Who was “the LORD” of the Old Testament?
Part 1

John Plunkett

November 25, 2017


Who was “the LORD” who is so frequently mentioned in the Old Testament scriptures?

There are, of course, only two "Contenders."  One is God the Father.  The other is His Son, the One who became the human Jesus Christ.

This second possibility is the one that has been taught for many years by most Church of God speakers and writers. 

Just so that you are not left hanging with any doubt, I’ll tell you right up-front that I firmly believe that the Church of God’s historic view is correct – that it is the One who became Jesus Christ who was the LORD of the Old Testament scriptures.

I hope to prove this to you over the next few sermons from God’s holy written Word.

However, I believe that it is only fair for us to also put the supporting scriptures for the opposing view on the table for discussion. 

So that’s how we’ll begin – by quoting one of the scriptures that appear to say that God the Father is the LORD of the Old Testament.

First, let’s compare a New Testament verse with an Old Testament one: 

Acts 3:13a:
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus… 

Was God the Father “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”?

Yes, He was!  But does that fact mean that the One who became the human Jesus was not also their God?  Of course not!  Of course He was!

Let’s go back to "the beginning" – to the time of the re-creation of the earth – centuries before the births of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob:

Genesis 1:
1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3: And God said, “Let there be light”: and there was light.
4: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness…

... On and on, over and over, throughout the early chapters of Genesis. God did this; and God did that.

What God?  Who was this "God" who did all of this?  

What is the Hebrew word for God in these verses?  It is "Elohiym" (Strong’s 430).  

Significantly, the word "Elohiym" is plural!  It is the plural of the singular word "Elowahh" (Strong’s 433) which we rarely hear mentioned; but is actually found 57 times in the Old Testament – translated both as “God” with a capital “G” and in other places as “god” with a lower-case “g”.

Yes.  The word Elohiym is plural, and it might grate on our sensitivities when I say this, but grammatically, the Hebrew word Elohiym means Gods!  Plural!

But this really should not surprise us.  Still in Genesis 1, let’s look at:

Verse 26a: And God {Elohiym} said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”…

Maybe it was just one of the two "God Beings" who actually said these words; but the two are/were in total agreement and were/are likely able to read – or even to pre-read in advance – one another’s minds!  Time means nothing to them!  They are so far above us; I don’t believe that we can understand just how wonderful and how great they really are; 

However, as Herbert Armstrong often explained, the word Elohiym can be thought of as what he called a “uni-plural” title or name – a word which seems singular; but encompasses more than one person or being, as do words like Family, Nation, School, Assembly, etc.

Thus, we can quite rightly and accurately think of Elohiym as a Family.  Yes, a Family with only two full Members right now; but with many more begotten members “waiting in the wings” for our full birth into that Elohiym Family.

So then, which one of the two was the LORD of the Old Testament?

In Genesis chapter 1, neither of the two members of the Elohiym “family” has yet been named individually.

Interestingly, there is no mention of “the LORD” (Hebrew "YHVH") until He is introduced to us in chapter 2.  And even then, the name "YHVH" is linked to the name "Elohiym":

Genesis 2:4: 
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God
{YHVH Elohiym} made the earth and the heavens.

He is introduced as a Member of the Elohiym Family having the name "YHVH." 

We have traditionally pronounced this name YHVH as YAHWEH.  We have interspersed an "A" and an "E".  But we really don’t know what the actual vowels should be.  Each of the two could be A, E, I, O or U; or even perhaps Y.   That's twelve possible combinations!

I believe that it is valid for us to think of the term Elohiym as a kind of "surname" of the God Family and YHVH as the "given name" of one of its members. 

But please notice that it says here in Genesis 2:4 that "The LORD God (YHVH-Elohiym) made the earth and the heavens."  This fact is very important for us to remember as we go through this.

Although Genesis 1 tells us that both members of the Elohiym Family were involved in the re-creation of the earth, it appears from this verse that the LORD God (YHVH-Elohiym) seems to have been what we might think of as the "primary Creator." 

