"Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rev. Autrey, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Rev. Autrey

    Rev. Autrey
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    “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”

    I was not going to post any more on this subject, but I am compelled to by the Holy Spirit. So this post is dedicated to all those of us who want to know Jesus as God, and I will make this as simple as I can. What God said to the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 6:8 is a reference to himself as a Trinity of persons or selves existing as one God, i.e., one being. It reads: “Whom should I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go for us?”

    But first let’s understand the basic meaning of words self and person in the Bible. They mean the same thing. For example, Ephesians 4:22 (NIV) says: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.” But it is translated elsewhere: “You were taught to change the way you were living. The person you used to be will ruin you through desires that deceive you.”

    I say this to say that your self or person is who you are, or how you present or express yourself to other people. You might say it is a mental concept of who you are. For instance, I see myself as Rev. Autrey, and I present myself to others as Rev. Autrey. So Rev. Autrey is who I am. And to those I speak to Rev. Autrey is just as real a person as I am a real person.

    What I mean is, God sees himself as Jesus, and He presents himself to us as Jesus, i.e., “and the Word (Jesus) was God.” This is why the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are about Jesus. Jesus, then, is who God is; making him the Immanuel, meaning God is with us. And it is also why Thomas referred to Jesus as “My Lord and MY God.”

    Another way to understand what I am saying is to express the meaning of self or person as self identity or self expression. Self or self identity requires no time and space in a person to be real. It too, requires no change in your substance, or a dividing of your substance to be real. It is purely mental. All you have to do is to think it and it is so. In other words, you can have as many selves or self identities as you like and still be you. So as I said, it is a mental concept of who you are only, and does not add to or subtract from your substance or being.

    So we can stop auguring over what space God’s persons or selves occupy in God. The subject is irrelevant and need not come up. They don’t take up any separate space. They are all the same him. The Father is him. The Son is him, and the Holy Spirit is him. Let’s say it like this. They are all the same God.

    So yes, the Father and the Holy Spirit are often mentioned in the Bible, especially in the Gospels and the writings of Paul. And they should be. They are God too. In fact, one of the aims of Jesus as God was to introduce us to the Father and the Holy Spirit as selves or persons of God. That is to say, as God’s other selves or persons. Before this time this was not known. All the Jews knew before this was God as YHWH, the person or self of Jesus.

    But their roles as God are different from the role of Jesus as God. The Father as God directs the affairs of God. That is why Jesus as God can say that the Father as God sent me. The Holy Spirit as God inspires us to believe in what God is doing as Jesus. This is why Jesus as God can say of the Holy Spirit as God, “He will tell you of me.” But God always speaks to us as Jesus. Thus we see Jesus as God saying to us, “Come unto me and I will give you rest.” Or to put it more plainly, “Come unto me as God and I will give you rest.”

    So what we see in Isaiah 6:8 when God said “Whom shall I send as a messenger to my people? And who will go for us?” is a summary of what I have just explained to you. That is to say , God, as one being, has three distinct selves or self expressions, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Many refer to them as persons. Jesus then is the person, or self expression, or self, by whom God is speaking, and the Father and the Holy Spirit, along with Jesus, make up the “Who will go for us.”

    Please consider this in your daily prayers.

    God bless you,

    Rev. Autrey
     
  2. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    If the Spirit is leading and empowering your words, everyone will know. You don't have to announce it.

    He also presents Himself as Father and Spirit. If you look at the baptism of Jesus, you will see the Father, the Son, and the Spirit all participating in the event. There is a distinction that God wants us to see. There are three Persons in relation, yet one God.

    They are primarily about Jesus, but the Father and the Spirit are very active, and depicted as distinct from Jesus, the Son.

    These mental gymnastics have nothing to do with the nature of God.

    Who is arguing? This has been a settled question for more than 1,500 years. The only people who are arguing about it have misunderstood or twisted the teaching of scripture.

    You are thinking in spatial/material terms. While Jesus has a resurrected body, the body apparently does not have to be material at all times. Unless you hold to the Mormon false teachings, the Father does not have a body, the Spirit does not have a body, and the Son did not have a body until the Incarnation.

    Yes, but I'm afraid you and I understand this differently.

    This is quite a reduction of the Person and nature of the Father.

    Well that's a small part of it. You are reducing the Persons of God to functions.

    The reason we refer to them as Persons is that they are Persons, not merely expression or mental flights of fancy.

    Please consider that you have not actually been led of the Spirit to write poor teachings about the nature of the Triune God on a public forum, unless the Spirit wants you to be corrected by your brothers and sisters in Christ.

