"IN THE NAME"
Yahweh’s Son, Jesus – the Inheritor – had authority, in the name of the Father, over his inheritance.
Angels (messengers) also communicated Yahweh’s word to men. They spoke in Yahweh’s name, too. But the churches admit that angels are not Yahweh. They were expressions of Yahweh, to be sure. They spoke the word of Yahweh. They commanded performance with the authority of Yahweh. They issued Yahweh’s commands as if they were coming from Yahweh himself. BUT THEY WERE THE MESSAGE CARRIERS – NOT THE MESSAGE SENDER! That is an important difference. Jesus, also, spoke for Yahweh. He was the Message itself in flesh form. But let’s not confuse the message (Jesus) with the message sender (Yahweh).
We see more of this direct representation of Yahweh in Revelation 21:
9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels…
The messenger (angel) was talking to John. The conversation carries over into chapter 22:
6. And he (the messenger) said unto me (John), These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of
the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.Behold, I come quickly: (Who comes quickly? This messenger? NO. Yahweh! Yahweh comes quickly. But the messenger is the one saying "I come quickly"): blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the messenger (angel) which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the saying of this book: worship God.
Here’s a fellow servant, saying "I come quickly"! John thought, "This must be God himself." So he fell down to worship before Him and the messenger says, "No, I’m not God – I am the messenger of God."
John misunderstood. He made an error. In fact, John’s error of assuming the angel to be Yahweh is similar to the churches’ error of assuming that Jesus is Yahweh. However, both were speaking for Yahweh.
The book of Revelation was a communication delivered to John by a messenger sent by Jesus (Revelation 22:16), and by the Father (Revelation 21:6). The messenger spoke for both Jesus and his Father – as if they, themselves, were actually speaking. In that capacity, the messenger would frequently use phrases like: "I am the Alpha and Omega," or "I am the first and the last." These phrases are idiomatic expressions, used in both the old and new scriptures, to mean "I am without peer"; "I am above all."
In the book of Revelation, where this messenger speaks for Jesus, who in turn speaks for Yahweh, some of the expressions can almost appear to be equating Jesus with Yahweh. But they aren’t. The messenger speaks for Jesus, but he isn’t Jesus. He also speaks for Yahweh, but he isn’t Yahweh. He speaks for them both, together.
When he says, "I am the Alpha and Omega," he is speaking for Yahweh, who authorized him to send the messenger, who in turn, gives it to John.
Now look at John 8:Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
This verse is sometimes used to suggest that Jesus was Yahweh – at the time of Abraham. But, again, upon fair consideration, we find that it does not say that. In the first place, it did not project Jesus back in time. It projects Abraham forward in time – to Jesus’ day. We find help to understand this by looking at Hebrews 11.
Here, we read of faithful Abraham. In verse 8 it says, "By faith Abraham" – and then it goes on to explain how Abraham was called out into a new land. In verse 9 it starts: "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…"
Abraham acted upon faith. He is known as "the father of the faithful." Notice the definition of faith as it is stated in verse one:Now faith is assurance of things expected; contemplation of things not in sight (corrected according to the Greek text).
Also, Genesis 15:And he (Yahweh in a vision) brought him (Abram) forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in Yahweh; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
By faith, Abraham was assured of things that he expected, and he contemplated things that he hadn’t personally seen. But Abraham’s faith was not blind! He believed the promise of his God whom he knew, by personal experience, to be capable of fulfilling promises and doing the impossible.
In II Corinthians 5:7, we learn that the godly "walk by faith, not by sight." Abraham didn’t need to physically experience "Jesus’ day" in order to "see" it. Faithful Abraham saw Jesus’ day – not by sight, but he saw it by faith. By the same token, verse 10 says: "For he (Abraham) looked for a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God." This was the city of God: New Jerusalem. By faith, Abraham saw that city that was not yet built. In the same way, Abraham looked forward by faith and saw the day of Jesus.
Also, in Romans 4:17, Paul speaks of Abraham’s faith in that God who "calls those things which don’t exist as though they exist." In other words, through faith God caused Abraham to see future things that were not yet physically in existence.
Continuing in John 8, we find another stumbling block:Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (KJV)
It is sometimes claimed that Jesus used the term "I am" to show that He was Yahweh and therefore existed before the time of Abraham. They point to Exodus 3:14, where Yahweh said his name was "I am that I am" (or more correctly, "I am the one who exists") and claim that the terms are synonymous. Once again, however, careful and fair analysis shows otherwise.
As always, we must read scripture in context. Let’s go back and read from verse 50 to see how Jesus leads up to this statement:And I seek not mine own glory: there is one (another one) that seeketh and judgeth.
He sought not his own glory, but rather Yahweh’s – a strange statement if Jesus was Yahweh.
Also, verse 54:Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me;…
Jesus kept shunning the honor and insisting that it be placed where it belonged – back with the Father, and away from himself.
Would it make sense in the earlier parts of the chapter to say, "I don’t deserve the honor; my Father deserves the honor!" and then turn around in verse 58 and say, "I am the one who deserves all of the honor?" No! Of course not!
Furthermore, the semantics involved prove that the term "I am" could not have meant what some claim. Look at the sentence structure. If "I am" = Yahweh, the verse would read:
…before Abraham was, Yahweh.
As you can see, it doesn’t work. Jesus did not say, "Before Abraham was, I was the "I am. In order to match their claim, the phrase would need more words.
Furthermore, the phrase in Exodus does not match the one in John when read from the Greek. This clearly indicates that they have different meanings. John 8:58b reads:…before Abraham, I am (EGO EMI) to become (GENESTHAI) (i.e. "I am to become greater than Abraham").
Here, notice that the verb is not "was" (past tense), but rather "to be" or "to become" (infinitive tense). Also, "to become" fits with "I am" – not with "Abraham" as the churches claim. It reads, "…I am to become," not "before Abraham to become…."
Jesus was saying "I am to be…" in the same sense as you or I would say "I am to go," or "I am to stay."
The Greek construction bears this out. Jesus says "EGO EMI" (I am). Now, compare the Greek construction of Exodus 3:14 as taken from the Septuagint Greek Old Testament.And God spoke to Moses, saying EGO EMI HA ON (I am the one existing); and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, HA ON (the one existing) has sent me to you.
According to Greek usage, if Jesus had wanted to say that He was "THE EXISTING ONE," He would not have said "EGO EMI." He would have said "HA ON."
What, then, was Jesus saying in verse 58? He was stating that He had a position of even greater importance than Abraham.…before Abraham (in priority, or rank), I am to be.
Jesus is greater than Abraham. In his ministry, his sacrifice and his rising from the dead – in all that He did, He was the greatest of Yahweh’s creation.