Daily Archives: October 22, 2020

October 22d The D. L. Moody Year Book

Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.—James 2:10.

THE ten commandments are not ten different laws; they are one law. If I am being held up in the air by a chain with ten links and I break one of them, down I come, just as surely as if I break the whole ten. If I am forbidden to go out of an enclosure, it makes no difference at what point I break through the fence. “Whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” “The golden chain of obedience is broken if one link is missing.”[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 187). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

October 22 Life-Changing Moments With God

O God, my heart is steadfast.

You, Lord God, are my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

You will keep me in perfect peace; my mind is stayed on You, because I trust in You. I will not be afraid of evil tidings; my heart is steadfast, trusting in You, Lord. My heart is established; I will not be afraid until I see my desire upon my enemies.

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In the time of trouble You shall hide me in Your pavilion; in the secret place of Your tabernacle You shall hide me; You shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in Your tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to You, my Lord.

Now may You, the God of all grace, who called me to Your eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after I have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle me. To You be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.

My heart is confident, Lord, because You are completely trustworthy and sure. I praise You!

Psalm 108:1; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 112:7–8; Psalm 56:3; Psalm 27:5–6; 1 Peter 5:10–11[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 317). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 22, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

2 Hannah affirms several convictions about the Lord. The verse’s poetic structure ties them together and gives her words added rhetorical power. The parallelism between the first line and the third is firmly established by their grammatical structure. Note the word pair, the Lord — our God (also 2 Sam. 22:32; Ps. 18:32). The other pair, “holy one” qādôš//“rock” ṣûr occurs only here in OT, but it may be a formulaic pair.

The formula “there is no  … like  …” denotes incomparability, which “presupposes uniqueness and implies the exclusion of rivals”; see 1 Sam. 10:24; 21:10 for the expression of “comparative negation” in ordinary life. As Labuschagne notes, it is “Yahweh’s holiness, revealed through His intervention in human history as the redeeming God, that is given special prominence with regard to His incomparability.” See also on 1 Sam. 6:20.

There is none but you: or “there is no (holy) one but you.” In the latter translation, qādôš is understood as elided for the parallelistic style. As Warren proposes, the MT “must be original,” for the trisagion (i.e., “liturgically significant triple use of the divine attribute ‘holy’ ”) is not yet recognizable in the MT as it is in the Vorlage of LXX and, possibly, in the Qumran version 4QSama. The text expresses the idea that there is only one God (i.e., “monotheism”; see Deut. 4:35; 32:39; 2 Sam. 22:32), for the “holy one” here is synonymous with “God” as in Hab. 1:12; 3:3. Thus, 1 Sam. 2:2, as in Deut. 4:34–35; 2 Sam. 7:22; etc., juxtaposes “incomparability and uniqueness.” The idea that Yahweh was incomparable appears also in Exod. 15:11 as well as in the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32), so it comes probably from the earliest period of Mosaic Yahwism, if these Songs are that early. R. P. Gordon thinks that there are “intimations of pure monotheism here (cf. Isa. 45:21f).”

Hannah says that no other rock compares to Yahweh. The term rock (also 2 Sam. 22:2; 23:3) is a common epithet of God in the OT (e.g., Deut. 32:4, 15, etc., in a section which has various parallels with our text), and it implies God’s protection and strength. R. P. Gordon notes that Isa. 8:14; 28:16; and Ps. 118:22 give the figure “a messianic significance which is reflected in the New Testament (e.g. 1 Pet 2:6–8).” With our God, with the plural pronoun, Hannah speaks here as a member of the covenant community of Yahweh.[1]


2:2 There is no one holy like the Lord. In the Ugaritic myths the assembly of the gods is called “sons of the Holy One” (COS, 1:246, 343). El, the high god, is the head of this assembly, but Baal has a prominent position. He is even depicted as standing beside El. The goddess Anat declares: “Mightiest Baal is our king, our judge, over whom there is none” (COS, 1:254–55). As if directly countering this claim, Hannah calls the Lord “holy” (that is, unique) and affirms that he is incomparable.

there is no Rock like our God. The term “Rock” refers to a rocky cliff, which is relatively inaccessible and provides protection for those being pursued by enemies. Consequently it depicts God as a place of refuge and safety.[2]


2. I pray the Reader not to overlook the great warmth of devotion, expressed in those words. The unspotted holiness of Jehovah, calls forth we are told, the unceasing adoration of the blessed. Hannah first celebrates this glorious perfection of our God, which plainly proves that one, and the same Spirit operated upon her mind, and their’s. And here by the way, Reader, is a plan opened to your heart, to see whether the same Spirit operates upon you. The song of saints and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect, is of the holiness of Jehovah. None but redeemed souls can rejoice in it. Devils and spirits of darkness know that Jehovah is holy, but cannot love him for it. But his people rejoice in this glorious perfection, because in the holiness of their surety, the Lord Jesus, they see this holiness glorified, and their redemption eternally secured. I would have the Reader also consider, and then, as the blessed Spirit thall instruct him, judge for himself, whether Hannah when calling Jehovah a Rock, did not evidently allude to Jesus, who in all the eventful journies of Israel, through the wilderness, was the Rock that followed them, and whom the Apostle decidedly declares to have been Christ. Compare Exod. 33:21, 22; Exod. 17:6; Numb. 20:8–11; 1 Cor. 10:4.[3]


In ver. 2 she gives her reasons for this holy joy. The first is God’s absolute holiness; the second his absolute existence, in which she finds the proof of his holiness. Hannah may have meant to express only the language of piety, but she also stated a primary philosophical truth, which was early grasped by the deeply religious instinct of the Hebrews, that outside of God is no existence. Many necessary deductions follow from this fundamental truth, that God alone absolutely exists, and that all other existence is secondary and derived; but no deduction is more certain than Hannah’s own, that such a Being must be absolutely holy. In calling him a rock she assigns to him strength, calm, immovable, enduring, but a strength which avails for the safety of his people (comp. Deut. 32:4, 15; Ps. 18:2). For rocks, as being capable of easy defence, formed the nucleus of most ancient towns, and continued to serve as their citadels.[4]


Ver. 2. Neither is there any rock like our God.God compared to a Rock:—

  1. God is here described as a rock. God frequently compares himself to a rock, and that for his people’s encouragement.
  2. He is compared to a rock, because, as a shelter, defence, refuge, every perfection of His nature is as their bulwark round about His people.
  3. He is likewise spoken of as a rock, because in ancient days also they oftentimes made rocks their habitation. There are the inhabitants of the rocks (Jeremiah. 48 ver. 28.) “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, and my fortress: my God, in Him will I trust.” They dwell in His love and in his attributes, and find them the place of abode and the place of happiness too.
  4. But He also bears the name of a rock because He is the shade of His people. Thus we read in the fifth verse of the one hundred and twenty-first Psalm, “The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” So are God’s perfections the shade of His people, which preserveth them from the searching heat; and they are just as grateful to their souls.
  5. In what peculiar sense is it, that God stands related to his people as their rock, as they pass through this poor desert world.
  6. I might first of all say, it is because of His everlasting love towards them, in that He has made Himself to be their rock—in that He has given Himself to be their portion—in that He has made Himself over them to be their God, even unto death.
  7. And as the Spirit of God leadeth the soul onwards, then it begins to see the great mystery of justice in salvation. Thus we see in what point of view it is that the Lord God Almighty is the rock of His people, and how He becomes so in their passage through this poor vale of tears. First of all, by the sovereign gift of Himself, according to His everlasting love, and then by the effectual power of the Holy Spirit in drawing poor souls out of the world’s population through His beloved One, that they may take rest in Himself.

III. There is no rock like our God, “neither is there any rock like our God.” A Socinian’s God cannot be compared to our God—a God that forgives from mere pity—A God that suffers His own law to be trampled on, and His own justice to be set at nought, in order to make way for the display of His own mercy—that God cannot be compared to our God. The man who talks about the gospel, and lives in sin, who talks of being happy in God, and mistakes accurate notions for conversion of heart, and a well-balanced creed for the love of Christ to the soul, that man’s God cannot be compared to our God; for our God is holy. The self-righteous Pharisee in looking to his God, cannot think that he can be compared to our God. The God that can take his poor formal services—the very idea at once not only shows his folly, but exhibits the low character of the God he worships. Oh, there is no rock like our God!

  1. There is no rock so secure as is this rock. Oh, how blessed is that security which does not admit of one crevice, of one opening for the storm to enter!
  2. Oh, the breadth of this blessed rock! Is there one case now so bad, is there one circumstance in itself so desperate, that we cannot say there is in that rock a breadth for all comers?
  3. And oh, who shall say what there is inside this rock! The God of our salvation is a satisfying portion. (J. H. Evans.)[5]

[1] Tsumura, D. (2007). The First Book of Samuel (pp. 142–144). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] Chisholm, R. B., Jr. (2013). 1 & 2 Samuel. (M. L. Strauss, J. H. Walton, & R. de Rosset, Eds.) (p. 11). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Deuteronomy–2 Samuel (Vol. 2, pp. 464–465). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Samuel (p. 26). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[5] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: I Samuel (pp. 29–30). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

October—22 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

Thy holy child Jesus.—Acts 4:30.

There is somewhat so very sweet and precious in this expression, that, my soul, I would have thee to meditate upon it. Surely the apostles had a special meaning in calling the Lord Jesus “the holy child Jesus;” and no doubt the Holy Ghost did not cause his servants thus to express themselves for nought. It will be thy wisdom, therefore, to inquire. I do not find a similar phrase in all the word of God. The Redeemer is spoken of, in the days of his infancy, as “the child Jesus;” and when twelve years of age, he is still called “the child;” (see Luke 2:27, 34, 43;) but nowhere, that I recollect, does he receive the blessed appellation that he is here distinguished by, of “the holy child Jesus.” It would be presumption in thee, to determine the cause of this distinction; but it can be none to inquire. Sit down then, this evening, favourable as it is to solemn meditation, and ponder well the subject. Child and servant, in scripture language, we are told, have the same meaning: hence the apostle observes, in his epistle to the Church of the Galatians, that “the heir, as long he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.” (Gal. 4:1.) The phrase, therefore, may be accepted under this view, and it will be agreeable to the whole tenor of the Bible. (See Isaiah 42:1, compared with Matt. 12:18.) Nevertheless, I am inclined to think, that somewhat more is intended by it, in this place of the apostle’s prayer, when they called Christ “thy holy child Jesus.” Perhaps, in allusion to his holy nature, contrasted to the unholy hands by whom he was crucified and slain; and in this view the subject is truly lovely and interesting. Christ was to be crucified by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God; but none but unholy hands were to be imbrued in the blood of God’s “holy child Jesus.” And doth not the expression, “holy child Jesus,” serve, in a very striking manner, and with peculiar emphasis, to bring home to thy thoughts the holiness of that nature, which, in the childhood of Jesus, and from the womb, was altogether, “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens?” Hence, before his incarnation, the angel called him by a peculiar name, “that holy thing;” not that holy man, but that “holy thing.” (Luke 1:35.) And doth not the expression bring home, in a yet more endearing manner, if possible, the blessedness of all this is in the cause? For “the holy child Jesus,” that “holy thing,” became the one holy representative of all his Church and people; he was, and is, and ever will be, “the head of his body, the Church;” and hence, in the sight of Jehovah, Christ and his members are one. Now, my soul, considering the phrase in this point of view, what a fulness of light, and life, and glory, and joy, doth it hold forth, and pour in, upon the believer’s mind! Lamb of God! I would say, “holy child Jesus!” in thy holiness, cause me to behold myself always appearing before God, and my Father; for, sure I am, if the Lord Jehovah made thee to be sin for thy people, when thou knewest no sin, it was with the express design, in his holy purpose, counsel, and will, that “they should be made the righteousness of God in thee.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 302–303). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

October 22 Thoughts for the quiet hour

Flee into Egypt

Matt. 2:13

Why? Because there is a cruel king who will seek the young child’s life.

Is Christ born in thee? Is thy life like that manger—precious as a casket, because of what it holds? Then have a care; for, craftier and more unscrupulous than Herod, the destroyer of souls will seek to destroy thee.

There is a day coming when they shall say, “They are dead which sought the young child’s life.” Grace shall survive the foe, and we shall yet return to enjoy the comforts of life, with no Herod to threaten us. After all, it is sin which is short-lived, for goodness shall flourish when the evil one is chained up forever.

