Jehovah`s Witness/Where does Jesus fit in/
Hello Mr.Hepburn and I hope all is well with you. I have a couple of questions for you. Jesus is the Son, Jehovah is the Father. Jehovah has more power than the Son. If all this is true, then what specific role does Jesus play in His Fathers purpose?
My second question: Why did Jehovah use humans to write the Bible? I'm sure there must be a reason, right?
Thank you Mr. hepburn and I am looking forward to your answers.
Thank you for writing and giving me the opportunity to answer.
Your first question was concerning what role does Jesus have Gods purpose
From the very beginning we do not know what God had in mind for Jesus when Jesus was created. However, we can assume
at least one thing from the Bible. At some point after Jesus was created, plans were made for other creations. When God decided to use Jesus as his master worker we don't know, but at some point he did, and that was recorded in Proverbs 8:30
. Then it was through the agency of Jesus that creation took place (John 1:3
The roll of Jesus was in Gods purposes was expanded AFTER
Adam sinned. Now, because of Gods perfect justice and standards he needed a way of reconciling mankind back to himself. There had to be a perfectly balanced justice. Adam was created perfect and the privilege of fathering a perfect human race. Before he could do that, he sinned, thus the perfect human race could never come about via him.
A perfect man had to die without having children to correspond to the perfect life of Adam. But now that all of Adams offspring would be imperfect where would such a man come form. God had to provide one.
Adam was the first of Gods earthly sons. Jesus was the first of Gods heavenly sons.
Here is a chapter from our book “Draw Close to God” that will explain the reasons behind the Ransom.
Chapter 14 Jehovah Provides “a Ransom in Exchange for Many”
“ALL creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together.” (Romans 8:22) With those words the apostle Paul describes the pitiful state in which we find ourselves. From a human standpoint, there seems to be no way out of suffering, sin, and death. But Jehovah does not have human limitations. (Numbers 23:19) The God of justice has provided us with a way out of our distress. It is called the ransom.
2 The ransom is Jehovah’s greatest gift to mankind. It makes possible our deliverance from sin and death. (Ephesians 1:7) It is the foundation of the hope of everlasting life, whether in heaven or on a paradise earth. (Luke 23:43; John 3:16; 1 Peter 1:4) But just what is the ransom? How does it teach us about Jehovah’s superlative justice?
How the Need for a Ransom Arose
3 The ransom became necessary because of the sin of Adam. By disobeying God, Adam bequeathed to his offspring a legacy of sickness, sorrow, pain, and death. (Genesis 2:17; Romans 8:20) God could not yield to sentiment and simply commute the death sentence. To do so would be to ignore his own law: “The wages sin pays is death.” (Romans 6:23) And were Jehovah to invalidate his own standards of justice, then universal chaos and lawlessness would reign!
4 As we saw in Chapter 12, the rebellion in Eden raised even greater issues. Satan cast a dark shadow across God’s good name. In effect, he accused Jehovah of being a liar and a cruel dictator who deprived his creatures of freedom. (Genesis 3:1-5) By seemingly thwarting God’s purpose to fill the earth with righteous humans, Satan also labeled God a failure. (Genesis 1:28; Isaiah 55:10, 11) Had Jehovah left these challenges unanswered, many of his intelligent creatures might well have lost a measure of confidence in his rulership.
5 Satan also slandered Jehovah’s loyal servants, charging that they served Him only out of selfish motives and that if placed under pressure, none would remain faithful to God. (Job 1:9-11) These issues were of far greater importance than the human predicament. Jehovah rightly felt obliged to answer Satan’s slanderous charges. But how could God settle these issues and also save mankind?
6 Jehovah’s solution was both supremely merciful and profoundly just—one that no human could ever have devised. Yet, it was elegantly simple. It is variously referred to as a purchase, a reconciliation, a redemption, a propitiation, and an atonement. (Psalm 49:8; Daniel 9:24; Galatians 3:13; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 2:17) But the expression that perhaps best describes matters is the one used by Jesus himself. He said: “The Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom [Greek, ly′tron] in exchange for many.”—Matthew 20:28.
