We See Through a Glass Darkly

Well here we are. Standing on the edge of eternity and peering into the pages of scripture looking for light and understanding. Our eyes strain to see God. We’re thankful that God has given us some understanding of the mystery of the Father and the Son, of God and His Christ. “We speak that we do know…” (John 3:11) Still, we confess that there is much we cannot see and much we do not understand. It’s not for lack of desire and it’s not for lack of study. It’s just that God has ordained that the time for seeing Him clearly, face to face, is not yet. It’s true that “we see through a glass darkly” but someday, some blessed day, that will change and we will finally see Him face to face! (I Corinthians 13:12)

No Flesh Shall See My Face and Live

Moses had some incredible experiences on his walk with God.  He saw the waters of the Red Sea parted and Israel walk through the sea on dry land. He watched in the desert as God gave His people water flowing from a rock. Moses spoke with God “face to face as a man speaks with his friend” and then one day Moses pleaded with God saying, “Please, show me your glory!” (Exodus 33:18) God answered him by saying “no flesh shall see my face and live.” That wasn’t an angry threat, it was just a simple statement of fact. God put Moses in the cleft of a rock and then shielded him with His hand before passing by and showing Moses just a retreating glimpse of His glory. After seeing God’s glory Moses’ face shone so brightly he had to cover it with a veil!

The Unspeakable Light

There is something about the radiant outpouring of light from God’s glorious Being that flesh and blood cannot survive. Every solar eclipse brings a warning not to view it directly or risk permanent blindness. None of us could even hope to survive the intensity of light from a military laser or an atomic bomb. How much less could our mortal bodies endure the unspeakable light that shines from an infinitely powerful God? “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see…” (I Timothy 6:16)

We See Jesus

On the mount of transfiguration Jesus’ face “shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light.” (Matthew 17) On the road to Damascus the Apostle Paul saw a bright light from heaven and was blinded by the scales that formed on his eyes. (Acts (9:3-9) We aren’t in spiritual darkness any longer and “We see Jesus” (Hebrews 2:9) but our vision is still restricted by our mortality. Some glorious day, “We shall see Him as He is because we shall be like Him!” (I John 3:2) This mortal is going to put on immortality and these feeble eyes are going to see God at long last!  And that, dear friend, is something to look forward to indeed.

Copyright 2023 by Bob Shutes

Who Knows God?

Who knows God and who understands the mystery of God? Scripture teaches that God has a lot to say about who will know Him and who will not. Knowing God takes divine revelation and no one understands the mystery of God without God’s help. Jesus said, “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” (Luke 10:22) When Jesus asked  “Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man am?” Peter answered “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Jesus commended him and said “…flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:13-17). Scripture declares only the Son reveals the Father and only the Father reveals the Son.

The Eyes of Your Understanding

Preachers love to preach and writers love to write about the mystery of God and Christ but only God can give true understanding. Jesus taught, “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him…” (John 6:44)  and again “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). These few verses make it clear that coming to a knowledge of God and Christ takes divine help. We publish this website in hopes that “The eyes of your understanding may be opened…” (Ephesians 1:18) but realize that no one can open your eyes but God Himself. This whole business of knowing God and Christ depends on divine intervention.

It is a Great Gift to Know God

The scales that blinded the Apostle Paul’s eyes were put in place by God and then God Himself removed those scales.  This faith of ours and our ability to hear it, understand it and believe it is not of ourselves it is a gift from God. “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8). It is a great gift to know the true identity of the man Christ Jesus and it is a great gift to know God. Think of it as a pearl of great price because it truly is.

Blessed Are Your Eyes

Jesus had a lot to say about people who hear but don’t hear and see but don’t see. “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears for they hear” (Matthew 13:13-16). He still cries out in the marketplace today, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”. Jesus invites us to hear Him but His words have somehow gotten lost in the speculations of our learned philosophers and theologians.  Nevertheless, the message of the Father and His only begotten Son still blazes on the pages of the holy book.  If you want to truly understand the mystery of God and Christ just ask. God wants you to understand.  “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you.” We think those are some pretty wonderful promises.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

The Revelation of God

Is God Trying to Reveal Himself to You?

