Bible Questions and Answers

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Let's take a look at the passages you cited:

Acts 1:24,25 - There is no indication that they are praying to Jesus. Indeed, in Acts 4:29,30 they use the same word for Lord (Greek kurios) and clearly they are addressing God - the Father (note that the prayer refers to "Thy holy child Jesus")

2 Corinthians 12:8 - Again there is no clear indication that Paul is praying to Jesus. Lord is used for both of them. However Paul, when using "kurios" to refer to Christ often puts "the Lord Jesus Christ" (as in 2 Corinthians 1:2,3; 8:9; 11:31; 13:14) or "the Lord Jesus" (as in 2 Corinthians 1:14; 4:10, 14)

2 Timothy 4:18 Again there is no indication that he is referring specifically to the Lord Jesus Christ. However, this verse seems to be a statement and not a formal prayer.

2 Peter 3:18 - I think here (and in the 2 Tim 4:18 quote) you mean that since all honour and glory should be given to the son and only God should be honoured and glorified in the manner which Peter clearly intends here that therefore Jesus is God. This is not the case.

See John 5:22,23. Earlier in the chapter, when Jesus says that God is his Father, the Jewish authorities immediately jump to the conclusion that he is making himself equal with God.

Jesus spends the rest of the chapter correcting this mistake. If he is indeed equal with God, why did Jesus correct them?

It's interesting how official Christendom embraces foolishness with such zeal. Jesus says that the bread and wine are his flesh and blood. Many of the Jews were aghast at this because they took it literally. The Catholic church says it must be literal and invents the doctrine of transubstantiation and embraces foolishness. The serpent says in Genesis 3, "Thou shalt not surely die" and 200 years after Christ's death the pagan notion of the immortal soul is brought into Chrisitianity making a mockery of the central doctrine of the resurrection and the lie of the serpent is embraced. Jesus says he is the "Son of God." 300 years after Jesus' death a corrupt emperor feigning loyalty to Christ to please his mother and gain political advantage follows the pagan practice of the deification of emperors and calls a council to declare Jesus, "God the son." They see the error of the Jewish authorities and embrace it.

It's a bit exasperating how passages such as John 14:28 are ignored where Jesus plainly says "My Father is greater than I." Or 1 Timothy 2:5 in which the resurrected Jesus sitting at the Father's right hand is called "the man Christ Jesus." Paul clearly differentiates between God and the Lord Jesus in this same verse. He says, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

In John 5 Jesus says, the Father has given over the power of judgement into the hands of His son. If that is the case, in what sense are they equal? It is not his by right; it is given to him. Virtually the same thing is said of the angel of God's presence who represented God to Moses and the people of Israel. See Exodus 23:20-22. In Exodus 3:1-5 Moses saw and spoke to God in the burning bush. But how could he? John 4:12 says that no man has seen God at any time and yet the angel speaks as if he is God. When Manoah and his wife saw the angel they said, "We have seen God." Judges 13:22. Jacob, when he wrestled with the angel said afterward that he had "seen God face to face." Genesis 32:30.

Jesus is the image of God - all the qualities expressed by the angel of God's presence in Exodus 34:5-7 and which John so beautifully epitomizes in John 1:14 "full of grace and truth." Jesus was begotten of God. He was not God. Just as Adam was created by God, and called the "son of God" Luke 3:38. Indeed, Jesus is called the "Last Adam" (1 Cor. 15:45), the firstborn of a new creation - the firstborn from among the dead (Colossians 1:15-18). Just like Adam, Jesus was the "image of the invisible God." But where Adam failed, he succeeded and because of that, we can be saved. In Philippians 2:9 Paul says that Jesus has been "given THE NAME which is above every name." He is now the name-bearer. A privilege given to him by God. The same passage says that it is God who has highly exalted him. If Jesus is already equal with God the Father, how could this be? The convoluted thinking that goes into an explanation of the Trinity brings to mind the words of C.S. Lewis in his book, "The Problem of Pain," where he says, "Nonsense does not cease to be nonsense just because we talk it about God."

Philippians, tells us that God has chosen to honour His son - "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow." So your original premise is incorrect. God wants us to honour His son and to pay homage to him because His son, Jesus Christ, bears His name and reprents Him to His erring creation. One day there will be no need for a mediator (see below) and the Lord Jesus will step down from his exalted role there being no more need for a mediator or any kind of hierarchical structure and, in those wonderfully enigmatic words of 1 Corinthians 15:28, God will be "all in all."

The two Revelation passages are in the same vein. Let's go to 1 Corinthians 15 again, verses 12-28. Read this very carefully. Apart from destroying the notion of the immortality of the soul (if souls go to heaven/hell why is physical resurrection so important? Not to mention the mockery the idea makes of a day of judgement yet to come), it clearly states that when God's purpose is complete, the son turns the kingdom over to God and God is supreme with no delegated authority necessary.

Notice how Paul is at pains to show that Christ's authority is derived from God. It is the Father who gives His authority to His son and Paul says "Clearly, God is exempt from that authority. When it says that "All things are put under his feet" it doesn't mean that God Himself is under Christ's authority." At the end of the proces of subduing the earth to the Father's will, Jesus turns the completed work over to his Father and becomes subject to him. How can a Trinitarian make any sense at all out of this passage? I'm tempted to quote C.S. Lewis again

God bless and keep you,