7 What is a ransom? The Greek word used here comes from a verb meaning “to let loose, to release.” This term was used to describe money paid in exchange for the release of prisoners of war. Basically, then, a ransom can be defined as something paid to buy something back. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word for “ransom” (ko′pher) comes from a verb meaning “to cover.” For example, God told Noah that he must “cover” (a form of the same word) the ark with tar. (Genesis 6:14) This helps us appreciate that to ransom also means to cover sins.—Psalm 65:3.
8 Significantly, the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament observes that this word (ko′pher) “always denotes an equivalent,” or a correspondency. Thus, the cover of the ark of the covenant had a shape corresponding to the ark itself. Likewise, in order to ransom, or cover, sin, a price must be paid that fully corresponds to, or fully covers, the damage caused by the sin. God’s Law to Israel thus stated: “Soul will be for soul, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”—Deuteronomy 19:21.
9 Men of faith from Abel onward offered animal sacrifices to God. In so doing, they demonstrated their awareness of sin and of the need for redemption, and they showed their faith in God’s promised liberation through his “seed.” (Genesis 3:15; 4:1-4; Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 11:4) Jehovah looked upon such sacrifices with favor and granted these worshipers a good standing. Nevertheless, animal offerings were, at best, a mere token. Animals could not really cover man’s sin, for they are inferior to humans. (Psalm 8:4-8) Hence, the Bible says: “It is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take sins away.” (Hebrews 10:1-4) Such sacrifices were only pictorial, or symbolic, of the true ransom sacrifice that was to come.
“A Corresponding Ransom”
10 “In Adam all are dying,” said the apostle Paul. (1 Corinthians 15:22) The ransom thus had to involve the death of the exact equal of Adam—a perfect human. (Romans 5:14) No other kind of creature could balance the scales of justice. Only a perfect human, someone not under the Adamic death sentence, could offer “a corresponding ransom”—one corresponding perfectly to Adam. (1 Timothy 2:6) It would not be necessary for untold millions of individual humans to be sacrificed so as to correspond to each descendant of Adam. The apostle Paul explained: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin.” (Romans 5:12) And “since death is through a man,” God provided for the redemption of mankind “through a man.” (1 Corinthians 15:21) How?
11 Jehovah arranged to have a perfect man voluntarily sacrifice his life. According to Romans 6:23, “the wages sin pays is death.” In sacrificing his life, the ransomer would “taste death for every man.” In other words, he would pay the wage for Adam’s sin. (Hebrews 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24) This would have profound legal consequences. By nullifying the death sentence upon Adam’s obedient offspring, the ransom would cut off the destructive power of sin right at its source.—Romans 5:16.
12 To illustrate: Imagine that you live in a town where most of the residents are employed at a large factory. You and your neighbors are well paid for your labors and lead comfortable lives. That is, until the day the factory closes its doors. The reason? The factory manager turned corrupt, forcing the business into bankruptcy. Suddenly out of work, you and your neighbors are unable to pay the bills. Marriage mates, children, and creditors suffer because of that one man’s corruption. Is there a way out? Yes! A wealthy benefactor decides to intervene. He appreciates the value of the company. He also feels for its many employees and their families. So he arranges to pay off the company’s debt and reopen the factory. The cancellation of that one debt brings relief to the many employees and their families and to the creditors. Similarly, the cancellation of Adam’s debt benefits untold millions.
Who Provides the Ransom?
13 Only Jehovah could provide “the Lamb . . . that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) But God did not send just any angel to rescue mankind. Instead, he sent the One who could furnish the ultimate, conclusive answer to Satan’s charge against Jehovah’s servants. Yes, Jehovah made the supreme sacrifice of sending his only-begotten Son, “the one he was specially fond of.” (Proverbs 8:30) Willingly, God’s Son “emptied himself” of his heavenly nature. (Philippians 2:7) Miraculously, Jehovah transferred the life and the personality pattern of his firstborn heavenly Son to the womb of a Jewish virgin named Mary. (Luke 1:27, 35) As a man, he would be called Jesus. But in a legal sense, he could be called the second Adam, for he corresponded perfectly to Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47) Jesus could thus offer himself up in sacrifice as a ransom for sinful mankind.
