Secondly, Trinitarians do not believe that there are three independent Beings who have conflict of purposes or ambitions. Jesus does nothing by himself, but perfectly fulfills all that the Father desires since they are one in all things. Likewise, the Holy Spirit does not act on his own accord, but in perfect harmony with the Father and Son. (Cf. John 5:19, 16:13)
Thirdly, the fact that Paul in Colossians 2:9 uses the present participle in relation to Jesus, affirming that he continues to exist bodily with the fullness of God, serves to reinforce that these passages must be understood in light of the Incarnation. The citation cannot be referring to Jesus’ preincarnate state since Scripture affirms that God is Spirit. Due to the fact that God is Spirit, he does not have either a spiritual or material body. Hence, Jesus in his preincarnate state existed in the nature of God and therefore had no material or spiritual body.
The fact that God has neither a spiritual or material body is seen in that God is not limited to a localized area, since he infinitely fills all things without being contained by anything. (Cf. John 4:24; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-28; Ephesians 1:23, 4:10)
This is precisely the reason that Christ became flesh. Prior to the Incarnation Jesus, being God, existed as Spirit.
In light of these factors, Stafford’s point on eudokeo meaning divine election only serves to reinforce the Trinitarian position of the Son coming to do the will of the Father as the God-man.
(Note- At the Incarnation, Christ took on a human will along with his divine will. Trinitarians believe that the testimony of inspired Scripture is that Jesus is one divine Person with two natures and two wills. [Cf. Matthew 26:39; John 5:19])
Stafford brings up another point in trying to refute the fact that Jesus has always been the eternal God:
“Another point to note in the context of Colossians 2:9 is what follows in verse 10. It reads, ‘And so YOU are possessed of a fullness by means of him’ (NWT); ‘and through union with Him you too are filled with it.’ (C. B. Williams New Testament) Yes, the Christians in union with Christ Jesus will also ‘be filled with the very fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:19, Goodspeed) This, however, does not make them equal to God, the One who willed that they should possess such a fullness in union with His Son.” (Stafford, J.W.D., p. 27)
Stafford erroneously concludes that believers in Christ will also receive the fullness of Deity. Yet, Stafford fails to quote the rest of the passage that explains the type of fullness Paul had in mind. The fullness to which Paul is alluding is the fullness of justification, that in Christ we have received the forgiveness of sins and all the unsearchable riches of God’s wisdom and glory. Paul’s whole point is to show that the fullness of all things pertaining to God’s glorious riches have been given to us in Christ:
“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness– the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:25-27 NIV
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in who are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-4 NIV (Cf. Ephesians 1:3-23)
“… who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done with the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:10b-14 NIV
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…From the fullness of HIS grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:14, 16-17
This is precisely why Paul goes on to say, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ,” since in Christ we have the perfect revelation and riches of God. (Cf. Colossians 2:8)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
This is one of the clearest references to the Deity of Christ and perhaps the most controversial as well.
The verse has caused ongoing debate between Trinitarians and JWs in relati
on to its proper interpretation and translation. The JWs NWT translates John 1:1:
“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the word was a god.”
The controversial point that has led Trinitarians and JWs into rendering John 1:1 in such a contradictory and conflicting manner stems primarily from the Greek construction of John 1:b-c:
1:1b: Kai ho Logos en pros ton theon
And the Word was with the God
1:1c: Kai Theos en ho Logos
And God was the Word
In 1:1b we are told that the Word is with a specific, identifiable person whom John calls the God. The God with whom the Word was is later identified by John as the Father. (Cf. John 1:14, 18)
In 1:1c the Word is called Theos without the Greek article preceding it.
The reason why no article precedes the noun is that it is a preverbal predicate nominative, and as such does not require the article. It is when the predicate proceeds the verb that the article is usually placed, and even then when it is a definite noun. By definite is meant a noun referring to a specific person or thing as opposed to a noun used to denote quality or class.
The argument is whether the term Theos in relation to the Word is to be understood as definite, indefinite, or qualitative. The problem with saying that Theos is definite is that in this particular clause it would make the Word the same person as the God he was with, ton theon. This would make Jesus God the Father. This in essence would teach modalism, the belief that the Father and Son are not distinct persons, but one person taking on different roles. If this is what John wanted to convey he could have written kai ho Theos en Ho Logos, making the Word the only person that is God.
