Hunted down by Pharaoh for the death of an Egyptian, Moses ran away and found shelter in the house of Jethro, priest of Midian, who became his father-in-law. After 40 years he was tending the flocks of Jethro and went up the mountain of God, to Horeb. Then the angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a flame of fire, from the midst of the bush. And the bush was not consumed. And when Moses, startled, turned to look more carefully at the vision, Jehovah told him: Do not get near here; remove your sandals from your feet, because the place on which you are standing is holy ground. And he said: “‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God” (Ex. 3:1-6).
The Lord Jesus Christ declared: “All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him” (Luke 10:22). And Jesus came to this world to reveal who is the Father, in other words, the True God.
The confusion is the following: If Jesus is Jehovah, that is to say, they are the same person, why in the New Testament Jesus declares that his food was to do the will of the Father (John 4:34)? He also declares that the Father, in other words, God, is greater than he (John 14:28). When he raised the dead, he made the following declaration to Mary Magdalene: “Don’t hold me, for I haven’t yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17). Before he was imprisoned, Jesus, in cruel agony, prays in the Ghetsemani with the following words: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Here Jesus reveals his total submission to the Father. In the letter to the Hebrews we read that Jesus, though a son, learned obedience for the things he suffered (Heb. 5:8).
Being the Jehovah of the Old Testament, Jesus revealed another behavior:
1. Jesus, being Jehovah, did not give account of himself to the Father; rather, as Jehovah, he denies the existence of the Father. He said: “I am Jehovah, and there is none else. Besides me, there is no God” (Is. 45:5). And he goes on: “For thus says Jehovah who created the heavens, the God who formed the earth and made it, who established it and didn’t create it a waste, who formed it to be inhabited: ‘I am Jehovah; and there is no other’” (Is. 45:18). “There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Savior; There is no one besides me” (Is. 45:21). “It was shown to you so that you might know that Jehovah is God. There is no one else besides him” (Deut. 4:35). In the New Testament, for everything Jesus did he asked permission of the Father, humble and submissive; and does he, in the Old Testament, manifest arrogance, removing the Father from the context? Saying that outside of him there was no other God, he certainly did not deem to have a Father to obey. He did not have his Father to pray to as in Ghetsemani. Jehovah has never said: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). We have the impression that the Jesus of the Old Testament revealed himself to be against the Father, and destroyed men without giving any account to the Father (Gen. 6:7).
2. But let us return to the greatness of Jehovah in the face of the humbleness of Jesus Christ in this world. Jehovah manifested himself with power and glory, doing signs and prodigies, sending plagues and pestilences (Num. 14:22). Jesus was manifested in extreme poverty by being born in a manger (Luke 2:4-7). As an adult, Jesus was a poor carpenter (Mark 6:3; Zech. 9:9).
Jehovah manifested himself as the god of the silver and gold, plundering the nations through wars (Hag. 2:8; Josh. 6:16-19). Jesus told us to abandon richness (Matt. 6:19-20).
Jehovah ruled through violence, with murderous vengeance. He declares it, saying: “As I live, says the Lord Jehovah, surely with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, will I be king over you” (Ezek. 20:33). Jesus only taught and lived love, and declared: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, ‘love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust’” (Matt. 5:43-45). It is absurd to say that Jesus is Jehovah.
Jehovah killed his enemies (2 Kings 19:35-37); he also killed his people, the sons of Israel, who were innocent (1 Chr. 21:14). David declares that they were all innocent (1 Chr. 21:17). Jehovah killed innocent children (Is. 14:21). Christ declared: “Allow the little children, and don’t forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these” (Matt. 19:13-15).
Jehovah created such a violent situation of hunger and misery to punish his people, whose pious women, despairing, maddened by hunger, cooked their own children to satiate their hunger (Ezek. 5:8-10,16,17; Lam. 4:10). Jesus, filled with love and compassion, said: “I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:48-51).
Jehovah, the god who revealed himself, was always susceptible to all the passions and movements common to men. Men love some and hate others (Mal. 1:1-3). Men spend time trumping up evils to destroy those who come to obstruct their way. Jehovah does the same (Jer. 18:10-11). Men are attached to gold and silver. Jehovah is more attached to these evil metals than men. Men love to be kings. Jehovah makes a point to rule, even if by force (Ezek. 20:33). Men do things of which they later regret (Jer. 42:10). Men, when they are furious, commit crimes proper of those who are out of their minds. Well, Jehovah, when furious, declares that his fury is from hell, throws poisonous darts, and goes about crazily brandishing his sword and killing everybody, including nursing children (Deut. 32:22-25). Men turn hatred over and over in their minds for years against someone they dislike, and do not forgive him. Jehovah keeps hatred forever against a person or a kingdom, and forces his servants to make war against the ones he hates, forever.
Jehovah provoked Amalek because he fought against Israel during their journey through the desert (Ex. 17:8-15). Then Jehovah said in deadly fury: “Jehovah has sworn: ‘Jehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation’” (Ex. 17:16). Four hundred and fifty years later he commanded Saul to destroy Amalek, the people, the animals, and the nursing children (1 Sam. 15:1-3). Such a childish hatred!
Jesus did not reveal himself as God, but on the contrary declared that he was a servant of all (Mark 10:35-45). Jesus came to this world to serve the sinners, the lost, the enemies of God, the delinquents, etc., in order to save them for God, the Father, who loves all (1 John 4:10; 2:1-2).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira