Arkiv | maj 2012

Gud Fader kallar sin son GUD i Hebreerbrevet 1, eftersom Jesus är GUD

Hebr. 1:8 Men om SONEN säger han: GUD, din tron står i evigheters evighet, och rättens spira är ditt rikes spira (SFB)

Hebr. 1:8 säger han om Sonen: »Gud, DIN TRON förbliver alltid och evinnerligen, och rättvisans spira är ditt rikes spira.9 Du har älskat rättfärdighet och hatat orättfärdighet; därför, O GUD, har din Gud smort dig med glädjens olja mer än dina medbröder»(1917)

Gud adresserar alltså sin son när han säger detta, och han kallar honom GUD! Den grekiska grundtexten medger ett par olika sätt att läsa texten; ”Gud är din tron i evigheternas evighet… ” eller Din tron Gud, står i evigheters evighet…” Om man bestämt sig för att Jesus inte KAN vara Gud så vill man förstås gärna välja det första alternativet och dessutom gärna UTESLUTA det andra pga det störande resultatet. Annars kommer man ju till slutsatsen att Jesus verkligen ÄR Gud och många sektmedlemmar anstränger sig hårt för att undvika allting som osar ”Jesus är Gud”.  Det finns inga anledningar att tro att världens kunniga teologer, som i många fall också är experter på grekiska, har haft fel när de gjort sina översättningar. Det inte särskilt logiskt att säga ”Gud är din tron” för Gud är inte en tron eller ett monument för Jesus, utan hans Fader och kollega i treenigheten. Dessutom så delar de samma tron.

  • Hebr. 1:But unto the Son he saith, THY THRONE, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (KJV)
  • Hebr. 1:8 But of the Son he says,“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (ESV)
  • Hebr. 1:But of the Son He says,“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (NASB)
  • Hebr. 1:and unto the Son:`Thy throne, O God, [is] to the age of the age (Young’s Literal)
  • Hebr. 1:8 Mas del Hijo dice: Tu trono, oh Dios, por el siglo del siglo (Reina Valera 1960)
  • Hebr. 1:Mais au sujet du Fils, il dit: Ton trône, ô Dieu, subsiste pour toute éternité (La Bible du Semeur)
  • Hebr. 1:aber von dem Sohn: ”Gott, dein Stuhl währt von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit (Luther Bibel 1545)

Hebr. 1:8 är en referens till psalm 45 med nästan samma ordalydelse, och där ser vi att det handlar om GUD:

Psalm 45:6 Skarpa är dina pilar, folk skall falla för dig, konungens fiender skall träffas i hjärtat.GUD (Elohim), DIN TRON står i evigheters evighet, ditt rikes spira är rättens spira.Du älskar rättfärdighet och hatar orättfärdighet. Därför, GUD (Elohim), har DIN GUD Gud (Elohim) smort dig med glädjens oljamer än dina medbröder. (SFB)

Psalmer reflekterar ofta sanningen med poetiska uttryck. Psalm 45 börjar med att adressera en Kung (vilket även Jesus är fast inte på ett jordiskt sätt) och fortsätter med att adressera GUD. Om det handlar om GUD i psalmen så borde samma ordalydelse i Hebr. 1 också handla om GUD, för ordalydelsen är märkbart likadan! Det är inte ovanligt att texter drar paralleller mellan olika personer, städer och länder och Hesekiel 28 är ett bra exempel på detta eftersom en sektion tydligt handlar om Satan, men ändå börjar kapitlet med att adressera Kungen av Tyrus. Hebréerbrevet är alldeles uppenbart adresserat till Jesus så därför kan parallellen dras att Psalm 45 handlar om Jesus som är GUD, och därför är detta en Messiansk psalm. Hela sammanhanget i Hebréerbrevet:

Hebr. 1:1 Sedan Gud (Theos) i forna tider många gånger och på många sätt hade talat till fäderna genom profeterna, har han nu i den sista tiden talat till oss genom sin Son. Honom har han insatt till att ärva allting, och genom honom har han också skapat världen. Sonen utstrålar Guds härlighet och uppenbarar hans väsen och uppehåller allt genom sitt mäktiga ord. Och sedan han utfört en rening från synderna, sitter han nu på Majestätets högra sida i höjden.Sonen är så mycket större än änglarna som det namn han har ärvt är förmer än deras.Till vilken av änglarna har Gud någonsin sagt: Du är min Son, jag har i dag fött dig? Eller: Jag skall vara hans Fader, och han skall vara min Son? Och när han låter den Förstfödde träda in i världen, säger han också: Alla Guds änglar skall tillbe honom.Om änglarna säger han: Han gör sina änglar till vindar och sina tjänare till eldslågor.Men om Sonen säger han: Gud (Theos), din tron står i evigheters evighet, och rättens spira är ditt rikes spira.Du älskar rättfärdighet och hatar orättfärdighet. Därför, Gud (Theos), har din Gud (Theos) smort dig med glädjens olja mer än dina medbröder.10 Och: Du, Herre, har i begynnelsen lagt jordens grund, och himlarna är dina händers verk.11 De skall gå under, men du förblir. De skall alla nötas ut som en klädnad.12 Som en mantel skall du rulla ihop dem, och som en klädnad skall de bytas ut. Men du är densamme, och dina år har inget slut. 13 Till vilken av änglarna har han någonsin sagt: Sätt dig på min högra sida, tills jag har lagt dina fiender som en fotpall under dina fötter. 14 Är inte änglarna andar i helig tjänst, utsända för att tjäna dem som skall ärva frälsningen? (SFB)

Jämför gärna psalmen om Kungen och om Gud med drottning Sabas uttryck om Salomo:

2 Krön. 9: Välsignad vare Herren, din Gud, som har funnit sådant behag i dig att han har satt dig på sin tron till att vara konung inför Herren, din Gud! Eftersom din Gud älskar Israel och vill hålla det vid makt till evig tid, därför har han satt dig till konung över dem, för att du skall skipa lag och rätt.”

Och Kung Davids nästan profetiska uttryck:

1 Krön. 28:Bland alla mina söner – för Herren har gett mig många söner – utvalde han min son Salomo till att sitta på Herrens kungatron och regera över Israel. Han sade till mig: Din son Salomo är den som skall bygga mitt hus och mina förgårdar. Ty honom har jag utvalt till min son, och jag skall vara hans fader. Jag skall befästa hans kungamakt FÖR EVIGT, om han står fast vid att följa mina bud och föreskrifter, som han nu gör. (+ 1 Krön. 29:22-25)

Nu är inte Salomo någon Gud (och det tråkiga med Salomo är att han förmodligen dog som en syndare ihop med sina ännu mer syndiga fruar) men det är en intressant jämförelse att denna Kung sattes på Herrens tron för att regera ”för evigt” som Guds representant på jorden, liksom också Jesus sattes på Herrens tron för att regera för evigt. I Salomos fall så handlar det om att regera på jorden, och i Jesus fall så handlar det om att regera i Guds rike där även änglarna ska komma att TILLBE honom. I båda fallen så är denna upphöjelse och löfte om den eviga regenttiden kopplad till kravet att lyda bud och föreskrifter. Salomo gjorde det inte, men Jesus var lydig till döden på korset. Messias skulle komma från Davids blodslinje (och Salomo är pappa till David), och även David var ju en Kung som satt på tronen. Denna Kung i Ps. 45 med alla sina gudomliga uttryck, verkar vara en profetisk liknelse till den kommande Kungarnas Kung som skulle framträda många år senare i form av Jesus, Messias. Även Jahve kallas Kungarnas Kung. Kungen i Ps. 45 är en profetisk bild av den kommande SANNA regenten i form av Jesus, som inte har ett begränsat rike på jorden utan ett evigt i himlen.

Gud ENSAM är Gud, så hur kommer det sig då att även Jesus kallas Gud? Endast treenigheten löser detta! Vidare läser vi här nedan att ingen i skyn ens kan jämföras Gud Herren, och VEM i all världen är honom lik? Absolut INGEN enligt psalmerna! Ändå läser vi i Hebr. 1:3 att Jesus är ”hans väsens avbild” som 1917 säger. Antingen innehåller psalmerna och boken Jesaja lögner, eller också är Jesus Gud och ingår i samma treenighet:

Ps. 89:4 ”Jag har slutit ett förbund med min utvalde, med ed har jag lovat min tjänare David:5 Din ätt skall jag låta bestå för evig tid och bygga din tron från släkte till släkte.” Sela.6 Himlarna prisar dina under, Herre, och din trofasthet i de heligas församling.7 Ty vem i skyn kan jämföras med Herren? Vem bland Guds söner är Herren lik?

Ps. 86:10 Herre, ingen är dig lik bland gudarnainga gärningar är som dina. Alla folk som du har gjort  skall komma och tillbe inför dig, Herre, de skall ära ditt namn. 10 Ty du är stor och du gör under. DU ENSAM ÄR GUD.

Hebr. 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the EXACT REPRESENTATION of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (NASB)

Bortförklaringar – vem helst kan kallas GUD så det betyder inget att Jesus kallas GUD i Hebr 1

Om vi ständigt och jämt stöter på gudar i vår vardag så borde det väl tydliggöras när det är just skaparguden i Bibeln som uttrycker sig? Men i själva verket så är det sällan något problem att förstå vilken Gud som uttrycker sig eftersom vi har lärt oss att det endast finns EN Gud allena och då borde det givetvis vara den Guden som det handlar om såvida ingenting annat tydligt sägs. De enda gångerna som några människor frågar sig ”vilken Gud handlar det om egentligen?” så verkar det ENDAST röra just de verser där JESUS påstås vara GUD! Inga andra verser ifrågasätts! Men om vi ser i Hebr. 1 så kopplas flera gudomliga attribut till Jesus som GUD, och dessa attribut kan absolut inte kopplas till vanliga människor som fått auktoritet av Gud att utföra hans domar. Hebr 1 säger att Jesus är Gud och att han:

  1. ärver allting
  2. utstrålar Guds härlighet
  3. uppenbarar hans (Guds) väsen
  4. uppehåller allt genom sitt ord
  5. renar människor från synden
  6. är större än änglarna (trots att vi kan läsa i Fil. att han är lägre än änglarna som människa på jorden)
  7. skall TILLBES av änglarna (endast GUD ska vi tillbe säger Bibeln uttryckligen)
  8. har en tron som står i evigheters evighet
  9. har en rättens spira som är sitt eget rikes spira (attribut som tydligt kopplas till GUD i GT)
  10. älskar rättfärdighet och hatar orättfärdighet (uttryck ofta kopplat till Gud)
  11. kallas GUD och är SMORD
  12. kallas HERRE (även Herrarnas Herre på andra ställen, som också Gud kallas)
  13. har I BEGYNNELSEN lagt jordens grund och skapat himlarna MED SINA EGNA HÄNDER (trots att vi kan läsa i GT att Gud ENSAM skapat jorden och himlarna och att INGEN var med honom)
  14. är densamme och hans år tar inte slut

Detta är knappast något man kan säga om någon annan människa på jorden – inte ens Moses! Gud Fader kallar sin son Gud för att han ÄR Gud, och för att han har alla attribut som skaparguden har!

Gud skapade hela världen ensam och med sina egna händer – och Jesus också!jorden

Vi vet att Gud inte delar sin ära med någon (Jesaja 42:8) så varför ger han så mycket ära och makt åt sonen? Notera också denna ordalydelse från Hebr. 1., vilket är en referens till nedan psalm med nästan exakt samma ordalydelse. Även denna psalm talar om GUD som lade jordens grund och skapade allting med sina egna händer. Om denna ordalydelse handlar om GUD i psalmen så borde exakt samma ordalydelse också handla om GUD i Hebr. 1, men ändå kopplar Gud Fader detta med JESUS. Kan vi tro på det Gud säger, eller menar vi att han har fel som gör sonen till GUD?:

Hebr. 1:10 Och: Du, Herre, har i begynnelsen lagt jordens grund, och himlarna är dina händers verk.*) 11 De skall gå under, men du förblir. De skall alla nötas ut som en klädnad.12 Som en mantel skall du rulla ihop dem, och som en klädnad skall de bytas ut. Men du är densamme, och dina år har inget slut.

*) Ps. 102:25 Jag sade: MIN GUD tag inte bort mig mitt i livet, dina år varar från släkte till släkte. 26 För länge sedan lade du jordens grund, himlarna är dina händers verk. 27 De skall gå under, men du förblir. De skall alla nötas ut som en klädnad, du skall förvandla dem som man byter kläder, och de försvinner. 28 Men du är densamme och dina år har inget slut.