The problem with viewing the noun as indefinite, as JWs do, is that it gives the impression that Jesus is a lesser god, “a god,” but not the true God, Jehovah. If this is what John intended, the Greek ho Logos en Theos (the Word was a god) would have sufficed. On the other hand, if indefinite is understood to mean that Theos is not referring to a specific person or thing and is not viewed as being qualitatively inferior, then the noun is clearly indefinite.
That the noun is qualitative implying that the Word is not the same person as the Father whom he was with, but equally God, is evident in light of the following. As was already pointed out, the Greek verb en (was) is in the imperfect tense. The tense is used to imply continuous existence in the past, in this case before the absolute beginning. That the Word was continuously existing before the beginning implies that he is eternal. Author Dr. James R. White states:
“The tense of the verb expresses continuous action in the past… as far back as you wish to push ‘the beginning,’ the Word is already there. The Word does not come into existence at the ‘beginning,’ but is already in existence when the ‘beginning’ takes place. If we take the beginning of John 1:1, the Word is already there. If we push it back further (if one can even do so!), say, a year, the Word is already there. A thousand years, the Word is there. A billion years, the Word is there. What is John’s point? The Word is eternal. The Word has always existed. The Word is not a creation. The New English Bible puts it quite nicely: ‘When all things began, the Word already was.’ “ (White, The Forgotten Trinity- Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief [Minneapolis, MN; Bethany House Publishers, 1998], pp. 50-51)
Frederick Louis Godet indicates:
The imperfect en, was, must designate, according to the ordinary meaning of the tense, the simultaneousness of the act indicated by the verb with some other act. This simultaneousness is here that of the existence of the Word with the fact designated by the word beginning. ‘When everything which has begun began, the Word was.’ Alone then, it did not begin; the Word was already. Now that which did not begin with things, that is to say, with time, the form of the development of things, belongs to the eternal order… The idea of this first proposition is, therefore, that of the eternity of the Logos. (Godet, Commentary on the Gospel of John [Grand Rapids; Zondervan, n.d.], vol. 1, pp. 244-245 bold emphasis ours)
Murray J. Harris concurs:
In itself John 1:1a speaks only of the pretemporality or supratemporality of the Logos, but in his conjunction of… en (not egeneto) John implies the eternal preexistence of the Word. He who existed ‘in the beginning’ before creation was himself without a beginning and therefore uncreated. There was no time when he did not exist. John is hinting that all speculation about the origin of the Logos is pointless. (Harris, Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus [Grand Rapids; Baker Book House 1992], p. 54 emphasis ours)
Robert M. Bowman Jr. elaborates,
Had John wanted to say that the Word was the first creation of God, or even simply say that the Word existed before the rest of creation, there are a number of ways he could have said so clearly and without any possibility of misunderstanding. He could have written, ‘from the beginning,’ using the word apo instead of en, as he
did repeatedly in his writings in the expression ap’ arches (John 8:44; 15:27; 1 John 1:1; 2:7, 13, 14, 24; 3:8, 11; 2 John 5, 6). This would trace his existence back to the beginning without telling us anything about his existence ‘before’ the beginning (if such existence were possible). Or, he could have written, ‘In the beginning the Word came into existence,’ substituting for the word en the word egeneto, which occurs repeatedly in the Prologue (John 1:3, 6, 10, 14, 17). This would have settled the debate forever in favor of the JW interpretation of the text, since it would be an explicit affirmation of the creation of the preincarnate Jesus. Yet John wrote neither of these things. Instead, he wrote what most naturally would be (and as a matter of historical record has been) interpreted as a declaration of the eternality of the Word. ‘In the beginning the Word was’; the verb was is the imperfect past tense verb en, here unquestionably used of durative, continuing existence. To continue existing at the beginning of the time is to be eternal by definition. (Bowman, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ & The Gospel of John [Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1995], p. 23 emphasis ours)
Modern Greek scholar Randolph Yeager concludes:
Thus the Word existed before the beginning, since He has always existed. With Him there is no beginning. He is eternal and everlasting… It is impossible to avoid the force of John’s grammar. (Yeager, The Renaissance New Testament [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1973], vol. 4, p. 2 bold emphasis ours)
For John to say that the Word was (en) God, meant that Jesus as the Word has eternally existed as God.
