206 – THE USURPER
When Paul says that Jesus Christ did not want to grasp equality with God, the Apostle of the Gentiles is revealing that another grasped the title from God (Phil. 2:6). Who is this evil usurper who has the intention of clouding the glory of God, that is, his power, creation, honor? All the theologians and all the ignorant say that the devil is Satan. Satan declared to Jesus that everything was handed to him (Luke 4:5-6). Well, the dictionary says that usurper is the one that, by illicit and unjust means, takes hold of the power of the sovereign. If the devil were lying, Jesus would say so. His silence, though, was a sign of concordance.
Whoever receives anything as a gift is not a usurper. Nebuchadnezzar is a picture of Satan. Isaiahreveals this mystery in the chapter 14 of his book. Jehovah speaks through the mouth of Isaiah, “You have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise My throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit” (Is. 14:12-15). The idea that this portion of the Scriptures gives is that Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself by pride, and desired to be like God. However, that is not the reality. The prophet Jeremiah tells in details what happened. Let us read what the prophet Jeremiah says of Jehovah: “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him. And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, said the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand” (Jer. 27:5-8). The picture is clear. Jehovah was behind Nebuchadnezzar, his servant, and handed to him the kingdoms of this earth. The kingdom that would withstand, Jehovah destroyed by famine, by the sword, and by pestilences. The text of Isaiah 14 is applied to Satan, according to theology. If it is so, Jehovah is backing up Satan, his servant, and handed him everything, for free! Therefore we can see that Satan has not usurped anything, for he was the heir of Jehovah. Let us repeat. Isaiah, the prophet, makes a statement about the pride of Nebuchadnezzar, who because of the vanity of power demanded worship as if he were a god. The prophet Daniel registers the story of the statue of gold of this king. Whoever did not fall on their knees to worship, would die (Dan. 3:1-6). Theology, that is, the doctors in religion, applied the prophecy of Isaiah 14 to Satan. Jeremiah, another great prophet, revealed that the one to hand everything over to Nebuchadnezzar was Jehovah (Jer. 27:5-8). The conclusion is logical and irrefutable: If Nebuchadnezzar is a picture of the devil; the devil is not a usurper, for he received everything freely. Jehovah calls him servant. The other logical conclusion is that there is another who is the usurper. Who is this other one? It is not Jesus Christ, for Paul said: “Although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7).
In the magazine “Defesa da Fé” n°8, September-October, 1998, the theologian Ezequias Soares, at the time a president of this polemic magazine, wrote an article combating and criticizing the book JEOVÁ, FALSO DEUS, of the authorship of Olavo Silveira Pereira; he declared that Jehovah is Jesus, that is, that the two of them are the same person. Let us transcribe the text of the last page of the referred article.“Who is this Jehovah, of whom John the Baptist was the forerunner? John says that he is Jesus:‘You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, “I am not the Christ”, but, “I have been sent before Him”’ (John 3:28)”. Closing the article, Ezequias Soares says, “Who is this Jehovah, God of Israel, who entered through this door? It is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth”. To say that Jesus called Jehovah as the father of lies, in John 8:44, is simply absurd, and on top of all, a blasphemy, for Jesus himself is the God Jehovah. Ezequias spent almost a page of the magazine trying to prove that Jesus is the god of glory, using texts about Jehovah, and with this he created a real confusion.
- Jesus never sought any glory. “But I do not seek My glory” (John 8:50). Jehovah has always sought glory. “Every one who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory” (Is. 43:7). So, Jehovah is the king of glory (Ps. 24:7-10).
- Jesus does not receive glory from men (John 5:41). Jehovah does. “Ascribe to Jehovah, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to Jehovah glory and strength. Ascribe to Jehovah the glory due to His name” (Ps. 29:1-2; 1 Chr. 16:28-29).
- Jehovah does not share his glory with anyone. “I am Jehovah, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another” (Is. 42:8). Jesus received from the Father glory and honor, when he was baptized (2 Pet. 1:17). If he received, it is because he did not have it. And he shared it with the disciples. “And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one” (John 17:22).
- The glory of Jehovah was obtained with plagues and pestilences (Num. 14:22). The work of Jesus was to heal and save the victims of the pestilences and plagues of Jehovah; for Jehovah affirms that all the evils, whatever they are, all come from him (Amos 3:6).
- Jehovah affirmed to be the only god, saying that outside of him there was no other god: “Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last. And there is no God besides Me” (Is. 44:6). “I am Jehovah, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is n o one besides Me. I am Jehovah, and there is no other” (Is. 45:5-60). “To you it was shown that you might know that Jehovah, He is God; there is no other besides Him” (Deut. 4:35). These texts about Jehovah deny the trinity, that is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And what is more: When Jesus raised Lazarus, he prayed to the Father, who was in heaven. Jesus was on earth, though. Therefore, God was outside of him. How can Jehovah say that outside of him there is no God? After the resurrection Jesus said to Martha, “Stop clinging to Me; for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God” (John 20:17). Outside of Jesus there was the Father, and Jehovah denied this many times, for he wanted the glory just for himself. If Jesus were Jehovah, he would be a usurper. We believe in what Paul affirmed, saying that Christ, being in the form of God, did not wish to usurp the likeness of God, but he humbled himself, being like a man. Jehovah usurped the glory of God, and marred the kindness of God with his killings and mass destructions through malignant plagues. The first one to use the “antrz” was Jehovah (Deut. 32:22-24). But the Father is love, and saves all men (1 Tim. 4:10).
- Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore (Heb. 13:8). If Jesus and Jehovah are the same person, Jesus was one in the Old Testament: irate, vengeful and selfish. Now in the New Testament he is meek and humble, pious and forgiving. To affirm that Jehovah is Jesus is to preach violence, cruelty and eternal hatred. However, God is love.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira