John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Who is the Word (LOGOS) that this text is speaking about? Three phrases described the Word. First, the Word was in the beginning. The Greek EN ARCHE is an exact parallel to the Hebrew RE RESHIBETH found in Genesis 1.1. The Word was around at the beginning of the creation of the universe. Remember Genesis 1.1?
Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. "
In the beginning of the creation the Word was there. Next it states that the Word was with God. This phrase is composed of the Imperfect Active Indicative of EIMI + PROS TON THEOS. The Imperfect tense shows linear action in past time, translated as "He always was with". The Imperfect tense shows the eternity of the Word. The Active Voice of the verb shows that the Word was not always with the Godhead because the Godhead made it possible. The Word was always with the Godhead because He was co-equal with it's Members, and desired to be with it. The Indicative Mood establishes this doctrine as hard fact, not some wish of the Author. Thus we could translate the phrase as, "the Word was self existent with God". The Word was self existent with God, not as a lesser being, but on equal terms. PROS TON THEOS is literally "face to face with God". So what we have so far is:
"In the beginning of creation there always was the Word, and the Word always self existed face to face with the God ..."
If you put all of the above translation you see that The Word was God. This is the conclusion that John comes to in the last part of the sentence: and the Word was God.
The cultists try to twist the translation of this part of the text into "the word was a god". They base this on the fact that THEOS (God) in the Greek text is without an article. They say, "If it does not say that the Word was "the" God, then He must be "a" god. Wrong! According to Mantley, one of the greatest Greek scholars of our age, THEOS is necessarily without the article because John wished to stress the essence of the Word. The Word was God in His essence. That is, He was and is completely God, without anything unGodlike in Him.
While the cultists try to twist this part of the verse they miss the most important parts. Was is the Greek EIMI, used in a construction with two nouns of the same case. The construction is an anarthrous Predicate which is necessarily without the article (HO). Thus the proper translation of this text would be:
"In the beginning of creation there was always the Word, and the Word was always self existent face-to-face with God, and the Word was always equal to God in essence."
Who was The Word, the self existent God who has always been with God? This is explained further on in the context.
John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. "
The Word was and is Jesus Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh, the only member of the Godhead ever to dwell as Man among us. Even Jesus stated that He was God in John 8.58, where we read:
John 8:58-59 "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. "
The Jehovah's Witnesses sought to counter this clear statement of the Deity of Christ by twisting the Greek translation. In their earlier translation of the Greek new Testament (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures) the Witnesses translated the I am in the text as "I have been". They did this to prove that Jesus was not calling Himself the God of the Bible, as I am is clearly a title God gave Himself in Exodus 3.14. They stated that Jesus was "merely saying" that He existed with Abraham in the past as a created being. They footnoted this translation by saying that EGO EIMI was a Perfect Indefinite tense, because it was a Historical Present. If you do not understand this explanation don't feel like the Lone Ranger, as no one else with any original language training understood them either. First, there is no such construction in the Greek as a "Perfect Indefinite tense". Second, EGO EIMI is not a Historical Present. Says one Greek scholar, Professor Johnson at UCLA:
"There is no rule or precedent in Greek syntax to have a Present Indicative to equal a Perfect Indicative. The only clearly applicable case is the Historical Present text to which this passage in no way is similar. This passage cannot be translated as a Historical Present."
When the Jehovah's Witnesses were caught on this mistranslation they changed the footnote to read:
"58. I have been = EGO EIMI, after the Aorist Infinitive clause prin Abraam Genesthai and hence properly rendered in the Perfect tense. It is not the same as HO OHN (meaning "The Being" or the "I am" at exodus 3.14, LXX."
Again they are basically saying the same thing as they did above, that EGO EIMI should be rendered in the Perfect tense. Perhaps they even subconsciously knew that this was correct. In the Kingdom Interlinear translation of the text (John 8.58, page 467, right side of the page) they translated EGO EIMI as "I have been". But on the same page, on the interlinear side (left side) they translated EGO EIMI as "I am". Are the Witness translators deceivers, confused, or both?
EGO EIMI should be properly rendered "I Am", as it is a Present tense in the Greek. "I have been" is a deliberate twisting of the text. Not only the Jehovah's Witnesses, but all anti Christian cults seek to twist this text. Why? Because if the cult can strike at the Deity of Christ, then there is room made for a works type salvation. In the "Trinity of God" study we saw how necessary to our redemption the Trinity is. If Christ was mere man then our salvation has no lasting value. If Christ was God only, then He could not die for our sins. But if Christ were in Hypostatic Union (both God and Man), then He could and did die for our sins. After death He rose again to eternally make intercession for us. By this our salvation is guaranteed without our works. Since the cults are works oriented they always attack the Hypostatic Union of Christ first, then move down the line with other false doctrines.