Scholars who agree that the noun Theos is qualitative, implying that Jesus is God in an absolute and eternal sense include:
F. F. Bruce,
The structure of the third clause in verse 1, theos en ho logos, demands the translation “The Word was God.” Since logos has the article preceding it, it is marked out as the subject. The fact that theos is the first word after the conjunction kai (and) shows that the main emphasis of the clause lies on it. Had theos as well as logos been preceded by the article the meaning would have been that the Word was completely identical with God, which is impossible if the Word was also “with God.” What is meant is that the Word shared the nature and being of God, or (to use a piece of modern jargon) was an extension of the personality of God. The NEB paraphrase “What God was, the Word Was,” brings out the meaning of the clause as successfully as a paraphrase can. (Bruce, The Gospel of John [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1983], p.31 emphasis ours)
Those people who emphasize that the true rendering of the last clause of John 1.1 “the word was a god” prove nothing thereby save their ignorance of Greek grammar. (Bruce, The Books and the Parchments [Old Tappan, NJ; Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963], pp. 60-61 note)
A. T. Robertson,
And the Word was God (kai theos en ho logos). By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism by not saying ho theos en ho logos. That would mean that all of God was expressed in ho logos and the terms would be interchangeable, each having the article. The subject is made plain by the article (ho logos) and the predicate without it (theos) just as in John 4:24 pneuma ho theos can only mean “God is spirit,” not “spirit is God.” So in 1 John 4:16 ho theos agape estin can only mean “God is love,” not “love is God” as a so-called Christian scientist would confusedly say… So in John 1:14 ho logos sarx egeneto, “the Word became flesh,” not “the flesh became Word.” Luther argues that here John disposes of Arianism also because the Logos was eternally God, fellowship of the Father and Son, what Origen called the Eternal Generation of the Son (each necessary to the other). Thus in the Trinity we see personal fellowship on an equality. (Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament [Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1932], vol. 5, pp. 4-5, emphasis ours)
And the Word was as to His essence absolute deity. (The New Testament: An Expanded Translation [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1956] emphasis ours)
John L. McKenzie,
The Word theos is used to designate the gods of paganism. Normally the word with or without the article designates the God of the Old Testament and Judaism, the God of Israel: Yahweh. But the character of God is revealed in an original way in the NT; the originality is perhaps best summed up by saying that God reveals Himself in and through Jesus Christ. The revelation of God in Jesus Christ does not consist merely in the prophetic word as in the OT, but in an identity between God and Jesus Christ. Jn 1:1-18 expresses this by contrasting the word spoken by the prophets with the word incarnate in Jesus. In Jesus the personal reality of God is manifested in a visible and tangible form. In the words of Jesus and in much of the rest of the NT the God of Israel (ho theos) is the Father of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason that the title ho theos, which now designates the Father as a personal reality, is not applied in the NT to Jesus Himself; Jesus is the Son of God (of ho theos). This is a matter of usage and not of rule, and the noun is applied to Jesus a few times. Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated ‘the Word was with God [= the Father], and
the Word was a divine being.’ Thomas invokes Jesus with the titles which belong to the Father, ‘My Lord and my God’ (Jn. 20:28). ‘The glory of our great God and Savior’ which is to appear can be the glory of no other than Jesus (Tt.[Titus] 2:13). (McKenzie, Dictionary of the Bible [New York: Macmillan, 1965], p. 317 emphasis ours)
That McKenzie understood Jn 1:1 as declaring Jesus as God in an absolute sense, is evident from his statement that both John 20:28 and Titus 2:13 refer to Jesus as the great God. This is solidified by the fact that McKenzie addressed Yahweh as a divine being as well:
This name needs no defining genitive; Yahweh is the God of Israel without further definition. The name implies that a divine personal being has revealed Himself as the God of Israel through the covenant and exodus; it designates the divine personal reality as proclaimed and experienced. (Ibid, p. 317)
Murray J. Harris,
In the first proposition of verse 1 John affirms that the Logos existed before time and creation and therefore implicitly denies that the Logos was a created being. In the second, he declares that the Logos always was in active communion with the Father and thereby implies that the Logos cannot be personally identified with the Father. In the third, he states that the Logos always was a partaker of deity and so implicitly denies that the Logos was ever elevated to divine status. The thought of the verse moves from eternal preexistence to personal communion to intrinsic deity: only because the Logos participated inherently in the divine nature could he be said to be already in existence when time began or creation occurred and to be in unbroken and eternal fellowship with the Father. This would justify regarding theos as emphatic, standing as it does at the head of its clause. (Harris, Jesus as God, p.71, emphasis ours)
