In the debate over whether Jesus is God (there really is one, and has been going on for 1700 years) I offer this evidence:
4 Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them.
I’m reading through Revelation right now using N.T. Wright’s New Testament for Everyone (it helps to get a fresh perspective). As I was reading, I read a phrase that I remembered reading somewhere else in Revelation, so I looked it up,
1:4 John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace from He Who Is and Who Was and Who Is To Come,
1:8 ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, Who Is and Who Was and Who Is To Come, the Almighty.
These verses are referring to God the Father, no doubt. But, there in verse 8 is another phrase, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” which is used by Jesus in 22:13,
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.’
Even as these two phrases can be used interchangeably when referring to God the Father and God the Son, so God the Father and God the Son can be referred to interchangeably. Here’s why:
Ontological Trinity- Who the Trinity is: They are one in nature.
Economical Trinity- What each does: Their specific roles. “Economical” means “household management.” We see this best demonstrated in Genesis 1:1-3,
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
God (Elohim, which is plural) ordained the plan; the Spirit of God was the actual working Person, God (the Son, i.e. the Word) said (spoke) and it happened. Each Person of the Trinity had a role, but no one was over the other in hierarchy. You may be wondering where all three are mentioned together in the Revelation passage, so let’s look at the rest of it:
4 John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace from He Who Is and Who Was and Who Is To Come, and from the seven spirits [seven-fold Spirit] that are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
When we pray, we don’t have to worry about to whom we are talking; their names are interchangeable. Just know that in our lives, the Father has ordained that we are His by adoption through Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Simple, right? I have great peace in knowing that I will not offend “the gods” by using the wrong name. Our Father loves us too much to take offense, Jesus died and rose again so that we need not worry, and the Spirit gives us peace regardless of which name we use. They truly are Three-in-One.
All that from the first eight verses of Revelation!
Abba, I’m excited about reading the letter again. I may not understand it, but the blessing is in the reading, not the understanding. May I enjoy sweet fellowship with You as I struggle to make sense of all the imagery. Amen.