Thos. Champness[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

October 22 Inner Environment

Renew a right spirit within me.
(Psalm 51:10)

Sherman Owens says, “Don’t let the environment you grew up in grow up in you!” What insight! You’ll naturally seek out the same environment that’s within you! Why? Because you’re comfortable there; nothing more is required of you. You’re with “your own kind,” and that demands no growth, no stretching, and no “paying the price” to change. But there’s a power that can change the environment inside you—the Word of God. Jesus said, “Now are ye clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). The key is finding the right thoughts and the right words. Listen: “Keep my message in view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live—really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health” (Proverbs 4:21, TM).

Get rid of the false teachers inside you. Jabez cried, “ ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory. Let Your hand be with me and keep me from harm’ … and God granted his request.” (1 Chronicles 4:10, NIV).

Make this your prayer today, “God, enlarge me. Set me free from the environment inside; tear down the strongholds!

 

“Connect me to Your plan, Your power, and Your purpose for my life.”[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 295). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

October 22 Errors in Judgment

2 Corinthians 5:10

We all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

The judgment seat of Christ is not about the judgment for your sin. The Bible tells us that judgment already took place at the cross of Jesus Christ. There is nothing anyone can ever do to you about your sin, because God did it to His Son in your behalf. Christ was condemned for us. That is what we read in Galatians 1:4: “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age.”

One of the most commonly asked questions about this is, “How can someone have his sins forgiven and still have his works reviewed at the judgment seat of Christ?” Forgiveness is about justification, while rewards are about the things we do as justified people. These are not works which are done for justification. Because each believer must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we have no right to judge the work of other believers. We do not even know the rewards we’re going to receive, so how in the world would we know what rewards anybody else would receive? We do not know enough about anyone else’s motive of heart or faithfulness to know what they would even deserve. And I promise you, when it all comes out, there will be a lot of surprises![1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 309). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

China Is Running Big Tech – American Greatness

The idiots most useful to the Chinese Communist Party are in Silicon Valley.

Well, now we know why Big Tech suppresses pro-Trump voices and gives the Chinese Communist Party a megaphone.

It turns out Facebook’s Department of Censorship is staffed and run by citizens of the People’s Republic of China.

The New York Post reports Facebook’s “Hate-Speech Engineering” team (yes, that’s really what they call it) includes at least half a dozen foreign nationals recruited from communist China. This is the same team that smothered the Hunter Biden story.

“The Hate-Speech Engineering team’s staff includes a research scientist based at the Seattle office who earned his master’s degree in computer engineering from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing,” the New York Post reports.

Other team members come from Jilin University in northeast China, Nanjing University in eastern China, and the Communist Party-backed conglomerate Huawei.

These computer engineers are building artificial intelligence algorithms to recognize and suppress wrongthink in your news feed. It’s an insidious form of censorship that doesn’t tell you it’s screening what you’re allowed to see. 

Individuals who have no familiarity with traditional American values of free speech, raised and educated in a regimented, collectivist society that prizes social conformity above all else, are now imposing their values on Americans. They are remaking American society in the Chinese Communist Party’s image. 

We find this out only because of leaks by a former Facebook employee. Let that sink in. One of the most powerful companies in the world that controls the information Americans receive is entirely unaccountable. If not for an outraged whistleblower we would not know the discourse surrounding American politics and this election in particular is being shaped by citizens of a communist totalitarian state. 

They are doing it right here in the United States with help from Mark Zuckerberg, the man who imagines himself Caesar Augustus.

Internal company documents released by Project Veritas reveal Facebook has a policy of favoring H-1B workers over Americans, and Chinese and Korean visa workers over other visa workers. 

“When hiring for HR positions, it’s important to prioritize H-1B visa workers, and this will stimulate the process of diversification of the workplace,” says a leaked March 2020 document. The memo says “priority may be given to H-1B applicants from China and Korea to foster larger communities of diverse workers at Facebook.” As Ronald Reagan said, personnel is policy.

“Promoting diversity” is a fig leaf to cover the Zuck’s true motivation: Cheap foreign H1B labor slashes Facebook payroll costs.

And just as Beijing exploits Silicon Valley’s addiction to cheap H1-B labor, Silicon Valley’s allegiance to globalism also makes it an unwitting dupe of the CCP. 

Beijing’s Marxist rulers use the ideology and institutions of globalism as a Trojan horse to undermine and overtake Western industrial democracies. Beijing now presents itself as the defender of globalization against President Trump’s national economic policies. 

In ancient times the Chinese emperor kept massive cauldrons as symbols of his authority. When a dynasty changed and power shifted, the cauldrons were moved. In this context we can understand the significance of the People’s Republic of China gifting the United Nations an ancient cauldron “Dedicated to the 21st Century.” 

On the macro level, the tech giants subscribe to the ideal of “global citizenship” with religious fervor. On the micro level, Google, Facebook, and Twitter made the World Health Organization the arbiter of righthink on China virus. It might be worth asking if any Chinese nationals were involved in that decision, considering the CCP bought and paid for the WHO.

We have long worried that communist China’s digital totalitarianism, a system in which the government uses a Big Data “social credit score” to determine where you work, where you live, and whether you can board an airplane, would someday be imposed on Americans. 

Now we see it is worse than that: Thanks to Facebook, the Chinese Communist Party is using Americans as lab rats to perfect the artificial intelligence techno-surveillance apparatus it plans to export throughout the world. 

Peter Navarro delivered an important address, what he dubs “the useful idiot speech,” detailing the breadth and depth of the CCP’s influence in America. These latest revelations about Facebook reveal the idiots most useful to the CCP are in Silicon Valley. The tech lords have adopted globalism over American nationhood and uploaded the operating system of totalitarian collectivism, exalting “social harmony” and central control over free speech and free thought.

— Read on amgreatness.com/2020/10/21/china-is-running-big-tech/

Covid-19 study on mask-wearing efficacy rejected by journals as no one is ‘brave’ enough to publish results – Danish researchers — RT World News

Covid-19 study on mask-wearing efficacy rejected by journals as no one is ‘brave’ enough to publish results – Danish researchers

A large-scale study in Denmark that sought to determine if masks help stop the spread of Covid-19 has been rejected by several prestigious journals. The authors hinted that their findings were inconvenient to the status quo.

The Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Medical Association Journal all turned down the paper, Danish media reported on Thursday. 

The study, which began in late April, involved 6,000 Danes, half of whom were asked to wear masks at all times in public places. The other half were selected as a control group and were instructed not to cover their faces. After a month, participants were tested for Covid-19 as well as for antibodies against the virus.

The study’s researchers have remained tight-lipped about their findings, but they’ve dropped plenty of clues that suggest it was the paper’s conclusion, not its methodology, that led to the journals’ rejections. 

“We can’t start discussing what they are dissatisfied with. For if so, we must also explain what the study showed. And we do not want to discuss this until it has been published,” Christian Torp-Pedersen, professor and chief physician at the research department at North Zealand Hospital, told Denmark’s Berlingske daily.

Another member of the study’s team wrote in an email shared by former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson last week that their findings would be published “as soon as a journal is brave enough to accept the paper.”

Denmark currently requires masks to be worn on public transport, as well as in bars and restaurants when patrons leave their table. 

There is a raging debate worldwide over mask mandates that purport to halt the transmission of coronavirus. 

 Read more

Twitter removes mask guidance from White House Covid-19 adviser, claiming it violated policies on ‘misleading information’

Japanese researchers recently published a study that found that masks can offer some degree of protection from airborne Covid-19 particles, but noted that even professional-grade face coverings can’t completely eliminate the risk of contagion. 

Curiously, at the start of the pandemic, many health officials and organizations urged against widespread mask use in the general public, describing such policies as ineffective. For example, in a March interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Covid-19 task force, insisted there was no reason for seemingly healthy people to be “walking around in a mask.” At the time, his views reflected a wide consensus among medical institutions and professionals, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the US surgeon general. Fauci, the WHO, and the CDC later reversed their recommendations and supported mask mandates. 

However, many have argued that there is still inadequate data to support mandatory mask-wearing. Deborah Cohen, the medically qualified UK correspondent of BBC2’s Newsnight, reported in July that the WHO committee reviewing the organization’s mask recommendation was motivated by political lobbying, not new scientific evidence.   

There appears to be no correlation between cases and mask mandates allegedly put in place to stop the spread of the virus. Countries such as the Czech Republic have seen a surge in new cases, requiring masks in public places. At the same time, South Korea, which also has a mask mandate, has not seen a significant increase in positive Covid-19 test results. 

— Read on www.rt.com/news/504219-danish-mask-study-rejected-coronavirus/

We’re moving from the American century to a Chinese century – Max Keiser — RT Business News

We’re moving from the American century to a Chinese century – Max Keiser

The hosts of RT’s Keiser Report note that global perception in advanced economies has shifted so that China is seen as the world’s number one economic power.

Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the study by the Pew Research Center about the world’s leading economic power at the moment.

The results of the study showed that among advanced economies, 48 percent of the public view China as the number one power; while 35 percent think it’s the United States. Among Germans, 55 percent pointed to China and 17 percent to the US.

“It’s a changing of the guard,” says Max, adding: “So, we’re moving from the American century to a Chinese century, no doubt.” He points out that “the US dollar as the world reserve currency had about a 100-year run… and that all is shifting now.”

— Read on www.rt.com/business/504221-end-of-american-century/

Hunter Biden laptop: Pressure mounts on AG Bill Barr to open investigation | Daily Mail Online

Jim Jordan, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, has joined Trump and 11 House conservatives urging Bill Barr to appoint a special counsel before the election.

Article Image

Jim Jordan backed Trump’s call for special counsel probe of Hunter Biden laptop

President wants investigation into Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine and whether he profited off his father’s position as Vice President

Jordan says he ‘hopes’ investigation can be carried out before November 3 poll 

Move piles pressure on AG Barr, who would be responsible for opening probe 

— Read on www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8862693/Hunter-Biden-laptop-Pressure-mounts-AG-Bill-Barr-open-investigation.html

Rudy Giuliani Describes Alleged Underage Material On Hunter Biden’s Laptop | Zero Hedge

“Out-and-out child pornography.”

Rudy Giuliani described what he says are disturbing, underage photographs of young girls found on Hunter Biden’s laptop, which were turned over to the police in New Castle County, Delaware on Monday.

Recall that the FBI’s top child porn lawyer signed a subpoena used to obtain a copy of Biden’s hard drive(s) which were dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop by a man believed to be Hunter Biden, who signed a work order for ‘data recovery’ services following a liquid spill incident.

In a Wednesday episode of “Rudy Giuliani’s Common Sense” podcast, Giuliani describes some of the disturbing contents allegedly contained on Biden’s laptop (which, combined with evidence of Joe’s involvement in Hunter’s lucrative business endeavors, would give any foreign adversary massive leverage over a Biden administration).

“What we found were a number of photographs that troubled us greatly. They troubled us greatly because there were photographs of underage girls. The underage girls were dressed in a very provocative way… very little bikinis, and poses, that were sexually provocative.

That was troubling in and of itself, but then there was one that was straight out-and-out child pornography. Just straight – I mean, as [Justice] Potter Stewart once described pornography as ‘you can’t define it, but you know it when you see it.’ 

Well, you know this when you see it. 

We also knew what our obligations were because Bernie [Kerik, a senior VP at Giuliani Partners and former interim Interior Minister of Iraq after Operation Iraqi Freedom] had been a policeman, and I had been an assistant US Attorney and a Mayor. As a public official, had I seen that, I’d have to report it. I’d be a mandatory reporter as are medical people. When you see child pornography, or you see evidence that we also saw in the text messages and emails of an unsafe environment for the children. 

Considerably unsafe environment for the children. Again, I will not go into detail as to why. That’s for the Delaware police.

Now, you would say ‘well this was already with the FBI,’ but I have no indication, no evidence that the FBI has ever done anything with this. Or anything with the very serious and obvious overwhelming evidence of numerous crimes having been committed by Joe Biden, which they seem to be ignoring, which no prosecutor in the world could possibly ignore. So I was afraid they ignored the young girl, or young girls.”

