Does the book of Revelation present Jesus as God?

John 1:1

The writer of Revelation wrote in John 1:1 as follows:

(a) In the beginning was the Word,
(b) and the Word was with God,
(c) and the Word was God.

John 1:14 identifies “the Word” as Jesus.  In John 1:1(b) “God” refers to the Father.  The statement that “the Word was with God,” makes a distinction between God and Jesus, as if Jesus is not God.  But this seems to be contradicted by the statement in (c) that “the Word was God.”  Different people explain this apparent contradiction differently.

Theos

The Greek word translated “God” is theos.  There are at least three possible ways in which theos is used:

(1) As a common noun (group name) for exalted beings;
(2) As a common noun (group name) for the Trinity;
(3) As a proper noun (a name identifying one specific Being), namely the Father;

The question is in what way or ways theos is used in John 1:1.  These three possible uses of theos, and their implications, may be explained as follows:

Theos as an exalted being

The Jehovah Witnesses propose that Jesus is a created being; the first created being that created all other beings; nevertheless, a created being.  Their New World Translation therefore renders John 1:1(c) as, “the Word was a god.”  They find support for this interpretation in the following:

Firstly, the Greeks used theos for their multitude of gods.  The deities that the ancient Greeks believed were hardly anything at all like the God of the Bible. Instead, they were essentially just immortal, glorified humans with supernatural powers.  Theos may therefore be used for any real or factitious being that is exalted above others.  The New Testament sometimes uses theos in this sense.  It several times uses theos for “gods made with hands” (Acts 19:26), and even once for Satan, as “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4).

Secondly, the original Greek text of the New Testament does not differentiate between upper and lower case letters.  Theos may therefore be translated either as “God” or as “god.”

Thirdly, the Greek language has a definite article (the).  Theos in (b) has the definite article, and literary translated reads “the God.” Theos in (c) does not have the definite article, and could therefore literally be translated “a god.”

The translation “the Word was a god” implies that Jesus is one of perhaps many similar created but exalted beings.

Theos as group name for the Trinity

When we say “Peter is a human,” then “Peter” is a name that identifies a specific being (WHO he is).  “Human,” on the other hand, is a common noun that explains WHAT Peter is.  Similarly, when we say “Jesus is God,” then “Jesus” is a name that identifies one specific being.  “God” is a common noun that explains WHAT Jesus is.

The Jehovah Witnesses understand theos in John 1:1(c) as a common noun for exalted beings.  An alternative understanding of theos is that it adopts a more specific meaning in the New Testament.  Specifically, some propose that theos is used in the New Testament as a common noun (a group name) for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  If that is the true, then theos in John 1:1(b), which refers to the Father, and theos in John 1:1(c), which refers to the Son, have exactly the same meaning.  Then theos in these statements describe both the Father and the Son as “Godhead,” a term which we can borrow from Colossians 2:8.  With this understanding of theos it is concluded that Jesus is co-equal with the Father; two Persons, but one divine Being.

Theos as a proper name for the Father exclusively

Others propose that theos in the New Testament adopts an even more specific meaning, namely that theos is used as a proper noun (a name) for the Father exclusively.  It is then proposed that John 1:1 uses theos in two ways:

In John 1:1(b) theos is used as a proper noun (a name) for the Father exclusively.

In John 1:1(c) theos is used as a common noun to describe Jesus as the Christian God; the One whom Christians worship, admire and obey.  The Greeks who worshiped Zeus and Apollos and many other gods, but Christians worship Jesus.

Purpose

This is a huge topic, which is discussed in a series of articles on this website.  One of the considerations, to decide between these alternatives, is how the New Testament uses the term theos.  The purpose of this article is particularly to determine how the book of Revelation uses theos:

Is theos used as a common noun or as a name?  Stated differently, is theos used as a name for one specific being (a proper noun), or for group of beings (a common noun)?

Specifically, is Jesus described as theos (God), or is theos only used for the Father?

Theos is used about 100 times in Revelation.  Most instances do not provide further identification, for instance:

The great wine press of the wrath of God” (14:19), or
The wrath of God” (15:1).

This article only considers uses of theos in Revelation that provide further identification that help us to understand who is intended.

Jesus is distinct from God.

(1) Revelation opens with the words,

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him …” (1:1).

