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Who is the Lord God from heaven that redeems His people?

In this post I am going to even more evidence that the NT writings describe Jesus as Jehovah God of the OT scriptures. I will be citing the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, typically referred to as the Septuagint, in order to highlight the fact that Jehovah is identified as the Lord (Greek Kyrios) from/out of heaven.

The Old Testament repeatedly speaks of Jehovah as the Lord (in fact, the only Lord) who is from/in heaven:

“And the Lord (Kyrios) rained on Sodom and Gomorrha brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven (Kyriou ek ouranou).” Genesis 19:24 LXX1

The Lord looked down from heaven (Kyrios ek tou ouranou) upon the sons of men, to see if there were any that understood, or sought after god.” Psalm 13[Heb. 14]:2 LXX

The Lord looks out of heaven (ek ouranou… ho Kyrios); he beholds all the sons of men.” Psalm 32[Heb. 33]:13 LXX

“For he has looked out from the height of his sanctuary; the Lord looked upon the earth from heaven (Kyrios ek ouranou);” Psalm 101[Heb. 102]:19 LXX

“[A Song of Degrees:] Unto thee who dwellest in heaven have I lifted up mine eyes. Behold, as the eyes of servants [are directed] to the hands of their masters, [and] as the eyes of a maidservant to the hands of her mistress; so our eyes [are directed] to the Lord our God (Kyrion ton Theon hemon), until he have mercy upon us. Have pity upon us, O Lord (Kyrie), have pity upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.” Psalm 122[Heb. 123]:1-3

“PHE. Mine eye is drowned [with tears], and I will not be silent, so that there shall be no rest, until the Lord look down, and behold from heaven (Kyrios ek ouranou).” Lamentations 3:49-50 LXX

And yet according to the NT writings, Jesus is the Lord that is from heaven,

“The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man was the Lord from heaven (ho Kyrios ek ouranou).” 1 Corinthians 15:472

And who came out/down from above in order to enter the world:

“No one has ascended to heaven except He who descended from heaven (ek tou ouranou), even the Son of Man who is in heaven… He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven (ho ek tou ouranou) is above all.” John 3:13, 31

“‘For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.’… The Jews then murmured about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven (ek tou ouranou).’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, “I have come down from heaven (ek tou ouranou)”? ‘” John 6:38, 41-42

“ye call me, The Teacher and The Lord (ho Didaskolos kai ho Kyrios), and ye say well, for I am; if then I did wash your feet — the Lord and the Teacher (ho Kyrios kai ho Didaskolos) — ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:13-14 Young’s Literal Translation

The Holy Bible also teaches that no human being is able to redeem a single life, since every one is enslaved to sin, which is why God alone has the power to save anyone:

“none of them can by any means redeem the other, nor give to God a ransom for anyone, for the redemption of their souls is costly; even so people cease to exist forever, making efforts to live eternally, and not see the pit… But God shall redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He shall receive me. Selah” Psalm 49:7-9, 15

“They were astonished beyond measure, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus, looking at them, said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God. For with God all things are possible.’” Mark 10:26-27

“We know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand, for I do not practice what I will to do, but I do the very thing I hate. But if I practice what I do not will to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing, for the will to do what is right is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good I desire to do, I do not do, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who does it, but sin that lives in me. I find then a law that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man, but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:14-24

And yet Jesus Christ is able to do what no mere human being is capable of doing, and which God alone does, namely, redeem and save multitudes of lives from the power of sin and death:

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

“There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. This was the testimony given at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6

“and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests unto our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’” Revelation 5:9-10

“Then I looked. And there was a great multitude which no one could count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out with a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, AND TO THE LAMB!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.’ Then one of the elders asked me, ‘Who are these clothed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ He said to me, ‘These are those who came out of great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. “They shall neither hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them,” nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and “He will lead them to springs of living water.” “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”’” Revelation 7:9-17

The following passage highlights why Jesus does what only God is capable of doing:

“as we await the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (tou megalou Theou kai soteros hemon ‘Iesou Christou), who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for Himself a special people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:13-14

The reason Christ is able to redeem and purify a people for himself is because he is the great God and Savior of the Hebrew Bible who became flesh:

Deliverance is the Lord’s (tou Kyriou), and thy blessing is upon thy people.” Psalm 3:9 LXX

“All nations whom you have made shall come, and shall worship before you, O Lord; and shall glorify your name. For you are great, and doest wonders: you are the only [and] the great God (su ei ho Theos monos ho megas).” Psalm 85[Heb. 86]:9-10 LXX

“that they may no more defile themselves with their idols; and I will deliver them from all their transgressions whereby they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be to me a people, and I the Lord (Kyrios) will be to them a God (Theon).” Ezekiel 37:23 LXX

This brings me to my next point. The inspired Scriptures describe the church, the corporate body of believers, as God’s very own possession:

“In that day they read in the book of Moses in the ears of the people; and it was found written in it, that the Ammonites and Moabites should not enter into the church of God (en ekklesia theou) for ever;” Nehemiah 13:1 LXX

“but if I am delayed, you might know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

The Christian scriptures again boggle the minds of the readers by identifying the collective members of professing Christians as the churches of Jesus Christ!

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build MY church (mou ten ekklesian), and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’” Matthew 16:15-19

“Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ (hai ekklesiai pasai tou Christou) greet you.” Romans 16:16

And again, the reason is obvious. Jesus Christ is the God of the OT who appeared in the flesh in order to purchase the church by his own blood:

“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to the entire flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood (ten ekklesian tou Theou, hen periepoiesato dia tou haimatos tou idiou).” Acts 20:28

“Without question, great is the mystery of godliness: God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16

With the foregoing in perspective, what else does the Holy Bible need to say to convince someone that Jesus Christ is the Lord God of heaven who became a flesh and blood human being for our redemption?

Unless indicated otherwise, scriptural references taken from the Modern English Version (MEV) of the Holy Bible.

Endnotes

1 What makes this text rather interesting is that it identifies two distinct entities as the Lord or Yehovah, One of Whom happens to be on earth with the other One being in heaven itself. Just as interesting is that the One on earth is said to have the look or appearance of a man. Here are the immediate and over all contexts of this particular event so as to allow the readers to see this fact for themselves:

Yahweh appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that THREE MEN stood opposite him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth, and said, ‘My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don’t go away from your servant. Now let a little water be fetched, WASH YOUR FEET, and rest yourselves under the tree. I will get a morsel of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant.’ They said, ‘Very well, do as you have said.’ Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Quickly prepare three seahs of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it. He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, AND THEY ATE. They asked him, ‘Where is Sarah, your wife?’ He said, ‘See, in the tent.’ HE SAID, ‘I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.’ Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Sarah laughed within herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’ Yahweh said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, “Will I really bear a child, yet I am old?” Is anything too hard for Yahweh? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes round, and Sarah will have a son.’ Then Sarah denied it, saying, ‘I didn’t laugh,’ for she was afraid. HE SAID, ‘No, but you did laugh.’ The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way. YAHWEH SAID, ‘Will I hide from Abraham what I do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Yahweh may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.’ YAHWEH SAID, ‘Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I WILL GO DOWN NOW, AND SEE whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.’ The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, BUT ABRAHAM STOOD YET BEFORE YAHWEH. Abraham came near, and said, ‘Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? Be it far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?’ YAHWEH SAID, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake.’ Abraham answered, ‘See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord, although I am dust and ashes. What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?’ HE SAID, ‘I WILL NOT DESTROY IT, if I find forty-five there.’ He spoke to him yet again, and said, “What if there are forty found there?’ HE SAID, ‘I will not do it for the forty’s sake.’ He said, ‘Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?’ HE SAID, ‘I will not do it, if I find thirty there.’ He said, ‘See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord. What if there are twenty found there?’ HE SAID, ‘I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.’ He said, ‘Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?’ HE SAID, ‘I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.’ YAHWEH WENT HIS WAY, AS SOON AS HE HAD FINISHED COMMUNING WITH ABRAHAM, and Abraham returned to his place.” Genesis 18:1-33 World English Bible (WEB)

Then Yahweh rained on Sodom and on Gomorrah sulfur and fire FROM YAHWEH OUT OF THE SKY. HE OVERTHREW those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew on the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Abraham got up early in the morning TO THE PLACE WHERE HE HAD STOOD BEFORE YAHWEH. He looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and looked, and saw that the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace. When GOD DESTROYED the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the middle of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.” Genesis 19:24-29 WEB

Now since the NT writings attest that it is the Son who judges, being the Father’s Agent of judgment,

“The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son… and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” John 5:22, 27

This means that the Yehovah who appeared to Abraham on earth as a man, and who then brought destruction upon Sodom and her neighboring cities, was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence!

In other words, it was the Son on earth who rained sulfur and fire from the Father who was in heaven.

We find early support for the reading “Lord from heaven,” in the writings of the second-third century Latin church father Tertullian:

“… In like manner (the heretic) will be refuted also with the word man: The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:47 Now, since the first was a man, how can there be a second, unless he is a man also? Or, else, if the second is Lord, was the first Lord also?…” (Tertullian, Against Marcion, Book V, Chapter 10: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03125.htm)

“… We read in so many words: The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:47 This passage, however, has nothing to do with any difference of substance; it only contrasts with the once earthy substance of the flesh of the first man, Adam, the heavenly substance of the spirit of the second man, Christ…” (Tertullian, On the Flesh of Christ, Chapter 9: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0315.htm)

These citations provide strong evidence that this reading is part of what Paul originally wrote, and not a later scribal interpolation.

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