Det är också värt att nämna vad  Jesaja säger

Jesaja 44:24 Så säger Herren, din återlösare,  han som format dig alltifrån moderlivet: Jag, Herren, är den som har gjort allt, den som ENSAM har spänt ut himlen och brett ut jorden. Vem var med mig?

Jesaja 42: 5 Så säger Gud, Herren,  han som har skapat himlen och spänt ut den, han som har utbrett jorden med allt som växer där,han som har givit liv åt folket som bor där och ande åt dem som vandrar på den.

Kol. 1:13 Ty han har frälst oss från mörkrets välde och försatt oss i sin älskade Sons rike.14 I honom hava vi förlossningen, förlåtelsen för våra synder,15 i honom som är den osynlige Gudens avbild och förstfödd före allt skapat. 16 Ty i honom skapades allt i himmelen och på jorden, synligt såväl som osynligt, både tronänglar och herrar och furstar och väldigheter i andevärlden. Alltsammans har blivit skapat genom honom och till honom.17 Ja, han är till före allt annat, och alltsammans äger bestånd i honom. 

Om vi kan läsa verser precis som det står så finns det ingen anledning att krångla till det och riskera att hamna i bibelmotsättningar. Om Gud Fader kallar sin son för GUD, kan vi lita på det eller måste vi anstränga oss för att hitta alternativa översättningar som ger ett annat mera önskvärt resultat? Varför kämpa emot Bibelns klara budskap att Jesus är Gud, som alltid funnits tillsammans med Fadern i treenigheten, och som valde att födas i mänskligt kött och dö som ett syndoffer för oss?

2 Johannesbrevet 1:7 Ty många villolärare hava gått ut i världen, vilka icke bekänna att Jesus är Kristus, som skulle komma i köttet; en sådan är Villoläraren och Antikrist.

Jesus lät sig TILLBES, och lärde oss att tillbe och tjäna endast GUD

”Tillbe” är översatt från det grekiska ordet proskyneó (Strong’s 4352). Även om ”tillbe” är den vanligaste översättningen så kan ordet även ha betydelse att gå ner på knä inför någon och visa aktning/vördnad. Sammanhanget hjälper till att se betydelsen. Det vore oärligt att översätta ordet med ”tillbe” varje gång det handlar om Gud Fader och till ”falla ner inför” varje gång det handlar om Jesus. Då har man ju bestämt sig på förhand att manipulera texten så att den stämmer överens med det resultat man vill ha.

KJV översätter ordet med: worship (60 gånger).

NASB: worship (32), worshiped (17), worshipers (1), worshiping (1), worships (1), bow down (1), bow down before (1), bowed down (1), bowed down before (2), bowing before (1), bowing down (1), prostrated himself before (1)

Trots att ”proskyneó” står i relation till Jesus i 25% av gångerna i Jehovas Vittnen engelska Bibel (The New World Translation) så har översättarna valt att inte översätta ordet med ”tillbe” en endaste gång. Om ordet däremot kan läsas i relation till djävulen, demoner, avgudar etc, så har de valt att översätta exakt samma ord med ”tillbe”!  Detta är inget ärligt sätt att översätta Bibeln på!

”Herren, din Gud, skall du tillbe, och endast honom skall du tjäna”

Jesus ger inte något erbjudande att man kan tillbe någon annan än just Gud. Så varför låter han sig så ofta tillbes om han inte vore Gud? För att Gud vill lura oss att tro att Jesus är Gud fastän han inte är det?

Matt. 4:9 Och han sade: ”Allt detta vill jag ge dig, om du faller ner och tillber mig.” 10 Då sade Jesus till honom: ”Gå bort, Satan! Ty det står skrivet: Herren, din Gud, skall du tillbe, och endast honom skall du tjäna.”

Lukas 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

När Jesus nämnde ”Det står skrivet”, så syftar han på nedanstående bud från Gud, där tillbedjan står i relation till Gud.

5 Mos. 6:13 Herren, din Gud, skall du frukta, honom skall du tjäna, och vid hans namn skall du avlägga din ed. 14 Ni skall inte följa andra gudar, någon gud som dyrkas av de folk som bor runt omkring er, 15 ty en nitälskande Gud är Herren, din Gud, i din mitt. Se därför till att inteHerrens, din Guds, vrede blir upptänd mot dig och han utrotar dig från jordens yta.

I Gamla Testamentet så används ”tillbe” många gånger i relation till Gud (översatt från hebreiska), med upprepade varningar till Israel att inte tjäna andra Gudar. ”Tillbe” och ”tjäna” används både ihop och separat, och oavsett vilket så är orden starkt förknippade med Gud.

2 Mos. 34:14 Du skall inte tillbe någon annan gud, ty Herren heter Nitälskare. En nitälskande Gud är han.

5 Mos. 30:17 Men om ditt hjärta vänder sig bort och du inte vill höra, och om du blir förledd och tillber andra gudar och tjänar dem,

Daniel 3:14 sade Nebukadnessar till dem: ”Är det sant att ni, Sadrak, Mesak och Abed-Nego, inte dyrkar mina gudar och inte tillber den staty av guld som jag har låtit ställa upp?—28 Nebukadnessar tog då till orda och sade: ”Lovad vare Sadraks, Mesaks och Abed-Negos Gud, som sände sin ängel och räddade sina tjänare. De förtröstade så på honom att de överträdde kungens befallning och vågade sina liv för att inte tvingas dyrka eller tillbe någon annan gud än sin egen Gud.

Apg. 7:41 Och de gjorde vid den tiden en kalv och bar fram offer åt avguden och jublade över sina händers verk. 42 Men Gud vände sig bort från dem och utlämnade dem till att dyrka himlens här, så som det står skrivet i profeternas bok: Bar ni väl fram åt mig slaktoffer och andra offer under de fyrtio åren i öknen, ni av Israels hus? 43 Nej, ni bar med er Moloks tält och guden Romfas stjärna, de bilder som ni hade gjort för att tillbe. Men jag skall föra er bortom Babylon.

Det är tänkt att vi ska tillbe honom som skapat himmel, jord och hav. Vem är det? Gud (Yahweh) har självfallet gjort allt detta (alldeles själv, och ingen var med honom enligt Bibeln), men även Jesus skapade allting med sina egna händer. Det enda sättet att förklara detta och inte göra Gud till en lögnare, är att acceptera Bibelns klara budskap att Jesus är Gud.

Upp. 14:7 Han sade med hög röst: ”Frukta Gud och ge honom äran, ty stunden för hans dom har kommit. Tillbe honom som har skapat himlen och jorden, havet och vattenkällorna.”

Hebr. 1:8 Men om Sonen säger han: Gud, din tron står i evigheters evighet,och rättens spira är ditt rikes spira. 9 Du älskar rättfärdighet och hatar orättfärdighet.Därför, Gud, har din Gud smort dig med glädjens oljamer än dina medbröder.10 Och: Du, Herre, har i begynnelsen lagt jordens grund,och himlarna är dina händers verk.

Kol. 1:16 Ty i honom skapades allt i himlen och på jorden, det synliga och det osynliga, tronfurstar och herradömen, makter och väldigheter. Allt är skapat genom honom och till (KJV BY HIM) honom.17 Han är till före allting, och allt består genom honom. 18 Han är huvudet för sin kropp, församlingen. Han är begynnelsen, den förstfödde från de döda, för att han i allt skulle vara den främste. 19 Ty Gud beslöt att låta hela fullheten bo i honom

Anti-trinitianer kanske insisterar på att Jesus inte skulle tillbe någon Gud om han vore Gud själv, men då har de inte förstått den klassiska treenighetsläran. Jesus var också människa som vi, och han kommunicerade med sin Fader genom bön och tillbedjan. Läs gärna my article om hur Jesus frivilligt gjorde sig lägre än änglarna och såg sin Fader (fortfarande i himlen som Jesus lämnat) som sin auktoritet.

Joh. 17: 5 Fader, förhärliga nu mig med den härlighet som jag hade hos dig innan världen var till.— 24 Fader, jag vill att där jag är, där skall också de som du har gett mig vara med mig, så att de får se min härlighet som du har gett mig, eftersom du har älskat mig innan världens grund var lagd.

Att tillbe andra människor eller saker är att bryta mot det första budet; att inte ha några andra Gudar än Gud

Apg. 7:43 Nej, ni bar med er Moloks tält och guden Romfas stjärna, de bilder som ni hade gjort för att TILLBE. Men jag skall föra er bortom Babylon.

Upp. 16:Och den förste gick bort och tömde sin skål över jorden, och onda och svåra bölder slog upp på de människor som hade vilddjurets märke och som tillbad dess bild.

Upp. 19:20 Och vilddjuret greps tillsammans med den falske profeten, som hade gjort tecken inför vilddjuret och genom dessa tecken vilselett dem som hade tagit emot vilddjurets märke och tillbett dess bild. Levande kastades de båda i eldsjön som brinner av svavel. 

Bibelverser där vi kan se att Jesus blir tillbeddworship 4

Om Jesus inte är Gud kan man undra varför han lät sig tillbes så många gånger, och varför han ingen gång korrigerade alla de som tillbad honom genom att förklara det olämpliga i att tillbe en vanlig människa. Det hade definitivt fått alla treenighetstroende att tänka till. INGEN GÅNG grep Jesus in och talade människor tillrätta. Man kan säga, att för en person som säger att vi endast ska tillbe GUD så tillbes han själv ofantligt mycket! Betyder det att Jesus är en hädare och en hycklare (och lögnare) ELLER betyder det att han faktiskt är GUD?

De vise männen tillbad Jesus vilket var listigt av dem eftersom vi kan läsa om denne furste att han var Mäktig Gud samt andra gudomliga namn. Ett litet barn kan inte ens uppfatta att någon faller ner och visar vördnad, så även detta talar för att de vise männen faktiskt föll ner inför honom för att TILLBE – där åldern inte spelar någon roll.

Mat. 2:2 När Jesus var född i Betlehem i Judeen på kung Herodes tid, se, då kom visa mänfrån Östern till Jerusalem och frågade: ”Var är judarnas nyfödde konung? Vi har sett hans stjärna gå upp och har kommit för att TILLBE honom.” — Sedan skickade han dem till Betlehem och sade: ”Gå och sök noga efter barnet, och när ni har funnit det, underrätta mig, så att även jag kan komma och TILLBE det.” —11 Och de gick in i huset och fick se barnet med Maria, dess mor. Då föll de ner och TILLBAD det, och de tog fram sina skatter och överlämnade gåvor till barnet: guld, rökelse och myrra. 

Jes. 9:6 Ty ett barn blir oss fött,  en son blir oss given. På hans axlar vilar herradömet, och hans namn är: Under, Rådgivare, Mäktig Gud, Evig Fader, Fridsfurste.7 Så skall herradömet bli stort och friden utan slut över Davids tron och hans kungarike.

Jes. 7:14 Därför skall Herren själv ge er ett tecken: Se, jungfrun skall bli havande och föda en son och hon skall ge honom namnet Immanuel.

Matt. 14:33 Och de som var i båten TILLBAD honom och sade: ”Du är verkligen Guds Son.”

Matt. 28:9 Och se, Jesus kom emot dem och hälsade dem. Och de gick fram och fattade om hans fötter och TILLBAD honom.

Matt. 28:16 De elva lärjungarna begav sig till det berg i Galileen dit Jesus hade befallt dem att gå.17 Och när de såg honom, TILLBAD de honom, men andra tvivlade18 Då trädde Jesus fram och talade till dem och sade: ”Jag har fått all makt i himlen och på jorden.

Lukas 24:50 Sedan förde han dem ut till Betania, och han lyfte sina händer och välsignade dem.51 Och medan han välsignade dem, skildes han från dem och blev upptagen till himlen.52 De TILLBAD honom och vände tillbaka till Jerusalem i stor glädje. 53 Och de var alltid i templet och prisade Gud.

Joh. 9:35 Jesus fick höra att de hade drivit bort honom, och när han fann honom sade han: ”Tror du på Människosonen?” 36 Han svarade: ”Vem är han, herre? Tala om det så att jag kan tro på honom.” 37 Jesus sade: ”Du har sett honom. Den som talar med dig, han är det.” 38 Då sade mannen: ”Jag tror, Herre.” Och han TILLBAD honom.

Hebr. 1:Och när han låter den Förstfödde träda in i världen, säger han också: Alla Guds änglar skall tillbe honom.

Upp. 5:12 Och de sade med hög röst: ”Lammet, som blev slaktat, är värdigt att ta emot makten, rikedomen och visheten, kraften och äran, härligheten och tacksägelsen.” 13 Och allt skapat i himlen och på jorden och under jorden och på havet, ja, allt som finns i dem hörde jag säga: ”Honom som sitter på tronen, honom och Lammet, tillhör tacksägelsen och priset, äran och makten i evigheternas evigheter.” 14 Och de fyra väsendena sade: ”Amen”. Och de äldste föll ner och tillbad.

Upp. 7: De stod inför tronen och inför Lammet, klädda i vita kläder och med palmblad i händerna. 10 Och de ropade med hög röst: ”Frälsningen tillhör vår Gud, honom som sitter på tronen, och Lammet.” 11 Och alla änglar stod runt omkring tronen och kring de äldste och de fyra väsendena, och de föll ner på sina ansikten inför tronen och tillbad Gud.

Upp 11: 16 Och de tjugofyra äldste som satt på sina troner inför Gud, föll ner på sina ansikten och tillbad Gud 17 och sade:—18 Folken vredgades, och din vredes dag har kommit, tiden när de döda skall dömas och när du skall löna dina tjänare profeterna och de heliga och dem som fruktar ditt namn, små och stora, och då du skall fördärva dem som fördärvar jorden. (Notera att denna beskrivning av Gud passar perfect in på Jesus som ska döma jorden.)

Det finns även andra ställen där ”proskyneó” används men där den svenska översättningen (till skillnad mot andra översättningar såsom KJV) valt att nöja sig med att ”falla ner inför” även om även detta är ett tecken på tillbedjan av Gud. 

Mat. 8:Då kom en spetälsk fram och föll ner (worshiped KJV) för honom och sade: ”Herre, om du vill, kan du göra mig ren.

Mat. 9:18 Medan Jesus talade till dem, kom en synagogföreståndare och föll ner (worshiped KJV) för honom och sade: ”Min dotter har just dött. Men kom och lägg din hand på henne, så får hon liv igen.”

Mat. 15:24 Han svarade: ”Jag är sänd endast till de förlorade fåren av Israels hus.” 25 Men hon kom och föll ner (worshiped KJV) för honom och sade: ”Herre, hjälp mig!”

Matt. 18:25 Eftersom han inte kunde betala, befallde hans herre att han och hans hustru och barn och allt vad han ägde skulle säljas och skulden betalas. 26 Tjänaren föll ner för honom och bad (worshiped KJV): Ha tålamod med mig, så skall jag betala dig alltsammans. (A parable where the King is a picture of the Father.)

Mat. 20:20 Modern till Sebedeus söner gick då fram till Jesus tillsammans med sina söner. Hon föll på knä (worshiped KJV) och ville be honom om något21 Han frågade henne: ”Vad vill du?” Hon sade till honom: ”Lova att mina båda söner här får sitta bredvid dig i ditt rike, den ene på din högra sida och den andre på din vänstra.

Mark. 5:När han nu på långt håll fick se Jesus, sprang han fram och föll ner (worshiped KJV) för honom och skrek: ”Vad har jag med dig att göra, Jesus, den högste Gudens Son? Jag besvär dig vid Gud: Plåga mig inte!”

Upp. 3:Jag känner dina gärningar. Se, jag har låtit en dörr stå öppen för dig, en dörr som ingen kan stänga, ty din kraft är ringa och du har hållit fast vid mitt ord och inte förnekat mitt namn. Se, jag överlämnar åt dig några från Satans synagoga, några som säger att de är judar men inte är det utan ljuger. Jag skall få dem att komma och falla ner inför dina fötter (worshiped KJV), och de skall förstå att jag har dig kär.

Andra ställen där ordet översätts med TILLBE

Joh. 4:19 Kvinnan sade: ”Herre, jag märker att du är en profet. 20 Våra fäder har tillbett på detta berg, och ni säger att den plats där man skall tillbe finns i Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus svarade: ”Tro mig, kvinna, den tid kommer, då det varken är på detta berg eller i Jerusalem som ni skall tillbe Fadern22 Ni tillber vad ni inte känner. Vi tillber vad vi känner, eftersom frälsningen kommer från judarna. 23 Men den tid kommer, ja, den är redan här, då sanna tillbedjare skall tillbe Fadern i ande och sanning. Ty sådana tillbedjare vill Fadern ha. 24 Gud är ande, och de som tillber honom måste tillbe i ande och sanning.”

Hebr. 11:19 Abraham räknade med att Gud hade makt till och med att uppväcka från de döda. Därifrån fick han honom också tillbaka, bildligt talat.20 I tron gav Isak sin välsignelse åt Jakob och Esau för kommande tider. 21 I tron välsignade den döende Jakob var och en av Josefs söner och tillbad, lutad mot änden av sin stav. 

Om någon faller på knä inför våra fötter som ber vi väl dem att stiga upp? Dock inte Jesus…worship 3

Om någon skulle falla ner och tillbe och prisa oss så skulle förmodligen den vanliga reaktionen vara en känsla av obehag (eftersom vi vet att vi inte är någon Gud som ska tillbes) samt att be personen sluta och resa upp honom. Exakt den reaktionen visade också PETRUS och ängeln som Johannes tillbad. De förklarade också varför – Petrus för att han är en vanlig människa, och ängeln för att han är en vanlig medtjänare. Så Petrus och Ängeln reagerade som man kan förvänta sig, så varför gjorde inte Jesus det? Förmodligen för att han är GUD och därför förtjänar att tillbes. Varför skulle de flesta Bibelöversättare ha fel? För att det inte passar in med det önskade resultatet?

Apg. 10:25 När Petrus skulle gå in, kom Kornelius emot honom och föll ner för hans fötter och TILLBAD. 26 Men Petrus reste honom upp och sade: ”Stig upp! Också jag är en människa.” 

Upp. 19:10 Jag föll då ner för hans fötter för att tillbe honom, men han sade till mig: ”Gör inte det! Jag är bara en medtjänare till dig och dina bröder, som har vittnesbördet om Jesus. Gud skall du tillbe. Ty Jesu vittnesbörd är profetians ande.”

Upp. 22:Det är jag, Johannes, som har hört och sett detta. Och när jag hade hört och sett det, föll jag ner för att tillbe framför fötterna på ängeln som hade visat mig detta. Men han sade till mig: ”Gör inte det! Jag är tjänare liksom du och dina bröder profeterna och de som håller fast vid orden i denna bok. Gud skall du tillbe.”

Jesus säger som sagt att vi endast ska tillbe GUD, men Gud Fader själv säger att JESUS ska tillbes när han träder in i världen. Antingen har en utav dem fel, eller också är Jesus GUD och det är därför som han ska tillbes:

Hebreerbrevet 1:6 Och när han låter den Förstfödde träda in i världen, säger han också: Alla Guds änglar skall tillbe honom.

Lustigt nog så har även Vakttornet (som ändrar sig då och då) erkänt att Jesus tillbads, även om de felaktigt menar att Jesus är en Gud bland flera:

”The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty? Yes we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. While he was not the God, Jehovah, he was a God. The word ‘God’ signifies a ‘mighty one,’ and our Lord was indeed a mighty one. So it is stated in the first two verses of the gospel of John. It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father. . .” (The Watchtower, July 15, 1898, p. 216.)

Om vem som helst kan tillbes för att det anses som vanlig respekt så kan man fråga sig varför Jesus, Petrus och ängeln Gabriel inte verkar ha känt till detta när de menar att vi endast ska tillbe Gud, och varför Jesus gick emot sitt eget förbud och lät sig tillbes?

1 Krön 29:20 ärefter sade David till hela församlingen: ”Lova HERREN, ER GUD” Då lovade hela församlingen HERREN, sina fäders GUD, och de bugade sig och föll ner för HERREN och för kungen. 21 Dagen därefter slaktade de slaktoffer åt HERREN och offrade brännoffer åt HERREN: —- 22 De åt och drack med stor glädje inför HERRENS ansikte den dagen, och för andra gången gjorde de Salomo, Davids son, till kung.

Ovan skriftställe är alltså det som Jehovas Vittnen brukar använda för att komma bort från det faktum att JESUS TILLBES i massor av Bibelställen. Självfallet så anser inte Kung David att han kan tillbes liksom Gud för då bryter han ju Guds främsta bud, men det är inget fel att församlingen lovar HERREN (inte David), och att de när de bugar och böjer sig ner inför Herren och faktiskt även tar av sig hatten och bockar även för David.smile Ingen idé att göra en höna av en fjäder utan att läsa hela skriften utan att göra så att den motsäger sig själv. Hur lyder texten om man översätter den ord för ord?

”Now bless the assembly to all David said to the Lord and did and bowed of their fathers the God the Lord the assembly and all the morrow the Lord offerings and offered and sacrifices the Lord”

The ANGEL OF THE LORD is our God JESUS CHRIST

The Hebrew word for angel is ”malak” (Strong’s 4397) but this word can also mean ”messenger” or ”one who is sent”, so the messenger in question doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a created angel. (When it comes to Jesus Christ we know he was not created since he is the Creator himself and nothing/no one existed before him.) We must determine from context whether the word refers to the office of the sent one or to the nature of angels. We must also check if it says ”AN angel of the Lord or ”THE angel of the Lord” to determine whether there is a particular angel spoken about. The angel of the Lord seems to be a preincarnate form of  Jesus (who is God and part of the trinity), and that could explain why people have in fact seen God without dying.  That’s also why verses like this makes much sense:

John 17:And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE the world was.

No man can see God face to face and live

Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

1 Tim. 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John. 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

Jesus can be seen despite being God, while being in the flesh or in another manifestation (like the angel of the Lord)

God can be seen (without causing death) in other forms, such as when he appeared in the bush to Moses, as God in flesh in the form of Jesus Christ and also in the form of an angel of the LordThe Bible tells us that no one can see GOD and live, and yet the verses below show us that we CAN do this IF we can see a reincarnated form of God. Jesus is God, and when he walked on earth he was in human form in the flesh and that’s why we can see him and still live.

2 Cor. 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the IMAGE of God (theou), should shine unto them.For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the FACE OF Jesus Christ.

Phil. 2:Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Who, being in the FORM of God (theou), thought it not robbery to be equal with God (theo):But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.Wherefore God (theos) also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name

Hebr 1:1 God (theos), who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,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;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

Col. 2:Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead (theotés) BODILY.10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power

 John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (theon), and the Word was God (theos).The same was in the beginning with God (theon).All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life; and the life was the light of men.—14 And the Word WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

1 Tim. 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God (theou)which is the church of the LIVING GOD (theou), the pillar and ground of the truth.16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness (eusebeias)God was MANIFEST IN THE FLESH, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God (theou), which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Col. 1: 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the IMAGE of the invisible God, the firstborn*) of every creature:16 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:17 And he is BEFORE all things, and by him all things consist.18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

*) Firstborn: pre-eminence in rank as opposed to priority in time. This definition can be seen in passages where the term ”firstborn” is used of the pre-eminent son who was not the eldest, e.g. Psalm 89:27, where David is called ”firstborn” although he was actually the youngest son.

An apostle is defined as one who is sent out on missions and who has the authority of the one who sent him:

Hebr. 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

Mal. 3: 1 Behold, I will send my messenger [John the Baptiste], and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant [Malak = Angel, thus ”Angel of the Covenant”], whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

1) HAGAR meets the Angel of the Lord and he promised to multiply Hagar’s  descendents, which is something that only God could promise and fulfill.  Hagar referred to the Angel of the Lord as El Roi (el = God ) the-God-Who-Sees Hagar

Gen. 16:But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, THOU GOD seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

Note below he plays on Ishmael’s name ”God hears”, and twice in the verses below can we read ”God heard” and ”God has heard”:

Gen. 21:16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

2) Abraham and his visit by JAHVE (Jahve/God), in the form of an angel 

Abraham had an interesting visit one hot day outside his tent. Three men visited him and he called at least one of them for ”my Lord” (adonai) and he addressed him as God (Jehovah). He offered the three men water to wash their feet and food to eat, and they also ate with him. It appears as though only two men (angels) continued on to Sodom after their stay with Abraham, because when Gen.19 begins we can read that only two of them arrived at Lot’s house, and once again these angels decided to eat – but now in the company of Lot. (We can see further down below that the angel of the Lord who visited Manoah chose not to eat.) It looks like one of the three men (the Lord) remained with Abraham after the other two had left, since Abraham and the Lord continued to have a dialogue about sparing righteous individuals in Sodom – if there were any.

Gen. 18:1 And the Lord (Jehova) appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,And said, My Lord (adonai), if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.—13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord (Jehova)? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.17 And the Lord (Jehova) said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord (Jehova), to do justice and judgment; that the Lord (Jehova) may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.20 And the Lord (Jehova) said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord (Jehova).23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?33 And the Lord (Jehovahwent his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

Only two angels continued on to Sodom. The third angel (the Angel of the Lord) remained with Abraham for a short while.

Gen. 19: 1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter

Question: Jesus claims that Abraham rejoiced for having seen his (Jesus) day and was glad when he saw it. If the above is not the occurrence when this happened, then WHEN did this extraordinary event take place? Surely Moses wouldn’t neglect to mention such an important meeting in his texts?:

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and HE SAW IT, AND WAS GLAD

It further seems as though God acted in two different locations at the same time:

1 Mos. 19:24 Then the Lord (Jahve) rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord (Jahve) out of heaven

You can read more quotes from the old church fathers in this article, which shows that they too understood these exact verses as though it’s about God himself in the form of Jesus who dines with Abraham. You will be overwhelmed by the strong evidence for Jesus deity if you read the quotes in that article and follow the link to even more quotes. 

Later, on Mt Moriah, where Abraham was to offer up his son Isaac, the Angel of the Lord identifies himself as the LORD GOD. The Lord (the Angel of the Lord) says ”By myself have I sworn”, and he notices that Abraham has not withheld his son from HIM (the Angel of the Lord).

Gen. 2210 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from ME..14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son;17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed MY VOICE

3) Jacob had a dream where the angel of the Lord spake to him

This angel of the Lord referred to himself as the Lord God, and when the same angel of the Lord approached Jacob many years later, he referred to himself as the God of Bethel to give him a reminder of who he was:

Gen. 28:13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed..15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Gen. 31:11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto ME: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.

Below a very old Jacob (Israel) on his deathbed, identifies this angel with the God in whose presence his fathers Abraham and Isaac had livedThis is the same angel that appeared to him earlier in the dream.

Gen. 48:14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the GOD which fed me all my life long unto this day,16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth

Hosea 12:The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.

Also Abraham had an encounter with the Lord in Bethel, long before Jacob did.

Gen. 12:7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto theLord, who appeared unto him.And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.

Jacob wrestles with a man who is identified as God – and Jacob saw God FACE TO FACE and asks for his NAME

A strange wrestling match with a prophetic meaning was made between Jacob and a man who he identifies as GOD.  Hosea describes Jacob (jaqob = wrestler) as an example of an Israelite who won victories through turning to God.

Gen. 32:1 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.—22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen GOD face to face, and my life is preserved.31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.

Hosea 12:The Lord hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:Yea, he had power over the ANGEL, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually.

Proverbs. 30: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 SONS’S NAME, if thou canst tell?

Rev. 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him MY NEW NAME.

Rev. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a NAME WRITTEN, THAT NO MAN KNEW, BUT HE HIMSELF.13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called THE WORD OF GOD (logos tou theou).

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and THE WORD (logos) WAS GOD (theos).The same was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Judges. 13:Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:16 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the Lord.17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?18 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is SECRET? (wonderful, Strong’s 6383)

The Lord’s name is WONDERFUL (marvellous), and this is in relation to Jesus. Jesus is the corner stone which the jews rejected, and most of them still refuse to accept Jesus as the promised Messiah and God who has come in the flesh.

Jesaja 9: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 (Strong’s 6383), Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Matt. 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The STONE which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is MARVELLOUS in our eyes?

4) Moses saw God face to face (and a few other people)mose

The angel of the Lord below claimed ”I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob and Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look upon GOD.

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, GOD called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.Moreover he said, I AM THE GOD of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon GOD.And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Exodus. 24Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:10 And they saw the GOD of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink

Num. 12:And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us

5) Joshua and his meeting with the captain of the Lord’s host

When John attempted to worship an angel in Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9, he was told not to do it. Yet, Joshua, as seen below, worshiped ”the captain of the Lord’s host”. Notice that the captain of the Lord’s host told Joshua – just like the angel of the Lord told Moses in Exodus 3:5  – to take off his shoes because of the holy ground.

Joshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?15 And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

Compare with the Angel of the ord who is standing with a sword drawn in his hand:

Num. 22:23 And the ass saw THE ANGEL OF THE LORD standing in the way, and HIS SWORD DRAWN IN HIS HAND: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

1 Chron. 21:16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw THE ANGEL OF THE LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, HAVING A DRAWN SWORD IN HIS HAND stretched out over Jerusalem.

The word of God through Zechariah, who saw Joshua in a vision:

Zech. 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch.For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will ENGRAVE the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

6) ZECHARIAH’s meeting with the Angel of the Lord in a vision – a man on a red horse among myrtle trees

The above vision comes shortly after the below one. An ordinary angel revealed a message for Zechariah, and the man among the myrtle trees is the same as the Angel of the Lord. He in his turn is communicating with the Lord of Hosts (God the Father) so they are not exactly the same.

Zech. 1:Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.11 And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.12 Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?13 And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.16 Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

7) Gideon mentions that he has seen the Lord face to face, and ”the angel of the LORD is used interchangeably with ”the LORD and ”God”gideon

Judg 6:19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the  unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.21 Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face.23 And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

8) Manoah and his wife encounter the angel of the Lord, and Manoah fears that he will DIE for having seen GOD

The Bible doesn’t say that we will die for having seen an angel face to face, but it does say that we will die if we see GOD face to face. Manoa and his wife knew this too, and that’s why they were prepared to die once they realized who they had been having a conversation with.

Judg 13:And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:—Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.—13 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware.14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee.16 And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the Lord.17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?18 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on.20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.21 But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of theLord.22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.23 But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

9) ISAIAH experiences that he has seen the King, the Lord of hosts before his eyes, and for this reason he fears that he is undone

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.—Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.—Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 

10) BILEAM meets the Angel of the Lord, or can asses speak and have wisdom?

God says ”the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do”, and the exact same thing says the Angel of the Lord – in first person. It would have been so easy for the Angel of the Lord to say (at any time during his encounter with people) that he is speaking ON BEHALF OF God, but he does just the opposite when he continuously speaks as though he is God himself. (Does he do this to fool people into believing that the Angel of the Lord is GOD, and therefore another manifestation of GOD – namely Jesus?). Note that the Angel of the Lord stands with a drawn sward, just like the captain of the host of the Lord, in Joshua 5.

Num. 22:20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.24 But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.26 And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.27 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.32 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.35 And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

11) DANIEL and the Angel of the Lord in the burning furnacedaniel

Dan. 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Dan. 6:20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

Below it seems like the Angel of the Lord/Jesus is speaking to Daniel, based on the description of his person that we recognize from the book of Revelations. The angel Gabriel didn’t start speaking to Daniel until v. 10 in the same chapter.

Dan. 10:Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

The Ancient of days looks just like Jesus based on his description, and thousand thousands ministered to him. No one is supposed to worship and angel. Moreover, he has the power to judge people, and this is a right that is only given to God. Notice the sword again.

Dan 7:I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Rev. 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged SWORD: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

12) ELIJAH meets the Angel of the Lord

1 King. 19:Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.—And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

2 King. 1:And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?Now therefore thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed—14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.15 And the angel of the Lord said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.16 And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.17 So he died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

13) KING DAVID meets the Angel of the Lord, who has a conversation with GOD (so separate but yet the same)

Also King David had a visit by the Angel of the Lord who again had a sword. Here God is communicating with the Angel of the Lord and he asks him to cease with his destruction of Jerusalem that he had asked him to do. This proves that God and the Angel of the Lord cannot be synonymous, but they could of course both be members of the same trinity (if for instance the Angel of the Lord is a manifestation of Jesus Christ.)

1 Chron. 21:14 So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.18 Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.—20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.—27 And the Lord commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.—30 But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

Psalm 34:This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 35:Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them.Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of theLord persecute them.

14) Ezekiel sees a human figure whom he identifies as the glory of the Lord coming to speak to him, and the man identifies himself as the sovereign Yahweh or Lord

Ez. 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

Ez. 2:And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them..And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

15)  1) The Lord, and 2) The angel of God (the angel of the Lord), and 3) Jesus Christ, went before the Israelites in the desert in a pillar of a cloud and in a pillar of fire

God promises to send his angel ahead of the children of Israel as they go through the desert and the Israelites were told to obey  this angel ”since my Name is in him”. God would never share his name with anyone else, or share his glory (especially not with a created angel), so this indicates the angel of the Lord here is no one but God. Only God can forgive sin yet the angel of the Lord had this capacity.

Exodus 3:And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Exodus 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Exodus 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.—24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.26 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.

Exodus 19:And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.—16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.20 And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Exodus 23:19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not PARDON your transgressions: for my name is in him.22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

Exodus 24:1 And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.—15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.16 And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.17 And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 32:34 Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.

Exodus 33:And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:

Exodus 33:12 And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.14 And he said, MY PRESENCE SHALL GO WITH THEE, and I will give thee rest.15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou GOEST WITH US? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

Isaiah 63:I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.In all their affliction he was afflicted, and THE ANGEL OF HIS PRESENCE SAVED THEM: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?12 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?13 That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble?14 As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name

Num. 12:And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.

Num. 20:15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers:16 And when we cried unto the Lord, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border

Deut. 5:The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,(I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you the word of the Lord: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,6 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Nehemia 9:Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;—And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:

Judg 2:1 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

1 Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;And did all eat the same spiritual meat;And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST.—Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Acts 7:30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.—35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.—38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt

Other verses

Zechariah 12:In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have PIERCED, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Psaltaren 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET.17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Isaiah 53:But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 37:36 Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses (2 King. 19:25)

2 Chron. 32:21 And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.

John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.—36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they PIERCED.  (Zech. 12:10)

Rev. 1:And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which PIERCED him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.8 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.

Deut. 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.—  39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

New Testament

The phrase the Angel of the Lord is present 12 times in the NT.

John the Baptiste prepared the way for the Lord JESUS, who is the same LORD (Jahve) as Isaiah spoke about. 

Mal. 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

Isa. 40:The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord (Yahve) make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Mt. 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Acts. 19:Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus

Why do calvinists erroneously call all Free-willers ARMINIANS?

All arminians are free-willers, but not all free-willers are arminians

Calvinists often reveal that they have studied too much calvinism and too little from non-calvinists, by making the mistake to automatically call us arminians as soon as we tell them that we are not calvinists (and the next step is to call us semi-pelagians). Since there may be issues within arminianism (which some people call ”calvinism light”) that we disagree with, it’s wrong to automatically assume that we are arminians – because that would be like ascribing views to us that we may not have.  It’s wrong to make a person who believes in synergism an arminian by default. Strangely enough, some calvinists are reluctant to rephrase themselves even when corrected!

I still remember the first time I heard the phrase ”arminian” (it’s a word not found in the Bible), and it was the first time someone assured me that I was one! (Funny to be an arminian your whole life without even knowing it…) I had not heard of James Arminius (1560-1609) either, and compared with all the books that I’d like to read, I feel no motivation to study up on what this particular person believed and to check whether I agree with him or not. I know loads of christians in real life and online, but I only know a couple who call themselves arminians.  This tells me that arminians are very rare. There are no arminians in Sweden which I’m aware of, but I can certainly see that people constantly make free will choices in the Bible and often act against the will of God, so it’s not hard to find the concept of free will.

I can understand if people would like to call themselves calvinists if they agree with John Calvin and also believe that he was first with his doctrines/theology (even if they don’t necessarily agree with everything he taught). Calvin was the one who started calvinism, even if he got many of his ideas from Augustine. It’s also a good way to show one’s basic principles by saying one single word ”calvinist”. Calling oneself an arminian on the other hand, doesn’t make much sense if you have the same views as people who lived several hundred years before he did. (I do respect those who prefer to call themselvesarminians” – maybe for the sake of convenience when having dialogues with calvinists, or for other reasons.)