This immediately makes a distinction between God and Jesus, which means that theos (God) is used for the Father exclusively.  The following further examples show that Revelation consistently and clearly makes a distinction between God and Jesus:

(2) In the next verse John testifies of “the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ” (1:2).  There are many similar phrases in Revelation, making a distinction between God and Jesus:

the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (1:9);
the commandments of God and … the testimony of Jesus” (12:17);
the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (14:12);
their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God” (20:4).

(3) Speaking about Jesus, John wrote “He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father” (1:6).

(4) Jesus similarly refers to God as “My God.” He said, for instance, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God” (3:12, 13; cf. 3:2;).

(5) In Revelation 5 Jesus appears in the throne room as a Lamb.  Then “they sang a new song, saying … You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe” (4:9-10).

(6)a great multitude … standing before the throne and before the Lamb, … and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (7:9-10).

(7) The woman of Revelation 12 “gave birth to a son … and her child was caught up to God and to His throne” (12:5).  (To see that this Child is Jesus, compare this verse with 19:15.)

(8) After Michael won the victory over Satan, “I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come’” (12:10).

(9) The 144000 “have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb” (14:4).

(10) Those who have “a part in the first resurrection … will be priests of God and of Christ” (20:6).

(11) John was given a vision of the New Jerusalem.  He “saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (21:22).  Similarly, “the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (21:23).

(12) John saw “a river of the water of life …coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (22:1).  “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it (the New Jerusalem)” (22:3).

These examples show clearly that Revelation consistently makes a distinction between God and Jesus.  Theos is used about 100 times in Revelation.  The 12 points above show that in about 17 instances theos (God) refers to the Father exclusively.  In not a single instance in Revelation is theos used for Jesus.  This means that when we read of “God” in Revelation, we must always assume that the writer refers to the Father specifically.

God and Jesus are often mentioned together.  God communicates with the Church through Jesus (1:1).  Jesus make us priests to His God (1:6), but they become priests of both God and of Christ (20:6).  Jesus purchased for God with His blood men from every tribe (4:9-10).  Together God and Jesus are the temple and the light of the New Jerusalem (21:22, 23).  Together they will rule over the New Jerusalem (22:1, 3).  (The throne is a symbol of the right to rule.)  They are even worshiped together at the end of Revelation 5, but they are distinct.

Conclusion: Theos (God) is used in Revelation as a name (proper noun) for the Father exclusively.  Theos is not used for Jesus.

Him who sits on the throne

Further examples of the distinction between God and Jesus can be found if we recognize:

(1) That “Him who sits on the throne” is God, and
(2) That Jesus is presented as distinct from “Him who sits on the throne.”

The word “throne” is found about 100 times in the Bible.  Fifty of those are in Revelation.  The throne is therefore a central concept in Revelation.  Much happen “around the throne” (4:3, 6; 5:11; 7:11, etc.), “before the throne” (4:5, 6, 10; 7:9, 11, etc.) and comes “from the throne” (4:5; 16:17; 22:1; etc.).

Revelation 4 may be called the throne room chapter.  The word “throne” appears at least 10 times in that one chapter alone.  Jesus is absent from this chapter; He will only appear in chapter 5.  The description of God in Revelation 4 therefore refers to the Father only.  In that chapter John saw:

A throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance” (4:2-3)

This is not a very specific description, but then we must remember that John also wrote that “No one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18).  God certainly manifests Himself in different forms at different times, for instance in this vision, but God Himself cannot be seen, for He exists beyond the physical realm. “God is spirit” (John 4:24).

After the introduction of “One sitting on the throne,” He is often called “Him who sits on the throne” (4:9, 10; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16).

Him who sits on the throne” is God:

This already clear from the context in Revelation 4, where “Him who sits on the throne” (4:10) is called “God” (4:8, 11).  This is confirmed by the following:

The “great multitude” “cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne’” (7:9-10). 

A few verses later it says that the “great multitude” “are before the throne of God” (7:15).

The son of the woman of Revelation 12 “was caught up to God and to His throne” (12:5).

The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne” (19:4).

Jesus is distinct from “Him who sits on the throne.

This is already shown by Revelation 4, where Jesus is absent, and where “Him who sits on the throne” is worshiped.  The following confirm the distinction between Jesus and “Him who sits on the throne:”

In Revelation 5 Jesus appears as a Lamb.  “He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne” (5:7).

At the end of Revelation 5 “every created thing … I heard saying, To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (5:13).

At the return of Christ, the lost masses cry, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (6:16).

The saved “great multitude,” in contrast, stands “before the throne and before the Lamb.”  They “cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” (7:9-10).  (Jesus is called “the Lamb” about 30 times in Revelation.)

If “Him who sits on the throne” is God, and if Jesus is distinct from “Him who sits on the throne,” then Jesus is distinct from God, which means that Revelation uses theos (God) to refer to the Father exclusively.

Revelation 22 refers to “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (22:1, 3).  This again makes a distinction between God and Jesus, but now it is the throne also of Jesus.  Revelation 3:21 explains why: Jesus said, “I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (3:21).  This is consistent with the frequent message in the New Testament that Jesus sits “at the right hand of God” (e.g. 1 Peter 1:22).  It therefore remains the Father’s throne.

Titles unique for the Father

Revelation 4 introduces the throne room.  In this chapter Jesus is absent.  He only enters the throne room in Revelation 5.  Revelation 4 therefore describes the Father.  In it we find the following description of Him:

4:8 … the four living creatures … day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.” 4:9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 4:10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne (cf. 4:2; 5:1, 13; 6:16; 7:10), and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 4:11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

This quote describes this Being as theos (God) and twice as “Him who sits on the throne.”  This confirms that this quote describes the Father, in distinction to Jesus.  But this quote provides additional descriptions of the Father, namely as:

Who Was and Who Is and Who Is to Come,
The Almighty,
“Him who lives forever and ever” (twice), and
“You created all things

These descriptions are discussed below.

Who Was and Who Is and Who Is to Come

The context in which this title is found in Revelation 2 implies that this refers to the Father, as distinct from Jesus.  The following is further proof:  

Firstly, in Revelation’s introduction, John brings wishes of grace and peace to the seven churches from the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (1:4-5).  In these verses the Father is called, “Him who is and who was and who is to come.”

Secondly, Him “who is and who was and who is to come” is also called”Lord God” (1:8; 11:17).  Since it was already shown above that Revelation applies theos (God) exclusively to the Father, the phrase “Lord God” means that this is the Father speaking.  

In 11:17, since the kingdom of the world has already become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, the “to come” is omitted, and the Father is only called, “who are and who were.”

It is proposed here that the title “who are and who were” may be understood as the “I AM WHO I AM” of Exodus 3, where YHVH (Yahweh or Jehovah) identified Himself:

I AM WHO I AM … Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you. … Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD (YHVH).’ This is My name forever” (Ex. 3:14-15)

LORD” in the Old Testament, in capital letters, translates God’s proper name YHVH.  These verse from Exodus explains the meaning of the name YHVH as “I AM WHO I AM.”  This may be understood to mean the One who exists without cause, but Who is the Cause of everything that exists.

Personal note: It always scares me to think about why things exists.  Why is there not nothing?  The answer is that all things exist because God exists.  In fact, He is that which exists.  Everything that exists came from within Him.  But these thoughts scare me.  My entire existence depends on Him.  But then I thank Him for the revelation which He gave of Himself through Jesus Christ.

The Almighty

Almighty” is used about 27 times in the Bible.  It is found 4 times in the Pentateuch, 9 times in Job and also 9 times in Revelation.  This is therefore also an important term in Revelation.  In Revelation this title is never used for Jesus; only for the Father, as is confirmed by the following:

I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (21:22).

This verse makes a distinction between God and the Lamb.  It also identifies God as “the Almighty,” which means that Jesus is not “the Almighty.” 

We already saw that the contents of the book of Revelation was created by God, and given to Jesus (1:1).  The title “Father” also means that He is the ultimate Source of all things.  As stated above, Jesus referred to the Father as “My God”  (e.g. 3:2).

Further proof that “the Almighty” refers to the Father only is that the title “Him who is and who was and who is to come” and “God.” both of which have already been identified as the Father, are often combined “the Almighty”:

I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (1:8).

And the four living creatures… do not cease to say, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God, The Almighty, Who Was and Who Is and Who Is To Come.’” (4:8)

And the twenty-four elders … worshiped God, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were” (11:16-17).

Those who had been victorious over the beast … sang … saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty” (15:2-3)

I heard the altar saying, ‘Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments’” (16:7).

