Scripture Queries and Answers: Deity of Christ; Reality of the Mount of Transfiguration Scene; Paradise and Kingdom;

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
1. John 17:33And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3) refers to the “Father” as “the only true God.” A man belonging to the “Faith” sect points out that John 1 makes a distinction between “the word was with God” (should be “the God”), whereas “the word was God” (is not “the God"); and that this prevents him from accepting the statement that Jesus is God in the full sense that the Father is the true God as in John 17
2. I don't understand Greek, but I notice the verse in the R. V. is weakened by the margin “thy throne O God is,” &c. (Heb. 1) which you have quoted in a back number of T. N. & O. in support of the deity of Christ.
3. What answer would you give to those who dismiss the reality of the mount of transfiguration scene, and its proof in favor of the present conscious existence of Moses and Elias, by stating it is only a “vision”? What about “the heavenly vision”?
4. A “Faith” man argued that “the kingdom” and “Paradise” are the same or similar as “When thou comest into Thy kingdom,” with “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” In proof of it, he pointed out that man in Paradise was set over the works of God's hands, and that Paradise was the kingdom, or the beginning of it. QUERIST.
A.-The very first chapter of the first Gospel proves Jesus to be not only the Messiah genealogically, but God and Jehovah. He is Emmanuel, or God with us (Isa. 7); and He should save His people, Jehovah's people, from their sins. He could say, “Before Abraham was (came into being), I am,” the ever being One, or, as in the Revelation, the Alpha and the Omega, First and Last, the Beginning and the End. He was, is, and ever shall be God. No Christian doubts but affirms that He, the Word and Son, became man, but also that He was eternally God. True Christianity depends on His person, as His word assures us who believe; and the denial of it will be, for those guilty of it, their perdition no less righteous than true. So in Rom. 9:55Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 9:5) Christ is declared to be over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
The “faith sect” must be a burlesque of faith, a school of nothing but unbelief. The man referred to understands Greek no better than Querist who owns his ignorance honestly. For the distinction in John 1:11In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) has nothing to do with the alleged difference, but only with the predicative usage, which in Greek requires the absence of the article, as every scholar knows.
3. The Transfiguration scene had for its object to give a living sample of the Son of man's future kingdom to the three chosen witnesses; and, as its still more important effect, to make known the glory of Jesus as the Son of the Father, before whom the great representatives of the Law and the Prophets vanish; “hear ye Him.” That Moses and Elijah have “present conscious existence” required no such a display; they were like the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and indeed not only all saints, but all souls of men. God is not God of dead but of living; for all live unto Him. “But I say to you, my friends, Fear not those that kill the body, and after this have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom ye shall fear: Fear him who after he hath killed hath authority to cast into hell; yea, I say to you, Fear him.” It is to trifle with Him, when any essay to treat the Transfiguration, or the apostle's “heavenly vision,” as unreal. God is not mocked.
4. The unbeliever's argument, if so be it can be called, to identify “the kingdom” with “paradise” is mere trash and confusion, and not even the least bit of sound reasoning. The Lord that day entered paradise, and so did the saved robber. The Kingdom will be at His coming. The paradise of Adam was ruined by sin; the paradise of the second Man and last Adam stands in the righteousness of God, and was open that very day to him that had faith in Jesus. Of Him spoke Psa. 8 prophetically, not retrospectively of the first man that fell.