ALL the early church fathers  the first 300 years AD believed in free will without exception (see quotes here) and none of them taught that man was born with a sinful nature. This means that Mr Arminius was hardly the first person with his theology views, and it would make more sense to call oneself  after Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Clement, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Eusebius, Origen, or some other church father who lived shortly after the death of Jesus.  The disadvantage with calling oneself after a person, is that you are then expected to study the views of this person, in case someone asks you why you call yourself the way you do. If your claim is ”I call myself an irenaeusian, because I believe in free will just like he did”, then the follow-up question is why you don’t call yourself after another theologian who also believes the same. This places an unnecessary burden on you to be forced to study books outside the Bible, and it takes valuable time from Bible reading. It’s of great value to study the views from the early church fathers (or reading books from other authors) and it’s sometimes I can recommend, but it’s wrong to make it a requirement.  I personally feel no obligation to study up on what arminians believe due to the expectations from others. 

If I have an uncle who believes in free will, would it make sense to call myself after him, instead of a person who lived in the end of the 1500’s? If I lived prior to the year 1590 (when James Arminius was 30 years old and still sided with the calvininist Theodore Beza) what would I call myself?

If a person doesn’t side with Mr Brown, does it follow that he absolutely HAS TO side with Mr Green? It’s one or the other and no other options?  Let’s say that in the future a Mr White becomes a well-known christian and a man who believes in free will and who also writes famous books about it. Must I know change labels and call myself after HIM? I’m not against the idea to label oneself after a person per se, if the views in question originated with him.   

The Synod of Dort

The synod of Dort was a Dutch regional conference (with a political context) which plays a big role for calvinists, but christians believed in free will long before this local meeting as well as afterwards. This synod was not a council of the Protestant churches of Europe, but a Dutch national synod to which some Reformed theologians were invited from various parts of Europe.  It was not a free assembly for the discussion of the Bible, but a national ecclesiastical court for the trial of alleged heretics. Theodore Beza was John Calvin’s direct successor and he sent his disciple Arminius to Holland in 1589 to put down the arguments against his theology views. Beza believed that if God was absolutely sovereign and man helpless in sin and that men are saved/damned by predestination, then it followed that God causes men to sin just as he causes men to be saved. This position existed also in various degrees in Augustine and Calvin’s theology. The opponents argued that if God causes sin then God is in point of fact the author of sin. Arminius changed his position (against Beza) when starting to research the topic deeper and comparing with the Bible.

Whenever Arminius was given a chance to publicly defend his theology, his sound scholarship won the argument and nobody wanted to publicly debate against him. Nobody suggested that the Remonstrants mishandled Scripture but only that they failed to use Scripture to defend a predetermined position. Ironically nearly all of those who opposed Arminius wanted him to quit preaching the Bible as the final authority, because they felt such a message undermined their own authority. To settle this, Arminius sought after a synod to publicly debate and settle the theological and political rift that had occurred in Holland about these issues but he was denied a synod during his lifetime. Instead a synod was made after his death under conditions all together different from what he and his followers expected.  Free debate was denied and the Remonstrants were treated as criminals. They were present only as defenders, and the calvinists were the accusers, and never the other way around. Four days after the Synod’s closure, those same leaders beheaded Johan van Oldenbarnevelt for the crime of general perturbation (treason) for his support of the Remonstrants. About the synod we can read:

“Whosoever casts his eye over the list of the foreign divines that composed this last of Protestant councils will find scarcely one man who had not distinguished himself by his decided opposition to the doctrine of conditional predestination, and who was not consequently disqualified from acting the part of an impartial judge of the existing religious differences, or that of a peace-maker.”

William Birch: ”Arminianism was condemned at the Synod of Dort (1618-19). And what of it? A group of supralapsarian Calvinists joined theological and political forces, calling on foreign political allies, to ruin the reputation, ministry, and systematic theology of some theologians who disagreed with their doctrines on soteriology. And this local phenomenon is supposed to carry weight in thwarting Arminianism? History itself is a witness to the sham of an operation under which the Calvinists instigated the hearings of the Synod of Dort.”

Read more about the unfair and horrible events concerning the Synod of Dort and the aftermath here

Även ROMARBREVET 9 stödjer människans fria vilja

Romarbrevet 9 – kalvinisternas favorit

1 Jag talar sanning i Kristus, jag ljuger inte. Mitt samvete betygar det också i den helige Ande, ty jag har stor sorg och ständig vånda i mitt hjärta. Jag skulle önska att jag själv vore fördömd och skild från Kristus i mina bröders ställe – mina landsmän efter härstamning. De är israeliter, de har barnaskapet och härligheten, förbunden och lagen, tempelgudstjänsten och löftena. De har fäderna, och från dem har Kristus kommit som människa, han som är över allting, Gud, prisad i evighet, amen.

Uppenbarligen så tror inte Paulus att Gud har förutbestämt vem som ska komma till himlen respektive helvete eftersom han önskar att han vore fördömd i sina bröders ställe (judarna/israeliterna) trots att inte alla judar tror att Jesus är Messias.  Om Gud Fader inte ämnade att Jesus skulle dö för alla människor utan endast några få (de lyckligt utvalda) varför har då Paulus en önskan att dö för människor som inte ens är Jesustroende? Det vore ologiskt att dö för människor som Jesus inte var villig att dö för. Paulus verkar inte heller känna till (om han nu var en kalvinist) att saker och ting sker  exakt som Gud planerat från världens skapelse, så hans ”sorg och ständig vånda” vore helt obefogade känslor att ha inför icke utvalda judar. Varför känna sorg över att människor hamnar (himmel eller helvete) exakt där Gud vill ha dem? Paulus har ingen som helst orsak att känna sorg över människor som Gud inte känner någon sorg över.  Men tack och lov är ett ”begränsat försoningsoffer” (limited atonement) inte bibliskt!

Detta inte sagt som om Guds ord skulle ha blivit om intet. Ty Israel är inte alla som kommer från Israeloch inte heller är alla Abrahams efterkommande hans barn. Nej,Isaks efterkommande skall räknas som dina barn. Det vill säga: Guds barn är inte de som är barn genom naturlig härkomst, men löftets barn räknas som hans efterkommande.Ty ett löftesord var detta:Vid denna tid skall jag komma tillbaka, och då skall Sara ha en son.

Inte alla israeler är Abrahams barn även om de är släkt med honom genom blodet. Endast de som är ”löftets barn” räknas till hans säd och de är barn genom TRO. Abraham själv visade sin tro genom sina handlingar och han räknades som rättfärdig av det skälet. Vidare kom den utlovade Messias kom  genom hans blod, via Sara som var en fri kvinna (och inte genom Hagar som var en slavkvinna/tjänarinna och inte fri).

Gal. 3:Därför skall ni veta att de som håller sig till tron, de är Abrahams barn.Och då Skriften förutsåg att Gud skulle förklara hedningarna rättfärdiga av tro, förkunnade den i förväg detta glada budskap för Abraham: I dig skall alla folk bli välsignade.Alltså blir de som tror välsignade tillsammans med Abraham som trodde.

10 Men inte bara det, Rebecka fick två söner med en och samme man, vår fader Isak.11-12 Innan barnen ännu var födda och innan de hade gjort vare sig gott eller ont, sades det till henne: Den äldre skall tjäna den yngre. Det blev sagt för att Guds beslut att välja vem han vill skulle stå fast och inte bero på gärningar utan på honom som kallar

Det faktum att ofödda barn inte har gjort vare sig gott eller ont indikerar att läran om den syndfulla naturen inte stämmer. Bebisar är neutrala och de är inte kapabla till att synda. Vi kan läsa om VAL här men notera att det inte handlar om att utvälja individer till att TRO. Barnen det handlar om här är Jakob och Esau och de är inte bara personer utan även LÄNDER och FOLK.  God utvalde Jakob till att frambringa Messias.  Esau handlade illa med sin förstfödslorätt och trots det så förväntade han sig ändå att han skulle ha kvar den rätten just för att han var förstfödd. Jakob agerade aktivt för att få den. En likhet kan dras med judarna som förväntade sig att få rätten till Kungariket just för att de är födda till judar och är ”Guds utvalda folk”. Paulus menar att frälsningen inte fungerar på det sättet utan vi är frälsta av TRO (visat i handlingar) och att detta löfte gäller även hedningarna.

13 Det står ju skrivet: Jakob älskade jag, men Esau hatade jag.

Vers 12. Tjänade personen Esau någonsin den yngre brodern Jakob? Nej, inte vid något tillfälle tjänade han honom. Däremot så tjänade FOLKET som kom från Esau det folk som kom ifrån Jakob. Gud hade goda skäl att hata Esau både som person och som ett folk. Läs mer om Jakob och Esau här.

14 Vad skall vi då säga? Att Gud är orättfärdig? Naturligtvis inte! 15 Han säger till Mose: Jag vill vara barmhärtig mot den som jag är barmhärtig mot, och jag vill förbarma mig över den som jag förbarmar mig över. 16 Alltså beror det inte på någon människas vilja eller strävan utan på Guds barmhärtighet.

Poängen här är att Gud har all rätt i världen att utföra sin frälsningsplan på det sättet han själv finner lämplig, och han behöver inte fråga oss om lov. Judarna antog att de hade en fördel som ”Guds utvalda folk”, för att lagen gavs till dem och eftersom de är av Abrahams säd, men Paulus säger nej. Frälsningserbjudandet ges även till hedningarna och vi är inte frälsta genom att vara födda judar och/eller att följa den judiska ceremoniella lagen, utan genom tro på Jesus Kristus som dog för hela världen. Notera att det INTE står att Gud inte vill visa alla barmhärtighet. Det som står är att GUD bestämmer vem han vill visa barmhärtighet. Har Gud rätt att visa barmhärtighet på vissa VILLKOR? Ja, absolut, och det står inte helleri texten att Gud visar barmhärtighet VILLKORSLÖST. Vi vet genom andra ställen i Romarbrevet och i resten av Bibeln att vi är frälsta på villkor, och de villkoren är omvändelse och tro. Om Gud vill visa barmhärtighet och förbarmande mot dem som ödmjukat sina hjärtan –  och inte mot de som har förhärdat sina hjärtan – så har han all rätt att göra så, och han skulle inte vara orättfärdig genom en sådan handling.  Gud yttrade dessa ord (om barmhärtighet) till Moses och vi vet att Gud också hade villkor gentemot israeliterna. Han valde att inte visa barmhärtighet  mot de som gjorde uppror mot honom.

17 Skriften säger ju till farao: Just därför lät jag dig träda fram, att jag på dig skulle visa min makt och att mitt namn skulle förkunnas över hela jorden. 18 Alltså är han barmhärtig mot vem han vill och vem han vill förhärdar han.

Farao härdade sitt hjärta flera gånger innan vi kan läsa att Gud gjorde det. Gud har rätt att härda hjärtan som är ovilliga att ödmjuka sig till honom (han härdar dem ännu mer), och vi kan läsa mer om hur detta går till i Rom. 1:18:32. Läs min bloggartikel om Farao här.

19 Nu säger du kanske till mig: Varför förebrår han oss då? Vem kan stå emot hans vilja?20 Men du, människa, vem är du som går till rätta med Gud? Inte kan väl det som formas säga till den som formar det: Varför gjorde du mig sådan?

”Vem är du som går till rätta med Gud?” är frågan (eller ”vem är du som svarar tillbaka mot Gud?”). Det betyder att vi inte BORDE svara tillbaka till Gud och argumentera med honom. Har det någonsing hänt i historien att människor HAR svarat tillbaka mot Gud? JA! Det finns ofantligt många exempel på detta, och inte nog med det – det finns även änglar och människor som gjort uppror mot honom! Vill Gud att vi ska göra uppror mot honom? Självklart inte! Varje gång som människor svarar tillbaka och gör uppror mot honom så sker det EMOT hans vilja. Vi är olydiga mot Gud genom att göra uppror, så texten handlar inte om vad människor inte KAN göra utan vad de inte BORDE göra. Låt oss heller inte glömma att sammanhanget fortfarande handlar om Guds rätt att utföra sin frälsningsplan på det sätt han själv väljer – inklusive varianten att han endast frälser de som väljer att omvända sig och tro på honom. Texten säger ingenstans att Gud alltid styr våra steg eller tvingar på någon vare sig frälsning eller fördömelse. Alla har chansen att komma till honom och vi väljer själva.

21 Har inte krukmakaren den rätten över leret att av samma klump göra ett kärl för hedrande användning och ett annat för mindre hedrande? 22 Men om nu Gud, fastän han ville visa sin vrede och göra sin makt känd, ändå med stort tålamod hade haft fördrag med vredens kärl, som var färdiga att förstöras, vad har du då att säga? 23 Och om han gjorde detta för att göra sin härlighets rikedom känd på barmhärtighetens kärl, som han i förväg har berett för härligheten? 24 Det är ju oss han har kallat, och det inte endast från judarna utan också från hednafolken.

Sammanhanget är fortfarande att frälsningserbjudandet även gäller hedningarna. Vi kan läsa att Gud skulle kunna välja att ” med stort tålamod” ha ”fördrag” med vredens kärl. Varför kan vi läsa ordval som att ha ”fördrag” och ”med stort tålamod” som om kärlen hade en egen vilja och var motsträviga mot Gud? Om Gud förutbestämmer allt som sker så borde han väl se till att saker och ting sker utan krångel och utan att behöva visa fördrag och tålamod? Vi kan även läsa nedan att vi förväntas rena oss själva, och om vi väljer den vägen så kan vi bli kärl till heder. Om vi förhäver oss mot Gud och gör det svårt för honom att forma oss till det han vill så är vi kärl som är färdiga att förstöras (vi orsakar själva att vi är kärl färdiga att förstöras). Vår rättmätiga plats är då på soptippen, MEN för vår skulle så kan Gud alltså visa fördrag med oss med stort tålamod. Vilka kärl är det som blir till heder? Skulle det kunna vara de som omvänder sig och som är villiga att ödmjuka sig? Vilka kärl är de som är färdiga att förstöras? Skulle det kunna vara de som har rebelliska hjärtan och ovilliga att låta sig formas? Kärlen som är villiga att omforma sig efter Guds vilja är desamma som barmhärtighetens kärl, och de är i förväg bestämda att träda in i hans härlighet. Det är upp till oss att rena oss själva så att vi kan bli det som Gud vill och tillhöra dessa kärl, och då kommer de underbara löftena att gälla oss.

2 Tim 2: 20 Men i ett stort hus finns det kärl inte bara av guld och silver utan också kärl av trä och lera, några till heder, andra till vanheder. 21 Den som därför renar sig och håller sig borta från dessa blir ett kärl till heder, helgat, användbart för sin herre och förberett för allt gott arbete.

Jer 18: Då gick jag ner till krukmakarens hus och såg att han arbetade på drejskivan. Och kärlet som han höll på att göra av leran misslyckades i hans hand. Då började han om och gjorde av leran ett annat kärl så som han ville ha det.

Läs min bloggartikel om krukmakaren och leran här

25 Så säger han genom Hosea: Det folk som inte var mitt skall jag kalla mitt folk, och henne som jag inte älskade skall jag kalla min älskade.26 Och på den plats där det sades till dem: Ni är inte mitt folk, där skall de kallas den levande Gudens barn 27 Men om Israel utropar Jesaja: Om än Israels barn vore talrika som havets sand, skall bara en rest bli frälst.28 Ty snabbt och slutgiltigt skall Herren hålla räkenskap på jorden.29 Jesaja har också förutsagt: Om Herren Sebaot inte hade lämnat kvar några efterkommande åt oss, då hade vi blivit som Sodom, då hade vi blivit som Gomorra.30 Vad skall vi då säga? Jo, att hedningarna, som inte strävade efter rättfärdighet, vann rättfärdigheten, den rättfärdighet som kommer av tro31 Israel däremot, som strävade efter att uppfylla den lag som ger rättfärdighet, har inte nått fram till den lagen32 Varför? Därför att de inte sökte rättfärdigheten av tro, utan tänkte sig kunna vinna rättfärdigheten genom gärningar. De har snubblat på stötestenen, 33 så som det står skrivet: Se, jag lägger i Sion en stötesten och en klippa till fall. Men den som tror på honom skall inte stå där med skam.

Här kan vi se grunden till problemet. Stötestenen som judarna snubblade på och som kan separera dem från Gud är JESUS KRISTUS. Judarna riskerade att missa Guds frälsningsplan genom att fortsätta att förneka Messias, och detta är vad som ger Paulus sorg.  Villkoret för frälsningen är tro på Jesus och detta kan mycket väl innebära, till judarnas förvåning, att exkludera just judar och i stället inkludera hedningar. Judarna antog att de var Guds egendomsfolks och att frälsningen var begränsad till dem. Ovan kan vi se att tro måste föregå frälsning och är ett villkor för frälsningen.  Judarna, Guds utvalda, sökte att få frälsning genom lagen snarare än genom tro.  Det står ingenting här om att Gud väljer ut vem som ska ha tro och bli frälst utan bara om nödvändigheten att människorna har tro. Det spelar ingen roll om du är jude eller grek , för Gud har valt att rädda var och en som tror på Jesus.  Tror vi på Jesus så älskar vi honom, och älskar vi honom så lyder vi honom. På det sättet kan vi se om vi är Guds barn. Det är visserligen inget krav att lyda judarnas ceremoniella lagar men självfallet är vi aldrig någonsin befriade från att lyda den moraliska lagen som är tio Guds bud. 

Romans 10:12 Det är ingen skillnad mellan jude och grek. Alla har en och samme Herre, och han ger sina rikedomar åt alla som åkallar honom. 13 Ty var och en som åkallar Herrens namn skall bli frälst.

Romans 11: 32 Ty Gud har gjort alla till fångar under olydnaden för att sedan förbarma sig över alla.

Why did God create us, despite knowing we would mess up?

A parable about a party invitation for ALL

Some christians feel it’s strange that God would let his son die for people He knows ahead of time will never believe in him, and that’s why they prefer to believe that Jesus only died for SOME people who will DEFINITELY be saved because they are specifically PRE-CHOSEN to be the lucky ELECT. But I don’t find dying for ALL people despite knowing the risks/results involved is a paradox at all. What about those who DO choose to believe in him? They will be heirs to the kingdom, and the thing is that ALL are given this opportunity so no one is left out or is unfairly treated. God is totally fair and merciful to all!

Most young couples are aware of the risk that some of their future children might not turn out as obedient and morally upright human beings,  but they are willing to take this risk since children (and not robots) are a great blessing and a good company. Even if a married couple would be told that two of their ten not yet born children will end up as unbelievers, they will likely decide to have their children anyway. At least THEY (the parents) don’t force their children to become unbelievers. They might bring them up in a wonderful christian home and teach them all things about Christ and the Bible and how to be good moral people. If they still one day reject this teaching and become wicked individuals, then THEY (the children) are to be blamed and not the parents.

(We also have ”Open theism” as a possible factor, where God indeed knows ”all things” but only what is ”knowable”. Read more here. )

I’d like to compare God’s salvation offer to everyone with a party invitation even if it’s not a perfect analogy.

Let’s say I decide to have a party in my house. Of course I’m entitled to set up the rules and conditions myself, and I don’t need to ask anyone for advice or permission how to run things since I’m ”sovereign” over my own house  (sovereign is a word which is not in the KJV Bible but still…). I decide to invite EVERYONE in my entire neighborhood, and to use a RSVP (respondez s’il vous plait) on my invitation cards. I also PROMOTE my party and tell everyone that they would miss out big time if they will not come. My party is totally free of any costs, but I still have conditions. The following conditions/restrictions apply:

  • Had I not decided to have this party, there would not be a party. I personally initiated a ”drawing” or ”calling”.
  • All are invited but ONLY those who REPLY as per the RSVP may actually come
  • And out of those who reply affirmatively as per the RVSP, only those who SHOW UP at my party will be let in!
  • And those who have replied affirmatively and showed up must also be acceptably DRESSED to be let in.

(Maybe I could add that they must also BEHAVE during the entire duration of the party so they won’t disturb and ruin the party for the others, but when we will end up at the big wedding party in heaven all troublemakers will already be sorted out. It’s a good thing that ”sinners” are not welcomed to the big wedding party or else it would not be a pleasant time for the others.)

Even though I have all those conditions, the party is still totally FREE OF CHARGE. The guests could not do anything themselves to be invited to my party. Nothing we believe or do can ever merit salvation. We don’t deserve to be saved, but our Lord has enabled salvation to all of us in our totally lost state.

I could of course have arranged things differently…

I could make personal  invitations to CERTAIN people in my neighborhood and FORCE them to come to my party which I make MANDATORY for those I invite. I could also REFUSE to allow anyone else to come to my party EVEN THOUGH I have PLENTY OF ROOM, food, beverages, entertainment, etc for EVERYONE in the entire neighborhood.

The thing is though that I PREFER to invite ALL and to let THEM make up their mind if they want to come or not.  That means that whosoever wills can come and it would bring me much happiness to know that people have used their own minds when accepting my invitation. I would not feel good about having people around me who have no other choice but to be there whether they like to or not. God has created us in his image, and we are able to reason and make options depending on various circumstances.  God has also created LIMITATIONS to our free will. We simply can’t fly to March and back just because we have this desire and will. 

Is my party a total failure because all who were invited did not come? Can we say I was totally helpless and in the hands of the people I invited? Did someone make the rules instead of me? Did someone thwart my plans? Did I lose control? Did something happen unexpectedly which I didn’t think of? Did I not calculate the risks properly? Did I treat someone unfairly? Am I a wicked person because I did not force people to come? Should we feel sorry for those who did not come despite that they knew the truth about it? Am I illogical in my behavior? Did I at any time resort to Plan B?

Of course not! We would all have a great time at my party, and I would feel good about knowing that I made sure that ALL had a fair chance to come. I wouldn’t even want people at my party unless THEY had a sincere desire to come and to get to know me.Why is it out of the question that our sovereign Lord created us with the ability to accept/reject him and obey/disobey?

Compare also with the analogy of the wedding party in Matthew 22. Note that those who were bidden to come chose to NOT come, and those who did choose to come were called ”chosen”. Notice that no one is forced to do anything. Both good and bad were called but they were all required to wear WEDDING CLOTHES in order to be acceptable to the wedding party. We must repent from our sins and be holy and righteous and dressed in white undefiled garments. 

1. And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,And sent forth his servants TO CALL THEM THAT WERE BIDDEN to the wedding: and they would not come.Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.14 For many are called, but few are chosen. 

Quotes from old church fathers, supporting Free will and objecting to the Sinful nature

The first 300-350 years AD we had a complete agreement among the early church fathers that man has a free will, that we are not ”once saved always saved” and that we were not born with some kind of sinful nature which is holding us back to depravity and inability to seek and find God. Are we to believe those years were full of darkness before Augustine entered the scene (354 -430 AD) to finally give us light? The only ones who taught against free will were the gnostics.  All of the early church up to the time of Augustine was unanimous in their belief and understanding of the nature of sin being that of choice.

”Gnostics also believed that mankind was wholly evil and some sects even renounced marriage and procreation. They also believed in two gods, one evil god and one good god. Their teachings are believed to have influenced Saint Augustine in the development of his theology of ”total depravity” of mankind and concept of God. For nine years St. Augustine adhered to Manichaeism, a Persian philosophy proclaimed in southern Babylonia (Iraq) that taught a doctrine of ”total depravity” and the claim that they were the ”elect.” He then turned to skepticism. Next, Augustine was attracted to the philosophy of Neoplatonism. He blended these beliefs with his later Gnostic Christian teachings. His teachings were in turn passed on to John Calvin in his extensive study of Augustine’s writings. It is very easy to follow the trail of John Calvin’s theology from the pagan religion of Mani in Babylonia to his writings in France and Geneva”  Read more here

Unfortunately this new teaching (well, not really knew since the gnostics taught it before Augustine, and he was a former gnostic) lead to many consequences:

A. If we sin, it’s not our fault because our sin nature made us  do it. We are victims – not guilty.
B. A life change is not essential for salvation.  We are not perfect, just forgiven.
C. Jesus was born without sin and therefore different from us and had an unfair advantage. He couldn’t sin and we can’t help but sin. This minimizes what Jesus did for us.

It’s of course possible to take quotes out of a context and make them sound like a person has views he in fact doesn’t have, but that would be nothing but deceptive. A more honest approach would be to quote someone’s clear and general views instead of trying to find some odd quotes out of context to ascribe views to a person he doesn’t have. With or without a broader context, the old church fathers DID hold to the views the quotes clearly reveal. I have seen some attempts where reformed thinkers have listed quotes from early church fathers with the aim to show that they spoke against free will, but after having read them 1) most often the quotes don’t actually say what they claim they say, and are at best ”vague”, and 2) the context and other writings from the same person show that they have the opposing views.