    To balance your over-emphasis of Jesus against the other Persons of the Triune God, please consider that Jesus clearly taught that He could do nothing of Himself. He relied on the guidance and will of the Father and the empowerment of the Spirit to do His ministry. Moreover, He relied on the testimony of the Father and the Spirit (again, think of His baptism as an example of this):

    John 5:30-32

    30 “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

    31 “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.
     
  3. Van

    Van
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    Pretty sure I do not agree with all of it, but it is an excellent, thoughtful post, providing much food for thought. Thanks.

    Alternate thoughts:
    1) The word Lord is not Yahweh, but Adonay, thus a title and not a name.
    2) Who will go for "us?" Does us refer to the three Persons of the Trinity, or is it simply a reference to all those present, i.e. God and Angels.
    3) Certainly agree God usually speaks to us through scripture as God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. But at the Baptism, the Father said, "this is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.
    4) Psalm 89:26 presents God as a father figure, so I think the OT saw God (perhaps not the person of the Father) as our Father, our Creator.
     
  4. OldRegular

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    Actually all of Scripture is about Jesus Christ in particular beginning with Genesis 3:15, the initial promise in time of the redeemer.

    I must also say your statement
    is confusing at best! Jesus Christ is the incarnate God, fully man and fully GOD!
     
  5. PreachTony

    PreachTony
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    I was confused as well, OldRegular. The quoted statement above carries a heavy weight of modalism to it...
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    The whole post is a slightly veiled expression of modalism, where the Persons of God are presented in functional terms.

    My impression of his point is that Jesus is the entirety of God, and the Father and Spirit are simply functional aspects of God that "[m]any refer to ... as persons."

    He is deemphasizing the Father and Spirit in favor of Jesus. But Jesus Himself didn't deemphasize them, nor did the early church.
     
  7. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    I agree!... It is beyond finite man to understand his infinite creator!... God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!... The Triune Godhead pales in human description and mortal words cannot convey his glory!... Brother Glen
     
  8. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I just don't see the deemphasizing you speak of. It is not Modalism to reconcile the fact that man has seen God and no man has seen God at any time. The reasonable conclusion we can draw from that is that when God has interacted with man in the physical Universe in a physical manner...

    ...He has chosen to do so in the Person of the Son.

    Was Heaven vacant when God sat down to have His feet washed and partake of the meal prepared Him (Genesis 18)? No.

    No man has seen God in His Eternal Glory. Yet man has seen the glory of God here. When God humbled Himself to take on physicality to interact with man, He maintained
    His Eternal glory.

    No, I saw a statement which perhaps not detailed enough to convey the depth of the issue, made the point that Jesus is God. It will be through presenting his views that understanding will come, hopefully through doctrinal discussion, not just rebuke.

    The single element I would suggest has to be carefully maintained is the distinction between temporal/physical and eternal/spiritual. Man has seen God in the former, but in the physical no man has seen God at any time.

    The general principle that God is One didn't change due to God manifesting in the flesh, and it seems the OP understands that.

    In the Eternal State there is still an implied physicality to the new heavens and earth. God does not create a new realm for Himself, but for us, and we will dwell with Him there forever.

    If there have been other tjreafds where the OP has stated what might be considered heresy it might be understandable that the gloves have come off, lol, but working through these issues should be something we all enjoy, because it gives us opportunity to dig deep and challenge ourselves.


    God bless.
     
  9. Baptist Believer

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    Through the Son, yes. But also through the Spirit - which is the primary way most of us interact with God today. The Father is also interacting with us, and has for all eternity.

    You make a distinction of God interacting with us in a "physical" manner, which is a bit curious. I have not interacted with a physical resurrected Jesus, although some claim - with transformed lives as their evidence - that Jesus has appeared to them. This is most often reported in Muslim areas, but I have heard reports in the U.S. as well. I don't know quite what to think about it, but the transformed lives of the people who give the testimonies tell me something astounding happened to them, whether physical or not.

    We have to maintain a strong distinction between the Father, Son and Spirit to have sound theology. They work in unity - so much so that it is hard to tell where one begins and the other ends - but they are distinct.
     
  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    On a tablet so responses are in order of paragraphs

    You are making distinctions that are not relevant. We are discussing the Son in light of His eternality and unity within the Trinity which in turn brings us to the statement of the OP that Christ is God. The Spirit is also God. That's not in dispute.


    I did make a distinction about God interacting with us in the physical and gave Genesis 18 as the example, not a personal experience I or someone contemporary has had. On a witch hunt my friend? Address what I said and you will understand. It is the distinction between temporal/eternal. While it is clear Christ made post resurrection and post ascension appearances, I don't think that is a norm for this Age. So was the Throne of God vacant when God met with Abraham on the Plains of Mamre? No. Was it God on the Plains of Mamre? So was this the Father,Son, or Holy Spirit? Consider carefully if you choose to answer.