14 To whom would that ransom be paid? Psalm 49:7 specifically says that the ransom is paid “to God.” But is not Jehovah the one who arranges for the ransom in the first place? Yes, but this does not reduce the ransom to a pointless, mechanical exchange—like taking money out of one pocket and putting it into another. It must be appreciated that the ransom is, not a physical exchange, but a legal transaction. By providing for the payment of the ransom, even at enormous cost to himself, Jehovah affirmed his unwavering adherence to his own perfect justice.—Genesis 22:7, 8, 11-13; Hebrews 11:17; James 1:17.
15 In the spring of 33 C.E., Jesus Christ willingly submitted to an ordeal that led to the payment of the ransom. He allowed himself to be arrested on false charges, judged guilty, and nailed to a stake of execution. Was it really necessary for Jesus to suffer so much? Yes, because the issue of the integrity of God’s servants had to be settled. Significantly, God did not allow the infant Jesus to be killed by Herod. (Matthew 2:13-18) But when Jesus was an adult, he was able to withstand the brunt of Satan’s attacks with full comprehension of the issues. By remaining “loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the sinners” in spite of horrific treatment, Jesus proved with dramatic finality that Jehovah does have servants who remain faithful under trial. (Hebrews 7:26) No wonder, then, that at the moment before his death, Jesus cried out triumphantly: “It has been accomplished!”—John 19:30.
Finishing His Redemptive Work
16 Jesus had yet to finish his redemptive work. On the third day after Jesus’ death, Jehovah raised him from the dead. (Acts 3:15; 10:40) By this momentous act, Jehovah not only rewarded his Son for his faithful service but gave him the opportunity to finish his redemptive work as God’s High Priest. (Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8) The apostle Paul explains: “When Christ came as a high priest . . . , he entered, no, not with the blood of goats and of young bulls, but with his own blood, once for all time into the holy place and obtained an everlasting deliverance for us. For Christ entered, not into a holy place made with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us.”—Hebrews 9:11, 12, 24.
17 Christ could not take his literal blood into heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:50) Rather, he took what that blood symbolized: the legal value of his sacrificed perfect human life. Then, before the person of God, he made formal presentation of the value of that life as a ransom in exchange for sinful mankind. Did Jehovah accept that sacrifice? Yes, and this became evident at Pentecost 33 C.E., when the holy spirit was poured out upon about 120 disciples in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:1-4) Thrilling though that was, the ransom was then just beginning to provide marvelous benefits.
Benefits of the Ransom
18 In his letter to the Colossians, Paul explains that God saw good through Christ to reconcile to Himself all other things by making peace through the blood Jesus shed on the torture stake. Paul also explains that this reconciliation involves two distinct groups of individuals, namely, “the things in the heavens” and “the things upon the earth.” (Colossians 1:19, 20; Ephesians 1:10) That first group consists of 144,000 Christians who are given the hope of serving as heavenly priests and ruling as kings over the earth with Christ Jesus. (Revelation 5:9, 10; 7:4; 14:1-3) Through them, the benefits of the ransom will gradually be applied to obedient mankind over a period of a thousand years.—1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Revelation 20:6; 21:3, 4.
