Jehovah-Jesus

Jesus as Jehovah.

W.W. Prescott

Is Proposition One.—'The name Je­hovah reveals God in covenant relation with His people, as the God of the covenant. Deut. 7:9.

Note.-" Blessed is the man who truly knows God as his covenant God; who knows what the covenant promises him; what unwavering confidence of expectation it secures, that all its terms will be fulfilled to him; what a claim and hold it gives him on the covenant-keeping God Himself." " And so the covenant was, above all, to give man a hold upon God, as the covenant-keeping God, to link him to God Him­self in expectation and hope, to bring him to make God Himself alone the portion and the strength of his soul." —" The Two Covenants," Andrew Mur­ray, pp. 12, 15.

Proposition Two.— Jehovah as the covenant-keeping God is designated as both Redeemer and Saviour. Ex. 6: 2-8; Isa. 43:3, 11, 14; 44:6, 24; -.45: 21; 49:26 (cf. Matt. 1:21; Luke 2: 10, 11).

Note.- The name, so precious to the children of God — Jesus — means " Je­hovah the Saviour." It is the Greek form of " Joshua," which is itself a contraction of " Jehoshua," that is, "the help of Jehovah," or " the salvation of Jehovah," or " Jehovah the Saviour." This name was given by divine command (see Matt. 1:21), and it is His only name, all other names being titles. Another has well said: " This first syllable in His name (Je) tells us of His eternal Godhead, of His covenant relations, of His mighty power, of His thoughtful love; all the glories, all the virtues, but dimly seen in the Jehovah of old, are ours in Jesus now. It commands our rev­erence, it gives us lofty and fitting thoughts of Christ as the High and Holy One that inhabits eternity. But were the name to end here, we could not look on it without awe and dread; it would not be the Jesus we know. One syllable is wanting to make the name peerless above all others to us; Je-sus, the help or salvation of the Lord." — " Jehovah Titles," James Sprunt, pp. 13, 14.

Proposition Three.— Texts in the Old Testament which speak of Jehovah are applied to Jesus in the New Testament. Compare Isa. 40:3 with Matt. 3:3; Jer. 23:6 with 1 Cor. 1:30; Joel 2:32 with Rom. 10:9-13; Ps. 130:7, 8 with Matt. 1:21, etc.

Note.-" It is in full harmony with these definitions of His lordship cited from the Lord's own lips that the evan­gelist himself (Matt. 3: 3) applies to Him the term ' Lord ' in that prophecy of Isaiah in which there is promised ' a voice of one crying in the wilder­ness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord,' Jehovah; thus identifying His coming with the promised advent of Jehovah, and His person with Jehovah who was to come."—" The Lord of Glory," B. B. Warfield, pp. 72, 73.

"It can scarcely be doubted that Matthew means this name Immanuel ' (Matt. 1:23) to be interpreted meta­physically of Jesus, and therefore ad­duces the prophecy as a testimony to the essential deityi of the virgin-born child; and indeed the angel messenger himself is recorded as not obscurely indicating this when he explains that the child whose birth he announces shall be called Jesus because it is He that shall save His people from their sins,' thus applying to the promised infant the words spoken in Psalms 130:8 of Jehovah Himself."— Id., p. 88.

Proposition Four.— The name " I AM " is used interchangeably with Jehovah (Ex. 3:14, 15), and Jesus therefore openly declared that He was Jehovah. John 8:58.

Note.—" It was Christ who from the bush on Mt. Horeb spoke to Moses say­ing, I AM THAT I AM. . . . Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.' This was the pledge of Israel's de­liverance. So when He came in the likeness of men,' He declared Himself the I AM. The Child of Bethlehem, the meek and lowly Saviour, is God mani­fest in the flesh.' And to us He says,

I AM the good shepherd.' I AM the living bread." I AM the way, the truth, and the life." All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.'

I AM the assurance of every promise.'

I AM; be not afraid.' God with us' is the surety of our deliverance from sin, the assurance of our power to obey the law of heaven."—" The Desire of Ages," Mrs. E. G. White (trade edi­tion), pp. 25, 26.

" It is impossible, then, to mistake its profound significance and fitness where first we met this tremendous I AM. . . . And yet this name with the divine nature it represents is ap­propriated by Christ; appropriated with no sign of diffidence, or self-dis­trust, or thought of impious conceit. He dares to declare His own eternity of being, seizing on the sole property of God. He dares to name Himself God, though man. Amazing distinction to which he lays claim!     Stepping out of the years of time, disentangling Himself from the human and all its limits and conditions, He plants Him­self in Infinity, and, comprehending the yesterday, the to-day, and the forever of history, declares Himself at every point the " I AM. " ' Two little words these! But what compass and power of meaning they take on His lips! They make all the reality and efficiency of His Saviourhood. They proclaim the mystery of His Person — the unity of divinity and humanity; they pro­claim that His true being antedated His time-birth; antedated the birth and times of Abraham; in fact, ran back into the interminable eternities. Be­fore Abraham was born I AM.' As of old, so here the name clearly expresses absolute, self-existent, independent, personal Being."—" The I AM's of Christ," Samuel H. Giesy, pp. 16-18.

Proposition Five.—Through the prophet Isaiah, Jehovah declares Him­self, " I am He " (Isa. 41:4), and Jesus applies this expression to Himself, em­phasizing the fact that forgiveness of sins depends upon believing His claim. John 8: 24 (cf. verse 28).

Note.— According to the teaching of. the Old Testament, with which the Jews were so familiar, there is only one Saviour —Jehovah. Isa. 43:11. It is therefore clear that when Jesus declared to the Jews, " Except ye .be­lieve that I am He, ye shall die in your sins," He was affirming that He was the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the only Saviour.

Proposition Six.— The Angel of Je­hovah, who is mentioned in the Old Testament, was the Son of God, who was afterward manifested as Jesus of Nazareth.

1. The Angel of Jehovah and Jehovah are used interchangeably. Ex. 3:2, 4, 7; Judges 13:3, 9, 13, 15-23.

Note.—" Who is the theophanic angel? To this many answers have been given, of which the following may be mentioned: (1) This angel is simply an angel with a special commission; (2) He may be a momentary descent of God into visibility; (3) He may be the Logos, a kind of temporary preincar­nation of the second person of the Trinity. Each has its difficulties, but the last is certainly the most tempting to the mind."— The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 134.

2. The man who wrestled with Jacort was the Angel of Jehovah, the Angel of the covenant, afterward manifested as Jesus of Nazareth. Gen. 32: 24-30; Hosea 12:2-5.

Note.—" To Jacob the divine touch at break of day revealed the One with whom he had been contending,— the Angel of the covenant; and weeping and helpless, he fell upon the breast of Infinite Love, to receive the blessing for which his soul longed."—" Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing," Mrs. E. G. White (first edition), p. 22.

"The struggle continued until near the break of day, when the stranger placed his finger upon Jacob's thigh, and he was crippled instantly. The patriarch now discerned the character of his antagonist. He knew that he had been in conflict with a heavenly messenger, and this was why his almost superhuman effort had not gained the victory. It was Christ, the Angel most superhuman effort had not gained of the covenant,' who had revealed Himself to Jacob."—" Patriarchs and Prophets," Mrs. E. G. White, p. 197.

"When his [Jacob's] strength was nearly spent, the Angel put forth His divine power, and at His touch, Jacob knew Him with whom he had been contending. Wounded and helpless, he fell upon the Saviour's breast, pleading for a blessing. He would not be turned aside, nor cease his intercessions, and Christ granted the petition of this help­less, penitent soul, according to His promise, Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.' "—" Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing," Mrs. E. G. White (first edi­tion), pp. 193,194.

"Christ was not only the leader of the Hebrews in the wilderness,— the Angel in whom was the name of Je­hovah, and who, veiled in the cloudy pillar, went before the host,— but it was He who gave the law to Israel."—"Patriarchs and Prophets," Mrs. E. G. White, p. 366.

"And the Angel of the Lord stood by [Jesus their Redeemer]." —" Testimonies to Ministers," by Mrs. E. G. White, p. 40.

3. A comparison of verse 1 with verse 12 of the second chapter of Judges will show that the Angel of Jehovah and Jehovah must refer to the same person, as it is said of each one that He brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt.

A careful reading of Judges 6:11-24 will emphasize the same teaching.

Note.—" I might refer here to the remarkable series of facts connected in the older Scriptures with the ap­pearances and revelations of the Angel of Jehovah.' Discussion goes on to this day as to whether the mys­terious Being who bears this designa­tion in the older narratives of the Bible is to be viewed as a mere the­ophany, or a created angel, or as a distinct hypostasis; but I think a dis­passionate view of all the facts will dispose us to agree with Oehler that, judged by His manifestations, the Mal'ach ' is best described as a self presentation of Jehovah, entering into the sphere of the creature, which is one in essence with Jehovah, and yet again different from Him. "— " The Christian. View of God and the World," James Orr, pp. 264, 265.

" The being here [Gen. 22:11] called the Angel of Jehovah,' who speaks as with divine, supreme authority, is doubtless the Angel of the covenant (Mal. 3:1), the everlasting Son of the Father, who alone ' hath declared Him' (John 1: 18)."—Quoted from the S'peaker's Commentary in " The Person of Christ," W. B. Pope, p. 283.

Concluding Observations

This identification of Jehovah and the Angel of Jehovah of the Old Testa­ment with Jesus of the New Testa­ment unites the Old Testament with the New Testament in a remarkable unity through the person of the Son of God. In the light of this study the words of Jesus seem more full of mean­ing than ever when He said of the Old Testament writings, " These are they which bear witness of Me." John 5:39.

The greatest practical value accrues from these considerations, for we see at once that He who as Jehovah, the second person of the Godhead in His absolute Deity, wrought all the mighty works recorded in the Old Testament, has been manifested for our salvation from sin in Jesus of Nazareth, and this establishes a firm basis of con­fidence that He can " save to the uttermost."

Furthermore, as it was Jehovah who gave the law at Sinai, it is unthinkable that when He appeared as Jesus of Nazareth He should abolish that same law. This would make Him contradict Himself. The following quotation em­phasizes this:

"So far the omnipotence of God is a limited omnipotence. He could not trifle with His own holiness. He could will nothing against His holy nature, and He could not abolish the judgment bound up with it. Nothing in the com­pass of the divine nature could enable Him to abolish a moral law, the law of holiness. That would be tampering with His own soul. Is the law of God more loose than the law of society? Can it be taken liberties with, played with, and put aside at the impulse even of love? . . . God's holy law is His own holy nature. His love is under the condition of eternal respect. It Is quite unchangeable. It is just as much outside His operation, so far as abro­gation goes, as was the law of the far country to the father of the prodigal." —" The Work of Christ," P. T. Forsyth, pp. 112, 113.

College View, Nebr.


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W.W. Prescott

June 1928

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