We pray that God will bless our feeble efforts and reveal Himself to you. We confess though, that giving you a revelation of God and Christ is beyond our ability. It requires nothing less than a sovereign act of God. “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” (John 3:35) In another place Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) And again, “No one can come to me except the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44) Our joy and hope is that you will discover for yourself what Christ has shown us and now wants to reveal to you.

The Revelation of God and Christ is Eternal Life

Does a revelation of the Father and the Son really matter? Well… Jesus gave the very keys to the kingdom of heaven to Peter just for declaring simply and plainly that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God!  (Matthew 16:13-20) This simple truth was so important to Jesus that He later went on to say,This is eternal life, that they may know thee (the Father) the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) The Apostle John even wrote that this was the very purpose of his Gospel! “And truly, Jesus did many things in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book; but these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31)

Does God Believe in the Trinity?

Let’s be careful not to add anything, or take anything away from the revelation of the Father and His Son. If God wanted to endorse Trinitarian creeds and make them binding on believers He certainly would have told us! We proclaim a message that is indeed “foolishness to the Greeks and a stumbling block to the Jews”! The message of God and His Son Jesus Christ lacks the heady intellectualism of Greek philosophy and may seem foolish to some. History reveals that the proclamation of Jesus as the long awaited Jewish Messiah has (so far anyway) been a stumbling block to Israel. We say, “The Biblical revelation of God and Christ pleases God… and it pleases us too!”

The Mystery of God is a Pearl of Great Price!

We realize that some are delighted to hear these things while others are offended. Some have ears to hear but don’t hear… while others hear clearly. Some have eyes to see but don’t see… while others see clearly and rejoice. The revelation of God and Christ is indeed a “pearl of great price” and a “treasure hid in a field” and now you have found it! Quickly now! Sell everything you have to buy this truth… and never let it go! May God bless you with “all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of  the mystery of God, and of the Father and of Christ.” (Colossians 2:2) That would please us and we’re pretty sure it will please God too.

PS: If these things make good sense to you they’ll probably make good sense to your friends too. Why not send them a link to wonderfultheology.com and find out? Thanks and God Bless.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

If God is One… Who is Jesus?

Jesus is the Anointed One, the Christ

There is only one God. He is our Father. That much seems pretty clear but there is a lot of confusion about exactly who Jesus is. The debate about Jesus’ identity goes back a long long way.  Was Jesus God Himself… the Father incarnate? Or perhaps a co-equal and co-eternal “person” in a triune Godhead? Some even speculate that Jesus Christ is Michael the Archangel. Or was He simply who He claimed to be… no more and no less than the Anointed One, the Christ? Isn’t it enough to declare that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God?  The miraculously conceived  and virgin born Messiah? This wonderful simplicity got obscured and complicated thanks to the work of the so-called church “fathers” who gave us a near lethal dose of theology based on Greek philosophy.

Jesus Spoke His Father’s Words

Jesus said a lot of things that sound like how only God could talk. That shouldn’t surprise us since He did say the words He spoke were not His own. The Father had plainly declared “I will put my words in his mouth!” (Deuteronomy 18:18) Jesus confirmed this by saying “The words that I speak are not mine but my Father’s.” (John 14:24) Jesus came in His Father’s name, spoke His Father’s words and did His Father’s works, but that didn’t make Him God.

No Other Man Ever Spoke Like Jesus!

No other man ever spoke like Jesus. People who heard Jesus speak were amazed at His words.  Hearing Jesus talk was like hearing God Himself! Even unbelievers said “Never a man spake like this man!” (John 7:46) Jesus’ enemies accused Him of claiming to be God but is that really true? His enemies said a lot of things about Him that weren’t true. The chief priests even paid people to tell lies about Him! Jesus never claimed to be God but He did claim to be the Christ. He said He was the Son of God and that was more than enough to stir the hatred of His enemies.

