The Christ Experiment No. 5
- Personalized Deity -
As mentioned in Experiment No. 4, Deity is studied in two ways – the manifestations of Deity, referred to as “the natural world” pursued by science, and the personality of Deity, referred to as “God” pursued by the religionist. In this Experiment, we will focus on the personality of Deity in an effort to broaden and better understand Him, His Nature and His interaction with His creation.
Background and Observation
We have already established that Deity cannot exist within His time/space creation. As the early Bible writers explained, God exists ‘above’ heaven, even on ‘the rooftop’ of heaven, not within his creation. (Job 11:7-8; Job 22:12-14; 1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 2:6) Deity is the stabilizing force at the “timeless/spaceless” center of the universe of time and space that was so suddenly created, and so crudely described as the “Big Bang.” Should Deity move from His central location, the entire universe would be shifted which would cause great upheaval in His planetary creations and in the beings that exist within it. That is why He is not only a Creator, but He is the Upholder, Controller and Stabilizer of His creation.
When we contemplate the nature of such a Being, we have to admit that there would be many things about Him that we could not comprehend. How could our minds, that are limited to only what can be perceived through our five senses and processed through the brain organ, fully comprehend a Being who exists outside of our perceptible universe? How can we fully understand a Being who had no beginning, a Being who is timeless and spaceless, a Being who has the dynamic power to create and sustain the grand known and unknown universe?
Even our ability to question God’s existence is only possible because God created mind and consciousness. In other words, the fact that we can think about and ask the question “Does God exist?” is proof that God exists! There is nothing in the known scientific world that explains the existence of mind (our thinking ability, not the brain organ). As powerful as the ‘Big Bang’ was, it does not explain how mind came to be. That is because the answer lies outside of the physical universe. Consciousness and thinking ability originated with God and He endowed His intelligent creation with it. While the scientist may not like this answer, he cannot refute it.
The supremacy and incomprehensible nature of God was recognized by both Old and New Testament writers:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
– Isaiah 55:9
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” – Romans 11:33-36
His role as Creator, Upholder, Controller and Stabilizer requires that He remain static, unmoved and in repose outside of physical creation. But that does not prevent Him from interacting with His creation. He designed other ways to free Himself from His self-imposed limitation and compensate for the mortal mind’s inability to fully comprehend Deity. God established a way for man to approach Deity on man’s level by the technique of attenuation and divestment.
To attenuate means “to lessen the amount, force, magnitude, or value of” something. To divest means “to give away property, authority, or title.” We have a clue about attenuation by what was written by the apostle Paul, when speaking of Jesus:
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:15-16
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
– Hebrews 1:3
According to the Apostle Paul, Jesus is not God. Jesus was created to be the image of God, the radiance and exact representation of the Father. Jesus presents to mankind the full personality and glory of God, but not the substance and presence of God. Jesus is an attenuation of the Father – having less power, less glory. We can illustrate an attenuated image like this.
When we look into a mirror, we see our image. It is not the substance and power of our very being, but it is an exact representation of what we look like. With modern technology we can record our image and our voice and send it out to others to let them get familiar with who we are. Yet those recordings are only representations of who we are, not the substance and full power of who we are. This is why Jesus said:
“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”
– John 14:28
And we can go a little further with this illustration. We note that the image we send can only do what we have done in the recording. It cannot give a different message or present a different personality. However, Jesus is a free will being, not an automaton. Yet he is a quintessential proponent of doing the Father’s will and has unreservedly chosen to reflect the personality of the Father ‘just so,’ doing the Father’s will in all things:
“All those whom the Father gives me will come to me, and I will never drive away the one who comes to me; for I have come down from heaven to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.”
– John 6:37-38
“And going a little way forward, he fell facedown, praying: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
– Matthew 26:39
This helps us understand what Jesus meant when he said:
“By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."
– John 5:30
This also describes ‘divestment.’ The Father divested or gave Jesus a portion of His own power so that Jesus can do the things the Father does. Again, Jesus does not have the full power of the Father, but Jesus has been given a sufficient portion of God’s power so as to be a suitable representation of the Father to his mortal creation.
By these scriptures, it is evident that Jesus is not the Ultimate Father who is the Originator and Creator of everything in time and space, and the Creator of time and space itself. But as the exact image of the Father, and one who has chosen to only do the things the Father does, it is not improper to refer to Jesus as “God” any more than it would be improper to refer to a video recording of you as “you.” Therefore, we find no fault in scriptures that refer Jesus in that way, such as John 1:1:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
– John 1:1
Jesus is comprehendible and relatable by mankind. By getting to know Jesus, we can come to know God and understand Deity by what Jesus did and taught. The Apostle Paul explained this:
“[F]or, Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:16
This explains Jesus’ importance to man and why he is so much more than a prophet or a holy man. He is a unifying personality for all men of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, all ideologies, all religions, all communities.
While Jesus is the only exact representation of God’s personality, he was not the first and only representative of Deity to mankind. In the Old Testament writings, there were other beings – angels and prophets – who had the authority to represent the glory of God to mankind. But all such representations were partial and only provided glimpses of the majesty of God, suitable only to the time in which they existed. As the Apostle Paul wrote,
“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
It was not until Jesus arrived that the full and accurate personality of Deity was revealed in a way that would appeal to those living in Jesus’ time, those living in this 21st century and all future generations of man. Revealing the true personality of such a magnanimous and sublime Being required the skill of a brilliant and perfect mind. And in so revealing the Father, Jesus opened the way to a type of freedom that welcomes scrutiny and scientific discoveries.
Unfortunately, the failure to recognize the limited representation of Deity in the Old Testament writings gives rise to many of the arguments of scientists, atheists and agnostics against the existence of a loving Creator. Jesus did much through his ministry to get man to set aside those elementary ideas about God, but even those who follow Jesus still reach back to the Old Testament stories and perpetuate the limited and flawed ideas of a jealous and vengeful God.
Until man learns to accept the personality of Deity as explained and demonstrated by Jesus, and discard the old, primitive opinions and views, the true nature of God will continue to be obscured to the scientists, and the religionist will continue to have to fight an unnecessary and misguided battle.
The Hypothesis and Prediction
Based on the above, we wonder: If mankind accepted the Old Testament stories about God and origins as primitive and elementary explanations to a growing, but immature civilization, and instead turned to Jesus’ representation of God and origins, could religion and science find further common ground?
We hypothesize that if the religionist could admit and accept that the Old Testament stories are primitive and partial, as Jesus and the New Testament writers explained, and that God and origins are far more complex than the Hebrew Bible writers understood, it would open the door to greater knowledge about Deity, both His manifestations and His personality. And it will be the start of a new era of knowledge about ourselves and our universe.
In light of the above, we ask our readers to share their thoughts about the Background and Observation to Experiment No. 5, by responding to questions such as:
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part?
2. How does Jesus’ role as the exact representation of God effect your view of God and our universe?
3. How does Jesus’ role as the exact representation of God effect your view of religion?
Your Family in the Faith,