this mean? Can you think of an 'image' or 'scene' that reflects this concept of leaning-towards in order to freely extend benefit?

    What comes to mind for me is a loving parent or grandparent 'hovering' over a young child who is at the point of learning to walk independently. The parent is bent-over, leaning towards the child while they are attempting to take each step. The parent is not holding the child because this would get in the way of the child developing the necessary muscles and balance mechanisms. So, the parent's hands are outstretched around the child every step of the way. And when the child starts to over-balance and fall, those hands swing into action and gently but powerfully close in upon the child to provide support for the child so the child either doesn't fall, or so they arrive at the ground safely.

    I can then extend this image to the prodigal son's father. This father had wanted to spare his son a lot of heartache - but his son was determined to go his own way. So, the father reluctantly (but not begrudgingly) allowed the son to withdraw his inheritance and waste it away. And when the son hit rock-bottom and 'came to his senses' and realised he had really messed things up, he 'surrendered' his 'rebellion' and decided to go back home because he now realised that his father did actually know better and did have his best interests at heart. As soon as the father saw his son at a distance, the father ran towards him and embraced and kissed him.

    Notice that each of these actions (running, embracing and kissing) involve leaning-forward toward another person in order to freely extend benefit. This freely extending benefit then gets carried even further as the father freely and abundantly shares his own food and clothes with his son. This was such a lavish 'giving' that it really bothered the older son to the point where he was very upset that 'it wasn't fair'. And that is an important point - grace is so abundant, so 'unfair' according to this world's ways that it is actually 'shocking' and 'bothersome' to those who don't understand it!

    So, while I hold those images and understandings in mind, I also now move on to explore the concept behind the word peace (eirene). Strong's Concordance tells me that eirene probably comes from the primary verb eiro which conveys the idea of joining something to set it 'at one' again. HELPS Word-studies similarly suggests that eirene conveys the idea of the wholeness that comes when all the essential parts are once again joined together.

    So, my mind thinks of two things here. One is the idea of joining or setting 'at-one' again. This is the same idea conveyed by the old-English word 'atone' which was used to describe two estranged parties that were once again reunited via resolution of that which had led to and maintained their estrangement. As you may recognise, this is the process of atonement. The process of atonement brings actual restoration back to wholeness by 'resolving' what it was that was keeping things apart. Atonement brings peace (as per Rom 5:1).

    The other thing my mind grasps is the fantasy nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty" who was an 'egg-person' who fell off a wall and shattered. And despite everyone's best efforts, Humpty Dumpty couldn't be put back together again. Ever felt like that - shattered. When you feel shattered, you feel the exact opposite of whole. There are things that we can experience in this world that lead to us feeling a kind of 'shattered' that no human can 'put back together again'. But that is where God's peace is different. God's peace returns us from shattered back to whole. Spiritual wholeness now, full temporal wholeness at the second coming.

    Now I can put these two words - grace and peace - together, or rather I can see how these two Greek words naturally fit together. Contrary to what is at times portrayed by certain views of God, God (like a loving parent or grandparent) is permanently inclined toward me, not to check up on everything I am getting up to in order to catch me out, but ever-ready to extend the benefits of everything He has to me whenever I am needing and willing to receive such. And if I open myself to these benefits, God will restore my shatteredness back to wholeness. While all the kings horses and all the kings men may not have been able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, my God can!

    I hope you can catch a glimpse of God in this light and carry that forward with you as we journey through Revelation. This is who God and Jesus inherently are. This is what motivates them on our behalf. They only want to heal and restore us - if we will let them. Grace and peace: two tiny words that convey so much when we do a little digging and reflecting.

  6. The final question of this section is probably best answered by pointing to Jesus, who came not as a king, but as a servant, living among men, being our Example for this present life. Those who live as He lived; to serve, will one day sit with Him upon His throne, but this sitting on His throne does not take place yet while we are in a world of perishing sinners, as Jesus demonstrated and taught when saying “for God sent not His Son into the world to condemn...”. We have present Truth and a present work to do.

    The role of being kings will come at the commencing of the 1000 years, and extend throughout eternity.

  7. Also God the Father is coming,and since the verse does not specify when He(Father) is coming, it requires us to study the bible and see if the Father is not coming also. Lets concider after the second coming of Jesus, We will realise that after millennium ,the Father is coming.Rev 21:2-10,23

  8. I notice that this lesson is dated Wednesday January 1, 2019, but the like story in is dated Wednesday January 2, 2019. (I was looking for a reference to the Seven Spirits which in lesson 4 says on Thursday January 24(2019) in 2nd paragraph "As we saw , the seven Spirits denote the fullness of the activity of the Holy Spirit..."- I was looking for the 'earlier lesson' reference and discovered the dates are different.
    Godbless today, A Stolz - not for publication.


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