What is Jesus’ True Identity?

Jesus’ identity has been an issue from the very beginning. One day Jesus asked his disciples “Who do men say that I am?” They replied “Some say you are John the Baptist or Elijah or one of the prophets. Jesus asked again and said “But who do you say that I am?” Peter had the right answer.  “You are the Christ! The son of the living God!” Jesus replied “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah! This wasn’t revealed to you by flesh and blood but by my Father in heaven! And upon this rock I will build my church… and I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.”  If anyone ever asks you about Jesus just recite the words of Peter. “Jesus is the Christ (the Anointed One), the Son of the living God!” That’s enough. Jesus is not the Father incarnate, Michael the Archangel or a hypothetical second “person” in the trinity…. He is the Christ, the Anointed One.

Christ Was Truly a Man

We believe and declare “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5) Hang on to this truth and never let it go. Believe it. Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten and unique Son of God, the promised Messiah, the Anointed One. He was crucified and then rose from the dead! He was one of us and He was truly a man. Indeed Christ came in the flesh!

PS: Straightforward, Biblical and understandable. We think that’s a pretty good combination. If you appreciate what you read here at wonderfultheology.com please send a link to a few of your friends. They’ll probably enjoy it too. God Bless.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

The Mystery of God

The Greatest Mystery of All is God Himself!

The greatest mystery of all is God Himself and the greatest revelation He has ever given to mankind is His name! Before creation was unfurled like a scroll for all to read there was God… and that is the greatest mystery of all! How is it possible that God had no beginning? How can it be that He has always been? This is so far beyond our understanding that our minds cannot even begin to grasp it.

God’s Name is a Revelation of His Being

God’s very name points us toward the mystery of His eternal being. He declared to Moses that His name is “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14) How fitting that God’s name is the first-person singular form of the verb “to be”. He is, after all, the Supreme Being, the self-existent One.

There is One… and Only One God

The God of the Bible leaves no doubt that He alone is God and beside Him there is no other! This was the fundamental truth bestowed upon the descendants of Abraham.  “Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4) Did you notice that God said “I AM”? He could have said “WE ARE” and declared plurality, but He did not. He declared His singularity. The coming of the promised Messiah did not change this fundamental truth! God did not become three with the birth of His Son.

The Name of God and the Name of His Son

God wants us to know Him! We should at least know His name… and His Son’s name too. The writer of Proverbs declared “What is His name and what is His Son’s name if you can tell?” (Proverbs 30:4) Jesus declared, “This is life eternal, that they would know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Thankfully, both God’s name and His Son’s name have been revealed! These are among the things that “belong to us and to our children forever.” (Deuteronomy 29:29) We may not know everything but now we know God’s name, and His Son’s name too.

Is God’s Name YHWH, YAHWEH, or Jehovah?

What then is the name of God? Scripture calls Him the Father but what is His name? The divine name is YHWH (There are no vowels in Hebrew and these four letters are called the tetragrammaton). Today we can only guess at the correct way to pronounce it.  The same religious authorities that wanted to kill Jesus made it a crime punishable by death to even say God’s name out loud! Go figure! They should have been shouting it from the rooftops.  If you insert the vowels from Adonai and Elohim into YHWH it becomes YAHWEH. Then, if you Anglicize YAHWEH it becomes Jehovah even though there are no J’s in Hebrew. What is His Son’s name? Yeshua in Hebrew, but in English speaking countries we call him Jesus.

Now You Know the Name of God!

God wants you to know His name and His Son’s name… and now you do. These are straightforward and Biblical truths that introduce us to the mystery and revelation of God. Scholars and theologians may complicate things but this is a biblical and understandable foundation. Is there more we can say about all this? Of course there is! We’ll visit this topic again in coming posts. In the meantime, we hope this short summary has blessed you and helped you put a few things into focus.

PS: If you appreciate the  content you find here at wonderfultheology.com please let us know and send a link for this site to someone you care about. We don’t want your money but would sure like to have your help!  God Bless.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes