Godhead Study 5: Commonly Misunderstood Verses

a) First Born

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature (KJV)

The preposition ‘of’ suggests that Jesus is a created being. But we need to understand that the preposition is not there in the original Greek and was supplemented to complete the sentence.

Some translations render the word ‘over’ instead of ‘of’.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. NIV

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation NLT

How do we know that we should use over not of?

We have seen in lesson 4 that Bible is very clear on that Jesus is not a created being. Check my website for lesson 4 in case you missed it.

The word firstborn means the one who is having preminence.

And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: Exo 4:22

Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. Psalms 89: 27

Someone can be made into firstborn!

b) Begotten

Another misunderstood phrase is Jesus was begotten. In lesson 4 we saw that Bible is very clear that Jesus coexisting with Father since eternity.

Now we understand the term begotten.

Paul says he had begotten son.

I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Philemon 1:10

For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1 Cor 4: 15

We can spiritually begot someone.

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Heb 11:17

Isaac is called Abraham’s only begotten son though he had 7 other sons.

How do we know Jesus was spiritually begotten for a purpose.

Bible tells us why Jesus is called begotten son. Read this carefully. You will Jesus is called begotten son for a reason.

God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Acts 13:33

Jesus was begotten as son for the plan of salvation. The word begotten was fulfilled when Jesus was resurrected. Please read the above verse again.

In Psalms 2 we see the below sequence

v1-3, we see man’s sin. Humanity’s rebellion against God and Messiah (here Anointed)

v7-12, God declares His plan for humanity i.e., Jesus is begotten as son., higher than the kings of the earth. Psalms 89: 27

(All Emphasis on Bible Verses are by me)

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Godhead Study 4: Was Jesus created or literally begotten?

Some Christians teach that Jesus was the first created being. Some Christians teach that Father alone existed in the beginning and Jesus was literally begotten by the Father into a new being.

Does Bible support those views?

Isa 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. (Emphasis by me)

The Old Testament God repeatedly claims that He is the first and He is the last. God created all things and nothing existed before God, hence He claims to be the first. Similarly everything is sustained by God. After Him there will be nothing hence He claims to be the last.

God alone can claim that He is first and last

In New Testament we see Jesus also making the same claim!

Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive (Emphasize by me)

Jesus also repeatedly claims in New Testament that He is the first and last.

If God created Jesus or literally begot Jesus then Jesus cannot be First; at the maximum Jesus can be second.

By claiming to be first and the last just like God of the old testament, Jesus tells us that He co-existed with God from eternity without any beginning.

Let us see another verse which makes it very clear.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

It says all created things are created by Jesus. There is no created thing which is not created by Jesus. Logically it means Father did not create anything without Jesus; also logically Jesus is not a created being.

Godhead Study 3: Is Jesus God?

We need to understand that the word god is not a name of a person but it is title given to a person like King or President.

God is also name given to a being who possesses these things omniscient, omnipresent and omnipresence. To make it clearer, it is name of a species like man, lion or tiger.

Let us see the below three verses which helps us understand the term ‘god’.

Who, being in the *form of God*, thought it not robbery to be *equal with God* Phi 2:6

We see two things, Jesus is equal with a person called God (title of a particular individual) and Jesus is in the form of God (species of an individual).

In the beginning was the Word, and the *Word was with God*, and the *Word was God*. John 1:1

Jesus was with God (title of particular individual) and Jesus was (also) God (species of an individual belong to).

What is this title of an individual and species of an individual! Let us see the below verse which helps us to understand.

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them(mankind – species); and blessed them, and called their (notices the plurality) name Adam (name of the species both man and woman), in the day when they were created. Gen 5:1,2 (the words in brackets are mine)

Adam (which means man in Hebrew) is title of a person and also name of the species mankind.

Example:

Man – title of a person
Man – name of the species ( man and woman are collectively called man)

Lion – title of a male lion
Lion – name of the species (both lion and lioness are collectively called with their species name i.e., lion)

In summary the title God belongs to Father alone. But Jesus is also god not in title but as a being (He is not an angelic being or any other created being). Jesus is a self existing being just like the Father who has no beginning and end (we will see this in the next lesson)

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Rev 1:8

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6

Godhead study 2: Does old testament support more than one person Godhead doctrine?