It is plain that from the surrounding context that Jesus was applying the name of God (I Am) to Himself. In the Mosaic Law the punishment for blasphemy was immediate stoning without a lengthy Trial. In a normal Trial the accused was brought to to the doorway of the temple, or to the gate of the city. Two or three witnesses came out and presented evidence against the accused. Then the accused was allowed to defend himself. If the High Priest, Levitical Priest or Appointed Judge determined the accused was guilty (based on the evidence) then the penalty was assessed. If the crime was a "capital offense" the accused was cast out of the city, then the entire city gathered stones to administer the death penalty. The prosecuting witnesses cast the first stones, then the city afterward until the accused was dead. But in blasphemy the procedure was different and a lot less complex:
Leviticus 24:10-16 "And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death. "
There was no appeal in blasphemy. There was no defense. In the case of blasphemy all who heard the blasphemy were to catch the offender, carry him outside of the city, then the whole city was to stone him. Now note the immediate context of John 8.58 right after Jesus calls Himself "I Am":
John 8:59 "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. "
The Jews were not allowed to immediately execute for any crime but blasphemy. In the ears of the unbelieving Jews Jesus had just blasphemed, for He had taken the name of God and applied it to Himself. When you look at the Present tense of EGO EIMI, and the immediate context of John 8.58-59, we can clearly see that Jesus called Himself, on purpose, "I Am" or God.
(C.S. Lewis) "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not have been a great moral teacher, he would either be a lunatic - on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the devil of hell. Either this man was and is the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon, or you can fall at his feet and call him the Lord God. But let us not come out with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to .."
In one interchange between Christ and His Apostles He asked them:
Matthew 16:13 "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? "
This is not as simple a question as it may seem. Christ applied the title Son of man to Himself. Son of man is a term that has its roots in the Old Testament. God extensively applied the term to Ezekiel, and to many other Old Testament Prophets. Son of man means you are a man only, or mere man. Christ, in testing His Apostles, left it open for them to say He was a good teacher or just a Prophet. He stated, in effect, "Whom do men say that I, a mere man, am?" The Apostles responded:
Matthew 16:14 "And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. "
The response of the unbelieving world was that Jesus was a great evangelist (like John the Baptist), a great miracle working man (like Elijah), or a great Pastor and Teacher (like Jeremiah). This has always been the response of the world and the cults to Jesus. He was a great man. He was a great teacher. But anything else? No. After this response, without proclaiming it Himself, Jesus asked:
Matthew 16:15 "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? "
The response was immediate. The Apostles responded, with Simon Peter foremost:
Matthew 16:16 "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. "
Peter and the others recognized Jesus to be the Christ or the anointed Messiah, the Son of the always living God. This short response makes it plain that they recognized the Hypostatic Union of Christ. You see, the Christ is not a name but a title. In Daniel 9.25-26 there is a prophecy of Messiah coming to save Israel. In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) this reads:
".. and thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and then the time shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted. And after the sixty-two weeks the Christ shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him: and he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming: they shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint the city to desolatations."
The Greek CHRISTOS is parallel in meaning to the Hebrew MASHIYACH: both mean Messiah or Anointed One from God. God prophesied through Daniel that one appointed from Him would come to save His people. This CHRISTOS would be cut off or crucified just before the destruction of Jerusalem. This CHRISTOS was not mere man, He was both God and Man. Man because He could be cut off, or killed. God because He would come as Savior for His people. The Daniel passage confused Jewish theologians until the coming of Christ, and continues to confuse Jewish unbelievers today. But the Apostles were believers, and recognized Jesus as the Christ from God, the God Man in Hypostatic Union forever. Christ was truly both the Son of God and the Son of man.
The importance of the Hypostatic Union to the Church cannot be over emphasized. Notice Jesus' response:
Matthew 16:17-18 "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. "
Note first of all that human knowledge did not reveal the Hypostatic Union of Christ to Peter. Human science can only look at the physical, not the spiritual. With our eyes we can look at Jesus in the flesh. What do we see? We see a powerfully built Man who was a carpenter. Or I should say, a powerfully built Man because He was a carpenter. As a carpenter Jesus had no power tools to use in shaping wood, but used the strength of His muscle and sharp hand tools. Jesus was probably bearded as they snatched His beard out at crucifixion (Isaiah 50.6). And His hair was not exceptionally long. He was never sick a day in His life, for He was without the bad effects of the old sin nature. With our eyes we see Jesus as only a strong, healthy, and clean man. Only by the revelation of God can we come to know that Jesus was both God and man. The cults and the unbelieving world recognize Jesus as only the son of man because they lack this revelation. But to us who believe God has taught us that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Jesus continues His statement with a Continuative KAI (and) in verse 18. This is to show that verses 17 and 18 are linked contextually. In verse 17 Jesus recognizes that His Hypostatic Union was revealed to Peter by God. In verse 18 He states that this revelation is vitally necessary for the survival of His Church on earth:
".. And (Continuative KAI) I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter .."
Jesus' next statement has been misinterpreted by believers, particularly Catholic believers. This is because they fail to recognize the Continuative KAI in verse 18, as well as other Greek flags in the statement. Jesus first names Simon Peter, which in the Greek is PETROS. PETROS means "a small rock or anchor". Jesus named Simon this because he was the first to recognize the Hypostatic Union. He would be the spiritual leader among the other Apostles. The Hypostatic Union of Christ is immensely important to your Christian maturity, perhaps the most pivotal doctrine you'll ever learn. If you fail to understand the Hypostatic Union you'll never understand the doctrines of the Trinity, redemption, atonement, reconciliation, imitation of Christ, perseverance of the saints, or any one of a dozen other doctrines. The Hypostatic Union seems to be the pivotal doctrine on which so many other truths stand. By failing to understand the Hypostatic Union you'll never grow from the baby stage of Christian maturity. Jesus named Simon Peter, or "Little Rock", because he was the first Apostle to show signs of Christian maturity. After this moment Peter will always be the leader of the little band of Apostles, guiding them in the truths of God.
".. and upon this rock I will build my church .."
Catholicism misinterpreted this verse in ages past to mean that Peter was the rock that the Church was built on. Based on this interpretation they started the doctrine of the Papacy, believing that there was always one infallible man on the earth that the Church was built on. This is wrong! The Church is not built on any one man but on the recognition of the Hypostatic Union of Christ. The Greek text makes this plain. First, verse 18 is a continuation of the context of verse 17. The main theme throughout both texts is the Hypostatic Union of Christ. Second, Christ names Simon Peter, or "Little Rock". Then he says upon this rock (PETRA, a large cliff or rock), I will build my church. Simon is called the "Little Rock", whereas the thing that the Church is built on is called a "large cliff like rock". The Church was not built on the "Little Rock" of Peter, but on the "Big Rock", the revelation of the Hypostatic Union of Christ.
Boyce W. Blackwelder in the
book “Light from the Greek New Testament” (1976 reprint, may be out of
print, but possible found in your local Library) explains it this way:
We find similar illustrations in the literary Koine writings. Polybius uses petra in the sense of precipice and to signify a ridge of rock. (POLYBIUS: THE HISTORIES, VOL IV, BK X.48.5F; IX.27.4) Diodorus of Sicily writes of cutting tunnels through petra, of numerous streams which drop from cliffs (petra) into the sea, of ships striking against rocks (petra), and of a mountain range at whose summit are rocks (petra) of a terrifying height. (DIODORUS SICULUS, VOL II, BK III.12.5; 39.1; 40.5; 44.4) Plutarch (PLUTARCH'S LIVES, VOL II) uses petra of a cliff which is described as "huge and jagged" (Camillus, XXV.2), and of a rock upon which a heifer stood (Lucullus, XXIV.7). He speaks of a large petros which, however, was small enough to be picked up and thrown by a man (Aristides XVII.3). Josephus (JOESEPHUS: JEWISH ANTIQUITIES, VOL IV, BK III.36) says, "a river was to flow for them out of the rock" (petra).” In the New Testament petra signifies a great rock or mass of rock (e.g., Matt. 7:24 f.- Mark 15:46; Luke 6:48; 8:6, 13).
An awareness of the distinction between petros and petra clears away difficulties of interpretation in Matthew 16:18. Some expositors, faced with a problem in verses 17-19 have questioned the genuineness of the passage. But such an approach does not come to grips with the main issue. There is no textual evidence that the verses in question are an interpolation, hence no reason for doubting their authenticity.
An understanding of the distinction generally observed in Koine Greek between petra, a massive rock, and petros, a detached rock or stone, makes the words of Jesus clear. If it be argued that Jesus probably spoke Aramaic in the conversation with Peter, and that Aramaic makes no such distinction between the terms, it can be stated that the writer of the New Testament account understood a distinction and expressed it by the two different words. There are several strong arguments which show that Peter (petros) and the rock (petra) upon which the church is built are not identical. All the pronouns in Matthew 16:18 are emphatic, contrasting the person of Peter with the mighty rock which is the foundation of the church. The different genders (petros, masculine; and petra, feminine) emphasize a distinction in the references.
