A Family Relationship

You are here

A Family Relationship

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


"I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son" (Hebrews 1:5).

About one third of the New Testament consists of quotations from and obvious allusions to the Old Testament. These references are not random or accidental. Each holds meaning for us and has a reason for being there.

Some of the most remarkable and illuminating references in helping us understand God are found in the books of Hebrews and Acts. The early chapters of Acts show the apostle Peter quoting passages from the Psalms to illustrate the awesome significance of the resurrection and messiahship of Jesus. The writer of Hebrews does the same in chapters 1 and 2 of that epistle.

These key passages in the Psalms contain the sure testimony of the Father concerning His Son, Jesus of Nazareth. In them we find that God the Father testified in advance of the Word's awesome future role.

The writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 2: "For to which of the angels did He ever say: 'You are My Son, today I have begotten you'? And again: 'I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son'?" (Hebrews 1:5; compare Psalm 2:7; 1 Chronicles 17:13). This was the prophetic destiny of the Word.

Psalm 45:6 also shows the Father testifying about the Son, as Hebrews 1:8 explains in quoting it: "But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.'"

Many who've read this chapter of Hebrews read right over this verse, failing to grasp its enormous import. The Father called His Son, Jesus Christ, God. Christ is not only the Son of God. He is God! He is a member of the family of God. The Scriptures reveal God in terms of a family relationship—God the Father and Jesus the Son are together the God family!

We earlier saw from John 1:14 that the Word, Jesus Christ, "became flesh and dwelt among us ... as of the only begotten of the Father." The Greek word monogenees, translated "only begotten" in this verse and John 1:18, confirms the family relationship between God the Father and the One who became Jesus Christ.

Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, author of several books on the Greek language as used in the Bible, explains: "The word monogenees actually is a compound of the word monos, 'alone,' and the word genos, 'race, stock, family.' Here we are told that He who came to reveal God—Jesus Christ—is of the same family, of the same stock, of the same race as God ... There is ample evidence in the Scriptures that the Godhead is a family ..." (Was Christ God? A Defense of the Deity of Christ, 1998, p. 21, emphasis added).

Who Was David's Lord?

At this juncture, we should consider that King David of Israel, who wrote many of the psalms, including probably Psalm 2, quoted above, was also a prophet (Acts 2:30). God gave him incredible insights into the nature of God and God's rule over all creation. David is called "the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel" (2 Samuel 23:1, NRSV).

Here was a man truly inspired by God's Spirit. "The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me," he said, "and His word was on my tongue" (2 Samuel 23:2). Our Creator revealed many truths through David and saw to it that his words were preserved in the Holy Scriptures—primarily in many of the psalms but also in the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles.

In one of the psalms specifically identified as having been written by David, he said, "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool'" (Psalm 110:1). Says The New Bible Commentary: Revised about a reference to Jesus as "our Lord" in Hebrews 7:14: "Note the striking description of Jesus as our Lord. It corresponds here to the thought of Psalm 110:1, in which David called Him, 'My Lord'" (1970, p. 1203).

In this remarkable psalm, the Father is talking to the Son in prophetic vision —"The Lord said to my [David's] Lord ..."

About 1,000 years later, Jesus Himself stumped the religious leaders of His day with this passage. They understood David's immediate Lord here to be a prophecy of the Messiah—the Christ—a preeminent king descended from David and ruling as God's representative. But why would David's descendant be his Lord? Notice the conversation:

"While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, 'What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?' They said to Him, 'The Son of David.' He said to them, 'How then does David in the Spirit call Him "Lord," saying: "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool'"? If David then calls Him "Lord," how is He his Son?' And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore" (Matthew 22:41-46).

Typically an ancestral father would be in the position of Lord over His descendants—not the other way around. It makes sense when we realize that the One who would be born as David's descendant was already existent as David's divine Lord, who was Himself subject to God the Father.

The apostle Peter confirms the identity of these two beings: "For David did not ascend into the heavens [he was buried after his death and still awaits the resurrection], but he says himself: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool"'" (Acts 2:34-35).

Remember this important rule for biblical understanding: Examine the context. Acts 2:36 explicitly identifies these two beings: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God [the Father] has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." How wonderfully clear! These crucial passages are talking prophetically about the two members of the divine family—the Father and the Son.

A governing kingdom

Another Old Testament book likewise confirms the existence of two divine beings. The prophet Daniel, a faithful man of God, gives us an insightful look into the heavenly realm. Although God is spirit (John 4:24), which is normally invisible to the human eye (Colossians 1:15), the prophet was permitted to see these two beings in his mind. As the apostle John would several centuries later, Daniel received a vision of events in the spirit realm.

"I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool" (Daniel 7:9). Daniel records a striking description of the Father. Just as Jesus later revealed, God the Father, while a spirit being, nevertheless has form and shape (John 5:37).

Daniel also saw a large and faithful angelic host constantly serving the Father. "A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him" (Daniel 7:10). Angels are spirit beings too (Hebrews 1:7), and they are also portrayed with form and shape. We will see more about spirit beings having bodily form later.

Daniel continues: "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He [the Son of Man] came to the Ancient of Days [God the Father], and they [the angelic host] brought Him near before Him" (Daniel 7:13). Time and time again in the New Testament, Jesus called Himself "the Son of Man."

Continuing, just like in Hebrews 1:8, Jesus is described in Daniel as possessing a kingdom: "Then to Him was given dominion [rule] and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him" (Daniel 7:14).

In the New Testament, Revelation 20:4-6 pictures the Millennium, the first 1,000 years of the utopian rule of Christ and His saints. Daniel, too, describes Jesus' Kingdom: "His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:14).

Christ's righteous reign will continue far beyond the bounds of the Millennium. Isaiah 9:6-7 tells us it will last forever. Indeed, the Kingdom of God ultimately denotes a level of existence to which human beings may be raised through a transformation from flesh to spirit (compare John 3:3-8; 1 Corinthians 15:50-51).

This transformation entails becoming a glorified member of the family of God. Thus the God family is also the ruling God Kingdom—the Kingdom of God.