Later in the podcast (21:15), Giuliani summarizes ‘things that have come out so far’ – “because there’s so much to this hard drive that it’d be impossible for me to analyze it professionally before the election.

Continued below:

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/rudy-giuliani-describes-alleged-underage-material-hunter-bidens-laptop

Hunter Biden Business Partner, A Pro-Democrat Navy Veteran: Hunter Asked Dad To ‘Sign-Off’ On Deals | The Daily Wire

WILMINGTON, DE - SEPTEMBER 16: Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks after a virtual coronavirus briefing with medical professionals on September 16, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A U.S. Navy Veteran who reportedly was a former business partner of Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, unloaded on Biden in a statement early on Thursday morning, saying that Biden lied to the American people when he claimed that he did not talk to his son about his son’s business dealings.

Tony Bobulinski, who left the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant, says that the few political donations that he has made in his life have been to Democrats. Bobulinski said in a statement to the New York Post that he has been contacted by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Senate Committee on Finance requesting that he produce all documents related to his business dealings with the Biden family and noted that he is moving to immediately comply with the request.

“[Bobulinski] confirms that he was one of the recipients of the May 13, 2017, e-mail published by The Post eight days ago. That e-mail, from another partner in the group, laid out cash and equity positions and mysteriously included a 10 percent set-aside for ‘the big guy,’” The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin wrote. “Sources have said the ‘big guy’ was Joe Biden. In a matter-of-fact manner, Bobulinski states that the ‘e-mail is genuine’ and that the former vice president and the man leading in the 2020 race is indeed ‘the big guy.’”

Following the New York Post’s report last week, Fox News reported that “one of the people on an explosive email thread allegedly involving Hunter Biden has corroborated the veracity of the messages, which appear to outline a payout for former Vice President Joe Biden as part of a deal with a Chinese energy firm.”

Bobulinski gave a full statement to the New York Post about what he saw in doing business with the Bidens [emphasis added]:

My name is Tony Bobulinski. The facts set forth below are true and accurate; they are not any form of domestic or foreign disinformation. Any suggestion to the contrary is false and offensive. I am the recipient of the email published seven days ago by the New York Post which showed a copy to Hunter Biden and Rob Walker. That email is genuine.

This afternoon I received a request from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Senate Committee on Finance requesting all documents relating to my business affairs with the Biden family as well as various foreign entities and individuals. I have extensive relevant records and communications and I intend to produce those items to both Committees in the immediate future.

I am the grandson of a 37 year Army Intelligence officer, the son of a 20+ year career Naval Officer and the brother of a 28 year career Naval Flight Officer. I myself served our country for 4 years and left the Navy as LT Bobulinski. I held a high level security clearance and was an instructor and then CTO for Naval Nuclear Power Training Command. I take great pride in the time my family and I served this country. I am also not a political person. What few campaign contributions I have made in my life were to Democrats.

If the media and Big Tech companies had done their jobs over the past several weeks I would be irrelevant in this story. Given my long standing service and devotion to this great country, I could no longer allow my family’s name to be associated or tied to Russian disinformation or implied lies and false narratives dominating the media right now.

After leaving the military I became an institutional investor investing extensively around the world and on every continent. I have traveled to over 50 countries. I believe, hands down, we live in the greatest country in the world.

What I am outlining is fact. I know it is fact because I lived it. I am the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings which was a partnership between the Chinese operating through CEFC/Chairman Ye and the Biden family. I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden. The reference to “the Big Guy” in the much publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other “JB” referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother.

Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my Chairman,’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing. I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business. I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.

I realized the Chinese were not really focused on a healthy financial ROI. They were looking at this as a political or influence investment. Once I realized that Hunter wanted to use the company as his personal piggy bank by just taking money out of it as soon as it came from the Chinese, I took steps to prevent that from happening.

The Johnson Report connected some dots in a way that shocked me — it made me realize the Bidens had gone behind my back and gotten paid millions of dollars by the Chinese, even though they told me they hadn’t and wouldn’t do that to their partners.

I would ask the Biden family to address the American people and outline the facts so I can go back to being irrelevant — and so I am not put in a position to have to answer those questions for them.

I don’t have a political ax to grind; I just saw behind the Biden curtain and I grew concerned with what I saw. The Biden family aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions of dollars from foreign entities even though some were from communist controlled China.

God bless America.

Democrats and many mainstream journalists have tried to claim that the emails revealed in the New York Post’s explosive reports last week amounted to a Russian disinformation campaign. Those claims have been debunked by the Director of National Intelligencethe FBI, and the DOJ.

Fox News reported last night that the FBI issued a subpoena for the laptop late last year in connection with an alleged criminal investigation into money laundering.

A Senate report from last month stated that a number of Hunter Biden’s foreign associates have been linked to money laundering. The report stated:

The Treasury records acquired by the Chairmen show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals. In particular, these documents show that Hunter Biden received millions of dollars from foreign sources as a result of business relationships that he built during the period when his father was vice president of the United States and after. In addition to providing new and descriptive details about the nature, origin and extent of payments from Burisma Holdings to Hunter Biden, the documents acquired by the Committees also shed light on a much broader array of questionable financial transactions involving Hunter Biden, other members of the Biden family, and their associations with foreign nationals. These foreign nationals have questionable backgrounds that have been identified as being consistent with a range of criminal activities, including but not limited to organized prostitution and/or human trafficking, money laundering, fraud, and embezzlement.

— Read on www.dailywire.com/news/hunter-biden-business-partner-a-pro-democrat-navy-veteran-hunter-asked-dad-to-sign-off-on-deals

Pope Francis calls for same-sex civil unions: Why this is so important and how to respond biblically — Denison Forum

Pope Francis is calling for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples. This is a significant departure from the position of the Vatican’s doctrinal office as well as the pope’s predecessors on this issue.

His remarks came as part of a documentary that premiered last night and reflects on pastoral care for those who identify as LGBT. “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film. 

He then spoke directly to the issue of same-sex marriage: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.” 

What the pope and Church have previously stated 

According to the Catholic News Agency, the pope’s statement is a shift from his position in 2010, when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires and opposed efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. In the 2013 book On Heaven and Earth, he did not reject civil unions outright but described laws “assimilating” homosexual relationships to marriage as “an anthropological regression.” He also expressed concern that if same-sex couples “are given adoption rights, there could be affected children. Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity.” 

However, the National Catholic Reporter states that the pontiff has spoken in the past in favor of civil unions as a way to differentiate between Catholic marriages and relationships recognized by state authorities. 

Conversely, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict XVI) and at the direction of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) stated in 2003 that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote, and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.” 

The CDF added: “Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.” The document called support for such unions by politicians “gravely immoral.” 

It also stated: “Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfil the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.” 

Three major questions 

The pope’s statement has generated global headlines and raises a variety of related issues. 

First, will his opinion change church doctrine? 

The person who made the documentary said that in his view, the film is not “about” the pope’s call for civil unions but “about many other global issues.” He explained that he looks at Pope Francis “as a humble human being.” Nonetheless, when the pope speaks to an issue, even on a personal rather than official basis, his opinions can sway many in the Church and beyond. 

Second, if the Church changes its position on same-sex marriage, will this affect its adoption agencies and related ministries? 

Fulton v. Philadelphia is set for argument before the Supreme Court on November 4. The case concerns whether the city of Philadelphia had the right in 2018 to stop placing children with foster parents that partner with Catholic Social Services, since the agency cannot endorse same-sex or unmarried couples as agency partners. This is just one of many cases where Catholic agencies have faced discrimination for upholding the biblical definition of marriage. In light of the pope’s statement, will these agencies change their stance on this issue in the face of legal and cultural opposition? 

Third, if the Church changes its position on homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage, how will this affect ministries who affirm biblical marriage? 

Since the Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in 2015, many have been concerned that the IRS could eventually question the tax-exempt status of religious entities who continue to uphold the biblical definition of marriage. As the Roman Catholic Church is one such entity, some have felt that, given the Church’s enormous size and political significance, it would be unlikely that the IRS would take such action. However, if the Church were to shift its stance, would other ministries be more likely to face this threat? 

How to respond with biblical compassion 

My purpose today is not to be an alarmist, since it is far too soon to know if the pope’s personal opinion will lead to any of these consequences. Rather, it is to note that, since the consequences of our personal beliefs are far larger than we might imagine, each of us should measure our opinions by biblical truth. 

As I have previously written, God’s word clearly prohibits same-sex sexual activity (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; 1 Timothy 1:8–11) and defines marriage as the covenant between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18–24; Matthew 19:4–6). (For more, see my paper on biblical answers to readers’ questions about these issues.) 

It may seem compassionate and tolerant for evangelicals to endorse same-sex sexual relationships and marriage. Such a decision certainly shields us from the vilification we face in a culture that brands us as intolerant and homophobic. 

However, it is not truly compassionate to endorse what the Bible forbids, since this offers people less than God’s best for them. Rather, we need to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) out of a desire that all people experience abundant life in Christ (John 10:10). And we need to speak such truth in a spirit of humility (Colossians 3:12) that admits our mutual brokenness (Romans 3:23) and offers hope and help in Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:11). 

In The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis wrote: “It does not matter that I know I must become, in the eyes of every hostile reader, as it were personally responsible for all the sufferings I try to explain.” Then he added, “But it matters enormously if I alienate anyone from the truth.” 

I pray that we would not “alienate anyone from the truth” today, but that we will lead them to the Truth (John 14:6).

Will you join me?

Pope Francis calls for same-sex civil unions: Why this is so important and how to respond biblically — Denison Forum

October 22 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

October 22.—Morning. [Or August 11.]
“Help Thou me.”

WE have upon former occasions read portions of the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm. It is so precious that we will continue to study it, and now read from verse eighty-one to verse one hundred and four.

Psalm 119:81–104

81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? (We have the word in the Bible, but we want it to be applied by the Holy Spirit to our hearts, and we eagerly long to have it so. O Lord, grant our desire.)

83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

Like an old wine-skin blackened and shrivelled by smoke, he was worn with pain and anxiety, yet he did not leave the way of holiness, nor should we think of doing so, come what may.

84, 85 How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.

86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.

A prayer as sweet as it is short; let us use it: “Help thou me.”

87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.

We are always in need of the Spirit’s quickening influences. Our hearts cannot keep fast hold upon the truth if they become paralysed by worldliness.

89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. (Other things are fleeting and changeable, thy promise is fixed and sure; and this is our soul’s stay in time of trouble. What should we do if the promise could fail?)

90, 91 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.

Nature fulfils thy purposes, thou givest fixity to its laws, and even so shall the plans and promises of grace abide for ever.

92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

93, 94 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.

This was far better than considering his danger and devising plans for escape. Faith continues her meditations undisturbed by the rage of her adversaries,

96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Perfect happiness in this world, or perfection in the flesh, are dreams, but the law is perfect, and so also is the glorious plan of salvation, therefore do we turn away from all else to rest in the Lord.

97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

98–100 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. (He became wiser than “his enemies” in subtlety, than “his teachers” in doctrine, than “the ancients” in experience. What a fruitful harvest did David reap in the field of Scripture. The same wisdom may be found by each of us if we learn from the same testimonies.)

101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. (No other teaching is so practically effectual. He teacheth us to profit.)

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

May such a holy abhorrence of sin be found in each of us evermore.

The men that keep thy law with care,

And meditate thy word,

Grow wiser than their teachers are,

And better know the Lord.

Thy precepts make me truly wise;

I hate the sinners’ road;

I hate my own vain thoughts that rise;

But love thy law, O God.

October 22.—Evening. [Or August 12.]
“I am Thy servant, give me understanding.”

Psalm 119:105–128

THY word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (It is a practical guide, not a book for my study only, but for my daily walk.)

106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word. (Our greatest need in times of trouble is more spiritual life. Afflictions will be a gain to us if they are sanctified to our more thorough arousing and enlivening. We have a promise that it shall be so, for the psalmist says, “according unto thy word.”)

108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.

109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law. (Fear often drives away holy thought, and urges men to sin; faith enables the believer to remain in quiet communion with God, even when life itself is in danger.)

110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

111, 112 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

113 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.

114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

115 Depart from me, ye evil doers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.

Bad companions must be chased away, for they are great enemies to holy living. We must be plain with the ungodly, and tell them that their company will never please us till they learn to please God.

