Your word is a lamp
for my feet and a light
for my path.
Psalms 119:105


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At this season of the year when we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
we thought it would be a good time to also discuss the important question of:

WHO IS JESUS?

"The LORD possessed (created) me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." —Proverbs 8:22-30

WHO WAS JESUS BEFORE HE BECAME A HUMAN BEING?

What a beautiful description is given of Jesus as a spirit being before he was "made flesh." His name was the "Logos" or God's mouthpiece, or Word.

"In the beginning was the Word (Logos) and the Word was with the God and a god was the Word. (Interlinear Diaglott translation of John 1:1)

Unfortunately many versions of the Bible give the thought that the Word was God. Jesus was the "beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14), the "firstborn of every creature" (Colossians 1:15). He was the direct creation of the Father, and spoken of as the "only begotten of the Father." (John 1:14) The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus was the active agent of Jehovah in all the creative work: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him."—Colossians 1:16

Referring to Jesus, God "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."—Hebrews 1:2

WHO COULD BECOME A RANSOM FOR ADAM?

When Adam sinned and condemned future generations to be born in sin, a "ransom" or corresponding price had to be provided to release mankind from condemnation and guarantee restoration of all that was lost.

Jehovah could not become the ransom, because a corresponding price called for the death of a perfect human being. God was divine, having life within Himself (John 5:26) and could not die. Jesus received the divine nature, life within himself, later, as a reward for his faithfulness and obedience, when He was resurrected and glorified. Angelic beings likewise could not satisfy God's justice.

Only a being willing to give up his glorious spirit nature and become a human and sacrifice his life as "a ransom for all" would be acceptable.

Jesus' pre-human life is referred to in Philippians 2:5-9 (Revised Standard Version). "Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied (Greek, 'divested') himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him."

As a perfect man he suffered Adam's penalty, thus releasing Adam and his posterity from the curse of death. "For since through a Man there is Death, through a Man also, there is a Resurrection of the Dead; for as by Adam All die, so by the Anointed also, will All be restored to life."—1 Corinthians 15:21,22 (Diaglott)

WAS JESUS EQUAL TO HIS FATHER?

Jesus, during his life on earth, always remained subordinate to his Heavenly Father. "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak."—John 12:49

"I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."—John 14:28

However, a wonderful spirit of oneness existed between Jesus and his Heavenly Father, for he declared: "I and my father are one." (John 10:30) In the 17th chapter of John, Jesus prayed that his church would experience this same oneness with God, a oneness of purpose.

"That they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou has sent me." —John 17:21

The scriptural understanding of Jesus as the beloved and only begotten Son of the Heavenly Father gives us a greater appreciation of him and his great sacrifice. Just before his death, Jesus prayed: "And now, Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."—John 17:5

Because of Jesus' faithfulness, at his resurrection, the Heavenly Father did more than restore his Son to his former position of glory in the heavenly realm—He exalted him to the divine nature.

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."—Hebrews 1:3,4

After his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."—Matthew 28:18

In due time, and in accordance with his Father's plan, the beloved Son of God will exercise this power to bring about the great work of restitution. "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom heaven must receive (retain) until the times of restitution of all things."—Acts 3:20,21

WHAT A GLORIOUS OUTLOOK

SUMMARY

Jesus existed as a spirit being before he was made flesh. At that time he was known as a god, or mighty one.

He was the direct creation of God, the "Only Begotten." As Jehovah's representative, and in His name and through His power, Jesus created all things—angels, principalities and powers, as well as the earthly creation.

Jesus voluntarily gave up his position and nature to be made flesh and become our Redeemer. Because of Jesus' faithfulness, his Father rewarded him with the divine nature.

It is this great One whom we delight to honor and to worship and to serve as one with the Heavenly Father, in word and in purpose and in spirit.

WHO OR WHAT IS THE "HOLY SPIRIT"?

The word "spirit" in the Old Testament is a translation of the Hebrew word "ruach," the root meaning of which is "wind." In the New Testament, also, the word "spirit" comes from a root meaning "wind"—the Greek word "pneuma."

These two words are also translated "breath," "mind," "life," meaning an invisible power or influence.

Unfortunately these words were incorrectly translated "Ghost" in the King James Bible. In the American Standard Version the term "Holy Ghost" does not appear.

The holy Spirit is described in the Bible as "The Spirit of God," "The Spirit of Truth," "The Spirit of Love," "The Spirit of a Sound Mind," "The Spirit of Christ," "The Spirit of Holiness," etc. The title "holy Spirit" describes the mind of God—His power or sanctifying influence.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor."—Luke 4:18

HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT OPERATE?

The prophet Isaiah, in speaking prophetically of Jesus, describes the operation of God's holy Spirit. "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear (reverence) of the LORD."—Isaiah 11:2

Our Lord Jesus received wisdom and power by an outpouring of the holy Spirit at his baptism (Matthew 3:16), and his faithful followers desire to have the mind or spirit of Christ.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."—Philippians 2:5

"For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." —1 Corinthians 2:16

"Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."—Romans 8:9

Another use of the word spirit is in the sense of generative power, as in Genesis 1:2: "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The spirit or power of God, His energy, rendered the waters fruitful, prolific.

Similarly, the "Holy men of God (prophets) spake and wrote as they were moved by the holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:21 - Diaglott translation) The holy Spirit of God influenced their minds, causing them to bring forth thoughts which God wished to have expressed.

Also, the skilled workmen who were selected by Moses to build the Tabernacle, were brought under the influence of the divine power to energize their natural faculties without affecting them in any moral sense. "And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel. And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship. Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work.” —Exodus 35:31-35

In Numbers 11:17-25 we are told that Jehovah endowed Moses and the elders with His spirit for judging Israel's affairs. In the same manner God's spirit was with the kings of Israel, so long as they were loyal to him. (1 Samuel 11:6) Notice that in the case of Saul (1 Samuel 16:13,14), because of unfaithfulness, this spirit of wisdom departed from him and was conferred upon David.

HOLY SPIRIT NOT YET GIVEN

However, no manifestation of the spirit of God, prior to the first advent of Jesus, was the same as the manifestation and operation of God's spirit upon Jesus—from his baptism to his crucifixion, and upon the Church of Christ at Pentecost until now. "The Holy Spirit was not yet given (except to Jesus) because Jesus was not yet glorified."—John 7:39

GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 lists some of the gifts of the spirit: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." These gifts were given to the early Church by the holy Spirit, but there is a difference between God's power, His spirit, and these gifts. The Apostle Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 13:8 that a time would come when some of these gifts (prophecy and tongues) would cease. These gifts were necessary at the inauguration of the Church, but became unnecessary after the Church had been established.

Now, instead of having such gifts miraculously bestowed, the operation of God's spirit or power, is upon the minds of those who have consecrated their lives to serve the Lord. The Apostle Paul urges the Church to develop spiritual gifts—"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."—Galatians 5:22,23

This same holy Spirit or influence of God will operate during the establishment of His Kingdom on earth to bring the world into harmony and unity with the principles of righteousness.

SUMMARY

The Spirit of God, or holy Spirit is the divine will, influence or power of God exercised in many ways, using various agencies to accomplish various results:

In the creation of the world.

To influence the servants of the past.

In the development of the Church.

To bring the world of mankind back into harmony with God according to His plan of salvation.

For more information on this topic please see the publication:

The Doctrine of Christ

Available for reading at:

http://www.bibletoday.com/booklets/dc_text.htm

Available for download at:

http://www.bibletoday.com/free_downloads2.htm

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http://www.bibletoday.com/booksvideos.htm

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