The war of the great day of God, the Almighty” (16:14)

I heard something like the voice of a great multitude … saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns” (19:6).

The Word of God … treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty” (19:13-15).

I saw no temple in it (the New Jerusalem), for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22).

Him who lives forever and ever

This title is used of the Father in 4:9, in 4:10 and in 10:6.  In 7:2 He similarly is “the living God.”  He is specifically called “God, who lives forever and ever” in 15:7.  Revelation always uses “God” for the Father exclusively.

In Revelation 1 Jesus says “I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (1:18).  “The Son also gives life to whom He wishes” (John 5:21), but we must always remember that “just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself” (John 5:26).  The Father is the ultimate Source of life, but that life flows through the Son to other beings.

 

Creator

It is said of the Father, “You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (4:10-11).  Later we hear:

The angel …  swore by Him who lives forever and ever, Who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it” (10:5-6)

“Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (14:7)

The Father created all things, but again, God created all things through His Son.  Jesus is the Mediator between us and God in all things:

There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tit. 2:5).

Worship

Worship” is another of Revelation’s key words.  This word is found about 150 times in the NASB translation of the entire Bible, of which more than 20 are in Revelation.  What we experience today a war for the minds of the people.  While “all who dwell on the earth will worship” the beast (13:8; 14:9), a strong message goes out world-wide: “Fear God, and give Him glory … worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (14:7).  The Creator alone must be worshiped.  

In Revelation 4—the throne room chapter—“Him who sits on the throne” is worshiped.  Similarly, during the seven last plagues, it is announced:

O Lord God, the Almighty … all the nations will come and worship before you.” (15:3-4)

Twice John fell down before the angel to worship him and twice the angel prevented him from doing so:

Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God” (19:10; cf. 22:9).

Since Revelation reserves the title “God” for the Father, these are instructions to worship the Father only:

The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne” (19:4).

All the angels … fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God” (7:11).

The twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God” (11:16).

But in Revelation 5 Jesus is also worshiped:

When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (5:8).

In Revelation 5 “every created thing” worships “Him who sits on the throne, and … the Lamb” (5:13-14).

In the article Jesus is worshiped.  Does that mean that He is God? it is argued that Jesus is not worshiped independent or co-equal with God, but that He is worshiped:

  • Because God instructed the angels to worship Him (Heb. 1:6);
  • Because God gave Him “the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9);
  • To the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:11).

Conclusion

In Revelation “Jesus Christ” (1:5) is many times called the “Lamb.”  He is also called “Lord of lords and King of kings” (17:14), “Ruler of the kings of the earth” (1:5), “Faithful witness” (1:5), “Faithful and True” (19:11), “Firstborn of the dead” (1:5), “the first and the last” (1:17; 2:8), “One like a son of man” (1:13) and “the Son of God” (2:18).   “His name is called the Word of God” (19:13).

The Word was a god

Jehovah Witnesses point out that Jesus is also called “the Beginning of the creation of God” (3:14), and propose that this means that He is a created being.  But the same John, who wrote Revelation, also wrote that Jesus is “the only begotten from the Father” (e.g. John 1:14).  If He was begotten from the Father, then He was not created.  See Only Begotten Son of God.  John is also clear that,

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being” (John 1:3)

If He created all things, then He Himself is not created.  In any case, it is clear from Revelation that Jesus is worshiped with God.  Jesus also said,

All will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23).

Furthermore, Jesus “has the seven Spirits of God” (3:1; cf. 5:6).  “He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself” (19:12).  For these reasons the New World Translation of John 1:1(c) as “the Word was a god” is not accepted. 

Co-equal

It is, on the other hand, also clear that theos (God) is used exclusively for the Father.

Of the about 100 times that theos is used in Revelation, about 17 instances provide further information that help us to determine who is intended.  In all 17 instances theos is not used as a group name for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but used to refer to the Father exclusively. 

The letter to the Colossians was also analyzed to see how that letter uses theos.  See Is Jesus God? – A study of the letter to the Colossians.  That articles shows that God created all things through Jesus, that Jesus holds all creation together and that Jesus rules over all.  But Colossians also presents Jesus as distinct from God.

Theos is used about 1300 times in the New Testament.  The article Jesus is not God shows many clear examples from the other books of the New Testament that theos is used as a name for the Father only.  Therefore, when we encounter theos (God) in the New Testament, we must assume it refers to the Father exclusively. 