”I read through most of the early Church writings and gathered the quotes personally – to be sure to understand the context and to no miss things. But it is amazing to me that I seem to find more quotes I did not have all the time. It is amazing how much the Early Church was against TULIP! —they [the reformed] refuse to acknowledge it, or must assume that the Early Church fell from the truth taught to them by the Apostles immediately after the Apostles died.” (Lyndon Conn)

Tertullian (Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus) 160-225 AD

Apologist and a polemicist against heresy. He is perhaps most famous for being the oldest extant Latin writer to use the term TrinityCyprian’s teacher.

I find, then, that man was constituted free by God. He was master of his own will and powerFor a law would not be imposed upon one who did not have it in his power to render that obedience which is due to law. Nor again, would the penalty of death be threatened against sin, if a contempt of the law were impossible to man in the liberty of his will…Man is free, with a will either for obedience of resistance. (c. 207, Vol. 3, pp. 300-301)

No reward can be justly bestowed, no punishment can be justly inflicted, upon him who is good or bad by necessity, and not by his own choice.  (c. 207) (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 61, published by Truth in Heart)

Some people act as though God were under an obligation to bestow even on the unworthy His intended gift. They turn His liberality into slavery…. For do not many afterwards fall out of grace? Is not this gift taken away from many? (Tertullian On Repentance chap. 6.)

The world returned to sin…and so it is destined to fire. So is the man who after baptism renews his sins.  c.197

However, in the case of little children…Let them “come,” then, while they are growing up; let them “come” while they are learning, whither to come; let them become Christians when they have become able to know Christ. Why does the innocent period of life hasten to the “remission of sins? ”…If any understand the weighty import of baptism, they will fear its reception more than its delay.

Irenaeus of Lyons 120-202 AD

The Apostle John  had a disciple named Polycarp, and Polycarp had a disciple named Irenaeus.

”But although we shall be understood, from our argument, to be only so affirming man’s unshackled power over his will, that what happens to him should be laid to his own charge, and not to God’s, yet that you may not object, even now, that he ought not to have been so constituted, since his liberty and power of will might turn out to be injurious…Therefore it was proper that (he who is) the image and likeness of God should be formed with a free will and a mastery of him self;… At present, let God’s goodness alone occupy our attention, that which gave so large a gift to man, even the liberty of his will.” /Chapter 6

And again, who are they that have been saved, and received the inheritance? Those doubtless who do believe in God and who have continued in His love… and innocent children, who have had no sense of evil.

But man, being endowed with reason, and in this respect similar to God HAVING BEEN MADE FREE IN HIS WILL, and with power over himself, is himself his own cause that sometimes he becomes wheat, and sometimes chaff. (c. 180, E/W), 1:466

This expression, ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldst not,’ set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free (agent) from the beginning, possessing his own soul to obey the behests of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God. For there is no coercion with God, but a good will (toward us) is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves…  (c. 180, Against Heresies 37; God’s Strategy In Human History, p. 246)

”Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds”…And ”Why call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do the things that I say?’…All such passages demonstrate the independent will of manFor it is in man’s power to disobey God and to forfeit what is good.” (c.180, Vol. 1, p. 519)

Nor, again, does God exercise compulsion upon anyone unwilling to accept the exercise of His skill…. They have been created free agents and possessed of power over themselves. (c. 180, Vol. 1, p. 523)

But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shineth everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it. Chapter 10

Christ will not die again on behalf of those who now commit sin because death shall no more have dominion over Him…. Therefore we should not be puffed up…. But we should beware lest somehow, after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins but rather be shut out from His kingdom (Heb. 6:4-6) [p. 65].

And to as many as continue in their love towards God, does He grant communion with Him. But communion with God is life and light, and the enjoyment of all the benefits which He has in store. But on as many as, according to their own choice, depart from God. He inflicts that separation from Himself which they have chosen of their own accord. But separation from God is death, and separation from light is darkness; and separation from God consists in the loss of all the benefits which He has in store. Those, therefore, who cast away by apostasy these forementioned things, being in fact destitute of all good, do experience every kind of punishment. God, however, does not punish them immediately of Himself, but that punishment falls upon them because they are destitute of all that is good. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, XXVII, 2)

Those who do not obey Him, being disinherited by Him, have ceased to be His sons. c.180

[Irenaeus quotes 1 Cor. 6:9-10 about inheriting the kingdom of God.] It was not to those who are outside that he said these things, but to us, lest we should be cast out of the kingdom of God by doing any such thing. He proceeds to say, ”And truly such were you, but you are washed, but you are sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” [1 Cor. 6:11]. And just as [under the old covenant], those who led vicious lives and led other people astray were condemned and cast out, so also even now the offending eye is plucked out, and the foot and the hand, lest the rest of the body perish in the same way. (Against Heresies, IV:27:4)

Ignatius 35-107 AD Bishop of Antioch in Syria. Ignatius was a disciple of the Apostle John and appointed as Bishop of Antioch by the Apostle Peter.

And pray ye also without ceasing for the rest of mankind (for there is in them a hope of repentance), that they may find God. Therefore permit them to take lessons at least from your works. (Letter to the Ephesians 10:1)

Do not err, my brothers. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If, then, those who do this in regard to the flesh have suffered death, how much more shall this be the case with anyone who corrupts the faith of God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified, by wicked doctrine? Such a person, becoming defiled, shall go away into everlasting fire and so shall everyone that listens to him. (Letter to the Ephesians 16)

I do not mean to say that there are two different human natures, but all humanity is made the same, sometimes belonging to God and sometimes to the devil. If anyone is truly spiritual they are a person of God; but if they are irreligious and not spiritual then they are a person of the devil, made such not by nature, but by their own choice. Pg.61 vol. 1.

There is set before us life upon our observance [of God’s precepts], but death as the result of disobedience, and every one, according to the choice he makes, shall go to his own place, let us flee from death, and make choice of life.

Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens) 150–215 AD

A theologian who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Among his pupils were Origen and Alexander of Jerusalem.

We…have believed and are saved by voluntary choice (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 217)

To obey or not is in our own power, provided we do not have the excuse of ignorance (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 353)

Each one of us who sins with his own free will, chooses punishment. So the blame lies with him who chooses. God is without blame. (c.195, Vol. 2, p. 226)

Neither promises nor apprehensions, rewards, no punishments are just if the soul has not the power of choosing and abstaining; if evil is involuntary. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p.319)

We have heard from the Scriptures that self-determining choice and refusal have been given by the Lord to men. Therefore, we rest in the infallible criterion of faith, manifesting a willing spirit, since we have chosen life. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 349)

The Lord clearly shows sins and transgressions to be in our own power, by prescribing modes of cure corresponding to the maladies. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 363)

Their estrangement is the result of free choice. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 426)

Believing and obeying are in our own power. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 527)

Nor will he who is saved be saved against his will, for he is not inanimate. But above all, he will speed to salvation voluntarily and of free choice. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 534)

Choice depends on the man as being free. But the gift depended on God as the Lord. And He gives to those who are willing, are exceedingly earnest, and who ask. In this manner, their salvation can become their own. For God does not compel. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 593)

Clement, 80-140 AD 

The first Apostolic Father of the Church.  According to Tertullian, Clement was consecrated by Saint Peter. Early church lists place him as the second or third bishop of Rome after Saint Peter. In Philippians 4:3 Clement is mentioned whose name was written “in the book of life”. Although known as 2 Clement, this document is in actuality an anonymous homily of the mid-second century.

Thus although we are born neither good nor bad, we become on or the other and having formed habits, we are with difficulty drawn from them. Pg 273 vol.8

But inasmuch as inborn affection towards God the creator is sufficient for salvation to those who love Him, the enemy tries to pervert this affection in men, and to render them hostile and ungrateful to their Creator…But if mankind would turn their affection towards God, all would doubtless be saved, even if when they have some faults they would be open to correction for righteousness, but now most of mankind have been made enemies of God, their hearts the wicked one has entered, and has turned aside towards himself the affection which God the Creator had implanted in them, which He, God, desires that they might have towards Him. Pg.101 Vol.8

1 Clement 7:4 Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ and understand how precious it is unto His Father, because being shed for our salvation it won for the whole world the grace of repentance.

1 Clement 7:5 Let us review all the generations in turn, and learn how from generation to generation the Master hath given a place for repentance unto them that desire to turn to Him.

For, if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; but if otherwise, then nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we should disobey His commandments. 2 Clement 6:7

…with what confidence shall we, if we keep not our baptism pure and undefiled, enter into the kingdom of God? Or who shall be our advocate, unless we be found having holy and righteous works? 2 Clement 6:9

For as concerning them that have not kept the seal, He saith, `Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh’. 2 Clement 7:6

So, brothers and sisters, if we have done the will of the Father and have kept the flesh pure and have observed the commandments of the Lord, we will receive eternal life (2 Clement 8:4)

So then He meaneth this, Keep the flesh pure and the seal unstained, to the end that we may receive life. 2 Clement 8:6  

Let us, then, not only call him Lord, for that will not save us. For he says, ”Not every one that says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall be saved, but he that does righteousness.” Therefore, brothers, let us confess him by our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, speaking evil of one another, or cherishing envy; but being continent, compassionate, and good. … By such works let us confess him, and not by those that are of an opposite kind. It is not fitting that we should fear men, but rather God. For this reason, if we should do such wicked things, the Lord has said, “Even if you were gathered together to me, into my very bosom, yet if you were not to keep my commandments, I would cast you off and say to you, ‘Depart from me … you workers of iniquity.‘” (2 Clement 4) Hermas, c. A.D. 160

It is therefore in the power of every one, since man has been made possessed of free-will, whether he shall hear us to life, or the demons to destruction. 

He who is good by his own choice is really good; but he who is made good by another under necessity is not really good, because he is not what he is by his own choice… 

For no other reason does God punish the sinner either in the present or in the future world, except because He knows that the sinner was able to conquer but neglected to gain the victory.

Justin Martyr 110-165 AD

For He fore-knows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born. In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative Chapter 28

Let some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever occurs happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to THE MERIT OF EACH MAN’S ACTIONS. Now, if this is not so, but all things happen by fate, then neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it is predetermined that this man will be good, and this other man will be evil, neither is the first one meritorious nor the latter man to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and CHOOSING GOOD BY FREE CHOICE, they are not accountable for their actions.  (c. 160, E), 1:177

But neither do we affirm that it is by fate that men do what they do, or suffer what they suffer, but that each man by free choice acts rightly or wronglyThe stoics, not observing this, maintained that all things take place according to the necessity of fate. But since God, in the beginning made the race of men and angels with free will they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed, and this is the nature of all that is made, to be capable of vice and virtue. For neither would any of them be praiseworthy unless there were power to turn to both. (vice and virtue) 2 Apology ch.7  (+ The Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I, p.354)

In the beginning, He made the human race with the power of thought AND OF CHOOSING the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God.  (c. 160, E), 1:172

I have proved in what has been said that those who were foreknown to be unrighteous, whether men or angels, are not made wicked by God’s fault. Rather, each man is what he will appear to be through his own fault. (c.160, Vol. 1, p. 269)

Neither do we maintain that it is by fate that men do what they do, or suffer what they suffer. Rather, we maintain that each man acts rightly or sins BY HIS FREE CHOICE….Since God in the beginning MADE THE RACE OF ANGELS AND MEN WITH FREE WILL, they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed.  (c. 160, E), 1:190

He created both angels and men free to do that which is righteous. And He appointed periods of time during which He knew it would be good for them to have the exercise of free will. (c. 160, Vol. 1, p. 250)

I hold further, that those of you who have confessed and known this man to be Christ, yet who have gone back for some reason to the legal dispensation, an have denied that this man is Christ, and have not repented before death – you will by no means be saved . c.160

Methodius 260-312 AD Bishop of Olympus.