Amazingly, Stafford misquotes Harris, giving a misleading impression as to what the latter actually said:
“Compare Murray J. Harris… who states that ‘from the point of view of grammar alone… could be rendered “the word was a god”… But the theological context, viz., John’s monotheism, makes this rendering of 1:1c impossible’…” (Stafford, J.W.D., p. 186, f. 53)
Here is what Harris actually said,
“Since the basic function of the article is deictic, to add precision to thought by emphasizing individuality or identity, the nonoccurrence of the article with a noun may point to the nonparticularity, indefiniteness, of the concept. Accordingly, from the point of view of grammar alone, theos en ho logos could be rendered ‘the Word was a god,’ just as, for example, if only grammatical considerations were taken into account, umeis ek tou patros tou diabolou este (John 8:44), could mean ‘you belong to the father of the devil. But the theological context, viz, John’s monotheism, makes this endering of 1:1c impossible, for if a monotheist were speaking of the Deity he himself reverenced, the singular theos could be applied only to the Supreme Being, not to an inferior divine being or emanation as if theos were simply generic. That is, in reference to his own beliefs, a monotheist could not speak of theoi nor could he use theos in the singular (when giving any type of personal description) of any being other than the true God whom he worshiped.” (Harris, Jesus as God, p. 60 bold emphasis ours)
Murray’s point on John’s theology relates to the fact that a monotheist, as JWs claim that they are, would never call any being apart from the true God theos or its Greek equivalent. Harris goes on to say,
“The translation ‘a god’ as found in the New World Translation, Jannaris (‘Logos’ 24, but ‘a God’ on p. 20), and Becker (65, 68, 70: ‘ein Gott’). The reasons for rejecting this rendering– represented in none of the major English translations of the twentieth century– have been set out in &D.3.a (1) above.” (Harris, Jesus as God, p. 68 emphasis ours)
James Moffatt (Bible translator),
“The Word Was God… And the Word became flesh,” simply means “The Word was divine… and the Word became human.” The Nicene faith, in the Chalcedon definition, was intended to conserve both these truths against theories that failed to present Jesus as truly God and truly man… (Moffatt, Jesus Christ the Same [Nashville; Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1945], p. 61 emphasis ours)
B. F. Westcott,
The predicate [”God”] stands emphatically first, as iv.24. It is necessarily without the article [theos not ho theos] inasmuch as it describes the nature of the Word and does not identify His Person… No idea of inferiority of nature is suggested by the
form of the expression, which simply affirms the true deity of the Word. (Westcott, The Gospel According to St. John [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1958 rp.], p. 3 bold emphasis ours)
C. H. Dodd,
On this analogy, the meaning of theos and ho logos will be that the ousia [”essence”] of ho logos [”the Word”], that which it truly is, is rightly denominated theos… That this is the ousia of ho theos (the Personal God of Abraham, the Father) goes without saying. In fact, Nicene homoousios to patri [”of one essence of the Father”] is a perfect paraphrase. (Dodd, New Testament Translation Problems II, p. 104 bold emphasis ours)
Dr. Philip B. Harner,
As an aid in understanding the verse, it will be helpful to ask what John might have written as well as what he did write. In terms of the types of word-order and vocabulary available to him, it would appear that John could have written any of the following:
A. ho Logos en ho theos (the Word was the God);
B. Theos en ho Logos (God was the Word);
C. ho Logos Theos en (the Word God was);
D. ho Logos en Theos (the Word was a god);
E. ho Logos en Theios (the Word was divine);
…Clause D with the verb preceding an anarthrous (without the article, ‘the’) predicate, would probably mean that the logos was ‘a god’ or a divine being of some kind, belonging to the general category of theos but as a distinct being from ho theos… John evidently wished to say something about the logos that was other than A and more than D and E… But in all these cases the English reader might not understand exactly what John was trying to express. Perhaps the clause could be translated, ‘the Word had the same nature as God.’ This would be one way of expressing John’s thought, which is, as I understand it, that ho logos (the Word), no less than ho theos (the God), had the nature of theos (God). (Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 92, pp. 84-85, 87 bold emphasis ours)
To summarize John’s point in writing his prologue, we are told:
1. The Word was eternally existing before anything ever came into being
2. The Word eternally existed in an interpersonal relationship with the One called the God, i.e. the Father
3. The Word was eternally God.
The preceding points based on the inspired Greek text shatters any attempt to view Jesus simply as a lesser god created by Jehovah.
