Joel 3:11 Hurry and come, all you surrounding nations, And gather yourselves together.” Cause your mighty ones to come down there, Yahweh.
Joel 3:12 “Let the nations arouse themselves, And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; For there will I sit to judge all the surrounding nations. — World English
Matthew 25:31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then will he sit on the throne of his glory.
Matthew 25:32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. — World English
Trinitarians, Oneness believers and some others often place these two scriptures together and offer them as proof of the trinity, or proof that Jesus is Yahweh. Of course, there is nothing in the verses about three persons in Yahweh, or about a triune God, or that Jesus is Yahweh.
The claim, however, is that in Joel 3:11-12 it is Yahweh who gathers and judges the nations, and that in Matthew 28:31-32, it is Jesus before whom the nations are gather, and it is Jesus who does the judging. It is therefore assumed and presented as fact by man that this is proof that Jesus is Yahweh.
Aside from the fact the judgment of the nations of Joel 3:11-12 is of the nations as collectively condemned in Adam, and the judgment 0f the nations in Matthew 25:31-32 is of the individual of the nations (representing two different judgment periods), those who would claim this is as proof that Jesus is Yahweh overlook the scriptures that show the unipersonal God has given all judgment to the Son, and that Yahweh, as one person, comes to judge the world by means of the person whom he has ordained.
John 5:22 World English
For neither does the Father judge any man, but he has given all judgment to the Son.
John 5:27 World English
He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man.
In John 5:25, “God” is presented, not as three persons, but rather as one person, the Jesus is presented as the “Son” of that one person. Thus “God” is one person, the father, as Jesus stated in John 17:3, and as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 8:6. Indeed, through the whole book of John, the word “God”, when applied to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:14,15), is always used to represent one person (the God of Jesus), and never once is it used to represent more than one person.
It was this unipersonal “God” who gave “all judgment” to the Son. (John 5:22,27) Does this mean that Jesus was at one time not a person of God and that when “all judgment” was given to him that he then became a person of God, or that he then became “God” who gave him this authority to judge? That is what the logic would lead to if the claim concerning Joel 3:11,12 and Matthew 25:31,31 should be true.
Not only this, if we followed such logic through as it would be applied to other scriptures, it would mean that the saints themselves also become God, or persons of God, since we read:
Judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. — Daniel 7:22, World English
Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world? — 1 Corinthians 6:2, World English.
I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. — Revelation 20:4, World English.
To be consistent with the idea that since Yahweh and Jesus judge the nations, that this should make them both Yahweh, then the above scriptures would mean that all of the saints are also Yahweh. Of course, the whole basis of the line of argument is scripturally incorrect.
Regarding the coming day of judgment, we read:
Psalm 96:1 – Sing to Yahweh a new song! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth.
Psalm 96:2 – Sing to Yahweh! Bless his name. Proclaim his salvation from day to day.
Psalm 96:3 -Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples.
Psalm 96:4 – For great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised! He is to be feared above all gods.
Psalm 96:5 – For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But Yahweh made the heavens.
Psalm 96:6 – Honor and majesty are before him. Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Psalm 96:7 – Ascribe to Yahweh, you families of nations, Ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength.
Psalm 96:8 – Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due to his name. Bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Psalm 96:9 – Worship Yahweh in holy array. Tremble before him, all the earth.
Psalm 96:10 – Say among the nations, “Yahweh reigns.” The world is also established. It can’t be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:11 – Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. Let the sea roar, and the fullness of it!
Psalm 96:12 – Let the field exult, and all that is therein. Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy
Psalm 96:13 – Before Yahweh; for he comes, For he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, The peoples with his truth.
Psalm 98:1 – Sing to Yahweh a new song, For he has done marvelous things! His right hand, and his holy arm, have worked salvation for him.
Psalm 98:2 – Yahweh has made known his salvation. He has openly shown his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
Psalm 98:3 – He has remembered his lovingkindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Psalm 98:4 – Make a joyful noise to Yahweh, all the earth! Burst out and sing for joy, yes, sing praises!
Psalm 98:5 – Sing praises to Yahweh with the harp, With the harp and the voice of melody.
Psalm 98:6 – With trumpets and sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful noise before the King, Yahweh.
Psalm 98:7 – Let the sea roar with its fullness; The world, and those who dwell therein.
Psalm 98:8 – Let the rivers clap their hands. Let the mountains sing for joy together.
Psalm 98:9 – Let them sing before Yahweh, For he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with equity.
In those two Psalms we find that Yahweh is the One who come to judge the world with equity. However, in Isaiah 11:4, we read that that “a shoot out of the stock of Jesse”, one who is not Yahweh, but who has reverential fear for Yahweh (Isaiah 11:2), will judge the people with equity. To understand how this is so, let us read also:
[God – Acts 17:30] has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man [person] whom he has ordained. — Acts 17:31.
Thus, Yahweh comes to judges the world by means of the person whom he has ordained, His Son, Christ Jesus, the one whom God “has raised him from the dead.” This does not mean that the Son is a person of “God”. Indeed, the context shows that “God” is not three persons, but one person; the context shows that Jesus is not “God”, but rather the Son of “God”.
We can find many examples in the Bible of how God performed works through various ones, and by which both are said to have performed the work. We ill cite one:
We read that Yahweh spoke to Moses:
Exodus 3:7 – Yahweh said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
Exodus 3:8 I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land.
Here we find that Yahweh says that he had come down to deliver [save] the children of Israel out of the hand of the Egyptians. But let us read further as Yahweh speaks to Moses:
Exodus 3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.
Now, Yahweh says that Moses will bring forth the children of Egypt out of Egypt. Does this mean that Moses is Yahweh? Absolutely not! The Psalmist says to Yahweh: “You led your people like a flock, By the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Yahweh used as his instruments both Moses and Aaron to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Likewise, through Jesus as His agent, Yahweh comes to judge world. This does not mean that Jesus is Yahweh anymore than in Exodus 3 we should conclude that Moses must be Yahweh.
By Other Authors Associated With the Bible Students’ Movement
Plowshares to Swords (Michael Nekora)
The Purpose of Christ’s Kingdom (Charles Taze Russell)Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 Jesus and His God