Since petra is used metaphorically several times to indicate Christ (Rom. 9: 33; I Cor. 10: 4; I Pet. 2: 8), it is in harmony with the Scriptures to take it thus in Matthew 16:18. In this light Jesus means that he is the foundation of the church. He speaks of himself as the builder, and uses the expression "my church." So the New Testament ekklesia is built upon Christ's deity and Saviorhood, upon the efficacy of his blood, and upon the immutability and objectivity of truth, It is obvious that no human being could be the support of such a structure. Paul speaks of Jesus Christ as the foundation (I Cor. 3: 11). The church is the creative work of God. Actually Peter's confession was impossible apart from the divine revelation upon which his proclamation was based. Jesus makes this point clear in Matthew 16:17. This revelation was not disclosed to Peter only. It was also the experience of the other disciples, and it is the impetus which makes possible the confession of any and all believers now as then. The church is based upon the truth which Peter confessed, that is, upon the reality that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. In verse 18 our Lord is also in effect saying to Simon, "The power of the gospel which has transformed you into a man of dependable character [implied in petros] will likewise change other persons, and as a result of this redemption the church is built." Thus we see that the church never produces salvation; salvation produces the church.
There is a sense in which the inspired writings and work of all the apostles and prophets have their place in the divine plan of the church of which Jesus Christ is the cornerstone (Eph. 2: 20). In fact, all believers are living stones (lithoi) in God's temple (I Pet. 2: 5). But Peter has no special position or prerogative above the other apostles. Nowhere in the New Testament is any supremacy assigned to him.”
".. and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it ..."
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church as long as it recognizes and teaches the revealed Hypostatic Union of Christ. The gates of hell will prevail against the Church whenever this revelation is ignored or mistaught. The Catholic Church would have been a great power in the world today for Christ had they held to this doctrine. But when the Doctrine of Christ was rejected for the Doctrine of the Papacy the Church began many vile practices that remain in effect, even today. The people are told to worship saints, to pray for the dead, to baptize the dead to secure their salvation, the doctrine of purgatory (which the Bible never teaches), works salvation, and many other false doctrines. The Church that is grounded in man can never be more than a secular business. Catholic believers are, as a norm, carnal if they are Christian. Many converts to the Church have never accept Christ as Savior because they feel that they can work their way into Heaven. Many will go to their death believing that they are Christians only to hear Christ say "I never knew you". The gates of hell truly prevail Catholicism, and not just Catholicism but against every Church that ignores or teaches against the Hypostatic Union of Christ. This Doctrine is extremely important for the growth and protection of the Church wherever it may be.
You can see how important the Hypostatic Union of Christ is by noting Jesus' first great temptation from Satan. In the Eternal Decrees the Trinity of God determined that God the Son would come to earth to pay man's penalty for sin. But when Jesus came to the earth He could not do this as God but as Man. In order for the Plan of Redemption to be carried out Christ had to be born, live, and die as man, yet without sin. Jesus was born of a virgin, but born just like any other man. He lived to be thirty years old before He started His earthly ministry. After His Water Baptism, Christ met His first and greatest temptation. This temptation was from Satan himself:
Matthew 4:1 "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."
Led up is the Aorist Passive Indicative of ANAGO, literally meaning "was caused to ascend". When Christ came to the earth the plan was to live as a man, using all of the spiritual assets that a normal man is given from God. He was caused to ascend into the desert mountainous ranges around Jerusalem by the Spirit of God. He was not operating in the power of His Deity but in the power of the Spirit (just as we are to do). The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The Greek says PEIRAZO APO, meaning "To be tested for the purpose of determining strength". This test had two purposes. First, Jesus operated with the same spiritual resources that we have. If He could pass this greatest test, then so can the believer in fellowship with God. Second, if Jesus passes the test (and He does ) this success stands as a testimony that there was no sin in Him. If He had failed the test then He would have been an unfit atonement for sin.
Matthew 4:2 "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred."
Jesus fasted (NESTEUO, a total abstinence from food, though water was allowed) in the first part of His test. After this period of fasting He was an hungred (Greek PEINAO, intensely hungry). Right when Jesus was at His weakest point physically guess who came offering dinner?
Matthew 4:3 "And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."
The tempter (Present Active Participle, meaning "the one who constantly tempts") came to Jesus in when He was at His weakest. In this first and all subsequent temptations Satan will try to get Jesus to do something that will upset His Hypostatic Union. In the first temptation Satan tries to get Jesus to act apart from the power of the Spirit, to exercise His Deity over creation. Satan weaves into this temptation an appeal to any (if there were any) pride in Jesus. He said, If thou be the Son of God. If is the Greek EAN, and it is in a First Class Condition. Literally translated it means "since you are". Thou be is the Present Active Indicative of EIMI, which means "you keep on being". Satan did not doubt the Deity of Christ, as he affirmed it's existence in this temptation. He said, "Since you keep on being the Son of God". Jesus, since you are indeed God, why don't you do something to appease your hunger? Why don't you exercise your Deity and order that these stones be made (GINOMAI, literally "become") bread?"
Jesus could have exercised His Deity and turn these stones into bread. He could have raised up a bakery on the spot, and turned the stones into men to serve Him. But if He had done this He would have sinned against the Godhead by acting outside of the Plan of Redemption. He would have upset His Hypostatic Union, destroying any chance of our redemption. A good parallel is that, just as Satan first tempted Christ by attacking His Hypostatic Union, so do the cults first attack this same Hypostatic Union to deceive their followers.
Matthew 4:4 "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Jesus not only countered the attack of Satan, but He relied upon the Spirit of God for His response. We know this because answered is the Passive Voice of APOKRINOMAI, which means "received to Himself an answer". Jesus received an answer to Satan's temptation from the Holy Spirit, and then repeated that answer to Satan to counter this attack. Had Christ answered from His humanity He would not have been relying on the Spirit. This would have been sin. Had He answered from His Deity He would have been outside of the Plan of God. But he answered Satan from the power of the Spirit and Satan was defeated. Note His answer: Jesus said, Man shall not live by bread alone. Jesus came into this world to live and die as a man. His answer expressed His desire to follow God's Plan, that He intended to live as a man, just as redemption required. In His humanity Jesus was prepared to wait on the Father and the Spirit for guidance: He would first live by the word that proceedeth (Present Active Participle, kept on coming) out of the mouth of God.
Satan saw that he was getting no where by tempting the Deity of Christ. His next temptation was directed at Christ's humanity. He said:
Matthew 4:5-6 "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."
Satan said, "Since you keep on being the Son of God (again, a First Class Condition EAN + Present Active Indicative EIMI), but his emphasis this time is toward the humanity of Christ. Only in His humanity could Jesus dash thy foot against a stone, for His Deity was untouchable. Satan's emphasis was, since Jesus was truly the Son of God in the flesh He should test (a quotation from Psalm 91.11-12) God's protection of that flesh. Jesus was again prompted by the Spirit to respond:
Matthew 4:7 "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
The word tempt is EKPEIRAZO, which means "to test outside of". As believers we are allowed to put God to the test on many of His promises. But we are not to sin when we test Him. When God makes a promise He expects us to believe it, to depend on Him to answer the promise. But to attempt suicide (which is what Satan asked Jesus to do) in His humanity in order to test a promise is wrong. To put God to the test outside of His plan, His decree, or His commandment is wrong. Had Jesus jumped He would have jumped outside of the Plan of God. He would have sinned by testing God through suicide, though the suicide would not have succeeded.
In his last temptation Satan will tempt both the humanity as well as the Deity of Christ.
Matthew 4:8-9 "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."
If Jesus would fall down and worship Satan he would get the world as His kingdom. Note how this differs from the other two temptations. Previously Satan said "Since you keep on being the Son of God" recognizing the Hypostatic Union of Christ. By failing to prefix this last temptation with the statement Satan gave Jesus a subtle slap in the face. He wanted Jesus to respond in anger in His Deity, losing the battle. Or to have Jesus respond in anger in His humanity, losing the battle. This temptation is very devious, for this temptation was not in what was said but in what was not said. The outward attack was against the humanity of Christ, but the inward attack was against His Deity. Rather than respond in either Divine or human anger Jesus simply answered:
Matthew 4:10 "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. "
Get thee hence is pretty weak in the English. In the Greek it is a Present Active Imperative meaning "Get out and stay out!". Jesus made this response from His Spirit controlled humanity, not from His Deity. He obeyed the Spirit and quoted Deuteronomy 6.13 in response, thus defeating Satan.
Since Satan so strongly attacked the Hypostatic Union
we can see how important it is to the entire Plan of God. The Satanic and
the cultic all seek to destroy this Union, to teach Jesus was less than
God, only "a" god, purely human, or purely God. Christ was both fully
God and Man. The Plan of Redemption required that Christ walk the earth
as a man. He fulfilled that Plan to the letter by refusing to operate in
His Deity and by relying only on those Spiritual; assets that are available
to all saved mankind.
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