“So because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working. For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:16-18 NIV
The inspired Apostle affirms that it was Jesus, not the Jews, who was calling God his Father as well as claiming equality with him. This is not the only time where Jesus claims equality:
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30 NIV
The context does not limit oneness to unity, as JWs assume, but oneness in all things. Christ, like his Father, is able to preserve his followers from perishing, guaranteeing them eternal life. Christ has both the power to preserve life and the quality of eternal life to impart to others, things true only of God. Hence, oneness here implies oneness in essence and nature.
“And I heard a loud voice saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God (tou Theou- the God) is with men, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people and God (ho Theos- the God) himself will dwell with them and be their God.’ He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new! Then he said, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.’ “ Revelation 21:3-7 NIV
That the one speaking is the Lord Jesus Christ becomes evident when comparing the italicized portions with the following citations:
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’- which means, ‘God with us.’ “ Matthew 1:22-23 NIV
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living waters’… Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ “ John 4:10, 13-14 NIV
“On the last day, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to ME and drink. Whoever believes in ME, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ “ John 7:37-38 NIV
The similarities between the words of Christ and that of Revelation strongly suggest that Jesus is the one referred to as God. This is clearly seen in the fact that the Bible indicates that it is Jesus who is to come in visible glory and reign over the nations, not the Father. (Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10, 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 1:7) The only sense in which the Father can be said to be coming is in the person of his Son through whom he both enacts judgment and reigns with the saints. The Scriptures nowhere speak of him coming visibly.
A possible objection that might be raised is that the speaker indicates that a believer who overcomes will be his son. This seemingly refers to the Father since believers are pictured as Christ’s brethren, not his sons.
Logically, it does not follow that the statement “he will be my son” means the Father is speaking. If this were so, the Apostle Paul would also be claiming to be the Father in the following passage:
“I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:14-15 NIV
Furthermore, Isaiah 9:6 would prove that Jesus is the Father if this logic were to be sustained:
“For to us a child id born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father (Abi Ad, Father of Eternity), Prince of Peace.”
Neither Trinitarians nor JWs take this to mean that Jesus is God the Father, but that he is the author of eternal life.
(Note – There are Christians who use this verse to try to prove that Jesus is the Father, since they believe that there are not three Persons but one Person assuming three different roles. This belief is known as modalism, a teaching adhered to by modern Oneness Pentecostals or “Jesus Only” churches.)
This logic would also prove that Abraham was God the Father as well:
“Therefore, the promise comes by grace, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring- not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of all. As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed- the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they are.” Romans 4:16-17 NIV (Cf. Acts 7:1-2)
This would also include the Apostle John:
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 4 NKJV
Hence, “son” need not imply that the Father is being addressed since the term can refer to the children that the Father has given the Son to raise up and glorify:
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” John 6:37-39 NIV
“And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’ “ Hebrews 2:13b NIV
Thus, Christians are viewed as the children of Christ in the sense that he is their very life and the power that grants them immortal glory. (Cf. Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:3-4)
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God, who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Deuteronomy 32:4 NIV
Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one. Isaiah 44:8 NIV
They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:3-4 NIV
According to Paul, the One who supernaturally provided for Moses and Israel while in the desert for forty years was the preincarnate Christ. Yet, according to the Pentateuch that One was Jehovah! (Cf. Exodus 16:2-36, 17:1-7; Numbers 20:2-11, 21:16; Psalms 78:15
STONE OF STUMBLING
The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hollow; Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, be snared and taken. Isaiah 8:13-15 NKJV
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ 1 Peter 2:4-8 NKJV
JUDGE OF THE NATIONS
Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Joel 3:13 NIV
You then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. Romans 14:10 NIV
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. Matthew 25:31-32 NKJV
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV