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 Hebrews 1:5For to which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
American King James Version×
).

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 Hebrews 1:5For to which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
American King James Version×
; compare Psalms 2:7 Psalms 2:7I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you.
American King James Version×
; 1 Chronicles 17:13 1 Chronicles 17:13I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before you:
American King James Version×
). This was the prophetic destiny of the Word.

Psalms 45:6 Psalms 45:6Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of your kingdom is a right scepter.
American King James Version×
also shows the Father testifying about the Son, as Hebrews 1:8 Hebrews 1:8But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
American King James Version×
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 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
American King James Version×
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 John 1:18No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
American King James Version×
, 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 Acts 2:30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
American King James Version×
). 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 2 Samuel 23:1Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,
American King James Version×
, 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 2 Samuel 23:2The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.
American King James Version×
). 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'" (Psalms 110:1 Psalms 110:1The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.
American King James Version×
). Says The New Bible Commentary: Revised about a reference to Jesus as "our Lord" in Hebrews 7:14 Hebrews 7:14For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
American King James Version×
: "Note the striking description of Jesus as our Lord. It corresponds here to the thought of Psalms 110:1 Psalms 110:1The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.
American King James Version×
, 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 Matthew 22:41-46 [41] While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, [42] Saying, What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him, The son of David. [43] He said to them, How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying, [44] The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool? [45] If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? [46] And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
American King James Version×
).

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 Acts 2:34-35 [34] For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, [35] Until I make your foes your footstool.
American King James Version×
).

Remember this important rule for biblical understanding: Examine the context. Acts 2:36 Acts 2:36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
American King James Version×
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 John 4:24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
American King James Version×
), which is normally invisible to the human eye (Colossians 1:15 Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
American King James Version×
), 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 7:9I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
American King James Version×
). 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 John 5:37And the Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
American King James Version×
).

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 Daniel 7:10A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
American King James Version×
). Angels are spirit beings too (Hebrews 1:7 Hebrews 1:7And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
American King James Version×
), 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 Daniel 7:13I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
American King James Version×
). Time and time again in the New Testament, Jesus called Himself "the Son of Man."

Continuing, just like in Hebrews 1:8 Hebrews 1:8But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
American King James Version×
, 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 Daniel 7:14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
American King James Version×
).

In the New Testament, Revelation 20:4-6 Revelation 20:4-6 [4] And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. [6] Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×
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 Daniel 7:14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
American King James Version×
).

Christ's righteous reign will continue far beyond the bounds of the Millennium. Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah 9:6-7 [6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
American King James Version×
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 John 3:3-8 [3] Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. [4] Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? [5] Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again. [8] The wind blows where it wants, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
American King James Version×
; 1 Corinthians 15:50-51 1 Corinthians 15:50-51 [50] Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. [51] Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
American King James Version×
).

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.