116–119 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies. (God’s justice in treading down and destroying the wicked is not distasteful to a holy mind; on the contrary, we love him for being angry with evil, and relieving the world of those who are given over to it. A God without justice would be no God to just men.)

120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. (Seeing others punished, we feel a holy awe in our own souls, and fear lest we also should be deceived by sin.)

121 I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.

122 Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.

123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.

124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. (We dare not court justice, yet we do not ask for a mercy which would allow us to sin; we crave the grace which teaches us to follow after holiness.)

125 I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.

A good master will teach his young servant his business and bear with his ignorance; he cannot, however, give him understanding; but this our heavenly Master can perform.

126 It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. (When bad living and bad doctrine cast a slur upon religion, we may importunately beg the Lord to interfere to protect the interests of his own word. Are we not living in precisely such times?)

127, 128 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (David was a decided man, he took strong ground and did not compromise, he loved right and hated wrong. That is the only safe position: there let us be found.)

Great is their peace who love thy law,

How firm their souls abide!

Nor can a bold temptation draw

Their steady feet aside.

Thou hast inclined this heart of mine,

Thy statutes to fulfil;

And thus, till mortal life shall end,

Would I perform thy will.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 627–628). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Thursday Briefing October 22, 2020 – AlbertMohler.com

DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING
PART 1 (0:0 – 10:25): 
──────────────────
Pope Francis Supports Civil Unions for Homosexual Couples: The Pope Undercuts the Teaching of His Own Church 

WALL STREET JOURNAL (FRANCIS X. ROCCA)
Pope Francis Backs Civil Unions for Gay Couples, in Shift for Vatican 

WASHINGTON POST (CHICO HARLAN, MICHELLE BOORSTEIN, AND SARAH PULLIAM BAILEY)
Pope Francis calls for civil union laws for same-sex couples 

NEW YORK TIMES (JASON HOROWITZ)
Pope Francis, in Shift for Church, Voices Support for Same-Sex Civil Unions 

PART 2 (10:26 – 17:6): 
──────────────────
Three Big Lessons Evangelicals Should Learn From the Pope’s Latest Statement on Homosexuality 

THINKING IN PUBLIC
The Future of Catholicism: A Conversation with Ross Douthat 

PART 3 (17:7 – 24:20): 
──────────────────
Will There Be Any Major Party on the American Political Scene That Doesn’t Surrender to the Moral Revolutionaries? 

USA TODAY (JOSHUA BOTE)
Tiffany Trump’s speech at LGBTQ+ ‘Trump Pride’ event has Twitter buzzing. Here’s why. 

22 Oct 2020 – Rapture Ready News

Pandemic worsens NYC’s food crisis
The lines are long and the need is enormous. More than 1 million New Yorkers can’t afford food, and standing on long lines at food banks is now too common amid the pandemic.

California City Begins Handing Out Free Cash To “Address Inequalities For Black People”
“This is a great opportunity to address inequalities for Black and brown people and also additional opportunities for upward mobility.”

Early-season winter storm hits northern U.S., breaking scores of snowfall records
A winter storm hit parts of the northern U.S. this week, breaking scores of snowfall records in Montana, Iowa, and Minnesota, where more than 1 100 road accidents were reported due to heavy snow. A deepening upper-level trough and a surge of cold Canadian air now set the stage for yet another early-season winter storm and more rounds of snow through early next week, possibly as far south as Texas.

M5.6 earthquake hits Reykjanes peninsula, the largest since 2003, IcelandA shallow M5.6 earthquake hit about 5 km (3.1 miles) W of the geothermal area in Seltun on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula at 13:43 UTC on October 20, 2020. This is the largest earthquake measured in the peninsula since 2003.

Pompeo said planning to declare major human rights groups as ‘anti-Semitic’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is working to get the US State Department to declare several major international human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, as “anti-Semitic” and end American support for them, the Politico news site reported Wednesday.

USPS First Class Mail Not Arriving On Time In Battleground States Like Pennsylvania And Michigan
In early October, only about 80% of mail was delivered on time in Philadelphia. That number fell to 71% in Detroit.

Pope Francis Becomes First Gay Affirming Pontiff As He Now Adds The LGBTQ+P For Pedophile Movement To His Roman One World Religion
For years now, we’ve been telling you and showing you how and why Pope Francis began courting the LGBTQ+P for Pedophile Movement for inclusion into the Roman religion. That reason is because he needs to populate the One World Religion of Chrislam that began officially and in earnest back in February of 2019. Pedophile priests are nothing new in the Roman Catholic church, and soon they will be an official protected group.

Joe Biden and Jews with Trembling Knees
..In 1982..Biden thought he could appeal to the perceived nativism of the Dixiecrats by publicly threatening to cut off aid to the Jewish state. In July of that year, he used an appearance of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin before the Senate Finance Committee to threaten to cut off aid to Israel. After enduring Biden’s fist-pounding tirade, Begin responded with the eloquence that was his trademark.

The Joe Biden transition team is compromised by Chinese elites who have already taken advantage of Hunter Biden’s White House connections
The American government was originally intended to be of, by, and for the American people, but under the eight grueling years of the Obama-Biden Presidency, the American government was bastardized by well-connected politicians and their crooked family dealings with foreign governments. The Bidens exchanged favors with Chinese elites, and gave them red carpet treatment at the White House, selling America out as competing nations continued to take advantage of corrupt government officials.

BOMBSHELL: Covid-19 isn’t a pandemic plan, it’s an EXTERMINATION plan for humanity
About a year ago, I gave a live presentation in Branson, Missouri, that is only now being made fully public. The presentation, shown below via Brighteon.com, reveals that the real master plan which led to COVID is actually an extermination plan for humanity.

JPMorgan’s Kolanovic Has Another Warning For Those Expecting A Crushing Biden Victory
“Social media sentiment appears to be a leading indicator of the polling average. Therefore, all else equal, one could expect the polls to tighten in the near future.”

— Read on www.raptureready.com/2020/10/22/22-oct-2020/

The more you know about Biden, the ickier he is – American Thinker

A previously forgotten 1974 interview with Biden reveals a weird man obsessed with sex, money, and power.

We’ve long known that Joe Biden is a man with unseemly habits. He sniffs and fondles little girls, swims naked in front of female Secret Service agents, and has a legitimate sexual assault claim hanging over him. If the Biden hard drive documents are legitimate (and they seem to be), he used his drug-addicted son as a bagman for bribes from foreign governments and businesses and knew his son was inappropriate with underage girls. A recently unearthed 1974 interview with Biden shows us the genesis of all these gross and illegal activities.

Image: Joe Biden in 1974. YouTube screengrab.

— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/10/the_more_you_know_about_biden_the_ickier_he_is.html

October 22, 2020 Morning Verse Of The Day

Jesus Christ in Relation to God

And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. (1:15)

As already noted, the heretics viewed Jesus as one among a series of lesser spirits descending in sequential inferiority from God. Paul refutes that with two powerful descriptions of who Jesus really is. First, Paul describes Him as the image of the invisible God. Eikōn (image) means “image” or “likeness.” From it we get our English word icon, referring to a statue. It is used in Matthew 22:20 of Caesar’s portrait on a coin, and in Revelation 13:14 of the statue of Antichrist.

Although man is also the eikōn of God (1 Cor. 11:7; cf. Gen. 1:26–27), man is not a perfect image of God. Humans are made in God’s image in that they have rational personality. Like God, they possess intellect, emotion, and will, by which they are able to think, feel, and choose. We humans are not, however, in God’s image morally, because He is holy, and we are sinful. Nor are we created in His image essentially. We do not possess His incommunicable attributes, such as omniscience, omnipotence, immutability, or omnipresence. We are human, not divine.

The Fall marred the original image of God in man. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were innocent, free of sin, and incapable of dying. They forfeited those qualities when they sinned. When someone puts faith in Christ, however, that person is promised that the image of God will be restored in him or her. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29; cf. 2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 3:10). God will make believers sinless like Christ when they enter the final phase of their eternal life.

Unlike man, Jesus Christ is the perfect, absolutely accurate image of God. He did not become the image of God at the incarnation, but has been that from all eternity. Hebrews 1:3 describes Jesus as “the radiance of [God’s] glory.” Christ reflects God’s attributes, as the sun’s light reflects the sun. Further, He is said to be “the exact representation of [God’s] nature.” Charaktēr (“exact representation”) refers to an engraving tool, or stamp. Jesus is the exact likeness of God. He is in the very form of God (Phil. 2:6). That is why He could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). In Christ, the invisible God became visible, “and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father” (John 1:14).

By using the term eikōn, Paul emphasizes that Jesus is both the representation and manifestation of God. He is the full, final, and complete revelation of God. He is God in human flesh. That was His claim (John 8:58; 10:30–33), and the unanimous testimony of Scripture (cf. John 1:1; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Col. 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1). To think anything less of Him is blasphemy and gives evidence of a mind blinded by Satan (2 Cor. 4:4).

Paul further describes Jesus as the first-born of all creation. From the Arians of the early church to the Jehovah’s Witnesses of our own day, those who would deny our Lord’s deity have sought support from this phrase. They argue that it speaks of Christ as a created being, and hence He could not be the eternal God. Such an interpretation completely misunderstands the sense of prōtotokos (first-born) and ignores the context.

Although prōtotokos can mean firstborn chronologically (Luke 2:7), it refers primarily to position, or rank. In both Greek and Jewish culture, the firstborn was the son who had the right of inheritance. He was not necessarily the first one born. Although Esau was born first chronologically, it was Jacob who was the “firstborn” and received the inheritance. Jesus is the One with the right to the inheritance of all creation (cf. Heb. 1:2; Rev. 5:1–7, 13).

Israel was called God’s firstborn in Exodus 4:22 and Jeremiah 31:9. Though not the first people born, they held first place in God’s sight among all the nations. In Psalm 89:27, God says of the Messiah, “I also shall make him My first-born,” then defines what He means—“the highest of the kings of the earth.” In Revelation 1:5, Jesus is called “the first-born of the dead,” even though He was not the first person to be resurrected chronologically. Of all ever raised, He is the preeminent One. Romans 8:29 refers to Him as the firstborn in relation to the church. In all the above cases, firstborn clearly means highest in rank, not first created.

There are many other reasons for rejecting the idea that the use of first-born makes Jesus a created being. Such an interpretation cannot be harmonized with the description of Jesus as monogenēs (“only begotten,” or “unique”) in John 1:18. We might well ask with the early church Father Theodoret how, if Christ was only-begotten, could He be first-begotten? And how, if He were first-begotten, could He be only-begotten? How could He be the first of many in His class, and at the same time the only member of His class? Yet such confusion is inevitable if we assign the meaning “first created” to “firstborn.” Further, when the prōtotokos is one of the class referred to, the class is plural (cf. Col. 1:18; Rom. 8:29). Yet, creation is singular. Finally, if Paul meant to convey that Christ was the first created being, why did he not use the Greek word prōtoktistos, which means “first created?”

Such an interpretation of prōtotokos is also foreign to the context—both the general context of the epistle and the specific context of the passage. If Paul were here teaching that Christ is a created being, he would be agreeing with the central point of the Colossian errorists. They taught that Christ was a created being, the most prominent of the emanations from God. That would run counter to his purpose in writing Colossians, which was to refute the false teachers at Colossae.

Interpreting prōtotokos to mean that Christ is a created being is also out of harmony with the immediate context. Paul has just finished describing Christ as the perfect and complete image of God. In the next verse, he refers to Christ as the creator of everything that exists. How then could Christ Himself be a created being? Further, verse 17 states, “He is before all things.” Christ existed before anything else was created (cf. Micah 5:2). And only God existed before the creation.

Far from being one of a series of emanations descending from God, Jesus is the perfect image of God. He is the preeminent inheritor over all creation (the genitive ktiseōs is better translated “over” than “of”). He both existed before the creation and is exalted in rank above it. Those truths define who Jesus is in relation to God. They also devastate the false teachers’ position. But Paul is not finished—his next point undermines another false teaching of the Colossian errorists.[1]


15 Paul commences his poetic praise of Christ by referring to him as “the image of the invisible God.” In a parallel text, Paul depicts Christ as “the image of God” (2 Co 4:4; cf. 2 Co 3:18). By speaking of Christ in this fashion, Paul is seeking to express his conviction that the beloved Son is the likeness, representation, reflection, and manifestation of God (cf. Php 2:6). Like (almost all) other Jews, Paul thought God to be invisible (cf. Ro 1:20; 1 Ti 1:17) and viewed graven images as idolatrous (see Ro 1:23). After his encounter with the risen Christ en route to Damascus, Paul began to view Jesus as “the dwelling-place of the divine wisdom, the immanent presence of the transcendent God, the visible image of the invisible God” (Wright, “Poetry and Theology,” 118). Moreover, Paul came to believe that it was God’s design for those created in his image and likeness (cf. 1 Co 11:7; 15:49) to be re-created in and increasingly conformed to the image of God revealed in Christ (see esp. Col 3:10; cf. Ro 8:29; 2 Co 3:18). Paul does not indicate here how it is that one may see God in Christ. However, if Paul were asked to expound how Christ reflects the image of God, he would likely speak of Jesus’ earthly mission from beginning (incarnation) to end (ascension and exaltation) and would probably place particular emphasis on Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection (for this pattern, see Php 2:6–11).

Next, Paul describes Christ as “the firstborn over all creation.” The term prōtotokos (“firstborn,” GK 4758) rarely appears in Paul’s writings or elsewhere in the NT (cf. 1:18; Ro 8:29; Heb 1:6; Rev 1:5). Though prōtotokos occurs infrequently in Paul, it is common in the LXX, where it appears some 133 times. The LXX usually employs the word in reference to birth order (cf. Lk 2:7). Among the Israelites, firstborn sons possessed privileges not afforded other progeny. This fact gave rise to a metaphorical use of prōtotokos to express status and primacy. (For an example of this usage, see Ps 89:27: “I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.”) This appears to be the primary meaning of “firstborn” here, even if the chronological connotations of prōtotokos (and resultingly the notion of Christ’s preexistence) are not altogether absent (Lightfoot, 146–47; Caird, 176; cf. Chrysostom [Hom. Col. 3], who understands “firstborn” exclusively in reference to time). What other Jews may have attributed to Wisdom (cf. Pr 8:22–31), Paul claimed for Christ. In relation to creation, Christ is sovereign and supreme. He was before all creation in time and is above all creation in rank (cf. Moule, 65; Wright, 71). This “poem” does not praise Christ as one created (i.e., “firstborn out of creation,” a partitive genitive), as Arius of Alexandria maintained, but it exalts Christ as the one “over all creation” (so NIV, a subordinative genitive), as Theodore of Mopsuestia, among others, has recognized. (For a translation of the pertinent primary texts, see Gorday, 13–14.)[2]


15  Christ, then, is said to be “the image of the invisible God.” Paul has already said that he is “the image of God” in 2 Cor. 4:4,  in a context which appears to reflect Paul’s conversion experience. Paul recognized the one who was revealed to him on the Damascus road as Jesus Christ, the Son of God; what if, in that same moment, he recognized him also as the image of God? When Ezekiel, at an earlier date, received his vision of God, he saw enthroned at the heart of the rainbow-like brightness “a likeness as it were of a human form” (Ezek. 1:26). Paul had a similar experience when he recognized “the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). If so, he is not simply echoing someone else’s form of words here; he is expressing what his own experience confirmed to be the truth.

To say that Christ is the image of God is to say that in him the nature and being of God have been perfectly revealed—that in him the invisible has become visible. “No one has ever seen God,” says the Fourth Evangelist; “the only-begotten one, himself God, who has his being in the Father’s bosom, it is he who has declared him” (John 1:18). Later, the same evangelist reports Christ himself as saying, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). In another letter Paul affirms that, since the creation of the world, the everlasting power and divinity of the unseen Creator may be “clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20). But now an all-surpassing manifestation of his everlasting power and divinity has been granted: “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” has shone into his people’s hearts through the same creative word as in the beginning called light to shine forth out of darkness (2 Cor. 4:4–6). The writer to the Hebrews expresses the same truth when he describes Christ, the Son of God, as the “effulgence of his glory and the very impress of his being” (Heb. 1:3).

No reader of the OT scriptures, on reading the words now before us, could fail to be reminded of the statement in Gen. 1:26–27 that God created man, as male and female, “in his own image.” Defaced as the divine image in humanity may be by reason of sin, yet in the order of creation it remains true that humanity is “the image and glory of God” (1 Cor. 11:7). This image of God in humanity, moreover, is a copy or reflection of the archetypal image—that is to say, of God’s beloved Son.88 And so, as we are told later, when the havoc of sin is removed and the new man appears, the latter is renewed after the image of his Creator (Col. 3:10).

It may be observed in passing that there is a close association between the doctrine of man’s creation in the divine image and the doctrine of our Lord’s incarnation. It is because man in the creative order bears the image of his Creator that the Son of God could become incarnate as man and in his humanity display the glory of the invisible God.

Christ, in addition to being the image of God, is the “firstborn of all creation”—or, as it is rendered above, “firstborn before all creation.” The latter rendering is designed to clarify the force of the genitive phrase, “of all creation.” This cannot be construed as though he himself were the first of all beings to be created. On the contrary, it is emphasized immediately that he is the one by whom the whole creation came into being.90 What is meant is that the Son of God, existing as he did “before all things” (v. 17), exercises the privilege of primogeniture as Lord of creation, the divinely appointed “heir of all things” (Heb. 1:2). He was there when creation’s work began, and it was for him as well as through him that it was completed.

The title “firstborn” echoes the wording of Ps. 89:27, where God says of the Davidic king, “I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.” But it belongs to Christ not only as the Son of David, but also as the Wisdom of God.93 Whereas, in the wisdom literature of the OT, wisdom is at best the personification of a divine attribute or of the holy law, the NT writers know that, when they speak of Wisdom in personal terms, they are referring to one who is truly alive, one whose ministry as a man resident in the Holy Land was still remembered by many. To all those writers, as to Paul, Christ was the personal (not personified) and incarnate Wisdom of God.

As with all the other direct or indirect OT adumbrations of our Lord (including the messianic concept itself), this one is interpreted by the NT writers in terms of the historic and personal fact of Christ, and not vice versa. Thus, the well-known passage in Prov. 8:22–31, where personified Wisdom speaks of her presence at the creation of the world, is not regarded by the NT writers as a prophecy whose details may be pressed to yield christological conclusions, however much they may draw on its phraseology in depicting Christ as the Wisdom of God. Later Christian writers involved themselves in unnecessary embarrassment by trying to extract a christological exegesis from the passage. What Paul and his contemporaries imply is not so much that the personified Wisdom of the OT books is really Christ, as that Christ—the Christ who lived on earth as man, who died and rose again, “whom God made our wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:30)—is the one who was before all creation, the preexistent, cosmic Christ.

The idea of preexistence is not unknown in Jewish thought. We meet it, for example, in later discussions about the Messiah99 and in the preexistent Son of Man of the Enoch literature. But such preexistent beings were, to the minds of those who discussed them, largely ideal; here preexistence is predicated of a man who had lived and died in Palestine within the preceding half-century.101 This is not the only place in the Pauline letters where the preexistence of Christ is asserted or implied. Nor is Paul the only NT writer to teach such a thing. The same teaching is found in Hebrews (Heb. 1:2; 10:5–9) and in the Fourth Gospel (John 1:1–2; 8:58), while in the Apocalypse Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, David’s root as well as David’s offspring (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13, 16).

But Paul speaks not only of a preexistent Christ, but of a cosmic Christ: that is to say, he finds in Christ “the key to creation, declaring that it is all there with Christ in view.” Whatever figures in Jewish literature, canonical or otherwise, may have preexistence predicated of them, to none of them are such cosmic activity and significance ascribed as are here ascribed to the preexistent Christ.104 Nor is this the only place where Paul makes this ascription: he has already stated in 1 Cor. 8:6 that Christians have “one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him,” while in Rom. 8:19–21 he shows how the redemption secured by Christ works not only to the advantage of its immediate beneficiaries, “the sons of God,” but through them to the whole creation.[3]


The Image and Firstborn (1:15)

15 This christological reflection begins by declaring two titles for Jesus: he is “image of the invisible God,” and he is “firstborn over all creation.” Here Christ’s specific relations to the Father (eikōn) and creation (prōtotokos) are spelled out in terms of his lordship.

One cannot in a postmodern world—where the significance (as special creation) of humanity is ironically deconstructed—emphasize enough that humans are God’s eikōns. In the history of discussing the meaning of eikōn, the focus has shifted from the rational to the self-consciousness, to the relational, and now most accurately to the governing evocation of the term. That kind of historical, contextual,296 and theological work must be accomplished without ignoring the sometimes jarring reality that, for the apostle Paul, Jesus was himself the one and only true eikōn in bodily form, leading to the implication that we can understand Adam only through Jesus, and not Jesus simply as the second instance of the original Adam. This, then, is not so much Adamic Christology, as if Jesus is merely Adam Version 2.0, but instead a christological anthropology, or a christologically reframed Adam, an anthropology both embodied and “storied” in Israel.298 Our verse makes this explicit: “the Son is the image.” To be sure, in Paul humans—all humans—are made in God’s eikōn (1 Cor 11:7; 15:49; Rom 1:23), but it is particularly King Jesus as Israel and Israel’s Messiah who is the true eikōn (1 Cor 15:49; 2 Cor 3:18; 4:4; Rom 8:29; Col 1:15; 3:10). Inasmuch as the eikōn of Gen 1:26–27 was created to subrule on behalf of God (cf. Isa 43:7), and inasmuch as Adam and Eve forfeited that task (Gen 3), and inasmuch as God wanted to rule Israel but Israel wanted a human king (1 Sam 8), God did send his Son as the true eikōn to rule over all creation. To call Jesus the eikōn of the invisible God is to say that Jesus is the one who rules over all as the Davidic king (Ps 89:27). Furthermore, eikōn connotes revelation as the physical presence, or the “exact representation” (Heb 1:3), in concrete, embodied reality of the “invisible” God. Such a description of God is found elsewhere in the New Testament (Rom 1:20; Col 1:15, 16; 1 Tim 1:17; Heb 11:27) and ties into the famous line of John’s Jesus where he says God is “spirit” (John 4:24). The New Testament, however, does not take the line of dualism found in Plato or Philo, but instead that of a revelatory realism made manifest in incarnation. Eikōn, then, establishes not only a christological anthropology but also a christological theology or christological monotheism; that is, both God and the human are known most definitively in this single God-man, Jesus (see John 1:18; 2 Cor 4:4). This God-man King or Lord rules and reveals God. That is, in Jesus—the Cruciform One—we see “no error, no failure,” when it comes to an “exactly similar” revelation of who God is. It is right, then, to see in eikōn the “essence” of God now manifest.

Discussion of the background to eikōn shapes how one reads the hymn and how one must at least consider Prov 8:22 through the lens of Gen 1:1, but this older observation has recently been expanded: a particularly compelling theory is that eikōn evokes a wisdom tradition deriving from Hellenistic Judaism. Wisdom, it was believed, bridged the invisible God and visible creation, beginning at Prov 8:22:

The Lord brought me [Wisdom] forth as the first of his works,

before his deeds of old.

This leads to Wis 7:26, a text with very clear connections to Col 1:15:

For she [wisdom] is a reflection of eternal light,

a spotless mirror of the working of God,

and an image of his goodness.

Or from Philo, Allegorical Interpretation 1.43:

“And God planted a pleasaunce [paradise] in Eden toward the sun-rising, and placed there the man whom He had formed.” By using many words for it Moses has already made it manifest that the sublime and heavenly wisdom is of many names; for he calls it [wisdom] “beginning” and “image” and “vision of God”; and now by the planting of the pleasaunce he brings out the fact that earthly wisdom is a copy of this as of an archetype.