However, in about 7 instances the New Testament refers to Jesus as God, of which John 1:1(c) is the best known.  It is proposed that, in those seven instances, theos is used is a different way, namely to say that Jesus is the One Whom Christians worship and obey. The Greeks who worshiped Zeus and Apollos and many other gods, but Christians worship Jesus.  This does not make Him co-equal with the Father.  The Father alone is God; the Source of all things.  The article Jesus is subordinate to God shows that Jesus was subordinate to God both prior to His birth and after His ascension.  Nevertheless, Jesus is our God, for He is the One whom we worship and admire.

Articles in the Christology series:
Is Jesus God?

  1.    The three views of the Son 
  2.    Jesus existed prior to His birth in the form of God. 
  3.    Jesus in Colossians
  4.    Jesus in Philippians: Did He empty Himself of equality with God? 
  5.    Who is the Word in John 1:1?
  6.    Jesus is not God.  
  7.    God is the Head of Christ
  8.    Jesus is called God. 
  9.    He is the Only Begotten Son of God. 
 10.  God created all things through His Son. 
 11.  Jesus is worshiped.  Does that mean that He is God?  
       Worship verses in the New Testament   
 12.  Jesus has equality with God. 
 13. 
Who is Jesus? – Summary of the series of articles 
 14.  Where do we find Jesus in the Old Testament?

 


	

Jesus existed prior to His birth and incarnation. He existed in the form of God and had equality with God.

He descended from heaven; sent by God.  To become a human being Jesus emptied Himself of the form of God and of equality with God.

Jesus existed before He became a human being.

The Baptist said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me” (John 1:29).

Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).

He shared glory with God “before the world was” (John 17:5).

He existed from eternity. 

He is “from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God” (John 1:1). The “beginning” is the beginning of time.  In other words, there was no time when He was not.

He is before all things” (Col. 1:17).

He descended from heaven.

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man” (John 3:13).

 “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven … I am the bread of life … I have come down from heaven” (John 6:33-38).

What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?” (John 6:62).

I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world” (John 8:23).

He came from God.

Jews questioning Jesus
Jews questioning Jesus

I proceeded forth and have come from God” (John 8:42)

I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father” (John 16:28).

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16)

One hears many times the view that Jesus became God’s begotten Son when He was born as a human.  But John 3:16 indicates that He was God’s only begotten Son even prior to His birth as a human being.

He was sent by God. 

“... God did: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin” (Romans 8:3).

Later articles will provide many other examples to show that God sent Jesus.  This firstly implies His pre-existence; that He existed prior to becoming a human being.  Secondly this statement implies His subordination to God; not only as human being, but also in His pre-existence.

Incarnation

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14, NIV).

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (2 John 1:7).

Philippians 2

Philippians 2 contains an instructive passage in which Paul compares the existence of Christ through four phases:

(1)    Prior to His birth;
(2)   As a human being;
(3)   His death;
(4)   After His ascension

Prior to His birth Jesus existed in the “form of God” and had “equality with God”.

Jesus “emptied Himself” of the “form of God” and of “equality with God” to become a human being.  He remained the same Person as before, but He became a mere human baby, without knowledge or wisdom.  He was truly and fully human; not part God and part man.

The Cross

His Death was a test to see whether He would remain “obedient to the point of death” (v8).  His entire life was a test of obedience.

After His deathGod highly exalted Him.”  He is worshiped by all.  He is again equal with God.

For a further discussion of this important passage, see the article Jesus emptied Himself.

Summary

Jesus is before all things.  He existed in the form of God and had equality with God.  God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son.  His Jesus came forth from the Father, emptied Himself, descended from heaven, became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  He became a mere human baby, with no knowledge or wisdom.

Articles in the series: Is Jesus God?

1.     The three views of the Son
2.    Jesus existed prior to His birth in the form of God.  (Current article)
3.    Jesus in Colossians (Next)
4.    Did Jesus empty Himself of equality with God?
5.    Who is the Word in John 1:1?
6.    Jesus is not God.
7.    God is the Head of Christ.
8.    In the Bible Jesus is called God.
9.    He is the Only Begotten Son of God.
10.  God created all things through His Son.
11.  We must worship Jesus.
12.  Jesus has equality with God.
13. 
Who is Jesus? – Summary of the series of articles
14. Where do we find Jesus in the Old Testament?

Christene wat deur die Helse Horde gevange gehou word

19c `n Menigte Christene, wat deur die leër gevange gehou was, het agter die voorste afdelings aangeloop. Hulle was almal gewond.  Hulle was bewaak deur kleiner demone van Vrees.  Dit het gelyk asof daar meer gevangenes as demone in die leër was.  Verbasend genoeg het die gevangenes nog hul swaarde en skilde gehad, maar dit nie gebruik nie.  Dit was `n skok om te sien dat so baie gevange gehou kon word deur so min klein duiwel­tjies van Vrees.  As die Christene maar net hul wapens gebruik het, kon hulle hulself maklik bevry het, en waarskynlik groot skade berokken het aan die hele duiwelse horde.  In plaas daarvan het hulle net gedienstig saam gemarsjeer.

20a Bokant die gevangenes was die lug swart van die aasvoëls van Depressie.  Van tyd tot tyd sal `n aasvoël op die skouers van `n gevangene land en op hom opbring.  Die braaksel was veroordeling.  Wanneer braaksel `n gevangene tref, sal hy opstaan en vir `n rukkie `n bietjie reguiter marsjeer, maar sal dan inmekaar sak, selfs swakker as tevore.  Ek het weer gewonder waarom die gevangenes nie sommer die aasvoëls met hul swaarde dood maak nie, wat hulle maklik kon doen.

20b Van tyd tot tyd het van die swakker gevangenes gestruikel en geval.  Sodra hulle die grond tref sal die ander gevangenes hulle begin steek met hul swaarde, en hulle spot terwyl hulle dit doen.  Die aasvoëls kom dan en begin om die gevallenes lewendig op te vreet.  Die ander Christen-gevangenes sal net daar staan en dit goedkeurend betrag, en ook nog van tyd tot tyd die gevallene steek met hul swaarde.

20c Terwyl ek hierna kyk het ek besef dat die gevangenes dink dat die braaksel van veroordeling die waarheid vanaf God is.  Toe besef ek dat hierdie gevangenes dink dat hulle in werklikheid in God se leër marsjeer.  Dit is waarom hulle nie die klein demone van vrees of die aasvoëls dood maak nie – hulle het gedink hulle is bood­skappers vanaf God.  Die donkerte van die wolk van aasvoëls het dit vir die gevangenes so moeilik gemaak om te sien dat hulle naïef alles wat met hulle gebeur aanvaar as vanaf die Here.  Hulle het gemeen dat die mense wat gestruikel het onder God se oordeel was.  Dit is waarom hulle die gevalle mense aangeval het.  Hulle het gedink hulle help God.

21a Die enigste kos wat aan die gevangenes gegee was, was die aasvoëls se braaksel. Diegene wat geweier om die braaksel te eet, het eenvoudig swakker geword totdat hulle geval het.  Diegene wat dit wel geëet het, het vir `n rukkie sterker geword, maar met die krag van die bose.  Hulle het weer swakker word, tensy hulle die water van bitterheid, wat gedurig hulle aangebied was, gedrink het.  Die wat van die bitter water gedrink het, sal dan begin om op die ander op te gooi.  Wanneer `n gevangene dit begin doen, het `n demoon, wat vir `n geleentheid gewag het, op hom geklim en op hom gery tot by een van die voorste divisies.

21b Iets wat selfs aakliger was as die braaksel van die aasvoëls, was die walglike slym wat die duiwels geurineer en ontlas het op die Christene waarop hulle gery het.  Hierdie slym was die hoog­moed, selfsugtige ambisies, ensovoorts, wat die aard was van hul afdeling.  Die slym het die Christene egter soveel beter laat voel as die veroordeling dat hulle maklik geglo het dat die duiwels boodskappers van God was.  Hulle het werklik geglo dat die slym die salwing van die Heilige Gees was.

21c Die bose leër het my met soveel afsku vervul dat ek wou sterf.  Toe hoor ek die stem van die Here met my praat en sê: “Dit is die begin van die vyand se leër van die laaste dae.  Dit is Satan se uiterste misleiding.  Sy uiterste vernietigingsmag word in werking gestel wanneer hy Christene gebruik om mekaar aan te val.  Hy het hierdie leër deur die eeue heen gebruik, maar nog nooit was hy in staat om so baie mense vir sy bose oogmerke te gebruik soos nou nie.  Moenie bang wees nie.  Ek het ook `n leër.  Jy moet nou vasstaan en veg, want daar geen plek meer om weg te kruip vir hierdie oorlog nie.  Jy moet veg vir My koninkryk, vir waarheid, en vir hulle wat mislei is.”

