By: Admin Pastor Manny
On this day, we are celebrating the Feast of Christ the King (also known as the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe). As Christians, we should recognize the reality that Jesus Christ is our King and that His Kingdom is not of this world as clearly stated in John 18:36. Even though some Christians recognize that He is the King, they have some tendency to think of a different version of a king. Instead of recognizing that He is Superior by being God, they believe that He was simply exalted to a very high place, but He’s not our Creator. It’s unfortunate that this heresy is still present today, as I see how some professed Christians are trying to limit the capability of our Lord and Savior.
What’s ironic is when I see some INC members who claim that Jesus isn’t God, and yet, they are worshipping Him. If He is a creature, whether He is the greatest creature ever created, it would be a form of idolatry. They claim that it’s ok to worship Jesus Christ as stated in Hebrews 1:6, as long as they don’t worship Him as God.
6 And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
However, every time an INC quotes a Scripture, it frustrates me because the context is not established. What we will do today is we will read Hebrews 1, based on its proper context and based on the argument of the author of Hebrews to show the superiority of Jesus Christ as the King.
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
The author of Hebrews started his argument by claiming that the Father has spoken as He used the Son as the instrument of revelation, and then he claimed that this is the same Son who created the world. In INC’s theology, Jesus Christ did not preexist, and this is something that the author of Hebrews fought against. The preposition “through” indicates that the Son was instrumental to the creation of the world in the same way that He was instrumental in the proclamation of the revelation in the New Covenant. This is why we should take into consideration the consistency of the author. Some INC members believe that when we see a statement like “through whom also He created the world”, what that means is that “for whom also He created the world” (which makes the argument of the author a little bit softer). However, this does not work because in Colossians 1:16, we have another citation where St. Paul said that all things were made through Him and for Him.
16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created THROUGH him and FOR him.
If their reasoning is consistent, then we should read that as “all things were created FOR Him and FOR Him” which would be redundant. So, their argument does not stand when it comes to the entirety of the revelation.
3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Again, the author is consistent because he recognized that Jesus Christ was the reflection of the glory of God and He bears the substance of the Father. If the Father is God, and if He bears that nature, then He has to be God. However, when it comes to Jesus Christ being the reflection of God’s glory, we often hear INC claiming that Christians also receive glory from God like in John 17:22.
22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
Does that mean that we are God? What we can see is another manifestation of taking words out of its original context. It’s true that we will receive the glory which the Father had (and this is associated with the concept of theosis), but there is a difference between us receiving it and Jesus Christ receiving it because He was glorified together with the Father in His pre-existence as clearly stated in John 17:5.
5 and now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.[a]
And, I don’t see how they simply think that Jesus Christ being the reflection of God’s glory has nothing to do with Him being Deity because even if we receive His glory, we don’t have the power of upholding the universe by our own power. That is simply a category error.
And now, we will go to the climax of the author’s argument that shows that the Son who had an eternal throne is God.
8 But of the Son he says,
“Thy throne, O God,[a] is for ever and ever,
the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy[b] kingdom.
Hebrews 1:8 is interesting because the proper and accurate translation of this verse simply gives a great illustration of the Father (the Speaker from verses 5-13) calling Jesus Christ God. A full discussion of Hebrews 1:8 and the proper translation of this verse require an article of its own so I might not address the issue here. But, what I am going to do today is to show that even if non-Trinitarians and anti-Trinitarians claim that “God is your Throne” is a more accurate translation, they still have to read the remaining verses of the chapter to show that this translation cannot save their theology.
“Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of thy hands;
11 they will perish, but thou remainest;
they will all grow old like a garment,
12 like a mantle thou wilt roll them up,
and they will be changed.[a]
But thou art the same,
and thy years will never end.”
As I have stated earlier, the Father is the speaker of verses 5-13. And, verses 10-12 are the continuation of His statements toward the Son. Every time that Jesus Christ is called Lord, we often hear from INC that He was not the Lord as the Creator of the Universe. He was simply made Lord and Christ by God. However, it’s simply clear that Jesus Christ was called as the Lord who created the earth in the beginning. He was called as the Lord who will never be changed (immutable). In fact, this is simply a quotation from Psalms 102:25-27, a part of the psalmist’s prayer to the Eternal King, the God of the Old Testament.
I pray that we, both Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians, might reflect upon this as we celebrate His feast and as we are being prepared by the Eternal King of the Universe for the commemoration of His birth leading into Advent.