190 - AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF FAITH 4
Author and finisher is someone who started and finished something without help from anyone. He is the one who practices and executes. The other people get to know about it only at the end, when the project cannot be altered, being irreversibly finished. The apostle Paul talks about the issue with these words: “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:8-10). This declaration of Paul makes it clear that no one knew in heaven of the secret plan of Jesus to save the lost. The Father became aware of it when Jesus asked him to put it into practice. So the Father knows, but Jesus is the author and the finisher, and so he said: “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18). So, we can propose a few points:
- The works of Jesus Christ are the works of God. “Jesus answered them; ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’” (John 10:32). “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The works that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves” (John 14:10-11). “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father” (John 10:37-38). The question is, if Christ came to reveal and do the works of the Father, and these works reveal the loving character of the Father, how could Jehovah appear before Christ doing works that are different from those of the Son, and taking from him the authorship of the work of God? If he did the works of the Father, the Son would not be the author (Heb. 12:2). But he did evil works. He put an evil spirit in Saul (1 Sam. 16:14-15). He put leprosy on Miriam, the sister of Moses (Num. 12:9-10). The banner of Jehovah was the deadly pestilence (Hab. 3:5). His fury was the fury of hell (Deut. 32:22). It is impossible to list all Jehovah’s brilliant ideas on how to devastate and afflict. But these ideas are not the works of the Father, but of Satan.
- Jesus said: “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). If no one knows the Father except the Son, and only the Son can reveal the Father, why did Moses reveal Jehovah to the people of Israel and to Egypt, assuming the main function of the Son? Moses became the author of the revelation of the Father before Christ could do it, but only Christ can reveal the Father. Since the works of Jehovah are not like Christ’s works, he has nothing of the Father. And also, if the Father handed everything to the Son’s hands, and Jehovah came before the Son, doing the works that the Son never did, Jehovah is not the Father. The scribes and Pharisees, servants of Jehovah, said to Jesus: “‘Where is your Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘You know neither Me, nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also’” (John 8:19). Whoever knows Jehovah and does not know Jesus Christ, does not know the Father.
- God, the Father, was never seen by anyone (John 1:18). No one has ever seen God (1 John 4:12). These were the words of John. Let us hear the words of Paul: “Who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Tim. 6:16). Our question is the following: If the true God has never been seen by any man, how did Jehovah visibly appear before the coming of the Son of God to this world? He appeared to Abraham saying that he was the Almighty (Gen. 17:1). The theologians explain this as a theophany. Theophany is an unreal apparition, such as an image on the television. but we are not affirming that it was not a teophany. Whoever saw the teophany, has seen Jehovah. It is like the photography of the criminal on the television. Whoever sees the picture, knows who is the criminal. In Genesis 18, Jehovah was with Abraham, and ate a good dish of veal. But teophanies do not eat veal (Gen. 18:1-8). Whoever was with Abraham was not the Father. Jehovah appeared many times (Ex. 24:9-11; 33:18-23).
- Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). Phillip asked Jesus to show him the Father: “‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Phillip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:8-9), The way to come to the Father is through Jesus Christ, and for this reason he is the door (John 10:9), so how did men have direct access to god without Christ? Whoever goes straight to god meets an impostor, for the true God can only be met in Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of faith.
- The apostle John reveals that God is light, and that in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). To reveal the Father, Jesus said: “I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). Seeing the light, men believed in God. What is this light? It is the light of the good works. If the Father is light, and there is no darkness in him, how could Jehovah have come before Jesus, and manifest himself in the darkness?“Moses approached the thick cloud where God was” (Ex. 20:21). Jehovah was at mount Sinai dictating the law, and there was darkness, fire, and storms (Heb. 12:18; Deut. 4:11-12; 5:22-24). Jehovah, if he were the Father, should manifest himself in light, not in darkness, and that did not happen, but he came before Jesus to confound and deceive. That is why Israel was in darkness(Is. 9:2; Ps. 107:10-11; Is. 59:9-10).
- The inheritance of the children of God is not on earth, but in heaven. “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our home is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3-4). Paul refers to the subject using the following words: “The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18). If our inheritance is not on earth, but in heaven, why did not Jehovah speak anything about this kingdom in the Old Testament? Why did he promise just earthly things, such as earthly offspring, gold, silver, power, victory in battles, and finally a kingdom in this world? If Jehovah were the Father, his people would have two destinations and two inheritances, and in this way God would have two promises: one in the abyss, and another in heaven. The truth is that, for those who belong to Jesus Christ, the inheritance is not on earth. The earth is the inheritance of those who return to the dust, as we read in Isaiah 65:17-25.
by PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA