Readers Question / Comment - Does Jesus have a God?

I notice you answer questions on your website. I find you have provided a lot of great information and great articles on your website. I have a question I hope you could perhaps answer. It seems confusing and I have asked several people that have not been able to give me a good solid Biblical answer. I have gotten several "off the top of the head", nervous, boy, that is interesting, I am not totally sure kind of answers. I have also gotten "the Look", the look that says, you should feel guilty even saying what you just said. I think we should be able to ask any genuine sincere question regarding the Bible, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. So, here is my question;
 
I don't believe anyone would EVER say that Almighty God, God the Father, Jehovah HAS A GOD. That would be absurd. But, the Bible clearly shows that Jesus has a God. He said on the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me". He also said after His resurrection, "I go to my father and your father, and to your God and MY GOD". I understand how many would say this was because he was on earth and was a man during that time. But, if he is "God the Son", co equal, co eternal, with God the Father, what about after His ascension. He would be "back as God the Son in heaven, not still the man of Nazereth if the doctrine of the trinity is accurate. But, in the book of Revelation, clearly after Jesus' ascension, it says in Rev. 1:5 that Jesus has made us "priests unto HIS God". Later, in an astonishing verse, Rev. 3:12 it says 4 times (four times) in this one verse that Jesus has a GOD! It says to those who overcome I will make him a pillar in the temple of MY GOD which comes down out of heaven from MY GOD, and will write upon him the name of MY GOD, etc. WOW! 
 
Then, one last thought with this, in 1 Cor. 15:24-28 it says, Jesus will reign "UNTIL" all enemies are under his feet. Then it says everything will be put under his feet, everything "EXCEPT GOD". Then, in a really amazing phrase it says in vs. 28, That when all things have been put under Christs feet by God the Father, then the son will be as it literally says, "MADE SUBJECT" to God the Father, so that "GOD may be all in all". 
 
So, if Jesus has a God now, after His ascension, later at the very end of all things He will no longer reign, but be put in subjection to His God, in what sense is Jesus "God"? This is especially puzzling to me when I also read Psa. 45: which is the original verse stating that to "the son HE (Yahweh) says, your throne OH GOD is forever". Then having said that it also says that the son is "anointed by God", and that the son spoken to here has "fellows" (Hebrew means, fellows, peers, equals). So are there many gods, if the one being called God has peers, equals, fellows? In Psa. 82: it says in the literal Hebrew, "Elohim sits in the solemn assembly and rules among the Elohim". How can the one true God rule among "Elohim"...? Then, even more astonishing, it goes on to say a few verses later a phrase that I would never be brave enough to write, it says Yahweh says, "you are Gods (hebrew=Elohim) So, God is saying to men, "you are elohim". If we had any questions about what this means, Jesus Christ himself quoted this to the religious leaders and said, in answer to them accusing him of making himself God, Jesus said, "Is it not written in your law, I (Yahweh) said, you are gods".
 
Finally, 1 Cor. 8:6 says, "to us (believers) there is one God, THE FATHER, and one LORD Jesus Christ." It says of the one and only God, that the only God is "The Father", and that Jesus is Lord. Jesus Christ is referred to as Lord all over the New Testament. So, How can all this fit with the traditional teaching of a "co equal, co eternal, triune God? Is it possible that the Bible uses the word "God" in a way that the church is absolutely terrified to consider. Is it possible "God" has a broader sense in the way it is used in Hebr. 1:8, "to the son he says... oh God..." than the way the church insists on. I am not a Jehovah Witness, a Mormon, or a member of "The Way", etc. I was born again at five years old, had an amazing experience of seeing a vision of Jesus at eight years old, and was raised in an Assembly of God Church attended a Foursquare Church for several years and have attended three unrealated non denominational churches.
 
I would appreciate your answer.

 

JPN Reply:

Hi,

thanks for the email and glad you have enjoyed the website. I'm not surprised you've had a few surprised looks and half answers given with your questions. You've obviously looked a few verses up and it's not the easiest question I've had to be fair! : ) Also I'm glad you said you weren't a JW, Mormon etc... I was beginning to wonder if you were a Mormon part of the way down! But it's certainly an interesting question and I'll do my best.

I think a large part of the confusion has arisen because of the assumption that 'Elohim' is used exclusively for Almighty God (Yahweh). The majority of the times it is... but not always. Have a look at the following details from 'The complete word study' on Elohim (Strongs  H430):

'elōhiym: A masculine plural noun
 meaning God, gods, judges, angels. Occurring more than 2,600 times in the Old Testament, this word commonly designates the one true God (Gen_1:1) and is often paired with God's unique name yehōwāh (H3068) (Gen_2:4; Psa_100:3). When the word is used as the generic designation of God, it conveys in Scripture that God is the Creator (Gen_5:1); the King (Psa_47:7 [8]); the Judge (Psa_50:6); the Lord (Psa_86:12); and the Savior (Hos_13:4). His character is compassionate (Deu_4:31); gracious (Psa_116:5); and faithful to His covenant (Deu_7:9). In fewer instances, this word refers to foreign gods, such as Dagon (1Sa_5:7) or Baal (1Ki_18:24). It also might refer to judges (Exo_22:8-9 [7-8]) or angels as gods (Psa_97:7). Although the form of this word is plural, it is frequently used as if it were singular-that is, with a singular verb (Gen_1:1-31; Exo_2:24). The plural form of this word may be regarded (1) as intensive to indicate God's fullness of power; (2) as majestic to indicate God's kingly rule; or (3) as an allusion to the Trinity   

So you can see that there are instances were Elohim is used of false gods, angels as well as human rulers who have been placed in the position of judges or magistrates. Have a look at Exo 22:8-9  "If the thief is not caught, then the owner of the house shall appear before the judges (Elohim), to determine whether he laid his hands on his neighbor's property.  (9)  "For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, 'This is it,' the case of both parties shall come before the judges (Elohim); he whom the judges (Elohim) condemn shall pay double to his neighbor. 


