QUESTION #6 – When was Jehovah ever valued at 30 silver pieces as stated in Zechariah 11:12-13? And why does your Bible have a cross reference pointing to the New Testament which is about how Jesus was betrayed for 30 silver pieces?
ANSWER – The questioner does not understand the prophecy of Zechariah. The prophet Zechariah was merely portraying Jehovah’s shepherd and he requested to have his wage of 30 pieces of silver, which was paid to him. Then God commanded Zechariah to throw the silver into the temple treasury. Zechariah is the “me” whose services as a shepherd were valued at 30 pieces of silver. The prophecy was only later applied to Jesus by the apostles, but of course, in that instance it was Judas who received the wage, not Jesus.
QUESTION #7 – We are told many times in the Bible that God resurrected Jesus. See Acts 2:24, Acts 2:32, Acts 3:15, Acts 3:26, Acts 4:10, Acts 5:30, Acts 10:40, Acts 13:30-37, Romans 4:24, Romans 6:4, Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 6:14, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:17-20, Colossians 2:12, and 1 Peter 1:21. However, Jesus told the Jews that if they destroyed this temple that HE would raise it again in 3 days (John 2:19-21). The Bible clearly defines what Jesus meant by saying the ‘temple’ meant his BODY. So if Jesus raised his own body and the Bible clearly says that God raised Jesus, then who would Jesus be then? Also, what does this mean for your teachings that Jesus ceased to exist and needed recreated?
ANSWER – The Hebrew nation was surely blessed by Jehovah. Not only did he provide an abundance for them materially and protect them from their enemies —at least when they were faithful to him —but they were the only nation on earth that knew the truth about death. The reason was as Paul said in his letter to theRomans, they had originally been entrusted with the sacred pronouncements of God. (Romans 3:2)
Whereas, all the peoples under Satan’s domination had religions built upon the lie that death does not end it all, the Israelites knew that it did. They knew that their only hope of a future life depended upon a resurrection from the dead at a point in the distant future.
For example, the prophet Daniel wrote concerning the coming of the great prince, Michael, that “many of those asleep in the dust of the earth will wake up, some to everlasting life and others to reproach and to everlasting contempt.” —Daniel 12:2
When Jesus’ friend Lazarus died, Jesus told his apostles that Lazarus had gone to sleep. The apostles misunderstood Jesus, imagining Lazarus was literally taking his rest. Then Jesus straightforwardly said: “Lazarus has died.” His grieving sister, Martha, told Jesus that she believed that her brother would rise in the resurrection on the last day. Needless to say, barring a miracle Lazarus would stay in an unconscious state, as if sleeping, until the “last day.”
The belief in a resurrection from the dead was in sharp contrast to the pagan religions, whose adherents believed that the souls of the dead were conscious, floating around somewhere —not unlike the average churchgoer today.
When Jesus went to where they had entombed Lazarus his sister objected to having the stone rolled away from the mouth of the tomb, saying: “Lord, by now he must smell, for it has been four days.” Surely the Jewess did not imagine that her brother was alive in the nether world. She knew he was dead and his corpse was undergoing decay.
But Jesus reassured her that if she believed she would see the glory of God. Jesus then prayed to his heavenly Father in the hearing of the crowd gathered around the opened tomb, saying: “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. True, I knew that you always hear me; but I spoke on account of the crowd standing around, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come out!””
For those who are willing to honestly reason, would any of the Jews who witnessed this astounding miracle have believed that Jesus resurrected Lazarus because he was God? Of course not. Jesus made it a point to petition his heavenly Father in the hearing of the people so that they would know that Jehovah had sent Jesus to do his work among them.
Over the more than 40 years that I have had discussions with trinitarians some have argued that Jesus only prayed to God to set an example for others. But if that is true, then Jesus was nothing more than a charlatan. That is because Jesus made it known that the Father to whom he was praying always heard his prayer. But if Jesus was merely pretending to pray then he was lying when he said he knew the Father always heard him.
Since Jesus did not resurrect Lazarus by his own power, how could he have resurrected himself from an unconscious, powerless, indeed, inanimate condition? The fact is, he didn’t.
As Jesus’ life ebbed away as he hung, bleeding, nailed to a pole, gasping for breath, his very last utterance was a plea to God to remember him: “And Jesus called out with a loud voice and said: ‘Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.’ After he said this, he expired.”
To expire literally means to breathe your last breath, which is the way the NIV words Luke 23:46. In other words, Jesus died. His life-force, the animating spirit of God that Jehovah originally blew into the nostrils of Adam, left his body. Jesus knew that his future-life prospects rested entirely with God. He trusted God to resuscitate him on the third day, which, of course, he did, as even the questioner admits in the cited verses.
So, what did Jesus mean when he told the Jewish authorities to tear down this temple and I will rebuild it in three days? Did Jesus literally resurrect himself?