Evidence 1:

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Psa 110:1

We see a messianic prophecy where God addressing Messiah whom David calls as Lord.

Evidence 2:

Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me. Isa 48:16

Jesus speaking here as the one who speaks from the beginning. He says God and His Spirit has sent Him.

Evidence 3:

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Gen 3:22

God speaking about man who became like one of them (plural).

Evidence 4:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6

Another messianic prophecy where Messiah is called as both everlasting Father and mighty God.

Evidence 5:

But thou, Beth–lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2

Messiah is from eternity who had no beginning.

Godhead study 1: Does Old Testament God has a son?

Muslims and Jews deny that God has a son. Do we have sufficient evidence in Old Testament to prove that God has a son?

Evidence 1:

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? *who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name*, if thou canst tell? Pro 30:4 (Emphasis by me)

The above verse is talking about God (who has established all ends of the earth) and the says He has a son.

Evidence 2:

I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Kiss l the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. Psa 2: 7, 12.

In verse 7 we that God declares someone as His son. Also this son cannot be a human or created being as we see in verse 12 that we are asked to trust in the son. Throughout Psalms we are asked to put our trust in God and not in man. Psalms 2.12 won’t contradict all other verses in Psalms which is asking us to put our Trust in God alone. So the son in verse 7 must be God.

Why Pastors should be also trained as Medical Missionaries

Pastors should be trained as medical missionaries. We lack this badly in our theology seminaries.

The minister will often be called upon to act the part of a physician. He should have a training that will enable him to administer the simpler remedies for the relief of suffering. Ministers and Bible workers should prepare themselves for this line of work; for in doing it, they are following the example of Christ. They should be as well prepared by education and practice to combat disease of the body as they are to heal the sin – sick soul by pointing to the great Physician. MM 253

Doors that have been closed to him who merely preaches the gospel will be opened to the intelligent medical missionary. God reaches hearts through the relief of physical suffering. – Manuscript 58, 1901

I wish to tell you that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work. – Counsels on Health, 533 (1901).

Medical missionary work is the right hand of the gospel. It is necessary to the advancement of the cause of God. As through it men and women are led to see the importance of right habits of living, the saving power of the truth will be made known. Every city is to be entered by workers trained to do medical missionary work. As the right hand of the third angel’s message, God’s methods of treating disease will open doors for the entrance of present truth. – Testimonies for the Church 7:59

I can see in the Lord’s providence that the medical missionary work is to be a great entering wedge, whereby the diseased soul may be reached. – Counsels on Health, 535 (1893)

Medical missionary work is the pioneer work of the gospel, the door through which the truth for this time is to find entrance to many homes…. A demonstration of the principles of health reform will do much toward removing prejudice against our evangelical work. The Great Physician, the originator of medical missionary work, will bless all who thus seek to impart the truth for this time. – Counsels on Health, 497 (1902).

The principles of health reform are found in the Word of God. The gospel of health is to be firmly linked with the ministry of the Word. It is the Lord’s design that the restoring influence of health reform shall be a part of the last great effort to proclaim the gospel message. – Medical Ministry, 259

As a means of overcoming prejudice and gaining access to minds, medical missionary work must be done, not in one or two places only, but in many places where the truth has not yet been proclaimed. We are to work as gospel medical missionaries, to heal the sin – sick souls by giving them the message of salvation. This work will break down prejudice as nothing else can. – Testimonies For The Church 9:211 (1909).

​Why some Christians don’t bear fruit?

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. Mat 13:22

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Mark 4.19
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.  Luke 8.14
Four reasons
1. Care of this world

2. Deceitfulness of riches

3. Lust for worldly possessions

4. Pleasures of this life
We were never taught in our pulpits that riches deceive.
The first reason ‘care of this world’ reminds me this verse
Luke 21:34. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
Cares of this life will take eternal life away from us.
Martha was worried and focussed on preparing food for Jesus. Mary sat at Jesus feet eagerly listening to His words of eternal life. To Martha Jesus said.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10. 41, 42
There is only one thing we ever need to care for: to be at the feet of Jesus listening to Him.