I say that God – purposing to honor man in this manner and to grant him an understanding of better things – has given man the power of being able to do what he wishes. He commends the use of his power for better things. However, it is not that God deprives man again of free will. Rather, He wishes to point out the better way. For the power is present with man, and he receives the commandment. But God exhorts him to turn his power of choice to better things. (c. 290, Vol. 6, p. 362)

I do not think that God urges man to obey His commandments, but then deprives him of the power to obey or disobey…. He does not give a command in order to take way the power that he has given. Rather, He gives it in order to bestow a better gift…in return for his rendered obedience to God. For man had power to withhold it. I say that man was made with free will. (c. 290, Vol. 6, p. 362)

God is good and wise. He does what is best. Therefore, there is no fixed destiny.” (c. 190, Vol. 6, p.343)

Now those [pagans] who decide that man is not possessed of free will, and affirm that he is governed by the unavoidable necessities of fate…are guilty of impiety toward God Himself, making Him out to be the cause or author of human evils. (c. 190, The Banquet of the Ten Virgins 16; God’s Strategy In Human History, p. 252)

Because there is nothing evil by nature, but it is by use that evil things become suchman was made with free-will, not as if there were already evil in existence, which he had the power of choosing if he so wished, but on account of his capacity of obeying or disobeying God. For this was the meaning of the gift of free will.

If then, any are evil, they are evil in accordance with the wants and desires of their minds, and not by necessity. They perish self-destroyed, by their own fault.’For a man is not spoken of as ‘murderer’ but by committing it he receives the derived name of murderer. Evil is not a substance, but by practicing any evil it can be called evil…for a man is evil only in consequences of his actions. For he is said to be evil because he is a doer of evil. It is a persons actions that gives them the title of evil. Men produce the evil and are the authors of them. It is through actions that evil exists. Each man is evil in consequences of what they practice. It all has a beginning.

For man received power, and enslaved himself, not because he was overpowered by irresistible tendencies of his nature, nor because the capacity with which he was gifted deprived him of what was better for him…I say therefore, that God purposing thus to honor man…has given him the power of being able to do what he wishes, and commends the employment of his power for better things; not that he deprives him again of free will, but wishes to point out the better way. For the power is present with him and he receives the commandment; but God exhorts him to turn his power of choice to better things.

Arnobius 297-303 AD

Does He not free all alike who invites all alike? Or does He thrust back or repel any one from the kindness of the supreme, who gives to all alike the power of coming to Him. To all, He says, the fountain of like is open, and no one is kept back or hindered from drinking. If you are so fastidious as to spurn the kindly offered gift… why should he keep on inviting you, while His only duty is to make the enjoyment of His bounty depend on your own free choice. Book 2 ,64

Aristides of Athens – 134 AD (Marcianus Aristides)

And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God, and if furthermore, it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who has passed through the world without sins. Apology to Hadrian

Tatian the Syrian 110-172 AD

Our free will has destroyed us. We who were free have become slaves. We have been sold through sin. Nothing evil has been created by God. We ourselves have manifested wickedness. But we, who have manifested it, are able to reject it again.” (c. 160, Vol. 2, pp. 69-70)

Each of these two orders of creatures [men and angels] was made free to act as it pleased. They did not have the nature of good, which again is with God alone. However, it is brought to perfection in men through their freedom of choice. In this manner, the bad man can be justly punished, having become depraved through his own fault. Likewise, the just man can be deservedly praised for his virtuous deeds, since in the exercise of his free choice, he refrained from transgressing the will of God. (c. 160, Vol. 2, p. 67)

Lactantius 260-330 AD

We should be free from vices and sin. For no one is born sinful, but if our affections are given to that direction they can become vices and sinful, but if we use our affections well they become virtues.’ Ch16 bk 4 Divine Inst.

Melito -180 AD Bishop of Sardis near Smyrna

There is, therefore, nothing to hinder you from changing your evil manner to life, because you are a free man. (c.170, Vol. 8, p. 754)

Athenagorus 133-190 AD

Just as with men who have freedom of choice as to bother virtue and vice (for you would not either honor the good or punish the bad; unless vice and virtue were in their own power, and some are diligent in the matters entrusted to them and others faithless), so is it among the angels. (c. 177, Embassy for Christians; God’s Strategy in Human History, p. 247)

Theophilus

If, on the other hand, he would turn to the things of death, disobeying God, he would himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, and with power of himself. (c.180, Vol. 2, p. 105)

Hyppolytus 170 – 235 AD

God, who created [the world], did not nor does not, make evil….Now, man (who was brought into existence) was a creature endowed with a capacity of self-determination, yet he did not possess a sovereign intellect….Man, from the fact of his possessing a capacity for self-determination, brings forth evil….Since man has free will, a law has been given him by God, for a good purpose. For a law will not be laid down for an animal devoid of reason. Only a bridle and whip will be given it. In contrast, man has been given a commandment to perform, coupled with a penalty.” (c. 225, Vol. 5, p.151)

The Word promulgated the divine commandments by declaring them. He thereby turned man from disobedience. He summoned man to liberty through a choice involving spontaneity – not by bringing him into servitude by force of necessity. (c. 225, Vol. 5, p. 152)

Man is able to both will and not to will. He is endowed with power to do both. (c. 225, Vol. 5, p. 152)

Origen (Adamantius) 184/185 – 253/254 AD

The soul does not incline to either part out of necessity, for then neither vice nor virtue could be ascribed to it; nor would its choice of virtue deserve reward; nor its declination to vice punishment.” Again, “How could God require that of man which he [man] had not power to offer Him?” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 62, published by Truth in Heart)

This is also clearly defined in the teaching of the church, that every rational soul has free will and volition….we are not forced by any necessity to act either rightly or wrongly. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 240)

It seems a plausible thing that rational natures, from whom the faculty of free will is never taken away, may be again subjected to movements of some kind. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 272)

Since those rational creatures themselves… were endowed with the power of free will, this freedom of the will incited each one to either progress (by imitation of God), or else it reduced a person to failure through negligence. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 292)

In the preaching of the church, there is included the doctrine concerning a just judgment of God. When this teaching is believed to be true, it incites those who hear it to live virtuously and to shun sin by all means. For they clearly acknowledge that things worthy of praise and blame are within our own power. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 302)

Certain ones of those [Gnostic’s] who hold different opinions misuse these passages. They essentially destroy free will by introducing ruined natures incapable of salvation and by introducing others as being saved in such a way that they cannot be lost.

Novatian 200–258 AD

When he had given man all things for his service, he willed that man alone should be free. And lest an unbounded freedom would lead man into peril, He had laid down a command, in which man was taught that there was no evil in the fruit of the tree. Rather, he was forewarned that evil would arise if man were to exercise his free will in contempt of the law that had been given him….As a result, he could receive either worthy rewards or a just punishment. For he had in his own power that which he might choose to do. (c. 235, Vol. 5, p. 612)

Eusebius 263 – 233 AD Bishop of Caesarea

A Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon. Considered the father of “Church History” for his extensive writings in ecclesiastical history.

The Creator of all things has impressed a natural law upon the soul of every man, as an assistant and ally in his conduct, pointing out to him the right way by this law; but, by the free liberty with which he is endowed, making the choice of what is best worthy of praise and acceptance, because he has acted rightly, not by force, but from his own free-will, when he had it in his power to act otherwise, As, again, making him who chooses what is worst, deserving of blame and punishment, as having by his own motion neglected the natural law, and becoming the origin and fountain of wickedness, and misusing himself, not from any extraneous necessity, but from free will and judgment. The fault is in him who chooses, not in God. For God is has not made nature or the substance of the soul bad; for he who is good can make nothing but what is good. Everything is good which is according to nature. Every rational soul has naturally a good free-will, formed for the choice of what is good. But when a man acts wrongly, nature is not to be blamed; for what is wrong, takes place not according to nature, but contrary to nature, it being the work of choice, and not of nature!

The devil in his oracles hangs all things upon fate, and taking away that which is in our power, and arises from self-motion of free will… brings this also into bondage to necessity.

Commodianus 250 AD

Being a believing man, if you seek to live as the gentiles do, the joys of the world remove you from the grace of Christ c.240

Cyprian 200-258 AD Bishop of Carthage

It is written, ‘He who endures to the end, the same shall be saved’ [Matt. 10:22]. So whatever precedes the end is only a step by which we ascend to the summit of salvation. It is not the final point wherein we have already gained the full result of the ascent. (Cyprian Unity of the Church sec. 21)

The liberty of believing or not believing is placed in free choice. In Deuteronomy, it says, ‘Look! I have set before your face life and death, good and evil. Choose for yourself life, that you may live. (c. 250, Vol. 5, p. 547)

Shepherd of Hermas

The Muratorian canon, a list of canonical books from about the 3d century, says Hermas was written by the brother of Pius, Bishop of Rome, about 140-154. Author still remains unknown.  The document was composed over a longer period of time. Visions I-IV were composeed during a threatened persecution, probably under Trajan (the Clement of 8:3 could be Clement of Rome). Vision V – Similitude VIII and Similitude X were written perhaps by the same author to describe reprentance to Christians who were wavering. Similitude IX was written to unify the entire work and to threaten those who had been disloyal. This last phase must have occurred before Irenaeus (ca. 175). A preferred date would be 140. On the basis of this internal analysis multiple authorship seems necessary (Giet 1963), though the work could have been composed by one person over a long period of time (Joly 1958).

He that does not know God,” [the angel of repentance] answered, ”and practices evil, receives a certain chastisement for his wickedness, but he that has known God ought not to do evil anymore but to do good. If, accordingly, when he ought to do good, he does evil, does he not appear to do greater evil than the one who does not know God? For this reason, those who have not known God and do evil are condemned to death, but those who have known God and have seen his mighty works and still continue in evil shall be chastised doubly and shall die forever. This is the way the Church of God will be purified.” (Shepherd of Hermas III:9:8)

If you do not guard yourself against anger you and your house will lose all hope of salvation. Hermas c.150

The Epistle of the Apostles 2nd century

A work from the New Testament apocrypha. The work was lost to the West until a complete version in Ethiopic translation was discovered and published in the early twentieth century. The text was used regularly by the relatively isolated Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and was evidently not considered heretical by that church. A fragmentary Coptic manuscript of the fifth or fourth century, believed to be translated directly from the original Greek, and one leaf of a Latin palimpsest, dating to the fifth century, were then identified as deriving from the same text. The text is commonly dated to the 2nd century, perhaps towards the middle of it.

 27 ”For to that end went I down unto the place of Lazarus, and preached unto the righteous and the prophets, that they might come out of the rest which is below and come up into that which is above; and I poured out upon them with my right hand the water (?) (baptism, Eth.) of life and forgiveness and salvation from all evil, as I have done unto you and unto them that believe on me. But if any man believe on me and do not my commandments, although he have confessed my name, he hath no profit therefrom but runneth a vain race: for such will find themselves in perdition and destruction, because they have despised my commandments.”28 …Then said he unto us: Verily I say unto you, all that have believed on me and that believe in him that sent me will I take up into the heaven, unto the place which my Father hath prepared for the elect, and I will give you the kingdom, the chosen kingdom, in rest, and everlasting life. 29 But all they that have offended against my commandments and have taught other doctrine, (perverting) the Scripture and adding thereto, striving after their own glory, and that teach with other words them that believe on me in uprightness, if they make them fall thereby, shall receive everlasting punishment. We said unto him: Lord, shall there then be teaching by others, diverse from that which thou hast spoken unto us ? He said unto us: It must needs be, that the evil and the good may be made manifest; and the judgment shall be manifest upon them that do these things, and according to their works shall they be judged and shall be delivered unto death. And we said unto him: Lord, will they that believe be treated like the unbelievers, and wilt thou punish them that have escaped from the pestilence? And he said unto us: If they that believe in my name deal like the sinners, then have they done as though they had not believed. And we said again to him: Lord, have they on whom this lot hath fallen no life? He answered and said unto us: Whoso hath accomplished the praise of my Father, he shall abide in the resting-place of my Father.

Epistle of Barnabas 70-100AD

A Greek text preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. It is traditionally ascribed to Barnabas who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. A form of the Epistle 850 lines long is noted in the Latin list of canonical works in the 6th century Codex Claromontanus. It is not to be confused with the Gospel of Barnabas.

The Lord will judge the world without respect… of persons. Each will receive as he has done: if he is righteous, his righteousness will precede him; if he is wicked, the reward of wickedness is before him. Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those who are the called [of God], we should fall asleep in our sins, and the wicked prince, acquiring power over us, should thrust us away from the kingdom of the Lord. And all the more attend to this, my brethren, when ye reflect and behold, that after so great signs and wonders were wrought in Israel, they were thus [at length] abandoned. Let us beware lest we be found [fulfilling that saying], as it is written, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

We take earnest heed in these last days, for the whole time of your faith will profit you nothing unless now, in this wicked time, we also withstand coming sources of danger, as befits the sons of God. (Letter of Barnabas 4)