In this regard trinitarians really betray their absolute ignorance, not only of the Scriptures overall, but of the very nature of God himself.
To suppose that God Almighty, the Creator of the vast universe and the trillions of nuclear, flaming stars, had somehow shrink-wrapped himself in flesh and then submitted himself to death is ridiculous – absolutely preposterous!
The ardent trinitarian believer may suppose that God can do anything, but the same “believer” may also believe that an obese santa claus can slide down a sooty chimney and climb back out! The fact is, God has limitations. For example, it is impossible for God to tell a lie. (Hebrews 6:7) He can’t do it. It is also impossible for the immortal, Living God to die. He simply cannot, ever, die. Nor can he diminish or deny himself.
Perhaps the true believer in the trinity myth may suppose that God only pretended to die, sort of like the marsupial, opossum playing dead. But that leads to numerous unsolvable difficulties too.
What, then, did Jesus mean?
What trinitarians refuse to accept is that Jesus Christ was a man —not a god/man, but a godly man, to be sure. Although Jesus had been a deity prior to his coming to the earth, Paul explained to the Philippians that he emptied himself of his divine nature and came to be a human. For a fact, Jesus had to be human —no more, no less —in order to correspond to Adam before he sinned.
In the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul explained the corespondency of Jesus to Adam, saying: “The first man Adam became a living person.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, what is spiritual is not first. What is physical is first, and afterward what is spiritual. The first man is from the earth and made of dust; the second man is from heaven.”
In what sense was Jesus the “last Adam” and the “second man”? Jesus was the second perfect man that God created. Also, he was the last perfect man that God will ever create. Although the redeemed human race will ultimately attain the sinless perfection of the first man, it will not come about as a direct creation of God, but rather, through the redemptive work of Christ during the 1,000 years, when he and his fellow 144,000 kings and priests minister to mankind.
Being a sinless human who had been directly fathered by Jehovah, Jesus did not inherit Adam’s sin. Consequently, Jesus was not under the condemnation of death, since death is a direct result of sin. That means that Jesus possessed the same perfect standing before God that Adam did in the garden of Eden before he listened to Eve and ate the forbidden fruit. Jesus had the right to everlasting life that God bestowed on the first Adam —provided he obeyed God.
But Jehovah did not wish for his beloved second man to live forever on the earth. He gave birth to the last Adam so that he might offer his perfect life as a human sacrifice to God; this, in order to justify God to redeem the original Adam’s dying offspring. However, it all hinged on Jesus’ obedience. Again, Paul explained the process: “So, then, as through one trespass the result to men of all sorts was condemnation, so too through one act of justification the result to men of all sorts is their being declared righteous for life. For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one person many will be made righteous.” —Romans 5:18-19
Whereas, in order to obey God Adam simply had to have sex with his beautiful wife (“be fruitful and become many”) and refrain from eating from merely one tree in the paradise of pleasure. Jesus, on the other hand, was required to subject himself to the cruelest death imaginable in order to do his Father’s will.
Although God’s exalted sense of justice required a corresponding price to the value of Adam’s life in order to redeem his offspring, because Adam willfully disobeyed God, the Ransomer must willingly sacrifice his life. It cannot be taken from him without his consent. In other words, as much as God desired to redeem our dying race, without the willing sacrifice of a perfect human God could not arbitrarily act against his own righteous standard. As a free moral agent the second man had to agree to forfeit his life in our behalf.
Jesus explained it this way: “This is why the Father loves me, because I surrender my life, so that I may receive it again. No man takes it away from me, but I surrender it of my own initiative. I have authority to surrender it, and I have authority to receive it again. This commandment I received from my Father.” —John 10:17-18
Please take note that Jesus said he had authority to “receive” his life again. What did he mean? Obviously, he did not receive life from himself. As already stated, Jesus was not under the condemnation of death. The only way he could die is if he willingly surrendered his life, which he did. But because his death was not punishment for having lived a sinful life God was obligated by justice to give him his life back. And doing so did not require any sort of ransom being paid or violate justice. On the contrary, not bringing Jesus back to life would have been a universal travesty!
So, the command from the Father was, to perhaps paraphrase, ‘Son, if you do this, if you willingly submit to death, I promise I will bring you back to life.’
To put it succinctly, Jesus controlled his own destiny. Even though the murderous Jews sought to kill their Messiah they could not unless Jesus voluntarily submitted to death. But if he did —if he entrusted his spirit to the Father —he knew that he would rise again on the third day. Because of having this assurance from the Father Jesus could speak with absolute confidence of his rising from the dead —as if he himself would bring it about. And indeed, if he subjected himself to the Father’s will his resurrection was guaranteed by the solemn promise of Jehovah.
Of course, the Jewish temple-keepers had no clue what Jesus was talking about when he told them to tear down this temple and I will rebuild it. And neither do their trinitarian counterparts today.