“Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ They said, ‘Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven’” (Matt. 16:13-17). The other three evangelists do not mention the word “living God.” Mark says only, “you are the Christ” (Mark 8:29). Luke 9:20 says, “The Christ of God”. John 6:69 says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Only Matthew says, “Son of the living God”.
Who is this living god? He is Jehovah. How will we prove it? Following the text of Matthew, we read: “Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ” (Matt. 16:20). Now, the Messiah was the promise of Jehovah (Ps. 2:2; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Rom. 1:3). Jesus was declared Son of God only at the resurrection, and after the crucifixion, as we read in Acts 13:29-33. If Jesus became Son of God, the Father, only after the resurrection, and if Peter declares that Jesus was the son of the living god before dying on the cross, then the god to whom Peter referred could only be Jehovah, not the Father, for Jesus was already the son of the living god before the resurrection.
Paul gives us another argument: “Concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 1:3-4). The Christ begotten in the womb of Mary was the Christ according to the flesh, and begotten by Jehovah, the living god; but God, the Father, does not beget children in the flesh, as John says: “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
Continuing the text of Matthew, we read: “From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up. Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you.’ But he turned, and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men’” (Matt. 16:21-23). Now, Peter went against the sufferings and the death of Christ and was called Satan. This reveals to us that Satan was against the death of Christ on the cross. Why was it? It was because Satan offered him all the kingdoms of this world and its glory, dependent on Christ worshipping him (Luke 4:5-8). If Christ worshipped him, Satan would be viewed as God. But Jehovah promised him the same thing when he said: “Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Ps. 2:8-9). The death of Christ was not interesting to Jehovah, either. What shocks us is that Jehovah and Satan proposed the same thing. This shows to us that they have both the same will. They have both the same project. There are other instances in the Bible in which they work in agreement. In the case of Job, a righteous and sincere man, who feared God and avoided evil (Job 1:8), Satan proposed Jehovah to crush him, certain that there is no man who do not blaspheme God when he is tested. Jehovah immediately agreed with Satan, for they are partners in the project to destroy men (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7). We have one more instance. In 2 Sam. 24:1, we read that the wrath of Jehovah was kindled against Israel and incited David against them, saying: “Go, number Israel and Judah.” In 1 Chr. 21:1 we read that it was Satan who incited him. When there are two authors for a project, any one of them may sign. We have yet another instance of this dark society between Satan and Jehovah. Jehovah declared by the mouth of Isaiah that he will create a new heaven and a new earth, and that there will be no remembrance of past things, but that he will create eternal happiness for Jerusalem and also eternal joy for his people. There will be no more crying or shouting. They shall not plant, and another eat; they shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah. But three things will remain in the new heavens and the new earth: sin, death, and curses (Is. 65:20). And Jehovah closes the prophecy, saying: “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food” (Is. 65:25). It is astonishing! The serpent, that is to say, Satan, is part of Jehovah’s plan for the future eternity. They will be united for eternity: Jehovah killing through the law, and the serpent feeding on the dust, that is to say, on death (Ps. 22:15). It is a perfect society. But this future fact reveals to us that in the Garden of Eden Satan was not an enemy of Jehovah, but worked together with him (Gen. 3:1-6). If they worked together, the project of both of them is to destroy men (Gen. 6:7; Luke 9:52-56).
Jesus’ and the Father’s project is to save the cursed of Jehovah. Therefore Paul says: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” (Gal. 3:13). Notice that it is written, “curse of the law,” and not, “curses of the law.” Curses are those pronounced by Jehovah, described in the law (Deut. 28:15-68). As it says, “curse of the law,” the apostle declares that the law is a curse. Christ, on the cross, through death, redeems from the curse of the law, for the law operates the carnal passions, which kill (Rom. 7:5). The law is the strength of sin (1 Cor. 15:56). The law separates from Christ (Gal. 5:1-4). The law operates anger (Rom. 4:15). The ones that are of Christ are not under the law any longer (Rom. 6:14). For wherever there is no law, there is not any imputation of sin (Rom. 5:13).
John declares that whoever commits sin is of Satan, therefore Satan benefits from the law, which imputes sin (1 John 3:8). And Jesus came to undo the works of Satan. Destroying the works of Satan, Jesus destroys the works of Jehovah also, who ordained the law (Is. 30:9; 51:4; Num. 9:13-14). We conclude that Jesus is against Jehovah, who prepares the food of the serpent. Jesus changed the law (Heb. 7:12).
Jesus says: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Therefore, the Father is against Jehovah, for Jehovah is the author of the Old Testament, which Christ abolished (2 Cor. 3:14). Jehovah established the law, and Christ delivers us from the law (Rom. 7:6). Jehovah is the author of death (Gen. 2:16-17) and Christ has abolished death and brought the light and life through the incorruption of the gospel (2 Tim. 1:9-10). Jehovah established the system of slavery by ordering the covenant of the law on the mount Sinai (Gal. 4:21-25). Jesus Christ delivers the Christian from this dark slavery (John 8:36).
And Jesus declared: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day. This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:38-40).
By Olavo Silveira Pereira