When Philip asked Jesus to show him God, Jesus said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father?' Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?"12(John 14:9-10)RS|KJ|NI It is written of Jesus, "He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not."13(John 1:10)RS|KJ|NI Jesus also said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."14(John 8:58)RS|KJ|NI Based on these biblical verses, many Christians have believed that Jesus is God, the Creator.
Jesus may well be called God because, as a man who has realized the purpose of creation and who lives in oneness with God, he has a divine nature. Nevertheless, he is not God Himself. The relationship between God and Jesus may be thought of as analogous to the relationship between the mind and body. Because the body is the substantial object partner to the mind, resembles the mind and acts in oneness with the mind, it may be understood to be the mind's second self; but it is not the mind itself. By analogy, since Jesus is one with God and the incarnation of God, he may be understood to be God's second self; but he is not God. It is true that he who has seen Jesus may be said to have seen God,15(John 14:9-10)RS|KJ|NI but Jesus did not mean by saying this that he was God Himself.
The Bible refers to Jesus as the Word made flesh.16(John 1:14)RS|KJ|NI This verse means that Jesus is the incarnation of the Word; that is, a man in whom the Word comes alive. We read that all things were made through the Word, and further, that the world was made through Jesus.17(John 1:3, 10)RS|KJ|NI Hence, Jesus may be said to be the creator. To understand what these verses mean, consider that the universe according to the Principle of Creation is the substantial unfolding of the internal nature and external form of a human being of perfected character. All the elements of the universe are encapsulated in a fully mature person and resonate in harmony around him. In this sense, it can be said that the universe is created through a perfect human being. Furthermore, God intended that human beings be the creators and lords of the natural world by endowing them with the character and powers of the Creator; these are to be realized once they reach perfection through the fulfillment of their responsibility. Seen from this perspective, these verses are in agreement with our understanding of Jesus as the man who has completed the purpose of creation; they do not signify that Jesus is the Creator Himself.
Jesus also said, "Before Abraham was, I am."18(John 8:58)RS|KJ|NI Jesus was the descendant of Abraham. Yet with respect to the providence of restoration, Jesus is the ancestor of Abraham because, as the one to give rebirth to all humankind, he came in the position of their first ancestor. We should understand that Jesus did not mean by this saying that he is God Himself. While on earth, Jesus was a man no different from any of us except for the fact that he was without the original sin. Even in the spirit world, where he has abided since his resurrection, Jesus lives as a spirit, as do his disciples. The only difference between them is that Jesus abides as a divine spirit, emitting brilliant rays of light, while his disciples, as life spirits, reflect that light.
It is written that since his resurrection, Jesus has been interceding for us before God19(Rom. 8:34)RS|KJ|NI as he did while he was on earth.20(Luke 23:34)RS|KJ|NI If Jesus were God, how could he intercede for us before Himself? Moreover, Jesus called God "Father," thus acknowledging that he was not God Himself.21(John 17:1)RS|KJ|NI If Jesus were God, how could He be tempted by Satan, as Jesus was? We can conclude with finality that Jesus was not God Himself from the words he uttered on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"22(Matt. 27:46)RS|KJ|NI
Exposition of the Divine Principle
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