22a Hierdie boodskap vanaf die Here het my so bemoedig dat ek dadelik begin skree het op die Christen-gevangenes dat hulle mislei word.  Ek het gedink hulle sou luister na my.  Toe ek dit doen het dit gelyk asof die hele leër omdraai om na my te kyk.  Die vrees en depressie wat hulle oordek het, het in my rigting begin spoel.  Ek het aanhou skree omdat ek gedink het dat die Christene wakker sou word en besef wat met hulle gebeur, maar in plaas daarvan het baie van hulle hul pyle geneem om my daarmee te skiet.  Die ander het geaarsel asof hulle nie seker was wat om van my te dink nie.  Ek besef toe dat ek dit te vroeg gedoen het, en dat dit `n baie dom fout was.

Die Helse Hordes is op Die Oorlogspad.

Helse Hordes op die Oorlogspad

16a Die demone se leër was geweldig groot.  Dit gestrek het sover as wat ek kon sien.  Dit was in afdelings verdeel, elkeen onder sy eie vaandel.  Die voorste afdelings het marsjeer onder die vaandels van Hoogmoed, Eiegereg­tigheid, Respektabiliteit, Selfsugtige Ambisies, Ongeregtige Oordeel en Jaloesie. Daar was baie ander bose afdelings wat te ver was om te sien, maar dié in die voorhoede van hierdie verskriklike horde uit die hel was die magtigste.  Die leier van hierdie leër was die Beskuldiger van ons Broeders self.

16b Die horde se wapens het ook name gehad.  Hul swaarde word genoem Intimidasie; hul spiese word genoem Verraad; hul pyle word genoem Beskuldiging, Skinder, Laster en Foutsoeke­righeid.  Verkenners en kleiner groepe duiwels, met name soos Verwerping, Bitter­heid, Ongeduld, Onvergewendheid en Wellus, is vooruitgestuur om vir die leër se hoofaanval voor te berei.

Johannes, die Doper

16c Daar was baie minder van hierdie kleiner groepe demone en verkenners, maar hulle was niks swakker as sommige van die groter afdelings wat na hulle gevolg het nie.  Hulle was minder vir strategiese redes.  Net soos Johannes die Doper `n enkele mens was, maar buitengewoon gesalf was om groot getalle mense te doop ter voorbereiding vir die koms van die Here, so het hierdie kleiner groepe demone buitengewone bose magte gehad om die massas te doop.  `n Enkele demoon van Bitterheid kon sy gif op menigtes saai, selfs hele rasse en volke.  `n Wellus-demoon sou homself heg aan `n bepaalde fliek- of musiekster of `n fliek of selfs `n advertensie, en iets uitskiet wat lyk soos vlae elektriese slym wat groot massas mense kon tref en “onsensitief” kon laat.  Hul enigste doel was om voor te berei vir die onheilige hordes wat na hulle gevolg het.

17a Die leër se aanslag was spesifiek teen die Kerk gerig, maar het enig­iemand aangeval wat dit kon.  Ek het geweet hul doel was om `n beweging van God, wat groot getalle mense in die kerk sou inbring, te voorkom.

17b Die belangrikste strategie van hierdie leër was om onmin te saai en om verhouding op alle vlakke te versuur; tussen gemeentes, tussen gemeentes en hul leraars, tussen egpare, tussen kinders en ouers en selfs tussen kinders.  Die verken­ners word uitgestuur om die openinge in hierdie gemeentes, families en individue op te spoor wat uitgebuit en groter gemaak kon word deur Verwerping, Bitterheid, Wellus, ens.  Dan stroom die divisies, wat agter hulle aan kom, deur die openinge en oorweldig hul slagoffers heeltemal.

