Sunday, January 3, 2016

Who is Like Jehovah and Who is His Equal? Pt. 1


By Sam Shamoun


In this article, we will provide further evidence from the God-breathed Scriptures that Jesus Christ is identified as Jehovah God Incarnate who, at the same time, is personally distinguished and differentiated from another who is said to be Jehovah God, namely the Father (as well as the Holy Spirit).

The Highly Exalted One

In the Holy Bible, God severely rebukes and condemns the king of Babylon (and anyone else for that matter) for wanting to exalt himself above the stars of God, a position which would make him like the Most High:

On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon… How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart,I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself LIKE the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” Isaiah 14:3-4, 12-15 New International Version (NIV)

Stars are used as a metaphor for God’s angelic hosts, who are also called the sons of God:

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding. Who has determined its measurements, if you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it? To what are its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7

And:

The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:20

Thus, by desiring to ascend above the stars of God the king of Babylon basically wanted to exalt himself over every other creature in existence, thereby making himself equal to God.

God was further upset with Babylon for employing the phrase “I am,” and for making herself out to be incomparable:

Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground; there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans. For you shall no more be called tender and delicate… Therefore, now hear this, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell carelessly, who say in your heart,I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children’; but these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day, the loss of children and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries and for the great abundance of your enchantments. For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, ‘No one sees me’; your wisdom and your knowledge have perverted you; and you have said in your heart,I am, and there is no one besides me.’” Isaiah 47:1, 8-10

The reason why God utterly detests these assertions is because the inspired writings are quite emphatic in insisting that there is none like God, none who is equal to him in terms of his nature, status and glory:

To whom then will you LIKEN God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?To whom then will you LIKEN Me, that I should be equal to him? says the Holy One.” Isaiah 40:18, 25

For My own sake, even for My own sake, I will do it; for how can My name be polluted? And I will not give My glory to another.” Isaiah 48:11

The God-breathed Scriptures further proclaim that Yahweh sits enthroned on high over all creation:

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. One cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.’ The posts of the door moved at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am undone because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.’” Isaiah 6:1-5

For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15

The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness… ‘Now I will rise,’ says the Lord,now I will be exalted, now I will be lifted up.” Isaiah 33:5, 10

As such, Yahweh does not allow any creature (no matter how exalted) to share in his status as the Most High over all creation:

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord ALONE shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of Hosts shall be upon everything that is proud and lofty, and upon everything that is lifted up, and it shall be brought low; and it will be upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon all the high towers, and upon every fenced wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant sloops. The loftiness of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; the Lord ALONE will be exalted in that day;” Isaiah 2:11-17

Let them know that you, whose name is the Lordthat you ALONE are the Most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18 NIV

Who is LIKE the Lord our God, who dwells on high,” Psalm 113:5

This explains why Yahweh is described as the God of gods and Lord of lords,

For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the fearsome God who is unbiased and takes no bribe.” Deuteronomy 10:17

Oh, give thanks unto the God of gods, for His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His mercy endures forever:” Psalm 136:2-3

Since all other rulers, powers and authorities are subject to him:

For You, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.” Psalm 97:9

Nor does Yahweh exalt any other name besides his own:

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name ALONE is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.” Psalm 148:13 NIV

The “I Am He” Who Lives and Speaks

Moreover, the phrase “I Am He” functions as a name of Yahweh, one that he employs to highlight his timeless existence and transcendence over creation: 

Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.” Isaiah 41:4

You are My witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior… Indeed, from eternity I am He; there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” Isaiah 43:10-11, 13

Listen to Me, O Jacob and Israel, whom I called: I am He; I am the First, and I am the Last.” Isaiah 48:12

Therefore, My people shall know My name; therefore, they shall know in that day that I am He who does speak: Here I am.” Isaiah 52:6

The foregoing helps us see why God utterly abhors any individual that desires to exalt himself to the status of Yahweh or chooses to identify himself with the words “I Am He”, since doing so would be an attempt to essentially make oneself equal with Yahweh.

With that said we are ready to proceed to the next part of our discussion where we shall see how the Holy Bible assigns the very status and name of Yahweh to the Messiah himself.

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