    We also have to be careful of the other extreme which causes some to think we worship there Gods.

    We don't, we worship One God Who e_presses and reveals Himself in three distinct Personages Who show distinct interaction..

    We don't destroy the unity of the Trinity in trying to understand the Trinity.

    A question: Who spoke to Israel in the Wilderness?

    Who shed His blood for us?

    Who came when the Comforter was sent?


    God bless.
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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    You are making an assumption that Genesis 18 is a pre-Incarnational appearance of Jesus. The text does not tell us that, nor does any other part of scripture. It is certainly a possibility, but scripture doesn't say that.

    No. I don't want to make any assertions more or less than what is revealed in scripture.

    You are thinking in spatial terms, as well as also assuming that God exists in a distant place called Heaven. God inhabits the heavens - which is, at a minimum, the atmosphere and extending outward unto the farthest reaches of the universe.

    God is present with us. That's what Jacob's vision was about in Genesis 28. The throne of the heavens is where we are.

    Yes. I have been pushing for balance. When we overemphasize the oneness of God in terms of the New Testament, we fall into modalism. When we overemphasize the three Persons of the Triune God, we fall into polytheism and sever the unity of the Triune nature.

    Yes, exactly what I have been saying.

    No, but advocating that Jesus is God and that the Father and Spirit are functions of God acting as God (e.g., "The Father as God directs the affairs of God" and "The Holy Spirit as God inspires us to believe in what God is doing as Jesus") undermines the Personhood of the Father and Spirit.

    God/YHWH (Whom we later understand is Father, Son, Spirit).

    Jesus (although the fullness of the Godhead was in Him in some way - see Colossians 1:19, 2:9).

    The Holy Spirit, Who is also known as the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14), the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7 and Phillipians 1:19), and the Who Spirit proceeds from the Father (John 15:26)
     
  12. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    It is the logical conclusion drawn and reconciles how man has seen God and no man hath seen God at any time.

    We also look at the fact that the way into the Holiest, the true Holy Place, that is, Heaven, was not opened to man in that day, but was opened up to Man through the incarnation itself:

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+9:6-9&version=KJV

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passag...sage/?search=Hebrews+9:6-9&version=KJVion=KJV

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+10:19-20&version=KJV

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1:18&version=KJV

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+6:45-47&version=KJV


    I apologize for not posting the passages themselves but only have a tablet right now.

    So let's discuss it before any accusations are bandied about.

    God does exist in a distant place in relation to man, who could climb into a spaceship and travel a billion years and come no closer to God's realm wwhich is a spiritual realm, contrasted with the physical realm created for us.

    It would be as possible for us to come into His presence in our current state as it would be for bugs bunny to climb out of a TV and sit on your couch.

    And God does not inhabit the physical heavens. Paul calls Gods realm the Third Heaven.



    Well, when you find that ladder to Heaven be sure to let me know.


    Precisely. But at no time is Father, Son, or Spirit separated.

    The closest we get to this is in fact the incarnation, at which time, though veiled in flesh, the Son remained God.

    We make the distinction that though Jesus the Christ has a beginning in both time and space, the Son is the Eternal God.

    And just as God did not cease to be God nor shed His omnipresence on the plains of Mamre, neither did He when He took upon Himself that body which was the veil men would go through to come into the presence of Eternal Go The difference being that the Son retained this body and literally took man into Heaven. I can't stress the importance of understanding that veil.

    That veil was torn asunder in death, thus opening the way into the Holiest.

    Perhaps, but I didn't see the charges levied as justified. Granted, the OP could stand a little clarification, but I think it best we try to help each other when it comes to the Trinity, as it is a cvore doctrine that is coming under fire moire and more.


    I don't see the problem.

    When God is in His Eternal glory that is the Father. Of course He is Sovereign.

    When God interacts with man, That is the Son.

    When God interacts with hearts and minds, that is the Spirit.

    And they are One. Not one of Them ministers independently from the other. I hope to illustrate that in the answers below.

    That is correct. Yet based on what you have said so far I would have expected a different answer.

    But consider...

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+7:51&version=KJV


    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+3:7-11&version=KJV


    Explain...

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+20:28&version=KJV


    Also correct, but have you considered...


    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14:16-18&version=KJV

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14:22-23&version=KJV

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+3:20&version=KJV


    God is One, we know that. He expresses himself in three persons. We know that too. But not erring to an extreme of moralism or plurality is not something others might understand, because we often fail to clearly distinguish between God and man, eternal and temporal. Some could construe your statement above as heretical because you see God as dwelling, only, in the physical universe, and denying the spiritual realm of God we commonly call Heaven. If that were the case...where was God before He created the heavens and the earth?


    God bless.
     

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