17c Die skokkendste deel van hierdie visioen was dat die horde nie op perde gery het nie, maar in hoofsaak op Christene!  Die meeste van die Christene was goed geklee, en het vernaam, verfynd en geleerd gelyk, maar daar was ook mense uit elke vlak van die samelewing.  Hierdie mense het Christelike waarhede bely om hul gewetes te sus, maar hul lewens was in ooreenstemming met die magte van die duisternis.  Hoe meer hulle toegegee het aan hierdie magte, hoe groter het die demone, wat aan hul toegeken is, geword en hoe makliker kon die demone hul dade beheer.

18a Die meeste van die gelowiges het meer as een demoon gehad, maar een van hulle was altyd duidelik in beheer.  Die aard van die een wat in beheer was, het bepaal in watter afdeling dit marsjeer.  Al het al die afdelings saam marsjeer, het dit ook gelyk asof die hele leër op die drumpel van chaos was.  Die duiwels van haat het byvoorbeeld die ander duiwels gehaat net soveel as wat hulle die Christene gehaat het.  Die duiwels van jaloesie was almal op mekaar jaloers.  Die enigste manier waarop die leiers van hierdie horde kon voorkom dat die demone teen mekaar veg, was om hul haat en jaloesie te fokus op die Christene waarop hulle gery het.  Daar het egter gereeld gevegte tussen hierdie mense uitgebreek.  Ek het geweet dat dit was hoe sommige van die leërs, wat volgens die Bybel teen Israel opgestaan het, uiteindelik hulself vernietig het.  Toe hul planne teen Israel gefnuik is, was hul woede onbeheerbaar en hulle het eenvoudig teen mekaar begin veg.

18b Ek het opgemerk dat die duiwels bo-op die Christene gery het, en nie binne-in hulle was, soos wat die geval was met die nie-Christene nie.  Dit was duidelik dat die Christene net moes ophou saamstem met hul duiwels om van hulle bevry te word.  Byvoorbeeld, as `n Christen waarop `n demoon van jaloesie gery het, net begin het om die jaloesie te bevraag­teken, dan het die demoon baie vinnig swakker geword.  Wanneer dit gebeur roep die swakker-

Kwoteer Bybelverse

wordende demoon hard uit.  Die leier van die afdeling sal dan al die duiwels rondom die Christen aansê om daardie Christen aan te val totdat die bitterheid, ens. weer in hom opbou.  En as dit nie werk nie, sal die demone begin om Skrifgedeeltes te kwoteer wat verdraai word om die bitterheid, beskuldi­gings ens. te regverdig.

19a Dit was duidelik dat die mag van die duiwels bykans heeltemal op die mag van misleiding gebaseer was, maar hulle het die Christene tot so ʼn mate mislei dat hulle die Christene kon gebruik en die Christene sou dink dat hulle deur God gebruik word.  Dit het gebeur omdat amper almal vaandels van eiegeregtigheid gedra het sodat die mar­sjeerders nie eens die vaandels kon sien wat die ware aard van die afdelings aandui nie.

19b Toe ek na die agterhoede van die leër kyk, het ek die gevolg van die Be­skul­diger self gesien.  Ek het sy strategie begin verstaan en ek was verstom oor hoe eenvoudig dit was.  Hy het geweet dat `n verdeelde huis nie kan staan nie, en hierdie leër verteenwoordig `n poging om soveel verdeeld­heid in die kerk te saai dat die kerk heetemal die genade sal verbeur.  Dit was duidelik dat die enigste manier waarop hy dit kon bereik was deur om Christene te gebruik om teen hul eie broers te veg.  Dit is waarom bykans almal in die voorste linies Christene was, of dan ten minste belydende Christene.  Elke tree wat hierdie misleide gelowi­ges geneem het in gehoorsaamheid aan die Beskuldiger, het sy mag oor hulle versterk.  Dit het sy selfvertroue en die selfvertroue van sy bevelvoerders laat toeneem en die leër laat vorder en vorentoe marsjeer.  Dit was duidelik dat die mag van die leër daarvan afhang dat hierdie Christene saamgaan met die werkswyse van die bose.

Interpretasie

Die “Beskuldiger van ons Broeders” (16a) is die slang van ouds, wat ook duiwel en Satan genoem word (Op. 12:9-10).  Sy strategie is om mense, wat voorgee Christene te wees, maar lewe ooreenkomstig die beginsels van die magte van die duisternis, te gebruik om orals verdeeldheid te saai.  Satan het verreweg die grootste deel van die Christendom onder sy beheer.

Volgende: Christene wat deur die Helse Horde gevange gehou word