Not that this fact makes Him the higher of the two, of course; but He appears to have been the One who did the creation “spade work” – perhaps literally when we think of the creation of Adam and Eve out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7)!

Please notice that the other Member of the Elohiym Family is not named.  But He appears again following the sin of Eve and Adam, when YHVH-Elohiym spoke to this other Member:

Genesis 3:22:
And the LORD God
{YHVH-Elohiym} said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

And again, at the Tower of Babel:

Genesis 11:
6:  And the LORD
{YHVH} said, “Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7:  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
8: So the LORD
{YHVH} scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Who were the “us” here in these two accounts?  Who was YHVH talking to?  

We know, of course, that one of them – the “Spokesperson” here – was the LORD/YHVH.  The other person or persons could have been one or more angels; but the implication is that the other Person was the other Member of the Elohiym Family. 

And again, in the scattering of the people here, please notice who did the main "work."  Again, it was the LORD/YHVH.

Now let’s go over to the other set of “in the beginning” scriptures. 

And this "beginning" was the real beginning – the beginning of eternity – if there ever really could be such a time; but what is being described here is an immeasurably long time prior to the beginning of the re-creation of the earth.  How can we get our minds round infinity and eternity?

John 1:1: 
In the beginning was the Word
{Greek "Logos" Strong’s 3056}, and the Word was with God {Greek "Theos" Strong’s 2316}, and the Word was God.

Who was this “Word” – this Logos – who was with God (Theos) – and who also was God (Theos)?

In the same way as the Old Testament Hebrew gives us Elohiym as a kind of surname and YHVH as a kind of given name, here in the New Testament Greek, we have the title Theos as a kind of surname and Logos as a kind of given name.

But of course, as the scriptures clearly prove, just as YHVH was just one of God’s many names and that He also has other names in the Hebrew, so with the name Logos in the Greek.

Some children are given their given names merely because the parents like the name.  It might be that of a music, film or sports personality that they particularly like. This reminds me of one couple back in England who named their son after the whole Liverpool soccer team!  Yes, all eleven players!  I can’t remember whether they included the substitutes! 

But Bible names are often quite significant and, of course, the God Family names are very significant.  They tell us who and what they are and what they do!

We are going to get into the names of God in more detail in a future sermon; but for now, let’s just look at the meanings of the name Logos.

Here’s what the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) tells us about the word.  It is translated, in the King James Version 225 times as Word – with a capital ‘W” referring to Jesus and with a small, lower-case ‘w’) referring to a grammatical word.   Also another 105 appearances as saying, account, speech, or other similar terms.

The extended Greek meanings of the word Logos include these; and as you read through them, please apply them in your mind to Jesus:

The word Logos stems grammatically from another noun (one that Jacob and Zane will appreciate) because the root word is Lego (Strong’s 3004) which, probably unsurprisingly, is used a whopping 1,343 times in the New Testament and is translated as the English: say, speak, call, tell, and a few others.

The extended Greek meanings of Lego include these – and again, please apply them in your mind to Jesus:

All this would strongly indicate that the English term “Spokesman” is a pretty good, valid substitute for the Greek term Logos – as has been used by many Church of God speakers and writers over the past fifty years or more. 

Which Member of the Theos Family was the Spokesman in the New Testament gospel accounts? 

I’m pretty sure that we all know the answer to this question that it was Jesus who was the Logos.  

But which Member of the Elohiym Family was the Spokesman in the Old Testament?  Still in John 1:

2:  The same {the Word/Logos} was in the beginning with God {Theos}.

But, was the Word/Logos instrumental in the re-creation of the world? 

Yes, He was!

3:  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
4a:  In Him was life…

This Word/Logos possessed inherent life within Himself.  And He had the power to give life to others – which He certainly did!

In this regard of the Logos possessing inherent life within Himself, let’s just take a quick look at a couple of verses in:

Exodus 3:
1:  Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the back side of the desert, and came to the mountain of God
{Elohiym}, even to Horeb …
Verse 4:  And when the LORD
{YHVH} saw that he {Moses} turned aside to see, God {Elohiym} called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses, Moses.” And he {Moses} said, “Here am I”…

I believe that it is quite clear that this one Person was both Elohiym and YHVH; so, let’s combine them and use the name YHVH-Elohiym.