19 “The things upon the earth” are those individuals in line to enjoy perfect life in Paradise on earth. Revelation 7:9-17 describes them as “a great crowd” who will survive the coming “great tribulation.” But they do not have to wait until then to enjoy the benefits of the ransom. They have already “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Because they exercise faith in the ransom, they are even now receiving spiritual benefits from that loving provision. They have been declared righteous as God’s friends! (James 2:23) As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, they can “approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness.” (Hebrews 4:14-16) When they err, they receive real forgiveness. (Ephesians 1:7) In spite of being imperfect, they enjoy a cleansed conscience. (Hebrews 9:9; 10:22; 1 Peter 3:21) Being reconciled to God is thus, not some hoped-for development, but a present reality! (2 Corinthians 5:19, 20) During the Millennium, they will gradually “be set free from enslavement to corruption” and will finally “have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”—Romans 8:21.
20 “Thanks to God through Jesus Christ” for the ransom! (Romans 7:25) It is simple in principle, yet profound enough to fill us with awe. (Romans 11:33) And by our meditating appreciatively on it, the ransom touches our hearts, drawing us ever closer to the God of justice. Like the psalmist, we have every reason to praise Jehovah as “a lover of righteousness and justice.”—Psalm 33:5.
Adam and Eve could not have benefited from the ransom. The Mosaic Law stated this principle regarding a willful murderer: “You must take no ransom for the soul of a murderer who is deserving to die.” (Numbers 35:31) Clearly, Adam and Eve deserved to die because they willingly and knowingly disobeyed God. They thereby gave up their prospect of everlasting life.
In order to counterbalance the sin of Adam, Jesus had to die, not as a perfect child, but as a perfect man. Remember, Adam’s sin was willful, carried out with full knowledge of the seriousness of the act and its consequences. So in order to become “the last Adam” and cover that sin, Jesus had to make a mature, knowing choice to keep his integrity to Jehovah. (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47) Thus Jesus’ entire faithful life course—including his sacrificial death—served as “one act of justification.”—Romans 5:18, 19.
Your second question was
“Why did Jehovah use humans to write the Bible? I'm sure there must be a reason, right?
That is an interesting question. It is one I never really considered before. I have not been able to find any ONE thing
that gives a definitive answer to that, but I have reflected on different aspects that I know that may
provide an answer and what I give bellow is purely my thoughts on that question.
First, we do know that “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17
So even though men penned the Bible, the Bible IS
Gods words, his work. Men just acted as secretaries putting the thoughts of God into a written form for the benefit of mankind.
So why Uses humans and not say angels or just have the Bible appear like God did with the ten commandants that he wrote on stone tablets for Moses? (Exodus 24:12
“Jehovah now said to Moses: “Come up to me in the mountain and stay there, as I want to give you the stone tablets and the law and the commandment that I must write in order to teach them.”)
Yes that is one way God could have done it. But then I asked myself, did the hand of God doing that for Moses make any difference to the nation of Israel? How long did it take for them to loses faith in God? Not long at all. So it seems to me, that if God had provided the Bible by his own hand, it would not make any real difference to the way mankind has viewed it over the centuries.
So why use humans? Looking at what is recorded in the Bible, the answer to that I have assumed is tied up to what is recorded in the book of Job. Satan had accused Jehovah of protecting Job and that the only reason why Job was faithful to God was because of all the good things that Job had. So Satan challenges God and says that if Gods protection is removed form Job, then Job would tern away from God.
"At that Satan answered Jehovah: “Is it for nothing that Job has feared God? 10 Have you not put up a protective hedge around him and his house and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock has spread out in the land. 11 But, for a change, stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your very face.”
The challenge failed. Job remained faithful. How do I feel that relates to why humans were used in writing the Bible? Because, to me, it shows that for the 40 or so different men from different walks of life, shepherds, military men, fishermen, civil servants, physicians, priests, and kings that were privileged to be used in penning the Bible, that they DID REMAIN FAITHFUL
to God regardless of the adversities that were put upon them. Jehovah often uses accounts from their lives to encourage us.
This again proved Satan’s challenge regarding Job to be false. So for me, it adds weight to the fact that God is a loving God who wants to uses us mere humans in ways he sees fit, and that the Bible is a letter as it were from God to us humans that we should take seriously.
I hope that has provided some sort of an answer for you.