How Did Jesus Become God?
by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1999
Edited by David Sielaff, May, 2007
Read the accompanying Newsletter for March 1999
We are all familiar with a manner commonly used tell a story to a child. It is normal to say: “Once upon a time …” After that introductory phrase is given, we then begin the account we wish to relate to the child. Interestingly, the Holy Scriptures begin in a similar fashion. They start with the common phrase: “In the beginning.” This phraseology is attested both in the initial narrative in Genesis, and also in the Gospel of John when the apostle reaches back to remote time to begin his rendition of the reason for Christ Jesus to come into the world. In other words, at the very beginning of the story [not at the start of all time], we have Jesus Christ already in existence.
The apostle John said he was then reckoned as being the Word (the Logos in Greek). The word logos (Greek: l-o-g-o-z = word, statement, saying) was also understood as a reverse acrostic in ancient times. Look at the cursive letters that make up the word, l-o-g-o-z. Note that the five letters when put together form the word l-o-g-o-z. As an acrostic, each letter forms the first alphabetic letter of a subject of a sentence that could be secretly known by those who are initiated into the symbolic nuances. Note the sentence: “The Light of the World came to Earth to give the World a sure Salvation.” Now note the reverse acrostical usage in which the opening alphabetic letters show who is “the Light of the World” (John 8:12).
l = Light from the Greek Luchnos (also Lampas) (as in the verse: “And the city … the Lamb is the light thereof” (Revelation 21:23).
o = World from the Greek Oikoumene (as in the verse “Brings in the First-begotten into the world” (Hebrews 1:6).
g = Earth from the Greek Ge (as in the verse “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).
o = World once again from the Greek Oikoumene (as in the verse “preached in all the world for a witness” (Matthew 24:14).
z = Savior or Salvation from the Greek Soter or Soteria (as in the verse “to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Linking the key words together, the expanded acrostic states:
“The Light of the World has come into the World to teach the Gospel. He then entered into the Earth in a burial and then He came out of the Earth by a resurrection. The World was provided with His teaching so that all the World will one day achieve Salvation by the actions of the Savior who is Christ Jesus, the Logos.”
This is the basic meaning of the expanded acrostic. But there is more to it than this simple understanding. Look at the word Logos carefully. It is given above with an imaginary line on which the word rests (just as we have straight lines on some stationery today to afford a penmanship guide to writers). Now look at the word l-o-g-o-z as an acrostic.
The meaning of the acrostic starts with “l” (Light). Even the shapes of Greek letters were thought significant. Note the shape of the Greek letter in cursive form. To shape the letter the writer makes a stroke downward toward an imaginary line on which the Logos is written. Then note that the middle letter “g” (the Earth) has its bottom part below that imaginary line. Also note that the two strokes of the first letter “l” (Light) project downward to reach the line on which “g” the (Earth) and the other letters are placed. This means in symbolic nuance that the Light had one stroke downward representing “God” and another stroke downward representing “Man.” God with Man entered the world simultaneously in the person of the Logos.
Then look at the second letter of the word Logos. It is an omicron, “o” (signifying Oikoumene “World”). These first two alphabetic letters linked together symbolically mean that Light (representing God with Man) has entered into the “o” (World) and the world knew Him not. The Light was in the World for just over thirty years. And then He went into the “g” (signifying Ge “Earth”) (representing the third letter of the word Logos) after He was crucified for mankind. 1
Note the shape of the Greek letter “gamma” in the cursive. It is a stroke downward into the earth (below the imaginary line), then in a circular fashion the writer continues the stroke upward and out of “the earth.” It is a down and up. This symbolized the burial and the resurrection of Christ into and out of the “g” (Earth). The “g” also has the shape of a plow (and it was noticed in early times that it was like the “head of a goat”). This came to be recognized as one of the “goats” in the Temple ritual at Jerusalem on the Day of Atonement. The symbol of “plowing a furrow” also came to represent the preparation for resurrecting the dead from their graves (plowing to plant seeds that would come forth from the earth as the apostle Paul said was like the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:36–42). Let us now go on.
After Christ came out from the “g” (Earth) (note that the shape of the stroke of the pen shows the writer making a return to its former elevation above the imaginary line). This signalized Christ’s resurrection from the “g” (Earth). He then gave His disciples authority to teach the Gospel (the fourth letter of the word Logos) into all the “o” (World) where the word Oikoumene is used once again. After 40 days in the World (Acts 1:3), Christ then ascended back to the Father in heaven having given Himself as Savior to the World with a glorious Salvation (this is what the fifth letter of word Logos signifies = the letter “sigma”).
Note the stroke of the terminal letter “sigma” in Greek. Beginning at the bottom the writer ascends with his pen from below the imaginary line with a short stroke upward showing an ascension from the earth into the first heaven (our atmosphere). Then the stroke turns in a left direction representing going into the second heaven (where are the Sun, Moon and stars). Then with a final stroke of the alphabetic letter the writer ascends directly upwards into the third heaven Paul spoke about in 2 Corinthians 12:2–3 called Paradise.
We can now form the symbolic teaching with a greater expansion of meaning of the mysterious word Logos. Look at it above once again in the Greek cursive letters resting on the imaginary line. In an acrostic symbol the word Logos meant:
“God and Man came as Light into the World (as Emmanuel) to preach to the World and to die for the World and to be raised from the dead (out of the Earth). The Logos then gave His disciples authority to preach throughout the World so that the World will also come out of the Earth (by their resurrections from the dead — note that the first stroke of the “sigma” is below the imaginary line that represents the Earth) and that all the World will also come out of the Earth (as did Christ) and ascend into the first heaven, then (like Christ) into the second heaven and then (finally, and still like Christ) ascend into Paradise itself (the third heaven) to sit on the very right hand of God the Father as Christ Jesus is doing at the present (Ephesians 2:6). This means that all of us who are “in Christ” will also ascend to be with Him.”
This is the symbolic acrostical teaching of the mysterious name Logos. And the word identifies the title of the person who was with God the Father at the beginning. He was not only with the Father, He was also like the Father by being “God.” John said: “the Word was God.” And, indeed He was a God. As a matter of fact, at His birth the angel told Joseph that besides His name “Jesus” (which means “Savior”), He also bears the august name “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God [El] with us” (Matthew 1:23).
Let’s face it, Jesus as “God” has been around long before John the Baptist came into existence, and the spiritual name of Jesus was (and is) Emmanuel (“God with us”). So, the Word (Logos) came into the world and the world did not recognize Him (John 1:10). But John the Baptist finally became aware of who He was. He pointed Him out to the world and said that Jesus was a person who “is preferred before me: for he was before me” (John 1:15). Also, “for he was before me” (John 1:30). John the Baptist meant “before me IN TIME.”
Indeed, not only did Christ Jesus have a history preceding that of John the Baptist, we read again in the same Gospel of John that Christ had an existence even before the patriarch Abraham (John 8:58).
“Then said the Jews unto him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’ Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.’”
The apostle Paul reinforced the teaching of the pre-existence of Jesus as a living personality with the rank of “God” when he told the Corinthians that
“[Israel] did all drink the same spiritual drink [at the time of the Exodus from Egypt]: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
1 Corinthians 10:4
We need to know who that personage was standing before John the Baptist and the Jewish authorities in his day that was called Emmanuel (“God with us”) at his birth? The Book of Revelation adds some pertinent information: Note the clear teaching of the Scripture. Christ said:
“‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,’ says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
This same personage is described in physical detail in the rest of chapter 1 of Revelation. He is also depicted as the “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” (Revelation 1:11) and as the One
“that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hades and death.”
He is the same personage who is described as associated with God the Father around the throne of the universe in Revelation chapter 5. He is shown to be the One who “was slain, and has redeemed us [mankind] to God by your blood” (Revelation 5:9) who is called “the Lamb of God” (verse 13). He is also the One unto whom the Father has committed all judgment of humanity. “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22), and when the time of judgment comes we find Christ sitting on His throne of judgment with the power of God on His person.
“And he that sat on the throne [in judgment] said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And he said unto me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ And said unto me, ‘It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.’”
It should be noted that in the Day of Judgment mentioned in the Book of Revelation, that it is Christ Jesus who bears in His person the rank of God. He at that time will even have children (as was prophesied in the prophecy of the “Suffering Servant” in Isaiah 53:10 when the “Barren Woman” of Isaiah 54 to 55 brings forth her children who will be engendered by the glorified Messiah who died for the world as described in Isaiah chapter 53. 2 Christ even bears the name YHVH (Yahweh) in the prophecy of Zechariah 14:3–9.
Let us look at the plain teaching of the apostle Paul in Hebrews chapters 1 and 2 for a clear understanding of how Christ Jesus was the One (under the power and auspices of God his Father, and our Father) who brought into existence the physical universe that we observe around us (both the heavens and the earth). Paul called Jesus by the term “God” and said He was the divine personage being referred to in Psalm 45 (where a heavenly scene is depicted with heavenly geography that has names similar to our geography on earth). Paul said:
“But unto the Son he [God the Father] says,
‘Your throne, O God [Jesus here is also called “God”], is for ever and ever [the age of the age]: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows. 3 And you, Lord [Jesus is called by Paul “Lord” (the “Lord” of the Old Testament)], in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of your hands.’”
In the clearest of language the apostle Paul (under divine inspiration) states that it was Christ Jesus (who had the rank of “God” on Him) who under God the Father created the heavens and the earth. This means that Jesus (as Emmanuel) had a history of living existence that goes back before the heavens and the earth ever came into existence. Indeed, it was Jesus in His former state as the Logos who was with God the Father when the heavens and the earth were created.
As a matter of fact, in the Book of Colossians, Paul stated (again in plain and simple language) that the first thing created by God the Father was Christ Jesus, and then God the Father gave power to Christ Jesus to create the heavens and the earth.
“Who [Christ Jesus] is the image of the invisible God [God the Father], the firstborn of every creature [Greek: creation]. For by Him [Christ Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth [precisely as Paul said in Hebrews 1:8–10, and this interprets the prepositions of Colossians correctly], visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him [by the hand of Christ Jesus], and for Him: and He is before all things and by Him all things consist.”
Note carefully the teaching of the apostle Paul in the above section of Scripture that Christ Jesus was “before all things.” This clearly means that in matters of time and space, Christ Jesus came BEFORE them all. Indeed, Christ had to be BEFORE them all in time and space because Paul said that the FIRST CREATION of all things in the creation WAS CHRIST JESUS HIMSELF! Never forget this fact! This means that Christ Jesus was a created being (He is not to be reckoned as having an eternal existence), but He came into existence as the first creative act of God the Father (even before “Wisdom” was created as recorded in Proverbs 8:22–31).
He became God (like the Father) by being the first created of the Father. Those who claim that Christ Jesus only came into a living existence at His birth in Bethlehem are as far off from the truth as they can get. Indeed, it was Christ who (under the authority of the Father) created the heavens and the earth. Christ Jesus was (and is) a part of the single “Godhead” called Elohim. 4
And what did the very Creator of heaven and earth [Christ Jesus] do some 2000 years ago? It was in His plan to become a human being and to experience the life of a human being in order to exalt the totality of the human race into a position of divine “Godhood” that both He and the Father now enjoy. To do this, Christ had to empty Himself of His divine glory and assume the position of an ordinary human being just like you and I are at the present. The apostle Paul explains this in the clearest of ways.
Dr. Martin’s Comments
|“Let his mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:||Christ was equal in every way with God the Father, only that the Father was (and always will be) the Father of the divine Family of Elohim:|
but made himself of no reputation,
he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
|like all of us who are human beings finding himself to be a human like the rest of us,|
So there you have it, my dear brothers and sisters. Do not be led astray by the nonsensical teaching that Jesus came into existence only 2000 years ago. Truthfully, Jesus is the Logos, the Creator of the universe.
Ernest L. Martin, 1999
Edited by David Sielaff, May 2007
1 Our English word “geography” derives from this Greek word denoting “g” (Earth). ELM
2 See my book The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine (Portland, OR: ASK Publications, 2001) where this information is described in detail in chapter 29, “Marriage and Family in the Resurrection” at http://www.askelm.com/essentials/ess038.htm. ELM
3 These “fellows” are beings in heaven who are of the same rank and station as Christ Jesus. See chapter 28, “Who Are the Sons of God” at http://www.askelm.com/essentials/ess037.htm in The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine for details of who these “fellows” are. ELM
4 For a full explanation of what Elohim represents, see chapters 30, “Just What Is God” at http://www.askelm.com/essentials/ess039.htm, and chapter 31: “God’s Divine Headquarters” at http://www.askelm.com/essentials/ess040.htm in my book The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine” ELM
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