As observed, then, Wisdom and Logos are often indistinguishable as forms by which God reveals. The eikōn who rules reveals the Wisdom of God. As Dunn puts it, “These terms have to be understood as ways of speaking of God’s own outreach to and interaction with his world and his people, ways, in other words, of speaking of God’s immanence while safeguarding his transcendence—in a word, ‘personifications’ of God’s wisdom rather than ‘intermediaries’ or ‘hypostases.’ ” For some Jews, then, the primary form of Wisdom revelation is Torah, while for the Christians it is Jesus and the Spirit. That is to say, this hymn is adopting and adapting the Jewish wisdom tradition, as understood in part in the Torah-revelation tradition, to God’s manifestation in Christ. These terms then come to fulfillment in Christ: rule, revelation, Wisdom, and Torah.305

The Son is the image of the “invisible God,” a claim that transcends Old Testament categories where God is visible, but humans are incapable of survival if God is seen. In spite of the denial of the human gaze upon God in John 1:18, some texts imply having seen God (Gen 16:13; 32:30). Perhaps, then, God is not so much invisible as not completely revealed or “unseen.” This understanding makes the manifestation of God in Christ, the incarnation itself, a singular advance in revelation history, for now God has been fully manifested in embodied form. In addition, we have the makings of a christological anthropology for, if the Son/Christ is the eikōn, humans are made “according to” or “in” that eikōn.

This God-man becomes human, our hymn continues, as the “firstborn over all creation.” Before we examine the sense of “over,” which in flatter translation is no more than “of,” we need to look at the meaning of “firstborn” (prōtotokos). The term is used throughout the Septuagint for the temporally firstborn child from a mother, and the same sense is found in the New Testament (Luke 2:7; Heb 11:28). But the term also indicates the figurative status of preeminence when speaking of Israel as firstborn (e.g., Exod 4:22), the future Davidic king (Ps 89:27), or Wisdom herself (Prov 8:22). In the New Testament, Jesus is the prōtotokos in that he is the one into whom all are conformed (Rom 8:29) and the one to be worshiped (Heb 1:6); the whole church absorbs his identity as the firstborn (12:23), and he is the first one to be resurrected (Rev 1:5). In these references his status, not his birth order, is in view, his superiority more than his temporality. His status is superior because temporally he is before all things, hierarchically he is above all things, and ontologically he sustains all things. This matters for anthropology: if Christ is the Prōtotokos, Adam is not simply the prototype for the Second Adam, but Christ is the prior Eikōn-template used to create Adam and Eve. Christ may be the Second Adam, but Adam, then, is the Second Prōtotokos-Eikōn. One might then say that, in contemplating creation—since all creation is in, through, and unto Christ—we are to encounter a manifestation of nothing less than the Son.

The issue in the history of the church has been the specific kind of genitive at work in “firstborn of all creation.” The Greek has no preposition or word stating the kind of relationship between “firstborn” and “all creation.” One must discern the genitive, or more accurately, discern the relationship of the two terms. Is the Son a created being (partitive genitive) or superior to (objective genitive) the created beings of this world? In that the term prōtotokos evokes ontological superiority and that vv. 16–17 explicitly make the Son the creator of all matter, one must conclude that the genitive is objective or comparative: that is, he is the firstborn in comparison to or (even better) the firstborn over all creation.

We turn now to the second verse (v. 16) of the hymn, in which the first strophe (vv. 15–17) focuses on Christ as supreme in creation, and our second verse here focuses on the reason why Christ is supreme: Christ is the Creator.[4]


The glory of Christ’s person (v. 15)

Jesus Christ is ‘the image of the invisible God’ not only because he is man made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–27; 1 Cor. 11:7), but also because he has the same nature as God (Heb. 1:3), being co-eternal with him. The Father is invisible to us, yet God manifests himself by his Son (John 14:9). Christ pre-existed with the Father before the world was created as ‘the first-born over all creation’ (v. 15), being the Father’s heir. This phrase does not refer to the creating of Jesus Christ before the rest of creation, as the Arians and the Unitarians teach, but to his eternal divine existence.[5]


1:15 / He is the image of the invisible God. By image, Paul does not mean mere resemblance or similarity, because the Greek word used is eikōn. This communicates the idea that Christ participates in and with the nature of God, not merely copying, but visibly manifesting and perfectly revealing God in human form (in 2 Cor. 4:4 Paul talks about “the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”).

The result of the Incarnation is that the invisible God has become visible in the God-man, Jesus Christ. The Apostle John, in a different context, records statements that Christ made: “I and the Father are one” (10:30), and “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (14:9). Such a claim could not be made for any angel or spiritual power. Christ’s sovereignty is attested to by his personal and unique relationship to God.

By bearing the image of God in this way, Christ stands apart from the created order as the firstborn over all creation. The phrase firstborn (prōtotokos) has often been taken in a temporal sense implying that Christ is the first one to be created and thus belongs to the created order. Apparently the false teachers at Colossae had relegated Christ to the status of a created being. This heresy has a long history, for it was championed by the Arians in the fourth century a.d. and continues to be perpetuated by the Jehovah’s Witnesses today.

Paul does not mean that Christ belongs to creation in a temporal way. The issue here is primacy of function, not priority in time. Since Christ participates in the act of creation, he stands over and beyond the created world as the agent by which everything came into existence.[6]


Ver. 15.—Who is Image of God the invisible (ch. 2:9; Phil. 2:6; 2 Cor. 4:4; Heb. 1:1–3; 11:27; John 1:1–3, 18; 5:37, 38; 1 Tim. 1:17; Exod. 33:20; Job 18:8, 9). On “image” (εἰκών), see Lightfoot’s full discussion; and Trench’s ‘Synonyms.’ The word is well defined by Philo (‘On Dreams,’ 1. § 40): “The image—no imitation, but the very archetypal representation itself (αὐτὸ τὸ ὰρχέτυπον εἶδος).” This title the apostle had before conferred on Christ in 2 Cor. 4:4. There it is in the moral and redemptional attributes of the Godhead, manifest in “the illumination of the gospel,” that Jesus Christ (ver. 6), the incarnate Redeemer, appears as “the Image of God:” here the title is put upon him as representing the invisible God in all that pertains to nature and creation. The Colossian error rested on a philosophical dualism. It assumed an absolute separation between the infinite God and the finite, material world, which was viewed as the work of lower and more or less evil powers. To counteract it, therefore, the apostle’s argument must go down to the foundation of things, and seeks for a true conception of the universe on which to ground itself. Accordingly, in this and the following verses, he bases the redeeming work of “the Word made flesh who dwelt among us,” set forth in his previous Epistles, upon that of “the Word who was with God in the beginning, who was God, and through whom all things were made.” He avoids, however, the term Logos, which must have been perfectly familiar to him in this connection—possibly to prevent misunderstanding (see Introduction, §§ 4, 7). First-born of all creation (Rom. 8:29; Heb. 1:2, 6; John 1:18; Ps. 89:27). (On “firstborn,” see again Lightfoot’s invaluable note.) Primogeniture in early ages carried with it the rights of full heirship, involving representation of the father both in his religious and civil capacity, and in his sovereignty within the house (Gen. 25:31; 27:29; 49:3; Deut. 21:17; 1 Chron. 5:1). But natural precedence, as in the case of Esau and Jacob, may yield to Divine election, which gives a unique sacredness and separateness to the position and title of the firstborn. So Israel is Jehovah’s firstborn among the nations (Exod. 4:22, 23; Jer. 31:9). What belonged to the chosen people under this title is, in the language of Ps. 89:27, concentrated on the person of the Messianic King, the elect Son of David; and firstborn became a standing designation of the Messiah. The apostle has already applied it to Christ in his relation to the Church (Rom. 8:29; see below, ver. 18), as being not the eldest simply, but one intrinsically superior to and sovereign over those whom he claims for his brethren (comp. Rom. 14:9). Here the historical birthright and actual sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ within the Church are affirmed to rest upon an original primacy over the universe itself. He is not the Church’s only, but “all creation’s Firstborn” (comp. Heb. 3:3, 6, “Son over his own house”—the house of him “who built all things”). The phrase is synonymous with the “Heir of all things” of Heb. 1:2, and the “Only-begotten” of John 1:18. So far were the titles Firstborn and Only-begotten from excluding each other in Jewish thought that Israel is designated “God’s firstborn, only-begotten,” in the apocryphal Psalms of Solomon (18:4; also 2 Esdr. 6:58); and so entirely had the former become a title of sovereignty that God himself is called “Firstborn of the world” (Rabbi Bechai: see Lightfoot). Philo uses the equivalent πρωτόγονος of the Divine Word as the seat of the archetypal ideas after which creation was framed. This phrase has been a famous battle-ground of controversy. It was a chief stronghold of the Arians, who read “of (out of) all creation” as partitive genitive. This interpretation, while grammatically allowable, is exegetically and historically impossible. For vers. 16 and 17 expressly and emphatically distinguish between “him” and “the all things” of creation. The idea of the Son of God being part of creation was foreign to St. Paul’s mind (ch. 2:9; 1 Cor. 8:6; Phil. 2:6–8), and to the thought of his day. Had such a misunderstanding occurred to him as possible, he would, perhaps, have expressed himself differently. Some of the early opponents of Arius gave to πρωτότοκος, against all usage, an active sense—“First-begetter of all creation.” Athanasius, with other Greek Fathers of the fourth century, in the stress of the same controversy, were led to propose what subsequently became the standard Socinian interpretation, understanding “creation” to mean “the new (moral) creation” (so also Schleiermacher)—against the whole scope of the context, and cutting the very nerve of the apostle’s argument. The Jewish theosophy of the day distributed the offices of representing God, and of mediating between him and the creatures, amongst a variable and nebulous crowd of agencies—angels, words, powers—neither human nor strictly Divine. The apostle gathers all these mediatorial and administrative functions into one, and places them in the hands of “the Son of his love.” Looking up to God, he is his Image: looking down on creation, he is its primal Head and Lord. “Creation,” standing collectively without the article in antithesis to “Firstborn,” is used qualitatively, or (as the logicians would say) intensively (see Alford; and comp. ver. 23 and Eph. 2:21, Revised Text). This is better than making κτίσις a quasiproper noun (Winer, Lightfoot), or rendering distributively, “every creature” (Meyer, Ellicott). (On this occasional collective use of πᾶς without article, see Krüger’s ‘Griech. Sprachlehre,’ i. 50. 11. 9.)[7]


15. Who is the image of the invisible God. He mounts up higher in discoursing as to the glory of Christ. He calls him the image of the invisible God, meaning by this, that it is in him alone that God, who is otherwise invisible, is manifested to us, in accordance with what is said in John 1:18,—No man hath ever seen God: the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, hath himself manifested him to us. I am well aware in what manner the ancients were accustomed to explain this; for having a contest to maintain with Arians, they insist upon the equality of the Son with the Father, and his (ὁμοουσίαν) identity of essence, while in the mean time they make no mention of what is the chief point—in what manner the Father makes himself known to us in Christ. As to Chrysostom’s laying the whole stress of his defence on the term image, by contending that the creature cannot be said to be the image of the Creator, it is excessively weak; nay more, it is set aside by Paul in 1 Cor. 11:7, whose words are—The man is the image and glory of God.

That, therefore, we may not receive anything but what is solid, let us take notice, that the term image is not made use of in reference to essence, but has a reference to us; for Christ is called the image of God on this ground—that he makes God in a manner visible to us. At the same time, we gather also from this his (ὁμοουσία) identity of essence, for Christ would not truly represent God, if he were not the essential Word of God, inasmuch as the question here is not as to those things which by communication are suitable also to creatures, but the question is as to the perfect wisdom, goodness, righteousness, and power of God, for the representing of which no creature were competent. We shall have, therefore, in this term, a powerful weapon in opposition to the Arians, but, notwithstanding, we must begin with that reference that I have mentioned; we must not insist upon the essence alone. The sum is this—that God in himself, that is, in his naked majesty, is invisible, and that not to the eyes of the body merely, but also to the understandings of men, and that he is revealed to us in Christ alone, that we may behold him as in a mirror. For in Christ he shews us his righteousness, goodness, wisdom, power, in short, his entire self. We must, therefore, beware of seeking him elsewhere, for everything that would set itself off as a representation of God, apart from Christ, will be an idol.

The first-born of every creature. The reason of this appellation is immediately added—For in him all things are created, as he is, three verses afterwards, called the first-begotten from the dead, because by him we all rise again. Hence, he is not called the first-born, simply on the ground of his having preceded all creatures in point of time, but because he was begotten by the Father, that they might be created by him, and that he might be, as it were, the substance or foundation of all things. It was then a foolish part that the Arians acted, who argued from this that he was, consequently, a creature. For what is here treated of is, not what he is in himself, but what he accomplishes in others.[8]


15. It remains to fill in the details of the poem, to show how this wealth of theology was actually expressed. He, the Son of God in whom we have redemption, is the image of the invisible God. No-one has ever seen God, wrote John in his Prologue (1:18), but God the only Son has made him known. Humanity was made as the climax of the first creation (Gen. 1:26–27): the true humanity of Jesus is the climax of the history of creation, and at the same time the starting-point of the new creation. From all eternity Jesus had, in his very nature, been the ‘image of God’, reflecting perfectly the character and life of the Father. It was thus appropriate for him to be the ‘image of God’ as man: from all eternity he had held the same relation to the Father that humanity, from its creation, had been intended to bear. Humanity was designed to be the perfect vehicle for God’s self-expression within his world, so that he could himself live appropriately among his people as one of themselves, could rule in love over creation as himself a creature. God made us for himself, as Augustine said with a different, though perhaps related, meaning. The doctrine of incarnation which flows from this cannot, by definition, squeeze either ‘divinity’ or ‘humanity’ out of shape. Indeed, it is only in Jesus Christ that we understand what ‘divinity’ and ‘humanity’ really mean: without him, we lapse into sub-Christian, or even pagan, categories of thought, and then wonder why the doctrine of incarnation causes us so much difficulty. Paul’s way of expressing the doctrine is to say, poetically, that the man Jesus fulfils the purposes which God had marked out both for himself and for humanity.

Upon Jesus Christ, then, has come the role marked out for humanity, and hence for Israel: Christ is the firstborn over all creation. The title ‘firstborn’ is given to Israel in the Old Testament (Exod. 4:22; Jer. 31:9; cf. Psalms of Solomon 18:4; 4 Ezra 6:58), and also, once, to the coming Davidic Messiah (Ps. 89:27). Burney (see above) argued strongly that it referred to the figure of Wisdom in Proverbs 8:22. It therefore conveys the idea of priority in both time and rank, and we should not foreclose on either of these options (niv, in its paraphrase, allows only the idea of rank): to opt for temporal priority does not imply that the pre-existent Son of God is merely the first created being. The continuing temporal sense of the word is clear from verse 18 (cf. Rom. 8:29), and gives a parallel idea to that expressed in the neb translation of John 1:1, ‘When all things began, the Word already was’. It is in virtue of this eternal pre-existence that the Son of God holds supreme rank.[9]


Ver. 15. Christ the Image of the invisible God.—

  1. Christ is the Image of God. Image signifies that which represents another, and as things are variously represented, so there is a great variety of images. 1. Some are imperfect, and express but some particular, and that defectively. (1) Artificial images, whether drawn, sculptured, or embroidered, represent only the colour, figure, and lineaments, and have nothing of life and nature. (2) Adam, who was called God’s image because the conditions of his nature had some resemblance to the properties of God—intellect, will, and lordship; but he had not God’s essence. 2. Some are perfect. We call a child the image of his father, inasmuch as he has not merely the colour or figure of his parent, but his nature and properties, soul, body, life, &c. So a prince has not only the appearance of his predecessor’s power, but its substance (Gen. 5:3). 3. In which of these two senses is the figure true of Christ? Surely not in the sense that man is the image of God. For intending to exalt Christ and to show that His dignity is so great as to capacitate Him to save us, it would ill suit his design if the apostle attributed no more to Him than what holds good for any man. Read our Lord’s own testimony (John 14:9; 12:45). Now where is the portrait of which it may be said that he who has seen it has seen him whom it represents? This can only be found in one which contains the nature of the original (Heb. 1:3). (1) God’s nature is perfectly represented in Christ. Hence He is called God over and over again. (2) Christ represents the Father in His properties, eternity, immutability, wisdom, &c. (3) In His works (John 5:19; Heb. 1:10; John 1:3, &c.). 4. Now no child perfectly represents his father; there are differences of manner, disposition, feature: but Christ represents the Father in everything. 5. This sacred truth overthrows two heresies—the Sabellian and the Arian. The former confounded the Son with the Father, the latter rent them asunder. Those took from the Son His person, these His nature. Paul demonstrates the Sabellian error here, for no one is the image of himself; and the Arian, for Christ could not be a perfect image unless He had the same nature as the Father.
  2. God, whose image Jesus is, is invisible. 1. The Divine nature is spiritual, and hence invisible, inasmuch as the eye sees only corporeal objects. For this cause, Moses, in teaching that there is nothing material in the Divine essence that might be represented by pencil or chisel, remonstrates to them that when God manifested Himself they “saw no similitude” (Deut. 4:12, 15). Whence He infers they must make no graven image. 2. But the meaning here is also that God is incomprehensible. Seeing is often put for knowing. The Seraphim cover their faces to embody this truth (Isa. 6:2). Through His grace indeed we may know something of His nature (Heb. 1:1); but however clear it does not amount to a seeing, i.e., an apprehension which conceives the proper form of the subject. 3. Why is this quality mentioned here? To show us that God has manifested Himself to us by His Son. There is a secret opposition between image and invisible. God has a nature so impenetrable that without this His Image men would not have known Him. (1) By Him He made, preserves, and governs the world. To Him we must refer the revelations of God under the Old Testament. (2) But here the reference is to what took place in the fulness of time. In Christ we see all the wonders of the invisible Father—His justice, mercy, power, &c., in all their completeness, whereas creation only shows the edges. (J. Daillé.)

The image of God:—We believe in many things we never saw, on the evidence of other senses than sight. We believe in music, invisible odours, nay, in what we can neither hear, taste, smell, nor touch—our own life, our soul. Thus it were irrational to disbelieve in God because He is invisible. Still we are tempted to forget His existence, and as for the ungodly “God is not in all their thoughts.”

  1. I would warn you against allowing God to be out of mind because He is out of sight. 1. This is a danger to which our very constitution exposes us. Hence the necessity of striving to walk by faith, not by sight. This is difficult because we are creatures of sense. The dead are out of sight and so often forgotten, the eternal world, the devil, and so God. 2. Why should the invisibility of God be turned into a temptation to sin? It should rather minister to holy care. How solemn the thought that an unseen Being is ever at our side! Were this realized, then bad thoughts would be banished, and unholy deeds crushed, and purity and heavenliness imparted to the life and conduct.
  2. The visible revelations of the invisible in the Old Testament were most probably manifestations of the Son of God. To Jacob at Peniel, to Joshua at Jericho, to Manoah, to Isaiah (chap. 6), and to others God appeared. How are we to reconcile this with “No man hath seen God at any time”? Only by regarding these appearances as manifestations of Him who is “the image of the invisible God.” This is in perfect harmony with other passages in the history of redemption. We know for certain that the fruits of the incarnation were anticipated, and the fruits of His death enjoyed before He died. Why not, then, the fact of the incarnation? Viewed in this light, these Old Testament stories acquire a deeper and more enduring interest. In the guide of Abraham’s pilgrimage I see the guide of my own. Jacob’s success in wrestling imparts vigour to my prayers.

III. The greatness of the worker corresponds with the greatness of the work. It is not always so. Sometimes God accomplishes mighty ends by feeble instruments in both nature and grace. But redemption is differentiated in greatness, grandeur, and difficulty from all the other works of God. It cost more love, labour, and wisdom than all you starry universe. But great as is the work the Worker is greater—the visible Image of the invisible God.

  1. God as revealed visibly in jesus meets and satisfies one of our strongest wants. 1. The second commandment runs more counter to our nature than any other. (1) Look at the heathen world. For long ages the world was given up to idolatry with the exception of a single people. To fix the mind on an invisible Being seemed like attempting to anchor a vessel on a flowing tide. And as a climbing plant, for lack of a better stay, will throw its arms round a rotting tree: rather than want something palpable to which their thoughts might cling, men have worshipped the Divine Being through the most hideous forms. (2) Look at the proneness to sensuous worship among the Jews. (3) We find the evidence of this prosperity in the Christian Church. Fancy some old Roman rising from his grave on the banks of the Tiber, what could he suppose but that the “Eternal City” had changed her idols, and by some strange turn of fortune had given to one Jesus the old throne of Jupiter and assigned the crown which Juno wore in his days to another queen of heaven? 2. In what way are we to account for this universal tendency? It is not enough to call it folly; the feelings from which it springs are deeply rooted in our nature. You tell me that God is infinite, incomprehensible; but it is as difficult for me to make such a Being the object of my affections as to grasp a sound or detain a shadow. This heart craves something more congenial to my nature, and seeks in God a palpable object for its affections to cling to. 3. Now see how this want is met in the Gospel by Him who “knoweth our frame.” In His incarnate Son the Infinite is brought within the limits of my understanding, the Invisible is revealed to my sight. In that eye bent upon me I see Divine love in a form I can feel. God addresses me in human tones, and stands before me in the fashion of a man; and when I fall at His feet with Thomas I am an image worshipper but no idolater, for I bend to the “image of the invisible God.”
  2. In what sense is Christ the Image of the invisible God? 1. It means much more than mere resemblance; it conveys the idea of shadow less than of substance. I have known an infant bear such a resemblance to his father that what his tongue could not tell his face did: and people struck by the likeness exclaimed, “He is the very image of his father.” Such was Adam in his state of innocence. Now it may be said that as our Lord, like the first Adam, was holy, he is therefore called the image of God; yet that does not exhaust the meaning, nor is it on that account that Paul calls Him the second Adam. Nor have they sounded the depths who say He was so called because He was endowed with power to do the works of God. For many others have been in that sense equally images of God. But where are they represented as “God manifest in the flesh”? 2. In Christ’s character and works we have a living, visible, perfect image of the invisible God. (1) In Him we see the power of God, and notably at the grave of Lazarus. To make something out of nothing is a work more visibly stamped with divinity than to make one thing out of another—a living man out of lifeless dust, and then on that mountain side the bread multiplies. (2) In Christ we have the image of a holy God. (3) In Christ we have the image of a God willing end waiting to save. (T. Guthrie, D.D.)

The image of the invisible God:—I draw out from my pocket a little miniature, and look upon it and tears drop from my eyes. What is it? A piece of ivory. What is on it? A face that some artist has painted there. It is a radiant face. My history is connected with it. When I look upon it tides of feeling swell in me. Some one comes to me, and says: “What is that?” I say, “It is my mother.” “Your mother! I should call it a piece of ivory with water-colours on it.” To me it is my mother. When you come to scratch it, and analyze it, and scrutinize the elements of it, to be sure it is only a sign or dumb show, but it brings to me that which is no sign nor dumb show. According to the law of my mind, through it I have brought back, interpreted, refreshed, revived, made patent in me, all the sense of what a loving mother was. So I take my conception of Christ as He is painted in dead letters on dead paper, and to me is interpreted the glory, the sweetness, the patience, the love, the joy-inspiring nature of God; and I do not hesitate to say, “Christ is my God,” just as I would not hesitate to say of that picture, “It is my mother.” “But,” says a man, “you do not mean that you really sucked at the breast of that picture?” No, I did not; but I will not allow any one to drive me into any such minute analysis as that. Now I hold that the Lord Jesus Christ, as represented in the New Testament, brings to my mind all the effluence of brightness and beauty which I am capable of understanding. I can take in no more. He is said to be the express image of God’s glory. He reveals to us a God whose interest in man is inherent, and who through His mercy and goodness made sacrifices for it. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for it. What is the only begotten Son of God? Who knows? Who can know? That His only begotten Son is precious to Him we may know, judging from the experience of an earthly father; and we cannot doubt that when He gave Christ to come into life, and humble Himself to man’s condition, and take upon Himself an ignominious death, He sacrificed that which was exceedingly dear to Him. And this act is a revelation of the feeling of God toward the human race. (H. W. Beecher.)

Christ the image of God:—There is in Rome an elegant fresco by Guido—“The Anrora.” It covers a lofty ceiling. Looking up at it from the pavement your neck grows stiff, your head dizzy, and the figures indistinct. You soon tire and turn away. The owner of the palace has placed a broad mirror near the floor. You may now sit down before it as at a table, and at your leisure look into the mirror, and enjoy the fresco that is above you. There is no more weariness, nor indistinctness, nor dizziness. Like the Rospiglioso mirror beneath “The Aurora,” Christ reflects the glory of the Divine nature to the eye of man.

Christ is intended to be familiarly known:—The whole value of the gospels to Erasmus lay in the vividness with which they brought home to their readers the personal impression of Christ Himself. “Were we to have seen Him with our own eyes, we should not have so intimate a knowledge as they give us of Christ, speaking, healing, dying, rising again, as it were in our very presence.… If the footprints of Christ are shown us in any place, we kneel down and adore them. Why do we not rather venerate the living and breathing picture of Him in these books?… It may be the safer course,” he goes on, with characteristic irony, “to conceal the state mysteries of kings, but Christ desires His mysteries to be spread abroad as openly as was possible. (Little’sHistorical Lights.”)

The firstborn:—The expression as it stands is somewhat ambiguous. 1. Does it imply that all creatures have been born, but that Jesus was born before them? Impossible. All human creatures have been born, all at least but the first; and even he was “the son of God” (Luke 3:38). We are all “God’s offspring.” But, except in poetry, we can scarcely speak of the birth of the earth, ocean, stars, &c. They have been created, not born; they are the creatures rather than the children of God. 2. Nor can the meaning be firstborn within the circle of all creation; for the higher nature of Jesus is not within that circle: it is far above it; before Abraham, and sun, moon, and stars, He was and is. 3. The apostle’s idea is that Jesus is the hereditary Lord of the whole creation. The representation is based on the prerogative that is still attached in many lands to primogeniture. That prerogative is great. In virtue of it the firstborn of the Queen is Prince of Wales; of the Emperor of Germany, Crown Prince; of the late Emperor Napoleon, Prince Imperial. In ancient times and among the apostle’s people, in the days of their national grandeur, there was a corresponding privilege attached to the royal firstborn. And hence in the course of time the word came to be so employed that the ideas of birth and priority of birth got sometimes to be merged out of sight, while the ideas of special hereditary privilege, prerogative, and honour stood prominently forth. Hence God said to Pharaoh, “Israel is My son, My firstborn,” because they were in distinction from other peoples the recipients of the advantages which were the natural prerequisites of primogeniture. Again in Jer. 31:9 the idea of priority in birth is entirely shaded off, for that priority could not be affirmed of Ephraim—the reference is to peculiarity of prerogative and honour. Take again Heb. 12:22, 23. Here Christians are called the firstborn, and not Christians in heaven, for they are distinguished from the “spirits of just men made perfect,” but Christians on earth. All such Christians, though scattered, and variously denominated, are “the one general assembly and Church of the firstborn.” This shows that the term may be and is used without priority of birth, and in the sense of being God’s very highly-favoured children. All the blessings of primogeniture are theirs because they are Christ’s, the Firstborn. As He is the Crown Prince of the universe, the Prince Imperial and hereditary Lord of the whole creation, they are constituted joint heirs with Him of the “inheritance incorruptible,” &c. Again, this interpretation is supported by Rom. 8:29. “Firstborn among many brethren” is a notable expression. We cannot suppose that God desired to secure the Saviour a relation of chronological priority. Jesus was already before all. The idea is that it was the aim of God to remove from the peerless Son the condition of solitariness in the parental and heavenly home. This aim was accomplished by surrounding Him with a circle of multitudinous brethren, bearing the familiar family likeness, who might be sharers with Him in His inheritance of glory. (J. Morison, D.D.) Christ is one of us:—On the centenary of the birth of Robert Stephenson, there was a very large demonstration at Newcastle. The town was paraded by a vast procession who carried banners in honour of the distinguished engineer. In the procession there was a band of peasants, who carried a little banner of very ordinary appearance, but bearing the words, “He was one of us.” They were inhabitants of the small village in which Robert Stephenson had been born, and had come to do him honour. They had a right to a prominent position in that day’s proceedings, because he to whom so many thousands did honour was one of them. Even so, whatever praise the thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers can ascribe to Christ in that grand celebration when time shall be no more, we from earth can wave our banners with the words written on them, “He was one of us.”[10]


1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God” The same word (eikōn) is used of Jesus in 3:10 and 2 Cor. 4:4. A similar theological expression occurs in John 1:18; 14:9; Phil. 2:6; Heb. 1:3. The Hebrews 1:3 passage has the stronger Greek term (charakter, which means an exact representation, cf. Gen. 1:26–27; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Cor. 11:7; James 3:9). To see Jesus is to see God! The invisible God has become visible! Deity has become a man (cf. John 14:9).

Jesus’ ministry was to restore the image of God in man. In one sense Eden had been restored through Jesus, the second Adam (cf. Rom. 5:12–21; Phil. 2:6). It is even possible that heaven will be a restored Eden: (1) the Bible begins with God, mankind and the animals (cf. Gen. 1–2) and ends with God and mankind in a garden setting (with the animals by implication, cf. Rev. 21–22); (2) the prophecy of Isa. 11:6–9 describes children and animals together in the new age; and (3) new Jerusalem comes down to a recreated earth (cf. 2 Pet. 3:10–13; Rev. 21:2).

© “the firstborn of all creation” This was an OT metaphor for Jesus’ unique and exalted position: (1) The rabbis said it meant preeminence (cf. Exod. 4:22); (2) in the OT it was used for the eldest son as heir and manager of the family; (3) in Ps. 89:27 it was used in a Messianic sense; (4) in Prov. 8:22 it referred to Wisdom as God’s first creation and agent of creation. In context options #1 and #2 combined seem best.

This phrase is not to be understood as Jesus being the first creation (#4). This would have played into the hands of the gnostic teachers, who taught that Jesus was the highest angelic level next to the high god. It must be interpreted in its Jewish OT setting. Jesus was deity’s unique son (cf. John 1:18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9), yet Jesus was always deity (cf. 1:17; John 1:1; 5:18; 10:30; 14:9; 20:28). He became a human in time, at Bethlehem, so that fallen mankind could comprehend and understand Deity (cf. John 1:14, 18).[11]


15. Paul writes, Who is the image of the invisible God. This reminds us of Gen. 1:27 which reports that man was created as God’s image. As such man was given dominion over the rest of creation. It is significant that Psalm 8, in which this dominion is described in some detail, is by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews interpreted Messianically (Heb. 2:5–9). But though this reference to man’s creation as God’s image and consequent dominion may well have been in the background, it does not do full justice to the idea conveyed here in Colossians with respect to the Son. Man, though God’s image, is not God. But, as the image of the invisible God, the Son is, first of all, himself God. “In him all the fulness of the godhead dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9; cf. Rom. 9:5). “In him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden” (2:3). Secondly, as the image of the invisible God, the Son is God Revealed. In Paul’s writings this identification of the Son with God himself, the Son being God’s image or God made manifest, is not new. Also in a letter to the Corinthians, written earlier by several years, the apostle had called Christ “the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). With this should be compared the apostle’s description of his Lord in Philippians (a letter written probably shortly after Colossians), namely, “existing in the form of God” (see N.T.C. on Phil. 2:6). We have here in Col. 1:15 the same teaching as is found in Heb. 1:3, where the Son is called “the effulgence of God’s glory and the very impress of his substance.” In different language the apostle John expresses the same thought: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was face to face with God, and the Word was God.… God himself no one has ever seen. The only begotten God, who lies upon the Father’s breast, it is he who made him known” (John 1:1, 18). Cf. also John 10:30, 38; 14:9; Rev. 3:14. It is in the Son that the invisible God has become visible, so that man sees him who is invisible (cf. 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16).

Now if the Son is the very image of the invisible God, and if this invisible God is from everlasting to everlasting, it follows that the Son, too, must be eternally God’s image. With respect to his deity he cannot belong to the category of time and space. He cannot be a mere creature, but must be in a class by himself, that is, raised high above every creature. Accordingly, the apostle continues, the firstborn of every creature, that is, the One to whom belongs the right and dignity of the Firstborn in relation to every creature. That the phrase “the firstborn of every creature” cannot mean that the Son himself, too, is a creature, the first in a very long line, is clearly established by verse 16. He is prior to, distinct from, and highly exalted above every creature. As the firstborn he is the heir and ruler of all. Note Psalm 89:27:

“I will also make him my firstborn,

The highest of the kings of the earth.” Cf. Ex. 4:22; Jer. 31:9.

The same thought is expressed in Heb. 1:1, 2, “God … has spoken to us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also made the worlds.”[12]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1992). Colossians (pp. 44–47). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Still, T. D. (2006). Colossians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 289–290). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 57–61). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] McKnight, S. (2018). The Letter to the Colossians. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (pp. 145–150). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] McNaughton, I. S. (2006). Opening up Colossians and Philemon (p. 28). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[6] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (pp. 29–30). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Colossians (pp. 8–9). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[8] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (pp. 149–150). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[9] Wright, N. T. (1986). Colossians and Philemon: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 12, pp. 74–75). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[10] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Philippians–Colossians (Vol. 2, pp. 63–66). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[11] Utley, R. J. (1997). Paul Bound, the Gospel Unbound: Letters from Prison (Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon, then later, Philippians) (Vol. Volume 8, p. 18). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[12] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Colossians and Philemon (Vol. 6, pp. 71–72). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

God Is Never Absent: Omnipresence – Place For Truth

“The guy upstairs.” “The big man in the sky.” These are just two of the more common, modern slang terms for God. Aside from being utterly irreverent, they transgress the Second Commandment of having no graven images of God in that they grossly mistake this important attribute of God: His omnipresence. Thinking of God just hanging out with the angels in heaven while we puny humans go about our business on earth is absolutely horrible, yet I wonder if Christians all too often slip into this frame of thinking. Yet the Bible is clear: God is omnipresent. But what does this actually mean, that He is omnipresent? I first want to offer a simple, yet perhaps paradigm shifting definition and explanation of the doctrine. Secondly, I want to propose that this doctrine is immensely practical for every believer.

Definition

While most would probably define God’s omnipresence as the fact that God is everywhere present or that He occupies all physical space in the universe, this isn’t quite accurate. We frankly have the scientific revolution to thank for that, in that theology and the study of God began to be influenced by our understanding of the physical world. Descriptions of God and His perfections were subjected to scientific terms: how does He relate to the space/time continuum? Yet precisely defined, the omnipresence of God is the perfection of God wherein He is completely outside of any space or dimension. But even this is difficult to grasp, so we must go further. Since God is simple in nature, in that He is not composed of parts, each of his perfections (attributes) is necessarily interrelated to His other perfections. And this is actually helpful for us to think about with the omnipresence of God. His omnipresence is related to both God as spirit and God as infinite. God as spirit simply means that He has no corporeal existence, no “physicalness” to Him. Yet the angels and demons are also spirits, but they are not omnipresent. This is because God is the infinite Spirit, that is, His “spiritness” is infinite; it’s not bound by physical space because He is not physical and is not bound by physical realities or created dimensions. Angels, though spirit, are still bound by the created realities of space and dimension, but God is not. He is wholly other, outside of creation because He is the Being from which all created things are derived. Space and dimension are created realities, and thus God is not subject to them. So while in one sense, from the creaturely point of view, it’s easiest to think of God as being in every place all at once since our very minds are bound by physical realities, we must think of God as not subject to the physical realities of space and dimension at all.

Uses

David famously writes this in Psalm 139:

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

The knowledge that God is not stuck in a traffic jam in my moment of greatest need should be tremendously encouraging to the believer. It was for David as he ran from Saul, fought Goliath, and later ran from his own son. God is not bound by space but rather uses space for His own purposes, for His glory and our good. As he says in Psalm 23: “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” Even in a world gone mad, the believer can take comfort in the omnipresence of God.

Yet the omnipresence of God has a double edge for humanity, as the prophet Jonah learned the hard way. In His attempt to flee the presence of God, he learned that he couldn’t. Yet even when he was confronted by the sailors for his actions, his description of God in 1:9 is very telling: “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Apparently like many of us today, he too had the picture of God sitting in heaven trying to dispense his sovereignty from there. Yet this error proved painful for Jonah. There is no “secret sin” that we can hide from God; He sees it all because He is always there with us, if even in the metaphorical sense. May we, the people of God, take comfort and warning from His presence with us. It is a life-altering reality for us to grasp.

Keith Kauffman attended University of Maryland (B.S.) and Capital Bible Seminary(M.Div.). Keith currently works at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, working in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases studying the immune response to Tuberculosis. Keith serves as an elder at Greenbelt Baptist Church.

— Read on www.placefortruth.org/blog/god-is-never-absent-omnipresence