Verse 6:  Moreover He {YHVH-Elohiym} said, “I am the God {Elohiym} of your father, the God {Elohiym} of Abraham, the God {Elohiym} of Isaac, and the God {Elohiym} of Jacob.  And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God {Elohiym}”…
Verse 13:  And Moses said unto God
{Elohiym}, “Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, ‘The God {Elohiym} of your fathers has sent me unto you”; and they shall say to me, “What is His name?’ What shall I say unto them?”
14:  And God
{Elohiym} said unto Moses, “I AM THAT I AM”: and He said, “Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me unto you.’”

This single “I AM” is translated from the Hebrew word “EHYEH”which means to be, or to exist. 

“I AM THAT I AM” is translated from “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH” which means “EXIST WHO EXISTS” or “EXIST BECOMES EXIST.”  It is hard to get our human minds around that!

Again, I agree with Herbert Armstrong’s opinion that a good translation of this is “The Self-Existent One” (long-form) or “The Eternal” (short-form), which you’ll hear many long-time Church of God speakers use whenever they see the capitalized form of the word “LORD’ in the Old Testament.

It appears, then, that the Hebrew long form of His name is “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH” and the short form is EHYEH – from which the name YHVH is evidently derived.

Here’s what John Gill’s Commentary says about this verse:

This signifies the real Being of God, His self-existence, and that He is the Being of beings; as also it denotes His eternity and immutability, and His constancy and faithfulness in fulfilling His promises, for it includes all time, past, present, and to come; and the sense is: “Not only I am what I am at present; but I am what I have been, and I am what I shall be, and shall be what I am.” 

Our Lord {Jesus} seems to refer to this name in John 8:58 {Before Abraham was, I am}, and indeed is the person that now appeared; and the words may be rendered, "I shall be what I shall be." The incarnate God, God manifest in the flesh: I am He that is, and that shall be.”

We can take all of the information that we have from Exodus 3 and we can insert it – substitute it – right back into John 1 – specifically back into verse 4.  Let’s go back and read it again:

John 1:
4a: In Him was life… 

So, let’s continue now:

4b: … and the life was the Light of men. 
5: And the Light
{Greek "Phos"} shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John is telling us here that light was (and still is) inherent in the self-existent life of the Word/Logos.  Spiritual Light, of course, as we shall see:

6:  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John {the Baptist}.
7:  The same
{John the Baptist} came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe.
8: He
{John the Baptist} was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9: That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world.

Who was this “true Light”?  This Word/Logos who had inherent life and light?  Was it God the Father?

I’m sure that the Father certainly does possess both of these attributes – life and light.  But is He the Word/Logos and the Light that is being spoken of here?  Let’s continue and see:

10:  He {the true Light and Word/Logos} was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.
11:  He came unto His own
{i.e. human beings, Israelites, Jews}, and His own received Him not.

Was God the Father ever "in the world"?  O.k. yes, He apparently came down with the other Member of the Elohiym Family at the time of the re-creation.  But did He ever come "to His own"?

No!  So, who did?

Verse 14:  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Word/Logos – the Light – was the Member of the God Family who was begotten of the Father, who was made flesh, and who dwelt among “us” – among humanity – for 33˝ years, we believe.

Jump down to:

Verse 18:  No man has seen God {the Father} at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him...

Please bookmark John 1 once again and let’s look elsewhere for backup of this statement by John the Baptist as recorded by John the apostle. 

In John 5, Jesus was speaking to some Jews who were planning to kill Him:

John 5:37: 
And 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.

This refers, not just to the Jews to whom Jesus was talking at that time; but to all Jews, all Israelites – in fact, all of mankind. 

How can I make that statement?  How do I know that?  Because Jesus said so in the very next chapter: 

John 6:46:
Not that any man has seen the Father, save He which is of God, He has seen the Father.

Had any human beings seen and/or communicated with either Member of the God Family prior to Jesus saying this? 