It isn't that there were actual 'gods' that the owner of the house came before but human beings setup as judges within Israel. So context is critical! For example, let's take the reference you gave to Psalm 82 and look at its context. 

Psa 82:1-8  A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. (2)  How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah  (3)  Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.  (4)  Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.  (5)  They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable.  (6)  I said, "You are gods, [79] And all of you are children of the Most High.  (7)  But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes."  (8)  Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.

Even though it uses Elohim in the bold verses above, from the context we see that they 'judge unjustly', 'show partiality to the wicked' and shall 'die like men'. It is clear that it is not speaking about actual 'gods' or persons equal with Yahweh. The Believers Bible Commentary makes a good comment on this Psalm with particular reference to Jesus' use of it:

Our Lord quoted verse six in one of His confrontations with His foes (Joh_10:32-36). They had just accused Him of blaspheming because He claimed equality with God.

Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods"'? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?"

To the western mind, the argument might not seem clear or convincing, but it obviously had compelling power on His hearers. They understood that Jesus was arguing from the lesser to the greater. The force of the argument is as follows:

In Psalm 82, rulers and judges are addressed by God as gods. Actually they are not divine, but because of their position as God's ministers, they are dignified with the name of gods. Their greatest distinction is that the word of God came to them, that is, they were officially ordained by God as higher powers concerned with government and justice (Rom_13:1).

If the name gods could thus be loosely applied to men like them, how much more fully and accurately can the name God be applied to the Lord Jesus. He had been sanctified and sent into the world by God the Father. This implies that He had lived with God the Father in heaven from all eternity. Then the Father had set Him apart to a mission on earth and had sent Him to be born in Bethlehem. The Jews understood perfectly that He was claiming equality with God, and they sought to apprehend Him but He eluded them (Joh_10:39).

Psalm 45 (especially verse 6-7) is a reference to Jesus being the anointed one and called God by the Father. Hebrews 1 tells us this. But the eternal mystery is that God became a man and had to live as a man. He was anointed by God above 'his fellows' which just means his earthly companions and/or associates. It is not trying to say that there are multiple Gods like Jesus. It is talking about the anointing that Jesus received when he came to this earth to live as a man, and amongst his fellow men. 

In terms of the verses cited where Jesus calls the Father 'my God' etc, or 1 Cor. 15:24-28 where Jesus submits himself unto the Father, I haven't ever had a problem with that. We saw from Psalm45 and Hebs 1 that the Father calls Jesus God just as Jesus calls the Father God. But concerning this submission spoken of in 1 Cor 15:24-28, there has always been is a willing submission within the trinity. The Son comes to do only the will of the Father. The Holy Spirit comes not to draw attention to Himself but to glorify the Son. None of that means that they are any less 'God' than the other. It is simply different roles that they have. An earthly example is husbands and wives. The Bible says:

Eph 5:22-25  Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  (23)  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  (24)  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.  (25)  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her'

Each has a role to play and each is different but man is not 'greater' than a woman or vice-versa. Neither is one 'more human' than the other. So it is with the trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all said to be three members of the one God. There is a willing submission within the trinity and different roles that they play. But each are equal in terms of their nature as God.   

In terms of 1Co 8:6 which states 'yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him'... we should not think that this is saying that the Lord Jesus is not God or is a lessor God. Paul is again simply differentiating their roles (and standing them in contrast to the many so-called 'gods' that the Corinthians had worshiped) and in fact the word 'Lord' that is used here is 'Kuros' is the Greek which is the New Testament Greek equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew YHWH.  

The complete Biblical library Greek-English dictionary says the following about this:

'...first and foremost kurios denotes God's name as is depicted by the tetragrammaton (literally, "four letters") YHWH (Yahweh). Thus kurios occurs more that 6,000 times in the Septuagint for YHWH...

The Old Testament witness to God as YHWH is remarkably applied to Jesus consistently in the New Testament. Here the New Testament is uniquely underscoring the reality that Jesus is Lord in the divine sense (e.g., Psalm 102:26f./ Hebrews 1:10-12 passim the New Testament; Isaiah 40:3; Joel 2:32/Romans 10:13; Malachi 3:1/Mark 1:2-4;). Almost 20 New Testament allusions and citations to Psalm 110 are applied to Jesus (e.g., Matthew 22:44; 26:64; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42; Acts 2:35; Romans 8:34; passim the New Testament writings).'

I have written elsewhere about how the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah showed that He would be God. You may have seen it but if not: 
http://www.jesusplusnothing.com/questions/JesusisGod.htm

Also many others have written about some of the other reasons we know that Jesus is God, equal is essence and nature with the Father... such as:

http://www.gotquestions.org/divinity-of-Christ.html

So I hope this helps. Sorry it is a bit long but your question was quite detailed as you've obviously been thinking about these things quite deeply : )

All the best