Yes!  Here’s just a few of many instances:

Genesis 12:7:
And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, “Unto your seed will I give this land”: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Genesis 32:
24:  And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day…
Verse 26:  And He
{the “man”} said, “Let me go, for the day breaks.” And he {Jacob} said, “I will not let you go, except you bless me” …
Verse 29:  And Jacob asked Him, and said, “Tell me, I pray you, your name.  And He said, “Why is it that you do ask after my name?  And He blessed him there.
30:  And Jacob called the name of the place Peni-el: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

Exodus 33:11:
And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend.

Numbers 14:14:
And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that you LORD are among this people, that you LORD are seen face to face.

Deuteronomy 5:4:
The LORD talked with you
{Israelites} face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,

Deuteronomy 34:10:
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

Jesus said that no man, other than Himself, had ever seen God the Father, nor heard His voice.  But these verses – and many others – prove that there were some men who did see one of the Members of the God Family, and who did hear His voice!

So, if it wasn’t the Father, who was it?

We know that it was the LORD!  It was YHVH!

So, who was YHVH?  It can’t have been the Father?  And there are only two Members of the God Family so far.  So, who is/was the other Member other than the Father?

Jesus, of course!

Back to the first chapter of John's gospel account again, where we read about the Jews giving John the Baptist a hard time:

John 1:
22:  Then said they unto him, “Who are you?  That we may give an answer to them that sent us.  What say you of yourself?
23:  He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as said the prophet Esaias.”

Quoting Isaiah 40:3, John the Baptist said that his job was to cry out in the wilderness that God’s people should be “making straight the way of the Lord.” 

The Lord?  What Lord?  The Greek title is "Kurios" (Strong’s 2962) which stems from the word "Kuros" which means "Supremacy."  Kurios appears 748 times in the KJV, translated as Lord, lord, master, Sir and sir – most frequently referring to the Lord Jesus or human symbols of Him.

But which Lord was John referring to in John 1:23? 

We believe that he was talking about the preparation for the Lord Jesus.  But wait a minute; John was quoting Isaiah: 

Isaiah 40:3:
The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, prepare you the way of the LORD
{YHVH}, make straight in the desert a highway for our God {Elohiym}.

John had been given the job of crying out to the people of his day that God’s people were to be preparing the way of the LORD – the way of YHVH-Elohiym!  Yes, the One who became Jesus Christ!

Back again to John 1, where John explains who the present-day human manifestation of YHVH-Elohiym was:

John 1:
27:  He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose…
Verse 29:  The next day John sees Jesus coming unto him, and says, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
30:  This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man which is preferred before me’: for He was before me.”

We know from the first two chapters of Luke’s gospel account that John the Baptist was about – maybe exactly – six moths older than the human Jesus – his cousin.

But here, he’s telling these Jews that, even though Jesus was humanly six months younger than himself, He (Jesus) was “before” himself (John).  Way before himself!  Eternally before himself!  Both in terms of real age and in terms of the timeline of the preaching of the gospel.

So, it is quite clear, I believe, that Jesus – the Word/Logos – was the LORD/YHVH of the Old Testament.

In this regard, please remember what Jesus said to the Jews who were verbally attacking Him:

John 8:58:
Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."

Now then, after having read all this, let’s look at another of the so-called proofs that God the Father was the LORD of the Old Testament scriptures:

Matthew 16:16:
And Simon Peter
{talking to Jesus} answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Okay.  It is true that God the Father may be referred to as “the living God.”  And that’s fine.  So now we will compare that with Deuteronomy 5:

Deuteronomy 5:
25:  Now therefore why should we die?  For this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
26:  For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?

Does this comparison of these two scriptures prove that God the Father was the LORD of the Old Testament? 

Let’s examine it. 

First, as we read in other places, these chicken-hearted Israelites were not very good with telling the truth.  The LORD God obviously did not bring them to Mount Horeb just to burn them to death.  Neither did He wish to kill them by the sound of His voice – as He certainly could have done.

Also, had any human beings heard His voice prior to that time, and survived it?  

Yes!  We’ve already read the accounts of Him communicating with Abram and Jacob, and later with Moses.

From what we have already read in the scriptures, we know that there were two Members of the Elohiym Family. 

Were they – are they – both of those Members of the Elohiym Family “God”?

What about Jesus – the Word/Logos – was He God?

Yes, He was. Repeating: 

John 1:
1:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2: The same was in the beginning with God.

Were they – are they – both “living”?  What about Jesus – the Word/Logos – was He living?

Of course He was!  Of course He is!  Still in John 1, let’s re-read:

Verse 4: 
In Him
{the Word/Logos} was life; and the life was the Light of men. 

John 5:26:
For as the Father has life in Himself; so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself;

Jesus – the Word/Logos – possessed inherent life!  So, yes, He certainly was "living."  So, logically, both Jesus and His Father can be referred to as “the Living God.”

And in Deuteronomy 5, the voice of the LORD God {YHVH Elohiym} – the Living God – that those Israelites heard was that of the Word/Logos – the One who became the human Jesus.

Now, let’s look at another scripture that a lot of people have had a problem with.  We might call it a "difficult scripture" that, at first, might seem like a "smoking gun" for those who believe that God the Father was the LORD/YHVH of the Old Testament scriptures.  This is a very well known verse.  If you like Handel’s "Messiah," as I do, you will know it very well:

Isaiah 9:
6:  For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

This is undoubtedly a prophecy of Jesus – the Son of God – who was given and who fulfills all these titles and offices.  I doubt that anyone would deny this.  But, among these titles and offices is the name and title "Everlasting Father"!  

How could Jesus, the Son of God, be called the "Everlasting Father"?  Did Jesus not say that He – the Son – came to reveal the Father?

Yes, He did:

Luke 10:22:
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him.

Jesus was the "Revealer" or the "Revelator" of His Father.  And Jesus was also the "Declarer" of His Father:

John 1:18:
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

As we’ve seen in many verses of John 1, many other scriptures also establish that the One who became Jesus created all things:

Colossians 1:
12:  Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13:  Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:
14:  In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature:
16:  For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:
17:  And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.

Hebrews 2:
9:  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10:  For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Paul states unequivocally that the One called "the Rock" in the Old Testament was and is Jesus Christ: 

I Corinthians 10:
1:  Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2:  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3:  And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4:  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

This, I believe, is the "clincher" for those of us who believe that Jesus was the LORD/YHVH of the Old Testament!

That Rock was Christ!  That Rock was the Word/Logos!  That Rock was the LORD God – YHVH-Elohiym:

Deuteronomy 32:
3:  Because I will publish the name of the LORD
{YHVH}: ascribe you greatness unto our God {Elohiym}.
4:  He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God
{Elohiym} of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.

II Samuel 22:47:
The LORD
{YHVH} lives; and blessed be my Rock; and exalted be the God {Elohiym} of the Rock of my salvation.

Psalms 18:2:
The LORD
{YHVH}: is my Rock, and my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God {Elohiym}, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

But despite all this that we have just been through with reference to Isaiah 9:6, I took the time last week to look at two different versions of the Hebrew text of Isaiah 9:6, and found that the term "Ab," which is the Hebrew word for "Father," is not even in that verse!

Here is the word-for-word transliteration of the phrase "And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting [Father], the Prince of Peace":

Wa = And
Yiqra = Call, Name
Shm = High position, honour, authority, character
o = (grammatical)
Pele = Miracle
Yoetz = Advise , deliberate, resolve
El = Deity, Almighty, strength
Gibor = powerful, warrior
Aviyad = Perpetuity, duration, terminus
Sar = Head Person
Shalom = Peace, health, prosperity

There is no word “Ab” in there!  When I look at the Strong’s version, it adds in the word Ab (Strong’s number 1) – a word that does not appear in the Hebrew and does not appear in the lexicons either.

The key word in this passage seems to be ad which means perpetuity, eternal, or everlasting.  When combined with avi, the resultant combination somehow becomes “everlasting father.” 

A Greek interlinear lexicon compiled by a Hebrew and Greek scholar I know personally reads as follows:

And call His name wonderful Counsellor, the God Mighty, the Everlasting, the Prince of Peace

But still, did/does Jesus – the Word/Logos – possess "fatherly" aspects? 

Yes, He does!  Just as many of us human sons are also fathers, being the Son of God did not and does not necessarily preclude Jesus from also having a fatherly role. 

He also has a role as a husband.  He is the Bridegroom of the Bride that is made up collectively of God’s people.  He is also a Brother – the Elder Brother of God’s people.  So yes, He even has fatherly attributes!

Let me repeat something that I mentioned in my recent “Comforter” series with regard to this verse:

John 14:18: 
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Greek word translated here as “comfortless” is grammatically unrelated to “Parakletos” – the previously, newly-coined Greek word translated as the English word “Comforter.”

The Greek word translated here in John 14:18 as “comfortless” is “orphanos” (Strong’s 3737) – a term which James later used and was correctly translated as “fatherless.”

“Orphanos” means orphaned!  And orphaned means bereft of a father, or of both parents, or of a teacher, or of a guide, or of a guardian.

We must remember what they were all going through on that Passover night.  The time was rapidly approaching when Jesus would soon be separated from His disciples.  For three and a half years, Jesus had been their Best Friend, their Master, their Teacher, their Guardian and their Guide.  But He had also been like a Father-figure to them – even though He was only thirty-odd years old.  

Earlier on that same Passover night, Jesus even called them “Little children”: (John 13:33).

Not only had Jesus been like a Father-figure to these “little children” – these “spiritual babies.”  He had also introduced them to their real spiritual Parent and Guardian – God the Father – who they had not known before:

Matthew 11:
25:  At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babies…
Verse 27:  All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. 

Back in John 14, on Jesus last Passover night, Jesus revealed how He could be so much like His Father – including some fatherly attributes:

John 14:
7:  "If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know Him, and have seen Him."
8:  Philip said unto Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us."
9:  Jesus said unto him, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip?  He that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, ‘Show us the Father’?
10:  Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, He does the works.
11:  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake."

It is hard for us to understand the level of unity that Jesus had with His Father.  Everything that the Father had and had known, He passed on to Jesus.

What about the YHVH of the Old Testament scriptures?  Did the He possess fatherly aspects?

Yes, He did!

Exodus 4:22:
And you shall say unto Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD
{YHVH}, ‘Israel is my son, even my firstborn.’”

Here is the LORD/YHVH saying that Israel is His son.  Does that make Him God the Father per se?  

No, it doesn’t.  It means that He has fatherly attributes.  But the fact that Israel was the son of the LORD/YHVH is supported by Luke 3:34-38.

Now notice, once again, the LORD’s words to Israel through Moses:

Deuteronomy 32:6:
Do you thus requite
{retaliate against} the LORD {YHVH}, O foolish people and unwise?  Is not He your father that has bought you?  Has He not made you, and established you?

The LORD/YHVH of the Old Testament fulfilled many roles toward Israel and, once again, one of them was a fatherly role.  

He needed to do so because of the necessary, righteous absence of God the Father from earth.  God the Father is so holy that He cannot be with sinful humanity until the time comes that their sin has been purged from the earth.

The LORD/YHVH redeemed the Israelites – He bought them – from slavery in Egypt.  He made/created them.  He founded and established them as a nation. 

The LORD/YHVH also promised that He will be a father-figure during the Millennium – for a thousand years prior to His Father coming with the New Heaven and Earth:

Jeremiah 31:9:
They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Still, these scriptures do not mean that that other Member of the Elohiym Family – the One who became God the Father at Jesus’ birth – was the LORD of the Old Testament.

I am out of time, and there is so much more; but I don’t have time to cover some of the other astonishing scriptures today.  

There are so many things that we really must think about with regards to the nature of God.  But all the scriptures serve to hammer home the truth about this even further.

And that truth is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father, and the Logos of John 1, was the LORD God – the YHVH-Elohiym – of the Old Testament scriptures.


JHP/pp/jhp